We are beginning to leads that appear to respond to email, by clicking links, but we are seeing no other activity (2300 leads)
Since this isn't a small number of leads, we begin to wonder if there is a new form of spam filter that might be testing links in a safe environment before allowing mail to be delivered to the recipient's in box. Could this be possible? All these leads are part of a set of historical records we pushed into a new nurture stream, so they are regularly getting mail. It just doesn't make sense someone click large numbers of email and not ever fill out a form, download an asset, visit a webpage -- or anything else.
Anyone else seeing this kind of thing?
Could there be a new form of spam protection that is clicking through links in a sandbox?
We are going to add a hidden link to our email templates and then filter leads out of the clicks email scoring campaign and our email reporting based on a click to the hidden link.
What's your approach when a mail scanner follows your links, delivers the email, and then a human clicks the (non-hidden) link?
You are absolutely correct we are going to miss out on those. It was a business decision. We had to choose: send bad MQLs to the sales team or take a little longer for the MQL to score up. When I pulled the list of leads that had scored only in the clicks link in email campaign but NO other, I found a HUGE number. We now err on the side of sales.
FYI - I sent all the emails from my smart list, through Strike Iron (email validation tool) as one of their return values is Net Protected. I wanted to understand the kinds of receiving mail servers that were involved. To better understand the extent to which this might happen. Here are some of the brands that seem to offer this kind of capability.
Government, Military, .edu, .us
Microsoft Message Security (bigfish,frontbridge)
ProofPoint Threat Intelligence (SORBS parent)