New user; need help! Form completed partially by bots. Best practice to cull the list?

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New Contributor

Was offering a free sample (to get feedback and then improve the product) and had anticipated attracting a handful of ppl through social media channels. Before even announcing, the "free sample" page of our squarespace site was found by several freebie website referring their visitors resulting in 150 requests... Very difficult to tell who is real and who is a bot.

 

Any thoughts on how to approach the list? Send an email with a form that has a hidden field and see who actually replies?

 

Thanks!

Mike, Founder of SmartMulch (and incredibly new to HubSpot)

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HubSpot Product Team

The only suggestion I would make is to use captcha on all forms moving forward. Bots will not be able to fill out the form if Captcha is enabled. The hidden field should not be necessary to vet out bot submissions as long as captcha is implemented.

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HubSpot Product Team

Yes, but there is no need for a hidden field (step 2). Captcha will weed out the bots.

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Community Manager

Hey @SmartMulch, check out this post from @paxton ono how to clean HubSpot lists: https://community.hubspot.com/t5/Email-Marketing/How-to-clean-a-list/td-p/25952

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New Contributor

Thanks @roisinkirby for directing me to that post. While helpful, it didn't really address bots.

 

My thought was to send an email (originally from HubSpot) with 2 things:

1) The intent for the email ID to re-confirm that they agree to take a survey after receiving the product. There was language near the original sign up button that reflected this, so it shouldn't be unexpected.

2) Link to a webpage with a form that has a hidden field. My understanding is that bots will fill this in even though it's invisible to humans... So by having humans complete the form (not seeing/completing the hidden field), I'd know that the form was completed by a human vs form submissions that would include an entry in that hidden field would be bots...

 

BUT... how would this impace my email sender rating, or whatever it's called? Would I be better sending from my company gmail account first and then deleting from the list based on error messages, etc??

 

Thanks 

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HubSpot Product Team

The only suggestion I would make is to use captcha on all forms moving forward. Bots will not be able to fill out the form if Captcha is enabled. The hidden field should not be necessary to vet out bot submissions as long as captcha is implemented.

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New Contributor

Thanks @paxton. I've since added  captcha to the forms to prevent the issue in the future.

 

Regarding the current dilemma (having a list that may have bots in it): does what I proposed make sense? Or do you have an alternative solution?

 

Thanks!

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HubSpot Product Team

Yes, but there is no need for a hidden field (step 2). Captcha will weed out the bots.

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New Contributor

Your comments make sense. I didn't understand that at first. Thanks @paxton

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