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365 Spamming Words to Avoid for Higher Email Open Rates

Get higher email open rates with our guide on 365 spamming words to avoid and improve your email strategy and engagement.
Written by
Vikas Jha
Published on
March 24, 2024

Understanding Spam Triggers

What Are Spam Triggering Words?

Spam triggering words are specific terms or phrases that, when detected by spam filters, can cause an email to be redirected to the spam folder. These spam trigger words typically signal promotions, offers, or claims that appear too good to be accurate or overly aggressive, causing email spam filters to mark them as potential spam. Identifying and avoiding these spam words is crucial for improving email deliverability.

  • Email marketing relies on clear, straightforward communication. Understanding what constitutes spam trigger words is critical to this process.
  • Spam filters, developed by email service providers, aim to protect users from unwanted content, affecting how marketers approach their email campaigns.

Origin of Spam Trigger Words: Understanding the Link

The link between specific words and their spam status didn't arise overnight.

It results from observing patterns in spam emails over time, with email and internet service providers developing criteria for what triggers these filters.

  • Words like "free," "guarantee," and "no risk" often find themselves on the spam word list due to their frequent misuse.
  • Thus, spam filters have evolved, learning to flag emails containing these words to prevent potential spam from reaching recipients' inboxes.

How Is a Word Classified as a Spam Trigger Word?

The classification process for email spam trigger words involves sophisticated algorithms and user interaction data. Email service providers analyze patterns in flagged emails to update their spam filters.

  • Email spam words become flagged through algorithmic analysis, and user feedback marks emails as spam.
  • The use of terms like "instant," "credit," and "offer" is scrutinized for context within the email subject line and body.

Key Takeaways for Marketers

For marketers, navigating email campaigns successfully without activating spam filters is challenging. Here are strategic insights:

  • Use tools designed to check your emails against known spam words and phrases.
  • Focus on crafting messages that engage without resorting to the overuse of sales-centric language that might trigger spam filters.
  • Review and adjust your strategies regularly, keeping in mind the evolving practices of email marketing, to ensure your messages consistently reach your audience.

Understanding Spam Filters

What Are Spam Filters?

Spam filters are sophisticated systems implemented by email providers to sift through incoming mail, aiming to catch email spam before it reaches the user's inbox. These filters scrutinize emails for  certain spam words used, spam trigger words, and suspicious patterns that might indicate unsolicited or harmful content.

  • A spam filter's primary goal is to maintain email deliverability quality by ensuring only legitimate messages reach the inbox.
  • To identify spam, spam filters analyze content, including the subject line and body.

Email Service Providers and Their Fight Against Spam

Email service providers (ESPs) are at the forefront of the battle against spam, employing anti-spam filters to safeguard users from unwanted email spam. Their efforts are not solely for the user's benefit; they serve the ESPs' interests in several crucial ways:

  • Maintaining Trust: It's imperative for ESPs to accurately detect and filter spam to avoid inadvertently facilitating fraud or harmful content. Failing to do so can tarnish their reputation, leading to a loss of business as users seek more secure platforms.
  • Resource Efficiency: By effectively filtering out spam, ESPs prevent the waste of server resources on emails that offer no value to the recipient. Spam consumes storage and bandwidth, diminishing the overall system efficiency and user experience.
  • Business Implications: When spam filters miss emails, it's not just an inconvenience. ESPs risk becoming unwilling accomplices in fraud or spam schemes, which can lead to legal repercussions and significant financial losses.

For ESPs, the battle against email spam is an ongoing process of adaptation and improvement. Their ability to protect users from spam while ensuring the delivery of genuine email campaigns is crucial to maintaining trust, ensuring email deliverability, and sustaining their business model in the competitive email marketing landscape.

How Spamming Words Trigger Spam Filters

When an email arrives, spam filters begin their work, determining whether an email should land in the inbox or the spam folder. Here’s how it happens:

  1. Arrival: An email reaches the provider's server, where spam filters immediately assess it.
  2. Analysis: The content, including spam trigger words and phrases like "sign up free today" or "lose weight now," is analyzed.
  3. Evaluation: The email’s subject line, sender reputation, and engagement metrics are evaluated.
  4. Decision: Based on these factors, spam filters decide if the email looks spam.

What Causes Email to Be Flagged as Spam?

Several factors can cause an email to be flagged as spam, from misusing spam words to failing email authentication checks.

  • Overuse of terms like "extra cash," "risk-free," and promises of "big money" often trigger spam filters.
  • Lack of engagement, such as low open rates or high unsubscribe rates, signals spam filters that recipients might not value the content, pushing emails toward the spam folder.
  • Misleading subject lines or the absence of an unsubscribe button can violate email marketing regulations and result in spam flagging.

Key Insights for Marketers

Understanding spam filters is critical for email marketing professionals to achieve email deliverability. Here are strategic takeaways:

Regularly update your knowledge of common spam trigger words and email spam trigger words to avoid in your content. Ensure compliance with email marketing laws and best practices, like clearly stating "this is not spam" when necessary and providing easy unsubscribe options. Focus on building a good domain reputation with email and mailbox providers, emphasizing the quality and relevance of your communications to avoid spam words and enhance engagement with new customers.

All the Spam Words You Should Avoid

To succeed in email marketing, knowing which words and phrases might automatically send your emails to the spam folder is crucial. Below, you'll find categories with 30 examples of words or phrases that could activate spam filters.

Avoid These Money-Related Spam Words

Financial incentives can be enticing, but using certain spam words related to money risks landing your email in the spam folder. Words promising quick riches or unbelievable financial gains are often viewed with skepticism by spam filters and recipients alike.

Here are 30 examples of money-related spam words to steer clear of:

  1. Make Money
  2. Free cash
  3. Save up to
  4. Billion
  5. Million
  6. Cash bonus
  7. Extra income
  8. Double your income
  9. Earn $
  10. Financial freedom
  11. Get paid
  12. Huge discount
  13. Increase sales
  14. Lower rates
  15. Lowest price
  16. Make $$$
  17. Money-back guarantee
  18. One-time investment
  19. Only $
  20. Pennies a day
  21. Price
  22. Pure profit
  23. Quote
  24. Refinance
  25. Risk-free
  26. Triple your income
  27. Unsecured debt
  28. Wealth
  29. No fees
  30. Hidden assets
  31. Get out of debt
  32. Social security number
  33. Initial investment

How to Urgently Say Something Without Spamming

Urgency can be critical in email campaigns, but it must be conveyed without spam words that alarm spam filters.

Steer clear of they spam words:

  1. Act now!
  2. Apply today
  3. Become a member
  4. Call now
  5. Don't delete
  6. Exclusive deal
  7. Get it now
  8. Instant Access
  9. Limited time
  10. New customers only
  11. Now only
  12. Offer expires
  13. Once in a lifetime
  14. Order now
  15. Please read
  16. See for yourself
  17. Sign up free today
  18. This won't last
  19. Urgent
  20. While stocks last
  21. Deadline
  22. Apply now
  23. Order today
  24. Don't miss out
  25. All-new
  26. Pre-order
  27. Time-sensitive
  28. Last chance
  29. Never again
  30. Before it's gone

Sales Words That Won't Annoy Spam Filters

Crafting effective sales messages without hitting spam words is crucial.

Avoid phrases like:

  1. Bargain
  2. Best price
  3. Bonus
  4. Cheap
  5. Discount
  6. Fantastic deal
  7. Giveaway
  8. Great offer
  9. Guarantee
  10. Incredible deal
  11. Lower price
  12. Marked down
  13. Monthly payment
  14. No cost
  15. One time
  16. Only
  17. Prize
  18. Promise
  19. Sale ends soon
  20. Special promotion
  21. Unbeatable offer
  22. Winner
  23. Free trial
  24. Free access
  25. No obligation
  26. Free download
  27. Free Membership
  28. Free preview
  29. Free Quote
  30. Free sample
  31. Own Boss

Legal Talk: Stay Clear of Trouble

Legal and financial spam words can quickly raise flags. Words like "claims to be legal" or other such words, "accept credit cards" might suggest shady dealings:

  1. Attorney
  2. Legal
  3. Lawsuit
  4. Litigation
  5. Compensation
  6. Judge
  7. Court
  8. Your rights
  9. Settlement
  10. Legal action
  11. Claims
  12. Alimony
  13. Child support
  14. Custody
  15. Bankruptcy
  16. Debt relief
  17. Foreclosure
  18. Lien
  19. Loans
  20. Refund
  21. Credit report
  22. Identity theft
  23. Inheritance
  24. Invest for retirement
  25. IRA
  26. Mortgage rates
  27. Refinance home
  28. Reverse mortgage
  29. Stock Alert
  30. Wills
  31. No Hidden Fees

Health Claims That Make Spam Filters Nervous

Email spam filters are particularly sensitive to health-related claims. Avoid using:

  1. Miracle cure
  2. Lose weight
  3. Anti-aging
  4. Beauty secrets
  5. Breakthrough
  6. Diagnose
  7. Diet
  8. Get rid of
  9. Herbal
  10. Homeopathic
  11. Hormones
  12. Medical exams
  13. Medicine
  14. No doctor
  15. Pharmaceuticals
  16. Stop snoring
  17. Surgery
  18. Treatment
  19. Vaccine
  20. Vitamins
  21. Weight loss
  22. Scientific breakthrough
  23. Join millions
  24. Clinical trial
  25. Cure-all
  26. Fast results
  27. Get healthy
  28. No medicine
  29. Pure healing
  30. Quick recovery

Keeping It Real: Avoid Exaggeration

Exaggeration can be tempting but often leads to emails being misidentified as spam. Keep your messages grounded and avoid these spam words:

  1. Amazing
  2. Revolutionary
  3. Transformative
  4. Once in a lifetime
  5. Unbelievable
  6. Miracle
  7. Sensational
  8. Shocking
  9. The best
  10. Ultimate
  11. Unparalleled
  12. Astounding
  13. Breathtaking
  14. Extraordinary
  15. Fantastic
  16. Incredible
  17. Phenomenal
  18. Remarkable
  19. Spectacular
  20. Staggering
  21. Superb
  22. Supreme
  23. Terrific
  24. Top-notch
  25. Unmatched
  26. Unprecedented
  27. Winner
  28. World-class
  29. Jaw-dropping
  30. Mind-blowing

Greetings and Phrases That Smell Like Spam

Generic greetings and overused phrases can signal they hate spam due to filters, and recipients hate spam alike. Avoid these Spam Words:

  1. Dear friend
  2. Hello
  3. To whom it may concern
  4. Dear [email]
  5. Friend
  6. Sir/Madam
  7. Beloved
  8. Greetings
  9. Kind regards
  10. Yours faithfully
  11. Best wishes
  12. Cheers
  13. Cordially
  14. Faithfully
  15. Goodbye
  16. Regards
  17. Respectfully
  18. Sincerely
  19. Warm regards
  20. With love
  21. Yours truly
  22. Blessings
  23. Peace
  24. Adieu
  25. Fondly
  26. In sympathy
  27. Yours sincerely
  28. Take care
  29. XOXO
  30. Yours

Links and Attachments That Scream "Don't Trust Me!"

Including too many links in email templates or attachments can make your email campaign appear untrustworthy. Be wary of following words:

  1. Click here
  2. Download now
  3. Follow this link
  4. Free access
  5. Get it here
  6. More info
  7. See attachment
  8. Check our website
  9. Visit our page
  10. Join now
  11. Sign up here
  12. Subscribe
  13. Free file
  14. Download attachment
  15. Access file here
  16. Exclusive content
  17. Free PDF
  18. Open this
  19. View now
  20. Click to view
  21. Instant download
  22. Download free
  23. Get your file
  24. Attachment included
  25. File attached
  26. Click to open
  27. See file
  28. Open attachment
  29. Click below
  30. Download immediately

It's important to carefully choose your words to ensure your marketing emails avoid spam filters and reach the intended inbox. Avoid common spam filter triggers across different categories to increase the likelihood of successful delivery and engagement and avoid the negative impact of missed connections and opportunities.

Best Practices to Avoid Being Marked as Spam Emails

Adhering to several best practices ensures that your emails reach your audience's inbox, not the dreaded spam folder. Here's how to keep your email campaign effective and clear of spam filters.

Don't Buy Email Lists

Buying email lists is a fast track to getting marked as spam. Not only does this practice violate the CAN-SPAM Act, but it also damages your reputation with both email service providers and your potential audience. It's essential to build your list organically to ensure engagement and avoid spam words that might come with purchased lists.

Don't Send Emails to Bounced Addresses Repeatedly

Repeatedly sending emails to bounced addresses signals email providers that you're not maintaining email list hygiene, which can trigger spam filters. Regularly cleaning your list to remove these addresses helps maintain a healthy sender reputation and improves email deliverability.

Don't Send Generic Emails

Personalization is critical to avoid spam folders. Emails that appear generic or "spammy" are less likely to engage recipients. Using phrases like "dear friend" or offering "totally free" extras without personalization can trigger spam filters. Tailor your messages to your audience to enhance relevance and engagement.

Don't Write Misleading Subject Lines

Misleading subject lines is a major red flag for spam filters and recipients. Promising something in the subject line that the email doesn't deliver is not only a bad practice but can also be illegal under the CAN-SPAM Act. Keep your subject lines honest and straightforward to avoid misunderstandings and spam filters.

Don't Use Spam-Triggering Words

Spam-triggering words like "risk-free," "extra cash," "save big money," or "lose weight" can immediately alert spam filters. Be mindful of your email subject line and body language to ensure your messages are not perceived as spam.

Don't Use Too Many Links in Your Email

An excessive number of links in an email can be seen as a hallmark of spam by spam filters. It is crucial to use links carefully and ensure they're relevant to your message and audience. This not only aids in avoiding the spam and junk  in the spam folder itself but also enhances user experience.

Don't Send Too Many Attachments

Like links, too many attachments can signal to spam filters that an email might not be trustworthy. If necessary, mention the attachments in your content to contextualize them, but always prioritize direct, concise communication and necessary attachments only.

Avoid Embedding Forms in Your Emails

Embedded forms in emails can trigger spam filters because they're often used in phishing attacks. Instead, direct recipients to a secure landing page on your website where they can safely fill out any necessary information.

Remove Flash and JavaScript

Emails containing Flash or JavaScript are likely to be flagged by spam filters. Most email providers do not support these elements because they can be exploited maliciously. Keeping your emails simple and secure enhances their chance of reaching the intended inbox.

Email List Hygiene is a Must

Regularly cleaning your email list to remove inactive or unengaged subscribers helps improve overall engagement rates and keeps spam filters at bay. A clean list means higher quality engagement, which email service providers favor.

Authenticate Your Domain

Domain authentication verifies your identity as a sender and is crucial for bypassing spam filters. Tools like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC can help authenticate your emails, making them more likely to reach your recipients' inboxes instead of the spam folder.

Following these guidelines improves your email marketing efforts and protects your brand from being associated with spam. Remember, the goal is to create emails that offer value, ensuring a trustworthy and effective communication channel with your audience.

Further Reading

If you're diving deep into the realm of spamming words and wish to sharpen your email marketing tactics further, these resources will arm you with the knowledge to not just fight against spam filters but to master them:

  • 4 Simple Ways to Avoid Spam Filters Every Time: Unearth practical strategies to boost your email open rates and ensure your marketing messages reach their intended inbox every time. A must-read for anyone looking to refine their approach. Read more.
  • Understanding Spam Filter Basics: Dive into the essentials of email security and deliverability. Discover how tools like SPF, DKIM, and domain warming can fortify your email against spam filters. Learn here.
  • Spamhaus Zen Blacklist: Understanding and Delisting Your Domain: Navigate the complexities of the Spamhaus Zen Blacklist. Learn how to check your status, effectively delist your IP, and adopt best practices to keep your domain clear. Explore now.
  • Understanding the RATS-Spam Blacklist: Get acquainted with the RATS-Spam Blacklist, including how to verify your listing, delist, and tips to stay off blacklists in your email marketing journey. Discover more.
  • Suomispam Reputation Blacklist: Delve into the Suomispam Reputation Blacklist, understand the listing criteria, and learn the steps for delisting, along with preventive strategies. Check it out.
  • Why Does Email Go to Spam?: Unpack the 14 critical reasons behind emails landing in spam folders and how to steer clear of these pitfalls for improved deliverability. Find out here.
  • Mastering Your Gmail Spam Folder: A comprehensive guide to managing your Gmail spam folder, preventing false positives, and maintaining an organized inbox. Learn to master.
  • How to Stop Emails From Landing in Spam in Gmail (and Other Service Providers): Discover actionable tips to prevent your emails from being wrongly classified as spam across various email platforms. Get the tips.
  • Boost Deliverability with an Email Spam Checker: Leverage the power of an email spam checker to ensure your emails consistently make it to the inbox, enhancing your campaign's effectiveness. Start checking.

Each of these articles provides targeted insights for anyone looking to improve their email marketing strategies and combat the challenge of email spam effectively. Whether you're a novice or an expert, there's always something new to learn in the dynamic world of email marketing.

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