30+ Words That Will Send Your Email To The SPAM Bin Every Time

What words will be blocked by a spam filter?

When you send an email campaign you want your audience to read the message, but spam emails are a significant problem. Your audience doesn’t want them, but an amazing 84% of email traffic is considered spam.

Those running mail servers, are constantly looking for ways to identify spam, to filter it out for their users. Yet, while this improves the user experience of mailbox owners, it does mean that for some businesses, their emails are accidentally labelled as spam and filtered out. If this does happen, the chances of your email being read are dramatically reduced.

There are numerous reasons why an email campaign might attract the attention of spam filters. Some of these are hard to control, but you can control the words used in your subject line, preheader text, and within the content of your email.

Some words will highlight a message as potential spam and therefore be filtered out. By avoiding these words, you can improve the delivery rate of your emails and achieve a better ROI.

Here’s a quick list of word groups to avoid and other ways you can get the same message across.

1. Free/Cheap/Affordable/Save/Incredible Deal

Anything with the word ‘free’, ‘affordable’, ‘incredible deal’, ‘save’ or ‘cheap’ is a bad choice. Even if you place gaps between the letters you’ll likely be tagged as spam. To avoid this, you could use words like ‘complimentary’, ‘on the house’ or ‘without charge’.

Of course, it’s best not to really mention this in your email if you can. Instead, direct them to a landing page with an interesting call-to-action that contains these promises.

2. Act Now/Apply Now/Order Now

These are important because they are something you might use as a call-to-action. They both look urgent and tell the audience what they must do. However, no-one can act on something if they don’t see the message. Therefore, avoid these two phrases in your campaigns.

3. Increase/Guarantee/Promise

These are common words used in a lot of spam and are therefore often filtered out. There’s not much you can replace these words with, so instead, use these words on your landing page from the email campaign.

4. Anything With Marketing

Marketing emails seem to be highly targeted. Words in this group include: ‘email marketing’, ‘internet marketing’, ‘multi-level marketing’, ‘online marketing’, ‘search engine listings’ and ‘web traffic’. There are just too many companies who don’t provide a good service in these areas and make fake promises that mail servers tend to be more cautious.

5. Medical Related

There has been a long-standing issue with online medical sales, so anything that looks health or medical related is often counted as spam. Some of the common ones include ‘prescriptions’, ‘stop snoring’, ‘weight loss’, ‘diet’, ‘pills’, etc. There’s a long list of these. So, if you’re in the medical profession, or want to use a medical term in your campaign, be warned it might not work.

6. Financial Words

Another common set of words which are targeted by spam filters are those related to the financial services. This could be banking, investments or any currency. There are lots of these words and if you are thinking about using them, then you are likely going to have a smaller audience due to filters.

Notable words include: ‘income’, ‘billion’, ‘cash’, ‘compare rates’, ‘credit’, ‘refinance’, ‘income’, ‘earn’, etc.


You want your email campaigns to be successful, so don’t use words that spam filters target. We’ve given over 30 words you need to avoid using if you are to skip past the spam filters. What you use instead might need to be inventive, but for the potential rewards, it’s worth the investment of your time.

What words do you use in your spam filters? How do you create meaningful copy to avoid spam filters?

Let us know your tips in the comments below.

Image provided by Pixabay

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IchimV March 16, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Thank you Daiana! I hope you love them!

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