Words that get flagged as spam if used in the subject line of emails.

13 replies
Hi,

I'm putting together my first auto-responder sequence..

My first concern is "deliverability" and I believe this
is determined by "spam blokers" looking at the
subject line..

Can anyone confirm this and if this is the case, and
is there a "list" of words available, that I should avoid using
in order to get my emails through, (other than FREE and MAKE MONEY.)

Thanks in advance..
#emails #flagged #line #spam #subject #words
  • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
    Originally Posted by quantumtiger View Post

    Hi,

    I'm putting together my first auto-responder sequence..

    My first concern is "deliverability" and I believe this
    is determined by "spam blokers" looking at the
    subject line..

    Can anyone confirm this and if this is the case, and
    is there a "list" of words available, that I should avoid using
    in order to get my emails through, (other than FREE and MAKE MONEY.)

    Thanks in advance..
    In email marketing "spammy words" are largely myth and yet, you still hear even some email marketing service providers mention it (go figure). Sender reputation is the key metric. Here's a good post busting that myth from Smart Insights.

    Regards,
    jim
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  • Profile picture of the author Baadier Sydow
    I think most of the autoresponder services will give you some insight in how the most common spam blockers will rate your email. To my understanding each email is rated on a scale of how likely it is to be spam.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Harris
      Originally Posted by Baadier View Post

      I think most of the autoresponder services will give you some insight in how the most common spam blockers will rate your email. To my understanding each email is rated on a scale of how likely it is to be spam.
      Hi Baadier

      The auto-responder I'm using is Aweber,
      and in one of my emails I have the word "Free" in the subject line..

      Aweber gives it a score of 1.6 out 5 as a chance of being blocked
      and I think the lowest score is 1.5..

      Yet I have several emails in my junk mail from lists,
      I have subscribed to with the word free in the subject line..

      And when I went to unsubscribe from one of these lists I see
      the list owner is also using Aweber..

      So this leaves me unsure as to how accurate Aweber's score is..
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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        Originally Posted by JimDucharme View Post

        In email marketing "spammy words" are largely myth and yet, you still hear even some email marketing service providers mention it (go figure). Sender reputation is the key metric. Here's a good post busting that myth from Smart Insights.

        Regards,
        jim
        It isn't a myth. It's called content spam which is used by cloudmark, a very popular service. It's kind of hard to dispute something like that.

        IP Reputation, domain reputation, all play a roll but if you DO use certain words, your email will seem like it's delivered fine, but end up never making it. I have had the problem many times with verizon, and any service that used cloudmark.

        Best 3rd party platform I have used, is mailchimp. But you can't send affiliate offers with them.
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Harris
          Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

          It isn't a myth. It's called content spam which is used by cloudmark, a very popular service. It's kind of hard to dispute something like that.

          IP Reputation, domain reputation, all play a roll but if you DO use certain words, your email will seem like it's delivered fine, but end up never making it. I have had the problem many times with verizon, and any service that used cloudmark.

          Best 3rd party platform I have used, is mailchimp. But you can't send affiliate offers with them.
          Thanks for your advice iAmNameless,

          I googled cloudmark, what I understand about "content spam" from
          the results is, that depending on how many emails go out with certain words
          that have been flagged as spam, determines how successful the send will be..

          So if I send out 10 emails and the threshold is 9, then my emails will be flagged..

          I'm not sure if that's right, that's just how I understood it..
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        • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
          Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

          It isn't a myth. It's called content spam which is used by cloudmark, a very popular service. It's kind of hard to dispute something like that.

          IP Reputation, domain reputation, all play a roll but if you DO use certain words, your email will seem like it's delivered fine, but end up never making it. I have had the problem many times with verizon, and any service that used cloudmark.

          Best 3rd party platform I have used, is mailchimp. But you can't send affiliate offers with them.
          I have a strong opinion on the topic because I see a lot of people spending too much time thinking about this. However, there is still some discussion which goes on in the industry too. Here's an example of differing views between two industry experts I know in a post by email marketing analyst/commentator Ken Magill. It's a great read.

          “Content filtering hasn't been a big component of spam filtering algorithms for nearly a decade,” wrote Chad White, research director for Responsys, in the article’s comments. “Sender reputation and increasingly engagement metrics are way more important. Any marketer with half-decent permission and list management practices will be able to use these words and phrases without worry.”


          Email deliverability consultant Laura Atkins, however, took a more nuanced approach.
          “The words and phrases posted by HubSpot are pulled out of the Spamassassin rule set,” she wrote on her blog. “Using those words or exact phrases will cause a spam score to go up, sometimes by a little (0.5 points) and sometimes by a lot (3+ points). Most spamassassin installations consider anything with more than 5 points to be spam so a 3 point score for a subject line may cause mail to be filtered.”

          For those who want the short summary...here's what Ken concluded in his post:

          "Should email marketers try and limit so-called spammy words and phrases in their subject lines and content? Sure. But it is literally the last thing they should concern themselves with."


          Regards,
          jim
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          • Profile picture of the author Michael Harris
            Originally Posted by JimDucharme View Post

            I have a strong opinion on the topic because I see a lot of people spending too much time thinking about this. However, there is still some discussion which goes on in the industry too. Here's an example of differing views between two industry experts I know in a post by email marketing analyst/commentator Ken Magill. It's a great read.

            "Content filtering hasn't been a big component of spam filtering algorithms for nearly a decade," wrote Chad White, research director for Responsys, in the article's comments. "Sender reputation and increasingly engagement metrics are way more important. Any marketer with half-decent permission and list management practices will be able to use these words and phrases without worry."


            Email deliverability consultant Laura Atkins, however, took a more nuanced approach.
            "The words and phrases posted by HubSpot are pulled out of the Spamassassin rule set," she wrote on her blog. "Using those words or exact phrases will cause a spam score to go up, sometimes by a little (0.5 points) and sometimes by a lot (3+ points). Most spamassassin installations consider anything with more than 5 points to be spam so a 3 point score for a subject line may cause mail to be filtered."

            For those who want the short summary...here's what Ken concluded in his post:

            "Should email marketers try and limit so-called spammy words and phrases in their subject lines and content? Sure. But it is literally the last thing they should concern themselves with."


            Regards,
            jim
            Hey Jim,

            Thanks for all your help..

            Thanks for your advice, you're right they are differing views..

            What I will take from it is,
            that it's important to consider the use of spammy words,
            BUT then there are also many other factors to keep in mind as well..
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
        Originally Posted by quantumtiger View Post

        Hi Baadier

        The auto-responder I'm using is Aweber,
        and in one of my emails I have the word "Free" in the subject line..

        Aweber gives it a score of 1.6 out 5 as a chance of being blocked
        and I think the lowest score is 1.5..

        Yet I have several emails in my junk mail from lists,
        I have subscribed to with the word free in the subject line..

        And when I went to unsubscribe from one of these lists I see
        the list owner is also using Aweber..

        So this leaves me unsure as to how accurate Aweber's score is..
        I have a few lists in the personal finance niche, and AWeber often gives them a spam score of 2.5. I still send them and have not had any problems to date.

        One of the things they will flag is a subject line that has both a '!' and '?'. I can usnderstand it if it would be written as "Really?!?!?!?", but it will also flag something like "Wait! Are you doing this?" In other words, it's not even close to being an exact science.

        Also, most of my messages (across all niches) have a spam score of 0, so that's the lowest possible score. Not that it really matters.

        Write your messages however you want to write them. If you feel you are using a certain word too much, then change it, but for the sake of readability and not for the fear of being flagged as spam.

        All the best,
        Michael
        Signature

        "Ich bin en fuego!"
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelNech
        Originally Posted by quantumtiger View Post

        Hi Baadier

        The auto-responder I'm using is Aweber,
        and in one of my emails I have the word "Free" in the subject line..

        Aweber gives it a score of 1.6 out 5 as a chance of being blocked
        and I think the lowest score is 1.5..

        Yet I have several emails in my junk mail from lists,
        I have subscribed to with the word free in the subject line..

        And when I went to unsubscribe from one of these lists I see
        the list owner is also using Aweber..

        So this leaves me unsure as to how accurate Aweber's score is..
        Regarding the word "Free" in the subject line, I've seen quite a few marketers using the "F.REE" form of this word.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris_Willow
    I'm using a lot of custom filters for make money, affiliate and dick pills type of emails. Chances are many others are too.
    Your best bet to get through with your emails is being personal. make your subject line all lower case and something you'd send to a friend.
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  • Profile picture of the author Challendge
    i was always under the impression that it was a myth. I guess that I'll do more research about it!
    Thanks for this post!
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