100 spam trigger words that can kill your email copy
The same qualities that make email attractive to legitimate advertisers also make email attractive to spammers.
To combat the ongoing flood of spam, Internet Service Providers, email marketing services, and even email program companies (such as Mozilla or Microsoft) analyze millions of messages and compile lists of “trigger” words and phrases most often associated with spam. These trigger words and phrases are then used to filter incoming messages.
This is a good thing, since it helps reduce the amount of unwanted messages we all receive. But it’s also a bad thing, since it invariably snares legitimate messages from honest advertisers.
This means that when you’re writing email messages for a client or for your own business, you face a unique challenge. Because, like it or not, seemingly innocent copy, especially in the subject line, can kill your email copy.
Here’s one example of a spam trigger word list from Vertical Response:
Accept credit cards
Can’t live without
Cents on the dollar
Click / Click Here / Click Below
Click to remove
Cost / No cost
Do it today
Free and FREE
Get it now
Information you requested
Investment / no investment
Month trial offer
No Hidden Costs
One time / one-time
Order / Order Now / Order today / Order status
Orders shipped by priority mail
Print out and fax
Save up to
See for yourself
The following form
Work at home
I know what you’re thinking: “This is ridiculous! Solution? Urgent? Phone? Those are spam words?” It’s not pretty, but this is the world you live in when you’re writing email copy.
Your email won’t get snared just because you include one of these words. Filters use formulas that assign spam points to each message. The words above, or words on other lists, add points. When your message accumulates enough points, the message is filtered.
Talk to the email service that will send your message and ask for their most current spam trigger word list. Be particularly careful about your subject lines.
There’s no way to know whether any particular message will get snared by any particular filter, but you can improve the odds by staying current on the trigger words spammers are using.
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