by Rice Omary
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What is a spam score?

by Rice Omary

What is a spam score? - Paubox

A negative spam score can make or break an email marketing campaign that delivers HIPAA compliant email. Receiving a score that exceeds a given threshold means that your email will be marked as spam. So what are the markers for a spam email and how does scoring work? We’ll review the nuances of email spam scores and how they benefit you.

What is a spam score?

A spam score is a numeric value assigned to a piece of email by an external system before it is delivered in order to identify whether it is spam or not. A score is based on the subject line, body text, links included in the email, and any coding in the email. Some keywords or phrases trigger higher scores, which means the email gets rejected by the recipient as spam. 

How does spam scoring work?

There are multiple types of spam testing systems. The most popular ones are hardware-based, server-side, open-source, self-learning, and webmail systems. They each have their own algorithms for preventing spam. 

Barracuda, MessageLabs, and SpamAssassin work using a spam score threshold method. This means that an email is generally assigned a value and an accompanying flag. If the value is above the threshold (and therefore has a high spam score), the resultant flag determines that the email is spam

Outlook has a built-in spam email self-learning system that ships with Microsoft 365. It ”learns” what is spam based on user engagement with an email and assigns a score based on the sensitivity rating that you assign to Outlook’s spam filter. The more sensitive the filter, the lower the spam score needs to be in order to not be flagged as spam.

Webmail like Gmail or Yahoo uses a pass or fail spam score to determine if an email should be delivered to the main inbox or the junk mail folder.

How can I prevent my healthcare marketing email from receiving a high spam score?

Some subscribers to your email marketing campaigns will mark your emails as spam. This happens for a variety of reasons but mostly because they find that your content is no longer relevant. Not giving them options for opting out (i.e. unsubscribing) is one surefire way of increasing your spam score.

Another way of keeping your score low is by including a business address at the footer of your email. This is not only best practice but is required by the CAN-SPAM Act

Lastly, steer clear of fancy coding and especially scripts. The use of scripts in emails gets them almost always automatically marked as spam. 

SEE ALSO: Avoid the spam folder: healthcare email marketing deliverability tricks

How Paubox can help

Paubox Marketing is a HIPAA compliant email marketing solution. It allows you to send email campaigns that dodge the spam folder. This helps you grow your business, online presence, and community by safely delivering natively encrypted emails directly to your patients’ inboxes.  

SEE ALSO: Why Paubox Marketing is the best HIPAA email marketing solution available

On the receiving side, Paubox Email Suite Plus provides proprietary spam filtering, which is based on an email’s spam score. It also comes with a few patented features such as ExecProtect, which protects against display name spoofing and Zero Trust Email with server-side multi-factor authentication.   

Try Paubox Marketing for free today.