As I often say, newsletters are a great way of alerting people to new releases, promotional offers etc. Too often, though, our emails end up in the spam folder, never to be seen. So, I wondered, is there’s no way to avoid this?
Kevin, CEO & Founder of Comm100, has come up with a great list of words that most email service providers have identified as common words in spam email. Some of them (eg. Viagra) seem pretty obvious. Others, however, not so: who knew, for example, that “No purchase necessary“, “Free preview” and “Reserves the right” can also land you in the spam folder?
Remember that it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t use these words in moderation. However, too many of them or too much repetition of one of them can land you in the spam or junk folder.
So, make sure you avoid these words in your email and, especially, the subject line, and you’ll greatly increase the chances of your newsletter actually being read!
As bobnailor pointed out, it isn’t only words that can spam your newsletter. Capital letters are a dead giveaway, too, along with excess punctuation and too many bright colors and font sizes (yes, spam filters check for those, too). In fact, the single word – free – all in caps and with just one exclamation mark will discover the spam folder faster than a starving mouse in a one-turn maze can locate the cheese.
Also, use a valid mail service – like MailChimp or any of the others – to send out your newsletters. You may only have 50 people in your newsletter mailing, but a mass mailing to them will alert many ISPs to blacklist your email address. That is something you don’t want and will cause a lot of heartache for your personal email address.
THE MOST COMMON SPAM WORDS
The following are two hundred common spam words and phrases that can set of email service provider spam filters. If you do find yourself having an inbox deliverability problem, removing any instances of these spam words from your email subject line or email content can help to get you back into the inbox.
|4U||Claims you are a winner||For instant access|
|Accept credit cards||Claims you registered with Some Kind of Partner||For just $ (some amt)|
|Act now! Don’t hesitate!||Click below||Free access|
|Additional income||Click here link||Free cell phone|
|Addresses on CD||Click to remove||Free consultation|
|All natural||Click to remove mailto||Free DVD|
|Amazing||Compare rates||Free grant money|
|Apply Online||Compete for your business||Free hosting|
|As seen on||Confidentially on all orders||Free installation|
|Auto email removal||Congratulations||Free investment|
|Avoid bankruptcy||Consolidate debt and credit||Free leads|
|Be amazed||Copy accurately||Free membership|
|Be your own boss||Copy DVDs||Free money|
|Being a member||Credit bureaus||Free offer|
|Big bucks||Credit card offers||Free preview|
|Bill 1618||Cures baldness||Free priority mail|
|Billing address||Dear email||Free quote|
|Billion dollars||Dear friend||Free sample|
|Brand new pager||Dear somebody||Free trial|
|Bulk email||Different reply to||Free website|
|Buy direct||Dig up dirt on friends||Full refund|
|Buying judgments||Direct email||Get It Now|
|Cable converter||Direct marketing||Get paid|
|Call free||Discusses search engine listings||Get started now|
|Call now||Do it today||Gift certificate|
|Calling creditors||Don’t delete||Great offer|
|Can’t live without||Drastically reduced||Guarantee|
|Cancel at any time||Earn per week||Have you been turned down?|
|Cannot be combined with any other offer||Easy terms||Hidden assets|
|Cash bonus||Eliminate bad credit||Home employment|
|Cashcashcash||Email harvest||Human growth hormone|
|Casino||Email marketing||If only it were that easy|
|Cell phone cancer scam||Expect to earn||In accordance with laws|
|Cents on the dollar||Fantastic deal||Increase sales|
|Check or money order||Fast Viagra delivery||Increase traffic|
|Claims not to be selling anything||Financial freedom||Insurance|
|Claims to be in accordance with some spam law||Find out anything||Investment decision|
|Claims to be legal||For free||It’s effective|
|Join millions of Americans||No questions asked||Reverses aging|
|Laser printer||No selling||Risk free|
|Limited time only||No strings attached||Round the world|
|Long distance phone offer||Not intended||S 1618|
|Lose weight spam||Off shore||Safeguard notice|
|Lower interest rates||Offer expires||Satisfaction guaranteed|
|Lower monthly payment||Offers coupon||Save $|
|Lowest price||Offers extra cash||Save big money|
|Luxury car||Offers free (often stolen) passwords||Save up to|
|Mail in order form||Once in lifetime||Score with babes|
|Marketing solutions||One hundred percent free||Section 301|
|Mass email||One hundred percent guaranteed||See for yourself|
|Meet singles||One time mailing||Sent in compliance|
|Member stuff||Online biz opportunity||Serious cash|
|Message contains disclaimer||Online pharmacy||Serious only|
|MLM||Only $||Shopping spree|
|Money back||Opportunity||Sign up free today|
|Money making||Opt in||Social security number|
|Month trial offer||Order now||Special promotion|
|More Internet traffic||Order status||Stainless steel|
|Mortgage rates||Orders shipped by priority mail||Stock alert|
|Multi level marketing||Outstanding values||Stock disclaimer statement|
|Name brand||Pennies a day||Stock pick|
|New customers only||People just leave money laying around||Stop snoring|
|New domain extensions||Please read||Strong buy|
|Nigerian||Potential earnings||Stuff on sale|
|No age restrictions||Print form signature||Subject to credit|
|No catch||Print out and fax||Supplies are limited|
|No claim forms||Produced and sent out||Take action now|
|No cost||Profits||Talks about hidden charges|
|No credit check||Promise you …!||Talks about prizes|
|No disappointment||Pure profit||Tells you it’s an ad|
|No experience||Real thing||Terms and conditions|
|No fees||Refinance home||The best rates|
|No gimmick||Removal instructions||The following form|
|No inventory||Remove in quotes||They keep your money — no refund!|
|No investment||Remove subject||They’re just giving it away|
|No medical exams||Removes wrinkles||This isn’t junk|
|No middleman||Reply remove subject||This isn’t spam|
|No obligation||Requires initial investment||University diplomas|
|No purchase necessary||Reserves the right||Unlimited|
|Unsecured credit/debt||We honor all||Will not believe your eyes|
|US dollars||What are you waiting for?||Winning|
|Vacation offers||While supplies last||Work at home|
|Viagra and other drugs||While you sleep||You have been selected|
|Wants credit card||Who really wins?||Your income|
|We hate spam||Why pay more?|
Shocking! I’ve used a lot of the forbidden words. Agh! Thanks buddy, once again, very illuminating!
Lol – same here 😀
Oh great. There goes my next title: “Necromancers Score With Babes Off Shore”.
Damn, it’s so catchy, too 😀
Excellent share Nicholas. 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
Good job I read this…. I was thinking of using ‘score with babes’ and ‘win a FREE luxury car’ in my next email!
Consider yourself saved!
Gonna have to rewrite the whole thing now, dammit! ???
Always helpful Nick…consider this one bookmarked.
Thank you 🙂
Super post, Nicholas. Thanks
Thanks, John 🙂
Hmm. Somehow I don’t think the folks originating these phrases were selling books. 🙂 But we authors are unwittingly tarred with the same brush. Speaking for myself, one thing that sends my cursor to the red “x” really fast is a popup offering me a newsletter that shows up before I’ve managed to read a possibly interesting blog post. It’s like being asked out on a date right after “How do you do?” I would much rather read a post or two before I get the newsletter popup. By then I would have an opinion about the blogger’s style and substance and may very well be glad to sign up. But I don’t know if the software that makes these things happen has such an option.
Software like the Sumo plugin allows you to display that popup after X seconds, or even when a reader has read X% of the post. Not many use that option, though. In my case,I’ve decided to eschew popups entirely, as I find them obtrusive. The ribbon at the top is the most I could accept.
Good to know. I think it would be good if that option was used by more.
Hmmmm…..maybe that’s why my children never return my emails. “Hey guys! Want to come for supper? It’s FREE! I promise no gimmicks, no strings attached, no obligation to host a meal for me in return & I promise you won’t have to invest your time in yard work. You won’t be disappointed! It’ll be fun!”
Lol- yes, that sounds about right 😀
Wow. Super interesting. o_O
Thank you – this is great info.
So glad you found it useful 🙂
I love that “This is not spam” automatically goes to the spam folder, lol. 🙂
Or, indeed, anything else with the word ‘spam’ in it! 😀
Good to know. I think “Free” might be the only one that might come up for me in a heading, though I don’t put that in all caps. And “No purchase necessary” in the body. That said, I rarely use my email anyway since I use Mail Chimp for newsletters. I want to know why comments on blogs end up in spam! 😀
Now, there’s a mystery I’d like solved… 😀
Great article but it isn’t only words that can spam your newsletter. CAPS are a dead giveaway, too, along with excess punctuation!!!! In other words, use capitals and certain punctuation sparingly! In fact, the single word – free – all in caps and with just one exclamation mark will discover the spam folder faster than a starving mouse in a one-turn maze can locate the cheese. Also, use a valid mail service – like MailChimp or any of the others – to send out your newsletters. You may only have 50 people in your newsletter mailing, but a mass mailing to them will alert many ISPs to blacklist your email address. That is something you don’t want and will cause a lot of heartache for your personal email address… uh, words of lesson learned for a previous email address I had.
Those are great tips! In fact, they’re so good that I’m adding them to the original post. Thank you 🙂
I’ve seen so many of these in my junk folder. Very helpful. Thanks, Nicholas!
You’ll be happy to know that your newsletter has never ended up in my junk folder 🙂
I have seen many of those phrases and words in emails. Thanks for the tip, Nicholas.
Best wishes, Pete.
Do those emails end up in your spam folder? If so, you now know why 🙂
I noticed that most of your newsletters contained the phrase “score with babes”. I can’t imagine why that would flag something to spam. ?
Lol – I do hope you don’t mean any of MY newsletters 😀
A number of those are also on some of the lists of most effective phrases to convert views to action, so there’s probably a balancing act in there (especially if you are trying to tell your opt-in list about a free book).
As it says in the post, it’s OK to use them in moderation, so balance is, indeed, the operative word here.
Not forgetting that a lot of people find themselves included on a mailing list, without being asked first…
Whatever do you mean? 😀
You know what I mean Nic. Most of us are being constantly bombarded by the internet equivalent of ‘junk mail’ on a daily basis. The only place for it is file 13… 😉
Oh yes, I do know what you mean 🙂
Handy. Many thanks for that. I’ll be bookmarking this page for reference. 🙂
Woah! Who knew the list was so long. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this, Nicholas!
Lol – pretty much my reaction when I first came across it!