Ask any marketer what they dislike the most about email marketing and you’ll likely hear something about filters and the dreaded spam folder. We get it. It can be frustrating—after spending countless hours crafting the perfect email and clever subject line, having your email land in the spam folder is a tough pill to swallow.

If this has happened to you don’t feel bad—20% of the time emails land in the spam folder. That’s why email experts often urge marketers to spend just as much time crafting a great subject line as you’d spend writing the body copy of an email to avoid getting filtered out.

To help combat this occurrence, we’ve compiled a list of spammy words and phrases that can trigger spam filters to help you avoid the spam folder. Welcome to your ultimate “spam folder avoidance” guide.

Spam filters will often check for red flags like:

  • The use of certain words (see our comprehensive list below)
  • Links to sketchy or fraudulent websites
  • Messages in ALL CAPS or punctuation overkill, such as !!!!!!!! or ?!?!?!?!?!
  • Colorful, different sized fonts
  • Broken HTML code or poorly designed emails
  • Emails without an unsubscribe button
  • Odd personalization practices, such as “My Dear” or “Hi Friend”
  • Purchased third-party send lists

The Cardinal Rule of Subject Lines

“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is” is the cardinal rule to keep your emails out of the spam folder. When you’re writing subject lines, it’s important to avoid words and phrases that sound like clickbait.

Here are some examples of things to avoid when crafting your subject lines:

  • Over-promising, sensationalizing, or making exaggerated claims like offering “free gifts”
  • Coming across as unethical or sounding like a scam
  • An “everybody wins” approach that sounds too good to be true or gimmicks
  • Using strange formatting in an attempt to stand out in a jam-packed inbox
  • Being too pushy, using manipulative language

Now that we’ve highlighted the basic best practices, here’s a list of words and phrases that have been known to trigger spam filters. While this list isn’t exhaustive (sadly, it’s always growing), it is a great point of reference you should bookmark in order to craft the perfect subject line, optimized to bypass the spam filter.

Omeda’s List of Trigger Words & Phrases That’ll Land You in Spam

  • #1
  • 100% more
  • 100% free
  • 100% satisfied
  • Be your own boss
  • Best price
  • Big bucks
  • Cash bonus
  • Cents on the dollar
  • Consolidate debt
  • Double your cash
  • Double your income
  • Earn extra cash
  • Earn money
  • Eliminate bad credit
  • Extra cash
  • Expect to earn
  • Fast cash
  • Financial freedom
  • Free access
  • Free consultation
  • Free gift
  • Free hosting
  • Free info
  • Free investment
  • Free membership
  • Free money
  • Free preview
  • Free quote
  • Free trial
  • Full refund
  • Get out of debt
  • Get paid
  • Giveaway
  • Guaranteed
  • Increase sales
  • Increase traffic
  • Incredible deal
  • Lower rates
  • Lowest price
  • Make money
  • Million dollars
  • Miracle
  • Money back
  • Once in a lifetime
  • One time
  • Pennies a day
  • Potential earnings
  • Prize
  • Promise
  • Pure profit
  • Risk-free
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Save big money
  • Save up to
  • Special promotion
  • Act now
  • Apply now
  • Become a member

  • Call now
  • Click below
  • Click here
  • Get it now
  • Do it today
  • Don’t delete
  • Exclusive deal
  • Get started now
  • Important information regarding
  • Information you requested
  • Instant
  • Limited time
  • New customers only
  • Order now
  • Please read
  • See for yourself
  • Sign up free
  • Take action
  • This won’t last
  • Urgent
  • What are you waiting for?
  • While supplies last
  • Will not believe your eyes
  • Winning
  • You are a winner
  • You have been selected
  • Bulk email
  • Buy direct
  • Cancel at any time
  • Check or money order
  • Congratulations
  • Confidentiality
  • Cures
  • Dear friend
  • Direct email
  • Direct marketing
  • Hidden charges
  • Internet marketing
  • Mass email
  • Meet singles
  • Multi-level marketing
  • No catch
  • No cost
  • No credit check
  • No fees
  • No gimmick
  • No hidden costs
  • No hidden fees
  • No interest
  • No investment
  • No obligation
  • No purchase necessary
  • No questions asked
  • No strings attached
  • Not junk
  • Obligation
  • Requires initial investment
  • Social security number
  • This isn’t a scam

  • This isn’t junk
  • This isn’t spam
  • Undisclosed
  • Unsecured credit
  • Unsecured debt
  • Unsolicited
  • We hate spam
  • Accept credit cards
  • Ad
  • All new
  • As seen on
  • Bargain
  • Beneficiary
  • Billing
  • Bonus
  • Cards accepted
  • Cash
  • Certified
  • Cheap
  • Claims
  • Clearance
  • Compare rates
  • Credit card offers
  • Deal
  • Debt
  • Discount
  • Fantastic
  • In accordance with laws
  • Income
  • Investment
  • Join millions
  • Lifetime
  • Loans
  • Luxury
  • Marketing solution
  • Message contains
  • Mortgage rates
  • Name brand
  • Offer
  • Online marketing
  • Opt in
  • Pre-approved
  • Quote
  • Rates
  • Refinance
  • Removal
  • Reserves the right
  • Score
  • Search engine
  • Sent in compliance
  • Subject to…
  • Terms and conditions
  • Trial
  • Unlimited
  • Warranty
  • Web traffic
  • Work from home

Did we miss a word or phrase that should be added to our list? Send us a note and we’ll get it added to the list!

Looking for more email deliverability best practices? Our team of email marketing experts would be happy to help! Send us a note to sales@omeda.com to learn more about our CODiE Award Winning Solution.