What I Learned From Spammers

I let the spam build up for a few days and what I learned about avoiding spam filters will surprise you.

I recently moved both my web sites, KeyWebData.com and RssAutoresponders.com, to new more stable hosts. What I learned was very surprising and undoubtedly will prove a valuable lesson to us both.

When I moved the sites I was able to have control over the spam filter settings on both servers so as a test I set both filters to the “off” setting. What I started seeing were the totally obvious spam that normally is caught by the most basic of content filters. Here’s the three biggest mistakes these spammers are making and what you should already know to avoid. I know this first one is going to be disagreeable but it is a big one.

Hashes or Misspellings

I know many of you are still using intentional misspellings of words like fahree for free and opp-or-tunity for opportunity. I also know that the Spam Assassin spam checker doesn’t currently give a warning for misspellings. However, many other content filters are totally customizable and DO filter on hashes and misspellings. If you are using misspellings STOP. Which leads us to the next most used spammer mistake.

LUsing All Caps In The Subject Line

Believe it or not this number one spam content filter trigger is used by spammers 80% of the time. Not only is it the number one content filter trigger it is also the number one trigger of my delete key. Send your email to me with all capitols in the subject line and it will be deleted forthwith. Oddly enough the third most spammer traight is one I make myself all the time.

“Greetings” in the Subject Line

I use this all the time and you probably saw it on the first email I sent you. At least one in 10 spam emails I get have “Greetings” as the first word in the subject line or is the only word in the subject line. Needless to say I no longer use the word.

The Bottom Line

Are you seeing a theme here? It’s simple: “Don’t do what spammers do.” If you are able to shut off your spam filters for a day or three it will definitely be a learning experience. Let the spam build up for a few days and look for trends that you are using but are not coming up as warnings on Spam Assassin content checker.

If you have any other such spammer trends let me know and I will add them here. Another pair of eyes usually has a different view on things.