Is there anything more frustrating than sending out good quality and important marketing emails just to find out that they are going into people’s junk box? This can make a significant difference when it comes to your open rates and it’s not always easy to spot the cause.

There are many golden rules to follow when creating promotional emails from subject line rules to managing image to content ratio, to HTML issues. Just give the subject a Google and you’ll find tons of information. If you want deeper advice on how to create better subject lines then take a look at Jess’s blog here.

In this blog, we’re going to explore the world of spam words to help improve your email campaigns in 2018.

What is a Spam Word?

Simply put, a spam word is a word or phrase that spam filters have learnt to catch to avoid mailboxes being filled with junk emails.

The system is complex and looks deeper into the context of the word or phrase being used, which is why there are occasional holes in the net. Sometimes you may end up receiving a spam email and sometimes your email may end up being marked as spam.

Spam is not only annoying, but it is dangerous with many hackers sitting behind the sent button which is why important filters are in place in most, if not all email systems.

Words to Avoid in Your Emails

Not surprisingly, the internet is always moving forward and not slowly – more like a sprint. With new GDPR rules just around the corner and hundreds of SME’s moving their marketing efforts online every day, the threat of fake news, spam and cons are also increasing.

It’s important not to use these lists as a bible but as more of a guideline. Overtime spam filters have learnt to analyse the context in which you use your words so it’s not detrimental if you find yourself using these words. Just ensure that your content is relevant, of high quality and grammatically correct.

Here’s some examples of some common keywords that the email bots will be looking to catch.


  1. Earn £
  2. Make Money
  3. Extra cash
  4. Don’t delete
  5. Be your own boss


  1. Buy direct
  2. No fees
  3. Claim
  4. Don’t delete
  5. Instant


  1. 100% Free
  2. #1
  3. Join millions
  4. £££
  5. Thousands of people


  1. Risk free
  2. Act Now
  3. FREE
  4. Free instant
  5. This isn’t spam
  6. Casino
  7. Urgent
  8. Lose weight
  9. You have been selected
  10. You are a winner!
  11. Diagnostics
  12. Your income
  13. Once in a lifetime
  14. Anything drug related
  15. Anything considered rude or inappropriate

It’s not Just Spam Words…

It’s easy to think that if you avoid all these spam words and phrases that you are then in the clear – but of course it’s not as simple as that. There are many other rules that spam filters would look out for in your emails. Some are more obvious than others but these rules are very important to keep in your mind when writing your email campaigns.

  1. Multiple exclamation marks!!! – Try to avoid using more than one exclamation mark or if possible, avoid them all together. It’s better to emphasise your point through the words you chose to use rather than annoyingly relying on these. This is the same with all forms of punctuation as well.
  2. AVOID ALL CAPS – when appropriate this is okay to do but doing this multiple times throughout your content is a big red mark.
  3. Don’t use money signs unless you are stating a price. “Our sale will save you ££” is a way to get a free ticket straight to someone’s junk box.
  4. Avoid strange formatting. Having a whole range of colours, sizes, inappropriate capitals and randomised changes of font makes your email look very suspicious. Equally, it also doesn’t make it aesthetically pleasing, so best to avoid for a whole host of reasons. Keep these formatting changes to a minimum.
  5. If you want to avoid looking like a novice spammer then keep the URL shorteners out. All programs let you insert a hyperlink into your content now so there is no excuse for “bit.ly” being littered all over your content.

Carry Out Your Email Campaigns with the Experts

The world of spam is a tricky one and nothing in marketing is ever set in stone. If you find that your email marketing is ending up in your subscriber’s junk box then there are many things you need to consider – your use of spam words is just one of them.

Whether you’re starting fresh with email marketing, looking for a company to take over previous efforts or looking for some specialist 1-2-1 bespoke email training to up-skill your workforce, the team here would love to hear from you. Follow the links above to discover more or give us a call on 01285 50 55 50.

Let the experts at All Things Web® take care of your marketing activity and optimise your email campaigns to help you get the best possible results.

Are you ready to manage your own email marketing campaigns? Spend a day with us and receive bespoke 1-2-1 training.