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Spam trigger words for affiliate marketing

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  • Post last modified:28/02/2024

It has been 2 months since I joined Affiliate System with Dean Holland. 

It was a busy time preparing foundations for my affiliate marketing business. As it is a setup stage there were no sales, but not everything is ready yet. Same as with car mechanic before school graduation, you won’t be performing a timing belt change without tools and knowledge.

My tools are all on one platform, AffiliateSystem. It is a powerful piece of kit for any affiliate marketer. Using it I was able to build a blog with WordPress, create a sales funnel and set up my autoresponder -I mean my email-sending machine.

I am most proud of the new skills I developed. I know how to build a sales funnel with all the automation around it. My mentor once said that progress not always is measured with money.  Funnel building is the one I am most excited about. 

My second biggest achievement was my blog

Probably this is not the final version, but is live and generates small engagement. I am not promoting it fully, because it needs to have some content and provide value for my readers, so thank you for being here. Let me know in a comment if I am on the right path and if this blog post is interesting to you.

My mentor also pointed out that we need to fight our bad habits, as we are sometimes our worst enemies, hence we need to change or replace habits we don’t want.  If we don’t this will keep us stuck in the hamster wheel.

My bad habits were always chasing the next shiny object by looking for an easier solution to make money online. Also, I am impatient and would like to see more traffic coming and first sales. Now I understand that this is a sequence, first content, that needs to allow people to better know me.  I hope these learnings will be valuable for any aspiring affiliate marketer, who is confused about how to start and read this blog. 

My next focus would be to prepare a series of emails for my readers.

But there is a trick. Some words classify email into a spam category. So my task was to find out more about them and avoid to use them, 

Spam trigger words are words or phrases that can increase the chances of your email being marked as spam. To ensure your email marketing is successful, it’s best to steer clear of common spam trigger words like “free,” “earn money,” “act now,” “click here,” “buy now,” “limited time offer,” and “get rich quick.” The best practice is to avoid words and phrases that create a sense of urgency, and make exaggerated claims like”lose 10lb within 5 days”. 

It’s important to remember that spam trigger words are just one factor in determining whether an email is classified as spam. Email service providers also consider other factors like the reputation of the sender and the content and structure of the email.

So, while it’s important to avoid spam trigger words, it’s equally important to focus on sending targeted content to people who have given their consent to receive it. I will have to set these expectations in my first email. If you decide to send emails once a month and start sending them three times a week, this might result in a higher unsubscribe rate. 

The interesting thing is that we need to be careful about links to the websites we are sending our audience to. Similar to sender reputation, websites have their own reputation with email service providers.

Another important factor is to comply with local email-sending regulations like GDPR.

Interestingly avoiding spammy words does not guarantee that our email will not end up in a spam folder. All new regulations introduced by Google and Yahoo make this task more complicated. The sender must do it from the domain he owes, but I have that set up already.

Working on a sender’s reputation will require have good open rate, so it is important to send emails to people who want to read them.

Another important factor is the bounce rate. We do not necessarily have anything to do with us if someone typed the wrong email or had his inbox full.

Two factors that need to be closely watched are the unsubscribe rate and spam complaint rate. Those can damage the sender’s reputation instantly as it means we sending emails to people who are not interested in reading them.

Of course, someone can have a bad day and decide to report some emails as spam, but it’s beyond our control if what we send or how often upsets them.

I have some alternatives that can be used when avoiding spam trigger words:

  1. Instead of using the word “free,” maybe try phrases like “complimentary” or “at no cost”.
  2. Try to replace “act now,”  for more persuasive alternatives such as “take action” or “act immediately” to encourage prompt response.
  3. Instead of using the command “click here,” consider using phrases like “learn more” or “find out additional information”.
  4. Instead of using the phrase “limited time offer,” try something similar to “exclusive offer” or “for a limited time”.
  5. Replace direct call-to-action “buy now,” consider using “make a purchase” or “get it now”.

Similar restrictions are with subject lines. It’s advisable to avoid using all caps or exclamation points excessively in your subject line. Also, avoid words and phrases that make exaggerated claims, and create a sense of urgency.

Let me know in the comments what other best practices you know for sending emails, that I need to take into consideration. I want to maintain my sender reputation to the highest possible standards.

Until next time!

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Ernie

    Great post on your process and the process. I especially found value in the Spam Trigger words. This is really good stuff to consider. Thank you for the ideas and including the graphic! I, too, an on a similar journey and the entire process can be tedious, but the end result will be fantastic.

    1. Tom

      Much appreciated comment, Ernie.
      This is why I am continuing to post, so other people who just started with affiliate marketing can find what works. Or what to avoid in this instance.
      I am sure the results would be fantastic, but I love the journey, the process I am going through and the person I become because of that.

  2. Sandy

    Great post Tom. I’m going to make sure I go back and check out some of those spam words. This was very helpful.

    1. Tom

      No problem Sandy.
      Sometimes we can make mistakes because we don’t know what we don’t know. That is why I used some of them in my first email. Now I will check carefully, although not all of them could be avoided.
      Until next time.

  3. Tony Simms

    Very helpful, I had not really thought about Spam trigger words before. I do try to avoid over used words, and find that an online Thesaurus helps with that. I also have a couple of go-to books, ‘Words That Sell’ and ‘More Words The Sell’ by Richard Bayan.

    1. Tom

      Thank you Tony.
      It’s good to know them, although some lists seem to be endless. I noticed that emails from some senders that usually are in my primary box, sometimes end up in the spam folder. Now I know why that is.
      Thank you for the book recommendations, I will add them to my list. Speak soon. Tom

  4. Eleanor Hope

    This is a really good post. I like that you are exploring as you go. You have hit on something very important as the use of particular words can send your emails into the spam folder or worse, it may never be delivered.
    So although you are learning something new, I like that you are out on your own exploring possible challenges that may come your way. This is important information you are uncovering particularly for newbies coming into this field and can easily make those errors. I found this post informative and I really like the layout and how accessible it is. Thanks for sharing

    1. Tom

      I am so happy you like it, Eleanor.
      It is a wide topic. What surprised me the most was that using exclamation marks or writing subject lines in capital letters can also push our email to the spam folder. Loads to learn, that’s for sure.

  5. Alison Blaire

    Thank you so much; this is incredibly useful, knowing what words and phrases to avoid to prevent your email from landing in the spam folder! Congratulations on all that you have accomplished, learning to build a blog and funnel are truly two accomplishments that should be celebrated! 🎉🎉🎉

    1. Tom

      Thank you Alison.
      Spam trigger words turned out to be a wide topic. There are some lists of hundreds words of or phrases to avoid. But this should not stop us from sending emails anyway.

  6. Robert Klein

    A sales funnel, a blog and some focus – it all sounds like you are on the right path. And it IS interesting.

    I took particular interest in your SPAM chart creative and I snagged a screenshot of it for my referenece – thanks! And it’s certainly wise to take a well-rounded approach to keeping your emails out of the SPAM folder.

    I’ve had the experience of complaints on an email sequence that was sent out three times in one day. The rationale behind doing so made sense to me – but I think I’ll not do that again even if only 1% of my audience did not like the technique. As you say – perhaps they had a bad day.
    Robert Klein recently posted…Elephant in the RoomMy Profile

    1. Tom

      Thank you Robert.
      I am glad you find my blog interesting.
      Since I started affiliate marketing I have been looking closely at the emails I get from the senders I subscribed to previously. I check what draws my attention and what repels me. Also, I analyse why I hit that unsubscribe button, if there is one, sometimes it’s not.

  7. Lauren Millman

    That’s quite impressive you learned all of that in a matter of just two months! You should be beyond proud of your accomplishments. I’m super new to affiliate marketing, too so I found a tremendous value in learning about your email strategy. When it comes to email marketing, I’m learning that there’s so much to learn! I look forward to your next post, keep the great content coming!

    1. Tom

      Thanks Lauren, I agree, there is a lot to learn. Hence is easy to get distracted. I am glad Dean just points out what I need to know right now, so I ignore the rest until when it’s needed. I tried to learn about SEO for blogging and quickly got overwhelmed, and almost stopped posting. During one of the calls, Dean said that I don’t need to focus on SEO as I write to document my journey. What a relief that was, and I am still posting 🙂

  8. CJ

    Tom, thanks for the email sending advice. It is defiantly something I will keep in mind when doing my emails. There are a couple other things you can add to your list that I’ve leaned. The first is put your email in a spam grading application. This is a free online software that grade your email for spam and rates it on how likely it will end up in a recipient’s spam email box. It is also grate for learning what words trigger spam. The second thing is instead of using something like click here, Word a couple sentences or a paragraph and. highlight them so the reader automatically know to click it without explicitly saying so.
    I have found both of these suggestion to be helpful.
    Have an awesome day!

  9. Atif Perwiz

    Tom, great explanation of the spam words, the ones that you need to avoid. Very useful thank you. And the fact that you’ve got your blog you’ve done your funnel which I’ve subscribed to by the way, is really good progress. I’d like to hear your thoughts on traffic in the next couple of weeks which would be really interesting. Thanks again for your knowledge and insight. Thank you, Atif

    1. Tom

      Hey Atif,
      slowly my blogs start to look like I wanted, but probably this is not ist final version.
      I am glad I learned how to build a sales funnel.
      I am interested in paid traffic using Google ads, also referred to as pay-per-click as this can bring results almost instantly when done correctly.
      The last time I set up a campaign, I had over 150 subscribers within 2 days, and a very low cost per click.
      What would be your source of traffic for your blogs and offers?
      Speak soon. Tom

  10. Denny Medeiros

    Hi Tom,
    Great post! It’s so important now to be careful of terminology that can trigger spam.
    I appreciate that you shared several examples of trigger words and alternatives that can be utilized!
    Then you shred reminders of important with bounce rate, unsubscribe and spam complaint rates to track.
    Thanks for bringing awareness and providing sample text! Until your next post!

    1. Tom

      No problem Denny.
      We want to make sure that all work we put into creating subscribers list wan’t be jeopardize by some mistakes during posting an email. Hence I always send test email to myself, to check if looks good and all work as it should.
      Speak soon. Tom

  11. Alan Lim

    Hi Tom, thanks for sharing all those alternative words.

    It reminds me that a part of being a marketer is to learn how to say the same thing in different ways, and yet still being effective in getting action.

    It doesn’t just apply to emails but also apply to running ads.

    1. Tom

      Thank you Alan.
      The more I learn about email marketing the more triggers I see, not only words. Having exclamation marks in the subject line, using capital letters, adding pictures or graphics within an email template, using too many emojis… the list goes on and on…

  12. Kelli Hansel

    Very good post. You explain things very well. I really like that you not only point out some of the words and phrases to NOT use, but also offer alternatives that we CAN use! Very helpful!

  13. I am often surprised by what ends up in my spam folder- might be good to examine those for what you explain, here. Reducing the us of exclamation marks may be a good strategy, in any case! Your progress is laudable!!

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