May 4, 2004 UPDATE:Success? Maybe! We have been working hard keeping in contact with AOL regarding this issue and we hope to have it resolved. This is the email we received today and so we hope to be OFF of AOL's blocked list and on their "white" list. Let us know if this is still NOT the case. The following is a copy of the email confirmation that was sent to us:
Work has been completed on your Whitelist request and should become effective tomorrow evening by 7:00 PM EDT/EST.
If you are still experiencing mailing issues in the morning, please call the Postmaster Help Desk at 888.212.5537.
White listing exempts you from most of the spam filters at our mail gateways, however, it is not a guarantee of delivery. As was indicated in the guidelines, AOL requests that mailers keep their complaint rates under 0.1%, bounce rates under 10% and bounce accept rates above 90%. On any give day that any of these thresholds are broken, on the morning of the following day you will be sent an email notification, called a report card, to postmaster, abuse and root at domain name. If you get these regularly, it's a good idea to examine your process and procedures for list acquisition and management. Not to do so could result in complaints reaching a high enough threshold that you could incur a dynamic block. As the name implies, there is no advance warning with this block. You will know it occurred by the presence of 554 RLY:B1 message returns in your mail logs.
White listing does not affect the routing of email to the users inbox. That is, mail can get delivered to either the "new" mail folder or to the "Spam" folder. This routing is conditioned by Personal Adaptive filters and is unaffected by white listing.
For more information on this request, please visit our website or call the AOL Postmaster Helpdesk at 888-212-5537.
Jan 2004 UPDATE:Just so you are aware, we are still having this problem with AOL with a great majority of AOL users. If it helps, the exact error message we are receiving from the AOL's mail servers is: "Diagnostic-Code: smtp;554 TRANSACTION FAILED: (HVU:B1) The URL contained in your email to AOL members has generated a high volume of complaints." We would appreciate any continued help from any AOL users to get us OFF of AOL's "restricted" list somehow. Thank you.
Attention AOL Users
It has come to our attention AGAIN that AOL has blocked our server from sending email to any AOL email address. It seems that some who receive our opt-in (voluntary subscription) weekly email newsletter reported it to AOL as SPAM instead of simply using the "un-subscribe" link in the email.
This is a huge mistake.
The weekly newsletter email is NOT SPAM. Because of the few who reported it as SPAM instead of simply removing themselves from the list, many people that signed up to receive the newsletter using an AOL email address, now cannot.
If you do not wish to receive the newsletter, simply un-subscribe from it at any time and don't jeopardize the normal usage of all other AOL users on the site!
Because of this action, we had no choice but to remove all AOL addresses from our weekly newsletter and put them on our "bad email address" list. We have contacted AOL repeatedly and tried unsuccessfully to be unblocked. Consequently, this means that if you supplied an AOL email address when attempting to listen to a sermon, you will have to do one of the following:
Use a different (non-AOL) email address.
Or, petition to AOL to allow us to send email FROM our email address [email protected] TO AOL addresses. The exact server that needs to gain access is "mail.sermonaudionews.com". We are sending out our newsletter emails from that server.
Of course, the second option would be the better choice. We therefore encourage all and any AOL members who enjoy using SermonAudio to send an email to the AOL support desk making it clear that our servers are NOT sending SPAM and to open the door once again for our servers to send emails to AOL members.
After doing so, if AOL decides to "un-block" our server from sending email to its users, you can use our Remove From Bad List form to remove your email address from our list of "bad email addresses" to try again.
We are working hard to make your experience on SermonAudio as enjoyable as possible. Please direct any further questions to [email protected]. Thank you for your help in this matter.
We received this email from one of our listeners to share on the site: "Due to problems geting your weekly newsletter and other service problems. several months ago I switched to Wal Mart Connect and have better service at a much cheaper price! I would recomend this service to anyone seeking a better option. Sincerly. Listener in Sebring, Ohio."
AOL not only blocks Sermonaudio's emails it will also block any email that contains the word "sermonaudio." So if you tell your friends about the site and they use AOL your email address becomes blocked too. Here is the message I received from AOL The URL contained in your email to AOL: "The URL contained in your email to AOL members has generated a high volume of complaints. Per our Unsolicit."