Are You Hitting Spamtraps?

Usually your ESP will let you know if you message a spamtrap. Alternatively, you can utilize a service that monitors blacklists or you can simply watch your marketing outcomes – if you are seeing a decrease in your key performance metrics (sometimes only within a single domain/ISP), it is likely you are having a deliverability problem that may be caused by mailing a spamtrap.

How Marketers Get Spamtraps On Their List

  • Bad data. The vast majority of lists for sale contain spamtraps, many of which were the result of scraping (aka ‘harvesting’) email addresses off the Internet. Thus, the adage ‘don’t buy a list’ is sound advice. Sometimes unbeknownst to you, the source or vendor you utilized to help you build your list is filling your database with low quality bought or scraped addresses, including spamtraps.
  • Bad list management. Conscientious email marketers message their list routinely and carefully suppress bounces and unsubscribes from future sends. Failure to follow these best practices may result in you messaging re-purposed spamtraps.
  • Bad luck. It is possible that spamtraps are registered accidentally through your regular signup process. Some spamtrap networks operate off the typo domains of major ISPs and can end up in your list simply because of sloppy keystroking.
  • Poisoning. Spammers or competitors have been known to intentionally register known spamtrap email addresses in an effort to get the marketer in trouble or discredit the spamtrap provider.

SOLUTION: Living Free From Spamtrap Fears

Marketers who want to live a spamtrap-free life should follow these three tenets:

  1. Formalize best practices. Don’t buy lists. Don’t scrape the internet for email addresses. Scrutinize your vendors and data sources carefully. And of     course, always suppress bounces and unsubscribes.
  2. Routinely message. Be sure you are actively utilizing your email addresses. If you aren’t touching every address on your list at least a few times a year, you may fail to notice when an address goes bad, which could be a precursor to it becoming repurposed as a spamtrap.
  3. Run routine list hygiene. Work with an industry expert to help you regularly scrutinize your email list for typos and spamtraps. You can implement an API at the point of acquisition, do quarterly reviews, or set up for automated monthly monitoring. Trace any problems upstream and fix (or remove) that acquisition source.

Related Articles:

Email Hygiene Whitepaper

Related Posts

With the holiday email season at hand, it’s an opportune time to discuss the double-edged sword of email marketing: the spamtrap. On the one hand, spamtraps are a valuable tool for identifying and fighting spam, defined as unsolicited bulk email (sometimes referred to as UBE). On the other, much to the dismay of email marketers, […]

What Is A Spamtrap? A valid, deliverable email address that is exclusively used to receive unsolicited email Incoming messages are monitored by human or automated processes May be virginal (i.e. a new email address) or re-purposed (i.e. previously used by a person) Appearance-wise, may be indistinguishable from any normal email address  Who Creates Spamtraps? ISPs […]

Did you take a breather after Black Friday/Cyber Monday to check your email numbers, as we recommended in a recent blog post? If your results were not what you hoped for, one reason could be serious problems with your email database. How long since you had it checked for undeliverable and harmful email addresses? This […]
Chat with us