Which SPAM words can land your email in the junk folder?

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Today, email marketing is a delicate balance between attracting attention and avoiding poor deliverability.

SPAM filters are designed to weed out unwanted communications and can be triggered for a variety of reasons including persistent behaviour, data quality and spammy content. It’s advisable, therefore, to carefully choose the words you use within your subject lines and the body of your emails.

Whilst there are countless lists of words to avoid, it’s worth noting that SPAM filters have become more sophisticated. Most can assess and judge the context in which you use these keywords. So, if some are imperative to your messaging, use them carefully and in a genuine, meaningful way.

The best practice when planning an email campaign is to do so from a position of high audience value. If you’re following these principles, the following words and phrases should be largely unnecessary. Despite this, here are some behaviours, phrases and trigger words to ensure your emails avoid the SPAM folder:

Overly pushy behaviour

In a landscape of high-value communications and marketing, the quality of your email content should speak for itself. Avoid pressuring your audience by using any of these SPAM trigger words:

As seen on

Debt

Lifetime

Open

Avoid

Do it today

Month trial offer

Order now

Click

Don’t hesitate

Never

Refund

Click below

Free access

Not junk

Remove

Click here

Free instant

Not spam

Subscribe

Click to remove

Full refund

Now

Take action

Compete for your business

Investment

Obligation

Trial

Deal

Investment decision

Offers

Unlimited

Needless urgency

Suggesting your audience takes action, and offering clear CTAs in your emails are good practices.

Taking this to extremes, however, is classed as unwelcome behaviour. Avoid unnecessary urgency from the outset. If there is enough value in what you have to offer, a natural sense of urgency will occur organically.

Avoid using any of the following:

Act now!

Can’t live without

Here

One time

Action

Clearance

Important information

One-time

Apply now

Drastically reduced

Instant

Special promotion

Apply online

Exclusive deal

Limited

Supplies are limited

Buy

Expire

Limited time offer

This won’t last

Buy direct

Get

Now only

TIme limited

Call free

Get it now

Offer expires

Urgent

Call now

Get started now

Once in a lifetime

While supplies last

Lowering the value of your services

The value of your offering should speak for itself, and this quality drives email engagement in your campaigns.

Position your content in a way that encourages your audience to understand this value for themselves, not with any of the following words or phrases:

Acceptance

Compare

Guaranteed

Save money

Avoid bankruptcy

Congratulations

Join millions

See for yourself

Boss

Credit card offers

No investment

Win

Bulk email

Easy terms

No obligation

Winner

Cancel

Expect to earn

Offer

Winning

Cancel at any time

Free installation

Opportunity

Won

Chance

Free membership

Pre-approved

You’ve been selected

Cheap

Freedom

Save £

You’re a winner

False or unrealistic offers

Word your emails realistically and honestly—your audience will immediately tell if your positioning is too good to be true. Words like the ones below can make your message seem fake or at least far-fetched, and ultimately land your email in SPAM folders:

Amazing

Double your

Fantastic

No hidden costs

Amazing offer

Double your income

Fantastic deal

Real thing

Be amazed

Earn

Free money

Serious cash

Big bucks

Earn cash

Free offer

Weekend getaway

Billion

Earn per week

Get paid

Weight

Cash

Eliminate debt

Increase sales

Weight loss

Cash bonus

Extra

Lose weight

While you sleep

Consolidate debt

Extra cash

No fee

Why pay more?

Take care with opt-outs

Finally, despite the requirement to provide a clear and accessible way to opt-out of email marketing, ‘unsubscribe’ is a SPAM trigger word, especially if located within 5 characters of a link. ‘Opt-out’ is also considered a SPAM word, both automatically alert filters to the fact that it is contained within a marketing email. Consider, therefore, the positioning of the words within your opt-out line, and phrase it carefully.

At Data HQ we work hard to understand your end-to-end email campaign goals, and always help you optimise their content, as well as ensuring you always have the highest quality data that delivers high-quality results.