Jan 29, 2007

Image Based Spam

We’ve seen a lot of graphic designers send HTML emails that are nothing but a big, gigantic JPG they exported from Photoshop. They look beautiful, but the problem is they also look like image-based spam (read more about image-based spam here, here and here)…

Image_spam

But modern spam filters (like Spam Assassin) are catching on to this tactic. They use algorithms that read emails for content, sender, header info, sloppy HTML coding, and more (here’s a list of criteria it scans for). So when spammers send image-based spam, or when legitimate email marketers send a promotion that’s nothing but one gigantic graphic, here’s what happens:

Spamassassinscores

So don’t send HTML email that’s nothing but a big fat graphic. Even if the graphic looks really, really awesome. Always include some text that spam filters can read. Just pretend your recipients can’t see images (they’ll be turned off by default anyways). What content could you include that might motivate them to click the "download images" link?