Home » The SpamAssassin score: How to avoid a high score

The SpamAssassin score: How to avoid a high score

The SpamAssassin score is going to show the probability of an email being spam or not. The higher the SpamAssassin score, the more careful you should be because it is most likely you have an invalid account.

For this reason, many marketers use this tool. Working to maintain a low SpamAssassin score is essential to avoid being marked as spam, and stay away from being blocklisted. Keeping the sender reputation safe and improving the deliverability safe.

How about you? Do you know how to use the SpamAssassin score? Do you try to keep it at a low level? What should you do to protect your score and guarantee a good reputation as an email sender?

We are going to answer these questions and many others in this article, as well as give you some tips to improve your SpamAssassin score. 

Furthermore, if you are a beginner in this topic and don’t know how to deal with the SpamAssassin, we will also introduce you to this very useful tool. Keep reading to learn more about it.

  • What is SpamAssassin?
  • The SpamAssassin score
  • How does SpamAssassin work?
  • How to avoid a high SpamAssassin score

What is SpamAssassin?

If you pay attention to its name, the SpamAssassin does exactly what it suggests: it is a tool to identify and filter email addresses that have a bad reputation as senders or have a high chance of sending spam. 

For example, such emails may not respect users’ privacy or they don’t follow any anti-spam policies. Counting on a tool like SpamAssassin can help the final user identify spam senders and stay away from them.

But what truly is SpamAssassin? Well, it can be defined as an open-source program, created by the Apache Software Foundation. The tool was designed to filter email lists through complex and detailed analysis.

To be more specific, SpamAssassin score runs tests to analyze the headers and the body of emails, among other aspects, in order to tell if they are spam or not.

Thanks to these tests, SpamAssassin can identify emails that have a high probability of being spam. Being aware of your score is important to protect your reputation as a sender and make sure your emails are not falsely taken for spam.

To prevent this from happening, it is recommendable to have several tools to help you avoid being blocklisted as a spam sender . 

The SpamAssassin score

Now that you are acquainted with the SpamAssassin score, we should take a look at how to analyze it. As we told you before, the SpamAssassin score shows the likelihood of an email being taken as spam.

SpamAssassin analyzes many features of an individual email address and, for each one of them, it gives a score. 

Positive numbers must be understood as high chances of spam. On the other hand, negative numbers are attributed to the healthy characteristics of an email.

After the analysis and all the features receiving a score, they are all added up. If the sum is higher than the limit allowed by SpamAssassin, the email will be recognized as spam.

The scoring system has a limit of 10, but a 5-score already indicates potential email spam, so your mission to protect your reputation as a sender is to keep your performance below that mark. Some tips for decrease your SpamAssassin score are:

  • send emails only to interested subscribers;
  • remove unsubscribed people from your contact lists;
  • have a frequency to send emails: don’t send too many at the same time, nor spend a long time without sending any;
  • produce engaging and interesting content to your current subscribers;
  • have a routine of cleaning your contact lists, with the help of email checkers;
  • use email authentication;
  • take care with visual content: make sure it doesn’t exceed 40% of the message body’s total.

These tips will certainly maintain your SpamAssassin score below 5, which represents a strong sender reputation.  

How does SpamAssassin work?

Basically, SpamAssassin is an intelligent software that is able to interpret the features of an email and say if it is spam or not, searching for patterns and indicators that unwanted emails have in the messages it analyzes.

Among such characteristics, SpamAssassin analyzes:

  • the header and body of an email;
  • the subject line;
  • the email’s formatting and written content;
  • the character sets and markup;
  • the sending IP (origin);
  • message encoding.

This way, the SpamAssassin score can tell if an email has the characteristics of spam on a large scale, and can be used to keep your database clean and free of harmful registrations.

SpamAssassin executes countless tests to spot spam characteristics in emails. The most common ones are:

  • the presence of suspicious links and file extensions in the body of the email;
  • disallowed scripts;
  • failed or approved registrations;
  • spam-friendly content;
  • other features that can make an email unwelcome or unwanted.

How to avoid the SpamAssassin and lower your score

If your SpamAssassin score is higher than you would like it to be, it’s time to take action and improve your deliverability rates. The first thing you should be doing is cleaning your database and removing the invalid accounts from it.

There are many strategies you can execute to do such a task. We have some interesting tips for you on how to start reviewing your contact lists. Keep reading to know all these tips.

Sender reputation

Your history as a sender is built with every single email you send and how your subscribers act when they receive your notifications. Do they open it? Delete it without even opening it? Ignore it? Or, in the worst-case scenario, mark it as spam?

Do you realize how important it is to know exactly to whom you are sending messages? You have to protect your sender reputation by all means in order to avoid a high SpamAssassin score.

If your subscribers are interacting with your emails, opening and reading them, you have nothing to worry about. But if it is the other way around, as in keeping emails that may destroy your reputation, you should review your contact lists.

Domain and IP address

Choosing a reputable IP address and domain to send your emails is a wise decision. If you have to pay a little more to have a trustworthy tool, don’t hesitate.

Protecting your online reputation will always be the best investment and it is all-important to have a low SpamAssassin score.

In conclusion, using a free Gmail or Outlook account to send many emails at the same time may be fatal to your deliverability rates. Count on a complete Email Sender Provider (ESP) to execute this task for you.

Beware of Blocklists

The main cause of being blocklisted is to send messages to uninterested users or inactive or nonexistent accounts. Sending too many messages at the same time will also make you get blocklisted.

Unfortunately, many companies end up being blocklisted because they don’t have the habit of cleaning their subscriber lists, which is a serious mistake all-around.

Besides that, not cleaning email lists and being blocklisted make your SpamAssassin score increase.

This lack of care is indeed an unfortunate situation because it could have been avoided with the right attention. 

Keeping only responsive users and making sure you are allowed to send messages to your contacts are some of the positive actions you can adopt to avoid landing in blocklists.

Email marketing tools

Technology is here to help us and make our lives easier, isn’t it? So, why not use technological tools to assist you in your marketing campaigns? You can choose email marketing tools to make your marketing strategies more successful.

For instance, an email checker can help you filter out all the invalid email accounts from your subscriber lists, making sure you are sending messages only to people who are interested in hearing from you. That’s how you avoid being marked as spam or landing in blocklists. 

At the end of the day, with the help of email marketing tools, you will be optimizing your time and efforts, not to mention you can save some money in the way. Use the right tools to keep away from SpamAssassin radar.

Avoid spam trigger words and topics

SpamAssassin can immediately identify some words and associate them with spam messages. For instance, misspelled words in the subject of a message will make an email receive a spam status.

We also have to consider some phrases and words that seem normal but are triggers to activate the alert on SpamAssassin. Check out some of the words that might look harmless, but they sure aren’t:

  • money;
  • earn extra cash;
  • order
  • best price;
  • cheap;
  • profit
  • cards accepted;
  • no questions asked;
  • this is not spam;

Always have a list of spam words by your side, and try reformulating your message or finding synonyms to keep away from being taken as a spam sender.

Have a privacy policy

As in the real world, privacy matters online. This sentence may be understood as an obvious statement, but it is not. People put their personal data on landing pages all the time, including yours.

So you must have a severe privacy policy in order to keep this data safe. Besides improving the relationship between your company and your customers, it will make you have a good reputation as a sender and a low SpamAssassin score.

Use an email verifier 

When your contact lists don’t have invalid emails, it is easier to focus only on your active customers. Consequently, it’s less complicated to have more conversion and sales in your email marketing campaigns. 

The question you should be asking is: what can I do to keep my contact lists clean or block disposable email addresses? Using an email verifier is a perfect tool to remove harmful emails from them. Don’t forget that clean email lists are important to have a low SpamAssassin score.

You can find a lot of available email verifiers online. SafetyMails is one of them and it is a tool that can really elevate the quality of your email campaigns because it offers many benefits, such as:

  • validation and verification of your lists: save only the contacts that you can use in your marketing campaigns without damaging your deliverability rate and credibility as a sender. This way, you will avoid being marked as one spam sender and landing in blocklists;
  • Syntax check: SafetyMails can analyze the syntax, structures and patterns of your email addresses, which can make your bounce rate drop, once incorrect email addresses can be a cause of undelivered messages. With a healthy bounce rate, it is possible to get a low SpamAssassin score;
  • MX record check: SafetyMails verifies the MX record for analyzed emails, protecting the quality of your contact lists;
  • Spamtrap removal: SafetyMails will protect your reputation as a sender by avoiding being blocked for spam traps in subscriber lists;
  • privacy (NDA): your customers’ data is safe with Safetymails. We work under the principles of confidentiality.
  • data protection: Our platform respects and follows all the guidelines for data protection, including GDPR/EU and LGPD/BR.

SafetyMails will help to guarantee a low SpamAssassin score. Contact SafetyMails to discover more about the solutions that we provide to make you achieve your goals.


Why is it important to implement an email verification service in your strategy?

When you build an email database, you surely want to have real people connected in your lists.

However, many people give a fake email address or an invalid one. They can simply make silly spelling mistakes during the registration process in your landing page or newsletters, for example.

SafetyMails has an expertise in prevent your whole strategy went to waste because you ended up with several addresses that are not fit to use. In other words, using our email verifier, your collected addresses are real, and can generate engagement.

In case of typos, the service can solicit corrections and reviews, making sure you don’t lose a promising lead. Everything happens in real-time and the email checker api is accurate and fast.

Would you like to know us better? Test now and check emails for free!

Choose SafetyMails email verification tool and see how easy it is to make sure no invalid or harmful addresses get to your subscriber lists!

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