Maximizing Deliverability

Announcement: No More AOL Report Cards

Repost from the AOL Postmaster Blog:

Posted Aug 24th 2009 4:08PM by Christine Borgia
Just a quick announcement to let you know that we are no longer sending report cards. If you have a complaint feedback loop, make sure you are monitoring your spam complaints and not relying on the report card to alert you to complaint issues. If you don't have a feedback loop, you can apply for one here:

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 10:35 AM
Categories: AOL postmaster blog, feedback loops

AOL Changing Mailer Daemon Error Senders

Reposted from the AOL Postmaster Blog Site.

This should not change anything for StrongView customers at this time.

AOL Changing Mailer Daemon Error Senders
Posted Jul 21st 2009 4:05PM by Christine Borgia

AOL is making a change which will affect the behavior of ALL bounce messages for both inbound and outbound mail.

Currently all bounce messages have the sender name of

With the changes for outbound mail, ALL bounce messages will have the sender name of MAILER-DAEMON@sender-domain. For example, an AIM account sending invalid recipients to the internet, will receive a bounce from, and a member from, UK member from

With the changes for inbound mail, ALL bounce messages (mostly due to user-defined spam settings) will have the sender name of MAILER-DAEMON@recipient –domain. For example, a member of yahoo sending to an AIM account with a user-defined block, would receive a bounce message from

This may result in multiple bounce messages generated for a single piece of email being returned to the same sender. One bounce message is generated for each unique recipient domain.

For example, a member of yahoo sending a message with four recipients, two AIM accounts and two accounts (all with user-defined blocks), would receive ONE bounce message from and ONE from

These changes will be installed into production over the next couple of weeks.

Manager, Postmaster Team

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 8:41 AM
Categories: AOL, bounce management, bounced messsages, deliverability

AOL Report Card Update--Part 2

There's another update on AOL's Postmaster page with an example of the new report card for senders over 1% complaint rates. Click the link below for more info.

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 10:19 AM
Categories: AOL, AOL postmaster blog, deliverability

AOL Report Card Update

On Nov. 25, AOL announced on their postmaster blog that they would be changing their report card processes this week. No longer will they be sending an alert email if your domain gets over 0.1% complaints; rather, if you go over 0.3% you will now get one. While they still want/expect you to be under 0.1%, you will no longer receive an email at that level. Also, AOL will no longer be giving out the specific complaint rate that triggered the notification.

For more information go to

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 6:26 AM
Categories: AOL, deliverability, email marketing, postmaster

New URL for the AOL Postmaster Blog

Please make sure to update your records with the new URL

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 2:38 PM
Categories: AOL postmaster blog

New Filtering Parameters at AOL to Promote Good List Hygiene

If you haven't been keeping up with your data hygiene efforts, AOL is about to give you a good reason to get back on the wagon. The "Official AOL Postmaster Blog" has recently indicated that they are refining their filtering parameters to place a greater emphasis on the number of invalid recipients coming from a mailer. They haven't laid out the specifics, but they have said that if you have more invalids than others mailers that they deem similar to you, it will impact your delivery and also facilitate your removal from their whitelist.

AOL has always factored the number of invalid recipient's into a sender's reputation, but it sounds like their new process will weigh this factor more heavily in getting your email to the AOL inbox. If you’re a b-to-c mailer, you likely have a good number of AOL addresses that could be affected. However, even b-to-b mailers should take this as a wake-up call to ensure that their list hygiene practices are sound, and that bad addresses are regularly removed from all mailing lists.

At StrongView, we highly recommend keeping your lists clean. We advise our own clients to keep their invalid recipients less then 5% of their total list, and we make it easy for them to do this with automated bounce processing and other handy tools in our email marketing solutions. In an era of sender accountability where reputation means more than content, you can't risk damaging the reputation you've worked so hard to establish. And remember that all the major ISPs look at the number of bad addresses you send to assess your reputation – not just AOL.

So, take a good long list at your lists, and make sure you have good processes in place to remove bad addresses. For more information on bounce management, including how hard and soft bounces should be treated differently, we encourage you to read our whitepaper, Get Smart About Bounce Management.

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 1:56 PM
Categories: AOL, deliverability, delivery, delivery rates, list hygiene, unknown users

Yahoo latest

So a lot has happened since my last post with Yahoo. Not only have they decided not to accept Microsoft's offer, but apparently they are looking for other ways to compete with them. I have seen a couple of stories that have stated that they are in talks with AOL. So how would this, or even a Google agreement effect your email marketing plans? Well if they were to partner up with AOL, it would probably be the best scenario possible from an email marketing standpoint. AOL and Yahoo have always been the most open with that they expect from senders and give you as much information as possible to implement best practices. Not all ISPs are as open with that they expect as these two, so if they were to partner up, one would assume that this openness would only continue. I will keep watching to see what happens but as I said last time - there are a lot of things to figure out first before it is time to start worrying.

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 12:40 PM
Categories: AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, delivery

Couple of ISP announcements

In the last week or so both AOL and Yahoo have publicly made what some would consider big announcements.

Last week AOL officially announced that they are going to be implementing DKIM in the next couple of months as a part of their reputation calculations. As part of the industry group that helped put DKIM together and write the specs for this authentication method--this is great news for not only StrongView but the industry as a whole.
According to AOL the main benefit of DKIM is flexibility and portability that’s just not there with just looking at the IP. So for shared IP’s they can look at the mail stream specifically. Provides infrastructure flexibility/portability it’s better for moving to new IP’s, reputation goes.

As for Yahoo!, they announced yesterday that they have partnered with Return Path to use their Sender Score Certified program as part of their reputation calculations. What does this mean, well we will have to wait and see exactly how this could affect their whitelisting procedures or any other filtering processes that they might use the SenderScore for. Stay tuned for any updates as they come.

Posted by: Spencer Kollas at 9:34 AM
Categories: AOL, Sender Score, Yahoo, deliverability, reputation