Email Spam Trigger Words To Avoid

Post by
David Scott
July 15, 2020
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Email Spam Trigger Words To Avoid

Landing in the spam folder is going to tank your response rates and turn your outreach campaigns into failures.

You should be doing everything you can to ensure your emails land in your prospect's inbox, and don't end up in spam.

There are (unfortunately) many ways your emails can end up in the spam folder.

  • Your email account isn't set up correctly
  • Your recipients regularly label your emails as spam
  • You're going over email send limits
  • Your messaging includes words that indicate your email is spam

Luckily, it's possible to avoid most of these with some careful planning.

In this post, I'll show you common spam trigger words that could be why your emails aren't getting through the spam filter.

We'll look at:

  • What are Spam Trigger Words?
  • How do Spam Filters Work?
  • Spam Trigger Words to Avoid In Your Outreach Campaigns
  • Best Practices to Avoid the Spam Filter

Let's dive in.

What are Spam Trigger Words?

Spam trigger words are keywords or phrases that give you a higher chance of ending up in your prospect's spam folder.

You should try to avoid these words and phrases as a best practice. In general, these words are usually found in emails that aren't useful to the recipient.

However, they're not hard and fast rules.

You may end up using some of these words in your emails, but your email still lands in the primary inbox.

How do Spam Filters Work?

Spam filters detect if your email is coming from a real person and if it's something your recipient will be genuinely interested in.

They'll scan your whole email and look at:

  • The address it was sent from
  • What sites you link to
  • Whether you let people unsubscribe
  • The messaging and call-to-action you include

Spam trigger words, combined with aspects of your email like above, all play a role in whether email providers will flag your email as spam or not.

Spam Trigger Words to Avoid In Your Outreach

Don't Be Too Pushy

  1. Act Now
  2. Call now
  3. Can’t live without
  4. Clearance
  5. Drastically reduced
  6. Expire
  7. Get it now
  8. Offer expires
  9. Once in a lifetime
  10. Time-limited

Don't Describe Your Offer as Something It's Not

  1. Certified
  2. Congratulations
  3. Drastically reduced
  4. I promise
  5. Satisfaction guaranteed
  6. Completely free
  7. Unmissable opportunity

Don't Use Too Many Numbers (That Aren't Realistic)

  1. 100% Free
  2. 50% off
  3. 50% discount
  4. Buy one get one free
  5. Billion Dollars
  6. Millions
  7. Make Money
  8. 10x Your Income

If It's Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

  1. Free gift
  2. Free money
  3. Make money
  4. Free hosting
  5. Free installation
  6. Free investment
  7. Free leads
  8. Free membership
  9. Free offer
  10. Cash prize

Avoid Words That Look Out of Place in a Legitimate Email

  1. Confidentiality
  2. Direct email
  3. Direct marketing
  4. Hidden charges
  5. Mass email
  6. No catch
  7. No gimmicks
  8. No hidden fees
  9. No investment
  10. No questions asked
  11. No strings attached
  12. Not spam
  13. Social security number
  14. This isn’t junk
  15. This isn’t spam

Best Practices to Avoid the Spam Filter

There are a few ways you can improve the chances of your outreach emails avoiding the dreaded spam folder.

Let's take a look at them.

Write Like a Person

Most tricks, hacks, or templates allow for short-term wins, but aren't great at building a human connection.

Write like a person, and treat your recipient with some respect, and you'll have a higher chance of:

  1. Getting a reply
  2. Not landing in the spam folder

It doesn't have to be complicated, although it may sound daunting.

You already know what makes your existing customers tick from conversations, customer research, and experience.

Use the value propositions and selling points that your audience cares most about to improve engagement, and make it useful.

Don't Go for the Hard Sell

You may have noticed a trend in the spam trigger words above. Many of them are related to hard sells.

Your goal should be to get them interested in what you have to offer and prompt a reply.

If you're asking someone to immediately sign up for a pricing plan that costs thousands of dollars per year, they're not going to reply (unless you're very, very lucky). They might even flag your email as spam so they don't receive any future emails from you.

Two ways to open up an outreach sequence that prompt a response include:

  • Asking a simple question related to what you're selling
  • Seeing when they're free for a call

Don't over complicate your emails. Keep them simple, genuine, and helpful. Don't try to close the deal in the first email.

Don't Break The Law

Always make sure your emails comply with local and international email laws, like CAN-SPAM in the US and the GDPR in the EU.

If you don't stick to the rules that these regulations outline, you're more likely to annoy your prospects and have emails that are going to end up in the spam.

One of the most important parts of the GDPR, for example, is that you need to prove that your recipients have a legitimate interest in what you have to say.

Even if you're emailing people in the EU, it's still a good rule for cold emailing.

If you don't think your prospects will have a legitimate interest in your email, don't contact them.

Personalize Your Messaging

Don't send the same cookie-cutter email to 500 people.

Personalized emails see 6x higher ROI than unpersonalized emails.

Even if your prospects all match your buyer persona, they all work at different companies, have different needs, and care about different benefits your solution can offer them.

You should personalize your emails as much as you can.

Highlight what makes your solution the perfect solution for the individual recipient.

Your emails will get more replies, and your outreach campaigns as a whole will be less likely to land in the spam folder.

Wrapping Up

Avoiding these words, typically associated with low-quality, spammy emails, is a good first step to avoid landing in the spam folder.

It's worth remembering that spam filters used by email providers like Gmail and Outlook are advanced, and they're not going to flag your emails for merely including one of the words listed in this post.

Don't use words that are:

  • Overly pushy
  • Include false promises
  • Don't sound human
  • Make big claims about money or benefits you can offer them

Keep these in mind, and your emails will have no problem hitting the primary inbox.

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