How does the SpamAssassin work and when does it add points?

What is SpamAssassin?

SpamAssassin is a program running on email servers that filters your email before it is sent to the recipient.

How does it work?

It works on the basis of well-known and learned rules. It scans the headers and message content, seeking the spam-related texts. If only some condition is met, the program adds a point to the message. The more fulfilled the conditions, the more points. After exceeding a certain number of points (by default it is 5,0 points), the email gets the status of spam.

SpamAssassin is not limited to searching content, but it also checks whether the website address of the recipient and the server from which the email was sent, is not included in special anti-spam bases (blacklists), and also validates the email in terms of generally accepted standards.

When the system adds spam points?

In order to avoid a situation in which your email is regarded as a spam, you should know the rules that run it and meet them. You can also test the email in FreshMail, which knows all the rules of the SpamAssassin ;)

Do not include a large number of graphics (especially the one annexed along with the email) –  SpamAssassin draws attention to what part of the email are the graphics, and the text. Be careful also while sending attachments with emails, and above all pay attention to the content included in the message. You should never use only ALL CAPS or too many exclamations!!!!

Regarding to the message itself, the SpamAssassin, beyond the standard sensitivity to words like sex, Viagra, porn, etc. is very sensitive to any attempt to circumvent the Law on electronic services, i.e. the attempt to send the texts such as 'Address comes from a public database'. 'This is not trade information within the meaning of...', 'Sorry for unregistered', 'It does not constitute an offer within the meaning of'.

We all get spam, so we know what it looks like – the subject is TYPED IN CAPITAL LETTERS, some words are in bold and underlined in red or blue, they screaming at us with an army of punctuations !!!!! and use words-hooks: click here, 100%, promotion, etc.

Avoid it. Our research shows that the best are information and relevant contents, as well as those well matched to the target group.

Unfortunately, due to the practice of spammers on the use of resignation links to confirm de facto the authenticity of the email address, the SpamAssassin has also become very sensitive to phrases such as: 'if you do not want…, click here', 'click here', 'unsubscribe', etc.

Once again we remind the most common errors:

  • Spam-related style of writing, such as: ‘click here’ or ‘This is the only occasion in your life!’ 
  • Overuse of punctuations!!!! 
  • Request of ‘CLICK HERE’ – written in capital letters 
  • The use of the phrase ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ 
  • Brief justification of why you are sending this newsletter 
  • HTML has ‘tbody’ tag 
  • HTML title marked as ‘Untitled’ – remember that most of HTML emails sent by spammers has a very poor code 
  • USING CAPS LOCK IS AS SCREAMING IN THE EMAIL (especially in the subject line) 
  • Colourful fonts, including the glaring red, blue or green colours 
  • Mailings the only big image with a small amount of text or even without it 
  • Typing the word ‘test’ in the subject

SpamAssassin Test in FreshMail

Generally there are many rules, on the basis of which the SpamAssassin. System tests the email, and they are constantly evolving. To ensure that messages sent by clients of FreshMail are not mistakenly classified as spam (especially by the statutory need to include the resignation link in the content of an email), the FreshMail team prepared a special module that allows you to test the message from the system-level. In the event that your message receives too much spam points, you can safely improve the content before the final sending of the campaign.

A detailed description of how to carry out anti-spam tests in FreshMail.