Wednesday, 6 November 2019

A Brief Study on Spam Trap, Spamhaus, and SpamCop

In this era of cut-throat marketing competitions, companies are heading more and more towards email marketing for reaching out to the customers as well as for advertising their products.
As email marketing provides flexibility to businesses by being low cost and easily accessible, its trend doesn’t seem to fade away in the coming years.
But what if, after putting in all the efforts in your email campaign, your email is still undeliverable. One of the reasons that impact your email deliverability is your spam score.
You might ask, “What is a spam score, after all?”
Here is your answer, Spam scores are used by anti-spam software and solutions and is most popularly given to emails by applying a set of rules.
So, if your spam score is high, chances are that your message will be marked as spam and become undeliverable to your audience.
The businesses that depend on email marketing must check their spam scores before sending their campaigns with the help of scam score checkers.
The software that calculates spam score marks your email as ‘SPAM’ if it exceeds the spam threshold.
If you want to score less on your email’s spam score and not let these experiences awry your perfect marketing campaign, here are a few thing that you need to know about Spam Trap, Spamhaus, and Spamcop.

Spam Traps

A spam trap is a traditional email address that is designed to expose illegitimate marketers and fraud businesses. As an email marketer, it’s essential that you do not add email addresses to your list without user permissions.
In case if you do so, you fall into the spam trap. Spam traps also identify businesses that use poor stale contact list.
spam trap types

There are different kinds of spam traps existing in the market. You can come out of a spam trap only if you know which one are you into
  1. Pure/True spam traps: These are the email addresses that have never been used by anyone. These email addresses do not show up on any business cards or have never been subscribed to anything before or used to sign up on any website. If you are trapped in a pure spam trap, probably you are obtaining email addresses without customer consent.
  2. Recycled spam traps: These are the email addresses that have been discarded long before by the original user. If you are sending emails to such addresses, it is still a bad news for your campaign.
  3. Fake or Typo: These email addresses are either fake as provided by the customer or contain typo in the address like ‘gnail’, instead of ‘gmail’. You are at the risk of falling into the spam trap if you send your campaigns to email addresses like these.


Spamhaus is a popular nonprofit organization that helps in tracking spammers and blocking various malware and spam that are sent over the internet.
The key feature of Spamhaus is that it provides a number of blacklists such as:
  1. SBL: Spamhaus block list consists of all those IP addresses from which Spamhaus does not recommend the receipt of an email.
  2. XBL: The exploits block list consists of IP addresses of hijacked PCs that are infected by Trojan horses, open proxies or other 3rd party exploits.
  3. PBL: The policy block list consists of a range of the end user IP address that technically does not deliver the emails that are unauthenticated to any Internet mail server or to the customer.
  4. DBL: It consists of real-time data of domains that are commonly found in spam messages. Most commonly the Domain Blocklist is used by mail server software.
  5. ZEN: ZEN is a combination of SBL, XBL, and PBL. It is the latest block list added to Spamhaus that consists of all block list zones. Zen can be used alone as it already has features of other block lists and is not recommended for use with any other Spamhaus block list zones.


It is a premium service that is widely used for reporting spams all over the internet. Spamcop gets its list by wandering around the internet and the users who report emails as spams.
The main duty of Spamcop is to find the very source of unwanted emails, after which it reports to the Internet Service Providers or ISPs.
Spamcop also provides a blocking list that acts as a spam fighting tool. One of the unique things about Spamcop is that it has a free reporting service. The SpamCop Blocklist consists of an automatic list of sites that send reported emails from various sources. These reported sites are then delisted as the reports cease.

Escape from Spamhaus and SpamCop blacklist

It is possible that in spite of doing all fair and legitimate practices in your business you become a prey of spam traps and get listed in the Spamhaus or Spam Trap blacklist. Here’s how you can get out:
  1. Reevaluate your email list. In order to get out of spam traps that not only affect your email deliverability but also your reputation, you need to keep on updating and evaluating your present email list. Remove any third party or purchased email address, if they are already added.
  2. Consider the age of your database. If your database is too old consider other factors such as how regularly or irregularly bulk and commercial emails have been sent to them. This will help you review the age of your email lists. Also, completely remove any hard bounce email addresses from your list.

  1. Review your recent sends and try to find out the cause that triggered the blacklisting. If you’ve just been delisted and come out of a spam trap, consider sending emails to your most active subscribers, in order to repair your reputation once again.

permission pass
Getting out of a Spamtrap or a Spamhaus blacklist can take some time. I understand this may sound a little disheartening, which is why it is advised to use legitimate and lawful methods of sending your marketing campaigns.
Good practices will not only help you maintain your reputation but also establish a credible relationship with the customer.

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