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The 100 Worst Spam Words and Phrases to Avoid in Your Subject Line

Delivery Updated on March 11, 2021

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… Monday, Tuesday, any day really, you log in to your email inbox and you have 42 new messages. “You have won the Ukrainian Lottery!” “Make Millions NOW!!” “Please help [insert someone from I have no idea where who would like to give you money from their trust fund so you can hang on to it for some reason].” And that most classic of spam emails: Viagra.

What do you do now?

I think most of you will mark these as spam or delete them to focus on your real emails. Let’s turn that around. Are your valued subscribers any different? Sometimes it might even be your own email newsletter or important promotional info that gets junked.

How Do You Avoid This?

The most important elements of any email are the “From” and “Subject Line” details.

These two key ingredients will convince your subscriber to either open your emails or not. Ignore the importance of these elements, and your intended recipient might never even see the email. It will more likely bounce out of the inbox or be swallowed by a spam filter. Below I present the 100 keywords to avoid when writing a subject line. Some will simply be filtered out by the email client (depending on the restrictiveness of its parameters) while others will be marked as spam by the user.

100 Words and Phrases that Scream SPAM

Words or phrases that reference a promo, discount, or sale.


Buy Now



Free Access

Free Gift

Free Offer


Limited Time


Only a Few Days Left

Today Only!

Words or phrases that reference emotion, trust, and vague promises.

Dear Friend

For You


God Bless You

Had enough?


Information You Requested

Please Help me

Promised You


You’re A Winner

Your Email Won

Your Family

Words or phrases that reference a sense of urgency, the pressure to act immediately, sometimes related to getting rich money or work-at-home schemes.

Act Now

Apply Now

As Seen

As Seen on TV



Be Your Own Boss

Billion Dollars

Call Now

Cash Bonus

Check This Out

Click Here

Don’t Delete

Double your income

Earn $

Earn Cash

Earn Money

Extra Income

Fast Cash

Free Cash

Free Info

Free Investment

Funds Management

Get Paid Weekly



Immediate Payment


Job Offer!!!

Make Money

Multi-level Marketing


Now Only

Online Degree

Online Marketing

Open Now


Partnership Request

Read now

Search Engine Listings

Serious Cash


Take a look

This Is Not Spam

Undisclosed Recipient


Work From Home

Your Delayed Payment

Words or phrases that reference financial gain, sometimes related to the following industries, credit card, loan, and or mortgage services.




Credit Score


Eliminate Debt

Financial Freedom

Get Out of Debt

Life Insurance


Lower Your Mortgage Rate

Lowest Insurance Rates


Rent to own

Words or phrases that reference the pharmaceutical industry.





Lose Weight


Online Pharmacy


Soft Tabs





Add to this list of words and phrases everything else that has something to do with pharmacy and pornography and words spelled in ALL CAPS, e.x.t.r.a. punctuation, dis o r g an iz_ed text, followed by $$$ or 100%, 50%, etc.

After reading this exhaustive list, I’m sure you’re wondering what words can be used….

Let’s just keep it simple. Use a subject line that you would open yourself, something that is not too flashy but raises some interest for the subscriber. Follow this with a familiar “From” name that your subscriber can relate to (which should be no different from your regular sending address since your customer/subscriber has opted-in to your contact list).

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