Spam traps are email addresses that look like a real email but are not. Internet Service Providers (IPSs) and blacklist operators use spam traps to identify senders who are not following the standard email practice. These email addresses might have been authentic once, but not anymore.

Example: If one of your contacts have changed their email address, then the old one becomes invalid. That is to say, if they do not open or click on an email from you for over a year, that can be safely considered as a spam trap, and you should remove that from the contact lists.

Let us now look at what can be different types of spam traps.

Types of Spam Traps:

  • Pristine: These spam traps are the email addresses that have never been valid. These emails are usually available on public websites but are hidden within the website’s code. Now, the purpose of these emails could be to identify marketers who carry malpractices like purchasing contact lists or scraping sites.
  • Recycled: Recycled or repurposed traps are the email addresses that were once valid. They could have been abandoned by the user who once opted-in. This type of email has a place on your list because:
    • You are using a list that is one year old
    • You do not email your contacts frequently
    • Mistyped or invalid addresses are also counted here

Why do Spam Traps matter?

The magnitude of spam trap varies considering the type. Hitting a recycled trap is less severe than hitting a pristine spam trap. Now, the consequence of hitting a pristine spam trap could be getting your IP address or domain immediately blacklisted. Similarly, for recycled spam traps, your emails will, at worse, land in the junk folder.
The only way to rescue your emails from spam traps is to keep your lists healthy by regularly cleaning them.