Words NOT to Use and Avoid in Emails

There are words that are boring for the subscriber, and interesting for the spam filter. To insure interesting emails that are more likely to be opened and received, not only you must write good headlines and interesting copy. You must also avoid words that are likely to be dismissed by the client, or make your email spammy–which means that many clients won’t receive it at all.


To make your email attractive to the client, as a rule, use the active tense in your writing; in short, write sentences that have power. Active sentences look better than passive sentences. It may not be so evident, but ‘Cats love salmon’ sounds better than ‘Salmon is loved by cats’. Using the active voice eliminates many other problems, too. Rambling is a good example (rambling can be said to be present in this sentence). Use of active voice for email marketing is key, as it calls to action.

To make your emails slip through the spam filters, avoid using bad words. Not only are these words disliked by the spam filter, they also suck up the value of your content in the eyes of the subscriber.

Keep in mind:

  • Avoid words like “Free; Discount; Act Now; 50% off; You’ve been selected; All Natural”.
  • Also avoid words that relate to the particular email. Phrases like “Don’t Delete; Read This; Urgent; See What’s Inside; etc” are bad marketing practice and can severely damage your brand.
  • And, of course, unless you plan to gather a mailing list for selling Viagra (what?) or other drugs, avoid such brand names entirely. Also, avoid extensive use of !!/$$/&&/** or other symbols. They look unprofessional and spammy.

The problem behind these words is simple. They are disliked for their misleading and overused ways. If you can’t avoid using such words, limit them to one occasion per email. Using synonyms is a lot better.

Overall, there aren’t that many words you shouldn’t say, there are more bad emailing practices that you should avoid. Remember that attractive content is a good start, avoid the passive voice and bad words, and you’ll see that your emails have a better clickthrough rate.

Words NOT to Use and Avoid in Emails

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