These are addresses that have been re-purposed for use of testing or are no longer accepting mail, but may not necessarily bounce, and are therefore dragging down your results.
We have a list of email addresses and domains which are known spam traps, known to host spam traps or manage blacklist services. While we keep these values confidential we use these as an indicator for the health of a list. Nearly all traps will never sign-up form an email so they can only be attained by scraping the web or purchasing a badly collected list. Some data may have legitimately signed-up around 10 years ago but have been converted into spam traps since. Most of these addresses would have hard bounced for a time so responsible senders would have suppressed them by now, subsequently the only way to get them on the list is to attain/buy them from a source which has not been responsible with the data and has no respect for the people they sell to.
Generic High Risk
These are business role accounts which are specifically for technical or legal purposes and will not subscribe to emails. Sending to these addresses tends to be unpopular with the recipients who, in their technical or legal positions can block or even blacklist you. Subsequently we strongly advise you to suppress these when we find them, and they are an indicator of poor data quality.
These are non-technical addresses which are also unlikely to sign-up but not completely unheard of. These are often industry specific, like the church, schools, medical and government. The consequences of emailing these addresses are not as severe as High Risk Generics, but they are also common with purchased lists, so can be an indicator of poor data quality.
There are a few hundred temporary email address services, some free some not. These services exist to allow people to create disposable email addresses to use when signing up on site which they do not trust. This is commonly used in situations where people are forced to enter an email address but there is no value to do so. It also occurs on normal sign-ups where the brand collecting the address has not properly earned the trust of the user to treat their email address properly.
All of these email addresses will receive emails for a certain amount of time, some are configured to receive a certain number, some only one email and other will expire over time or at the action of the user turning it off. Once they have expired or been turned off, they rarely bounce but instead will simply ‘blackhole’ so there is no way to know if they are still active. Subsequently it is a good idea to monitor these domains and remove them. If people are using temporary addresses to sign-up it may indicate a problem with your collection methods and you need to improve it to earn more trust.
Forced records tend to come from third party lists where the collecting web-site is forcing people to enter an email address, any emails address, in order to get to the next page. Many people are wise to this now so they often just make one up. This means that it is likely that you will get a very large number of hard bounces due to having lots of dead addresses. The most common of these addresses can also be spam traps. Subsequently it’s best to clean them out as quickly as possible.
Competition bots are addresses that are created to search out signup forms online that are hosting competitions and automatically enter. As these aren’t real addresses that are genuinely signing up, it’s not only unfair on the rest of your subscribers that may lose out of winning, but these addresses will almost certainly never engage with you again. For more information on how to combat these addresses, we’ve written a more detailed guide here.