January 14, 2023

How Do Spamtrap Emails End Up on My Lists?

spamtrap emails

Spamtrap emails are an egregious form of spam that senders should avoid at all costs. The consequences of hitting a spam trap can be very bad for your email deliverability and sender reputation.

A spam trap is an email address that has been scraped from the internet or obtained via an application, and has never been a legitimate subscriber to your list. These addresses are typically considered illegal in most countries, and if found, will be added to an anti-spam organization’s database and marked as such.

The Dangers of Spamtrap Emails: Protecting Your Reputation and Deliverability

Abandoned email addresses that are no longer being used by the original owner are turned into spam traps after they bounce. Responsible email providers honor this protocol and will return a hard bounce to these addresses, alerting senders that the email address is no longer active or tied to an actual individual. However, irresponsible senders may ignore this process and continue to mail them.

Recycled email addresses that are no longer being used can also be a problem. These addresses are often sent to by marketers who purchase old lists or use data that isn’t regularly cleaned.

Pristine spam traps are also very common. They’re most commonly hit by senders who send to purchased lists, as they have no way of proving that the subscribers opted in to receive their emails.

Typo spam traps are the least problematic, but they’re also the most frustrating. Real people who subscribe to your email list or handwrite an email address on a form at an event will sometimes make mistakes, like typing the wrong domain (e.g.,.con instead of.com or gnail instead of gmail) that will end up in your email address books as a spamtrap.