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Does AOL support HTML Email? 

Yes, AOL supports HTML email messages provided you pay attention to the fraction of HTML they do not support.  AOL's developer web site provides the greatest amount of detail regarding AOL compatibility.  This article is simply intended to summarize the relevant information.  Always test your newsletter on AOL instead of assuming it will work.

The AOL Client Mail can generate Plain, Rich Text, and HTML E-mails. But not all AOL clients are capable of generating all three formats. Following is the break down of which text is accepted with each client:

  • AOL 7.0: HTML, Rich Text, Plain Text
  • AOL 6.0: HTML, Rich Text, Plain Text
  • AOL 5.0: Rich Text, Plain Text
  • AOL 4.0: Plain Text Only

Here are the HTML objects that are not supported by the AOL Client mail:

  • ActiveX
  • Audio
  • External Style Sheets
  • Frames and IFrames
  • Java
  • Meta Refresh
  • Scripts: JavaScript, VBScript, Perl, etc.
  • Tooltips
  • Video

The reason for this limitation is due to security hazards involved with HTML E-mails. HTML E-mail can expose users to viruses and intrusive programs. For example, Meta Refresh can send users to another web site automatically. It is very important to AOL that the end-users are protected from any of the potential security hazards.

Rich Text Formats: When generating your Rich text E-mails, be sure to note that the following tags are the only ones supported by the AOL Client mail:

  • Big: Big
  • Body: Body
  • Bold: B
  • Break: BR
  • Center: Center
  • Font: Font
  • Header: H1, H2, H3
  • Hyperlink: A
  • Italics: I
  • Paragraph: P
  • Small: Small
  • Strong: Strong
  • Subscript: Sub
  • Underline: U

HTML tags that are not supported by the RTF will be displayed as plain text.

How can I be sure I am reaching the maximum audience when delivering messages to AOL?  AOL has full support for recognizing MIME-Type headers.  For this reason, you can deliver both the HTML version of your newsletter and a text (or Rich Text) format and have AOL decide which to display.  To do so, select the "Send Text version of newsletter along with the HTML version in case the subscribers mail client doesn't support HTML." on the final step of sending a newsletter.  Note: This functionality is only available in the Enterprise edition of eNewsletter Pro.


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