What is a spam trap?

What is a spam trap?

There are some email addresses out there that can harm your sending reputation. They can get your emails flagged as spam and your IP blocklisted. These dangerous addresses are called spam traps. You should know about them - even though you’re not a spammer.

Types of Spam traps

There are different types of spam traps, some more harmful than others. In this article, we’ll talk about the most common ones.

Recycled spam traps

Email addresses that once were used by people now they’re inactive. Many of them are company role addresses; some belonged to former employees. They damage your sending reputation over time as any other dead-end address would. To prevent that, make sure to keep your mailing lists up-to-date.

Typo spam traps

Like the recycled spam traps, these can also harm your sending reputation over time. These are the addresses that contain typos in their names or domains. Some examples are gnail instead of Gmail or markrting instead of marketing. Intentional or not, they put your reputation on the line. To avoid typo traps, ensure the addresses contain no spelling mistakes and don’t seem off.

Pristine spam traps

Now, this is where the real danger is. Pristine spam traps are planted into purchased mailing lists or embedded into websites. ISPs create these to detect anyone emailing them and damage their sending reputation. If you send an email to such an address, it will flag your IP address or domain as spammer and blocklist it. While it’s unlikely that you will come across a new spam trap by chance, you still need to be careful. And it’s yet another reason to never buy mailing lists.

How to avoid spam traps?

As we know, spam traps can deal moderate or even severe damage to your sending reputation. How do you avoid them? There are a few things that can help you with that.

  • Keep your mailing lists clean and up-to-date. There is no recipient if a recipient doesn’t open your emails or never responds.
  • Ask permission to email. It’s an excellent way to stick to the law (the CAN-SPAM Act) and ensure that your contact is active.
  • Use email validation. Integrating it into your signup forms can save you a lot of trouble. It will not allow fake or inactive emails to be entered.
  • Go for a double opt-in. Require your subscribers to confirm that they want to receive your emails. Inactive and spam trap accounts won’t do that. That will ensure that your mailing base includes only legitimate accounts.
  • Never, ever buy a mailing list. We will keep saying it: don’t buy or rent contact bases. It’s against the law, likely to get you blocklisted, and incredibly inefficient. A good contact list can only be grown, not purchased.

You should be clear on the spam traps department by sticking to these simple rules. They also help you avoid getting your emails flagged as spam or bounced back and your IP blocklisted. You can learn more about that here, here, and here.

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