Let’s say you cannot afford a list hygiene company and want to remove traps from your email database by yourself. Without exposing you our full secrets, I will divulge a few key components to removing traps.

Tips #1:

Do not harvest emails. Extracting emails from the Internet is the number one taboo move any email marketer can do. The most common placement for traps is the Internet. Spam fighters are betting that you will harvest their traps and send an email to it. Avoid spidering or harvesting online at all costs.

Tips #2:

Do not buy, rent, trade, or lease lists. Do not buy, rent, trade, or lease lists. I know you hated to read that, but it’s absolutely true. Any list that has exchanged hands is old and crusty. Remember from my other articles that there is a reason data is being sold. It’s simply not performing anymore. Old lists build traps. Spam fighters purchase expired domains and monitor traps through bounces. Old lists are major pitfalls.

Tips #3:

Remove all bounces before sending. It would be advantageous to run your list through email verification in order to remove bounces before you send to it. Letting your list sit for a month will most likely accumulate bounces and ESP’s are not interested in removing them for you. They may suspend your account so make sure you remove all bounces before sending.

Tips #4:

Remove departmental emails. These are emails that do not belong to one person rather a department. No one signs up for newsletters using these types of emails so remove them. These are emails like info@ or webmaster@ etc… There are hundreds of thousands of departmental emails so start gathering them for your filtering. Do not forget about other languages as well.

Tips #5:

Remove strange looking emails with numbers and letters (eyeball down your list). Who would sign up for your newsletter with an email like this h38dj47sj2l-0o@yahoo? A lot of these emails are bot seeds and could be traps from wannabe spam fighters (uneducated spam fighters). You can also find a good regedit program that can remove these so you don’t have to go through your emails one by one. Also look for weird looking domains like ystwyth-tircoed.fsnet.co.uk. They may be nothing, but you shouldn’t take that risk.

Tips #6:

Do not let your list sit. Old lists collect traps as mentioned above. If you are a list owner, you need to be massaging your list at least once a week. We had a major computer chip company (client) who gathered 2 million records from a campaign they did years ago. Everyone who signed up for their campaign did so on their webpage. They let the list sit for 2 years while focusing on other priorities. When they loaded the list into a major ESP, they hit 5 major spam fighter blacklists.

Tips #7:

Do not buy new domains for sending email. New domains are a tell tale sign of spam. According to spam fighters, there is no way that within the time that your domain was bought that you were able to send that much traffic into their networks. New domains are blocked right off the bat by them checking whois  on every domain that comes in.

Tips #8:

Do not rent or buy IP’s from sketchy vendors. IP Providers switch and rotate their IP’s all the time. Just because you checked the blacklisting and it’s clean all across the board doesn’t mean the IPs are not being blocked and/or monitored. Make sure you know where your IPs are coming from and that you can trust the IP vendor with legitimate IP’s.

Written By
James Carner
CEO / Founder