Learning how to whitelist an email is important for email marketers, to make sure their audiences receive the email messages they are sending them. Many email clients have built-in tools to filter out unwanted spam emails. However, the methods of detecting spam are not perfect, meaning that sometimes emails you actually want to see trigger spam filters. Whitelisting is the way to prevent this from happening by marking a specific email sender as safe to receive messages from. Each of the major email services has a different way to set this up. So it’s important to learn how to whitelist emails so you never miss an update.

You can also embed these instructions in your Grow emails for your client to ensure they are whitelisting your emails so they don't continuously go to spam!

What does it mean to whitelist an email?

Whitelisting tells your email provider that you allow email messages from a specific email sender to come into your inbox, rather than being filtered into the spam folder. This will ensure you don’t miss an important email or have to go searching through your spam folders to find it.

For instance, PushPress sends emails from time to time alerting you about activity on your account and new features. We won’t fill up your inbox every day, but when we do send out an announcement, you don’t want to miss it. Plus, you don’t want to miss notifications about enrollments, bounced payments, and so on.

An email address that has been whitelisted will always make its' way into your inbox. No matter which email service you use, you can follow these simple steps to make sure you receive all the emails you want and need—and share them with your audience to ensure they receive your messages.

We’ll be going over Gmail, Apple Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, and Outlook.com, so just scroll down to the one you use. (If you’re on another email client, simply Google its name + “whitelisting” and you should find instructions.) We’ll continue using the example of our emails, but you can take these steps for any email address you want to be receiving emails from.

How to whitelist an email in Gmail

The Gmail inbox is split into three tabs: Primary, Social, and Promotions. Most people tend to check the Primary folder and ignore the others. However, if you want emails from a certain sender to go directly to your primary inbox, there’s an easy two-step process to ensure that.

whitelist an email address in Gmail
  1. Navigate to the Promotions tab or wherever the email is being categorized. Drag and drop the email into the Primary tab.

  2. An alert will appear at the top of your inbox asking whether to do this for future emails. Simply click “Yes”, and future messages will go to your primary inbox, where they will be easily visible.

safe sender list

You can also create a new filter to manage and organize your incoming messages. When you select filters, you enable future emails to be automatically labeled, starred, read, archived, deleted, etc.

To create a new filter:

  1. Open Gmail.

  2. In the search bar at the top, click “show search options” (the icon to the right of the search bar).

  3. Enter your search criteria.

  4. Click “Create filter”.

  5. Select what you’d like the filter to do.

  6. Click “Create filter”.

You can also create a filter from an email:

  1. Open Gmail.

  2. Check the checkbox next to the email.

  3. Click “More” (the icon of three dots) in the top right corner.

  4. Select “Filter messages like these”.

  5. Enter your filter criteria.

  6. Click “Create filter”.

How to whitelist in Gmail mobile app

  1. Open the Gmail app.

  2. Navigate to Spam or Junk Folder.

  3. Click on the message you wish to view.

  4. Click “Report not spam” (this will appear at the top, or click the three dots in the top right corner and select from the drop down menu).

  5. This contact is now added to your safe sender list.

How to whitelist an email in Apple Mail

With Apple Mail (both the OSX and mobile versions), you can whitelist a sender by adding them to your contacts.

Instead of doing this manually, you can wait until you receive the email, then right-click on the sender address and click the “Add to Contacts” option.

how to whitelist an email in apple mail

Once a sender is in your contacts, their emails won’t get flagged in the future.

How to whitelist in Apple Mail mobile app

Although Apple Mail doesn’t have the option to whitelist, you can mark something as “Not Junk” and it will be sent to your inbox. Here’s how:

  1. Open your Mail app, and go to the Mailboxes screen.

  2. Select the Junk folder.

  3. Hold down the email you want to whitelist, and tap Move Message from the menu that appears.

  4. Select Inbox.

(You can also select Mark > Move to Inbox.)

How to whitelist an email in Yahoo! Mail

Adding contacts is also the way to whitelist in Yahoo! Mail.

To do so, open an email from the sender and click the + symbol next to the sender name. Selecting this will trigger an “Add to contacts” pop-up; simply click “Save”, and you’re done!

how to whitelist email yahoo
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