Spam bot clicks: suppress them from reporting!

Some email clients and organisations use software that clicks all the links in emails to check for anything malicious before it reaches its user.

This is noticeable in most sends we do, and I'm sure most HubSpot users will have contacts that appear to click a lot of links on every email they receive.

Not only does it skew results in a noticeable but difficult to remedy way, it also results in contacts incorrectly entering nurtures or taking different routes through campaign workflows based on this false 'activity'.

Pardot have just released a feature to remove these misleading numbers from reports / contacts timelines, and it would be great if HubSpot could do the same. See here:
https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=000273384&language=en_US&type=1

Anything Pardot can do, HubSpot can do better!

HubSpot updates
13 Replies
jtroia
New Contributor

This appears to be a big problem.  We are seeing this happen a lot, especially with questionable email addresses, notably we are seeing gmai.com and gmial.com emails being reported as delivered and also seeing clicks.

 

Hubspot has not acknowledged this as an issue, they say if its says clicked, there was a click.  I'm shocked that there is not more traction on this post.

marymartin28
Occasional Contributor

Yes, Please add this feature!!

Lynn
New Contributor

Yes, we have had an issue with this as well. We recently sent out a survey via Hubspot and had over 5,000 bot clicks on our survey which was very confusing and useless. Please address this issue ASAP, otherwise your analyticas are entirely useless to us. Thank you!

nbrown
New Member

are there any other threads on this or has there been more talk abou it? 

 

jtroia - when/where did hubspot acknowledged this as an issue?

Ben_Twomey
New Contributor

This is a great idea.

 

It's only in the last couple of months that we've registered these false clicks, and we're finding that the bots are also landing on our linked pages, leading to us having inflated clicks, traffic and scores (which then convert to false MQLs).

 

For HubSpot to automatically suppress the activity of bots would help us to trust the data we're getting.

Mike_Donnelly Regular Contributor | Platinum Partner
Regular Contributor | Platinum Partner

@Ben_Twomey one thing we've been doing and it's partially working (i.e. - need to send more email and this solution will never be a 100% answer as spam systems are always changing things), but add an invisible link to a page on your site in your emails.  For example, in the below screenshot, "Communication" had a link to an old blog about "Communication", but it looks like all the rest of the text so unless you got lucky and moused over it, you'd never know it was a link.  Then we segmented the people (aka bots) that clicked on the link and sure enough, by looking at the details of the clicks it's very clear it's a bot clicking (screenshot below - this is a monthly newsletter so has a ton of links in it).  The next step which is still a work in progress is to add a specific list of domains that have suspicious / bot clicks and then segment these out of any automated follow up that is based on activity.  One thing to mention is that some bots / spam systems will not click on every link in an email, but by doing this on every email you send, you can start to identify / weed out the domains that have spam systems in place that adversely affect reporting and other automated tasks.  Then you can manually review the suspicious activity to determine next steps.  Not a perfect solution and I'll share more on some things we're working on.

 

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 6.08.30 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-12-10 at 6.09.04 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-12-10 at 6.10.41 PM.png

Lynn
New Contributor

Thanks, Mike, appreciate your sharing your solution. Lynn

smosley
New Contributor

Yes, Hubspot, PLEASE fix this. I do not want our team reaching out to follow up with people when they really weren't interested in our work - it was just the bot.

AmandaElam
New Contributor

This should definitely be a much higher priority.  As the individual responsible for reporting to our executive team on the effectiveness and engagement with email, these stats are highly relevant to our organization.  Additionally, the inability to filter the visits from email to our site has a negative impact on bounce rate, time on page and a host of other important metrics to our organization. Hubspot, you always take the lead on best practice, please prioritize this effort. Adding the dev support group @Derek_Gervais , @IsaacTakushi and @cbarley

HubSpot Product Team
HubSpot Product Team

Hi Folks- 

Jake here from the Product team- I just wanted to update the thread here quickly. Today we already have a Bot filtering feature, and from reading the Pardot docs linked above it functions pretty much the same. Here are some docs on where you can find this feature in your HubSpot account!

https://knowledge.hubspot.com/reports/exclude-traffic-from-your-site-analytics

 

I posted a quick thread on the topic here that you can follow along with as well: 

https://community.hubspot.com/t5/Email-Marketing-Tool/Are-Bots-Affecting-Your-Email/m-p/310626#M3739

 

Our team is currently in the process of revamping our bot detection software, and we will be releasing in the next month or so. If you have bot filtering enabled in your account, then you will see additional traffic being filtered from your reporting. 

 

Feel free to post questions here and I will work to respond to them. 

HubSpot Product Team
HubSpot Product Team
updated to: Delivered

I am moving this idea to "Delivered" as we already have a solution for filtering bot traffic from your email analytics in the product. If you haven't enabled bot filtering for your portal please read this knowledge doc and turn it on for your HubSpot account:

https://knowledge.hubspot.com/reports/exclude-traffic-from-your-site-analytics

(Note: This doc applies to site analytics, as well as email analytics)

 

We are in the process of revamping how we detect bots, and those who have bot filtering enabled will continue to see progress here. 

AmandaElam
New Contributor

@jaleonard19 - I'm not trying to exclude bot traffic from my site, we use GA for site analytics, I'm talking about bot clicks on emails that I'm assuming are from spam filters on the recipients end.  Would be good to exclude bot clicks from email metrics.  I am going to implement the transparent image idea mentioned earlier in the thread but not sure the fix has been delivered if that makes sense.

HubSpot Product Team
HubSpot Product Team

Hi @AmandaElam - Ah yes! The pathname of the URL I posted above is misleading. It does actually apply to email analytics as well if you click into it. I work on the email team - so my comment above is completely about email analytics. I will go in and edit it to make that more clear Smiley Happy