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Jenny Lassi

By: Jenny Lassi on August 18th, 2017

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SPAM Trap Headaches

spam traps

mailto:demo@example.com?Subject=HighRoad Solutions - interesting article

Spam traps sound bad but what are they and how can they impact your bottom line? If you're sending on a shared IP, you could be negatively impacted even if your list hygiene and workflow process are squeaky clean. 

There are 2-Types of spam traps with 2-very different solutions:

  • Recycled (Most Common)
  • Pristine

Recycled Spam Traps are email addresses that were once used by a real person. These email addresses are abandoned email accounts that are recycled by mailbox providers as spam traps. Before turning an abandoned email address into a spam trap, mailbox providers will return unknown user error codes for a year. Once mailbox providers reactivate (recycle) the abandoned email address, mail is once again allowed to be received by the email address. If you're hitting recycled spam traps this typically indicates your data hygiene process is not working.

Hitting these traps will most likely get you a higher bulk rate and messages going missing instead of reaching an inbox/junk folder. That is a waste of money to send email and them not reach their destination isn't it? Think of all of the money you could save!

Recycled Trap Solution:

Suppress subscribers that have not opened/clicked on any email in the last 365-days. In our experience, this is enough to combat hitting a recycled spam trap. You can also run your lists through a list validation service, but if suppressing does the trick, you may not be able to justify the spend.

Pristine Spam Traps are email addresses created solely to capture spammers (sometimes referred to as honey pots). These email addresses were never owned by a real person, do not subscribe to email programs and of course will not make purchases. Many spam trap operators will post (seed) pristine traps across the internet on various participating websites. They are usually hidden in the background code of webpages and are acquired by a spambot scraping email addresses. If you're hitting pristine traps this typically indicates you have a bad data partner.

Pristine Spam Trap Solution:

Don't purchase 3rd party lists from any vendor. We understand that for prospecting, this practice is still not dead, but any reputable list/data company will have their own email platform that sends a message (Permission Pass) to their lists on your behalf and will supply you a list of actual responders. Don't use your platform account to send these especially if you're sending on a shared IP.


If you're sending on a shared IP, be nice to your neighbors and do what you can to prevent hitting a recycled spam trap. 

If you're purchasing 3rd party lists, require the list vendor deploy the email from their system on your behalf and never send from your main platform regardless if you're on a shared or dedicated IP. It's not worth the headache.