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Spam filters registering clicks?

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Anonymous
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Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

We host our own 1x1 pixel image on ourselves as part of our content - but Sanford is right, it doesn't matter what URL / image you use. You just need to embed it within the email somewhere unobtrusive so that human beings won't notice it and wouldn't think to click on it. The proper term for this sort of thing is a "web beacon."

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Anonymous
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Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

We used this 'web beacon' approach on an email this morning and beacon helped identify about 80% of the bot clicks. A few still came through from 2 companies for clicking a different link, but were easily identifiable. A sort-of workaround until Marketo addresses the bigger issue.

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Level 8

Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

Sanford Whiteman​ - just had a thought I'd like to bounce off of you:

Somewhere near the bottom, create a link with style="display: none;" so no one would see it or find it without reading the code. This would mean any click on the link or visit to the page would be a machine.

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Anonymous
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Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

That's a really cool idea! I thought the link has to be on top of the page though?
I can give it a try and see what the result's like.

Thanks!

Julia

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Level 8

Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

Yeah, upon second thought it should be at the top so it's the first thing clicked or one of the First.

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Anonymous
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Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

Awesome! Thank you so much!


Julia

Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

Unfortunately, that'll have the same problem as every similar approach, such as an <A> wrapping a 1x1 image or an <A> with no contents at all --  or for that matter an <A> that says, "Don't click this under any circumstances, it's a virus."

Yes, if it's the first link clicked by a mail scanner (it won't necessarily be, since they can click in any order) then a click within the next, say, 10 seconds is probably (again, not necessarily) that same scanner.

But Marketo's granularity (Filter: Not Clicked Link in Email, Link: {your-scanner-lure-URL}, Date: In past 10 seconds) won't catch this.

The problem has never been building a link that could only be clicked by a non-human. It's how to action that activity in the context of other activities. Like I say every time... until Marketo actually changes their tracking logic so that closely contiguous activities for the same lead are scanned as a batch before committing them to the activity database, there's no way to situate the probably-automated traffic in context.

And bear in mind that anything Marketo might try to do, an attacker hosting malware can do as well (read: if it looks like a mail scanner, send back innocent results). So even though link scanning is half-measure anyway, it is not supposed to be trivially avoidable, since the bad actors have anything but trivial skillz.

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

Just a quick note - we've been emailing pretty aggressively with Marketo support regarding this issue. We also found out that MANY other ESPs provide this "click filtering" as part of their service because it happens so often to folks. We recently spoke with about 8-10 other ESPs that automatically (and very easily) filter these clicks for their clients. Marketo deliverability team assured that their are now working with the product side to try to implement this ASAP, especially because so many people are asking about it - KEEP ASKING!

It's been about 16 months since the post was made.  Can anyone from the Marketo product team chime in and let us know if an enhancement to more accurately track valid email clicks?

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Level 8

Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

Not an official person, but if you see a "Clicks Link" without a "Visits Web Page" you've got yourself a spambot.

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Spam filters registering clicks?

(Unless you're offering direct download links.)