Technical and Policy Requirements for sending Mail to AOL

These are general guidelines that will ensure that you meet our Technical and Policy requirements.

Technical Requirements

  • All email must be RFC compliant. (Refer to RFC 5321 & RFC 5322)

  • All email servers connecting to AOL's mail servers must have valid, meaningful, non-generic reverse DNS records.

    For example:

    Good RDNS: mail.domain.com
    Generic RDNS: host-in-addr.arpa.domain.com

  • All email servers connecting to AOL's mail servers must be secure to prevent unauthorized or anonymous use. Ensure your mail server is not an open proxy or an open relay.

  • Ensure all forms on your web server are secure. If you use formmail scripts, ensure they cannot be used to send spam.

  • Direct connections from dynamically assigned/residential customer IP addresses to AOL's mail servers may not be accepted.

  • Organizations may not hard code AOL's mx records into their configuration files.

  • We recommend that the sending domain and 822 FROM address matches.

  • Mails should not contain AOL or any AOL affiliated domains in the FROM address.

Policy Requirements

  • Any email sent to AOL members must conform to AOL’s Legal Community Guidelines.

  • All commercial email must be CAN-SPAM compliant. Links to external sites need to be retained

  • All subscription-based email must have valid, non-electronic, contact information for the sending organization in the text of each email, including phone number and a physical mailing address.

  • Bulk mailings should contain simple and obvious unsubscribe mechanisms. We recommend that this be in the form of a working link to a one-click unsubscribe system.

  • Email senders must not do anything that tries to hide, forge or misrepresent the sender of the email and sending site of the email.

  • Opt-in information, including how an email address was obtained, the date/time of opt-in, and the IP address the user opted in from must be made available on request.

  • Entities sending subscription-based mail must remove any email address which generates any of the following error codes:

    • 550 "username" Is Not Accepting Mail From This Sender
    • 521 Recipient address Rejected
    • 550 We would love to have gotten this email to example_user@aim.com. But, your recipient never logged onto their free AIM Mail account. Please contact them and let them know that they're missing out on all the super features offered by AIM Mail. And by the way, they're also missing out on your email.
  • Member complaints, bounces, invalid recipients, failure to accept bounces, and spam trap hits all contribute to a sender's reputation. A sender with a poor reputation may be automatically removed from the AOL Whitelist. A pattern of abuse common to a single organization may result in the revocation of Whitelist status for some or all of that organization's IP Addresses.

  • AOL may remove an IP from the Whitelist without notice for violation of any of these technical or policy requirements.