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Solving AOL’s Dreaded “554 (RTR:BL)” Email Rejection Error

By MailChannels | 3 minute read

Solving AOL’s Dreaded “554 (RTR BL)” Email Rejection Error —

Have you ever tried sending an email to someone at AOL, only to receive a baffling error message that reads “554 (RTR:BL)”? You’re not alone. This common error code is AOL’s way of telling you that your email couldn’t be delivered because your mail server’s IP address has a poor reputation due to sending spam or other unwanted content to AOL users.

Why Did This Happen?

AOL’s email systems are quite sensitive to spam. If your mail server’s IP address has been involved in sending a significant amount of spam, AOL may block it permanently. This means your emails will consistently fail to reach AOL recipients until you address the issue.

How to Fix It

Identify and Shut Down Spam Accounts: The first step is to find any accounts on your mail server that are sending spam and shut them down. There may be more than one, so it’s important to be thorough.

Review AOL’s Best Practices: AOL provides guidelines on its Postmaster pages. Following these best practices can help prevent future blocks.

Sign Up for a Feedback Loop: A feedback loop allows AOL to send you reports of user complaints, helping you understand what types of emails are being marked as spam.

Install Outbound Spam Filtering: Monitoring your users’ behavior and filtering outbound spam can help prevent abusive accounts from causing problems.

Temporary Solutions

If you need an immediate fix, consider sending your emails through a different mail server, like Gmail’s SMTP server. This can be a temporary solution while you clean up your IP’s reputation. However, be cautious, as frequently changing IP addresses can lead to AOL blocking larger portions of your address space.

The Bottom Line

If you encounter the “554 (RTR:BL)” error, it’s a clear sign that you need to take action. Improving the quality of your outbound emails and filtering for spam are crucial steps in ensuring your emails reach AOL users without issue.


What does the “554 (RTR:BL)” error mean?

The “554 (RTR:BL)” error indicates that AOL has blocked your mail server’s IP address due to a poor reputation, often caused by sending spam or other unwanted content to AOL users.

How can I fix this error?

To fix the error, you need to identify and shut down any spam accounts on your mail server, follow AOL’s best practices, sign up for a feedback loop, and install outbound spam filtering.

What are AOL’s best practices for sending emails?

AOL’s best practices include sending emails only to users who have opted in, avoiding the use of deceptive subject lines, and including a clear unsubscribe link in your emails.

How can I prevent my IP address from being blocked by AOL in the future?

To prevent future blocks, regularly monitor your email sending practices, use outbound spam filtering, and adhere to AOL’s best practices for email senders.

Can I use a different mail server to bypass the block?

Yes, you can temporarily use a different mail server, such as Gmail’s SMTP server, to send your emails. However, this is only a temporary solution, and you should still address the underlying issue with your IP’s reputation.

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