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lindagray

How spam words are triggering the spam filter

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How spam words are triggering the spam filter

Over the past few years, we’ve seen ISPs become a bit smarter and have started to move away from more traditional spam alarms.

Today, ISPs learn from how we interact with the messages that arrive in our inbox, which helps them determine whether emails should go to the Spam folder or land safely in our inbox.

So what does this means for words you should (and should not) be including in subject lines, then? Well, words tend to be misleading, thus resulting in higher-than-normal user complaint rates. These complaints, along with poor interaction from recipients have a negative effect on the sender reputation and, ultimately, impact the deliverability of future messages.

Just imagine how many times you have received a subject line that includes the word “Free”. How many times has there actually been something that’s truly free in the email? Probably very few, which explains why now, when you read the word “Free” in your inbox, you generally just roll your eyes at a not-so-subtle attempt to get you to open a deceiving email.

And if people do open the email and then find that there’s actually nothing really free there, senders can expect a high rate of user complaints like spam reports and unsubscribes that will impact their future inbox placement.

If you are looking to avoid those words that will trigger spam filters, we’ve got you covered. Below are some common spam lingo to help protect you from using them yourself and being mistaken for a spammer, or worse, a phisher.

Invoice

The word “invoice” is a phisher’s favorite – if you see this word in a subject line, there’s a chance they’re trying to bait you in. Make sure to check the sender address to verify the email’s validity. billing@ex-ample.com is not the same as billing@example.com. Scammers try to profit out of our carelessness.

PayPal, Visa/MasterCard or any bank name

Again a case where a legitimate name can be used for phishing.

Scammers often try to impersonate financial institutions by sending emails with the same color scheme and layout, redirecting to a mirrored site made to look almost exactly like the one it is spoofing.

As a consumer, follow the same steps above, verifying the sender address and domain name. As a marketer, use authentication tools DKIM and SPF to prevent spoofers from hurting your reputation.

Lottery, Free Gift, Prize

This is one you always see in your spam folder. Hundreds of thousands of emails are sent to people with a subject line claiming that they’ve just won a big prize or that they’ve been selected for a sweepstakes you’ve never entered before. You have to be very gullible to fall for that one, yet scammers still send these by the millions since they are quick and easy to send. If it’s too good to be true, then it is. When you craft your emails, don’t give your customers a chance to ask themselves this question and certainly don’t let the ISP ask this question.

Urgent, Desperate, Please Help

Variations of this “damsel in distress” scheme have made appearances over the years, where phishers pretend to be an affluent person from a far away country, who, being chased by wrongdoers, is forced to flee to a safe haven. For some reason they have chosen you as the sole trustee of all their money and they promise great rewards for helping them open an account with a specific bank so that they can transfer their funds. These spammers are the butt of many jokes, avoid these words to avoid being on the wrong end of the joke.

Casino/Free Spins/Deposit Bonus

Gambling spammers often send out campaigns that promise high return, free entry or double deposits. If it’s not a website you recognize, then straight to the spam folder it goes.

Here are some examples of specific words you want to be cautious of using:

Spam_Words_-_Google_Sheets.png

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