Although there are many technically described definitions of spam, but all and all we can say that spam is unwanted emails for which we didn’t sign up or we don’t want. To fight spam many organizations and ISPs use spam traps and honeypots to catch spammers. The email address which is used as spam trap is not actively used but it monitored regularly.
But the biggest question is how a spam trap ended up in your email list?
Generally speaking, use of best practices, maintaining list hygiene and list maintenance practices will prevent your list from spam traps. Here are some reasons how spam traps can be on your list:
Typo Mistake: This is a very common problem with many people. For example a person entered his email address email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org in hurry. So until it is a double opt-in email address don’t add it to your mailing list. It may also happen that the user will enter wrong email address because it is necessary to put an email address to get what he want like any promotional code, download PDF file etc. So until he confirms you never that the email address is correct or not.
Collecting Offline: If you are collecting email addresses offline than there are possibilities of error in writing email address or reading it. It may occur at any outside, offline event. So make sure by sending confirmation email address that you got the right one.
Ageing of List: Sometimes valid email addresses and domains that are no longer in use can be used as spam traps. If you go for years without emailing to an email address, it may be used in this way. Additionally, if you are not executing effective bounce management, an inactive and invalid email address may stay on your list and consequently become a spam trap.
Lousy List Source: If you use harvested email addresses, buy them, use append services, or even don’t succeed to sustain permissions for your list, you risk spam traps to sneak into your list.
How Do We Eliminate Them?
Spam traps cannot be identified, so this makes it hard to remove. You can ask your subscribers to repermissioning your list. Send them an email to reconfirming their desire to be on your list by simply going through a link or answering to that email. It may not be 100% sure that all the subscribers will reconfirm or answer to your mail but here are some other ways to avoid spam.
Separate the Inactive Users: Make a list of those users who have not opened our email in six months or more than that. Than try to re-engage them by a drip email campaign or asking them to reconfirm their email address.
Always Use Double opt-in List: Using a double opt-in list will reduce the chance of spam being in your email list by 90% and also it will ensure high deliverability, open rate and click through rate.
Avoid Database Errors and Offline Errors: If you are collecting email addresses offline make sure that whoever is entering them is careful. Also at the time of collection make sure that the user writes their correct email address.
Never Use Bought or Rented List: Using any kind of bought or rented email list will end up having many spam traps in it and it will harm your brands reputation and your campaign, so avoid using them.
Removing spam traps can be a very hard and time consuming job so make sure that you use best practices of list building in the first place. Also maintain list hygiene by running special reconfirming campaigns from time to time.