What are spam traps?

Last updated: June 28, 2017

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Marketing: Basic, Pro, Enterprise
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What are spam traps?

Spam traps are addresses used by ISPs and blacklist operators to identify senders who aren't following industry best practices. Any email address that hasn't engaged with an email for over one year has the potential to be a spam trap. These addresses shouldn't be emailed.

Why do spam traps matter?

The impact of spam traps varies depending on the type of spam trap being hit. Hitting a pristine spam trap is more severe than hitting a recycled trap. If you've emailed a pristine spam trap, it's possible that your from domain or sending IP address will be immediately blacklisted

If you hit recycled spam traps regularly, you might start to see your emails being routed to your junk folder. 

Types of spam traps

Pristine - Pristine spam traps are email addresses that have never been valid and could have never opted into receiving email. They are available on public websites but hidden within the site's code. The purpose of pristine traps is to identify email marketers who use poor list building practices such as scraping sites for email addresses and purchasing lists.

Recycled - Recycled spam traps were once valid email addresses but have since been repurposed by their provider. Someone could have used this address to opt in but the address has since been abandoned. Recycled spam traps can be on your sending list if:

  • Your list is more than one year old
  • You don't email your list frequently
  • There are mistyped or fake addresses (e.g. on your list

How to prevent spam traps from getting on your sending list

In addition to not using purchased or third party lists in HubSpot, you should regularly prune your list of unengaged contacts. Choose a time frame (6 months to be more aggressive, 12 months otherwise) and when a contact hasn't opened or clicked on an email of yours in that time frame, segment them off into a smart list (for example, Contact Property | Last email click date | is more than | 52 weeks ago) and use the list as an exclusion list moving forward. Check out this project to learn more. 

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