Spam Trigger Words to Watch Out For In 2021

Author
Vladislav Podolyako
Published
Jun 03, 2021
Reading duration
8m

Writing a compelling email template is already a challenge. Appeasing spam filters doesn’t make it any easier.

As a sender, you can probably relate to this situation: You work for hours, putting perfect sales emails together; you click “Send” and wait for your intended recipients to gaze upon your creation and be amazed by your style and the presentation of your services. However, you end up waiting, and waiting, and waiting…

You send more emails, now with an Open Rate tracker — and it reveals that none of your emails is opened. It’s as if they have never reached your recipients’ mailboxes. You check your DNS records: They’re fine. You do a blacklist scan: Your domain name isn’t featured anywhere. Ultimately, you use some of the available tools to run a deliverability test and it informs you about spammy content.

“How could this happen?” you ask yourself. “I’m not using any salesy words! I was extra careful with numbers! I avoided words, such as “buy” and “order,” like the plague. Why did it happen?”

The truth is, you may have done a great job omitting the old spam trigger words. But you probably haven’t taken care of the new ones. Yes, the list of words that spam filters consider dangerous is updated all the time. Therefore, it’s not enough to remove 3-year-old spam trigger words from your email template. You must do some extra checks for the latest words and phrases that put spam filters on high alert.

What are spam trigger words?

When emails became widely used for communication and even business conversations, users started suffering from the onslaught of uninvited messages, teeming with loud slogans written in caps, triple exclamation marks, fake “You’re the winner” messages and dubious call-to-action buttons.

This may sound unreal to the people who were born in the safe Internet epoch. However, PTAs advising caution against suspicious emails and warning not to click any suspicious links found in the body text were a common thing twenty years ago. People had to be thoroughly educated regarding the dangers that can be hidden in an unidentified message with bait in the subject line.

For example, the notorious ILOVEYOU virus that compromised the safety of ten million PCs was spread via an email that had an attached A-LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU file. The damage to the world economy inflicted by a virus with such an innocent name is estimated to be around ten billion dollars, making it one of the most destructive computer worms that ever existed.

This is why nowadays, all advanced spam filters pay extra attention to the content of incoming messages. Words, phrases, and even exclamation marks used or written in a certain way are considered to be indicators of spammy content, promoting spam filters to react and remove the incoming message from an inbox. Any word capable of triggering such a response is called a spam trigger word.

Why are there so many spam trigger words?

Going back to the topic we discussed at the beginning of this post, avoiding salesy phrases is not enough to steer clear of spam trigger words. Spam emails are designed by humans. Humans learn from their mistakes and try to find a way. Therefore, spammers often know which words no longer work and try to come up with new ones. To keep up with the updates, spam filters evolve, scanning data submitted by watchful users and adapting to these changes. This is an endless cycle, so the list of spam trigger words keeps growing.

You can find the most up-to-date list below.

# A B C D E F G H
I J  K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z

Symbols & Numerals

0%
0% risk
777
99%
99.9%
100%
100% more
#1
$$$
100% free
100% satisfied
4U
50% off
!!!

A

Absolutely free
Accept credit cards
Acceptance
Access
Access now
Access for free
Accordingly
Act Now
Act immediately
Action
Action required
Ad
Additional income
Addresses on CD
Adult
Affordable
Affordable deal
All natural
All new
Amazed
Amazing
Amazing offer
Amazing stuff
Apply here
Apply now
Apply online
As seen on
At no cost
Auto email removal
Avoid
Avoid bankruptcy

B

Bargain
Be amazed
Be surprised
Be your own boss
Believe me
Being a member
Beneficiary
Best bargain
Best deal
Best price
Best offer
Beverage
Big bucks
Bill 1618
Billing
Billing address
Billionaire
Billion
Billion dollars
Bonus
Boss
Brand new pager
Breakthrough
Bulk
Bulk email
Buy
Buy now
Buy direct
Buying judgments

C

Cable converter
Call
Call free
Call me
Call now
Calling creditors
Can’t live without
Can't be considered spam
Cancel
Cancel at any time
Cancel now
Cancellation required
Cannot be combined with any other offer
Cards accepted
Cash
Cash out
Cash bonus
Cashcashcash
Casino
Celebrity
Cell phone cancer scam
Cents on the dollar
Certified
Chance
Cheap
Check
Check or money order
Claims
Claim now
Claims to be legal
Claims not to be selling anything
Claims to be in accordance with some spam law
Claim your discount
Clearance
Click
Click below
Click here
Click now
Click to get
Click to remove
Closeout
Collect
Collect child support
Compare
Compare now
Compare online
Compare rates
Compete for your business
Confidentially on all orders
Congratulations
Consolidate debt and credit
Contest
Consolidate your debt
Copy accurately
Copy DVDs
Costs
Credit
Credit bureaus
Credit Card
Credit card offers
Cures
Cures baldness

D

Deal
Dear [email/friend/somebody]
Debt
Diagnostics
Dig up dirt on friends
Direct email
Direct marketing
Discount
Do it now
Do it today
Don’t delete
Don’t hesitate
Dormant
Double your
Double your cash
Double your income
Double your wealth
Drastically reduced

E

Earn
Earn $
Earn extra cash
Earn money
Earn monthly
Earn from home
Earn per month
Earn per week
Easy terms
Eliminate bad credit
Eliminate debt
Email extractor
Email harvest
Email marketing
Enlarge
Exclusive deal
Expect to earn
Expire
Explode your business
Extra
Extra cash
Extra income
Extract email

F

Free
Falling interest
Fantastic
Fantastic deal 
Fantastic offer 
Fast cash
Fast Viagra delivery
Financial freedom
Financially independent
For free
For instant access
For just $ (some amount)
For just $xxx
For Only
For You

Form
Free
Free access
Free bonus
Free cell phone
Free consultation
Free DVD
Free gift
Free grant money
Free hosting
Free info
Free information
Free installation
Free instant
Free investment

Free iPhone
Free leads
Free Macbook
Free membership 
Free money
Free offer
Free preview
Free priority mail
Free quote
Free sample
Free trial
Free website
Freedom
Friend
Full refund

G

Get
Get it now
Get out of debt
Get paid
Get started now
Gift certificate
Give it away
Giving away
Great
Great deal
Great offer
Guarantee

Guaranteed
Guaranteed deposit
Guaranteed income
Guaranteed payment

H

Hardcore
Have you been turned down?
Hello
Here
Hidden
Hidden assets
Hidden charges
Hidden fees
High score
Home
Home based
Home employment
Home based business
Home business
Home refinancing
Human growth hormone
Huge discount
Hurry up

I

If only it were that easy
Important information regarding
Important notification
In accordance with laws
Income
Income from home
Increase sales
Increase traffic
Increase your chances
Increase your sales
Incredible deal
Info you requested
Information you requested
Instant
Instant earnings
Instant income
Insurance
Internet market
Internet marketing
Inventory reduction
Investment
Investment decision
It’s effective

J

Join millions Join millions of Americans Junk

L

Last chance
Laser printer
Leave
Legal
Legal notice
Life
Life Insurance
Lifetime
Lifetime access
Lifetime deal
Limited amount
Limited number
Limited offer
Limited supply
Limited time
Limited time offer
Limited time only
Loan
Long distance
Long distance phone offer
Lose
Lose weight
Lose weight spam
Lower interest rates
Lower monthly payment
Lower your mortgage rate
Lowest insurance rates
Low prices
Lowest price
Lowest rate
Luxury
Luxury car

M

Mail in order form
Maintained
Make $
Make money
Marketing
Marketing solutions
Mass email
Medicine
Medium
Meet girls
Meet me
Meet singles
Meet women
Member
Member stuff
Message contains
Message contains disclaimer
Million
Millionaire
Million dollars
Million email addresses
Miracle
MLM
Money
Money at home
Money back
Money fast
Money making
Month trial offer
More Internet Traffic
Mortgage
Mortgage rates
Multi-level marketing

N

Name brand
Never
Never before
New customers only
New domain extensions
Nigerian
No age restrictions
No catch
No claim forms
No cost
No credit check
No deposit required
No disappointment
No experience
No fees
No gimmick
No hidden
No hidden сosts
No hidden fees
No interests
No inventory
No investment
No investment required
No medical exams
No middleman
No obligation
No payment required
No purchase necessary
No questions asked
No selling
No strings attached
No-obligation
Not intended
Not junk
Not scam
Not spam
Now
Now only
Number 1
Number one

O

Obligation
Offshore
Offer
Offer expires
Once in lifetime
Once in a lifetime
One hundred percent free
One hundred percent guaranteed
One time
One time mailing
Online biz opportunity
Online degree
Online job
Online income
Online marketing
Online pharmacy
Only
Only $
Open
Opportunity
Opt in
Opt out
Order
Order a report
Order now
Order shipped by
Order status
Order today
Outstanding values

P

Passwords
Pennies a day
Percent off
Per day
Per month
Per week
Performance
Phone
Please read
Potential earnings
Pre-approved
Presently
Price
Price protection
Print form signature
Print out and fax
Priority mail
Prize

Problem
Produced and sent out
Profits
Promise
Promise you
Purchase
Purchase today
Pure profits

Q

Quote    

R

Rates
Read twice
Real thing
Refinance
Refinance home
Refinance today
Refund
Removal
Removal instructions
Remove
Removes wrinkles
Request
Request now
Request today
Requires initial investment 
Reserves the right
Reverses
Reverses aging
Risk free
Risk-free
Rolex
Round the world

S

S 1618
Safeguard notice
Sale
Sample
Satisfaction
Satisfaction guaranteed
Save
Save $
Save an extra
Save money
Save now
Save big money
Save up to
Score
Score with babes
Search engine listings
Search engines
Section 301
See for yourself
Sent in compliance
Serious
Serious cash
Serious only
Serious offer
Shopper
Shopping spree
Sign up free today
Social security number
Solution
Spam
Special deal
Special discount
Special for you
Special offer
Special promotion
Stainless steel
Stock alert
Stock disclaimer statement
Stock pick
Stop
Stop calling me
Stop emailing me
Stop snoring
Strong buy
Stuff on sale
Subject to cash
Subject to credit
Subscribe
Subscribe now
Subscribe for free
Success
Supplies
Supplies are limited

T

Take action
Take action now
Talks about hidden charges
Talks about prizes
Teen
Tells you it’s an ad
Terms
Terms and conditions
The best rates
The following form
They keep your money — no refund!
They’re just giving it away
This email was not sent unsolicited
This isn’t a scam
This is an advertisement
This isn’t junk
This isn’t spam
This won’t last
Thousands
Time limited
Toll free
Traffic
Trial

U

UCE-Mail ActUndisclosed recipient
University diplomas
Unlimited
Unsecured credit
Unsecured debt
Unsolicited
Unsubscribe
Urgent
US dollars

V

Vacation
Vacation offers
Valium
Viagra
Vicodin
VIP
Visit our website

W

Wants credit card
Warranty
Warranty expired
We hate spam
We honor all
We strongly oppose the
use of spam email 
Web traffic
Website visitors
Weekend getaway
Weight
Weight loss
What are you waiting for?
What’s keeping you?
While available
While in stock
While supplies last
While you sleep
Who really wins?
Why pay more?
Wife
Will not believe your eyes
Win
Winner
Winning
Won
Work from home

X

Xanax    

Y

You are a winner!
You have been chosen
You have been selected
Your chance
Your income
Your status

Z

Zero chance Zero percent Zero risk

How to avoid spam trigger words?

Referring to spam trigger word lists is a good idea, but given how fast new spam trigger words appear, you might need more than just a list to keep your emails clean and friendly to spam filters. Luckily, there is a certain pattern that allows you to avoid potential spam trigger words, not just the most obvious ones.

Once you’ve written your email template, go through each word very carefully. Ask yourself:

“Does my message sound too good to be true?” There is no doubt that you want to outline all the benefits of your sales offer to your prospect. But it’s important to stay realistic about it and be careful with the adjectives you’re using. Words like “amazing,” “beautiful” or “perfect” sound nice but don’t provide any substantial information. Instead, they make you look shady. Nobody believes in free cheese nowadays. People believe in risks and rewards, in data and statistics, so be honest with your prospects and don’t sugarcoat your offers.

“Does it sound like a promise I can’t keep?” Positioning yourself as a vendor who can solve problems is the right decision. However, it doesn’t mean that you can say things like:

- “We will resolve your issues.” 

- “We’ll help you get more profit.”

- “You’ll be dominating your industry in less than a week.”

Those are the things a financial pyramid leader would say — and nobody likes those people. Don’t be in a hurry to give promises or guarantees. Outline your roadmap and approximate results, express your readiness to tackle challenges and adapt to them. This is what people want to see in their vendors.

“Does it sound like a scam?” Getting overly creative with your body text may do you a huge disservice. Using informal language, images to draw attention or words like “prize,” “win,” “score” won’t inspire your recipients. They will alert spam filters, though. Thus, convince people of your success with facts and case studies.

Keep in mind that you won’t automatically get banned by spam filters, even if your body text features a word from a spam trigger list. If you have a good sending reputation, a solid sender ID and delivery rate, your email will be allowed to proceed. Quite often, spam triggers go hand-in-hand with low reputation, lack of DNS records and other components of healthy outreach that spammers aren’t typically bothered with.

Conclusion

Spam trigger words are the words that can be used to manipulate your readers, appeal to their vision of their business and their goals, exploit their concerns by using emotional triggers. Even though there are lists of spam trigger words to avoid, you can easily dodge them by keeping your sender reputation clean and developing an individual approach to each prospect.  

Find out what’s going on in your potential clients’ industry to understand their professional jargon and stay in touch with their latest trends. If you do proper research, you won’t have problems with sounding corny, cheesy, insincere, unoriginal or spammy.

We hope that this post was helpful to you. In case you want to explore the principles behind cold outreach more closely, stay tuned for more content by becoming our subscriber! 

Vladislav Podolyako
Author:
Vladislav Podolyako
Founder & CEO
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.

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