Spamassassin Score: Everything You Need to Know
A guide for reducing your email marketing spam results using Spam Assassin
Table of contents
- What is SpamAssassin?
- Understanding SpamAssassin Score
- SpamAssassin tests
- How to lower your SpamAssassin score
- 1. Build a Strong Reputation
- 2. Use a reputable IP
- 3. Authenticate Emails
- 4. Watch out for blocklists
- 5. Monitor the Number of Emails You Send Momentarily
- 6. Avoid Spammy Words
- 7. Pay attention to text: image ratio
Spam emails were taking over the Internet messaging system, especially emails. Some of these emails are said to be time-consuming, while others are risky to open. Spam is a technique that scammers use to entice victims into disclosing account information so that they can either withdraw money or steal your identity.
The good news is that these emails are not received by inboxes today that use anti-spam solutions to filter out unwanted message addresses. One of the most popular tools used for this task is SpamAssassin. Email senders use SpamAssassin and its score to ensure Spam filters are 100% accurate when filtering spam messages.
What is the SpamAssassin score, and how do you configure it? Read on to find out more about the SpamAssassin score.
What is SpamAssassin?
SpamAssassin is a well-known open-source program created by Apache in 2001. It is an easy-to-install and set-up tool for filtering out unwanted emails on a mail server. It achieves this using different anti-spam techniques, including Bayesian and DNS filtering and the purported SpamAssassin blacklist.
Each email is evaluated by SpamAssassin, which assigns it a grade. The likelihood of an email arriving in a recipient's inbox increases with decreasing score. If the score of an email is less than 5.0, it is deemed spam-free. With scores above 5.0, a message is more likely to get lost in the shuffle and never make it to its intended recipient.
Understanding SpamAssassin Score
For emails, SpamAssassin creates a header with a list of rules and the associated points (positive, negative, or zero). The raw header will actually always begin with something similar to this:
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.0.1 X-Spam-Level: *** X-Spam-Status: Yes, score=6.2 required=4.0 tests=ALL_TRUSTED,AWL,DKIM_SIGNED
- The version and release date of the SpamAssassin software are mentioned in the first line.
- The second gives a rounded-down expression of an email's spam score in asterisks. As part of this test, we sent a spammy email that received an 8.2 rating, translating to 8 stars. Naturally, the result would be rounded down to three stars if we received 3.4 or 3.0. Including negative scores, asterisks are not displayed for scores below 1.
- Your email's status is indicated in the third row by a YES (if it is spam) or a NO (if it isn't). After that comes the score, which is now in Arabic numerals.
Every factor that affects the score is taken into account when a SpamAssassin is activated. They look at factors such as:
Suspicious file extensions and links
Failed or successful authentications
spam content, among other things.
How to lower your SpamAssassin score
You can do a lot more to raise (lower) your SpamAssassin scores. Here are some suggestions on how to send your recipients more emails.
1. Build a Strong Reputation
You must build a solid sending history because email filters heavily rely on your sender's reputation. Sending emails that recipients open and respond to will help you build a solid reputation.
However, your reputation will suffer if your emails frequently bounce, are flagged as spam, or are simply ignored by the recipients. Building a strong reputation requires sending emails that recipients want to receive.
2. Use a reputable IP
When choosing an email-sending tool, you have the option of a shared or dedicated IP. High-quality sending domains are available from numerous trustworthy email-sending providers (ESPs) for very affordable prices.
3. Authenticate Emails
Due to its simplicity and effectiveness in preventing phishing, email authentication has become a requirement for all reliable email servers. As a result, SPF and DKIM records should be configured for every email.
4. Watch out for blocklists
Your emails may suffer severe repercussions if you end up on either of the popular blocklists. Ensure you have your recipients' consent before sending them emails to avoid ending up there.
5. Monitor the Number of Emails You Send Momentarily
Sudden increases in the volume of emails sent are another factor that spam filters closely monitor. A gradual increase in email volume will help to allay any suspicions. Send the initial batch on the first day, followed by a slightly larger batch on the second. Segment your user base and send diverse campaigns to various groups at different times. Give the email servers a chance to get used to your volume.
6. Avoid Spammy Words
The words commonly used by spammers and their various misspelled variations have been taught to cause SpamAssassin to respond violently. Check out the numerous lists of spam words and choose similar replacements.
7. Pay attention to text: image ratio
Most of the time, adding a visual to an email is a good idea. However, SpamAssassin (or other filters) has trouble with emails containing images. If you're aiming for a lower score, it's one of the most obvious things to address even though they don't significantly raise the score (we received an additional 0.8 points for a low text: image ratio).
Select the spam threshold when installing SpamAssassin for the first time on your server. Recall that the default value is "5" and that most users find it effective. If you don't have much experience with this software, it is best to leave it as is for the time being and make changes later.
One helpful feature of SpamAssassin is the ability to whitelist or blacklist particular addresses or entire domains. An excellent and cost-free tool is SpamAssassin. Spam filters won't ever be 100% error-free.