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AOL Best Practices

Every email provider wants to deliver emails to their users want without them having to sift through junk. Even with this common goal, though, each provider has a different set of email best practices (even after IP warm up). Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll take a closer look at the “big four” email providers and what they look for from a mailer. Without further ado, let’s dive on into AOL best practices.

To AOL, “data” is a four-letter word. It’s extremely important to this provider that you set expectations with your subscribers, and stick to them. They want to see you have an active, positive relationship with your readers. We recommend the following.


Confirm your opt-in process with your subscribers periodically.

Every once in a while, send a message to your subscribers asking if they still want to be on your mailing list. It might sound counter-intuitive, but it goes a long way in the eyes of AOL and similar providers.


Clean your data occasionally to remove fake email addresses and spam traps.

This is a good practice no matter where your subscribers are hosted, but AOL especially appreciates it. When you choose a data cleaner, double check to make sure they scrub for hard bounces!


Make your emails as personal as possible.

Your subscribers (and AOL) appreciate a human touch. Using their name in your message helps form a more personal connection. Sending follow-up campaigns to thank your openers and clickers for their loyalty with an offer can do the same.


Segment your IPs by function.

If you’re mailing in bulk, you probably have more than one IP. If you’re sending different types of offers, consider assigning an IP to each type.


Include a text-only version of your creative.

Many AOL recipients use devices that don’t support an HTML view. Adding a text version of your campaign (complete with an unsubscribe link) positively affects your reputation and delivery with AOL.


Keep an eye on the AOL Postmaster site.

It’s a work in progress, but there’s a new postmaster site for AOL, Verizon, and Yahoo. It’s being constantly updated with AOL best practices, and should be added to your bookmarks ASAP.

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