Verizon's AOL acquisition has huge potential for email marketing
If you missed it a few weeks ago, Verizon aquired AOL for an estimated $4.4 billion. You, like many others, may have been surprised about the value of the deal given what the AOL name once meant, how much of the market it controlled, and where the company’s business is now. Yes, AOL still has a reported 2 million people still paying for its dial-up services and yes, Verizon will get those users, but Verizon is getting a lot more out of its purchase than just some 56k Internet access.

In recent years, AOL has acquired a number of news properties that include The Huffington Post, Engadget, TechCrunch, AutoBlog, and a whole host of others. All of those properties bring some 200 million unique visitors to AOL’s websites every month, where they will see ads powered by AOL’s growing advertising platform, all of which will make its way to Verizon. In addition to all of that, Big Red will also get AOL’s email service.

AOL’s email service is no slouch in the email space. Having an email address that ends in @aol.com might make you look “totally unprofessional” according to 48% of respondents in a recent survey by Visible Logic, a result that was slightly better than Hotmail’s 50%, but markedly worse than Yahoo!’s 38% “totally unprofessional” rating. Despite that, AOL is still the 5th most-used webmail client behind Gmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo!, and Windows Live, and the 10th most-used client overall according to data collected by Litmus behind powerhouses like iOS, Android, and Outlook.

The inbox that AOL provides users is surprisingly robust, all things considered. Unlike Gmail, AOL will read styles and, as a result, will render the email’s code as intended, which is more than can be said for a lot of AOL’s competitors. Despite all of that, AOL’s mobile app is still lacking and doesn’t support a lot of the more modern coding techniques that are becoming more and more accepted every day.

Verizon, who has its own email service under the umbrellas of its own name and FiOS, has an opportunity to do something in the email space. While it’s extremely unlikely that they will overtake any of the big boys, Verizon could unify its email brand into something that looks good and functions well. As things stand, AOL isn’t that far behind Windows Live mail (1.97% market share as of April 2015) and Yahoo! (4% market share as of April 2015) and with the right feature set and offer, who knows what could happen.

Here at Haley Marketing, we want every email you send out to look its best and work well across the board in order to drive clients and candidates to your website. Want to see what we can do?

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