The Emergence Of Spam Traps And How To Avoid Them

Avatar for Demi Soubasaki

Spam traps are one of the most effective ways email providers can identify and block unwanted and potentially harmful emails. In one of our previous blog posts, we highlighted the importance of training employees for these types of scams and how to secure your online business. These types of scams aim to look like legitimate email addresses, but they do not belong to any actual person. So, in this blog post, we will explore what spam traps are, how they work, and how to avoid them.

What are these traps exactly?

Spam traps are email addresses not associated with a real person or company. Email providers, security companies, or anti-spam organizations typically create them. There are currently two types: pristine and recycled.

Pristine traps are email addresses that have never been used for legitimate purposes. They are created solely for the purpose of catching spammers. 

Recycled traps are email addresses that were once used by real people but have since been abandoned. Email providers reactivate these email addresses and use them as spam traps to catch senders who are still targeting them.

How do spam traps work?

Spam traps attract spammers and identify them as senders of unsolicited emails. When a spam trap receives an email, it means that the email sender has obtained the email address illegally or has sent an email to an old, inactive email address. Email providers use such traps to monitor email marketers’ sending behavior and identify those sending unsolicited emails.

In addition, email providers use these traps to identify senders engaging in spamming. When a sender sends an email to a spam trap, the email provider knows that the sender is not following the best practices for email marketing. This can result in the sender’s IP address being blocked or the sender’s email being sent to the spam folder, significantly reducing the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign.

How to avoid them?

In order to avoid them requires following best practices for email marketing. Here are some tips that can help you:

  • Build your email list organically: Avoid buying email lists or obtaining email addresses through other non-organic means. Instead, focus on building your email list through opt-in forms, sign-ups, and other legitimate methods.
  •  Keep your email list clean: Regularly remove inactive and invalid email addresses from your email list. This will reduce the likelihood of sending emails to spam traps.
  •  Use a reliable email service provider: Email service providers such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact have built-in spam detection tools to help you avoid sending emails to spam traps.
  •  Monitor your email-sending behavior: Regularly monitor your email-sending behavior and ensure you are not sending emails to inactive or unengaged email addresses. This can increase the likelihood of sending emails to spam traps.


Spam traps are a crucial tool in the fight against spam. By following email marketing best practices and avoiding non-organic methods of building your email list, you can avoid sending emails to spam traps and maintain a good sender reputation. This, in turn, will increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns and improve your overall email deliverability.

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