Spam Trigger Words — How to Avoid Them

Jun 10, 2022 | marketing

You put a lot of time and thought into writing emails to your leads and customers. But what if those contacts never even see your emails? It’s possible that can happen if your emails get marked as spam.

With a little extra effort, however, you can avoid having your emails end up as spam. And for your contacts who are Gmail users, you also can ensure that your emails end up in their Primary inbox.

Gmail has their own system of marking spam by placing emails into tabs— Primary, Promotions, Social, Forums, and Updates—according to content. Ideally, you want your emails to land in the Primary category as those are the ones your contacts are most likely to read. Emails that appear more like spam usually go into Promotions, where they may sit unread forever.

We outline the most common spam trigger words and phrases to avoid, as well as some other ways to ensure your emails land in the right place.

The Overpromise

As a general rule, it’s important to avoid over promising anything about your product or services. Not only will that land you in the spam folder, it will also eventually lead to unhappy customers. The only way to build trust with your audience—and to get in front of them through email—is to be honest about what problems your business can solve and how that will benefit them.

Here are “over promise” words and phrases to avoid:

  • 100%
  • Big bucks
  • Explode your business
  • Fast cash
  • Financial freedom
  • Free investment
  • Free money
  • Guarantee
  • No credit card
  • No purchase necessary
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Risk-free

The Urgent Offer

If your product or service has real value, then it’s not going away any time soon. Therefore, there’s no reason to make your audience feel they have to make a quick decision without thinking through their purchase. And, of course, spam filters are not fans of these frantic-sounding words.

Here are “urgent” words and phrases to avoid:

  • Act now
  • Don’t hesitate
  • Hurry
  • Instant
  • Limited time
  • Now only
  • Once in a lifetime
  • Stock Alert
  • This won’t last
  • Urgent
  • What are you waiting for?

The Pushy Sale

A quality product speaks for itself, whether through customer reviews, case studies, blog posts, or trial offers. So there is no need to get too salesy in your emails. If your wording comes across as pushy, your contacts will be turned off—if they even receive the email. There’s a good chance an email with pushy words will end up in spam anyway, so no one in your audience will even read it.

Here are “pushy” words and phrases to avoid:

  • Amazing
  • Best bargain
  • Best deal
  • Fantastic
  • Incredible
  • No middle man
  • No obligation
  • Real thing
  • Will not believe your eyes
  • You have been chosen

The Financial (Almost-Free) Focus

When you put too much focus on the cost of your product and service instead of on the value of it, your audience will likely feel leary about it. Anything with a price that seems too good to be true probably is, and potential customers will start to think less of a product that is too cheap. Plus, those spam filters do not like this sort of content.

Here are “financial” words and phrases to avoid:

  • Almost free
  • Bargain
  • Bonus
  • Cents on the dollar
  • Cheap
  • Drastically reduced
  • Incredible deal
  • Money back
  • No credit card required
  • Save money

Other Things to Consider

In addition to avoiding trigger words, you also need to keep some other things in mind to ensure your emails are not marked as spam.

Here are some tips:

  • Personalize Your Emails: You want to connect with your audience, and there’s no better way than by making them feel special. Addressing them by name and including information specific to their business shows that you are in tune with their needs and want to solve a pain point. Plus, these things will help your email avoid becoming spam or landing in the Promotions category. Funnelfly offers personalized email drip campaigns at scale to help you create a tailored conversation with each lead and customer.
  • Avoid Symbols and Emojis: This especially applies to your subject line, but it’s also a good idea to avoid these in the body of the email if possible. Symbols and characters such as these—!%$#&—are definite red flags to spam filters. And emojis? Well, those may be best left to teens.
  • All Caps: Speaking of subject lines, it’s a good rule of thumb not to use all caps in them. Not only do all caps catch the attention of spam filters, they also can come across as yelling in an email—and that’s something you would not want your leads and customers to think you are doing.
  • Don’t Use Email Blasts: Gmail and spam filters are not fans of email blasts, so it’s best to avoid these all together. Instead, segment your leads and customers and then send email campaigns using a tool such as Funnelfly.
  • Avoid Including Too Many Links: While it’s a good idea to have a call to action (may even two) in an email, including too many can look suspiciously like spam.

The Bottom Line

If your product or service is something you are proud of and feel confident about, there is no need to use fancy words in your emails. There may be an occasion when you do include a spam trigger word, but just be sure to limit the number of times you do so. Spam filters will usually let you slide by with a few, but they won’t tolerate consistent use of them.

Simply be yourself with your audience and explain the benefits of your business with real-life examples of how you can help them. If what you are saying in an email doesn’t feel like something you would say in person, then you probably don’t need to say it. By keeping your content conversational and transparent, you are much more likely to land in your audience’s inbox—and ultimately land new customers.

Check out Funnelfly to learn more about creating personalized, conversational messaging campaigns that offer high-touch messaging at scale.


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