OK, I’ll admit it. The headline to this blog post is absolute clickbait. I would never suggest any marketer send spam.
But, perhaps you should send “spam.” And “free.” And use other email spam trigger words in your email marketing.
Writing email with one hand tied behind our backs
Deliverability is a huge concern for email marketers. After all, if our emails never get into customers’ inboxes, they won’t be very effective.
One of the ways for our messages to avoid being labeled as junk email is to avoid specific words used by outright spammers.
But as a writer, avoiding these words can be difficult. After all, spammers use them because they are often the clearest, and sometimes most evocative ways, to communicate with potential customers. If we avoided all of these words in our email sends, we would seriously hamstring copywriters’ efforts to communicate with customers.
And then there’s the fact that the list of possible spam trigger words isn’t short. The list I linked to above included 393 words and phrases. This includes some pretty basic words such as “phone” and “now.”
Do spam trigger words really matter?
If you follow the latest research and top thinking on deliverability, these words don’t really matter. At least, not a whole lot (more on this topic at the end of this blog post).
I’m pretty sure that if I step on a crack, I won’t break my mother’s back, but I’m still careful where I walk on the sidewalk. And how many elevators have you been in that don’t recognize having a 13th floor?
We logically don’t believe urban legends and superstitions, yet when blatantly confronted by them, something in our brain holds us back.
This was the position I found myself in when writing the MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week newsletter that featured this article — ”Email Marketing Research Chart: Why subscribers flag email as spam.”
After I sent the final copy to our copy editor, Kayla Cobb, I had doubts. Second thoughts. Superstitions. What if that word — “spam” — really did send all of our email to the junk folder? Only one way to solve this conundrum: To the split test!
Control — More spam than a Hawaiian pizza
Subject Line: [Sherpa Chart] Why email is flagged as spam