Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

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Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

Hi Dan - yes that is something that we've thought about at length and in the long run we decided that was ok. At least until we can figure something else out. Also, if those folks really want to get in touch with us, they'll get pushed to Salesforce through other methods (ie form submits, etc.).

Level 1

Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

Exactly! You definitely want to include legitimate clicks, even if a bot does the first click (or set of clicks - some of them click on multiple or all links. How annoying!). Otherwise your reporting (and results) end up skewed.

I don't see a great way to solve this just using Marketo programs, triggers, campaigns, etc. and I've spent some time thinking about it. I had this problem at a previous company and it was a serious problem for our results and making decisions about where to put spend.

We have a way to solve this where I work, but I'm not allowed to do promotions here. You can search for me on LinkedIn with a note saying you want to discuss if it's relevant to you.

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Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

Hi Dan (and other click-bot combatants) -

I was re-reading this thread and just had an idea to try to mitigate the problem. After going through various of the exercises above to identify the companies in your database that almost certainly deploy link scanners, what about requiring a minimum of 2 clicks (using the min. number of times constraint) on a given link to count as a click if the recipient is flagged as from a link scanner company? That way you wouldn't lose the legitimate recipient who clicks after the bot has deemed the email safe.

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Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

What did you do when you say at the end...

"Now all was left for us to do is to add a few Smart Campaigns to neutralize the Bots and stop them from disrupting the scoring system, the interesting moments and all reporting.

We now have a Bot system running in the background making sure all our numbers are correct and not just making us look good."

Did you manage to make the Marketo native reports be accurate by excluding the bots, or are you now reporting using a different system/method?

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Level 2

Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

Yes we were recently affected by bot activity that hijacked our Marketo form. Fortunately, the bot was using the same IP each time so I set a flow step to block the activity based on IP.

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

Raj Jain​ the "bot" being discussed here is an automated scanner that pre-follows links for security purposes, not a malicious bot.

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Level 1

Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

I'm sure this has been asked and answered, but I can't find it explicitly, so here goes:

Why can we not add a wait step?  So the functionality would look like this:

Smart List: Email is Delivered

Flow:

- Wait 10 Seconds

- Request Campaign (Your normal email processing campaign)

This way you're not monitoring activity on the email until 10 seconds after delivery, which should exclude the majority of bot activity (but I understand not 100% of it). 

Either way, if you deliver an email, track link clicks 10 seconds later. then lead them to a page with either an active form or a hyperlinked path, your stats should be relatively clean. 

That's my (very top-level) hypothesis at least.  Rather than taking the amount of time it would to test though, I figured I'd come to the experts and see if it's even worth my time. 

Another side question I had was the function of the "Clicks Link." Is this an active tracker?  OR will it pick up the bot click in retrospect?  (rendering the 10 second wait step nearly useless, as everything above can be accomplished without it)

Thanks in advance!!!

Justin

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Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

Hi Justin,

While I'm not an expert on bots, I very much doubt that you can count on "wait 10 seconds" to eliminate them for a couple of reasons: 1) I doubt you can count on the precise timing of bot clicks vis-a-vis when Marketo deems the email has been delivered; the bot may "click" the links more than 10 seconds later. And 2) the wait step means your campaign will run at low priority, so the flow steps after the wait stepcould be run a lot longer 10 seconds after the email was delivered, depending upon what higher priority campaigns are active at the time.

"Clicks Link" as a trigger (in orange) reacts as soon as it sees the link clicked.

"Clicked Link" is a filter that looks for past activity. You can control how far in the past with constraints (e.g., Clicked Link in past 5 minutes, 30 days, etc.).

Denise

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

Exactly, there's nowhere near 10s granularity available here.

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Bot or Not? – Are you suffering from ‘bot clicks’?

- Request Campaign (Your normal email processing campaign)

This way you're not monitoring activity on the email until 10 seconds after delivery, which should exclude the majority of bot activity

When you request your normal processing campaign, you now must use filters instead of triggers (since you're now using a "campaign is requested" trigger).  So the 10 minute wait step has no impact whatsoever and your "normal" processing campaign is no longer a trigger campaign based on email activity.