Join thousands of weekly readers and receive practical marketing advice for FREE.
MarketingSherpa's Case Studies, New Research Data, How-tos, Interviews and Articles

Enter your email below to join thousands of marketers and get FREE weekly newsletters with practical Case Studies, research and training, as well as MarketingSherpa updates and promotions.


Please refer to our Privacy Policy and About Us page for contact details.

No thanks, take me to MarketingSherpa

First Name:
Last Name:
Jun 16, 2004
Blog Post

AOL Whitelisting Change (the real story)

SUMMARY: No summary available.
AOL announced earlier this month that bulk senders who want to stay on its whitelist would have to start using a program called SPF (for Sender Policy Framework) to authenticate the email they send.

(If you're not the email tech guru at your company, you should know that SPF is, at its most basic, a line of code that gets published in your Domain Name Server information. ISPs can look up that code to verify that you really are who you say you are and not a spoofer, phisher or forger who doesn't have authority to use that email address.)

Industry publications began reporting that as an edict from AOL that bulk senders should start publishing their SPF records now or else get booted off the whitelist.

We asked AOL for the straight story. Here's what Carl Hutzler, AOL's anti-spam director told us:

"We are asking people already on our whitelist (and newcomers) to set-up SPF records to simply help the 'management' of the IP based whitelist. It has nothing to do with qualifying a person to be on our whitelist or negatively affecting their mail if they do not have SPF.

"SPF simply is a way to publish outbound mail server IP addresses, which is exactly what AOL needs to whitelist someone. Instead of a whitelisted organization having to update AOL every time an IP address changes (server gets shut down, returned on lease, etc.), if the organization uses SPF, they can maintain their own list of legit servers and AOL can query their SPF DNS record to get any updates (perhaps once a day or so).

"We do not have a timeframe for AOL to implement SPF on our inbound systems yet. End of summer is what we are targeting. But this has almost nothing to do with the whitelisting feature. We aim to begin using SPF in our whitelist update processes in the next month or so."

You can get more information at AOL's Postmaster page.
See Also:

Post a Comment

Note: Comments are lightly moderated. We post all comments without editing as long as they
(a) relate to the topic at hand,
(b) do not contain offensive content, and
(c) are not overt sales pitches for your company's own products/services.

To help us prevent spam, please type the numbers
(including dashes) you see in the image below.*

Invalid entry - please re-enter

*Please Note: Your comment will not appear immediately --
article comments are approved by a moderator.

Improve Your Marketing

Join our thousands of weekly Case Study readers.

Enter your email below to receive MarketingSherpa news, updates, and promotions:

Note: Already a subscriber? Want to add a subscription?
Click Here to Manage Subscriptions

Best of the Week:
Marketing case studies and research

Chart Of The Week

B2B Marketing

Consumer Marketing

Email marketing

Inbound Marketing

SherpaStore Alerts


We value your privacy and will not rent or sell your email address. Visit our About Us page for contact details.