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Is 'Free' Still a Dirty Word?

October 24, 2012  

"Email marketing can be a tricky balancing act," writes Melissa Miller at HubSpot. "You want to use copy that will get your recipients' attention, but you don't want to select words that will raise red flags with SPAM filters."

So what about the word free? Once considered the reddest of red flags, it's now considered a safe copywriting choice. Right?

HubSpot decided to find out with an A/B test that asked two questions:

  • Does using the word free hurt my deliverability?
  • Does my click-through rate improve if I use the word free?

The test used two versions of the same email.

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Comments

  • by Stephen Thu Oct 25, 2012 via web

    Good article and good to know about the spam filter results. I think the results may have changed if version A had been called "Free SEO Guide" though. "Free Guide" is a little vague and may have suffered from disinterest.The specific mention of SEO will generate interest as this is an area a lot of people want guidance on.

  • by Thomas Wed Nov 7, 2012 via web

    Could be that "Free" lessens the perceived value of the product.

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