Using These 10 Phrases in Your Email Marketing May Keep you from Success

Top 10 Spam Trigger Words and Phrases to Avoid in Your Emails

Marketers have to be careful when drafting emails to avoid having them be triggered as spam. Marketing teams send out bulk emails on a consistent basis to leads, opportunities, and customers in an effort to show as many people as possible why their business’ products matter.

Here, we’re going to break down our top ten spam trigger words to avoid in your emails. You want every email your marketing team sends out to count, to give your business the best possible chance at increasing conversions.

Spam Trigger Words to Ignore

Multi-level Marketing

This refers to the practice where businesses hire salespeople to go around and try and sell someone a product, then have that person recommend the product to someone else. Sometimes this is a legitimate practice; most of the time, it’s comparable to a pyramid scheme. Any business practice connected to a pyramid scheme should be avoided like the plague. Even googling “multi-level marketing” brings up questionable results, so it makes sense that any emails with the term in it will be triggered as spam. Don’t get it confused with multi-channel marketing, which is actually a growing strategy that works well.

Increase Sales

This is both surprising and not surprising. It’s hard to imagine a B2B marketing team drafting an email for hundreds or thousands of potential clients and not using this phrase; however, that’s exactly why it’s often triggered as spam in the first place. Here, context matters. It’s a phrase that will eventually come up in an email, but there are ways around it. For example, don’t use the phrase in the subject line. Steer clear of trying to look spammy and try these techniques instead to boost sales.

Web Traffic

If you saw an email with “Web Traffic” in the subject line, would you think it’s legitimate if you don’t know where that email is coming from? Increasing web traffic for an online business is absolutely essential for the success of that business. The more traffic your website receives, the more likely you’ll convert that traffic into sales. Spammers and scammers take advantage of this term because it’s something all online businesses are doing research on.

Using These 10 Phrases in Your Email Marketing May Keep you from Success

Online Biz Opportunity

Shortening words in an email might seem like a really convenient way for you to write emails quickly, and with a personal touch, but that’s not professional and it should be avoided even with the best intentions. “Online Biz Opportunity” screams spam to anyone who’s been on the internet for more than ten years. No Millennial or Gen Z’er will ever click on an email like that. We know better. You’d find this phrase on a sketchy Craigslist ad — not in a mass email for a legitimate marketing campaign.

While You Sleep

This is one of those phrases that’s simply too good to be true, everyone knows it’s too good to be true, and yet, it’s still used constantly. Marketing campaigns typically require more than a day to complete, along with the sales process and then completion of a purchase, depending, of course, on what you’re selling. You don’t want to oversell in general, so try to limit the hyperbole for your business’ and marketing team’s own benefit.

Free Consultation

Few things in today’s world are actually free, which immediately jumps out to just about everyone. Even if the consultation is free, there’s always a catch, and if there’s a catch, that means your marketing team isn’t being transparent to its targeted audience. Unless you’re truly offering a free consultation for potential buyers, do not advertise it as free. To avoid being marked as spam, leave “Free Consultation” out of the subject line.

Using These 10 Phrases in Your Email Marketing May Keep you from Success

Once in a Lifetime

This is another phrase that’s simply not true — ever. There’s no marketing campaign or product that’s going to offer a potential customer a “once in a lifetime” experience. Hyperbole in general needs to be avoided if you’re trying to make a conscientious effort to avoid having your emails being marked as spam.

As Seen On …

Who can honestly look at this phrase and not think about horribly scripted and produced infomercials for products that barely work? This also isn’t the best strategy for your marketing team because if the product they’re trying to sell has already been done, it shows that your product isn’t exactly better than anyone else’s. Having your products or services associated with a term that implies them being cheap or unreliable.

Call Now

Last, but definitely not least, is “Call Now,” which is innocent enough, but like “As seen on,” is often associated with potentially-sketchy products and services. It’s good to implement actionable content in your marketing strategy, but this phrase has been around for too long to be associated with anything other than a marketing ploy. Plus, customers today are more interested in using other channels to reach out to a company — especially if they’re being reached via email. That alone could set off a red flag.

Spam Trigger WordExplanation
Multi-level MarketingRefers to a sales practice that can resemble a pyramid scheme, often viewed negatively. Using this term in emails can trigger spam filters due to its association with questionable practices.
Increase SalesWhile a common phrase, using it excessively in emails can make them appear spammy. Context matters; avoid using it in subject lines and instead focus on providing value and benefits.
Web TrafficThe term "Web Traffic" can trigger suspicion if not used judiciously. Spammers exploit this phrase because increasing web traffic is vital for online businesses. Ensure the context is clear and legitimate.
Online Biz OpportunityAvoid using shortened words and phrases like "Online Biz Opportunity" as they can come across as unprofessional and spammy. Opt for clear and professional language to maintain email credibility.
While You SleepOverly optimistic phrases like "While You Sleep" can seem too good to be true. It's essential to strike a balance between persuasive language and realistic expectations in your marketing emails.
Free ConsultationWhile offering a free consultation is valid, overselling it as entirely free can raise suspicion. Ensure transparency and avoid misleading subject lines like "Free Consultation" to prevent spam flags.
Once in a LifetimeThe phrase "Once in a Lifetime" is often considered exaggerated and unrealistic. Be cautious with hyperbolic language in your emails to maintain credibility and avoid triggering spam filters.
As Seen On …This phrase may evoke thoughts of unreliable infomercials. Be cautious when associating your products or services with "As Seen On …" as it may imply a lack of originality or quality.
Call NowWhile encouraging action is vital, "Call Now" can sound outdated and potentially spammy. Consider using more modern and engaging CTAs and avoid this phrase, especially in email subject lines.

Using These 10 Phrases in Your Email Marketing May Keep you from Success

Email Marketing Best Practices for Improved Results

To further enhance the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, consider implementing the following best practices:

  • Create Compelling Subject Lines: Craft attention-grabbing subject lines that pique curiosity, provide value, or create a sense of urgency without resorting to spammy tactics.
  • Focus on Quality Content: Deliver valuable, relevant, and engaging content that addresses your audience’s pain points and interests. Use concise and scannable formatting for easy readability.
  • Personalize Beyond Names: Go beyond using the recipient’s name by personalizing the content based on their preferences, purchase history, or browsing behavior.
  • Test Email Previews: Preview your emails across various email clients and devices to ensure they display correctly and look appealing to all recipients.
  • Monitor Email Deliverability: Regularly check your email deliverability rates and address any issues promptly. Maintain a clean email list by removing inactive or bounced addresses.
  • Automate Drip Campaigns: Set up automated drip campaigns to nurture leads over time. Segment your audience and send targeted messages at the right moments in the customer journey.
  • Include Social Sharing Buttons: Encourage recipients to share your email content on social media by adding social sharing buttons. This extends your email’s reach and engagement.
  • Use Clear and Attractive Visuals: Incorporate eye-catching images and graphics to complement your message. Ensure visuals enhance, not distract from, your content.
  • Respect Unsubscribe Requests: Honor unsubscribe requests promptly and professionally. This builds trust and demonstrates respect for recipients’ preferences.
  • Regularly Clean Your Email List: Periodically remove inactive or disengaged subscribers from your email list to maintain a high-quality and engaged audience.
  • Implement A/B Testing: Continuously test different elements of your emails, such as subject lines, CTAs, images, and content, to optimize performance based on data-driven insights.
  • Track Conversions: Beyond open and click-through rates, measure email conversions, such as form submissions, downloads, or purchases, to assess the real impact of your campaigns.
  • Stay Informed About Trends: Stay updated on email marketing trends and emerging technologies to adapt and innovate your strategies.
Best PracticesDescription
Create Compelling Subject LinesCraft attention-grabbing subject lines that engage recipients without resorting to spammy tactics.
Focus on Quality ContentDeliver valuable, relevant, and engaging content that addresses audience needs and is easy to read.
Personalize Beyond NamesCustomize content based on preferences, purchase history, or browsing behavior for a personalized experience.
Test Email PreviewsPreview emails across various devices to ensure they display correctly and look appealing to all recipients.
Monitor Email DeliverabilityRegularly check deliverability rates and address issues to maintain a clean email list and reach inboxes.
Automate Drip CampaignsSet up automated drip campaigns to nurture leads with targeted messages at key points in the customer journey.
Include Social Sharing ButtonsEncourage recipients to share email content on social media by adding social sharing buttons.
Use Clear and Attractive VisualsIncorporate eye-catching images and graphics that enhance the message without overwhelming it.
Respect Unsubscribe RequestsPromptly and professionally honor unsubscribe requests to build trust and respect recipient preferences.
Regularly Clean Your Email ListPeriodically remove inactive subscribers to maintain a high-quality and engaged email audience.
Implement A/B TestingContinuously test elements like subject lines, CTAs, images, and content to optimize campaign performance.
Track ConversionsBeyond open and click-through rates, measure email conversions (e.g., form submissions, downloads) for real impact assessment.
Stay Informed About TrendsKeep updated on email marketing trends and emerging technologies to adapt and innovate your strategies.

Using These 10 Phrases in Your Email Marketing May Keep you from Success

The Final Word

It’s important for marketing teams to make sure their emails aren’t being marked as spam or contain too many spam trigger words. If they do, they will either be ignored altogether or get reported, which doesn’t make the business look good. Marketing teams should avoid hyperbole whenever possible and avoid making claims that are too good to be true because they’re not really fooling anyone.

Spammers and scammers use these words to pray on those who are easy to manipulate. Any reputable business would never go out of their way to be anything less than transparent with their customers. They prioritize the customer experience and want to make sure the buyer’s journey is as clear as possible. The more a potential buyer feels like they can trust a company, the more likely they’ll return. First impressions matter, so it’s best to make sure even a simple email isn’t being interpreted as spam.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Reuben Yonatan Reuben Yonatan is the founder and CEO of GetVoIP. As an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, Reuben brings a wealth of hands-on telecom and business communication experience. His expertise is in helping small to mid-size business owners build, maintain, and scale their communication infrastructure. Read more of Reuben's posts on the GetVoIP Blog.