What are spam words and why do you need to be very careful with words in your promotional emails?
You’ve probably already used some of them, but it’s not too late to fix it!
We are here to help you. Read our article to learn more about what spam trigger words are, what the most common ones are and how to avoid them, along with a few tips to fight the insidious spam problem that plagues every marketer!
Ready? Let’s get started!
In pochi punti:
- 1 What does the spam words mean: key concepts
- 2 Spam words list: the latest updates
- 3 How to avoid spam words: tips and strategies not to forget
- 4 How to avoid spam: a few more tips
- 5 To close…
What does the spam words mean: key concepts
If you have already sent newsletters or promotional emails to your subscriber database or you are planning to do so, you will know that the spam folder is one of every email marketer‘s biggest nightmares!
If, for some reason, spam filters pick up something that indicates an aggressively promotional or malicious communication, they immediately block the communication by archiving the message in junk mail. As a result, few users will see the e-mail.
One of the many reasons for this is the use of so-called spam words.
As you can imagine, these are words or phrases that e-mail providers pick up as spam because they are normally present in e-mails that are marked as spam.
In general, if you want to recognise such a word or phrase quickly, you should consider whether it:
- Imposes a sense of urgency (“Exclusive offer for today only!”)
- Presents something too good to be true (“Earn extra cash with our program”)
- Seems cheap or trashy (“Congratulations, you have won a free subscription”)
- Creates anxiety (“SPECIAL OFFER: this won’t last ”)
- Contains illegal or malicious elements (“Urgent request: are you available?”)
However, it should be noted that spam filters have become smarter over time, so you can rest assured that they will not immediately classify you as spam if you once include one of the words below in an e-mail.
On the other hand, if you send a large number of repeated e-mails full of spam words, then yes, the spam filter alarms will probably be triggered.
Having said that, let’s find out which are the most common words to avoid!
Spam words list: the latest updates
By now, it should be clear to you what spam words are and why it’s good to avoid them.
Okay, fine. But what are these words? – your question is certainly valid and understandable.
You need to know that there are hundreds of words and phrases to prevent and the list keeps growing as time goes on, due to the disproportionate and wrong use that many marketers have made of them.
Therefore, you can never consider a list as final, but you should always evaluate its updates.
Let’s stop chattering and let’s discover together which are the common spam words to remember.
Words that clearly recall something unethical and spammy
These are the easiest words to recognize because they create at first glance a feeling of spam. The most common are:
- Access for free
- Buy direct
- Direct email
- Direct marketing
- Lose weight
- No cost
- No credit check
- Not junk
- No fees
- No investment
- Not spam
- No purchase necessary
- Requires initial investment
- This isn’t junk
- This isn’t spam
- Unsecured credit
- We hate spam
Spam words to avoid: terms that express urgency or create anxiety
Stay well clear of using any words that express a sense of urgency, pressing readers to take an action as quickly as possible or to do so in a limited time.
They are easily discovered and immediately banned as spam!
- Apply now
- Act immediately
- Become a member
- Call now
- Click here
- Get it now
- Do it today
- Exclusive offer
- Limited time
- New customer only
- Order now
- Sign up free
- This won’t last
- What are you waiting for?
- Will not believe our eyes
- You have been selected
- You won
Spam trigger words: avoid unrealistic statements and promises
Beware of all those expressions that invoke unrealizable promises, usually referring to free items, easy earnings and exaggerated financial returns. Here are some examples:
- 0% risk
- 100% free
- Additional income
- Best price
- Cash bonus
- Double your cash
- Earn extra cash
- Easily earn money
- Extra income
- Fantastic deal
- Free gift
- Get paid
- Increase sales
- Increase traffic
- Lifetime deal
- Lowest price
- Make money
- Once in a lifetime
- Satisfaction guaranteed
- Special promotion
- Zero risk
- Free trial
- Free access
Words belonging to a specific jargon or lexicon (legal, business, marketing, etc.)
All those words that belong to a specific category of vocabulary, usually related to business fields (marketing, legal, economic for example) can easily be intercepted as spammy. For example, watch out for the following terms:
- All new
- Cards accepted
- Credit card offers
- Name brand
- Search engine
- Sent in compliance
- Term and conditions
How to avoid spam words: tips and strategies not to forget
Now that you know which are the spam words in email to absolutely avoid and you have clear which are the macro-categories in which they fall, we would like to give you some tips so that you can learn how to take care of your email marketing strategy and be able to recognize spam trigger words.
Here are some:
- Do A/B tests using emails with different subject lines: decide on 2 options for the subject line, choose different groups of recipients from the database and send the same email to the groups but with different subject lines. Then evaluate the open rates of each group. If one has negative results, choose the other. If not, choose the one you prefer. In case of poor performance in either case, keep looking;
- Avoid unnecessary sales pitches with overly technical words that hint at earnings, budget, fees, investment and everything that may relate to a purchase;
- Don’t refer to urgency and scarcity in the email subject line. Even if you are proposing a limited time offer or a special discount, avoid putting these words in the subject line of the email, they will automatically be spammy;
- Don’t send large amounts of email if you have any doubt that certain words may be spammy;
- Remember to target and personalize your content: you’ll avoid sending the same message to the whole database and be considered spam.
How to avoid spam: a few more tips
Avoiding spam words is certainly a good starting point for not ending up in your recipients’ spam folder, but unfortunately it is not enough.
Therefore, it is worth quickly analysing which strategies you can adopt to prevent the spam box and improve the deliverability rate of your marketing campaigns.
Do not buy databases and regularly clean the mailing list
A list of active recipients interested in your brand helps improve deliverability. Indeed, the open rate and engagement have a direct impact on your reputation and therefore on the sending of your email marketing campaigns.
Low open rates and deliverability are a sign that something is wrong with your emails and they are more likely to be marked as spam. For this reason, we recommend that you first create lists of users who are really interested in receiving your communications (and who give their formal consent) and then, we also invite you to periodically clean your lists from all email addresses of users who have been inactive for a long time (i.e. who do not interact with you).
Check your spam
In order to keep an eye on the level of spam that your e-mails can generate, we recommend that you rely on spam checkers, dedicated softwares that check the presence of spam.
Active Campaign, Mail-Tester, ISnotSPAM, Postmark are some of the programmes you can use to analyse your messages, the level of spam and the presence of spam words. Beware, they do not analyse the reputation of your domain or your database.
Use double opt-in
It is advisable to use double opt-in to be able to verify the email address of users who have given consent to receive your emails.
Basically, after filling out the lead generation form and giving consent to receive marketing campaigns, the user receives an email confirming the address. Once confirmed they are officially subscribed to your list.
With double opt-in you can be sure that you have received a real address and that your emails will not go unanswered. As you can imagine, this helps prevent spam problems, reducing bounce rate and maintaining high deliverability.
According to the CAN-SPAM Act, which regulates the exchange of commercial e-mails, you must:
- Insert truthful and not misleading information;
- Always include a link to unsubscribe from the mailing list;
- Do not use a deceptive subject line;
- Ensuring a quick opt-in
The penalties for non-compliance can be very high. To find out more, visit the Federal Trade Commission website.
Make your emails attractive but not spammy or misleading
In order to improve your reputation and reduce the risk of spam, it is important that your readers open, read your email and perhaps click on the call to action.
For this reason, we recommend you to:
- Write authentic and personalised emails: include the recipient’s name, share data or industry research, avoid manipulative language and find your own tone of voice;
- Create a non-spammy call to action: avoid generic words like “click”, but invite a specific action (for example “browse catalogue”, “request quote”, “download infographics”, etc.);
- Don’t use too many capital words (don’t put any in the subject line of the email);
- Avoid using too many emojis;
- Test colours and font type, button size and balance images and texts
Well, now that you know the most common spam words to avoid and have a wide range of tips and strategies at your disposal to stay out of the spam folder, you should be ready to create and/or improve your email marketing campaigns.
If you need professional help, Mailsenpai is the tool for you! With a guaranteed 98% deliverability rate, the ability to automate sends, create newsletter templates and much more, it’s definitely a useful tool to manage your emails and get great marketing results.
Have you ever heard of spam words? Do you know any others? Let us know in the comments or share our tips on your social channels!