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Seven Words You Can't Say In E-mail

My guess is there are a _lot_ more than “seven words”: that will get your e-mail newsletter sent to the penalty box and one of them has to be “porn”.

“Stefan Eyram”: wrote an article this week provocatively titled “Porn, The Best Practices Industry”:
I was just about to send our weekly summary e-mail newsletter to the list (expect it at 11:45AM folks) but on my final check before hitting send I paused and thought “Hmmm, good article, but if I put _that_ title in there no one is going to see it because it will get caught by every spam filter worth its download.”
So I took it out and added this line at the top of the newsletter:
bq. _(We are not providing a link to one of our posts this week because we thought it might trigger filters – you’ll have to come to the site to get the link)_
This raises a few questions:
# What *are* the terms that will get you sidelined by most spam filters? (Consider generally accepted offensive language as a given – no need for potty mouth in the comments folks!)
# Is there a list somewhere?
# How much should we change our content to satisfy overly aggressive filters? I remember “”: at one time used “phree” instead of “free” in the e-mail versions of their articles. Confused the hell out of me.
# Should we “bleep out” dangerous words? I was going to rename the article “P**n, The Best Practices Industry” or “Pron, The Best Practices Industry” but it seems to me that filters must be looking for that kind of stuff by now anyway.
# *Bonus Question:* Is anyone filtering feeds for content? I.e. might posts in our feed with the word Porn trip some corporate filter?
Your insights are welcome.

One Comment

  1. Brandy Fleming
    Brandy Fleming November 24, 2005

    There’s a pretty comprehensive list of spam trigger words at
    For our clients, getting rid of the word “click” is often the toughest job. But, seeing as how it’s considered best practice to use logical text for links, spam filters are doing us somewhat of a favour!

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