Spam traps are email addresses that look real but aren’t. Instead, they are used by mailbox providers, blacklist providers and filtering providers as a way to measure the quality of a sender and as a way to catch spammers.

Sending to spam traps can damage your reputation and result in your mail being blocked or placed in the spam folder.

At SparkPost, we know how important email delivery is to your business, and we want to help you succeed. Back in January of this year, we rolled out Spam Trap Monitoring with a superset of existing networks, giving us the broadest visibility across both commercial and non-commercial spam trap networks in the world. In addition, we created automated processes that constantly discover new spam traps so we can provide the most accurate information.

But just knowing how many traps you’ve hit may not give you enough to find the source of your problem, whether it be low-quality sources, no validation, or bad list hygiene.

To help you dig further, we’ve added a breakdown of the type of traps you’re hitting to help you find and fix any issues.

Spam trap types

Knowing which type of spam trap you’re hitting helps you find where your email program may have an issue.
Starting today, you’ll see traps broken down by type: recycled, typo, and parked.

Recycled traps are email addresses that once were real, but have been converted into a spam trap. If you have these on your list it’s probably a sign you need to clean out old unengaged recipients. You can look at your engagement recency cohorts (EU) to see if you are sending to a lot of unengaged recipients.

Typo traps are email addresses hosted on a domain that looks like a real mailbox provider, like These usually get onto your list when a real person tries to sign up but “fat fingers” their email address and accidentally adds a trap instead. These addresses signal that you should work to improve your enrollment process. Using a tool like Recipient Validation can help solve this problem.

Lastly, are parked emails. These are email addresses hosted by a parked domain provider. These addresses can point to list quality issues, though they will not affect your reputation.

Our customers have asked about this after we first launched Signals, and we’re really happy that we get to release this today. So jump into the app (EU) now to find what types of traps you’re sending to! With just a few small changes, you can see improvements in your list quality.

As always, we’d love to hear your feedback. Send us an email to if you have any thoughts or suggestions for Spam Trap Monitoring or other Signals features.

Happy sending!

—Avi, Technical Product Manager

❤️ Special thanks to George Schlossnagle, Daeyon Griffin, Michael Curtis, Aaron Shen, Brian Kemper, Cole Strode, Tonya Gordon and to all the Product, Engineering, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success teams