Detecting spam traps is critical to understanding many deliverability issues. Spam trap detection can help senders understand why their emails are not being delivered to contacts and how to address the issue. There are two types of spam traps: pristine and recycled.
Pristine spam trap detection traps are email addresses that have never been used by an individual and are placed on the internet where people or bots harvesting email addresses illegitimately will find them. Emails sent to these addresses are treated as spam and the sender’s reputation is damaged. Recycled spam traps are email addresses that were once owned by individuals but have been abandoned or closed. These are now repurposed by anti-spam organizations and inbox providers to catch senders who continue to mail them even after the accounts have been shut down. Sending to these email addresses makes the sender look like a spammer and hurts their deliveryability reputation.
Purchased data is one of the most common causes of spam traps. Purchasing bulk list data is risky and should only be done with direct opt-in consent. If your team uses purchased data it’s important to regularly clean the list and remove inactive contact records.
Defeating Spam Traps: A Guide to Detecting and Avoiding Email Spam Filters
The best way to avoid spam traps is to follow good email hygiene practices and avoid purchasing bulk list data. However, even the best teams can run into issues with deliverability. If an email is sent to a spam trap repeatedly, a sender’s reputation can be significantly damaged to the point that all deliverability to their IP or domain could be blocked by ISPs and Inbox Providers.