AOL has specific e-mail issues marketers must be aware of. Tips for optimizing AOL e-mail delivery and performance. Part one of a series.
E-mail communications with America Online (AOL) users has long been a top challenge for business-to-consumer (B2C) email marketers. Though AOL’s subscriber base has declined in recent years, they still comprise 20 to 25 percent of email databases for most B2C marketers. Optimizing messages for AOL and AOL subscriber preferences can pay significant dividends in improved delivery and performance.
AOL Delivery Challenges
AOL subscribers tend to be different from the rest your subscriber base. A 2003 Lucid Marketing study outlined a number of important AOL user preferences and habits, including:
The AOL service and software client also create specific issues email marketers must be aware of, including as the use of a sender whitelist, Sender Policy Framework (SPF) adoption, lack of a sender name, very limited subject line length, a "report spam" button, and more.
AOL Optimization Tips
In light of these and other challenges, following are tips to help optimize AOL email delivery and performance:
Got any great AOL tips? Please email us. We’ll include them in a future column Next time: message formats, send time, spam complaints, and more.
Until next month, keep on deliverin’.
Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.
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As director of ISP relations and delivery, Kirill Popov creates and enforces strict usage and anti-spam policies, maintains ISP and community relations, and oversees all abuse and policy investigations and inquiries for EmailLabs clients. Kirill works with clients on best practices, content, design, and list hygiene to minimize potential delivery issues. He's a registered member of the SpamCon foundation and representsEmailLabs on AIM's Council for Responsible E-Mail.
Loren McDonald is vice president of marketing at e-mail marketing automation company EmailLabs, overseeing corporate marketing activities and client consulting services. He has 20 years experience in marketing, consulting and strategic planning. Earlier, Loren was founder and president of Intevation, an e-marketing services firm specializing in e-mail and SEM. He's held executive marketing positions at companies including USWeb/CKS (marchFIRST), NetStruxr, and Arthur Andersen.
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