Every year there seems to be a topic or a phrase that seems to take over the anti-spam industry. This year, that topic is reputation. What is IP reputation? How do ISPs calculate it, and what do they do with it?
Well, I can't begin to answer that question for every ISP out there, but I can give you some idea how AOL calculates IP reputation and what we do with it. This information is also available on a new page on our website called "IP Reputation, the Whitelist, and Inbox Delivery at AOL
If you are new to the idea of IP reputation, I hope this answers some of your questions. What is IP reputation?
Each IP that delivers mail to AOL has a reputation -- roughly good, bad, or somewhere in between. Your reputation is a holistic view of your IP and takes into account a wide variety of factors including -- but not limited to -- spam complaints, not spam reports, spam folder deliveries, and invalid recipients. For more general information on reputation, many articles have been written on the subject and are easily found on the web
.How does IP reputation impact inbox delivery?
In short, IPs with a good reputation will benefit from better inbox delivery than IPs with a bad reputation. Moreover, IPs with a bad reputation will be subject to more temp deferrals, temp blocks, and permanent IP blocks.How can I improve my IP's reputation?
The trick to a good IP reputation is to send mail to people who want it. AOL has put together a list of best practices to help senders ensure they are doing just this. Please read our sender best practices document for tips on improving your IP's reputation. If you are experiencing delivery issues -- and your IP does not send any bulk, marketing, or advertising mail -- please fill out a support request and let us know what kind of mail you send.What is the AOL Whitelist?
The standard AOL whitelist offers protection from certain spam filters. Being on the whitelist is in no way a guarantee of inbox delivery, and IPs on the whitelist can still be spam foldered, temp deferred, temp blocked, or permanently blocked if they have a bad reputation. IPs are not automatically added to the whitelist, but must apply on the AOL Postmaster website. For more information about the standard whitelist or to fill out an application, read our whitelist information page
.How does whitelisting impact inbox delivery? How do I know if I am on the whitelist?
If your mail is being temp deferred, temp blocked, or your IP has been permanently blocked, you may not be on the whitelist. We do not currently have a way for you to query your IPs whitelist status, but if you have reason to believe you are no longer whitelisted, fill out a new whitelist request.My whitelist request was denied. What do I do?
If you send bulk, marketing, or advertising mail, first be sure you meet all of our bulk sender conditions. If you do meet the bulk sender conditions, the next step is to work on improving your IP's reputation by following our sender best practices.*** Finally, if you do not send any bulk, marketing, or advertising mail, please visit our support tools and let us know what you do send. ***
Manager, Postmaster Team