Last week, Lili Crowley updated the AOL Postmaster blog with notification of some recent spam filtering changes for the AOL network. While the post was fairly vague, providing even this much detail is unusual (but welcome!) behavior for an ISP. In most cases, ISPs and email providers give no notification when such a change is made, leaving email senders to find out through trial and error.
The update stated that AOL will be generating more CON:B1 errors in regards to certain spam messages. CON:B1 errors can be either permanent (“hard”) or temporary (“soft”) bounces, and according to AOL this error indicates a “spike in unfavorable email statistics.” Crowley did not specifically identify what types of messages will be affected, but based on the text of the error, you can be sure negative factors such as complaints and hard bounces will continue to play a large part in this filtering.
Crowley’s post also notes that legitimate senders could be affected by this change. If you are seeing problems with delivery to AOL or have questions about these changes, please contact WhatCounts Support for further assistance. We will keep you updated on this topic as AOL released more information about it or as we see it affecting our clients.
Director of Deliverability, WhatCounts