In Fall 2003, America Online (AOL) discharged its marque new AOL Version 9. (Have you detected all the TV ads?) AOL estimates that up to 50% of their users were mistreatment the new performance by the end of December 2003.

The largest new facet beside AOL 9 is its raptorial skill of reaction unsought e-mail (sp^m) for its users. Basically, AOL desires users to customize their own inboxes and position or acquire only the messages that they plump for.

While the suppression is a upstanding endeavor, it puts legitimate email publishers in the crossfire - inhabitants like us who have worked serious to assure that one and all on our chronicle has opted-in and fixed us commendation to interaction them persistently.

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To get firm that your AOL subscribers are unloading YOUR e-mails, here are a few material possession you should cognise.

  1. All Your Graphics Are Blocked by Default

    AOL has interpreted the forceful device of blocking all artwork from someone displayed in HTML e-mails, as okay as deactivating the golf links for any new messages transmitted to an AOL 9 inbox. The convention is too designed to "learn" what messages are recurrently manifest as sp^m, and they will one of these days be dispatched to the cast-offs dossier automatically, erstwhile it maps the user's conduct.

    When an email is normative in AOL 9, users have to chink a join at the top of respectively phone call to display any nontextual matter inside your e-mail ("Show Images & Enable Links"). If this motion is not taken, metaphors (e.g. pictures, logos) and links will not be displayed or enabled.

  2. Your Open Rates Are Likely Affected

    If your electronic communication publishing rules uses "open tracking" to reckon how lots society break open your e-mails, you will start on sighted less numbers because the new AOL 9 besides blocks uncap chase tools by non-attendance. (Read on to cram how to better your results.)

  3. Ask Your Subs to Add You To Their Address Book

    At the top of all mental object you send, prompt those AOL kinship group to put you in their AOL code wedding album. For example, "AOL 9 users: Please add to your computer code newspaper so you'll be assured to have both thing of our e-zine".

    Once a individual puts you in her computer address book, all your proposed e-mails will involuntarily express descriptions and functional links. This will as well allow the electronic communication to be tracked decent as "opened" on your end.

  4. Make Sure Your FROM Address is Consistent

    This shouldn't be a difficulty unless your roll server/e-mail publishing system of rules generates a several FROM code near each electronic mail you transport. For example, today I got an aspect of an e-zine beside this FROM address: . But when I looked at the LAST put out of the self e-zine two weeks ago, the return code had quite a lot of assorted numbers in nearby.

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    This is BAD, because even if the AOL soul adds you to her computer address book, all cause you dispatch will be categorised as from a new sender. By having a reconciled FROM address, you'll let your AOL 9 subscribers to add your email computer code into their computer code book, and all approaching e-mails you displace will be easy received and caterpillar-tracked.

    NOTE: There is a inequality relating your existent FROM computer address and what whatsoever give the name the "from LABEL". My e-zine's existent FROM computer code is , but it's labeled as from "E-zine Queen".

    If you use Outlook or Eudora, you know what I close-fisted. In your inbox list, you see all the from LABELS and not the actual electronic communication addresses.

    AOL does NOT reveal its users your from label, it lone shows your true FROM computer address. You can as a matter of course right and transform these settings in your electronic communication business enterprise programme. If you're not certain how to do this, reach a deal next to your vender.

  5. Bottom Line: Never Rely on Images to Convey Your Message

    You can be firm that not all your AOL users will bother to put you in their address book, or grasp how effortless it is to do.

    So here's the nethermost line: Have fun beside artwork and metaphors in your HTML e-zine, but never bank on them to get your communication crossed. Once each thing is widespread and prepared to send, face at it and unreal all the artwork are departed. Can your readers inert directly see it's a publication? Do they see it's from you? Is it explicit to them this is what they signed up for? If not, be assured to add manual at the top to generate holding crystal vindicate.

    I besides propose that if you don't have AOL yourself, get an business relationship and put that email computer code on your champion listing. This will permit you to see how the new AOL 9 building complex and how your e-zine appears.

(c) 2003 Alexandria K. Brown

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