Whitelisting Instructions You Can Link To!

Gmail has the Priority Inbox. Yahoo uses special filters. And Hotmail has filters and features that help its customers manage “graymail” – opt-in marketing emails and newsletters that fill up customers’ inboxes. With filters everywhere, how can you make sure your emails reach your customers’ inboxes?

Getting subscribers to whitelist you is an important part of deliverability. If you’re not whitelisted in your subscribers’ address books or safe senders lists, you’ll probably end up in their spam folders every so often or trapped in their filters. But what if your subscribers don’t know how to whitelist you in their email client?

Linking to a page with instructions can help your subscribers ensure your emails get delivered to their inbox instead of the junk folder.

Introducing AWeber’s Whitelisting Instructions Page

Don’t have time to write out your own whitelisting instructions? Don’t worry, we have you covered! We’ve put together a page of whitelisting instructions for the most popular web, desktop and mobile email clients that you can link subscribers to in your email messages. Step-by-step instructions and images guide your subscribers through adding an address to their address book or safe senders list.

We have written and visual instructions for:

  • AOL
  • Gmail
  • Hotmail
  • Yahoo
  • Mac Mail
  • Outlook
  • Thunderbird
  • Windows Live Mail
  • Android
  • iPhone

Now you can make sure your subscribers save your address correctly!

How To Use It

Most companies ask their subscribers to whitelist them in their email’s preheader. This is the perfect place to link to the whitelisting instructions page in your own message.

To link to the page in the drag-and-drop message editor, open your message then:

  1. Drag a new paragraph above your first headline.
  2. Double-click the sample text to edit.
  3. Type in your preheader text and set the font size to 10px.
  4. Highlight the text you want to link, click the “Link” button in the toolbar, and enter the link for the whitelisting instructions.

If you’re using the old message editor, type your text at the top of your template and follow these steps at the bottom of the page for adding a link to your message.

You can also set up your preheader in the HTML source of your message in both the old and new editors. If you’re not sure how to do this, start by copying this code:

<span style=”font-size: 10px; font-family: Trebuchet MS, Tahoma, sans-serif; “>To make sure you get our emails, <a style=”color: #000;” href=”LINK”>follow these instructions</a></span>

…and paste it before the first “center” tag in your template’s source code.

Are You Whitelisted?

How do you approach whitelisting in your campaign?

Do you ask subscribers to whitelist you? If not, do linkable instructions make it easier to ask?


  1. Ayaz

    6/12/2012 5:31 am

    Hi Rebekah!

    I love using aweber forms in my site but I couldn’t get the idea of whitelisting can you please explain a little about it more?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Rebekah Henson

    6/12/2012 8:01 am

    Hi Ayaz,

    I explain whitelisting in the second paragraph of the post. It just means asking subscribers to add your email address to their address books. This process is termed “whitelisting” in the industry.

  3. Carol Bentley

    6/12/2012 9:10 am

    Putting the request for whitelisting in the email is OK IF they get your first email asking them to confirm their request to subscribe, you can’t always be sure that will get through.

    That’s why I prefer to add the instruction/request to the web page that shows as soon as they submit their details using the webform on my website, so I guess adding the link to your instruction page on my webpage would be feasible.

    Thanks for providing the clear instructions.

  4. Joey

    6/12/2012 9:31 am

    This is a good tool though I agree with using the tool on the Thank You page instead of in the email. What I am baffled by is that Outlook, the most widely used desktop email software, is not included in your instructions. Why would you leave the biggest kid on the desktop block out?

  5. Rebekah Henson

    6/12/2012 9:38 am

    Joey – We did include Outlook – it’s right between Mac Mail and Thunderbird.

    Carol – Linking to the instructions on your thank you page in addition to including it in your emails is a very interesting idea! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Joey

    6/12/2012 9:45 am

    Wow, is today Monday? I obviously over looked it. Thanks!

  7. Dino

    6/12/2012 10:42 am

    Excellent! Thanks for taking providing this function.. it’s hard to keep up with all this stuff.. good lay out too!

  8. James Riddett

    6/12/2012 1:55 pm

    Hi Rebekah,

    This is a great idea! I have a couple of possible improvements to suggest…

    Your “thank you” page could detect if the email is @gmail.com, @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com (for example) and link specifically to the instructions for that email client.

    Of course, if the email address is @anyolddomain.com they will just have to find the instructions for their email client themselves. To make that easier, you could list out the email clients at the top of the page, with each one linking to the relevant section of the page. This should be quite straight forward with anchor links.

  9. Kat Sloma

    6/13/2012 10:24 am

    Thanks so much for providing this information for your users!

  10. Annemarie Doolin

    6/14/2012 8:00 am

    Great link page.

    One point as regards Outlook Instructions… you start with “Right-click on the message in your inbox” but if these instructions are to help those who are not so savvy then they should first be instructed… that if the message is NOT in the inbox they should check their “Junk E-mail” in case the mail is there.

  11. janet

    6/15/2012 10:04 am

    Where do I get the headline template for whitelisting

  12. Rebekah Henson

    6/15/2012 10:14 am


    You can add the whitelisting link to the top of any of our templates by following the instructions outlined in this post.

    The template used in the screen shot examples is called “Bakery” and can be found in the template lists in both the old and new message editors.