Do you avoid spam traps?

Do you avoid spam traps?

Do you know spam traps? If not, your email marketing results could be terribly harmed. Spam traps could decrease the deliverability of your emails by tens of percents or even lead to the fact you will not be able to deliver almost anything.

Spam traps are email addresses provided by blacklist operators, IT security companies, and other stakeholders to lure spam. One of the major sources of spam is publicly traded mail lists. Most often they are collected by the automated scraping of web pages and public resources like DNS records by special bots. If someone wants to establish a trap, they will put an email address somewhere where it could be scraped by a bot, but where any human will not search for it. For example, they hide it into a webpage code.

If you buy an email database, you can be never sure whether there cannot be any traps. Trap address looks exactly the same as any other address. Even if you would scrape the contacts yourself using some software, it is very complicated to avoid the traps. Manual scraping by humans does not bring such a risk but usually makes no sense due to high costs, it is definitely considered an undesirable practice and could be even illegal in some countries.

The main recommendation how to avoid such bait traps is clear: avoid buying mail lists or automated address scraping.

There are also so-called recycled traps. If you use a freemail email account (like e.g. Gmail) and abandon it, it usually expires after some time. The period varies heavily from 30 days for AOL or Mail.com to 2 years for seznam.cz, etc. You can find the exact time at an FAQ of your provider. After the mailbox expires, the provider usually starts rejecting your emails with - so-called - hard bounces. Some operators stop bouncing such emails after some time and turn the mailbox into a recycled trap. Any email coming into such an address is considered spam. Avoiding recycled traps is more complicated because you can fall into the pitfall just because your emailing period is so long that the inbox expires meanwhile.

The recommendation how to avoid recycled traps are:

  • double opt-in to avoid an accidental mistyping of an address
  • removing the address from the list after a certain period of inactivity (12-18 months)

Don't worry. If no one opened or clicked on any link in your email for a year, most likely it is not the most valuable client for you.

Incomaker can do both the approaches for you automatically.