Stay alert: In addition to invalid emails, other types may end your campaigns
[Mailing list Management] Hard Bounces are bad for your reputation as they cause blockages to providers and also to email senders. However, there are a number of other emails that, while not necessarily invalid, can undermine your campaigns and reduce their delivery rates, or even generate severe blockages.
It is important to know these emails and in this article we will show them to yo.
In this article, you will see:
- disposable e-mails;
- Scraped emails;
- Generic Addresses;
- Emails with no engagement for a long time;
- Junk e-mails;
- System emails (transactional, system, do not respond, noreply, etc);
- Emails with blocking history
Maybe you have never heard of spamtraps, but know that they are very harmful to your email marketing. Maybe you have some of these addresses in your home base?
In practical terms, spamtraps are actual email addresses used for the purpose of identifying and punishing spammers.
Remember that today, spam is no longer characterized only by unsolicited messages, but also by unwelcome or excessive messages. Therefore, your base may have spamtraps addresses.
Types of Spamtraps
There are two types of spamtraps in todays email marketing landscape. Each of them have a purpose and a manner of operation. Digital marketing managers need to pay attention to both and avoid, at all costs, the existence of these addresses in their bases:
They are new email addresses, created by providers (such as Hotmail) and blacklists (such as Spamhaus) and spread across websites, forums, etc. so that they can be found by spammers through harvesting or dictionary attacks.
Harvesting is when someone uses a bot (automation software) to search the Internet, searching for email addresses on websites, blogs, forums, etc. Finding these emails, they are stored in a database.
To find out what a dictionary attack is, see below, at number 2, Scraped emails.
The interesting thing about new spamtraps is that they were created solely for this purpose, that is, they are never owned by real users and were not used to register or exchange messages. In this way, it is possible to affirm that whoever has spamtraps of this category in their email bases certainly bought lists or performed “scanning” (harvesting) in search of emails.
Note that spamtraps addresses don’t generate bounces (errors). They exist and receive emails normally. It is also important to notice that new spamtraps never perform message openings or clicks.
Also, don’t make the mistake, thinking that spamtraps addresses are easy to monitor. They are not. Nor are nonsense addresses like “firstname.lastname@example.org”. They pass by as addresses “without any suspicion”.
Quando você realiza um envio para um endereço de spamtrap (ou spamtrap hit), você tem sua reputação severamente prejudicada, com uma abrupta queda de pontuação do SenderScore e também passa a ser listado em blacklists, sofrendo bloqueios nos envios futuros de e-mail marketing.
You may be thinking now: “I don’t buy email bases, so I don’t have spamtraps.” The reasoning, in this case, is only “half right”. The correct thing to say is that, since you don’t buy bases, you don’t have new spamtraps. But there is a second category of spamtraps that you should be aware of: the recycled spamtraps.
In addition to combating spam, providers need to make sure you’re talking to an email address that actually has interaction (engagement), after all, emails sent to recipients who don’t read, don’t generate interaction, or display media and only occupy spaces in datacenters.
For this reason, email providers make use of recycled spamtraps: they are email addresses that used to belonged to a user, have logged in, interacted with email marekting, exchanged messages, but at some point were abandoned or closed. Then they are reactivated by the providers and monitored to know who continues to make submissions to these addresses.
By making submissions to these addresses, providers can initiate mass mailing processes for junk mail (spam folder) or even block their future email marketing campaigns.
To prevent these addresses from being part of your email bases, delete addresses that have not been engaged for more than 3-6 months
2- Scraped emails
It is a spammer technique used to construct mailing lists, using the most common names used in corporate emails, such as sales@, webmaster@, financial@, etc.
With this list of names, the spammer resorts to any and all possible domains by combining each domain with the available names. For example, imagine a email@example.com. With the list of names mentioned above, we would have, then, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. See how it works?
So, with the most common names and a multitude of domains, the spammer is able to create a massive email base and even though many of the emails are invalid, it is still possible to correctly guess many addresses.
The problem is that providers monitor these addresses and many of them are considered spamtraps.
For this reason, sending to a corporate addresses whose names are very common and generic, such as sales, financial and many others, is not recommended. The ideal for corporate emails is that their recipients are people, not departments. An example, email@example.com, would be an interesting email because you know exactly who the recipient is.
There are other reasons to avoid scraped emails. To learn more, we recommend reading our article about these types of emails: https://www.safetymails.com/blog/o-que-sao-scraped-lists-e-como-elas-podem-prejudicar-seus-resultados/
3- Disposable Emails
There is an email category that is used to cheat the double optin (when the recipient needs to confirm the registration through an activation link in an email).
These emails are known by several names, such as disposable or temporary.
Its main characteristic is its transitional, perishable character. In other words, these emails only work for a few minutes or hours. They serve to enable the user to perform a registration with confirmation without, however, needing to register their personal email.
For those who received the registration, everything seems normal, since the registration was confirmed through a link sent by an email that was properly activated.
The problem is that after a few minutes or hours, the email becomes invalid and therefore generates a bounce for the sender. And, as you already know, invalid emails generate blockages, don’t they?
If you want to know more about disposable emails, we recommend reading this article from our blog
4- Generic adresses
Very similar to scraped emails, generic addresses are actually those emails whose recipients are not people but generic entities. For example, instead of an email firstname.lastname@example.org, you would have an email as email@example.com.
Although the possibility of problems here is infinitely less, it is important that you monitor your subscriptions because these emails are often opened by different people over time. Today, Claudia is the one who takes care of the email. Tomorrow Claudia may be able to go to another company and the email will be taken over by José, who has not signed up to receive his emails and therefore doesn’t know of their existence. Upon receiving a new email, Jose may report it as spam.
5- Emails without engagement
You have seen that emails that have gone long periods without engagement can become recycled spamtraps. And that should be problem enough for you to seriously consider removing emails with more than 3 (up to 6) months without interaction.
But while the number of emails that are converted to recycled spamtraps are actually small compared to the total number of non-engaging emails in your campaigns, there’s another strong reason for you to remove these emails from your base: deliverability.
One of the key factors that providers take into consideration in their algorithms for sending their emails to the inbox or to the spam box is the total amount of engagements (openings) their campaigns have.
If you have a large number of recipients who never open your emails, your engagement is goin to be harmed. As a result of this, most of your emails will run the risk of being sent to the spam box.
The math is simple. Imagine two scenarios, A and B, with the same number of openings(100). Its total base has 224 non-engaging emails in a total of 1000 emails. Campaign A sent all emails. Campaign B removed these 224 emails before sending. With some simple math, campaign A had 10% engagement (100 in 1,000). Campaign B, 12.89% (100 in 776 – because 224 non-engaging emails were removed).
6- Junk emails
There are some emails that can also be harmful to your email marketing for various reasons and for this, we recommend that you seek to remove them from your bases.
There are several emails that are just numeric sequences, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Is it possible that these are emails from real users? Of course. However, they may only be secondary repositories used only to receive “uninteresting” emails. Therefore, the engagement will be very low or none.
Many of these emails also serve the banking system. Since the rules for using emails in this market are very severe, rarely will these emails receive your messages (because of their strong antispam filters) or they will be ignored
Many people often make email entries that use slang words or profanity, in addition to sexual terms. If possible, remove all these emails from your base.
Since the antispam systems have word filters, when your emails are delivered, they can trigger blocking mechanisms and harm your campaigns
7- System Emails
With the growth of e-commerce, transactional emails have become very common. It is not difficult to receive emails such as “email@example.com”, “firstname.lastname@example.org”, among others.
Because these emails belong to automated shipping systems, in most cases there will be no one to respond or interact with these messages
8- Emails with blocking history
This is another type of email that needs to be scrutinized. They aren’t invalid emails but have a history of previous blockages.
Many email marketing tools nowadays now classify these emails as hard bounces, such as MailChimp, RD Station, among many others, as you can see in this article, where we give more Details: https://www.safetymails.com/blog/e-mail-valido-ou-hard-bounce-mudando-conceitos/
This is why we must always be aware.
How to prevent these emails from being in your databases
In a perfect world you remove 100% of problematic emails from your submissions so that you have an excellent reputation and the minimum number of problems generated by base management.
Each type of email has a solution. Let’s separate the solutions into two types:
- Validation and Verification of Bases: in this case, a tool such as SafetyMails can identify and remove a huge portion of emails that are potentially harmful to your reputation. They are:
- Scraped emails
- Local Analysis: here you will need to cross-reference your historical submission data and your local email database data:
- Generic Addresses
- Emails without engagement for a long time
- System e-mails
- Emails with blocking history
If you would like to validate and verify your email bases, we recommend using SafetyMails, one of Brazil’s most innovative Startups MarTechs, according to Insights League. Open a free account and receive 100 free credits for testing