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Making spam traps work for you, not against you

4 Minute Read


Nicky Copland | Validity

Spam traps. Even the name sounds dangerous. Spam traps are designed to catch email senders in the (bad) act of using poor practices, like purchasing lists or cold-emailing people without permission. By identifying those bad senders, mailbox providers can limit their access to their users, improving the experience for those receiving mail.  

When you’re ready to take charge of your email deliverability, being mindful of spam traps is one of the most important steps you can take. If you don’t, your spam trap hits could grow and grow until you find yourself blacklisted and completely unable to reach your customers or prospects. How do you monitor spam trap hits? Glad you asked. 

Cordial partners with email deliverability monitoring platforms like 250ok (recently acquired by Validity) that have functionality built in to help you monitor your reputation and remediate issues when they come up.  

With access to a breakdown of your spam trap hits by type, you’ll discover where exactly you are struggling. Noticing a lot of typo traps? You might benefit from running your list through a verification service to catch those traps and remove them before you send, rather than after (decreasing the negative impact on your sender reputation). Hitting way too many recycled traps? You likely need to spend time looking through your engagement metrics to identify and sunset addresses who aren’t engaging with your mail. 

That’s where analytics comes in: By understanding who actually wants your mail and who doesn’t, you can remove the addresses you shouldn’t be sending to in the first place, reducing your chances of hitting traps or racking up spam complaints. This is where it’s clear spam traps can help you, too. By understanding your trap data, you can make proactive changes to your lists based on engagement and become a better sender. 

Let’s say you’re seeing a lot of recycled traps, meaning you are emailing addresses that have been inactive for quite some time. This is a good reason to put some sunsetting guidelines in place: Any email address with no engagement with your emails for six months should immediately be culled from your lists. If you’re worried about pulling the trigger so fast, you can take this as another opportunity to re-engage the customer. Send them an email asking them to adjust their preferences or click a button to re-confirm their interest in your newsletter before you pull them from the send. 

It’s important to note, too, 250ok uses a proprietary sensor network (another term for spam trap network). The data you’re seeing is only from the addresses we operate, so if you hit a trap in the Gmail network, it won’t be reported in your dashboard (but it will count against you and could lead to a blacklisting). Keep in mind, those other trap hits negatively impact your reputation, so you want to make sure you’re addressing the root causes of spam trap hits: poor sending practices based on quantity rather than quality. 

If you’re not monitoring spam trap hits in some capacity or another, you’re missing out on a really actionable slice of the data pie. If you only think about trap hits when you see the impact on your reputation, or find yourself needing to be delisted from a blacklist because your complaint rate and trap hits were so high, you’re making life harder on yourself. And really, today, you don’t need to make life any more complicated. Reach out to your Cordial Client Success Manager and dedicated deliverability experts to get started with 250ok monitoring tools and improve your email deliverability!