[spam] Words to avoid when writing an email (trigger words)

What are spam trigger words?

Spam trigger words are keywords or phrases that email providers see as red flags. You’ll find these words in emails that people mark as spam.

As the saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Spam filters catch suspicious words and phrases associated with:

  • Scams
  • Gimmicks
  • Schemes
  • Promises
  • Free gifts

An important note before we share the list of words: Context matters.

Spam filters have become more advanced in recent years. They won’t automatically send you to spam for saying “limited time” or “get started now” - if you’re using those words responsibly.

If you…
Stuff a ton of spam keywords into your email
Use all caps, bright red font, and lots of exclamation points
Already have a low delivery rate
…you’re going to be in trouble.

If you…
Use one or two of the words and phrases in context
Code your emails well
Have a low bounce rate
…you’ll be fine.


Avoid spam words that make exaggerated claims and promises

  1. 100% more
  2. 100% free
  3. 100% satisfied
  4. Additional income
  5. Be your own boss
  6. Best price
  7. Big bucks
  8. Billion
  9. Cash bonus
  10. Cents on the dollar
  11. Consolidate debt
  12. Double your cash
  13. Double your income
  14. Earn extra cash
  15. Earn money
  16. Eliminate bad credit
  17. Extra cash
  18. Extra income
  19. Expect to earn
  20. Fast cash
  21. Financial freedom
  22. Free access
  23. Free consultation
  24. Free gift
  25. Free hosting
  26. Free info
  27. Free investment
  28. Free membership
  29. Free money
  1. Free preview
  2. Free quote
  3. Free trial
  4. Full refund
  5. Get out of debt
  6. Get paid
  7. Giveaway
  8. Guaranteed
  9. Increase sales
  10. Increase traffic
  11. Incredible deal
  12. Lower rates
  13. Lowest price
  14. Make money
  15. Million dollars
  16. Miracle
  17. Money back
  18. Once in a lifetime
  19. One time
  20. Pennies a day
  21. Potential earnings
  22. Prize
  23. Promise
  24. Pure profit
  25. Risk-free
  26. Satisfaction guaranteed
  27. Save big money
  28. Save up to
  29. Special promotion

Avoid spam words that create unnecessary urgency and pressure

  1. Act now
  2. Apply now
  3. Become a member
  4. Call now
  5. Click below
  6. Click here
  7. Get it now
  8. Do it today
  9. Don’t delete
  10. Exclusive deal
  11. Get started now
  12. Important information regarding
  13. Information you requested
  14. Instant
  15. Limited time
  1. New customers only
  2. Order now
  3. Please read
  4. See for yourself
  5. Sign up free
  6. Take action
  7. This won’t last
  8. Urgent
  9. What are you waiting for?
  10. While supplies last
  11. Will not believe your eyes
  12. Winner
  13. Winning
  14. You are a winner
  15. You have been selected

Avoid spam words that look like shady, spammy, or unethical behavior

  1. Bulk email
  2. Buy direct
  3. Cancel at any time
  4. Check or money order
  5. Congratulations
  6. Confidentiality
  7. Cures
  8. Dear friend
  9. Direct email
  10. Direct marketing
  11. Hidden charges
  12. Human growth hormone
  13. Internet marketing
  14. Lose weight
  15. Mass email
  16. Meet singles
  17. Multi-level marketing
  18. No catch
  19. No cost
  20. No credit check
  21. No fees
  22. No gimmick
  23. No hidden costs
  24. No hidden fees
  25. No interest
  1. No investment
  2. No obligation
  3. No purchase necessary
  4. No questions asked
  5. No strings attached
  6. Not junk
  7. Notspam
  8. Obligation
  9. Passwords
  10. Requires initial investment
  11. Social security number
  12. This isn’t a scam
  13. This isn’t junk
  14. This isn’t spam
  15. Undisclosed
  16. Unsecured credit
  17. Unsecured debt
  18. Unsolicited
  19. Valium
  20. Viagra
  21. Vicodin
  22. We hate spam
  23. Weight loss
  24. Xanax

Avoid spam words that are jargon or legalese (and everything else)

  1. Accept credit cards
  2. Ad
  3. All new
  4. As seen on
  5. Bargain
  6. Beneficiary
  7. Billing
  8. Bonus
  9. Cards accepted
  10. Cash
  11. Certified
  12. Cheap
  13. Claims
  14. Clearance
  15. Compare rates
  16. Credit card offers
  17. Deal
  18. Debt
  19. Discount
  20. Fantastic
  21. In accordance with laws
  22. Income
  23. Investment
  24. Join millions
  25. Lifetime
  1. Loans
  2. Luxury
  3. Marketing solution
  4. Message contains
  5. Mortgage rates
  6. Name brand
  7. Offer
  8. Online marketing
  9. Opt in
  10. Pre-approved
  11. Quote
  12. Rates
  13. Refinance
  14. Removal
  15. Reserves the right
  16. Score
  17. Search engine
  18. Sent in compliance
  19. Subject to…
  20. Terms and conditions
  21. Trial
  22. Unlimited
  23. Warranty
  24. Web traffic
  25. Work from home

6 deliverability tips to stay out of the spam folder

  1. Run a spam check
  2. Practice good email list hygiene
  3. Don’t break the law
  4. Consider a double opt-in
  5. Make your emails more engaging - 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. Here’s how dynamic content personalizes your emails.
  6. Be smart about your cold email marketing
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