What are Email Spam Words (and How Can You Avoid Them)?

May 2, 2018 3:30:02 AM

By Cathy Cain-Blank

No matter how much time, money, and creativity your organization puts into an email marketing campaign, it won’t amount to anything if a large number of your emails end up in your recipients’ spam folders. According to Constant Contact, the email open rate across all industries is 17.62 percent. (NOTE: If you follow best practices, you should have a much higher open rate.) One reason it can be miserably low is that many emails are never seen because they’re being identified as spam. This is problematic beyond having a disappointing open rate for a campaign; it could also result in your business being identified as a spammer and blacklisted, preventing your messages from getting delivered.

Several factors can send your emails straight to the spam folder. Among them are your business’s reputation (which is built on your past email behavior and sending patterns), the extent to which your subscribers engage with you, and your use of email spam words.

It’s that last factor we’ll look at in this article. What are email spam words and how do they work? Is there a good way to make sure your team is avoiding them?

Understanding Email Spam Words

Spam boxes are set up to do an effective job of filtering out unwanted sales pitches and scams. One of the ways they do this is through monitoring for certain keywords, or “email spam words,” that are commonly used by spammers. If your subject line contains one of these trigger words, the message will automatically land in the spam pile, never to be seen by the recipient.

Avoiding these words can be frustrating, as the list of potential trigger words in your subject line encompass hundreds of words having to do with financial, medical, and marketing topics, as well as discussion about employment, overt calls-to-action, overly enthusiastic adjectives, and even common greetings. A quick Google search will reveal exhaustive lists of common email spam words. Referencing these lists as you create your emails will help you avoid any spam word pitfalls.

How to Keep Your Emails Out of the Spam Box

In addition to email spam words, there are other factors that can send a well-intentioned email campaign into spam limbo. As mentioned above, engagement with your audience is important, as spam filters learn to sort email based on whether the recipient clicks on or automatically deletes emails from specific senders. With every email you create, take the “Is It For Us or For Them?” challenge and ask yourself whether the content is something that’s interesting or useful for your audience.

How you communicate your message is as important as the message itself. Salesforce points out that image-heavy emails often end up destined for the spam box, as do emails that use excessive amounts of ALL-CAPS TYPING. As for images, a 60/40 text-to-image ratio is a good guideline. Too many exclamation points or the inclusion of attachments can also cause your email to be flagged as spam.

These are a lot of factors to keep track of as you design an email campaign. When all is said and done, how can you ensure that you haven’t violated any of these guidelines? It helps to use A/B testing to see which subject lines and email content is more successful. However, the easiest way to ensure that your email marketing campaigns will be successful is to enlist the assistance of a marketing firm with experience in creating successful email campaigns. In addition to generating results that don’t end up caught in a spam filter, you won’t have to peruse long lists of email spam words and you’ll be free to focus on doing what you need to do— run your business.

Want more help understanding the impact of email spam words and how to use power words and engaging content? Contact us today!