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Spam traps and how to avoid them
Spam traps and how to avoid them

Learn about spam trap addresses, why they are bad for your sending reputation and what to do about them.

Oskar Smith avatar
Written by Oskar Smith
Updated over a week ago

What is a spam trap address?

A spam trap address looks the same as a normal email address, but it is no longer associated with a real person and therefore is not used for any real communication. Spam trap addresses are only used to identify malicious senders. Many email providers such as Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo are believed to use spam trap addresses.

A spam trap address is an email address that was once used by a consumer but has now been abandoned. After a period of time, usually 6 months to a year the provider of that email address starts monitoring incoming email to that address.

If you are still sending to that address once it’s been designated as a spam trap the provider may assume that you are not cleaning your database on a regular basis so your email could be marked as spam. This can be very damaging to the overall deliverability and reputation of your sending domain. 

Why are spam traps important?

You might be sending email to spam traps without even knowing it. Depending on the type of trap, having just a single one on your mailing list can significantly impact your sender reputation. This will impact the wider delivery of your email to legitimate, active email addresses.

If you send email to spam traps, this is seen as an indicator that the data was potentially collected illegitimately, or that you haven’t kept your database clean. Anti-spam organisations and email providers may decide you are a spammer based on this.

How to solve the problem

You should make sure you have retention emails in place on your account, this is an automated way of keeping your database clean, learn more about retention emails here

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