How to Remove Spam Traps from Your Account

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Overview

Spam traps are fake email addresses that live on the web for the purpose of finding people who may be illegitimately acquiring contacts. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) flag a domain if it sends to a higher percentage than normal. This means eliminating your risk of sending to spam traps will increase your likelihood of reaching the inbox, leading to more opens, clicks and, ultimately, more money.

Klaviyo leverages this fact to identify any spam traps on your list or any other profiles in your account that have never engaged with your brand. If you are unfamiliar with what a spam trap is or would like to learn more, head over to our guide on spam traps.

Why You Should Remove Spam Traps

Sending to spam traps or actual humans who do not engage (open/click) with your brand will cause deliverability issues. Repeatedly emailing recipients who do not engage with your emails will cause ISPs (like Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook, etc.) to evaluate whether each individual recipient wants to receive emails from your domain. 

If there is a continuous period of time, usually around 60 days, when an individual recipient receives multiple emails from a specific domain but does not engage with them, ISPs will take that as a sign that they do not want to receive these emails and likely route them into the spam folder, or block the delivery outright.

Filtering companies use spam traps as a tool to identify which emails they should place in the spam/junk folder. In their eyes, it’s a sign that you are not obtaining emails legitimately or following email best practices. Even worse, sending to spam traps can lead to Klaviyo IPs being blacklisted, which leads to deliverability issues on our infrastructure, ultimately impacting Klaviyo’s other customers who are making an effort to implement best practices.

How to Identify Spam Traps

It's impossible to identify specific email addresses that are spam traps because this information is not publicized. Finding people who aren’t engaging with your brand and are potential spam traps, however, is possible. The easiest way to find spam traps in your list is by creating a segment of anyone who has never engaged with your brand.

For example, we know that spam traps are not real people, so there are some things that a spam trap simply cannot do. A spam trap can’t open or click an email, or can’t start a checkout or place an order. They can’t be active on site, view products, open support tickets, leave product reviews, or forget their password because these are events that require human action. With all of that being said, we can utilize the data available in Klaviyo to segment out totally unengaged contacts.

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When it comes to creating a segment of unengaged profiles, you’ll need to include people who have received a certain number of emails, never opening and never clicking any of them in your criteria.  The number of received emails that you decide to use for this will depend on the data you have available and how long you’ve been sending emails, either on Klaviyo or a different email service provider you used previously.  

If you’ve been sending emails on Klaviyo for 6 months to a year and this is the first time you are creating one of these segments, you will likely have plenty of usable data to find those who are truly unengaged. 

If you are new to Klaviyo, there may not be as much data available to utilize. However, if you were sending emails on an ESP that Klaviyo integrates with prior to joining us, you can leverage this when creating an unengaged segment.

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Notice that, in this example segment, someone has to have received at least 10 Mailchimp emails but only 1 Klaviyo email. This would be a good way to find inactive profiles if you are a new sender on Klaviyo, but have existing open/click data from your former ESP.    

Most likely, you will primarily utilize Klaviyo data, integration data, and any data from other custom properties you may have uploaded into your account. For instance, there may be some individual profile data that you’ve uploaded into Klaviyo that could reference an action someone has done. If you have this available, you can also use this information to weed out profiles that couldn't perform a human action. An example may look like the segment below.

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How to Remove Spam Traps

Once you have identified the problematic segment of contacts, the next step will be to suppress them in your account. You can do this by following the instructions outlined in our guide to list cleaning. You'll need to export the segment as a CSV, and then re-upload it to your suppressions list, which can be found in the Profiles tab.

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