6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 12, 2018 9:48 PM by Sanford Whiteman

    Phony Email Addresses

    David Farrell

      We recently created a Whitepaper that has gotten a huge response......... about 70% are fictitious names and companies but always from some gmail, yahoo mail, or some anonymous carrier email account.
      Is there way in FORMS to.......

      1. Have the form not allow non company domain email addresses?
      2. Have a pop up saying non company addresses will not be fulfilled......... or something along those lines.

      David

        • Re: Phony Email Addresses
          Keith Nyberg

          Hey David,

          Unfortunately there is nothing out of box that allows you to mask the input to the email field on forms. You can mask input for "Text" fields but this requires you to put the exact number/letter/character sequence that you want which is really unknown/not possible for email. I agree it would be fantastic to be able to mask input so someone is not allowed to use most of the free email providers, but currently that is not currently available (maybe start an idea if one does not already exist?).

           

          Some ideas for workarounds in this scenario:

          • Get with a developer who can write you some Javascript to make the form unsubmitable if the email contains "gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc.". Serve custom error message so prospects can correct.
            • Best solution but requires a technical resource to implement. This will also majorly impact your numbers if you are used to capturing these email addresses
          • Update your email field to say "Business Email" as opposed to just Email Address
            • May prompt/reminder users to use their work email instead of personal email. Not bullet proof but could help.
          • Tell prospect you are going to email them the ebook on your landing page and dont make the asset available on the TY page.
            • This isn't as common but forces a user to provide a valid email address or they cannot access the content as it it emailed to them as opposed to made available on the TY page.

           

          In all honesty, if you are seeing a bunch of fake information for an asset, it tells me that the asset is very valuable and gets interest so I would consider ungating that particular asset to allow anyone to access it without information then make a secondary offer for a free trial or demo that you capture their information with.

           

          In marketing, we are often too focused on our company goals (MQL's and whatnot) and forget that we really should be focused on adding value before asking for information from people. People are much more willing to provide their info to someone they trust and feel provides value as opposed to someone who wants to call every person who ever consumed something on their site. Philosophically hard for us to do this as Marketers as we hurt our own success metrics (volume), but feel this strategy really pays off in the long term. If people don't want to be known, they really dont want to be emailed or nurtured either so there really is no value in creating them in your database to begin with. Just my 2 cents though.... good luck!

           

          Sincerely,

          Keith Nyberg

            • Re: Phony Email Addresses
              Sanford Whiteman

              ...mask input so someone is not allowed to use most of the free email providers...

              Literally masking the input as someone fills in the field will never work because freemail domains overlap with real domains. For one of infinite examples, you can't block someone after they enter jen@outlook.com because that could be part of the very corporate address jen@outlook.competence.net.

               

              That's why email validation is always done when the field is blurred (unfocused) or upon submit, not while the person is still keying in their information.

               

              (Note it is already technically possible to implement the above behavior using input masks on Marketo forms, it just won't work in the real world.)

               

              David in addition to Keith's good points about ungating a popular asset, I'd also be curious about whether you're actually getting bot submissions with nonexistent email addresses. Sorry to be skeptical, but what evidence do you have that these are real web sessions and not bots that have discovered your form?

                • Re: Phony Email Addresses
                  David Farrell

                  Sanford,

                  I'm actually going to take Keith Suggestion of "business email only" although I totally believe these are bots filling out the form.

                   

                  Could I put a radial button as a required click on the form that states "I am not a robot" which then allows the submission to go through?

                   

                  David

                    • Re: Phony Email Addresses
                      Sanford Whiteman
                      Could I put a radial button as a required click on the form that states "I am not a robot" which then allows the submission to go through?

                      A fake reCAPTCHA?  No, that won't stop a bot. A reCAPTCHA works in concert with a server-side check to detect automated submissions.

                       

                      If you want to add a real reCAPTCHA, search the posts here as I've put up a couple of examples.

                    • Re: Phony Email Addresses
                      Keith Nyberg

                      (Note it is already technically possible to implement the above behavior using input masks on Marketo forms, it just won't work in the real world.)

                      Sanford Whiteman - I understand that you can Mask Input but said it's a pain currently as it requires you to create inclusion strings that can be submitted as opposed to exclusion strings like you'd want here....

                      Am I missing something here or is there a way to use exclusions in Masked Input? I was looking around and can't find anything OOB so interested if i'm overlooking something.

                        • Re: Phony Email Addresses
                          Sanford Whiteman

                          ...as it requires you to create inclusion strings that can be submitted as opposed to exclusion strings like you'd want here....

                          It's not that you can't create exclusion expressions. /@(?!(example.net|example.com))$/, for example, is a (tiny) regular expression based on exclusions.

                           

                          It's that there's no way that a 100,000+ character literal regular expression (remember, there are thousands of freemail domains) is going to be easier to manage than an array that you check with custom JS.  Even the Masters of RegEx agree that not everything should be done w/regexes.