Definitive List of 168 Spam Words To Avoid [2024]

Definitive List of 168 Spam Words To Avoid [2024]

Published By John Desyllas
December 6, 2023

Smart email marketers of today know that avoiding the use of certain spam words can prevent their emails from being routed to the spam folder.

Imagine spending hours crafting the perfect email marketing campaign, only to be blocked by spam filters and your email campaign never to be delivered to your recipients’ inboxes.

Read on to learn more about:

  • what email spam trigger words are
  • why email campaigns can end up in the spam folder
  • which spam words to avoid using
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What Are Spam Trigger Words?

Spam trigger words are keywords and phrases that email service providers (such as Gmail and Outlook) identify as red flags. When they see an email with these words or phrases, they direct it to the spam folder instead of the regular inbox.

Generally, spam words are words that can be associated with scams, overpromising, money, manipulative language causing unnecessary pressure on the recipient, and finally shady things.

Using such words in your email subject lines radically increases the chances you have of triggering spam filters. But sometimes words alone aren’t enough to cause problems. Context is also important, so if you’re true to what you’re advertising, then you shouldn’t run into trouble.

Now let’s see what else can cause your emails to go to the spam folder.

Why Email Campaigns Can Go To Spam

There are a number of factors affecting whether email providers will send your email campaigns straight to spam. Senders can also get on email blacklists, meaning that they’ve repeatedly sent emails to people who never opted in to receive those emails.

Let’s see the most common reason why emails may be sent to spam:

  • There is no unsubscribe button: Giving people the option to unsubscribe from receiving your marketing messages is mandatory. This is due to the GDPR rules in place and the CAN-SPAM Act.
  • You use capital letters or too much punctuation: Flooding your subject line (or parts of your email) with ALL CAPS is a definite way to trigger spam filters. The same applies to extreme punctuation like “!!!!!!” or “??????.” If you want to attract attention, try placing an emoji instead of capital letters which look like you’re shouting to the reader.
  • Email structure is broken or has glitchy code: A poorly-built HTML email can trigger spam filters. If the email design doesn’t render well, readers will probably have a bad user experience and they’ll regret opening it in the first place. Try keeping your emails as simple as possible and be extra careful with HTML templates you find on the Internet. You can always use the email newsletter templates your email marketing service provides, which are also mobile-friendly.
  • There are grammatical mistakes or typos: Always proofread your email copy for errors. Poorly written emails are often caught by anti-spam filters.
  • Email contains links to dangerous websites: Use links carefully when building your campaigns. Spam filters are very sensitive to links that lead to dodgy websites that are full of viruses or malicious content.
  • You use strange or colorful fonts: Weird fonts make it harder for recipients to read and they are likely to trigger spam filters. Similarly, using different color fonts (to emphasize the message) like red and blue can have the same effect.
  • You don’t use email authentication: To make your emails more secure and protect your domain, you can set up authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM and DMARC. These protocols provide an extra “layer” of authenticity to your emails and help you avoid the spam folder.
  • Your email list contains invalid or non-existent email addresses: If you’ve purchased an email list, chances are that the email addresses on it don’t know your brand. As a result, you’ll be having high bounce rates and you risk getting flagged as a spammer. Purchased email lists may also contain spam traps, which can seriously harm your email deliverability altogether.

Now that you know what to steer clear of, let’s find out the spam words you should avoid using!

Email Spam Words To Avoid

Below you’ll find the ultimate list of words to avoid using in your subject lines and email campaigns in general.


  1. Buy
  2. Buy direct
  3. Buy today
  4. Clearance
  5. As seen on
  6. Order
  7. Order status
  8. Sample
  9. Wants credit card
  10. Claim now
  11. Act now
  12. This won’t last
  13. Expires soon
  14. Limited time
  15. Exclusive deal
  16. Urgent
  17. 100%
  18. 50% off
  19. All-new
  20. Best price
  21. All-natural
  22. 100% satisfaction
  23. Lifetime


  1. Do it today!
  2. Act now!
  3. Act fast!
  4. Apply now
  5. Apply online
  6. Access fast
  7. Call now
  8. Call free
  9. Instant access
  10. Don’t hesitate
  11. For you
  12. Instant
  13. Now
  14. Now only
  15. Order expires
  16. Please read
  17. Take action now
  18. While supplies last
  19. One time only
  20. Click this link
  21. Click to remove
  22. Final call
  23. Hurry up
  24. Immediately
  25. This won’t last
  26. Top urgent
  27. Last chance
  28. Claim your prize
  29. New customers only
  30. Important information regarding


  1. Money Back
  2. Dollars
  3. Cash
  4. Profit
  5. $$$
  6. Big bucks
  7. Fast cash
  8. Extra cash
  9. Get paid
  10. Credit
  11. Debit
  12. Billion
  13. Cash Bonus
  14. Best price
  15. Bonus
  16. Double your income
  17. Free Investment
  18. Lowest interest rate
  19. No strings attached
  20. Risk-free
  21. Serious cash
  22. Save money
  23. Best rates
  24. Unsecured credit
  25. Pure profit
  26. Best mortgage rates
  27. Extra income
  28. Credit card offers
  29. No hidden fees
  30. No hidden charges
  31. No hidden costs
  32. US dollars
  33. Allowance
  34. Action required
  35. Why pay more?
  36. You are a winner
  37. You are selected
  38. Very cheap
  39. Avoid bankruptcy
  40. Financial independence
  41. Online biz opportunity
  42. Risk-free
  43. Pre-approved
  44. Winner
  45. Offshore


  1. Loans
  2. Luxury
  3. Accept credit cards
  4. Beneficiary
  5. Claims
  6. Claims to be legal

Shady or Unethical Behavior

  1. Dear friend
  2. Direct email
  3. Bulk email
  4. Mass email
  5. Confidentiality
  6. Cancel any time
  7. Congratulations
  8. No catch
  9. No costs
  10. No gimmicks
  11. Human growth hormone
  12. Not spam
  13. No obligation
  14. Babes
  15. Cutie
  16. Kinky
  17. Mature
  18. Viagra
  19. Valium
  20. Vicodin
  21. Weight loss
  22. Xanax
  23. Lose weight fast
  24. Stop aging
  25. Cure baldness
  26. Miracle
  27. This is not a scam
  28. This is not fraud
  29. Not junk
  30. No questions asked
  31. Internet marketing
  32. Multi-level marketing
  33. Direct marketing
  34. Click below to access
  35. Meet singles
  36. Social security number
  37. Search engine
  38. Internet traffic
  39. Password
  40. Requires initial investment
  41. Your income
  42. Get out of debt


  1. Click
  2. Click below
  3. Click here to remove
  4. Ad
  5. Auto email removal
  6. Email marketing
  7. Email harvest
  8. Direct marketing
  9. Internet marketing
  10. Internet market
  11. Increase sales
  12. Increase traffic
  13. Marketing solutions
  14. Mass email
  15. Bulk email
  16. Direct email
  17. More internet traffic
  18. Notspam
  19. Performance
  20. We hate spam
  21. Will not believe your eyes
  22. Undisclosed recipient

Context Is Key When Using Spam Words

Bypassing spam filters is easy as long as you follow email marketing best practices and use the above spam words only within context. Spam filters have become more advanced, so the use of a single word won’t cause any harm as long as your email content is aligned with what you’re offering or promising to the receiver.

What you mustn’t ignore is to always personalize your emails and conduct A/B testing in order to establish what works best for your audience and optimize your strategy accordingly.

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