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Spam Trap Definition - What is Spam Trap?

When a sender repeatedly sends emails to an email address which was previously a valid address but now is presented as hard bounce, ISPs and blacklist providers set up the sender address a spam trap. This means, if the sender continues to send emails to the invalid address, the sender will be perceived as ignoring hard bounces and may be reported as spam.

A spam trap appears as a real email address, but it cannot be used for any kind of communication purposes.

Since these addresses cannot opt-in an email list, if a spam trap address makes it on your subscriber email lists, and you send an email to this address, it is fathomed that you're not abusing the rules of permission-based email marketing. In other words, you have "hit a spam trap".

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Types of Spam Traps

Pure Spam Trap

These are email addresses that have never been used by anyone else but ISPs.

Recycled Email Addresses

Recycled spam traps are significantly old email addresses that are not used by the actual owner anymore.

Invalid Email Addresses

If somebody subscribes using an email address that contains a typo or a fake email address, you carry the risk of exposing a spam trap email address.

The damage they cause

The effect of hitting a spam trap may alter depending on:

  • The type of the spam trap,
  • How many times you take the bait,
  • Which consequences are created by the spam trap

If someone makes the mistake of sending emails to a spam trap:

  • Sender reputation will decrease
  • Bounce rate of your sender server will increase
  • Email deliverability will drop,
  • The IP address may be added to a backlist database.

Spam Trap Related Terms

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