The topic of Spam traps doesn’t come up that often for us and that’s mainly because our agencies send retention email for their clients, making it far less likely for the lists being used to contain Spam trap email addresses.
We do have to deal with Spam trap issues every so often and one thing that drives us crazy are the services out there claiming the ability to identify and remove Spam traps with 100% reliability – we say, “no chance!”.
In our simplistic view, we think if a Spam trap wants to give itself half a chance of doing its intended job properly then it needs to remain anonymous – i.e. no-one knows its email address and it can’t be stripped from a ‘Spammy’ list with ease.
We recently talked this through with the Matt at BriteVerify and our combined take on it was that it’s not really the small number of Spam traps on lists that are the problem, it’s the poor management of data and lack of list hygiene that creates issues.
We’ve heard of people chopping their lists up into smaller segments in an attempt to locate one Spam trap. Sending separate campaigns does nothing other than narrow the issue down to 10,000 records (or whatever the chosen segment size was). The client then removes the entire segment resulting in potentially good data being culled along with the unwanted Spam trap.
How can I avoid spam traps?
Forget the prehistoric approach, take control of list hygiene and segmentation, and Spam traps should become a thing of the past.
If a user doesn’t open your emails for 9 campaigns, 9 months or they prove to be unresponsive in a shorter period of time then just take them off your list.
If you’ve got a large group of inactive users why not send an email to request permission again, if they don’t respond then remove them. Don’t send all of your users the same thing every time, mix it up a little.
Put together a more targeted campaign strategy using techniques like list segmentation and split testing. Segmentation and content targeting will not only improve deliverability and response, you’ll also get an insight into the user data on your lists helping you to become a better email marketer.
So if you’re attempting to deal with Spam traps it’s worth thinking about a different and more sustainable approach to list management.
Move away from fighting fires that Spam traps cause and fix the issues at the source.