The Ultimate List of 394 Email Spam Trigger Words to Avoid in 2023

After spending hours creating an email marketing campaign, the last thing you want to do is get blocked by your recipients’ spam filters. Luckily, by avoiding common email spam trigger words, you can successfully prevent your emails from getting routed to spam folders.

Not only does spam email marketing betray the trust of customers, but it can also contain malware and viruses. Ultimately, you’ll want to avoid sending spam emails because your customers won’t read them.

Let’s look at what spam trigger words are, what gets emails sent to spam, and which spam words you should avoid when creating your email campaigns.

Spam filters can be triggered for a variety of reasons, causing your email to skip recipients’ inboxes and land straight in their spam inbox. One of the easiest ways to avoid spam filters is by carefully choosing the words you use in your email’s subject line.

Trigger words are known to cause problems and increase the chances of your email getting caught in a spam trap. By avoiding these words in your email subject lines, you can dramatically increase your chances of getting beyond the filters.

Spam trigger words alone aren’t enough to send your email to spam. For instance, if you are offering a 3-for-1 discount sale, you can still advertise that in your emails and not get sent to spam. It’s important to understand all the factors that come into play when emails get identified as spam.

What causes emails to go to spam?

Email providers look for a number of factors when deciding whether to automatically send your emails to spam. If you’ve made it on an email blacklist, that means you’ve repeatedly sent emails to recipients who haven’t signed up for your email list.

Your emails can get sent to spam if you:

Don’t include an unsubscribe button in your email: It’s best to give recipients the option to opt-out of emails. Provide an unsubscribe link.
Send poorly-designed emails with broken or glitchy code: Poorly-designed emails create an unpleasant reading experience. Readers will regret opening your note in the first place if the format is hard to read and the design doesn’t render properly.
Address your recipient by “my friend” or “dear” (or not by their name): To get the best results, add a personal touch in the subject line or message to increase your open rate and provide a better customer experience.
Buy email lists online and mass-send messages to email addresses that don’t exist (resulting in a high bounce rate): Not only do the recipients not know you, you could quickly ruin your IP reputation and put your email deliverability at risk. If you do business in Europe, buying email lists could also be a violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which requires explicit permission from your contacts to send them emails.

Use all-caps text and extreme punctuation (!!!!! or ?????): Many spam detecting software will automatically register emails formatted in all-caps as spam. It also doesn’t help to look like you’re shouting at the reader.
Include strangely formatted fonts (𝖑𝖎𝖐𝖊 𝖙𝖍𝖎𝖘): Similar to using all-caps, weird fonts are more difficult to read and are likely to trigger spam detecting software.
Provide links to fraudulent websites: This should be obvious, but never link to fraudulent websites in your emails. It’s harmful to your contacts and undermines your credibility.

Now that you know what not to do, let’s go over some best practices to ensure your emails steer clear of spam folders.

How to Become a High-Reputation Email Sender

Email providers only want to deliver emails from high-reputation senders. To be a high-reputation sender, do the following:

Include an unsubscribe button: Communication is a two-way street. Ensure your contacts can opt-out if they choose by placing an unsubscribe link in your email.
Design your emails with clean code using a tool such as Marketing Hub: Take the guesswork out of designing emails. With these tools, your emails will open glitch-free every time.

Personalize your emails with the recipient’s first name: 71% of consumers expect email personalization. Address them by name and watch as your open rates improve.
Only email those who’ve subscribed to your email list: If you don’t have any, you should learn to naturally increase your email list subscribers.

Keep your email deliverability high: Doing the tasks above will improve deliverability but you should also make sure you are compliant with the legal guidelines in your region. Most marketing software is compliant with web laws but if you’re handling email in-house, you’ll want to double check your emails are compliant.

Keep the text free of odd formatting and extraneous punctuation: Clean and clear copy ensures your note is easy to read and dodges spam detectors.
Only link out to reputable websites: Only link to reputable sites you trust. After all, your reputation is on the line. Don’t lose credibility by sending your contacts to shady websites.

If you meet these criteria, you can get away with using “classic” email spam words in your subject line and your email. The text surrounding the spam phrase also matters, as does your history as an email sender. If email providers don’t have a reason to mistrust you, they simply won’t.

Email Spam Words to Avoid

When writing your email subject lines, you want to avoid:

Over-sensationalizing
Over-promising
Using strange formatting to “stand out” in the recipient’s inbox

Next time you sit down to write an email subject line, consult the exhaustive list below. In fact, you might want to bookmark this list so you can refer back to it every time you craft an email subject line.

Commerce

As seen on
Buy
Buy direct
Buying judgments
Clearance
Order
Order status
Orders shipped by shopper

Personal

Dig up dirt on friends
Meet singles
Score with babes
XXX
Near you

Employment

Additional income
Be your own boss
Compete for your business
Double your
Earn $
Earn extra cash
Earn per week
Expect to earn
Extra income
Home based
Home employment
Homebased business
Income from home
Make $
Make money
Money making
Online biz opportunity
Online degree
Opportunity
Potential earnings
University diplomas
While you sleep
Work at home
Work from home

Financial – General

$$$
Affordable
Bargain
Beneficiary
Best price
Big bucks
Cash
Cash bonus
Cashcashcash
Cents on the dollar
Cheap
Check
Claims
Collect
Compare rates
Cost
Credit
Credit bureaus
Discount
Earn
Easy terms
F r e e
Fast cash
For just $XXX
Hidden assets
hidden charges
Income
Incredible deal
Insurance
Investment
Loans
Lowest price
Million dollars
Money
Money back
Mortgage
Mortgage rates
No cost
No fees
One hundred percent free
Only $
Pennies a day
Price
Profits
Pure profit
Quote
Refinance
Save $
Save big money
Save up to
Serious cash
Subject to credit
They keep your money — no refund!
Unsecured credit
Unsecured debt
US dollars
Why pay more?

Financial – Business

Accept credit cards
Cards accepted
Check or money order
Credit card offers
Explode your business
Full refund
Investment decision
No credit check
No hidden Costs
No investment
Requires initial investment
Sent in compliance
Stock alert
Stock disclaimer statement
Stock pick

Financial – Personal

Avoice bankruptcy
Calling creditors
Collect child support
Consolidate debt and credit
Consolidate your debt
Eliminate bad credit
Eliminate debt
Financially independent
Get out of debt
Get paid
Lower interest rate
Lower monthly payment
Lower your mortgage rate
Lowest insurance rates
Pre-approved
Refinance home
Social security number
Your income

General

Acceptance
Accordingly
Avoid
Chance
Dormant
Freedom
Here
Hidden
Home
Leave
Lifetime
Lose
Maintained
Medium
Miracle
Never
Passwords
Problem
Remove
Reverses
Sample
Satisfaction
Solution
Stop
Success
Teen
Wife

Greetings

Dear [email/friend/somebody]
Friend
Hello

Marketing

Ad
Auto email removal
Bulk email
Click
Click below
Click here
Click to remove
Direct email
Direct marketing
Email harvest
Email marketing
Form
Increase sales
Increase traffic
Increase your sales
Internet market
Internet marketing
Marketing
Marketing solutions
Mass email
Member
Month trial offer
More Internet Traffic
Multi level marketing
Notspam
One time mailing
Online marketing
Open
Opt in
Performance
Removal instructions
Sale
Sales
Search engine listings
Search engines
Subscribe
The following form
This isn’t junk
This isn’t spam
Undisclosed recipient
Unsubscribe
Visit our website
We hate spam
Web traffic
Will not believe your eyes

Medical

Cures baldness
Diagnostic
Fast Viagra delivery
Human growth hormone
Life insurance
Lose weight
Lose weight spam
Medicine
No medical exams
Online pharmacy
Removes wrinkles
Reverses aging
Stop snoring
Valium
Viagra
Vicodin
Weight loss
Xanax

Numbers

#1
100% free
100% satisfied
4U
50% off
Billion
Billion dollars
Join millions
Join millions of Americans
Million
One hundred percent guaranteed
Thousands

Offers

Being a member
Billing address
Call
Cannot be combined with any other offer
Confidentially on all orders
Deal
Financial freedom
Gift certificate
Giving away
Guarantee
Have you been turned down?
If only it were that easy
Important information regarding
In accordance with laws
Long distance phone offer
Mail in order form
Message contains
Name brand
Nigerian
No age restrictions
No catch
No claim forms
No disappointment
No experience
No gimmick
No inventory
No middleman
No obligation
No purchase necessary
No questions asked
No selling
No strings attached
No-obligation
Not intended
Obligation
Off shore
Offer
Per day
Per week
Priority mail
Prize
Prizes
Produced and sent out
Reserves the right
Shopping spree
Stuff on sale
Terms and conditions
The best rates
They’re just giving it away
Trial
Unlimited
Unsolicited
Vacation
Vacation offers
Warranty
We honor all
Weekend getaway
What are you waiting for?
Who really wins?
Win
Winner
Winning
Won
You are a winner!
You have been selected
You’re a Winner!

Calls-to-Action

Cancel at any time
Compare
Copy accurately
Get
Give it away
Print form signature
Print out and fax
See for yourself
Sign up free today

Free

Free
Free access
Free cell phone
Free consultation
Free DVD
Free gift
Free grant money
Free hosting
Free installation
Free Instant
Free investment
Free leads
Free membership
Free money
Free offer
Free preview
Free priority mail
Free quote
Free sample
Free trial
Free website

Descriptions/Adjectives

All natural
All new
Amazing
Certified
Congratulations
Drastically reduced
Fantastic deal
For free
Guaranteed
It’s effective
Outstanding values
Promise you
Real thing
Risk free
Satisfaction guaranteed

Sense of Urgency

Access
Act now!
Apply now
Apply online
Call free
Call now
Can’t live without
Do it today
Don’t delete
Don’t hesitate
For instant access
For Only
For you
Get it now
Get started now
Great offer
Info you requested
Information you requested
Instant
Limited time
New customers only
Now
Now only
Offer expires
Once in lifetime
One time
Only
Order now
Order today
Please read
Special promotion
Supplies are limited
Take action now
Time limited
Urgent
While supplies last

Nouns

Addresses on CD
Beverage
Bonus
Brand new pager
Cable converter
Casino
Celebrity
Copy DVDs
Laser printer
Legal
Luxury car
New domain extensions
Phone
Rolex
Stainless steel

Use Spam Trigger Words Sparingly and Within Context

So long as you use email marketing best practices and use spam trigger words within context, you can bypass spam filters. Spam filters have become much more sophisticated in recent years. Using one or two phrases won’t hurt you, but make sure to only email customers who want to hear from you and to always personalize your emails. Doing so will optimize the results of your campaign and keep you out of spam folders.

Thank you for reading this post from HubSpot.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Leave a Reply