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Spam Traps: Here, There, Everywhere!

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by: Jeff Dellapina (@IBMforMarketing)
03 December 2013

In a recent blog post, Return Path announced that Spamcop has turned on some new spam traps, discussed Spamcop’s decision to implement this change, and offered suggestions for getting lifted off of Spamcop’s blacklist.

Long story short, Spamcop recently picked up some additional domains and is now reporting those traps. What I want to point out is that this isn’t the first time a major blacklist has introduced additional traps. Earlier this year, Spamhaus mentioned an "increased view" into additional traps. This continued effort by ISPs to catch messages being sent to recycled or “fake” email addresses and notify senders of problematic behavior means marketers should change the way data enters their system and how long it stays in their database.

ISPs and blacklists require you to stop bad email addresses from entering your database and get rid of spam traps that are hiding in the dark recesses of your lists. So, how can you stop the traps from entering your system? Start with no list purchases. Ever. Also, sending a double opt-in mailing during sign-up that includes a link that says "this is not me" can greatly reduce incoming traps even if the address was added maliciously. In addition, be suspicious of contest data, and never use appended addresses.

Shining a light on old inactive data is another smart move since it can help you get rid of any traps already there. Focus on sending to actives while beginning a re-engagement campaign with your older inactive addresses. This helps eliminate spam traps, reduces abuse complaints, improves your delivery time and will drive better metrics because more of your openers will receive your mailings.

Yes, segmenting data requires work, but the rewards are plentiful. Once you clean your lists, upkeep is small because you’re sending out, for example, one small re-engagement mailing a month.

By following deliverability best practices, you’ll be well-positioned to cope with whatever new spam traps pop up in the future.

Related Resources:

1) Silverpop Blog: “How Do Spam Traps Work? Tips for Avoiding Your Worst Marketing Nightmare

2) Return Path Blog: “New Spamcop Traps Raise Old Issues

3) Ken Magill Blog: “Spamhaus Provides First Batch of Answers


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