How Do Spam Traps End Up in My Email List?

Running an email marketing campaign can be a daunting enough process as it is. However, when you do this, you also have to take into account how much spam email is out there. 

At least 45% of all emails get listed as spam. However, if you are not careful, your emails could get listed as this too. 

How does this happen? It is usually because of spam traps. 

What are spam traps? How does it work? What can you do about spam traps? 

This guide answers all of those questions and more. 

What Are Spam Traps? 

Before we can talk about how to get rid of spam traps, you need to know what these are and how to identify them.

Essentially, spam traps are emails used that are no longer valid or somehow ended up on a block list. These are email addresses that are getting sent unsolicited emails in the eyes of your email service provider. 

This can happen for a variety of reasons. You may have sent something to the wrong email address, you may have sent something to an invalid email address, or someone may not have recognized your email address and identified your email as spam. 

The more email addresses that fall into this category that are on your email list, the more likely you are to have spam traps. If you are not sure what email addresses are causing this, you need to take the time to conduct an email list cleaning

This can help you get rid of the email addresses mentioned above and improve your email deliverability rate. It can also help you identify spam traps that may come up in the future. 

So, what are some specific ways that spam traps may come up? We will discuss some of the most common ways that it happens below. 

Email Address Typos 

One of the biggest things that can lead to you having spam traps is having typos in email addresses.

This can be caused by whether you type the email address incorrectly or ones sent to you incorrectly. Regardless of how it happens, two things can happen once you send an email out to one of these addresses. 

The first thing is that the email address may not exist. Therefore, it may be deemed invalid and your email will automatically get rejected to it and be put on a blocklist. 

Then, another thing that can happen is it accidentally goes to the wrong email address. Your typo may cause this email to go to an entirely different person. As a result, they could end up seeing this email, rejecting it, and identifying it as spam. 

Either way, you are going to end up with more emails being sent to the spam folder or blocked altogether if you keep sending emails to these email addresses. 

What can you do about this? You can conduct an email list cleaning to identify these types of email addresses.

That will likely help your email deliverability rate. Also, it could help you eliminate spam traps that you did not even know you had in your email list.

Typos in Emails 

Another thing that can lead to you having spam traps is if you have typos in the emails themselves. This can be something obvious such as misspelling a word or even writing the wrong type of word. 

The reason why you need to watch out for this is that these types of emails tend to be identified as phishing emails.

For those of you who do not know, this is when a hacker tries to pretend they are from a legitimate business to get some of your personal information. This can be anything from a credit card number to a bank account number or even your social security number. 

For those reasons, it is safe to see why people tend to be worried about these types of emails. That is why you need to be careful to not get mixed in with those emails and either get blocked or identified as spam. 

Unfortunately, this is a common problem among businesses. That is because about 93% of business professionals have made grammatical errors in their emails. 

Most of these are likely innocent mistakes. However, if there are too many errors or this comes up too frequently with your business, you could end up creating more spam traps for yourself. 

It is best to avoid this and come up with a better editing process to make sure you fix those errors before sending them out. Either hire an editor to go over these emails or encourage the use of online editing tools to identify these errors. 

Purchased Email Lists

One thing that some businesses may do to get a competitive edge with email marketing is to purchase email lists. Typically, businesses do this when they want a very specific target audience. 

An example could be if you are selling a product or service that benefits real estate agents. Because your business is located in Florida, you will likely want to focus on real estate agents located in the Sunshine State. So, you may decide to purchase an email list that contains a lot of email addresses of real estate agents from this area. 

However, you may run into a big problem if you go this route. That problem can occur if the business that you purchased this list from does not verify all of these email addresses. Or, it can happen if they just did not care and wanted to make a quick buck off of you. 

If there are unverified email addresses in that list, there is a good chance that some of them are either invalid or expired.

In that case, what will happen is what we described above. You will have more spam traps in your email list and it will make it more difficult for your emails to escape spam folders. 

What can you do about this? You need to take care of this problem before it has a chance to begin. In other words, conduct an email list cleaning of the email list that you purchased.

Then, take a look at the results and see if there are a lot of email addresses that got cleaned out from it. If there are, it may be best not to purchase another email list from that company. 

Expired Emails 

Part of the reason why businesses end up sending emails to invalid email addresses is because they may not know that the email address is expired. An email address can expire for a variety of reasons.

One of the main reasons is if that person used a work email for a period. Then, they moved on from that company for whatever reason.

From there, the company may deem the email address expired or it can remain inactive for a few years. Either way, it means that your business is not sending an email to an active email address. 

Another reason why this could happen is that the person you are trying to send an email to may no longer use that email service provider. 

Let’s say that someone had an active email address on Yahoo for five years. However, for reasons such as a new job or just a different preference for email service providers, this person decided to stop using said email address. Eventually, it could turn into a spam trap once the email address is inactive for a long enough period. 

How long this takes can depend on the circumstances as well as the email service provider. For some providers, it can take up to nine months before an email address becomes invalid. 

Make sure you have a routine email list cleaning to get rid of these email addresses sooner rather than later. 

Email Deliverability Rate 

Finally, make sure that you keep an eye on your email deliverability rate. This measures how many of your emails get sent successfully to a valid email address. If you are on the wrong side of this, spam traps can build up very quickly. 

That is because the higher this rate is, the higher the percentage of your emails end up in spam folders. This can end up being a domino effect for your business. 

Email service providers may automatically see a low deliverability rate as a sign that you could be attempting to send spam. As a result, your emails may automatically end up in a spam folder. 

Prevent automation from making this distinction for your business.

Avoid Spam Traps 

These are some of the most common ways that your business could end up in some spam traps. 

The first thing you have to do is try your best to avoid typos. This is especially the case with email addresses but also make sure to avoid this in the emails themselves. 

Then, you need to keep an eye on your email deliverability rate and conduct an email list cleaning when you have purchased email addresses or ones you think are expired. 

Do you need an email list cleaning? Sign up with us today. 

Director at Alpha Infolab, Inc. | Website | + posts

Dewang Goyal is a seasoned expert in the expansive field of email marketing, boasting a track record that spans over a decade of transformative digital communication strategies. As a regular contributor to the blog, he offers deep insights and practical advice, helping businesses navigate the challenges and opportunities of digital communication. His articles range from the art of creating compelling email campaigns to the strategies needed for maximum audience engagement.

With a solid foundation in Computer Science, Dewang merges the worlds of technology and marketing seamlessly. This unique perspective allows him to approach email marketing from both a technical and a strategic angle, ensuring that his readers and clients benefit from comprehensive guidance.

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