Email Subject Line Words That Trigger Spam Filters And Route You To The Junk Folder

Getting your emails routed to the junk folder sucks… especially when you’ve worked so hard to build a list of subscribers that fully opted in and wish to view your email. There are a few factors that impact your sender reputation that can impact your ability to make it to the inbox:

It’s important to note that these algorithms are highly customized by mailbox providers. It’s not a checkmark list that you must meet 100% of the guidelines. As an example, if your reply email address is in the mailbox recipient’s contacts, you’ll almost always find your way to the inbox.

If you have a great inbox placement and tons of engagement on your emails, you can get away with far more aggressive emails and use words that may trigger a sender with a poor or young reputation. The goal here is when you know you’re getting routed to the junk folder, to minimize the words that may flag SPAM filters.

Email Subject Line SPAM Words

If you don’t have a solid reputation and you’re not in the recipient’s contacts, one of the easiest ways to get your emails stuck in the Junk Folder and classified as SPAM is the words you’ve utilized in your email subject line. SpamAssassin is open-source spam blocking that publishes its rules for identifying SPAM on its Wiki.

Here are the rules SpamAssassin utilizes with words in the subject line:

In my honest opinion, most of these filters are absolutely ridiculous and often block great email senders from making it to the inbox. Virtually every consumer expects email from the vendors that they’re doing business with, so the fact that saying anything regarding an offer or price may get you blocked is quite frustrating. And what if you actually do want to provide something FREE to a subscriber? Well, don’t write it in a subject line!

Need Help With Your Email Reputation?

If you’re in need of assistance to establish or clean up your email reputation, my consulting firm does email deliverability consulting for many clients. Our services include:

If you are sending at least 5,000 emails to any single mailbox provider, we can even audit your program to provide you with feedback on the health of your overall email marketing program.

DK New Media Email Consultants

The Origin of the Word SPAM

Oh, and in the event, you didn’t know where the word SPAM came from… it’s from a Monty Python sketch regarding the popular canned meat product.

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