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Email Marketing Hygiene – How to Keep Spam Traps Off Your List

spam trap hygiene

Email spam traps are email addresses that don’t belong to real people and exist solely for the purpose of identifying email marketers who are using poor data acquisition or list management hygiene practices. When you mail to a spam trap, it’s considered by anti-spam organizations and inbox providers as evidence that you are sending spam (which is against most email services terms of use). It can result in lowered deliverability, damaged sender reputation, lower campaign performance and even legal action.

Most spam trap hygiene are set up and managed by third party reputation and blocking services like Spamhaus and SpamCop. Additionally, major inbox providers like Gmail and Hotmail also maintain their own spam traps.

Typo spam traps are often created when users sign up on a website or fill out a form and mistype their own email address. It’s a common human error, but it can have significant consequences for senders who don’t implement best email acquisition and validation practices. Pristine spam traps are created when an email address has not been used by a real person for a period of time and is then converted to a spam trap by an email network. These are sometimes referred to as “recycled” spam traps and can have a significant impact on deliverability for those who mail to them indiscriminately.

Maintaining a Healthy Email List: Best Practices for Spam Trap Hygiene

The most effective way to keep spam traps off your list is to formalize and practice good email marketing hygiene. Implement a double opt-in on all forms or use an email verification service at the point of collection to ensure that only valid records make it into your database. Routinely checking your ip reputation with real-time sources and blacklists is also highly recommended.

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