6 Naughty Words to Never Use Anywhere in Your Emails

A guest article by Michael. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.

Since the dawn of email marketing, spam filters have had a myopic focus on protecting innocent victims from scummy marketing ploys. The battle win continue to be fought as long as there are those sending emails and those protecting us from those people. But you can be one of the “Good guys” just by changing the words you use.

The problem with some of the naughty words out there is that they’ve been considered naughty for years, and some haven’t been cleared of their unnecessary charges (see “Free,” as an example). Since these words have been the top and longest running offenders and are still considered a threat to email inboxes worldwide, it’s best to avoid using them all together.

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1. Opportunity

If an email with “opportunity” dotted through it somehow sneaks into your inbox, then it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the tiny hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

So, why is “opportunity” a particularly scary and naughty word?

First, an “opportunity” isn’t a deal or a promotion. An “opportunity” is something that you, as the subscriber, benefit from after jumping through hoops and not the other way around. Through and through, “opportunity” is a sleazeball word.

2. Free

“Free” is usually followed by “offer,” “leads,” “investment,” “opportunity” or “money.”

In email subscribers’ minds, “free” comes with some serious baggage and strings.

But, “free” can also be quite valuable to email marketing, if used only once. If you must use “free,” use it in your subject line like “Free Shipping.” Try not to make the “free” whatever the entire focus of your email promotion.

3. Amazing

What’s “amazing?” The Seven Wonders of the World? The birth of a child?

Natural phenomena earn the illustrious right to be called “amazing.” Anything else warrants suspicion.

It doesn’t matter how awesome your man made product is, it surely isn’t “amazing.”

4. Urgent

“Urgent” sounds like it’s coming out of the mouth of a non-attorney spokesperson who is talking about an “urgent medical announcement.”

“Urgent” implies that you’re taking your life in your hands if you don’t act immediately.

An email, even a marketing email, shouldn’t trigger the fight-or-flight reflex in your subscribers.

Just don’t use it.

5. Name Brand

Much like “urgent,” “name brand” paints a very sleazy picture in the minds of your email subscribers.

Think of a back alley deal for “name brand” prescriptions or rummaging through some sketchy guy’s trunk for “name brand” hand bags.

Here’s a thought: why not just tell us what those “name brand” items are? Who are the actual manufacturers of the products?

“Name brand” implies that you don’t have any “name brands” at all, but crappy knockoffs.

6. Opt-in

Let’s just clear something up: no reputable online business emails customers directly, asking them to “opt-in” for any service.

Customers do that one their own, after they made the choice to hear from you.

Also, it is more than a best practice but a necessary action that all customers “opt-in” for any service you provide – email, SMS or fax marketing included.

Since marketing in this manner is highly regulated, not providing this option but soliciting it through email is very suspicious and quite scary.

The Verdict

Get creative and don’t resort to using the naughty words to try and push your email promotions. People won’t open them and you will only end up destroying your reputation in the process. If you need to dust off the thesaurus, do it. Now go and play nice with your next newsletter or promotion.

  • nice blog

  • Maybe you should also add George Carlin’s list:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_Nrp7cj_tM

  • Quiet interesting to come to know the naughty words in the world of online business.

  • Bagul Khomeni

    🙂

  • starting a list this week, thaaaaaaaaanks

  • It’s really a cool and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • So meaning to say that as long as it contains just a very little naughty word it will be treated spam already well i guess naughty can be subjective depends on how sensitive your subject is.

  • Nice list. I think that one common “quality” of these words is vagueness. For example, the words amazing, opportunity and free lead to something not sure; unlike if an email subject says something straight like “business proposal” or “service inquiry”. 

  • I have to admit that I like the word free and tend to respond to it – but amazing is usually a stopper for me. 

  • I LIKE TO POST WITH CAPS IT LOOKS COOL.

    I don’t like them in my emails though.

  • I didn’t know that there are such “naughty” words. From now on, I’ll be cautious when doing emails. I don’t want them to freak out and feel like I’m using them only (not a good approach, guys).  

    • abshk

      yes u are right nice post although bt they are not so naughty

  • These are great things to keep in mind. Ill watch the words I use next time. Thanks!

  • aleen thomas

    Thanks for this post….

  • Rich Duskey

    nice blog….thanks for sharing this post….. 🙂

  • Naughty words will always be rejected as long the company is open for these words. We all have naughtiness inside,despite being just yourself will always be the best. Be corporate and kind to words expressed and you will always be open for them. Thanks for the post notice! Now we will be more aware to what we say! Cheers! 

  • Interest insights about to learn some basic things of emailing. Great article.

  • Yes yes, in fact, when I see words like “free” and “opportunity” junking up in my mail box, that means a red flag. If you want your email marketing strategies to be effective, be more creative and think out of the box.

  • These are very good tips especially for businesses that rely on email marketing. Use the right kind of words and make sure that your email will look professional.

  • These are very good tips especially for businesses that rely on email marketing. Use the right kind of words and make sure that your email will look professional.

  • Nice list! Im going to have to keep some of these words in mind! Thanks for the insight.

  • hahahaha.. these are some really funny.

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  • hahahha. I agree with all the information mentioned in here, good job. More power.

    – nina

  • serge

    I agree with all the information mentioned ..good job..
    🙂

  • septem

    all the factor that been mention in the blog are right and thats we call truth … its amazing 

  • Really nice one. Thank you for sharing the article. 

  • bernard

    i would agree to those, if i see any of those in my email, i would not read it.

  • Haha nice post! Im not sure about “amazing” tho but the rest of them sure sound like spam 😛

  • Very good and informative also. Thanks for this type of Research .

  • LOL, all so true, makes you think the email is spammy!

  • septem

    6 Naughty Words to Never Use Anywhere in Your Emails is a great full tips and i can use it as a guide in my writing an email with offending anybody with what word im using cause im aware of it , these article is great and i love it , its so knowledgeable and informative keep it up .

  •  Naughty words can be used in anyways but never to your email. Just be professional at times. Nice post!

  • Discovering technological innovation always bring good competitive environment  

  • its hard to imagine that these and many others are red flags to people…but when i think about it, it is what everyone uses…not only looking for new words, but the best is HOW you word things, give it a personal touch

  • Chay

    Thank you very much for this nice post of yours.It will be helpful to me as a starter.

  • I was very happy to have found this site. I wanted to thank you for this excellent information! I have no doubt like a little and I have saved your blog to make sure you write something new on the road.

    – Karina

  • Some interesting research! These are great words to take into account while sending out emails. Good work!

  • Some interesting research! These are great words to take into account while sending out emails. Good work!

  • placing the right words in the right locations can have an effect that you would not get by simply putting in words that a too monochromatic and without creativity 

  • Oh, gotta be careful with these seemingly OK words. 🙂

  • Metin Demirkol

    You know you have posted one of the most valuable post for modern days  email marketeer

  • Totally agreed, in this marketing world these points can be perfect to enhance your business. You should keep in mind these words in email and it is good to ignore from email.

  • Email marketing is getting smarter 😉 

  • I hate one line ” As per our previous conversion” in starting email.

  • Great post ! Very good list. Most of those words echo spam..

  • conference gifts

    I agree on this. Most of the spam emails have those words on it. I think because there words simply gets the attention of the reader real quick!

  • You are absolutely right because typical email can’t get attraction from receivers they can easily judge that it is direct marketing and selling or promoting business. 

  • thans this a interesting and informative blog.

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  • Really Nice Post. about the word not to use in email.

  • nice information i get here thanks for giving directions

  • I have noticed that spammy emails tend to use a great many exclamation points. Also, when you try to navigate away from a site that is trying to sell you something, if you get a message saying “Wait! Don’t Go!” I also take that as spam. 

  • I have noticed that spam emails tend to use a great many exclamation
    points. Naughty words will always be rejected as long the company is open for
    these words. Be corporate and kind to words expressed and
    you will always be open for them. I’ll watch out for the words that I’ll be using next time.

  • Nashville graphic designer

    I think, you should be respectful anytime. Never use naughty words because it can hurt other peoples feelings. Naughty words can be used in anyways but never to your email. Just be professional at times.

  • Nashville graphic designer

    We should always be respectful to others. We should never use naughty words because we don’t that we hurt the feelings of other people.
    Naughty words can be used in anyways but never to your email. Just be professional at times. 

  • Nashville graphic designer

    We should always be respectful to others. We should never use naughty words because we don’t that we hurt the feelings of other people. Naughty words can be used in anyways but never to your email. Just be professional at times. 

  • Sure, that’s quite funny – I’m sure though that there are many me other ‘words’ we are not supposed to use!

  • I agree, the best way to send an ‘offer’ via email is to show the recipient the benefits they will receive – not what you’re trying to sell

  • Hehhehh.. that was a unique one. I was expecting some other words, after seeing “Naughty” in the title. This is what writing a unique title mean

  • Jess Jayma

    Very informative post. Thank you for sharing…I really learned a lot from it.

  • Japeth

    The title of your blog is drawing lots of people including me to be honest. Lol! I usually get 50+ of spammed emails which is really annoying.

  • Japeth

    The title of your blog is drawing lots of people including me to be honest. Lol! I usually get 50+ of spammed emails which is really annoying.

  • VIP luggage

    firstly I wanted to thank you for this excellent information..I was very happy to found this site you have posted one of the most valuable post for modern days email marketeer and in my point of you I think, you should be respectful anytime. Never use naughty words because it can hurt other peoples feelings.if you use naughty words its shows bad impression and reflect your image. Naughty words can be used in any ways but never to your email. Just be professional at times…thnax a lot once again keep posting this types of articles its is really helpful for me .

  • rnd technologies

    Good thought.

  • Good tips Michael,Thanks.