Wow! When the team at SubscriberMail assembled our latest white paper titled “The Seven Dirty Words You Shouldn’t Say in Subject Lines (Plus 100 others you shouldn’t use either)”, we had no idea they would draw the level of interest and discussion they have.
I’d like to make sure you understand what this list is (and what it is not). The list is not (as reported by some media outlets) a list of words that will definitely get your email blocked by spam filters. Will these words have an impact, yes. Some spam filters examine the subject line, and these words will weigh in the scoring. These words also should be avoided because of the potential of filtering on another level, the human one. This is where some of the discussion about this list misses the mark.
In our experience the subject line can make or break an email campaign. Creativity and testing are critical components to the success of an email. While it is easy to use many of the words and phrases on the list, they could eliminate a message from connecting to the recipient on many levels, so why risk using them.
Mark Brownlow of Email Marketing Reports also is on target when he points out in his post that there is a danger in over emphasizing one aspect (subject line words in this case). Delivery is a dynamic puzzle of interconnected pieces. You have to address all of the issues.
Melinda Krueger, aka the “Email Diva,” states “there is far more to deliverability that the 7 dirty words would have you believe.” I completely agree with her point that email deliverability is about many different factors. Our white paper never mentioned deliverability. While banning dirty words is a start, best practices require email senders to test subject lines, use dynamic content and remain relevant if they want their emails delivered.
I also agree that you should use an email service provider (ESP) to help with your deliverability. Of course (with great bias) I think that ESP should be SubscriberMail.