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Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

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TerryStapleton
Level 1

Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

I don’t usually post in here, but as we await a Marketo Support response I thought I’d ask this community if you’ve seen a drastic reduction in your email performance since mid-Feb? It could be a local instance thing, or maybe a wider-Adobe customer thing, but our click and click-through rates have dropped by about 80%, seemingly overnight. No change to audience, no change to emails etc. It feels as though Adobe has suddenly backed out bot link clicks from security/spam filters at an Email Performance Report level. Anyone else see a change like this?!
Example

Pre-Feb Avg Click & CTO Rate: 5% & 24%

Post-Feb Avg Click & CTO Rate: 1% & 5%

It's an 80 decrease there or thereabouts.

Appreciate any support from the community to discuss this if support doesn't yield any success.

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Scott_Horner
Level 2

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

Just got a response from support.

 

Response:

Hi Scott,

 

Thanks for the quick response.

 

I got in touch with our engineering team and got to know that earlier last month we received report of some activity that seemed like bot activity but was not properly being identified as such and filtered. We found common IP addresses causing the activity across multiple instances and manual investigation confirmed it was bot activity. We deployed at fix on February 15 to properly filter these activities which resulted in lower click rates for some accounts.

The activities are not flagged as bot activity, they are just blocked at server side before hitting the Marketo instance.IP address blocking is applied to all of our customers regardless of bot filter settings so emails will not show the click activity.

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Darshil_Shah1
Level 10 - Community Advisor

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

Are you able to verify whether your Admin has turned on the bot filtering feature (or enabled additional filtering options available within it) in your Marketo instance due to which you’re seeing lesser email clicks and open rates? I’m sure Marketo would let users know prior to making such drastic changes to the email performance report.

Christiane_Rode
Level 6 - Community Advisor

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

As @Darshil_Shah1 said, definitely check with your admin on whether or not you're using filtering or logging bot activity.  Also,  be cautious with CTO -- as opens can be unreliable due to MPP or image prefetching, you could be factoring in opens from people who never truly opened your email.

 

Some things to check:

--Have you verified that no filters were accidentally added to your performance report? If you're not the only one who has access to the report, check to make sure there isn't anything being filtered out at the report level.

--Is there someone (or a group of people) who engaged during the first timeframe but not in the second? Can you identify any characteristics that link these folks? If you're filtering bot activity (but not logging it), there's always the possibility that something about these contacts was flagged as a bot and thus removed

 

Keep in mind that there are still variables in play here -- you're sending during a different timeframe. While an 80% drop is pretty unusual, consider that there might be something that changed about your audience based on sending during this timeframe.  Do you have a Y/Y comparison to look back to? It's always important to factor in potential seasonality. 

 

ASchatzberg
Level 1

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

We've experienced the exact same thing - drastic drop in mid Feb of both opens and clicks. In my case, I am the admin and did not make any changes to the bot activity filtering settings.

Scott_Horner
Level 2

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

We have noticed the same issue and have an open ticket with Marketo Support and awaiting an answer. Feels like a large number of bots were identified and added to the filter or something is going on with the click tracking.

Christiane_Rode
Level 6 - Community Advisor

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

Are there any similar characteristics between folks who engaged in the earlier timeframe and those that dropped off in the second?

 

If you open the click activity for some of those identified users, is there anything there that's similar among them (browser, device)? 

 

Scott_Horner
Level 2

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

Just got a response from support.

 

Response:

Hi Scott,

 

Thanks for the quick response.

 

I got in touch with our engineering team and got to know that earlier last month we received report of some activity that seemed like bot activity but was not properly being identified as such and filtered. We found common IP addresses causing the activity across multiple instances and manual investigation confirmed it was bot activity. We deployed at fix on February 15 to properly filter these activities which resulted in lower click rates for some accounts.

The activities are not flagged as bot activity, they are just blocked at server side before hitting the Marketo instance.IP address blocking is applied to all of our customers regardless of bot filter settings so emails will not show the click activity.

Darshil_Shah1
Level 10 - Community Advisor

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

Cool! Nice to know this; thanks for posting an update here, @Scott_Horner ! I wish they could send an email alert/notification in instance etc. to notify users every time they do such activities.

schlesinger
Level 2

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

Darshil, will this factor into false clicks from link scanning? This is an issue we face, and my only work around was to confirm the click with web activity to support it as a true click.

Darshil_Shah1
Level 10 - Community Advisor

Re: Click Rate & Click to Open Rate decreased overnight in Mid-Feb

Yes! That's what the target of blocking the email activities getting logged from these sets of IPs was. See this post from Sreekanth (Marketo PM) regarding this update. Don't think this would apply unless you have the bot filtering feature turned on in your instance though. You should enable the bot filtering in your instance if you haven't already so that you're able to filter on/disable logging bot activities in your instance.