Not in the Address Book? Here’s Why You Should Be

aol_shield.pngQuick post today about why getting your subscribers to add you to their address book is not just a good idea, but absolutely essential.

So I was doing some testing with a few webmail addresses of mine. And I sent a message to my AOL testing address.

When I got the message in my inbox and opened it, this is what I saw:

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What’s That About?

The address that I sent the test from wasn’t in my AOL address book. And the message I sent included images.

So instead of showing me (as the subscriber) the message, AOL gives me this ominous warning.

How many of your subscribers would click “YES” if they saw that?

I’m a fairly calm person, and I knew the message was coming, but even so, my first instinct when I saw it was to click “NO.”

Compare with what happens when the sender is in my address book:

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Much, much better.

Why Would They Do This?

All ISPs want to protect their users from spam, scams and phishing attacks.

So when AOL got this message, they saw that:

It wasn’t from someone in my address book
It included some content – images – that they flagged as potentially malicious.

And they took steps to protect me.

Bottom line: AOL will warn your readers whenever you send them a message with images or attachments…

Unless You’re In Their Address Book!

How Can I Avoid Freaking Out My Readers Like That?

Make sure your subscribers recognize your email address, and that their email program does too. On your thank-you page, tell them what email address you’re sending from, and have them add that address to their contact list/address book.

You’ve heard this before, I know, but hopefully AOL’s example underscores why you need to make sure subscribers add you to their address books.

See How People Can Add You To Their Address Books

Knowledge Base: How Do I Whitelist My Address?
Blog: Guide to Personal Email Filters