Words Can Get You In Trouble: Avoiding Spam Trigger Words and Phrases

In the world of email marketing, deliverability is crucial. One of the biggest obstacles to reaching your subscribers’ inboxes is the presence of spam trigger words and phrases in your emails. These triggers can activate spam filters and prevent your messages from being seen.

Spam Emails Landing in the Trash

Let’s explore the common categories of spam trigger words, other factors that can affect deliverability, and best practices for crafting emails that avoid the spam folder

Categories of Spam Trigger Words


Words and phrases related to money and financial gain are often associated with spam. Examples include “Make money,” “Free cash,” and “Double your income.” These triggers can make your emails appear suspicious and untrustworthy to spam filters.

Urgency and Pressure

Creating a false sense of urgency or pressure can also trigger spam filters. Phrases like “Act now,” “Limited time,” and “Urgent” can make your emails seem spammy and manipulative. While it’s important to encourage action, avoid using language that appears overly aggressive or desperate.

Exaggerated Claims

Superlatives and exaggerated claims can also raise red flags for spam filters. Words like “Amazing,” “Incredible,” and “Miracle” can make your emails seem too good to be true. Instead of relying on hyperbole, focus on providing genuine value and benefits to your subscribers.

Deceptive or Manipulative

Language that appears deceptive or manipulative can also trigger spam filters. Phrases like “Guaranteed,” “Risk-free,” and “No catch” can make your emails seem untrustworthy. Be transparent and honest in your email content, and avoid making promises you can’t keep.

Inappropriate or Offensive

Inappropriate or offensive language can quickly land your emails in the spam folder. Words like “Sexy,” “Naked,” and “Pornography” are obvious triggers, but even more subtle references to adult content can harm your deliverability. Keep your email content professional and appropriate for your audience.

Other Factors That Can Trigger Spam Filters

In addition to specific words and phrases, other elements of your emails can also trigger spam filters. These include:

  • Excessive use of capital letters
  • Overuse of exclamation points
  • Misspellings and poor grammar
  • Inappropriate or irrelevant subject lines
  • Lack of personalization

To avoid these triggers, aim for email messages that are concise, precise, and free of errors. Always use capital letters and exclamation points sparingly, and always proofread your emails before sending them. To make your emails more relevant and engaging, personalize your subject lines and content.

Best Practices for Avoiding Spam Trigger Words

Follow these best practices to make sure your emails reach your subscribers.

  • Focus on providing value and relevance to subscribers
  • Use clear, concise, and honest language
  • Personalize emails and segment your email list
  • Proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Test your emails before sending

Putting value and relevance first, using straightforward language, and making your messages uniquely yours, you can build rapport with your subscribers and make your emails more likely to be delivered.

Tools and Resources

Email Spam Checker Tools

There are several tools and resources available to help you avoid spam trigger words and optimize your email content:

  • Email testing and preview tools
  • Spam word checkers and content analysis tools
  • Email marketing platforms with built-in spam score checkers

These tools can help you identify potential issues with your emails before sending them and provide suggestions for improving your content and deliverability.

Email Testing and Preview Tools


  • Provides email previews across various email clients and devices
  • Offers spam testing and email analytics

Email on Acid

  • Allows you to preview emails in over 90 email clients and devices
  • Includes spam testing and email accessibility checks

Spam Word Checkers and Content Analysis Tools


  • Free tool that checks your email content for spam triggers
  • Provides a detailed report with suggestions for improvement

Postmark Spam Check

  • Analyzes your email content and provides a spam score
  • Identifies specific spam triggers and offers advice for optimization

Email Marketing Platforms with Built-in Spam Score Checkers


  • Popular email marketing platform with built-in content optimizer
  • Checks your email content for potential spam triggers and provides recommendations

Constant Contact

  • Email marketing platform with a spam check feature
  • Analyzes your email content and provides a spam score along with suggestions for improvement

Optimizing your content for better deliverability and previewing your emails can help you identify and address potential spam triggers in your emails. Improve your email performance and reach more of your subscribers by incorporating these tools into your email marketing workflow.

Some Common Spam Trigger Words and Phrases

Spam Words on an Email

Here’s a list of common spam trigger words and phrases that can potentially harm your email deliverability:

  1. Free
  2. Guarantee
  3. Act now
  4. Limited time
  5. Urgent
  6. Money-back
  7. Cash bonus
  8. Discount
  9. Amazing
  10. Instant
  11. Winner
  12. Buy now
  13. Click here
  14. Subscribe now
  15. Exclusive deal
  16. Special promotion
  17. Cheap
  18. Earn extra cash
  19. Double your income
  20. Work from home
  21. Easy money
  22. Join millions
  23. Get paid
  24. No credit check
  25. Earn per week
  26. No hidden costs
  27. Satisfy you
  28. Copy accurately
  29. Print form signature
  30. Free installation
  31. No age restrictions
  32. Legal notice
  33. Search engine listings
  34. Giving away
  35. Online pharmacy
  36. Meet singles
  37. Collect child support
  38. Get out of debt
  39. Stop snoring
  40. Eliminate bad credit
  41. Consolidate debt and credit
  42. Order status
  43. Join millions of Americans
  44. Drastically reduced
  45. Hidden assets
  46. Order now
  47. Social security number
  48. Your income
  49. Potential earnings
  50. Certified online

Using these words and phrases doesn’t automatically make your messages unwelcome. Other factors like sender reputation and email content, as well as the context and frequency of their usage, contribute to their deliverability. However, being aware of these triggering words and using them sparingly can enhance your chances of reaching the inbox.

Emails Reaching Their Intended Targets - the Customers

In Summary

Efficient email marketing depends on avoiding spam-inducing words and phrases. Understanding common triggers, avoiding other factors that can affect deliverability, and adhering to best practices for email content creation can boost your odds of landing in the inboxes of your subscribers.

Keep your eye on delivering genuine value to your readers, and always keep an eye on and tweak your messages to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Avoiding Spam Filters Infographic

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