spam trap email addresses that are used by Internet Service Providers and blacklist providers to catch irresponsible email senders. They are fake emails that have never been opted in or engaged with, and sending to these addresses raises red flags for ISPs and blacklist services. While they can be set up by anyone, most often these emails are purchased, scraped from websites, or even abandoned and left in the wild to be used as spam traps by marketers who fail to maintain good email hygiene practices or follow permission-based best practices. Pristine spam traps are the most dangerous, as they are designed to be easily detectable and can hurt your sender score and reputation by appearing just like any other valid address.

Beyond Basics: Strategies to Detect and Thwart Sophisticated Bots

There are a number of reasons that you could have spam traps in your contact list, including typos made by subscribers when submitting their email address on a subscription form, or addresses that have been inactive for a long time. It’s important to have an automated process in place to check your contact lists for these types of erroneous or outdated email addresses and to scrub them regularly to prevent erroneously sending to contacts who are not interested anymore.

The ramifications of hitting spam traps can range from slowing your delivery rates to being blacklisted by DNSBLs and ISPs that prevent your emails from reaching your recipients. Taking steps to avoid spam traps is easy and can help your sender score and deliverability. Some of the key ways to do so include avoiding purchasing contact lists, using email validation tools in your subscription forms to remove typos and bots in real time, and having a strict double opt-in to ensure that you’re communicating with a valid and interested subscriber.