After looking at our email logs and ongoing discussions with our third-party partners, we’ve noticed that AOL has recently started disabling old and inactive email accounts with no activity for over 90 days and upwards of 6 months. Clients can expect to see a larger number of hard bounces if sending to AOL email accounts with no activity for greater than 90 days.
With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that, as an email marketer, you’re sending to “engaged” subscribers that open and click on your email. AOL tracks the number of hard bounces that you send into its network, and this can degrade your reputation on the IP address. Data hygiene is critical and can be the difference between inboxing and bulking at an ISP—in this case, AOL.