101 Spam-Trigger Words Destroying Your Email Marketing Campaigns (And How to Fix It)

101 Spam-Trigger Words Destroying Your Email Marketing Campaigns (And How to Fix It)

We all hate spam. The last thing we want is for our emails to end up in the dreaded spam folder, never to be seen again. But unfortunately, that happens all too often. Why?Spam filters.

These automated programs are constantly scanning emails for "spam trigger words" that hint at questionable content.

With the right knowledge, you can steer clear of dangerous terms and keep your emails out of the spam folder.

In this blog post guide, we'll cover:

  • How email spam filters work
  • What is a spam score and why it matters
  • The complete list of 101 common spam trigger words
  • Actionable tips to avoid spam words and improve deliverability

The words you choose can sabotage your carefully planned email campaigns, look what happened to DockAtot, a global brand with 1 million subscribers that was sending every email directly to the spam folder.

We helped them get 100% deliverability right before Black Friday, saving months of work.Read the DockAtot case study here.

Let’s dive into it!

How Email Spam Filters Work

Spam filters analyze each incoming email and assign a "spam score" based on various factors:

Sender Reputation

One of the main things spam filters look for are blacklisted IP addresses and domains. Senders with poor reputations are more likely to be flagged as spam.

You can check your current IP and domain reputation using tools like MxToolbox and Talos Intelligence.

To build up a good sender reputation, be sure to use email authentication systems like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. These help verify your identity as a legitimate sender.

Other tips include:

  • Monitoring spam reports and unsubscribes
  • Being transparent in your unsubscribe process
  • Sending from a dedicated IP used only for email
  • Follow best practices like list segmentation and personalization

User Engagement

Providers also look at user interaction metrics like open and click rates. If many users delete or ignore your emails, it can hurt your sender's reputation.

Link Quality

Too many links to low-quality sites raise spam flags. Only link to relevant, high-authority resources.

Image-to-Text Ratio

Too many images and little text is a common spam technique. Maintain an appropriate balance in your emails.

Spam Words

And of course, spam filters look for specific words and phrases commonly used in spam emails. Avoiding these "spam trigger" terms is key.

Advanced spam filters go beyond keywords and analyze writing style, tone, and context as well. The focus should be crafting emails that engage subscribers and provide value.

What is a Spam Score?

Spam scores are calculated by email providers to determine the "spamminess" of an email, ranging from 1 to 10.

  • 0 to 2 - Very good, likely to reach the inbox
  • 3 to 5 - Borderline, may go to inbox or spam
  • 6+ - Likely to be marked as spam

*this is how email providers rank your emails

You can check your spam score using a free tool like Mail-Tester. It will rank your email based on your reputation as a sender.

Maintaining a good spam score is crucial for ensuring your emails reach the inbox, safeguarding your sender reputation, and boosting the engagement rates.

A good spam score helps avoid being blacklisted by ISPs and protects your brand image.

List of 101 Common Spam Trigger Words

  1. Act now
  2. Apply now
  3. As seen on
  4. Buy direct
  5. Call now
  6. Click below
  7. Click here
  8. Deal
  9. Do it today
  10. Exclusive deal
  11. Get it now
  12. Important information regarding
  13. Instant
  14. Limited time
  15. New customers only
  16. Offer expires
  17. Order now
  18. Please read
  19. See for yourself
  20. Sign up free
  21. Take action
  22. This won’t last
  23. Urgent
  24. While supplies last
  25. Winner
  26. Winning
  27. You are a winner
  28. You have been selected
  29. 100% free
  30. 100% satisfied
  31. Additional income
  32. Be your own boss
  33. Best price
  34. Big bucks
  35. Billion
  36. Cash bonus
  37. Cents on the dollar
  38. Consolidate debt
  39. Double your income
  40. Earn Money
  41. Eliminate bad credit
  42. Extra income
  43. Expect to earn
  44. Fast cash
  45. Financial freedom
  46. Free access
  47. Free Consultation
  48. Free Gift
  49. Free hosting
  50. Free info
  51. Free Investment
  52. Free Membership
  53. Free Money
  54. Free preview
  55. Free Quote
  56. Free trial
  57. Full refund
  58. Get out of debt
  59. Get paid
  60. Giveaway
  61. Guaranteed
  62. Increase sales
  63. Increase traffic
  64. Incredible deal
  65. Lower rates
  66. Lowest price
  67. Make Money
  68. Million dollars
  69. Miracle
  70. Money back
  71. Once in a lifetime
  72. One time
  73. Pennies a day
  74. Potential earnings
  75. Prize
  76. Promise
  77. Pure profit
  78. Risk-free
  79. Satisfaction guaranteed
  80. Save big money
  81. Save up to
  82. Special Promotion
  83. Bulk email
  84. Direct email
  85. Direct marketing
  86. Email harvest
  87. Email marketing
  88. Mass email
  89. Multi-level marketing
  90. No catch
  91. No cost
  92. No credit check
  93. No fees
  94. No gimmick
  95. No hidden costs
  96. No hidden fees
  97. No interest
  98. No investment
  99. No obligation
  100. No purchase necessary
  101. No questions asked

Tips to Avoid Spam Words in Your Emails

  • Segment your lists based on user engagement to focus on highly engaged subscribers.
  • Monitor spam reports and inbox placement tests to identify issues early.
  • Avoid ALL CAPS and excessive punctuation like !!! which raises red flags.
  • Limit links to high-quality, relevant resources to avoid low-quality flags.
  • Send from a reputable domain to build up a good sender reputation.
  • Carefully review all copies for hidden spam triggers before sending.
  • Use double opt-in signup flows to verify subscriber consent.

For more details and examples on optimizing your email campaigns, check out this article on the best practices for Email Deliverability Success

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens if my email gets marked as spam?

If your emails get flagged as spam, engagement metrics like open and click rates will drop. Subscribers may also unsubscribe or report your messages, hurting the sender's reputation. Continued issues can lead to blacklisting.

  • How often should I monitor my spam score and reports?

Check your spam score at least monthly, or more often if sending large campaigns. Review spam reports after each significant email sent to catch problems early.

  • What's the best way to avoid landing in the spam folder?

Combining tactics like list segmentation, authentication, monitoring metrics, avoiding spam words, and sending valuable content are most effective to maximize inbox placement.

Use a tool like Mission Inbox to maximize your email deliverability with automated warm-up processes and intelligent email verification.

We will be posting more about these topics on our LinkedIn Account, make sure to follow us there and we will keep you posted!

Wrapping Up

Spam filtering can significantly impact email marketing results if not handled properly. By understanding how spam filters work and optimizing your campaigns, your emails will consistently reach the inbox.

To discuss improving deliverability or leveraging AI to scale your marketing team, book a call here. We're happy to help analyze your current campaigns and provide strategic recommendations.

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