Email Myth Buster: Free is a Dirty Word

Posted by Tom Sather on

MYTH #2 – Certain words like “free” and symbols like the exclamation point (!) should be avoided because they trigger spam filters.

WHY THIS IS FANTASY. Not really.  Most spam filtering systems are based off reputation today and therefore, content plays a very small role in that filtering decision.  If you’re unsure if your content is triggering spam filters, use a tool like Campaign Preview to test against the major spam filters to see if there are any filtering issues. Then, send a pre-deployment test to our Mailbox Monitor tool to see if there are any filtering problems you need to be worried about.

THE PLAIN TRUTH: If you have a good reputation, more often than not your reputation will override any content filter, but that doesn’t mean it’s never a factor. If you’re sending our third party content or templates used by others, your content might have a bad reputation assigned to it as it could be associated with other senders’ bad reputation.  So yes, your content can have a bad reputation but the fact is that it isn’t necessarily due to the content itself.

What’s you take? Did we bust the myth?


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About Tom Sather

Email data and deliverability expert Tom Sather has worked with top-tier brands to diagnose and solve inbox placement and sender reputation issues as a strategic consultant with Return Path. As the company’s senior director of research, Tom is a frequent speaker and writer on email marketing trends and technology. His most recent analysis of new inbox applications’ effects on consumer behavior was widely cited across leading business media outlets including the Financial Times, Ad Age, and Media Post.

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