LISTSERV Maestro 9.0-11 Help

Table Of Contents

Message Spam Rating

To access the spam check page for a given job perform the spam check by clicking on the Check message for spam link on the job's delivery test page.

The email messages of a large email job will almost certainly pass through a spam filter on their way to the intended recipients. It is therefore advisable to check the spam rating that your message will get from such spam filters, to evaluate if your message may be classified as spam (which would impede the deliverability of your message).

LISTSERV Maestro's "Message Spam Rating" gives you a guideline when trying to answer this question: Is my message in danger of being classified as spam by my recipients' spam filters?

For this, LISTSERV Maestro submits the message, in the same form as it would be used for the delivery, to one or several configured spam filters and presents the results of these checks on this screen, as "Spam Rating Results" tabs. Each tab displays the spam rating result of one of the configured spam filters (if only one filter is configured, then the page will not display tabs, but only the plain result).

While the spam check is still in progress, a "processing" status message is displayed. Once the spam check has completed, the spam rating results are displayed.

Typically spam filters apply different types of tests to an incoming email message and usually they run several tests and assign penalty (or bonus) points for each of the tests. If the penalty sum reaches a threshold value, then the message is marked as spam. If the threshold value is exceeded by a very high value, then the message may be deleted immediately. Modern spam filtering software includes very different sophisticated tests that apply blacklists, whitelists, detailed content analysis and HTML markup verification.

Please remember that the spam rating given by LISTSERV Maestro can only act as a guideline: The actual spam filters of your recipients may be configured differently and may thus classify a message as spam even if your spam filters did not, or vice versa. It is therefore advisable to carefully check the spam rating results even if a message was not classified as spam, and look for issues that cause penalties, to then eliminate these issues. Because your recipients' spam filters may assign higher penalties so that these issues could then bring the message over the spam-threshold.
(But be aware that even a perfect score in LISTSERV Maestro is no guarantee that the message will never be classified as spam - because your recipients' spam filters may use entirely different criteria for this classification.)

The spam rating results are created by the spam filters that are configured at the LISTSERV host that is being used by LISTSERV Maestro. Their layouts and actual contents depend on the spam filtering products being used and their configurations.

Example of a spam rating result

SpamAssassin score: 12.2 ***SPAM***

Spam detection software, running on the system "host.example.com", has
identified this incoming email as possible spam.  The original message
has been attached to this so you can view it (if it isn't spam) or label
similar future email.  If you have any questions, see
the administrator of that system for details.

Content preview: [...]

Content analysis details:   (12.2 points, 6.0 required)

 pts rule name              description
---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------
 0.0 HTML_MESSAGE           BODY: HTML included in message
 1.5 HTML_IMAGE_ONLY_12     BODY: HTML: images with 800-1200 bytes of words
 1.2 MIME_HTML_ONLY         BODY: Message only has text/html MIME parts
 0.6 URIBL_SBL              Contains an URL listed in the SBL blocklist
                            [URIs: hesatosser.com]
 0.5 URIBL_WS_SURBL         Contains an URL listed in the WS SURBL blocklist
                            [URIs: hesatosser.com solomongerdom.com]
 2.0 URIBL_OB_SURBL         Contains an URL listed in the OB SURBL blocklist
                            [URIs: hesatosser.com solomongerdom.com]
 3.9 URIBL_SC_SURBL         Contains an URL listed in the SC SURBL blocklist
                            [URIs: hesatosser.com]
 2.4 DRUGS_PAIN_OBFU        Obfuscated reference to a pain relief drug
 0.0 DRUGS_PAIN             Refers to a pain relief drug

As seen in this result, several of the tests applied by the spam filter yielded penalty points and the sum of the penalty points exceeded the configured threshold value, meaning that the spam filter classified the message as spam.

Example of a non-spam rating result

SpamAssassin score: 0.2

Spam detection software, running on the system "host.example.com", has
identified this incoming email as possible spam.  The original message
has been attached to this so you can view it (if it isn't spam) or label
similar future email.  If you have any questions, see
the administrator of that system for details.

Content preview:  Visit L-Soft's website: "http://www.lsoft.com" Visit
L-Soft's website! [...]

Content analysis details:   (0.2 points, 6.0 required)

 pts rule name              description
---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------
 0.2 NO_REAL_NAME           From: does not include a real name
 0.0 HTML_MESSAGE           BODY: HTML included in message

This report is an example of a message that was classified as non-spam. However, the content analysis assigns the missing real name in the From: address with a penalty. This penalty can be avoided by supplying an actual name in the sender settings of the mail job.
Even if the spam filter determined that an email message is not spam, it is best to eliminate everything that might cause a penalty because the spam filters that are actually in place on the way to the recipients may be configured very differently and could evaluate the tests with much higher penalties.

Example of a skipped spam check

SpamAssassin score: 0

In this particular example, the spam filter did not scan the message because the message size exceeded a (usually configurable) threshold value. Scanning big messages for spam can be omitted because the message size of spam is usually small, and the number of messages sent is usually very large. As a result, many spam filters simply do not scan the message if a message is considerably large. This also reduces the consumption of computing power.

After the message has been scanned, click in the menu bar to return to the Delivery Test screen. Click Download spam rating results in order to download the result of the current tab.

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