According to Google, Gmail blocks more than 100 million emails as spam worldwide each day. Which potentially means all your tireless efforts spent crafting the perfect campaign may be undone by simply using spammy words in emails. Fortunately for you, spam filters can easily be avoided if you know what they’re looking for.
Spam filters learn what characteristics are “spammy” by looking at spam emails. Which makes sense. But unfortunately for many businesses, spam emails often emulate sales emails. Which has lead to a lot of sales language becoming potential spam trigger words. This means genuine sales emails are sometimes mistakenly caught up in spam filters.
In this article we’re going to unravel the mysteries behind what triggers spam filters, and how you can optimise your email for maximum deliverability. Plus, we’ll be revealing all the spammy words in emails that often redirect your emails to Spam Land.
What causes emails to be flagged as spam?
1) No unsubscribe button
According to the Spam Act 2003, you must provide an easy way for subscribers to opt-out of your email communications. This means clearly displaying your unsubscribe button at the end of your email – don’t try hiding it by making the font too small to even read.
Failing to provide an easy opt-out is not only illegal but email servers may think your legitimate subscribers are receiving unsolicited messages from you.
2) Using capital letters or abbreviations
While capitalisation is effective at conveying excitement or drawing readers attention to a certain word, email servers don’t like it when they are overused.
This type of formatting is often used in unsolicited, deceptive, or phishing content. To avoid being flagged by spam filters, ensure that you maintain a balanced and intentional tone in your emails. Ensure that all capitalisation and abbreviations align with your brand’s overall voice. This can be the key to ensuring your email strategies foster genuine, interaction-driven communication.
3) Too many images
Moderation is vital for all aspects of your email strategies. Even using too many images can raise suspicion. This is a common tactic used by spammers to hide the content of their email, hence why most email clients will flag most image-heavy emails.
To maintain credibility with spam filters, ensure that your messages effectively balance relevant text and images. This will ensure that your emails are not flagged as spam and improve audience engagement.
4) Shortened URLs
Spammers are renowned for using shortened URLs to mask the true destination of their links. So it’s best practice to avoid shortened URLs all together. We know an extended link isn’t flattering but it shows your business is being transparent and your intentions are genuine.
5) Broken or glitchy code
Broken or glitchy code refers to specific technical issues in your emails that may impact how subscribers view or interact with your content. Emails with broken or glitchy code may signal to spam filters that your messages are unreliable or contain malicious content. These issues can not only impact user experiences but also impact your sender reputation.
6) Linking websites with poor domain authority
Just like Google ranks your website content, email servers will deem your content unreliable when you’re linking to websites with poor domain authority and end up sending your email straight to spam. To avoid this, ensure that you select links intentionally and carefully. Only link to websites that are trustworthy and reputable.
7) Using fonts that are hard to read
One of the most important aspects of email communication and readability buries down to the fonts you use. Using hard-to-read fonts can make your emails seem suspicious or confusing.
You should be opting for fonts that are clearly understandable, clear, and familiar. This can ensure that your emails are not lost in spam folders and help your audience clearly navigate and understand your messages.
8) Email address isn’t authenticated
Sending emails from an address that is not authenticated is like sending a letter without a return address. This can signal to email spam filters that you may be trying to conceal your identity.
To avoid this, use effective authentication methods such as:
- Sender Policy Frameworks (SPF): Verifies the legitimacy of an email sender’s domain by checking authorised IP addresses
- Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM): Adds a digital signature to promote tamper-proof verification
- Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC): Combines SPF and DKIM to instruct receivers on how to address unauthenticated emails.
This can help show spam filters that your business is genuine and trustworthy.
9) Email lists that contain dead or inactive email addresses
If your email list still contains unresponsive or inactive email addresses it can cause significant damage to your sender’s reputation. Receiving a high bounce rate after every send could potentially prompt email servers to blacklist your domain. This unfortunately is a little harder to recover from and may require assistance from your email service provider.
That is why it’s crucial to regularly clear your email address list and remove inactive or outdated addresses. This can improve your email deliverability and ensure that your campaigns resonate with their intended audience.
Email Spam Trigger Words To Avoid:
Email spam filters learn more with each and every email received. And with 281 billion emails sent per day, they’re learning fast. Staying up to date on spam trigger words alone is difficult. Keeping on top of all the other spam triggers is almost impossible to do on your own. Luckily, for Vision6 users, in-built spam compliance tools handle this. And with the option to view each email’s spam score, tweaks can be made before each send.
Now don’t take this list of 100 common spam trigger words as bible. We’re not saying that using these words will trigger spam filters. But overusing this kind of urgent and sale-sy language might set off alarm bells.
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Email deliverability tips to help you avoid spam
1) Run a spam check
Spam-checking tools can help your business remove spammy words in an email and scan content for technical issues. In Vision6 you can run a Litmus test which shows you how your email will display across many different email clients – of different ages and version numbers, different devices and with dark mode options.
By identifying and addressing these issues ahead of time, you can refine your email campaigns and ensure that they are not accidentally flagged as spam. This proactive step can help ensure that they reach your audience’s inbox.
2) Regularly clean your lists
Regularly cleaning your email address list can help your business cultivate a more positive sender reputation.
By removing inactive or disengaged users, you can ensure that your messages only reach their intended audience. This can help craft an email communication strategy supported by genuine purpose, intent, and actionable impact.
3) Keep your emails compliant
Staying updated on and adhering to various email regulations can help ensure your email communication is on track. This includes providing users an opt-out option and abiding by regulations such as GDPR and CAN-SPAM. This can ensure that your email communication is trustworthy, transparent, and meaningful.
4) Consider implementing double opt-in
Double opt-ins refer to an additional layer of confirmation from users that they genuinely want to receive your emails. Consider including a double opt-in button or link in your emails to ensure your audience is fully engaged and interactive. This can help reduce the risk of spam complaints and improve the probability of success for your campaigns.
5) Make your emails more engaging
Engagement is one of the most effective strategies for avoiding spam filters. You can make your emails more engaging by drafting compelling subject lines and ensuring the content is relevant and accurate.
Viewers opening and interacting with your content can indicate that your business is a trusted and reliable source of information. This can be highly beneficial for improving email deliverability.
Take the time to review your email content, run it through spam-checking tools, and fine-tune your messages. By following these best practices and avoiding the overuse of spammy words, you can ensure that your messages reach the right inbox, at the right time, and with the right impact.