How To Avoid Spam Traps


The cards are stacked against you. So let’s start there. You need to understand that the digital world doesn’t want your email. The moment you hit “send” the digital police are monitoring IP addresses to make sure they lock up every possible email that may not be desired by the recipient.

So this article will show you a few key things you should know and do to make sure your email doesn’t get black-bagged by the secret police and thrown in a dark jail cell never to see the light of day.

What’s A Spam Trap?

Think for a moment about the concept of a speed trap. Police just sit there waiting for you to come by with their radar guns pointed right at you. Their whole goal is to catch you doing something wrong. That’s a pretty accurate metaphor for a spam trap.

Internet service providers create email addresses for the sole purpose of identifying and tracking spammers. If you send an email to one of these email addresses, you are labeled a spammer by the ISP. And it can take you a long time to get your name removed from the bad guy list. If your IP address or domain ends up on a block list, it can have a huge impact on the number of emails that actually get delivered to the inbox.

A second approach to creating spam traps is to use a genuine email address that is no longer in use. These are called recycled spam traps. Somebody actually had that email address at one point, but they discontinued using it due to leaving a company or changing email addresses etc. Now that email address can be used to identify spammers who send to old and outdated email databases. It’s a way to identify sloppy or lazy email marketers who most likely don’t have permission to send to their lists.

How To Avoid Spam Traps

  1. Continually monitor people who are not opening your emails. After a certain period like three months or six months remove them from your email marketing lists and do not continue to send to them. Those email addresses can be converted into spam traps.
  2. Immediately remove hard bounce email addresses from your campaign. These are email addresses that could not receive your email because they no longer exist or they are improperly formatted. They should show up on your email platform analytics reports. If you continue to send emails to hard bounce addresses, the ISP will flag your sending address as a spammer. It’s critical to remove hard bounces from your active email campaigns quickly.
  3. Occasionally send a re-engagement email to your full list. Ask them if they want to continue to receive emails from you.
  4. If you have some people on your list that you don’t want to remove, but they haven’t been active, then it’s a good idea to create a separate segment for engaged contacts. This segment is based on the people who have opened and clicked on your emails. You can send to this segment safely every time and only send to the rest of the list occasionally.

These are just a few of the tactics we use at So-Mark Consulting on a regular basis to manage our clients’ email contact lists. If you have any thoughts or questions about this drop me a line at [email protected]. Thanks for reading!

Jim Anthony | So-Mark Founder

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up to receive notifications about our services or new blog posts!

Scroll to Top