There are more than a few myths floating around the industry about seemingly magical quick fixes for removing spam traps from your subscriber list. While that would be great, unfortunately these claims are not true. To understand why this simply is not the case, let’s dive into what a spam trap is, the purpose of these pesky email addresses, and how you can avoid them in the future.
The truth about spam traps is, well, they are valid email addresses. This is why quickly identifying these malicious addresses in your list is next to impossible. Ultimately, your efforts are going to be much better spent on fixing the fundamental issue(s) causing these email addresses to show up on your list in the first place. It’s important to recognize while spam traps might be a nuisance to senders, they have a very specific purpose for the mailbox providers – to catch bad senders. The number of spam traps a sender hits is factored heavily into IP and domain reputation, which are key factors evaluated by mailbox providers in determining whether to filter mail to the spam folder. Some blocklists even monitor spam trap activity and will block senders if they send to one. Overall, it’s very important to find the root cause of these pesky little addresses to ensure the problem is truly resolved, as opposed to falling victim to a false “quick fix.” In order to recover your sender reputation and increase the probability of your mail being delivered to the inbox, this issue should not be ignored.
To make things even more complicated, not all spam traps are created equal. In fact, there are two different types of spam traps that can end up in your subscriber list:
While there are services out there claiming to capture spam traps by keeping a running list of known spam trap addresses they’ve uncovered in the past, this cannot be 100% guaranteed just with the nature of how spam traps work. Can these services catch some spam traps? Sure. However, spam traps are ever-evolving, making them harder to catch. Just when you might’ve caught one trap, there are a hundred more newly created, eagerly waiting to pop up on your list. As a result, the only true way to avoid obtaining spam traps on your list is to optimize your list acquisition and hygiene practices. Here are some recommendations to immediately start implementing:
For more tips on how to monitor spam traps and blocklists, check out this blog.
If you find that you’ve hit a spam trap, don’t give up on your email program just yet. While these addresses can harm your sender reputation, if you begin to take action on improving your email sending practices and pinpoint the root cause of the spam trap, you are headed in the right direction. While you are improving your strategies, be sure to also monitor your subscriber engagement metrics, bounce logs, and your sender reputation metrics within Everest in order to get a holistic view of the health of your email program