Cool Email Idea: Customized Whitelisting Instructions

What: Getting Into the Inbox with Customized Whitelisting Instructions

Who: Travelocity

Why we love it: Travelocity takes whitelisting to the next level. It’s a best practice for marketers to have whitelisting instructions in every email message they send. Typically, these instructions are included above the header of the email message so that subscribers can add the marketer’s “from” address to their email client’s address book, thereby making them an approved sender. This helps to increase the marketer’s deliverability into the inbox and overrides the default “images off” setting (standard for most email clients) so that the marketer’s images will automatically render. Travelocity goes one step further by including a link titled “ensure deliverability.” This link takes the user to step-by-step whitelisting instructions for 12 major email clients, including AOL, AIM, Yahoo!, MSN/Hotmail and Outlook for a customized whitelisting experience. To help their subscribers further understand the importance of whitelisting, Travelocity show an example of how an email renders when the “from” address has been whitelisted, compared to one that hasn’t.

Bonus idea: In order to really celebrate this cool idea, we recommend making the “ensure deliverability” link at the top of the message more prominent. Currently, it’s in very small type and could easily be overlooked. They should also test different word choices — we haven’t yet seen data that would indicate that the average email recipient understands what “deliverability” means.

Bottom line: Travelocity takes deliverability seriously – a smart move that not only improves their subscriber experience, but impacts their bottom line. The easier it is for their messages to be delivered, viewed and clicked on, the more active their subscribers will be, which translates to a higher return on their email investment.

Check it out: Sign up for the Travelocity email program at www.travelocity.com.

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