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How Feedback Loops and White Lists Play a Role in Your Deliverability

There are two types of ISP offerings that truly assist us in achieving and maintaining stellar deliverability - Feedback Loops (FBLs) and White Lists.  Both are critical to our success, though each plays a completely different role.

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Feedback Loops
One of the greatest tools we have in managing reputation and overall deliverability is feedback from our recipients and many ISPs provide us with just that via Feedback Loops.  Feedback Loops provide a path used by the ISPs to relay information (feedback) they receive from our recipients back to us.  When a subscriber clicks on a "spam" or "junk" button, reporting an email as spam, this information is then recorded by the ISP and provided to us through the current Feedback Loop set up.

Feedback Loops are offered by many of the well-known ISPs, with the exception of Gmail. Below is a current list of participating ISPs.

  • AOL
  • BlueTie
  • Comcast
  • Cox
  • Earthlink
  • FastMail
  • Hotmail - offers the JMRP program
  • RackSpace
  • Road Runner
  • Synacor
  • Terra
  • United Online - offers a Trusted Sender List
  • USA.net
  • Yahoo!
  • Zoho

At Responsys, we set up Feedback Loops on behalf of our customers prior to their initial on-boarding.  This means that as soon as you start sending on Interact, we allow you to have transparency into who among your subscribers may be clicking that button and reporting an email as spam.

Given that this information is available to us, monitoring the complaints received through Feedback Loops is an invaluable tool for keeping up with deliverability.   A periodic review of campaign-specific complaints will offer true insight into which segments and/or acquisition points may be problematic, as well as who is most likely to complain in the future.      

White Lists
Today, there are two major ISPs offering White List inclusion, AOL and Yahoo!. Both of the ISPs require a significant mailing history along with proper authentication prior to approval.  Unfortunately, neither ISP White List offers guaranteed Inbox delivery, instead ensuring that only certain levels of filtering or rate-limiting may be bypassed with approval. 

Responsys requests White Listing approval on behalf of our customers during the on-boarding process, once IP warm up is completed.  Maintaining White List status depends solely on positive reputation; low bounce and complaint rates, frequency and consistency in mailings, the absence of spam trap hits and continued engagement with your subscribers.  At any time White List status may be dropped by the ISPs (without notice), so it is important to monitor performance and maintain a positive reputation in order to remain on their list.

Overall, Feedback loops and White List status offer true transparency into what the ISPs are seeing as a result of your mailings.  Utilizing the information available through these offerings will contribute greatly to the deliverability success of any email program, in addition to overall deliverability health.  The emphasis here should be on using the information provided to us by the ISPs to improve mailing practices and increase engagement with subscribers.

Join our deliverability webinar on Jan 31 at 10 AM PT for tips on getting your brand's messages into the inbox. Register here: www.responsys.com/webcast/need-to-know-01-2013?cid=70150000000gDKOAA2


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