Spam Traps: What They Are And How To Avoid Them

spam traps

Email marketers need to understand the concept of spam traps and how they affect email deliverability. While they are good for subscribers, as a sender, you can get hit with penalties for your deliverability without clearly understanding why.

What Are Spam Traps?

They are email addresses not actively used by real people but created (or repurposed) to identify spammers. There are two types:

  • Pristine: These email addresses were never owned by real people and are often used by ISPs, anti-spam organizations, or blocklist providers to identify spammers who scrape the internet for email addresses.
  • Recycled: These email addresses were once owned by real people but have been abandoned for a long time. ISPs and anti-spam organizations take control of these email addresses and use them to catch senders who are not adequately managing their email lists.

Negative Impact of Spam Traps on Email Deliverability

When an email is sent to a spam trap, it is a sign that the sender is not following best practices for email marketing, which can negatively impact email deliverability and the sender’s reputation.

Best Practices to Avoid Spam Traps

Keeping your email list clean and up-to-date is essential. Here are some best practices:

Use Double Opt-In

Use double opt-in to ensure subscribers were seeking to receive your marketing emails. A double opt-in occurs when a user joins up for an email marketing list and then receives an email with a link to click to confirm the subscription. This will also help protect your list and keep it clean.

Watch Out for Misspelled Email Addresses

While misspelled email addresses are primarily legitimate errors, email providers can also use them as spam traps. An excellent Javascript library can help you do this: Mailcheck.

Manage Bounced Email Addresses

Managing bounced email addresses is crucial. If you don’t listen to bounce events and take action (such as moving these addresses to a blocklist), these addresses can become spam traps.

Follow Email Marketing Best Practices

Following email marketing best practices is crucial to maintaining a good reputation and ensuring high email deliverability rates. This includes providing valuable content to subscribers, and ensuring a clear and visible unsubscribe process. Make sure also to keep your email list clean and up-to-date.

These best practices can safeguard your email list from spam traps, maintain a solid reputation, and assure high delivery rates.

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