Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

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Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

Hello,

We've had a lot of issues with fake, server/spam filter clicks in the past. I have read several posts in the community and have never really found a fully-functioning solution. That said, some people have suggested that requiring a web page visit to also occur is an option. We are now seeing fake web visits that are accompanying the fake clicks. Is anyone else experiencing this? Is there a solution out there or a post about this already? You can see in the image below that upon delivery all of the links in the email are being clicked and then all of the web pages are being visited.

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This is a data nightmare!

Thank you,

Frank

25 REPLIES 25
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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

This is just a sign of a thorough mail scanner.  In order to determine the final, unattended target of a link, it's necessary to load the page in a headless browser and see where it goes. The headless browser will probably not run GA as it's a super-well-known analytics package, but other packages like Munchkin will still execute because there's no way of knowing if they're mere trackers or directing the user experience.

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

Marketo needs to fix this.

We had this happen and now it's triggering visits pages on our attempted spam scanner trap. It might become self aware one day.

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Re: Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

Thank you, Sanford. These mail scanners are really raining on my parade. It's quite hard to perform behavior-based marketing when you can't trust simple behaviors like email clicks and web visits. I do hope that Marketo is working on some sort of fix.

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Re: Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

I'm not sure this would work, but I've thought of putting an "invisible" link as the first link of my emails (in the pre-header) and ANYTHING that clicks that link is garbage. You would have to set success to false or somehow mark this (temporarily) as not being a successful interaction. Perhaps a filter campaign in this instance would be used, so:

If main CTA is clicked, AND invisible link is NOT clicked AND there's a CTA linked website visit, then SUCCESS, otherwise, do nothing.

The downside is, if there IS an interaction post scanner, you'd never know it.

Wait! What if you timestamped that initial invisible click, and your filter campaign could be set to look at the timestamp and let's say positive interaction that happens 5-10 minutes after that timestamp would be considered a "live" interaction?

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

I have tried this. The scanners do see that link and try it and also block your email and then create a Visit Page. So sure, you could block that lead.

I am skeptical that this would be a long term solution due to lower delivery rates in some situations.

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Re: Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

I'm stoked I had the same idea as you, Josh!!

So the mail scanners see that link and essentially mark it as spam?

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Level 4

Re: Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

I think this is the key question - will spam scanners mark emails with an invisible link as spam.  If not - this is the best solution I have seen!

Thanks Mike!

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

But what if the scanners click all links, visit all web pages and then eventually send to the actual recipient, who takes action on the link(s)?  All within seconds after the email has been scanned.

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Re: Fake clicks followed by fake web visits

Sadly, In that case, you'd be SOL.

Would you say you have more mail scanners that click all links than actual people that click within seconds of your email send?