Originally posted by Salsa Labs

by Brett Schenker, Senior Deliverability Manager, Salsa

When creating emails in Salsa, you can check the “spaminess” of your email through a system called SpamAssassin. This widely-used system employs a fairly standard set of spam rules to predict how your email will do once it is deployed. SpamAssassin uses its own special algorithms to update itself regularly with the latest rules and spam patterns.

Here’s the important stuff!

A new rule involving nested tables has popped up, and has been resulting in a score of 4.0 or higher, which means your email will likely be caught in a spam filter. Remember, scores of 5.0 will not be sent through our system.

Check your email templates or email bodies for the following character patterns:

If these characters, in this order, appear *anywhere* in your email template or email body, even if they appear on multiple consecutive lines, your email will be marked as spam. This, for example, will be marked spammy:


We don’t make the rules…

I’ve had people say “just complain this is a bad rule” or “this is a stupid rule, I don’t want it to apply to me.” Unfortunately, spam rules just don’t work like that. SpamAssassin and other spam blockers learn by analyzing billions of emails, the vast majority of which are unsolicited spam. If these HTML patterns trigger the spam blockers, it’s because somewhere on earth a nice man who wants nothing more than to share his large inheritance with a trusted friend emailed 80 billion addresses about it yesterday… and he did so using nested tables. No human writes these rules. No human checks them. We can’t shut them off or tell Yahoo, Google, or Comcast to stop using them. Dems da rules.

What we can do is warn you. Next Monday, June 11, we’ll be turning the check for these rules back on. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be doing our job: Making sure as many of your emails get delivered as possible. So keep an eye out for these warnings. Follow our blog for updates. We’ll monitor these rules daily and let you know as others arise.

We are here to make sure as many of your emails get delivered as possible. We’ll keep alerting you to new rules, and in the meantime, you can follow our blog for additional updates.


This rule is no longer part of the SpamAssassin rule set. We still recommend avoiding the above code when you can as not everyone includes the most updated rules set and this rule could appear again or in a similar but different form.

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