Joe Castelli, Director, Global Deliverability and Kara Trivunovic, Vice President, Digital Solutions advise on Verizon's decision to migrate email users to AOL's backend and what it means for brands.
Recently there has been a lot of discussion regarding Verizon’s decision to migrate email users to AOL’s backend. While there’s no official timeline released as of yet, they have begun notifying customers of their intent, and published a detailed FAQ on their website. Verizon.net email users are being asked to choose between a free migration of their email account (keeping their @verizon.net address) to AOL’s platform or manually migrate to another provider and abandon their current email address. Users who fail to act will lose their ability to send or receive emails and the accounts will be deleted after 180 days of inactivity.
From a deliverability standpoint, we are not anticipating significant impact as we have seen similar migrations in the past, like att.net transitioning to Yahoo’s infrastructure in 2008. That migration rolled out over roughly two years and gave ESPs and brands significant time to make any necessary backend and process changes without major delivery issues. While we can’t guarantee the same timeline or process with Verizon, we can be sure that they are taking any and all precautions necessary to keep uninterrupted services for their subscribers.
For brands, it’s important to be aware that not all Verizon.net users will take advantage of the automatic migration and many may fail to take the necessary action ultimately resulting in the loss of the account. Consider taking a proactive stance with your verizon.net subscribers and encourage them to either take action to migrate or update their subscription with a new email address; it will help you and them. For you this step could help to minimize any negative impact the bounces may have on your deliverability and inbox placement. And for your customers it ensures no disruption in their email service or brand experience. One special consideration too – if you rely on email address for logins and/or password resets you should highlight the impact that the lapse in email address could have on their online interaction with their account.
We will continue to provide updates as new information arises.