Dealing with Spam or Bot Form Fillouts

Version 4

    Issue Description
    You have been receiving form submissions that appear to have bogus/nonsensical data in the fields, such as "kjsag@sm4.to" for email address, or "111-111-1111" for phone number, or in a Comment field other random nonsensical text.

     

    Issue Resolution
    Currently, there are no default settings in Marketo that prohibit a form submission if the required fields are filled out. A great workaround for addressing these bogus form submissions in Marketo is to implement a 'honeypot' field on the form.

     

    To do this, you will need to create a custom Marketo field, string type, and name it something distinctive (such as "spam" or "honeypot"). After creating this field in Marketo Admin > Field Management, place this new field on the form as a hidden field.

     

    Real live end-users do not see hidden fields, but spam bots will see them and fill out all available fields. So now when we see form fills with this honeypot field "not empty," we know that it was a bot fillout.

     

    Setting up the Honeypot Field

    Say that you have a Trigger Campaign that's having some issue with these spam/bogus form fills. In the flow of this campaign, you can add a flow step at the top: Remove from Flow, with a Choice.

     

    Choice:

    If Honeypot field Is not empty, then remove from flow

    Default: do nothing

     

    This way, the lead record is removed from the flow. You can also have other campaigns to handle these bogus form fills, such as a daily recurring batch to delete the record.

     

    Other Options

    Another method of dealing with bot fillouts is to enable a reCaptcha. In fact, a very prolific Marketo user has written custom code that you feasibly could use to enable a reCaptcha on the form! Check this out: https://codepen.io/figureone/pen/meybqN?editors=0110