Spam traps are email addresses activated for the sole purpose of catching illegitimate email and identifying senders with poor data quality practices. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and anti-spam organizations create and manage spam trap networks and use spam traps,
Common Problems Associated with Spam Traps
- Return Path studies have shown that one spam trap can reduce your Sender Score more than 20 points and can decrease your inbox placement rates to 81% and lower.
- ISPs will lower your sending reputation for too many spam trap hits.
- Mailing IPs and/or domains may become blacklisted.
- Membership in the Return Path Certification Program may be suspended for exceeding the acceptable thresholds defined within the compliance standards.
Preventing Spam Traps
- Reject requests for malformed addresses (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Reject abuse@ and postmaster@ addresses.
- Reject role accounts (i.e. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Send Welcome/Confirmation email messages and use a confirmed or double option process to validate newly acquired email addresses before adding them to your file. It is best practice to use a separate IP space and monitor spam trap rates.
- Having multiple pages or CAPTCHA during the subscription process aids in preventing list poisoning.
- Provide a change of email address option in all emails, in a preference center and at the point of unsubscribe.
- Do not purchase, rent or lease email addresses from third parties or perform email appends on your files.
- Isolate and monitor “Import Address Book” and “Forward to a Friend” mail streams on separate IPs and sub-domains to identify spam traps and protect your other email programs. These types of features commonly collect old email addresses that have likely been converted into spam traps.