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The Nicely Built Blog

How to Keep Your Email Campaigns Out of the Spam Folder

Ahhh, the spam folder. The most dreaded place in the world for business owners using email to market their products or services. Nobody wants to see their campaigns in the company of all-caps-writing scammers who promise compensation payments in emails riddled with misspellings! So how does one avoid the email graveyard that is the spam folder? Let’s explore! 

Bypassing the spam folder means steering clear of the words that will put you there, and unfortunately for biz owners, it has a lot to do with CTAs used in your campaigns, and words that denote you don’t actually have a relationship with the person you’re emailing (i.e. Dear Friend). CTAs or calls-to-action are words used to entice people into taking action. “Shop now” is a CTA example you may have used or at least seen in several email campaigns.

In addition to un-personalized emails and CTAs, certain words and characters used in email subject lines can also trigger spam filters. How will you know? Of course, we’ve got a list! Check out the words to avoid or at least use (really) sparingly:

Dear Friend

Instead of using this general greeting, try to personalize your emails using Merge tags. Make sure to include a place for subscribers to include their first name when signing up for your list. 

Click Here

Here’s one of those no-no CTAs. Try to be more specific with your requests. Think: Read more, Learn more, Subscribe, Contact us, Schedule an appointment, etc.  


Everyone loves to see the word “free,” right? That’s why scammers love to use it. You can slip it into the body of your email once or twice if you really need to, but try not to overwhelm your audience with too much content promising free things. You’ll end up next to one of those “Dear Sir” emails from the Zenith Bank Benin Republic.

Re: or Fwd:

Scammers use Re: and Fwd: in subject lines because they are used so often in our real email lives. Most people will open an email automatically when they see either of these in the subject line. Avoid using Re: and Fwd: unless you're actually forwarding or replying to an email.

Great offer, Guarantee, and Risk-free

Don’t these words kind of remind you of those corny TV commercials promising DEALS! DEALS! DEALS! on crappy furniture? None of us want our legitimate businesses associated with sleazy “DEALS! DEALS! DEALS!,” but also, since these words are meant to entice, they’re used frequently by internet scammers. Guaranteeing your subscribers a great offer that’s risk-free sounds good in theory, but it will likely land you in their spam folders. 

But wait, there’s more! Here are a few more things not to do and words to avoid to make sure your campaigns are sent to their intended place. 

Avoid characters in your subject lines: !$#&% 

Just say no to ALL CAPS subject lines

Money words that won’t help you make any:

Big bucks
Extra income
Fast cash

Timeliness words that are a waste of your time:

Apply now
Don’t hesitate

CTAs to not call to action:

Explode your business
Join millions

And last but not least, “This is not spam”  won’t keep your campaigns out of the spam folder, y’all, it will actually put them there. 🤷‍♀️

Have you noticed any words/phrases we didn’t mention that have landed your email campaigns in the spam folder before? Comment below and let us know!


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