What they are and how to avoid getting caught in them
How do you acquire your subscribers’ email addresses?
Subscribers probably give you their email addresses when they subscribe, right?
That’s good – that’s the right way to do it.
Unfortunately, not all people out there play by the rules. Some spammers have programs that automatically go through websites, signing up any email addresses they find.
This gives them big lists of subscribers, but . . . it's just straight up wrong. People get emailed without signing up. No good!
You don’t do this kind of thing, of course. So you don’t have anything to worry about, right? Sorry. This is another case of bad people causing problems for good people.
To stop spammers, some internet companies put out “spam honeypots” (also known as “spam traps.”) These email addresses strong subscribe to any list, so if they receive a message, the sender is sure to be a spammer. Got it?
Anyone who sends to the spam honeypots email addresses gets penalized. That is, their future mass emails are marked as spam – and are much less likely to be delivered.
The problem is that some legitimate emailers sometimes get caught in spam honeypots.
Sometimes email addresses get recycled as spam traps. That is, the email addresses were once legitimate but fell into disuse – and now have been redeployed as a spam trap. These emails often start info@ or support@.
Another type of honeypot involves misspelled email addresses, like @gnail.com or @yaho.com.
You can see how these could look legitimate if you’re moving quickly.
The way to avoid getting caught up in this whole mess is to send occasional re-engagement campaigns to your subscribers.
Re-engagement is just a smart thing to do, even without spam honeypots lurking out there. Re-engagement campaigns can increase your open rate, which in turn improves your reputation and your message deliverability.
(In high school, we started a folk rock band called “Message Deliverability.” It wasn’t very popular, unfortunately.)
And good news: a re-engagement campaign need not be hard or time-consuming for you. Simply create a list of subscribers who have not opened your messages for a few months.
You could just delete those addresses from your send list, but why not give them a chance to stay? Your message to such people could be, “I’ve noticed you haven’t opened messages from my site in the past couple months, and I don’t want to clutter your inbox with unwanted emails. I can remove you, but before I do, would you like to stay?”
Of course, try not to get your feelings hurt by people who don't engage. Maybe they’re just busy. Or they’re not very smart. Or whatever! Their loss, right?
An annual re-engagement campaign will keep your subscriber list nice, current and tidy. You should do it!
You can learn more about spam honeypots and re-engagement campaigns at Sendgrid’s website.