Have you wondered about email deliverability for people using AOL and Yahoo as their primary Internet service providers (ISP)? This article begins by focusing on deliverability issues regarding AOL based on the latest information that was revealed at the 2015 Email Evolution Conference (EEC). Then, it presents five winning email marketing techniques to skyRochet your email campaigns. 

Let’s dive right in!

What Is AOL?

AOL mail sign in the interface

AOL, formerly called America Online, is an American online service, web portal, and email provider. It’s one of the largest subscription service companies in the US and provides a diverse range of web services for customers. 

Are AOL and Yahoo The Same Email Provider?

Yes, that’s right. AOL, Yahoo, and Verizon used to be one entity until the latter decided to sell the former to Apollo Global Management for approximately $5 billion in 2021. At the same time, the sale also involved entities such as TechCrunch and AOL, and Yahoo! sub-properties, namely AOL Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Mobile, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, and Yahoo! Fantasy. 

AOL Lets Customers Determine What Emails Need to Get Filtered

When it’s about filtering emails, AOL listens to their subscribers. For example, AOL doesn’t deliver emails that users don’t expect or want. In fact, less than 5% of email messages are legitimate and permission-based emails. The rest are spam, which AOL filters out, letting customers enjoy a secure and clean mailing experience. 

According to AOL’s Paul Roch, who featured at the convention, AOL doesn’t know whether an AOL user clicks on an email. This is both a technological challenge and a privacy issue. In other words, AOL doesn’t allow their employees to look at their customer’s clicks. 

What’s more, these are the factors AOL uses to estimate subscriber engagement and determine the reputation of a sender: 

  • A user marking an email as spam is considered a bad signal.
  • A user marketing an email as not spam is a good signal.
  • A user moving the email among folders is a positive signal. 

What Is the AOL Stance on Spam Traps?

Roch indicated that when an email account is inactive for a certain period of time, it gets deactivated and can’t be used. Even though AOL managed to create spam traps out of abandoned accounts, that doesn’t happen anymore. And if a subscriber migrates to a new IP address or new email service provider, AOL allows such migrations; that is if you have a well-managed and certified domain. 

How to Work Out Deliverability Issues? 

If you find any of your email campaigns not making it to your subscribers’ inboxes, you need to start addressing the issue. 

For example, AOL maintains a separate blacklist, in addition to the Spamhaus and XBL/CBL blocklists. Hence, if you get a bounce-back from AOL, your IP might be blacklisted. And if you get on AOL’s blocklists, you must contact customer support to get your IP off the list.

What’s more, AOL uses domain-based reputation and whitelisting. But, what does that mean? Simply, your mails pass authentication checks, such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC), and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). 

Roch also advised you to pay attention to your mailbox’s spam section. This way, you can figure out what other senders are doing wrong and what you should avoid by learning from their mistakes. 

Five Best Email Marketing Tips You Can’t Miss Out

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Considering AOL mail is an acceptable medium for email marketing campaigns, some advanced email marketing techniques will help you convert prospects in no time. 

1. Include an Appealing Email Signature

An email signature makes your emails look more professional and helps you build trust and connect with your target audience. Why’s that? Because subscribers see your brand’s personality.

These tips should help you create the perfect email signature:

  • Ensure it promotes your brand: Use the same colour schemes and logo across your marketing materials, such as your email signature. 
  • It’s functional and straightforward: Don’t use too many text elements in your signature, as it looks spammy and unprofessional. Stick to the most basic details, like your name, email, and website address. 
  • Includes additional links: Links to social media accounts encourage subscribers to engage and connect with your brand through other channels. 

2. Personalise the Content of Your Email Campaign

Email marketing is about targeting a specific audience based on demographics, last purchased product, general interest, etc. So, tailor your email content to the expectations of your consumer’s needs and promotional offers that are relevant to their unique interests. 

Doing so enables you to connect and engage with your target audience on a deeper level and nurture healthy relationships that, in the end, boost conversions. 

Here are some handy email personalisation methods you can use in your campaigns:

  • Address subscribers by first name: To engage readers better, you need to make them feel special. So, use their names in your subject line or greeting to nurture them. 
  • Send content about seasonal events: A smart way to personalise your campaigns is to send your subscribers greetings about their birthdays and holidays. 
  • Deliver relevant content to your audience’s lifestyle: Send the correct content to the right audience, including welcome messages for new subscribers or provide offers to previous customers. 

3. Segment Your Target Audience

Considering that your subscribers have different levels of readiness when it comes to conversion, segmenting them based on their unique characteristics, personalities, and interests, is clever. This way, you can send appropriate content to the right audience. 

After you determine your segments and target them with personalised campaigns, you’re ready to send promotional emails to your existing target audience to entice customers to get back to the sales funnel to increase conversions.

4. Short Subject Lines 

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Subject lines affect almost half of email recipients’ open rates, with personalised email campaigns usually having open rates of 22%. 

Hence, we don’t need to mention it, but you can see how crucial subject lines are in the course of a successful email marketing campaign. So, when creating an email subject line, try to focus on the content and the number of characters used. For example, use six to ten words in the subject lines to increase your open rate. 

If a subject line seems urgent, prospects will want to know what’s happening, increasing the open rate by 22%

5. Optimise Your Call-To-Actions Prompts

Without proper call-to-actions (CTAs), you shouldn’t expect your marketing campaign to have any success.

CTAs are paramount to a campaign, as they offer high value at a very low cost to the recipient. In fact, a study found that using button-based CTAs increases click-through rates compared to link-based CTA’s by 28%.

Create CTAs that use specific copy, focus on the benefits a prospect will get by subscribing to your service or purchasing your product, avoid words that increase friction, and you will have a better chance of increasing conversions. Additionally, don’t forget to use CTAs that are sized appropriately and make full use of whitespace in your emails. 

Conclusion

Now that you know how AOL handles email deliverability and understand some of the effective email marketing techniques, you’re ready to create your own email campaign to boost traffic, user engagement, and conversions. 

But, if you feel all of this is too much for you, reaching out to a professional content writing and SEO optimisation solution might be a smart move. You won’t have to segment your consumer base on your own or write any CTAs. Instead, leave it to the professionals while you enjoy seeing your conversion rate increase beyond expectation!

Author bio: Rebecca Hey is a master wordsmith and co-founder of Strategically Digital Marketing Ltd., an acclaimed UK-based writing agency. She can solve your content problems with a data-backed content strategy, expert writing, and meticulous editing. She also loves cats!