Top 20 Words That Can Kill Your Query or Newsletter

Does your newsletter suck? Is your query letter a piece of crap? You’re probably doing everything right, telling the story, and making the pitch; is your e-mail actually getting read? Freelancers who want to write newsletters for other companies or to enhance their own blogs often run into one big problem in the early days of learning the ropes; getting snagged by spam filters on Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.

How can you avoid getting snagged by a spam filter? Two simple things can help:

1. Avoid spammy keywords in the subject line of your newsletter in general.

2. Avoid spammy keywords in the headlines of your newsletter or query.

While much of this is critical for newsletter writing, freelancers should NOT dismiss this article just because you don’t write newsletters. Spammy subject lines and headlines can cause a perfectly legit newsletter or query to be devoured by the spam filter, reducing your chances of getting read to zero. Don’t miss out on the chance to be read.

Take this list of spam keywords to heart and learn how to exterminate them from your vocabulary–at least where the subject lines and headlines are concerned. You may never think about sending a query letter with the words “Adults Only” in the subject line, but one day you might just want to write an article about sexual health or the affects of certain foods on the libido, recovering from surgery or any hundreds of other ideas where some of these spammy keywords could creep into your subject lines.

Top Ten Spam Keywords to Avoid in Subject Lines:

10.  xxx (well, duh)

9. Over 18 (or 18+)

8. Over 21

7. Be 18

6.  $ (or $$)

5. Adults only

4. Free (not applicable across the board but can be problematic)

3. Any combination of “free” and “adult”

2. Any combination of exclamation points and dollar signs

1. Any combination of exclamation points and the word “free”

Top Ten Spam Keywords To Avoid in Body Text

10. Money back

9. Cards accepted

8. Extra Income

7. Adult web

6. Adults only

5. Removal instructions

4. Order now

3. Check or money order

2. Any combination of the words “more info ”  “visit ” and a dollar sign.

1. For free! (or For free?)