Avoiding email spam traps

Learn how spam traps get into your email contact lists and what sources to look at so you can avoid this.

Overview

Whether it’s because of a purchased contact list or a typing error, you may find that you have sent emails to a spam trap. Start by identifying how a spam trap entered your database, which can then help you on your journey to creating a good sender reputation.

Identify how you entered a spam trap

To re-build a good sender reputation, it’s best to try and identify where you came into contact with an email spam trap. You might get caught in a spam trap by:

  • Purchasing a contact list
    Pure or pristine spam traps are often found in purchased lists. Pure or pristine spam traps are created with the intention of luring in spammers, which is done by placing an email address online where people or robots harvest them illegitimately. Email addresses that are collected in this way are often shared with other spammers or added to bulk mailing lists that get sold or rented.

Don't purchase email address lists

Purchased email address lists aren’t allowed for use in Engagement Cloud.

  • Not keeping good email contact list hygiene
    If there is no process to regularly remove contacts that are no longer engaging with your email campaigns, you run the risk of sending to a recycled spam trap. This means that, even if every email address on your list is gathered with permission, there’s still a risk if there’s no strategy in place to make sure contacts still want the email campaigns that are sent to them.
  • Forcing subscription
    Contacts are more likely to intentionally submit a fake email address if there’s a reward for providing it, but they don’t have the option to not subscribe to marketing communications. For example, if your contacts are trying to get a discount and don't want to be emailed.
  • Making a typing error
    Username typing errors commonly happen when email addresses are collected offline and later manually input into your contact list. It’s also a common occurrence when an email address is entered manually to a contact list over the phone, or given verbally at a point of sale when a customer is spelling it out and the associate misunderstands.

Next steps

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