Email marketing is one of the most important parts of your business’s overall strategy. Engaging, personalized emails convert leads into customers and turn customers into loyal fans who keep coming back for more. It’s exciting to watch what your campaigns can do for your business, but nothing deflates a small business owner’s enthusiasm more than spam bots.
Spam bots are computer programs designed to infiltrate your lists and forms, steal info and send spam messages. These bots are sneaky by design, which makes them hard to catch — and if you’re not careful, they can end up flooding your contact lists. Once in your database, bots can damage your sender reputation, skew your email analytics, invade users’ privacy, decrease your deliverability rate, increase spam complaints and more.
Fortunately, there’s an effective, easy-to-implement solution to help you block spam bots and curate a healthy subscriber list.
Before we get to the solution, you should know what you’re dealing with and why it’s so crucial to deal with spam bots before they cause the chaos they’re known for. Keep reading to find out the four main email marketing hurdles spam bots cause for small businesses and how to avoid them.
Challenge #1: Preventing spam bots and bad opt-ins
Every marketer’s goal is to have an email contact list bursting at the seams with quality leads. However, one major hurdle to a list full of legitimate leads is spam bots hiding in your database. Spam bots can be hard to differentiate from real contacts, and no one wants to accidentally remove quality leads from their lists.
Unfortunately, the answer to spam bots and bad opt-ins isn’t to ignore them. They can bring a host of issues, including:
- Form hijacking: Some sophisticated spam bots can insert code into vulnerable forms. This code is then used to access and send malicious messages to the email addresses it’s able to collect from your form. This means your contacts could be victims of malware if the spam bot’s schemes are successful.
- Damage to your sender reputation: In order to bypass spam filters, spam bots can make a fake email with your sender domain and use it to send harmful emails. Although you’re not sending these spam emails, your domain will pay the price because spam complaints and reports will pile up. This damages your sender reputation, which means your legitimate emails can get caught by spam filters and never make it to your audience’s inboxes.
- Harm your relationship with leads and customers: If a spam bot successfully hijacks your forms and starts sending from your domain, legitimate leads who fill out your form will likely be the targets of such emails. Naturally, when these contacts see harmful emails coming from what appears to be your domain, any trust you have with them can quickly diminish.
- Inaccurate analytics: Not only do bots inflate your subscriber lists, making it seem like you have more legitimate contacts than you actually do, but they also skew your engagement reports. Bots aren’t real people, so they’re not opening your emails and clicking. This means your click-through rates, open rates and other campaign data won’t accurately reflect the engagement of your active subscribers.
None of these spam bot effects are ideal, and that’s why it’s important to stop spam form submissions at the source so bots never gain access to your list. How can you do this? Many people opt for CAPTCHA, but unfortunately, that workaround has become another challenge for marketers to deal with.
Challenge #2: The CAPTCHA Conundrum
CAPTCHA stands for the Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Essentially, it works to keep bots from filling out your forms by making visitors accurately complete a test before they can hit submit. CAPTCHA used to be an effective option, but unfortunately, it isn’t the solution it once was. This tool doesn’t keep you completely safe from bots, and it comes with its own fair share of problems, too.
The main issue with CAPTCHA is that it can hinder your lead capture efforts, which is enough to keep a business from using the software altogether. According to research by Stanford University, CAPTCHA can reduce conversion by up to 40%. This statistic can be attributed to the fact that CAPTCHA has, quite frankly, started to annoy legitimate form visitors.
Over time, the program has had to evolve to keep up with sophisticated bots that are able to quickly and easily solve its equations, but as CAPTCHA becomes more complicated for bots, it also becomes more complicated for humans. This leads to frustration among people who are trying to quickly and easily fill out forms. In the end, CAPTCHA has started deterring quality leads rather than simply catching fake ones.
Challenge #3: Misspelled emails
When someone makes a mistake entering their email address on one of your forms, even if their error is small, it’s not an easy fix. The issue with misspelled emails is you can’t simply go into your database and correct it because a misspelled email address doesn’t count as a valid opt-in response.
It can be tempting to chalk this challenge up as something harmless and outside your control. But the truth is that misspelled emails are a bigger deal than most marketers realize. They’re causing you to lose contact with valuable leads because of a minor typing mishap. Over time, ignoring this issue can result in thousands of missed leads. And to add insult to injury, if left unattended, misspelled emails can pile up quickly in your database, leading to damaged sender reputation and a lower deliverability rate.
The key is to correct the misspelled email before the form is submitted, and this requires a tool that can monitor any and all activity on your forms.
Challenge #4: Maintaining clean email lists
Keeping a close eye on the health of your subscriber list should be an integral part of your email marketing strategy. A clean list can single-handedly:
- Reduce your email marketing costs and increase your ROI
- Improve your deliverability rating
- Lead to more accurate email metrics
- Lower the number of spam complaints you receive
It’s incredible what keeping a clean list can do for your marketing campaigns. However, for so many, this is a huge struggle because spam bots make maintaining a clean list nearly impossible.
Cleaning up your list involves removing unsubscribers, people who haven’t opened or engaged with your emails in over four months, hard bounces and contacts who report your email as spam. Most people can prune their lists themselves through their email software, but the process gets complicated when spam bots enter the mix.
Spam bots can come in through your forms in droves every day, and when they do, manual list cleaning becomes futile. When a manual cleaning of your lists won’t do the trick, you’ll need an email verification service. These services use expert technology to accurately and efficiently differentiate between real human subscribers and malicious spam bots.
One solution to cover all your bases
To handle each of the four challenges you just read about, you don’t have to look for multiple solutions. There’s one simple tool that can remedy them all and stop spam form submissions for good: SpamKill.
Take a look at the challenges we covered and the corresponding solutions this tool offers:
- Preventing spam bots and bad opt-ins: SpamKill prevents nearly 100% of all spam bots so you don’t have to spend time sifting through your list.
- Maintaining clean email lists: SpamKill prevents bots from successfully filling out your forms, so they can’t make it to your subscriber list in the first place. With SpamKill on duty, your list health will skyrocket without you having to put in extra work.
- Misspelled emails: This tool monitors your forms 24/7, detecting potential email spelling errors and providing suggested edits to the person filling out your form so they can correct any errors before submitting.
- The CAPTCHA conundrum: SpamKill works all this magic without CAPTCHA. You’ll be fully protected behind the scenes without putting the burden on people trying to submit a form.
Many Keap users trust SpamKill to keep their forms protected and their lists clean. This tool acts as a vigilant monitor of all activity on your forms, and you can count on it to catch any malicious activity. The best part? All it takes to implement this tool is a quick change to your form’s HTML code, or WordPress users can download the plugin.
Within just a few minutes, you can put an end to relentless spam, but don’t just trust our word for it. The testimonials about SpamKill speak for themselves. Check them out:
“SpamKill is the only solution that prevents nearly 100% of all bot submission” - Scott Hartley
“We were trying different things — CAPTCHA, Honeypot, and a few other things that my tech team did. Nothing worked until SpamKill. Since 2019, we have blocked 34,486 spam bot entries, and in the end, it’s been 143 hours we’ve saved since implementing Spam Kill” - Mandy Brasser, Streamline For Success
“I have had a 100% success rate. I kid you not. SpamKill has been an absolute lifesaver.”- Lisa Catto, The Business Catalyst
“SpamKill is very, very simple and effective. I heartily recommend it. It stops those contacts from even getting added. They provided excellent support while we were setting it up … And since then, we haven’t had a single bad contact added. ” - Adrian Savage
“[SpamKill] is the most no-brainer, easiest solution for spam that I’ve ever seen”- Anthony Cassara, True Productions
If you’re ready to gain more quality leads, sign up for a free trial of SpamKill today and test it out for yourself.