Email spam traps or “email pitfalls” have metamorphosed a great deal since the 1990’s. In order to avoid these dangers, it’s important to understand the history of spam and its fighters. Take a look at video based on the history of email list hygiene.

Types of spam traps

There are several types of spam traps or pitfalls that are in circulation:

TLD Email Traps

Top Level Domains, in our industry, are considered to be large Internet service providers who offer free email services. The industry calls them “HAMY” emails. “HAMY” stands for Hotmail, AOL, MSN and Yahoo!. It also represents Gmail and the hundreds of other free email service providers. Spam fighters use these as traps by signing up a few hundred accounts and strategically placing these email addresses online in forums, websites and forms pages.

These traps are harder to create now because of the restrictions ISP’s have on creating “fake” email addresses. In order to avoid these traps, you will have to use some type of spam trap removal service who has a static list of these traps to remove from. You can also avoid these by not harvesting email addresses off of the Internet.

Regular Domain Traps

A regular domain trap is the most commonly used spamtrap out there. Spam fighters purchase a few hundred domains a year (maybe less) and create thousands of accounts. Again, these are strategically placed on websites, forums and form pages. To avoid these, an emailer needs someone who understands how to remove spam traps by finding the blacklist IPs for suppressing them.

Bounce Traps

A few years ago, TLD’s started activating suspended/inactive accounts in order to capture spam into a new blackhole to study interpret and report spam. It was quite clever. What was once a “Hotmail” hard bounce became an activated spam trap. This brought in a new era of hygiene in which grey and white listed emailers had to do email verification in order to avoid this pitfall.

Whois Traps

Although not a conventional way to trap spammers, some TLD ISP’s wrote software that checked every domain that streamed into their network and monitored the whois information. Even though most spammers would use privacy whois, that alone would be able to block a majority of spam. To avoid these types of traps, it would be prudent to not use whois privacy protection. If you’re subscribers know who you are, then what are you hiding from?

Domain Extensions

New extensions like .ninja and the like can flood ISP’s in a hurry. It’s common for a new rollout to hit the market and for spammers to gobble them up for bulk email. Spam fighters simply watch their traffic for the new extensions and then block them. If enough come in to annoy an email administrator, they can easily report the spam to any of their favorite blacklist providers. Never purchase new extensions for sending email.

Date of Domain Purchased Traps

The latest trends of pitfalls are programs that ask domains for their date of birth. Even if you follow all guidelines above, email administrators can block your traffic if the domain you are using to send advertisements is brand new or even a few months old. If an administrator looks at all traffic coming in with new domains and see the advertisement as spammy, they too will and can report your message as spam to any number of blacklists they have relationships with.

In conclusion, one must seriously think about email list hygiene as the first defense against undeliverability. Unless you are an expert at understanding the latest trends and pitfalls of antispam, you are most guaranteed to either lose a lot of money or be defeated in this industry.