Email Delivery is like a Night Club by Matt Vernhout @emailkarma

Whitelisting is like being on the guest list at a night club
Whitelisting is like being on the guest list at a night club

Today I was sitting down with a co-worker and they asked about whitelisting. More specifically why is it that you still need to ask the recipients to add you to their address book even when your whitelisted with an ISP. To complicate this, he asked “How do you explain it simply to a client so they would understand it”.

Here is what I came up with in a simple to explain scenario that most people can relate to…

Whitelisting is like being on the guest list at a night club [ISP] – you get to by pass the longest part of the line [connection filtering] waiting to get in and generally get put in a much shorter line (or bypass the line all together). Now the bouncers [postmaster team] control the guest list for the club and decided if you get to access it, if you should be put on it or the blacklist. Usually they do this by reviewing your past participation in club activities [delivery metrics – Bounces, complaints]. If you have been good in the past and you get into the club your that much close to your recipients…

However this does not always mean you are getting direct access to the party host [subscriber] as many other things get considered; Did you remember to bring your ID [Authentication], are you dressed well enough to be in the club [content filtering], what was your past behaviour like while visiting this particular club and finally are you on the list [in the address book] for the VIP section [The inbox] to archive your goals.

I hope you enjoyed my little analogy on why you need to get in the address book as well as work with ESPs, Reputation Services and ISPs that have white listing agreements/services.

Remember you’re an invited guest, party crashers will get bounced at the door.

Matt Vernhout

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