Despite increased and even clinical understanding of what affects deliverability, it is still easy to remain a little superstitious about it, allowing old myths to persist unchallenged. Whether or not it was ever true that certain words or phrases would trip a spam trigger and automatically result in emails not getting through, some myths about taboo subject line and body copy inclusions exist – many of which are ripe for debunking.
Deliverability is based on a number of factors, and while certain words or phrases can increase a message’s spam score, no single word automatically sends your message straight to the junk folder. I have seen many subject lines deliberately avoid the word “Free” when it was obviously the most appropriate choice. For example:
- Complimentary Gift with your $100 Purchase!
- Register 3, Receive 100% Discount on 4th Person
- We Will Pay For Shipping, This Week Only
All of those would be tighter, more readable and effective if they used “Free”:
- Free Gift with your $100 Purchase!
- Register 3, Get the 4th Free
- Free Shipping, This Week Only
When something is free, don’t be afraid to try “Free” in your subject line. If the word does lift a spam score, it is only one of many criteria by which your overall score is determined, and likely not to be the tipping point. Most legitimate emailers will see no perceptible decrease in deliverability in using the word, and may actually see an increase in sender reputation since the word is effective enough to boost engagement metrics. So cast aside your email myths from yesteryear and write subject lines that say what you mean.
Each week on “Emailioration Monday” we spotlight a single tactic you can implement this week in order to improve your email marketing. Share tips of your own on Twitter at #Emailioration, and see the full collection of Emailioration tips here.