Filtering Email Bot Activity Feature - Latest Release

Hello Nation!


Based on the feedback from you, we have released a couple of interesting updates to the Filtering email bot activity.

If you haven't had a chance to look at updates from the last release, here is the link:


In the latest release, the focus was on improving the sophistication in capturing activities by bots. We are launching a new method to identify bot activities "Match with Proximity pattern". So, now we have a total of 2 methods that will be used to filter every email open or email link click activity.


The 2 methods are:

  1. Match with IAB bot list: Activities that match with the list UA/IPs from IAB will be marked as bots
  2. Proximity pattern: When 2 or more activities happen at the same time i.e under 0 seconds, they are identified as bots too. This pattern should identify activities generated by the link scanners. In the future this method will be enhanced to consider clicks coming from hidden links as an additional data point


So, if you enable the email filtering feature on your subscription, every email open or email click activity will go through the bot identification filtering i.e through the 2 methods in the order mentioned above. 

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Note: You will have the option to filter out i.e not log activities that are identified by the IAB list but not for proximity pattern in this current release.


If you wish to have all activities, whether they are by a bot or not, then choose the "log activity" option. This way, all activities will still go through identifications using the above-mentioned methods but will be logged into your Marketo subscription.

Any email open or click activity matches with any of the 2 methods, it will be labeled as bot activities using the 2 new attributes we introduced in the last release. So,

  • Activities that are identified as bots will have "Bot Activity" as "True" and Bot Activity Pattern as "Match with IAB list"  or "Match with proximity pattern"
  • Activities that are identified as not bots will have "Bot Activity" as "False" and Bot Activity Pattern as "N/A"
  • Activities that happened before we introduced these attributes will have "Bot Activity" as " " (empty) and Bot Activity Pattern as " " (empty)

As you might already know, you can use these attributes as constrains in filters and triggers



To know the impact or to know what type of bots spamming your email engagement, we have added the ability to view the number of bot activities that are identified against each pattern to the admin page



Continuing on the feedback themes:





More Transparency

The current version identifies the bot and doesn't log activities identified as bots.
Almost every customer and community expressed they would like to log the activities and do their own analysis

Released (Added option to opt for logging and flag activities that are identified as bots)

More Robust filtering

The current version completely relies on the IAB list and we need to introduce more sophisticated filtering to identify bot activities

Released (Added a new methods to identify if an activity is by a bot or not) 

More Control

We find a few user-agents/IPs that are creating bot activities and would like to include them in the bot activity filtering criteria

Gathering requirements (If you have any feedback on this please share it in the comments)

Reporting (new feedback item)

In the Email performance report, we want an option to filter out bot activities so that we can see the metrics with and without bot activities 

Gathering requirements (If you have any feedback on this please share it in the comments)


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