How to remove spam traps from your account

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You will learn

Learn how to remove spam traps from your account, and why this is important.

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. 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. 

Why you should remove spam traps

Sending to spam traps or actual humans who do not engage (open/click) with your emails will cause deliverability issues. Repeatedly emailing unengaged recipients will cause ISPs (e.g., Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook, etc.) to evaluate whether each recipient wants to receive emails from your domain. If there is a continuous period of time, usually around 60 days, when a recipient receives multiple emails from you but does not engage, ISPs will take that as a sign that they do not want to receive your emails and will likely route them to the spam folder or block the delivery outright.

Moreover, filtering companies use spam traps 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 blocklisted, which leads to deliverability issues on our infrastructure, ultimately impacting Klaviyo’s other customers who are making an effort to implement best practices.

Identify spam traps

It's impossible to identify specific email addresses that are spam traps because this information is not publicized. However, finding people who aren’t engaging with your brand and are potential spam traps is possible. To do so, create a segment of anyone who has never engaged with your brand.

For example, since we know that spam traps aren't real people, there are some things they simply cannot do. A spam trap can’t open/click an email, start a checkout, or place an order, be active on site, view products, open support tickets, leave product reviews, or forget their password because these events require human action. Utilize this data in Klaviyo to segment out totally unengaged contacts.

Example of Klaviyo segment filtering out totally unengaged profiles

When creating a segment of unengaged profiles, include people who have received a certain number of emails and have never opened and clicked any of them.  The number of received emails that you decide to use will depend on the data you have available and how long you’ve been sending, either on Klaviyo or a previous email service provider.  

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 available data. However, if you sent emails on an ESP that Klaviyo integrates with prior to joining us, you can leverage this data when creating an unengaged segment.

Klaviyo unengaged segment using data from Mailchimp integration

Notice that, in the segment above, 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 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.

Example of Klaviyo segment capturing users that have not taken human action

How to remove spam traps

Once you identify the problematic segment of contacts, the next step in removing spam traps from your account is to suppress them. To suppress these contacts, following the instructions outlined in our guide to list cleaning.

You will need to export your totally unengaged segment as a CSV file. Then, re-upload this CSV to your suppressions list, which is found in the Profiles tab of Klaviyo.

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