How To Maximise Engagement With Your Audience And Avoid Spam Traps

Why Is Engagement So Important?

Google, Hotmail and most other major email providers no longer just look at the content of your email before deciding if it’s spam.

The most important factor they take into account is engagement: how many people are opening your email and taking action?

The fewer people who open your emails, the more likely you are to end up in the spam, junk or promotions folder.

And, more importantly, if you keep sending emails to addresses that are no longer used by real people, you could be hitting Spam Traps.

What Is A Spam Trap?

Spam traps are email addresses that don’t belong to real people. In some cases they were once used by real people, in other cases they’ve been created specifically to catch people with very poor email marketing practices. Either way, the purpose of a spam trap is to identify spammers and senders with poor list hygiene.

You can’t tell by looking at an email address whether it’s genuine or a spam trap.

There are three types of spam traps:

  • Pristine – Email addresses that are hidden within a website’s code. The purpose of pristine traps are to identify email marketers who build their lists by scraping sites or purchasing data.
  • Recycled – Email addresses that were once valid, have become dormant, and then repurposed by an email provider. Someone could have used this email address to opt in at one point, but the address has since been abandoned. The purpose of this trap is to identify email marketers who do not perform regular list hygiene.
  • Typo – Mistyped email addresses, such as me@mgail.con. The purpose of a typo trap is to identify marketers with questionable lead collection processes.


How Can I Keep My List Clean And Avoid Spam Traps?

The best way to avoid spam traps and maximise your engagement is by keeping your list clean and only engaging with people who have opened or clicked on your emails in the last 3 months. This is commonly known as List Hygiene.

How Can I Do This With Infusionsoft?

If you have Infusionsoft, you can find who’s not engaged within the last 3 months by going to Marketing -> Reports -> Email Status Search

Run the email status search and identify anyone where the last engagement date is 90 days in the past. If you are concerned with losing too many people from your list, you can increase that to 120 days.

Tag all the people who have not engaged in the last 90/120 days and run them through a simple re-engage campaign – you can use the “Clean your contact list” campaign from the Infusionsoft marketplace if you are an Infusionsoft user.

Then either delete or unsubscribe everyone who does not open the emails in that campaign from your list.

How Can I Do This With ActiveCampaign?

Unfortunately, it’s much more difficult to keep your list clean with ActiveCampaign, as they don’t provide an out-of-the-box report that identifies your unengaged contacts. You can set up an Automation that’ll do this, but it only works for contacts that have engaged with you after the automation has been set up.

The good news is that a report’s available in The Reporting Lab, our free reporting companion to ActiveCampaign, which you can find at – all you need to do is register free for LabCentral, enter your ActiveCampaign API key, click Update Contacts and then run the Email Engagement Detail report. Even better, you can also tag all of the contacts who haven’t engaged at the click of a button.

What If I Want Even More Protection Against Spam Traps?

If you want to go one step further and proactively remove spam traps, undeliverable email addresses, known complainers etc., you can use a third-party list scrubbing service. Many solutions are available and the principle is generally the same – download your contacts into a CSV file, upload that file to the list scrubbing service, wait for the results, and then remove any spam traps or other “bad” email addresses that they report.

If you’d like to automate the whole process, The Integration Lab is our free companion to Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign and has seamless integration with Klean13, one of the best list scrubbing tools on the market.

All you need to do to scrub your list “in place” (meaning you don’t need to download or upload anything, just press a button and let the tool tag the contacts in your database that are undeliverable, spam traps, serial complainers etc.) is to register free at LabCentral, connect your Infusionsoft or ActiveCampaign account, purchase your Klean13 credits and then select the “Klean13 On-Demand Scrub” option.

Scrubbing your list and removing all “bad” email addresses will make a major difference to your engagement, help you improve your deliverability and avoid those nasty spam traps!