Spam Words to Avoid If You Want Your Emails To Land in Inbox

Who wants their carefully crafted emails to end up in the spam folder? Certainly not you, and definitely not any passionate communicator striving to connect with their audience.

In this article, we’ll try to dig deeper into spam words—the words that unwittingly trigger spam filters and sabotage your email deliverability.

By understanding which words to avoid, we can increase our chances of bypassing those dreaded spam folders and ensuring our messages reach the eyes and hearts of the intended recipients.

Mailarrow Logo
Send cold emails that get responses
Start Free Trial

Understanding the Role of Spam Words in Email Marketing

What are Spam Words and Why Do They Matter?

In the realm of email marketing, spam words are certain words or phrases that can trigger spam filters. When an email contains a high concentration of these words, it stands a high chance of being relegated to the recipient’s spam folder. Spam words are a critical consideration in any email campaign as their misuse could lead to poor email deliverability.

In an age where being your own boss and launching an online biz opportunity is increasingly appealing, it’s important to understand how to navigate these hurdles. When you join millions of Americans in the field of email marketing, the initial investment should include time spent understanding spam words and learning which ones to avoid.

While it might be tempting to fill your subject lines with flashy offers or overzealous promises, be aware that these could be typical email spam trigger words. A common trap many fall into is using marketing language that sounds too good to be true. Phrases such as “Join millions”, “no initial investment”, and “percent free” are often flagged by spam filters.

List of Common Spam Words to Avoid

Building a list of spam words to avoid is an ongoing process. The exact words and phrases that trigger spam filters can vary between different email providers. However, there are a few common email spam words and phrases that have become almost universally recognized.

Terms such as “Dear Friend”, “Extra Cash”, and “Big Money” have been widely used in spam emails to such an extent that they’ve become almost synonymous with unsolicited mail. Offers of a “free call”, “consolidate debt and credit”, or “sign up free today” can also be problematic if used indiscriminately.

Hidden Dangers: Spam Trigger Words in Multi-Level Marketing

One area where the use of spam trigger words has become particularly prevalent is in the field of multi-level marketing (MLM). Individuals promoting these types of opportunities often use phrases like “be your own boss”, “extra cash”, or “online biz opportunity” in their subject lines to attract interest. Unfortunately, these are also phrases that can trigger spam filters and result in their emails landing in the spam folder rather than the recipient’s inbox.

On the other hand, phrases such as “hidden costs”, “credit check”, and spam phrase “instant access” also have a high chance of being flagged as spam by most email service providers.

Boosting Email Deliverability

Ensuring your cold emails reach the recipient’s inbox rather than their spam folder is a vital aspect of successful email marketing. One effective way to improve your email deliverability is by avoiding common spam trigger words.

Understanding Spam Filters and Their Role in Email Deliverability

Spam filters are an essential component of modern email systems. They help email providers maintain a clean and safe environment for their users by filtering out potentially harmful or unwanted messages.

Spam filters utilize complex algorithms to analyze the content of incoming emails. These algorithms consider a wide range of factors, including the frequency of spam words, the reputation of the sender’s IP address, the inclusion of an unsubscribe link, and whether the email adheres to the CAN-SPAM Act.

By understanding how spam filters work and what they look for, you can significantly enhance your email deliverability. By avoiding words and phrases known to trigger spam filters, you can ensure your emails have a better chance of reaching their intended recipients.

Mailarrow Logo
Send cold emails that get responses
Start Free Trial

Phrases to Avoid

Certain phrases are known to trigger spam filters. For example, mentioning things such as “bad credit”, “accept credit cards”, or “consolidate debt and credit” can increase the likelihood of your email being flagged as spam.

Similarly, phrases associated with financial promises or too-good-to-be-true offers can also trigger spam filters. Statements like “cents on the dollar”, “one hundred percent guaranteed”, or “extra cash” are red flags for most email providers.

Don’t forget that understanding and navigating through these complexities is the initial investment you make when you join millions of other successful email marketers.

Mastering the Art of Crafting Subject Lines

Subject Lines and Spam Filters

The subject line of your email is often the first thing that spam filters examine and your recipients see. Therefore, crafting a compelling, non-spammy subject line is a crucial skill for any email marketer.

Unfortunately, the subject line is also a common place where the spam filter trigger words appear. This makes crafting an effective subject line a delicate balancing act. You want to create intrigue and motivate recipients to open the email while avoiding the dreaded spam filters.

Let’s delve into some common pitfalls and how to avoid them when crafting subject lines.

Common Spam Words to Avoid in Subject Lines

One of the most common mistakes made by email marketers is the overuse of salesy language in their subject lines. Phrases like “join millions of Americans”, “one hundred percent free”, or “big money” might seem enticing, but they are notorious spam trigger words that can land your email directly into the spam folder.

Instead of such phrases, consider using personalized subject lines that resonate with your audience and reflect the actual content of your email.

Remember, the aim here is not just to get your email opened, but to establish a long-term relationship with your audience. Therefore, transparency and relevance are just as important as catchiness.

How to Use Spam Words Judiciously

While it’s generally a good idea to just avoid spam words using spam words in your subject lines, this doesn’t mean you should completely abandon them. The key is to use such words judiciously and in the right context.

For example, if you’re offering a legitimate “online biz opportunity” or “extra cash”, it’s okay to mention this in your subject line as long as it’s done in a non-spammy way. A subject line like “Learn How to Earn Extra Cash with Our Online Course” would be less likely to trigger spam filters than something like “Make Big Money Fast!”

Improving Your Cold Email Outreach

The Art of Crafting Cold Emails

Crafting effective cold emails is both a science and an art. The science lies in understanding the technical aspects, like avoiding spam trigger words, to ensure your email doesn’t go to spam. The art is in creating a compelling message that captures your audience’s attention and motivates them to take action.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when crafting your cold emails:


Personalization is a powerful tool in the world of email marketing. It not only helps you build rapport with your recipients but also gives your emails a human touch. This can go a long way in ensuring your emails don’t end up in the spam folders.

However, beware of the pitfall of fake personalization, like using the phrase “Dear Friend”. This can come off as insincere and may even trigger spam filters.

Mailarrow Logo
Send cold emails that get responses
Start Free Trial

Value Proposition

Your cold emails should clearly communicate the value you’re offering to your recipients. However compete for your business alone, be careful with phrases like “sign up free today”, “join millions”, or “instant access” that are common in spam emails.

Instead, aim for a straightforward value proposition that aligns with your recipient’s needs or interests. For example, if you’re offering an online course, in marketing solutions you might say something like, “Improve your marketing skills with our expert-led online course.”

Call to Action

The call to action (CTA) is arguably the most crucial part of your email. It should be clear, concise, and compelling. However, remember to avoid spam trigger words like “100% guaranteed”, “extra cash”, or “instant access”.

Instead, consider CTAs like “Discover More”, “Start Learning Today”, or even “Join Our Community”. These phrases can be just as motivating, without the risk of triggering spam filters.

Remember, you’re not just trying to get your recipients to open your email, but to take a specific action. The success of your email marketing campaign depends heavily on the effectiveness of your CTA.

Throughout this process, you’ll want a robust cold email outreach tool that can help you navigate through these complexities. That’s where Mailarrow comes in. Sign up for Mailarrow and supercharge your email marketing efforts today.

Addressing Email Deliverability Challenges

Why Email Deliverability Matters

Email deliverability is a critical component of a successful email marketing campaign. It refers to the ability of your emails to reach the inbox of your recipients without being filtered out by spam filters. Understanding how to navigate around common spam words and phrases that trigger spam filters can drastically improve your email deliverability rate.

The Role of Spam Words in Email Deliverability

The use of spam words is a common reason why emails fail to reach their intended recipients. If your emails are full of phrases like “join millions”, “hidden costs”, or “percent free”, they are more likely to trigger spam filters and end up in the spam folder, thus hurting your email deliverability.

On the other hand, crafting your emails with care, avoiding common spam words, and focusing on providing value to your recipients can significantly boost your email deliverability rate.

Email Service Providers and Their Anti-Spam Filters

Different email providers use various spam detecting software to protect their users from unsolicited emails. These anti-spam filters scan incoming emails for certain trigger words and phrases to hate spam. If they find a match, they can either send the email to the spam folder or block it entirely.

For example mail in order form, phrases like “initial investment”, “credit check”, “accept credit cards”, or “consolidate debt and credit” are common triggers. They are associated with financial scams, and email service providers are especially wary of them.

By understanding the common email spam words and phrases that these providers look out for, you can craft your emails in a way that avoids triggering these filters. This can significantly improve your email deliverability and the success of your email marketing campaigns.

The Art of Selling without Selling

Embracing a Soft Sell Approach

In a world where people are increasingly wary of spam and hard-selling tactics, embracing a soft sell approach in your email campaigns can pay off. This involves providing value first and making your promotional messages more subtle.

Remember the phrase, “extra cash”? This is a classic example of a hard sell approach that can trigger spam filters. Instead, consider providing valuable content first, and then gently guide your recipients towards your offerings.

An Example of Soft Selling in Email Marketing

Suppose you’re offering a course on “How to Become Your Own Boss”. Instead of starting your email with a hard sell like “Join millions of Americans and become your own boss today”, consider a softer approach.

Mailarrow Logo
Send cold emails that get responses
Start Free Trial

You might start with an engaging story or valuable tips on entrepreneurship. Then, gently introduce your course as a resource to help your recipients achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

This approach not only helps avoid spam trigger words but also makes your emails more engaging and less salesy.

Remember, the aim is to build trust with your recipients and establish a long-term relationship. With the right approach, your emails will not only bypass the spam filters but also resonate more with your audience.

Consider partnering with Mailarrow to get new customers and help guide your email marketing strategy. Sign up for Mailarrow, our cold email outreach software, and start improving your email marketing today.

Adapting to Spam Law and Maintaining Email Lists

Understanding Spam Law

The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to stop emails, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Any violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to hefty spam law claims and penalties.

Understanding and complying with these laws is crucial. For example, every email must contain an ‘unsubscribe’ button or link, allowing recipients to opt out of your emails if they wish to.

Also, using deceptive subject lines or false headers is not allowed. Emails must clearly state they are an advertisement and include a valid postal address.

Maintaining Your Email Lists

Email list hygiene is an essential aspect of email marketing. This includes regularly cleaning up your email lists to remove unresponsive subscribers and those who have opted out.

Also, keep in mind the words and phrases you use when asking for subscribers. Phrases like “sign up free today” or “join millions” may seem enticing, but they can also trigger spam filters. Instead, use clear and simple language to invite people to join your list.

Finally, remember to send emails only to those who have given you explicit permission to check or money order do so. Unsolicited emails or cold emails can quickly lead to spam law claims.


Avoiding spam words and understanding how spam filters work is crucial to successful email marketing. By understanding these concepts, you can improve your email deliverability, avoid spam folders, and make the most out of your email marketing campaigns.

Remember, the goal is to provide value and build trust with your recipients. This not only helps you avoid spam filters but also makes your emails more engaging and effective.

Sign up for Mailarrow, our cold email outreach software, today and start improving your email marketing efforts.

Remember, whether it’s about understanding spam words to avoid, crafting effective subject lines, or avoiding the dreaded spam folder, Mailarrow is here to help you succeed in your email marketing endeavors. Sign up today and take your email marketing to new heights.

Frequently Asked Questions

What words are flagged in spam email?

Spam emails often contain specific words and phrases that can trigger spam filters. Some of these include: “extra cash,” “join millions,” “sign up free today,” “lose weight,” and “percent free,” among others. It’s important to understand that context also matters, so a word that might be considered spam in one context might not be in another.

Mailarrow Logo
Send cold emails that get responses
Start Free Trial

What is the most common spam?

The most common spam messages usually involve offers that are too good to be true, such as “big money,” “lose weight,” “join millions,” or “sign up free.” These messages often promote pyramid schemes, weight loss products, cheap pharmaceuticals, medical exams, or dubious business opportunities. They often use aggressive language and promise quick and easy results.

Is ‘urgent’ a spam word?

Yes, ‘urgent’ can be considered a spam trigger word. Spam filters often flag emails that create a sense of urgency or pressure the recipient into immediate action. It’s best to avoid such words in your subject lines and email content to the spam box increase your email deliverability rates.

Serge Shlykov is the founder of Mailarrow. Rotterdam Business School graduate and a long-time software engineer he has been running his own agency and SaaS business before realizing how many people are struggling with cold email outreach. This made him create Mailarrow, the cold email outreach software that helps you build great relationships at scale. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *