Why using words like "test" in your newsletter title may trigger spam filters

Why using trigger words in your newsletter title may trigger spam filters

At Letterhead, we understand the importance of previewing your newsletters before sending them out to your subscribers. However, using trigger words in your newsletter title or subject line can sometimes trigger spam filters, causing your email to be flagged as spam and potentially not reaching your recipients' inboxes.

Why does this happen?

Spam filters are designed to detect patterns commonly associated with spam emails. One such pattern is the presence of certain keywords or phrases that are often used in spam emails. Unfortunately, using a word like "test" is an example of a keyword that can raise red flags for spam filters.

How does it affect your emails?

When you include words like "test" or other trigger words in your newsletter title or subject line, it increases the likelihood of your email being flagged as spam. As a result, your email may not reach your subscribers' inboxes.

What can you do about it?

  1. Avoid using trigger words in your subject line: Instead of using "test" in your subject line, consider using alternative phrases.

  2. Use a unique subject line: Craft a subject line that accurately reflects the content of your newsletter without using common spam trigger words.

  3. Send preview emails without the word "Test": When sending preview emails to yourself or colleagues for review, skip the word "test" from the subject line to avoid triggering spam filters.

  4. Check spam filter settings: If your emails are consistently being flagged as spam, it may be worth reviewing your spam filter settings or consulting with your email service provider for guidance.

What are spam trigger words?

Spam triggers are words or expressions that email service providers (such as Gmail or Outlook) see as red flags. Most spam keywords fall into one of these 5 main types of spam words:

  • Urgency  Words that pressure your recipients, such as Urgent or Before it’s too late
  • Overpromise Exaggerated claims such as 100% free or the best
  • Money  All things related to money or offers in general, such as $$$ or Earn cash
  • Unnatural  Words or phrases that don’t feel natural such as Dear friend or that are difficult to understand, such as: Multi-level marketing


Having a strong brand reputation
Simply avoiding a list of trigger words won’t keep you out of the spam folder but you can take steps to protect your brand’s reputation and work towards strong deliverability.