Re: Spam Clicking in Emails

Not applicable

Spam Clicking in Emails

Hi all,

I had previously read a great discussion here: Spam filters registering clicks? about how spam filters are registering clicks in our prospect emails, but have yet to find a successful solution for our particular situation.

We have tried adding a "false link" to catch any filters that click through all our email links.  However it seems that most of the spam filters only click on our call to action that leads directly to our website, e.g. downloading a white paper or watching a video and not on the false link, which makes it difficult for us to separate legitimate leads versus these spam filters.

Additionally we can't pull in the "visits web page" filter either because these link clicks also follow through to the web page itself.

We are pretty positive that these leads are from spam filters because

1). They click the link in our email immediately after we send it out.

2). They have clicked on every email in the past few months exactly once.

3). The leads are generally from the same companies and exhibit the exact same behavior of when they open and click the email.

4). The few leads that our inside sales team has followed up on have no knowledge of clicking through our emails.

Has anyone had any success in coming up with an automated process to sort through true interacting leads and these spam filters? Right now it has been mostly a manual effort to isolate leads with suspicious behaviors (basically we're going by # of links clicked at the moment, which might unfairly exclude legitimate leads).

Thanks for your help.

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Spam Clicking in Emails

To the degree that spam filters follow not just tracking links but subsequent JavaScript redirects (not all do) they are indistinguishable from real visitors.  And, of course, this is the idea: any distinctive signature can be used by a malicious site to cunningly look legitimate when checked by the spam filter, then switch back to delivering their malicious payload when a real user visits.  No signature = more effective.

If JS redirects are followed, about the only semi-rational signature, as you and others point out, is "immediately" visiting the link.  That is, immediately after the email is delivered -- not immediately after it is sent, which could be very different.  Even here you cannot be exact.  There would be some cases where a scanner ran a few minutes post-delivery, and some cases where a lead genuinely had "immediate" interest.

I would venture that something like < 5 seconds between delivery and click would reliably filter out most non-human clicks without side effects on human clicks. But that granularity is not possible in Smart Lists. I think you're going to have to wait for Marketo to make a distinct feature to target (however incompletely) this issue.