Spamtraps, also known as honeypots, are email addresses created by monitoring companies designed to catch spammers. The monitoring companies leak the spamtrap to the internet to see if any companies add it to their email list. When a company sends an email to a spamtrap, the monitoring company knows the sender is not following emailing best practices.
Sending to a Spamtrap
If you send an email to a spamtrap, the sending IP is blacklisted, typically for 24 hours. When your IP address is blacklisted, your emails are much more likely to bounce. The more often you hit spamtraps, the more the monitoring companies will lower your sending reputation. Once your reputation is low enough, spam filters will automatically start blocking your emails.
When you use a service like Lead Liaison, you are using our sending IP addresses. Because we have a duty to our clients to maintain healthy IP addresses, sending to a spamtrap is in violation of our Terms of Service. We will take action to protect our sending reputation, including suspending your account if necessary.
To avoid spamtraps you need to make sure your database is clean and validated. While no service can specifically tell you what emails are spamtraps, you can lower your chances of hitting one by doing the following:
- Never send emails to purchased lists. Monitoring companies such as SpamCop will leak spamtraps onto purchased lists. If you send an email to that list, they know you didn't follow proper opt-in protocol. Additionally, you would also be violating Lead Liaison's Terms of Service.
- Periodically validate your database. Some companies will use old email addresses as spamtraps. Sending to an old email indicates you are not sending relevant emails to people who have opted in. Usually these spamtraps are more than a year old, so for B2B databases we recommend validating twice per year (once per year for B2C). Services like neverbounce.com, kickbox.io will help filter out emails that are no longer valid.
- Review Prospect engagement. As a best practice, you should only send emails to newer or engaged Prospects. If a Prospect hasn't had any engagement (open email, visit website, etc.) in the past year, try to verify the Prospect's information before sending again. If you cannot get them to engage, we recommend to remove from the system to avoid unsubscribes/bounces/spamtraps.
- Use double opt in. To make sure the emails in your database are valid, you can use double opt in. If a prospect fills out a contact us form or otherwise opts in, the system will send a follow up email confirming the opt in. While you might have less active Prospects, you can be sure they are all qualified. Learn more here.
Lead Liaison follows an escalation process designed to help keep our sending IP addresses strong. If you do accidentally send to a spamtrap, we'll follow this process to help get your account back on track.
You must schedule a meeting with Support within 24 hours of being notified. Support will review best practices with you and give suggestions for cleaning your database. You will need to provide the following:
- The last date your email database was validated
- The source of any new contacts you've added to the database
- The opt in process for marketing emails
We'll work closely with you to get your account healthy again and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
In order to protect our IP addresses, we will temporarily suspend your account while we investigate your sending activity. Note: we will still send transactional emails (like auto response emails from web forms) while your account is suspended to minimize the impact on your Prospects.
You will need to schedule another meeting with Support. Support will review your account and give further instructions on what you will need to do to restore your account. We will generally ask for the following:
- Remove Prospects from Imported Lists that have never opened/clicked emails.
- Remove all Prospects from purchased Lists.
- Remove Prospects with no Inbound Activity.
- Remove Prospects with a Last Inbound Activity date of more than a year.
You will also be moved from Lead Liaison's dedicated IP address to a shared pool of IP addresses. Depending on the situation, we may take additional action such as removing the Import Tool from your account.
Once your account is restored, Lead Liaison will actively monitor your sending habits for 30 days. After 90 days, you can request Lead Liaison support to review your account. If it appears you are following proper sending guidelines, we may restore you back to the dedicated IP address.
Because your sending practices are still suspect, you will no longer be able to use either our dedicated IP address or shared pool. If you wish to continue sending emails through our system, you will need to purchase an dedicated IP address for your account. You are solely responsible for maintaining the health of this IP address.
Once you are on your own IP address, we will inform you if you hit any additional spam traps but will take no further action. If the health of this IP address deteriorates and it becomes unusable, you will need to purchase another.
How can I tell if an email address is a spamtrap?
Generally you cannot. Monitoring companies like SpamCop intentionally keep their spamtraps closely guarded. They guard the traps to prevent companies from purchasing lists and skipping only the spam trap.
If I hit a spamtrap, what information can you give me?
We will typically know the subject line and date the email was sent. We will not know the specific list/Prospect.
I have sent emails to this List before, why am I being flagged now?
It is possible an older, no longer used email was purchased and converted to be a spamtrap. Some monitoring companies also may not blacklist every time an email is sent.
Why did my email validation company say this was a valid email?
Monitoring companies closely guard their spamtraps. They may respond normally to validation services and only flag emails sent through marketing automation.
Mark the emails as opted out in Lead Liaison so we won't send any more emails. You can then follow up with your Prospects directly to validate their contact info.