Most dentists and orthodontists would be shocked to learn that a completely innocuous subject line could cause their email newsletters to be rejected by major ISPs all along the internet and possibly even land their domain on an email blacklist that will make the continued sending of email about as easy as performing a root canal while riding on a bucking bronco. There are many words that dental professionals use without a second thought in their subject lines that will trigger spam filters and sanctions. These are the words that have been identified as indicating spammer origin that must be avoided at all costs by all dentists and orthodontists in their subject lines:

Almost Anything with Now in It

It’s completely normal to ask a customer to Act Now, Apply Now, Call Now or do just about anything else Now, but if you place any one of those phrases into your subject line, you’ll be tossed in with the ßU ¥ V1/G ®A N0W crowd. As you can see, spammers have learned to disguise their uses of this phrase construction, but that indicates spamming to the sophisticated ISP algorithms in an even stronger fashion. By far the best practice is just to leave Now completely out of your subject lines.

Free Is the Primary TNT Word

Using the word Free anywhere in your subject line will blow up your email campaign better than a cache of dynamite. Free cannot be used in any way shape or form and in any context in a subject line as it’s just about as much of a spammer word as Viagra or Cialis. A considerable number of words such as Earn, Hot, Instant, Medicine and Opportunity are obvious triggers but you’ll be surprised as to what other words are on the blacklist as well…

A Long List of Words that Will Kill Your Email Campaign

There are many truly innocuous words in typical dental subject lines that can trip you up:

Amazing – Amazing Tooth Whitening Technology
Avoid – Avoid Sticky Treats To Save Your Teeth
Collect – Plaque Can Collect Between Your Teeth
Compare – Compare Flossing Techniques
Credit – 90 Day Credit On All Dental Work
Discount – Monday Is Seniors’ Discount Day
Easy Terms – Obtain Your Children Braces On Easy Terms
For You / Your Family – Porcelain Crowns For You & Your Family
Friend – You Have A Friend In The Dental Business
Get – Get Those Cavities Filled
Herbal – Herbal Toothpastes Work & Taste Great
Hidden – Hidden Plaque Can Trigger Gingivitis
Lose – Don’t Lose Your Teeth, Get A Checkup
Offer – Special Dental Hygiene Offer
Only – Only Flossing Thoroughly Cleans Between Teeth
Open – Our Clinic Is Open Again After The Flood
Removes – Our Ultrasonic Scaler Removes Plaque
Stop – Stop Tooth Decay With Regular Brushing
Teen – Invisible Braces Available For Teens
Winner – Be A Winner With A Winning Smile
The Structure of Your Subject Line Is Critical as Well
You should never start your subject line with a $ symbol or end it with a numerical digit and your phrase should be either in sentence case or have each word begin with a capital. Entering a subject line IN ALL CAPS indicates YELLING and thus is a common spammer technique. Placing additional p.u.n.c.t.u.a.t.i.o.n. will identify you as a spammer as will entering g a p s in your text. Therefore, if you’re tempted to have as your subject line:


You might as well just delete the emails before sending them.

If you’re like most dental professionals you might not have ever imagined that stating that your clinic is open or that your clients can stop cavities would land you in the spammer clique. Some progress has been made in engineering context sensitive spam filters that would identify that Braces For Teens is quite different from Gorgeous Teen Models, but ISPs have not universally adopted them yet. In the meantime avoiding all of those spammer words is the best way to ensure that your emails will continue to be delivered and your online reputation with the ISPs remains spotless.