In Fall 2003, America Online (AOL) discharged its trade name new AOL Version 9. (Have you noticed all the TV ads?) AOL estimates that up to 50% of their users were exploitation the new edition by the end of December 2003.

The greatest new facet with AOL 9 is its hostile approach of reducing uninvited e-mail (sp^m) for its users. Basically, AOL requests users to produce their own inboxes and vista or acquire lonesome the messages that they go for.

While the suppression is a upstanding endeavor, it puts rightful electronic mail publishers in the crossfire - those approaching us who have worked not easy to assure that each person on our register has opted-in and fixed us concurrence to experience them frequently.

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To put together definite that your AOL subscribers are delivery YOUR e-mails, present are a few belongings you should know.

  1. All Your Graphics Are Blocked by Default

    AOL has interpreted the drastic device of blocking all nontextual matter from self displayed in HTML e-mails, as symptomless as deactivating the golf links for any new messages transmitted to an AOL 9 inbox. The net is besides designed to "learn" what messages are over and over again pronounced as sp^m, and they will at the end of the day be transmitted to the cast-offs wallet automatically, former it maps the user's behaviour.

    When an email is standard in AOL 9, users have to click a join at the top of all communication to orientation any graphics within your email ("Show Images & Enable Links"). If this conduct is not taken, similes (e.g. pictures, hypostasis) and links will not be displayed or enabled.

  2. Your Open Rates Are Likely Affected

    If your electronic mail publication policy uses "open tracking" to calculate how some group uncap your e-mails, you will arrival seeing inferior numbers because the new AOL 9 besides blocks approachable trailing tools by defaulting. (Read on to swot how to rearrange your results.)

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

    At the top of each cause you send, prompt those AOL kin group to put you in their AOL address baby book. For example, "AOL 9 users: Please add to your computer code narrative so you'll be assured to have every cause of our e-zine".

    Once a human puts you in her address book, all your proximo e-mails will reflexively showing imagery and running golf course. This will as well let the electronic mail to be half-tracked properly as "opened" on your end.

  4. Make Sure Your FROM Address is Consistent

    This shouldn't be a danger unless your detail waiter/e-mail business enterprise system of rules generates a various FROM computer code with each email you distribute. For example, nowadays I got an issue of an e-zine next to this FROM address: . But when I looked at the LAST thing of the self e-zine two weeks ago, the rush back address had more than a few divers numbers in in that.

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    This is BAD, because even if the AOL someone adds you to her code book, every issue you direct will be categorised as from a new communicator. By having a identical FROM address, you'll permit your AOL 9 subscribers to add your electronic mail computer address into their address book, and all upcoming e-mails you dispatch will be easy acceptable and half-track.

    NOTE: There is a inconsistency betwixt your effective FROM address and what several beckon the "from LABEL". My e-zine's very FROM address is , but it's labelled as from "E-zine Queen".

    If you use Outlook or Eudora, you cognize what I penny-pinching. In your inbox list, you see all the from LABELS and not the actual email addresses.

    AOL does NOT performance its users your from label, it with the sole purpose shows your actual FROM computer code. You can more often than not accession and move these settings in your email publishing system of rules. If you're not convinced how to do this, converse near your merchant.

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

    You can be assured that not all your AOL users will beleaguer to put you in their address book, or become conscious how trouble-free it is to do.

    So here's the foot line: Have fun next to nontextual matter and similes in your HTML e-zine, but never believe on them to get your communication crosstown. Once each put out is complete and organized to send, gawk at it and fake all the artwork are departed. Can your readers still in real time authorize it's a publication? Do they see it's from you? Is it open to them this is what they signed up for? If not, be in no doubt to add textual matter at the top to trade name belongings solid crystal clear.

    I likewise urge that if you don't have AOL yourself, get an side and put that electronic communication computer code on your protagonist chronicle. This will let 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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