About Spam Traps

2 min read
Spam Traps are fictitious email addresses or email addresses no longer in use. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and anti-spam organizations use spam traps to identify email marketers who are not adhering to email distribution regulations. Such practices might include purchasing email lists or sending out newsletters to recipients who have not given permission to be on a mailing list. 

Three main types of Spam Traps:

  1. Pristine: Pristine Spam Traps are email addresses that ISPs or anti-spam organizations artificially create in order to catch spammers. Emails sent to a Pristine Spam Trap are usually part of purchased lists or have otherwise been obtained in an illegitimate manner. 
  2. Recycled or expired email addresses: These are email addresses that had once belonged to a person, but are no longer in use. For at least a year, any email sent to these addresses bounces back to sender. Companies or ISPs occasionally reactivate such addresses and use them to catch spammers, since sending an email to a recycled account may indicate that senders do not clean their mailing list regularly. 
  3. Typo: An email address with a typo can also serve as a spam trap. For example, you might find an email on your contact list that ends in -gmai.com rather than -gmail.com. Emails sent to an address with a typo may indicate that the sender does not regularly clean their mailing list, or that not all of your contacts “opted in” to receive your newsletters. 
There is no way to know whether an email address is a Spam Trap. 

What happens if an email campaign is sent to a Spam Trap?

Since Spam Traps are intended to catch senders violating email regulations, an email campaign sent to a Spam Trap may incur penalties. ISPs may direct your email campaigns to recipients' junk or spam folders, and you may be restricted from sending future email campaigns. 

How did my email campaign fall into a Spam Trap?

As mentioned above, Spam Traps target senders obtaining emails through illegitimate means. Nevertheless, on rare occasions email campaigns may be sent to Spam Traps by mistake:
  • A typo was made when manually entering an email address to a contact list. 
  • The email campaign was sent to an old email address that was once in use and was turned into a Spam Trap. 

How can I avoid Spam Traps?

  • Do not purchase email lists. 
  • Make sure all your recipients have given explicit permission to send them emails. 
  • Send your email campaigns only to your active contacts
  • Clean your contact list at least twice a year.
  • Make sure to remove recipients with whom you have not been in touch for over 6 months. You can also use campaign statistics to locate and remove addresses that consistently bounce or remain unopened.  
Wix does not tolerate the use of illegitimate mailing lists and if a spam trap identifies that you are using such a list, your Wix Email Marketing account will be restricted. Purchased mailing lists are against the Wix Email Marketing Terms of Use and Best Practices.

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