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Damaging Words to Delete from Your Emails in 2022

The good news goes first:

While 72% of people wanted to communicate with brands via email in 2015, there were already 86% of them in 2019! Sounds like encouraging progress for email marketers willing to grab the customer’s attention, agree?

But here’s the kicker:

In 2022, effective email communication turns out to be more challenging than ever:

  • Attention span is super short today, and people won’t read boring text sheets from you.
  • Users don’t read but scan online texts, and they’ll get only 20-28% of your words.
  • People hate getting aggressive marketing messages and fluff info in emails.
  • They’ll identify and interpret only 56% of your emails correctly.

How to overcome these challenges and make your potential customers fully grasp your emails’ intended meaning? Start by cutting the babble.

Below you’ll find the list of damaging words to eliminate from your emails for better communication with subscribers and customers. 

Ready to take your email skills to the next level? Let’s start with plague words.

Plague words

These words are lexical items making your email text look long, generic, and dull in the reader’s eyes. As a rule, introductory words, redundant adverbs, or -ly adverbs add no meaning but wateriness.

With these words throughout a message, you make people miss its point while scanning. They’ll notice plague words, see your email as fluff, and ignore it.

Here goes the list of plague words to delete from your email when proofreading:


Spam words 

You know that email generates $36 for every dollar spent, which makes it one of the most effective marketing channels available. Moreover, its average open rate is 17%, making it more visible than social media messages!

But you know what?

Spammers know this, either.

Numerous spam attacks have made email filters more rigorous regarding the words you use in messages. Wrong lexical items in subject lines or email bodies can make your emails jump into spam folders. Two problems appear:

  1. Users don’t see your messages, so your email marketing endeavors suffer.
  2. Users see your messages in their spam folders, so your brand reputation suffers.

Marketers use many tricks to reduce the likelihood of their emails landing in Spam: email verification for contacts, asking subscribers to whitelist them, avoiding dirty tricks like hash busting, image text, deceptive or misleading subject lines (those starting with Re: or Fwd:), etc.

One of these tricks is limiting the use of risky words in emails, those serving as triggers for email filters that check your content.

The list of trigger words for spam filters is long, and it’s impossible to remember them all. And yet, you can avoid the most common spam words in emails to enhance deliverability and save your messages from getting buried in users’ inboxes.

Here they are:

urgentrisk-freelowest price
free offerspecial promogreat offer
apply nowpromise youtoll-free
last chancedear friendcongratulations
winnerclick hereamazing
salethis is not spamcheck

Delete these words from your emails, use synonyms that don’t sound so aggressive and salesy — and your messages won’t go to spam. For even greater reassurance, consider spam checkers like Mail-Tester, IsNoSpam, or Litmus and subject line testers

Test your emails before sending to see if they might look like spam for filters and optimize the text accordingly.

Another detail to consider here is a word (words) you use for a CTA text of your emails.

Spam-looking calls to action are a no-no, so avoid the above words when writing them. Instead, try more specific and actionable email CTAs to maximize click-through rates and conversions:

Tips to follow:

  • Use only one CTA in your email.
  • If you decide to add a few CTAs, ensure they all lead a user to one destination.
  • Design your email CTA as a button: Buttons create a 45% boost in clicks.
  • Keep the text short: two-three, well, maximum of five words.
  • If your brand tone of voice allows, write your email CTA button in the first person: “me” and “my” instead of “you” can boost your click-through rate like crazy.

Marketing buzzwords

Okay, let’s face it once and for all:

  1. Your target audience isn’t stupid, and they understand all the marketing tricks you try to grab their attention and motivate them to take your desired action. From the psychological trick of calling them by name a few times in an email to interactive elements in email bodies for better engagement and conversion — users have got you covered.
  2. You don’t write emails to demonstrate how cool you are and how many niche-related words you know.

For the audience to listen to your message and trust you, write emails they can relate to. Avoid professional slang and gobbledygook. Instead, speak the same language with your targets:

Use the words everybody knows, focus on their pain points, consider conversational tone, and tell them how your product or service can save their time and solve problems.

Your email needs to be brief, easy to scan, clever, and appealing to emotions.

Given that you have up to five seconds to hook readers, do your best to make every word count:

  • Use sensory words to evoke desired emotions.
  • Consider active verbs to engage readers in action.
  • Write “you,” not “we,” to let readers understand your email is about them.
  • Forget about sleazy marketing tactics and salesy language; avoid cliche phrases that many specialists are still guilty of.
  • Talk about benefits, not features: It will help with email personalization and allow you to find words relating to customers.

Here goes your list of marketing buzzwords and cliches to avoid in emails:

100% guaranteedpopularworld-class
rock starsynergyseamless
utilizeclick herefor all your needs
stand outnot to mentionliterally

Superlatives and exclamations

Superlative words are those expressing the highest degree of quality. As a rule, they are adjectives or adverbs that denote an extreme level or extent.

Examples of superlatives we all could see on landing pages or in lead generation ads: “cheapest,” “the best,” “innovative,” “revolutionary,” “fastest,” “amazing,” etc.

The problem here is that users don’t believe in superlatives. All those words sound like nothing but a generalization.

Writing that your brand is “innovative” and your customer support team or delivery is the “fastest” one won’t get your message far. People won’t believe you’re innovative just because you say so. 

Users need specifics: Show, don’t tell that you’re the best.

How to translate superlatives into specifics in emails or any other marketing message? Consider facts, numbers, and beneficial (helpful, favorable) adjectives.

For example:

No: “We’ve got the cheapest templates for your email.”

Yes: “Choose a professional email template for $1.50.”

No: “Fastest pizza delivery in Chicago.”

Yes: “You’ll get your favorite Chicago pizza in 20 minutes.”

Below is the list of the most common superlatives to delete from your marketing emails:

great dealunbelievableguaranteed

Now, for exclamations:

They aren’t damaging by themselves, but their overuse is. Excessive punctuation looks unprofessional and gives an impression you are shouting at readers.

All these “Check this out!!!” or “You can’t miss this article!!!” don’t look like friendly messages, do they? Instead, they give an impression you are emotionally unstable. The same is true about all caps: CALM YOURSELF; otherwise, users will think you’re anxious.

Moreover, people don’t trust the positive context of exclamation points: Your “Hello, Lesley!” won’t sound friendlier to a user than “Hello Lesley”.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t use exclamations in emails: One or two per message are okay, depending on the context. The same is true about emojis:

When in subject lines, emojis increase visibility, open rate, and brand awareness. When in email bodies, they add a human touch and communicate your brand tone of voice.

At the same time, it’s critical not to overdose your email with emojis and other symbols. Bombarding your audience with smiley “faces,” you risk irritating them and losing your reputation as a professional brand.

Plus, emojis are among the primary triggers for spam filters. Be careful with them so they wouldn’t affect your email deliverability.

Start writing your emails with words that count

Despite the enormous growth of chatbots and messengers, email remains the #1 channel for customers to communicate with brands and, thus, the most convertible channel for marketers.

At the same time, now it’s more challenging to grab a user’s attention with your emails: People get 100-120 emails daily, have no time and desire to read them all and get engaged with the messages appealing to their emotions and needs.

With that in mind, delete all the fluff from your email and make every word count:

  • Make emails short yet informative: avoid plague words that bring no meaning but wateriness.
  • Speak the same language with your audience: say no to marketing cliches, professional slang, and hard-to-perceive lexical items that hurt email readability.
  • Avoid spam words in emails to enhance deliverability and prevent your brand from having a negative reputation.
  • Be specific: say no to superlatives, generic phrases, and symbols (CAPS, exclamations, too aggressive emojis) that bring no value to a user.
  • Pay attention to your email CTA: avoid multiple calls to action, spam words, and vague phrases that may confuse readers. Use active verbs and power words in your emails to trigger a positive response from users.

Make your email easier to read than ignore. Help your audience see what’s in your business beyond marketing and sales.

Read next: Email Etiquette for Marketers: 101

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