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Many of our customers come to us concerned about one thing above all else: whitelisting. And, you can find email service providers who tout right on their front page “We are whitelisted with many major ISPs.”

Indeed, getting whitelisted used to be the holy grail of email delivery.

Did you catch that?

Used to be.

But here’s the thing. Getting on an ISP’s whitelist and getting your email delivered to the inbox today is no guarantee that it will be delivered to the inbox tomorrow. Senders remain on an ISP’s whitelist at the ISP’s leisure. And if you tick them off, by taking advantage of being whitelisted, or even just getting sloppy, you’ll find yourself off the whitelist faster than you can say “But I’m CAN-SPAM compliant!”

And, getting back on a whitelist once you’ve been kicked off is far harder than getting whitelisted in the first place.

On the other hand, if your email reputation is good – and especially if it’s excellent – your email will most usually go right into the inbox, even if you aren’t whitelisted.

In fact, more and more ISPs are giving much more weight to your email reputation than to whether you are or were or want to be on their whitelist.

And that, of course, is where we come in. Because services such as our SuretyMail email accreditation service help you with your email reputation. We work directly with you – and with the ISPs and spam filters – to build and manage your email reputation, and to get you delivered to the inbox because your email deserves to be delivered to the inbox. Not because you are on some list from which you could be dropped at any time, but because your email reputation is good. And if your email reputation could be better – if we can’t deliver superlative results for you right away – we won’t just take your money and hope that you don’t notice that you’re still being junk foldered. We’ll work side-by-side with you, fixing what needs to be fixed in order to build that good reputation for you.

Now, does this mean that you shouldn’t bother with getting whitelisted at all? Hey, if the whitelist is there, and you qualify, by all means, apply for it. We still routinely get our customers on all of the various ISP whitelists for which they qualify. But it’s no panacea, and, most importantly, it’s no guarantee of delivery.

So the next time someone tries to impress you with the fact that they are whitelisted, ask them the questions that really count: How is your email reputation? And how is your delivery to the inbox?

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