Has your email delivery rate plummeted? The reason may be that you have spam email addresses on your email list. In this article you’ll learn how to combat them before they join or remove them after they’ve subscribed.
Email can generate a higher response to your marketing since you can target specific customers based on their unique needs. However, building a viable email list takes resources, time, and know-how.
Every business that sends email has a sender reputation score. The score is determined by the ISP (Internet Service Provider). For example, my ISP is ATT, but my inbox reader is Gmail.
The higher your sender reputation score (SRS), the more likely your emails will land in the inbox. If your SRS is low, your emails will most likely fall in spam folders or may not even be delivered at all.
Several factors determine your score:
- The number of emails sent by a business
- How many recipients mark the organization’s emails as spam or complain about the email
- How often the businesses emails hit the ISP’s spam trap
- Has the business domain name been blacklisted?
- The number of emails that bounce
- How many recipients open, reply to, forward, and delete the businesses messages, as well as, click the links in the email
- The number of unsubscribes
What is a spam trap?
Spam email traps are email addresses set up by ISP’s to catch spammers. They look like real email addresses, but they don’t belong to anyone. Their only purpose to identify spammers.
Originally they were used by anti-spam organizations like inbox providers and blacklist providers to identify and monitor spammers. Unfortunately, the good guys like us get caught up in these traps because of our poor list hygiene or lazy email address acquisition practices.
Types of spam traps
Pristine spam trap
These are email addresses created by ISPs and other organizations that have never been previously used by a sender. Frequently they’re listed on websites. When spammers scrape websites to grow their contact list, they end up on their list.
They can also be found on purchased or rented lists. This type of spam trap is bad news for your email list because it’s more likely to get your domain blacklisted.
Recycled spam trap
These spam traps are often email addresses that were once valid but have been reassigned to trap spam. Although it’s not as harmful as the pristine spam trap, it’s still dangerous enough to cause damage to your sending reputation.
Email with typos
Emails with common typos can be used as spam traps. Keep an eye out for emails with misspelled domains as they may be spam traps.
What To Do With Spam Traps?
How can you tell if you have spam email addresses on your email list? Keep an eye on your delivery rate. If you notice a steady decline in your delivery rate, you may have spam traps on your email list.
It’s always better to prevent an issue if you can. Prevention saves money and time. To avoid spam email addresses in the first place, follow these tips.
How to Keep Spam Emails Addresses Off Your Email List
Since spam traps are designed to identify senders with irresponsible list building techniques keeping spam emails away isn’t as simple as deleting a few email addresses.
- The best way to keep your email list safe and your business thriving is to keep a close eye on your email list.
- Check to make sure the email addresses on your list are correctly spelled.
- Use double opt-in for your subscribers. It requires they confirm their email address before you send emails.
- Frequently check your list for odd email addresses or known spam email addresses.
- Check for email addresses that aren’t opening your emails and unsubscribe them or do a re-engagement campaign to bring them back into the fold. Spam traps are often created with outdated email addresses that haven’t opened for a while.
Regularly cleaning your email list also keeps the spam emails away.
Every successful business knows that your email list is the most valuable tool in your marketing toolbox. Guard it well. Do not ever buy a list!
Avoid the contamination of your email list by spam email addresses. Remember that the purpose of spam traps is to catch spammers. So keep your email list clean by correcting typos and removing outdated emails.
I am a compulsive list cleaner. I meticulously look at and remove email addresses from my list before every email send but, EmailListVerify.com found 2 spam traps on my list! (Imagine how mortified I am.)
I did go through my list with the data EmailListVerify.com gave me. The “spam traps” weren’t spam traps. One was a longtime customer that had his email address since the internet started. He opened my last email on Jan. 28th.
The second “spam trap” had opened my January email and had an 80% open rate. The 4 “questionable” email addresses EmailListVerify.com gave me had been bounced by Mailchimp, so I made sure all 4 email addresses were unsubscribed and archived.
How did I get these questionable email addresses on my list? I was doing single opt-in instead of double opt-in. Will I change? No. Gmail sometimes has issues delivering opt-in emails, so I’ll stick with verifying my list once a quarter or so.
What do I suggest my clients do? If you’re going to maintain and manage your lists, then double-opt-in your email addresses. If I’m going to maintain and manage your Mailchimp account, then single opt-in, and I’ll do a periodic list cleaning.
Now that you’ve dealt with your email list issues if your emails still aren’t getting delivered check out “How to Get Your Emails through Spam Filters“.