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Spam Score

Spam Score

What is the Spam Score of this email?

The Spam Score is a metric used in email marketing to assess the likelihood of an email being marked as spam by email service providers (ESPs). It’s essentially a rating system, calculated by various email testing tools, that evaluates the content and sending reputation of your emails. This score is based on a variety of factors, including the use of certain keywords, the quality of the email list, the format of the email, and the sender’s past behavior.

For example, if an email contains many common spam trigger words, has a large number of images compared to text, or comes from a sender with a history of sending emails that recipients frequently mark as spam, it would likely have a higher Spam Score.

Email marketers use the Spam Score to gauge how likely their email campaigns are to be filtered into spam folders. By reviewing and adjusting elements that contribute to a high Spam Score, marketers can improve their chances of landing in the recipient’s inbox. Keeping a low Spam Score is key to successful email deliverability and overall campaign effectiveness.

What is the average Spam Score of emails sent by a company?

According to MailChimp, the average spam score for commercial email is about 3.5%. This means that your company’s emails have a 3.5% chance of being marked as spam by recipients.

However, the average Spam Score for emails sent by a company can vary widely depending on several factors, including the industry, the quality of the email list, the content of the emails, and how well the company adheres to email marketing best practices. Generally, there isn’t a universally accepted “average” Spam Score, as it greatly depends on the specific practices of each company and the tools they use to measure this score.

In email marketing, the goal is always to have as low a Spam Score as possible. Email testing tools typically provide a score based on the likelihood of an email being filtered as spam. A high score indicates a higher risk of being marked as spam, while a low score suggests a lower risk. Companies aiming for effective email deliverability should strive to keep this score minimal by following best practices like using a clean, opt-in email list, crafting relevant and engaging content without spammy phrases or excessive links, and maintaining a good sender reputation.

It’s also important to note that different spam scoring systems may have varying scales and criteria, so what’s considered a “good” score in one system may not be the same in another. Regular monitoring and adjustments based on these scores are essential for ensuring emails reach the intended recipients.

What can I do to lower my Spam Score?

There are a few things you can do to lower your spam score and improve your email marketing results. First, make sure your list is opt-in and sent after receiving permission from the recipient. This means that people have explicitly given you permission to send them emails.

Lowering your Spam Score involves a combination of best practices in both the creation and management of your email campaigns. Here are some key strategies to consider:

  1. Clean and Update Your Email List: Regularly remove inactive subscribers and ensure that your list consists of recipients who have actively opted in to receive your emails. This not only improves engagement rates but also reduces the likelihood of recipients marking your emails as spam.
  2. Avoid Spam Trigger Words: Be mindful of the language used in your emails. Certain words and phrases are commonly associated with spam and can trigger filters. Avoid overly aggressive or sensational language such as “Buy now!”, “Free!”, “Guaranteed”, or “Urgent”.
  3. Personalize Your Emails: Tailor your emails to your audience’s interests and needs. Personalized content is more engaging and less likely to be perceived as spam.
  4. Optimize Email Content and Format: You can also improve your spam score by ensuring that your content is relevant to your subscribers and that you’re only sending them emails when you have something valuable to share. You should also implement strong anti-spam filters and make sure your email marketing software is up to date.
  5. Implement Email Authentication Protocols: Use email authentication standards like SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance). These protocols verify your identity as the sender and help prevent email spoofing.
  6. Test Your Emails Before Sending: Use spam testing tools to check the Spam Score of your emails before sending them. This can give you insights into potential issues that you can fix to reduce the score.
  7. Provide a Clear Unsubscribe Option: Make sure it’s easy for subscribers to opt out of your emails. This reduces the likelihood of them marking your emails as spam as a way to unsubscribe.
  8. Monitor Engagement Metrics: Pay attention to open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates. Low engagement can be a sign that your content is not resonating with your audience, which could increase the risk of spam complaints.

What factors influence the Spam Score?

There are many factors that influence spam scores. Some of the most common factors are the content of the email you are sending, the sender’s reputation, and the recipient’s engagement with the email.

The content of the email is one of the most important factors in determining spam score. Emails that contain spammy keywords like ‘free’ or that are trying to sell a product or service will often have a higher spam score than emails that are more generic.

The sender’s reputation is also important in determining spam score. If an email is sent from a sender that has a poor reputation, it is more likely to be marked as spam. Similarly, if an email is sent to a recipient who has a poor reputation, it is more likely to be marked as spam.

The recipient’s engagement with the email is also a factor in determining spam score. If an email is not opened or if it is deleted immediately by the recipient, it is more likely to be marked as spam.

How is the Spam Score calculated?

The Spam Score calculation is a proprietary formula developed by Return Path. It is based on a number of factors, including the number of spam complaints we receive about a particular sender’s email, the percentage of invalid email addresses in the sender’s list, and how often the sender’s messages are marked as spam by recipients.

What is the difference between Spam Score and Spam Filtering?

Spam Score and Spam Filtering are related concepts in email marketing and management, but they serve different purposes and function differently.

  1. Spam Score:
    • Definition: The Spam Score is a metric or rating given to an individual email, indicating the likelihood of that email being marked as spam. It’s determined by various criteria, such as content, sender reputation, and email formatting.
    • Purpose: The main purpose of a Spam Score is to give email senders (like marketers and businesses) an idea of how likely their email is to be classified as spam by email service providers (ESPs). A higher score means a higher risk of being marked as spam.
    • Use: Email marketers use the Spam Score to evaluate and adjust their email content and sending practices. It’s a proactive tool, allowing senders to make changes before their emails reach recipients, with the goal of reducing the likelihood of landing in the spam folder.
  2. Spam Filtering:
    • Definition: Spam filtering is the process used by email service providers to identify and separate spam emails from legitimate emails. This is done using various algorithms and criteria, similar to those used in calculating a Spam Score.
    • Purpose: The primary goal of spam filtering is to protect email users from unwanted, unsolicited, or harmful emails. It works at the recipient’s end, aiming to keep spam out of inboxes and ensure that only relevant and safe emails are delivered.
    • Use: Spam filters automatically scan incoming emails and decide whether to place them in the inbox, a spam folder, or block them entirely. They are reactive tools, acting on emails as they arrive based on their characteristics and the sender’s reputation.

In summary, the Spam Score is a predictive rating used by senders to gauge the spamminess of their emails and make adjustments to improve deliverability. Spam Filtering, on the other hand, is an automated process used by ESPs to protect users from spam by screening and sorting incoming emails based on various spam indicators.

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