AOL now disables images by default

AOL disables images in AOL.com & AIM.com from today!

As of 22nd May 2007, AOL officially launched a new interface for customers who access their email using AOL.com and AIM.com.

In addition to a number of other changes to the interface, AOL now disables images in both of these web based email clients.

As a reminder, images have always been OFF by default for AOL 9.0, their desktop email software.

However prior to today, images were ON by default in AOL.com and AIM.com.

The new interfaces for AOL.com and AIM.com now turn images OFF by default, exactly like AOL 9.

Existing Users fear not

Although the new release does suppress images by default, this will only apply to new subscribers to the services.

Existing AOL.com and AIM email users will maintain the same image settings that they have today.

Turning Images Back ON

Just like AOL 9.0, images can be turned back ON in AOL.com and AIM.com by doing any of the following:

The recipient can enable the images by clicking the SHOW IMAGES link for THIS MESSAGE or THIS SENDER that appears for each email.

The recipient can add the ‘from’ address to their address book.

The client is an accredited Goodmail user.

In all such cases we encourage our clients to use our ‘custom from address’ feature.

Please contact us now if you are interested in taking advantage of this feature.

Implications

As a result, some clients with a high number of AOL users in their address books will see a drop in open rates due to the new interface.

Since open rates are tracked via an invisible gif (image), when images are disabled, this method of open rate tracking will result in no opens recorded when images are disabled.

However those AOL users seen to open their emails will give you a clearer indication of which users in your address books are interested in the content you are sending.

Be proactive in getting images back on!

Encourage your recipients to add your from address to their address book – If your from address is in the address book, your images will automatically display.

In addition you could send an explicit add-to-address book campaign.