Email Allowlisting: 13 Tips For Email Marketers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 1, 2022 | Published October 18, 2021

Updated July 1, 2022

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're a marketing professional who wants to send content and material to your audience, then it can be beneficial to have them pre-approve your email address by using an email safe list. This list ensures that any email they receive from you goes directly to their inbox, helping to boost your customer engagement and sales figures. Learning about the best practices for using this method can improve the results of your marketing initiatives.

In this article, we discuss what email allowlisting is and explore a list of 13 best practices when using it for your own email campaigns.


What is an email allow list?

An email allow list is a list of all the names, email addresses and phone numbers allowed to enter your primary email inbox. Having the designation on a personal allow list or safe list ensures that it reaches the recipient's inbox instead of their spam box. While the user can set their own allowlist parameters, the method isn't completely perfect, and some unwanted content may still enter their inbox.

However, email clients continually update their own allow list to block potential spam accounts and addresses. Not every email sent to the user is on the allow list, but the client works within its own technical capabilities to filter emails appropriately. This stops once the user creates their own exclusive allow list, limiting emails that enter their inbox to only the ones they approve. The act of putting an email on an allow list is called email allowlisting.

Related: Q&A: What Is Email Marketing?

13 best practices for email allowlisting

Here are some best practices to help improve your deliverability rates when using email allowlisting:

1. Provide allowlisting instructions

To ensure you meet the necessities of your recipients, make certain that you provide them with instructions on how to allowlist your emails. However, it's important to consider that recipients use a diverse range of email clients, some popular and others more obscure. Compile a list of the most common email clients that people use and then develop different instructions to accommodate each specific one. This is going to be a moving initiative that changes continuously as email clients change. After you get all the major providers, you can focus on smaller email clients.

2. Consider your email bounce rate

If you want to use email allowlisting to help further your marketing campaigns, it's important that you pay close attention to your email bounce rates. This is a metric that measures the percentage of your recipients that don't receive your email successfully. Therefore, the email "bounces" when it doesn't reach them. The lower the bounce rate, the more your emails are reaching your intended audience.

There are several reasons your emails might bounce, such as a poor IP reputation, spam filters or a mistyped email address and domain name. Make certain to take the necessary steps to keep your bounce rate low.

Read more: What Is a Bounced Email and How Can You Prevent It?

3. Consider what medium recipients use to read their emails

Not only do recipients use a diverse range of email applications, but the way they read their emails differs significantly as well. While some people check their emails through a desktop computer or laptop, people are increasingly reading their emails from the convenience of their mobile phones. This is important because the allowlist settings of a mobile email application function differently from a typical email provider, and the email itself usually requires a different design to accommodate the visual space of a smartphone. Make certain that you meet the needs of your mobile recipients.

Related: How To Make a Mobile-Friendly Website (With Tips)

4. Build a relationship with your recipients

When you have a long-standing relationship with your recipients, they're far more likely to add your emails to their allow list. This ensures that they can always read your emails and act according to your call to action. A healthy and profitable business-to-consumer relationship requires building trust. It's easier to build trust with your recipients when your emails are useful to them and provide relevant high-quality content. It's also helpful if you're mindful of how frequently you send them emails. Sending your emails in periodic intervals helps the recipient acclimate to your schedule.

Related: Email Testing: What It Is, How It Works and Why It's Important

5. Define your call to action

A meaningful call to action is important for your allowlisting because it gives your customers an action to perform, like making a purchase or downloading a coupon. Your email is most efficient when it's relevant to what your recipients want and clearly illustrates the purpose and benefit of the email. If your recipients receive too many emails with calls to action that are poorly defined or don't interest them, then they're less likely to include your email address on their allow list.

Once you define a call to action that appeals to your audience, maintain it to improve the frequency that recipients allowlist your emails.

Related: 10 Tips for Writing a Call to Action in an Email

6. Use inbound lead generation instead of buying email lists

Generating leads is essential for any business, allowing you to convert those leads into improved sales figures. Lead generation is an appropriate method to improve your allowlisting objectives because it guarantees that everyone who receives your emails are active users. While not every lead is going to transition into a sale or successful call to action, there's usually a better chance for them to do so when compared to a bought list. Buying an email list may include a significant number of emails that are outdated, inactive or fake. An organic email database helps you avoid those.

Related: Inbound vs. Outbound Leads: What's the Difference?

7. Segment your email database

You can ensure that the right emails go to the right recipients when you segment your email database. List or database segmentation is the process of separating your email list into segments based on what you know about your recipients. You might rely on certain factors like their company relationship history, buying habits and professional background. This allows you to send each segment of recipients personal content and calls to action. When recipients receive their proper emails from you, they're more likely to add you to their allowlist, boosting conversions, email opens and click-throughs.

Related: How To Send Mass Emails (Plus Do’s and Don’ts)

8. Monitor and clean your email database regularly

An efficient way to improve your allowlisting rates is by ensuring that you consistently monitor your email list and clean out addresses that no longer benefit the company. Whether recipients no longer want to receive your messages or they are inactive, it's important that you address these emails and remove them from your database so you can have a more uniform and active list. Checking on your bounce rates and frequent complaints can also give you an idea of which emails to remove from your list.

The more positive your feedback, the better your IP reputation. This helps to increase your user engagement and deliverability rates.

9. Maintain a positive IP address history with your mailbox provider

As you continue to expand your allowlist initiative to gain new recipients, their email or mailbox providers are going to immediately review the history of your IP address. It examines the feedback you received for your emails to determine your IP integrity. It can check to see if you have numerous complaints connected to your IP address, a high email bounce rate or many emails flagged as spam.

These are usually the most fundamental and initial factors they check when reviewing your IP address history. By following proper email practices, you can ensure a positive history check and better email delivery and allowlisting rates.

Related: 13 Email Marketing Tips To Boost Your Strategy

10. Send high-quality emails

Mailbox providers also check to see if the content quality of your email messages is professional and designed well. Recipients are less likely to consider your email if it's poor quality. Before sending out emails, it's essential that you check to see if your emails meet basic quality standards. Assess how well your recipients engage with your emails. The higher the quality of your emails, the more your users are going to be receptive to your messages. While quality is subjective, you can review online email templates to provide you with inspiration about what's acceptable by most users.

11. Send emails only to people who want them

One of the most important details to follow when working on your allowlisting initiative is to ensure that you only send emails to the recipients who want them. You can better assess who wants your emails by operating opt-in lists, comprising only recipients who actively choose to be part of your email program. Most users can do this from the related website or from an option given to them within the email. Once they choose to opt-in, they can allowlist you and begin receiving your emails whenever you send them.

12. Start your email strong

When approaching new recipients and potential customers, the first email you send sets a precedent for how they feel about your emails in the future. Therefore, it's essential that you make a positive first impression by starting your first email strongly. Use what you know about your recipients to send them an email that appeals to their wants and needs. Affirm the call to action and get straight to the point of the email so the user knows what the exact purpose of it is, allowing them to determine if they want to continue receiving emails like this.

Read more: 12 Effective Ways To Begin an Email

13. Implement denylist prevention methods

Email denylisting, also known as email blacklisting, is when your emails cannot reach your target audience. If you want your recipients to receive your emails and allowlist your address, then it's crucial that you take the necessary measures to keep your email address off of a public deny list, spam firewall or private deny list to your best capabilities. This means following all the proper email etiquette standards, like providing an unsubscribe link, optimizing your email content for quality, securing your server and cleaning your email list consistently. You might also use a double opt-in feature to ensure your recipients are real people and not bots.

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