Jun 6, 2007

Tiny Fonts Trigger Spam Filters

One of our users just designed a nice email campaign for his client, and tested it in our Inbox Inspector. Overall, he received a passing score, but we noticed something in the spam filter checker.

Spam Assassin and MessageLabs didn’t like the fact that his email footer used "tiny fonts" in it:

Tinyfont

As you can see, Spam Assassin gave it a full 2.6 points for that! They say the default threshold for Spam Assassin is "5" but we tell people to try to stay below "3" (because c’mon—who really keeps their threshold at 5 these days?). Better safe than sorry.

Our customer really had a nice looking template, and wasn’t trying to hide anything. But spam filters think that tiny fonts are a sign that some spammer is trying to embed a whole bunch of confusing content into their message to throw off their scent.

Our customer’s footer had text specified with: "font-size:9px." Interestingly, our own email templates specify our font size to be 10px, but we’ve never been flagged for that.

So if you have fonts in your footer that are really, really small (like we all tend to do), make sure they’re no smaller than 10px in size.

Related:

See what else Spam Assassin scans for in your email.

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