Spam Resource Newsletter

Take your spam trigger words and go away


You've seen the advice: "Just avoid these 18 spam trigger words and always get to the inbox!" I've been doing this a long time and somebody new pops up with guidance like this a few times a year, and it's just absolute bullshit, and it's been bullshit for years.

Spam filters don't work that way. They are not so simplistic that just a word or two from a static list are going to tank your inbox placement.

Content does matter, to some degree, yes. Meaning that yes, what you say or include in your email messages can have an impact on inbox placement. But as far as ranking how important content is, it is third, usually a distant third place, behind IP and domain sending reputation.

Don't believe me? Here's Magan Le from Litmus with "Why spam trigger words are a thing of the past," where she sums it up nicely.

Truth be told, you can run into content-related filtering issues sometimes -- sometimes even as simple as "this subject line goes to spam, but this other one doesn't" (most commonly at Microsoft) -- but it's the exception, not the rule. Here's how to test for content issues, here's what to do when you find content issues, and here's excellent guidance compiled by Jennifer Nespola Lantz of Kickbox, with a multitude of experts weighing in on content-related deliverability issues.

TL;DR? Ignore people who tell you not to use the word FREE in the subject line; they're wrong.

And of course, for everything you need to know about spam trigger words, you should also head on over to Jay Oram's spamtriggerwords.com.

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