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Term of the Week: Whitelist

Last week we looked at blacklisting so now it’s time to explain whitelists. As you’d expect, the two are opposites.

A whitelist, otherwise known as the Safe Sender list, catalogues email addresses that are approved and accepted. This ensures their delivery to the recipient’s inbox.

How can you be whitelisted?

Whitelisting can be done by the recipient themselves, using their email client. This means sometimes you will see email senders requesting their address is whitelisted, as it improves deliverability.

It is also done by ISPs. However, unlike a recipient whitelisting through their email client, ISP whitelists do not guarantee inbox delivery. Instead, an ISP whitelist shows that your email practices are responsible and that you are a trusted sender. It also means the ISP is allowed to review how recipients respond to your email – so if complaints occur it makes it easier to identify and block you as an email sender.

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