Email marketing remains a powerful tool for engaging with audiences and driving conversions. However, high click rates in emails can sometimes be misleading due to the presence of bots and the impact of filters. Bot clicks result automated programs that mimic human behavior. Designed to safeguard users, bots can both influence click rates.
So, having high clicks is not an indication that something was wrong with the send. Rather, some aggressive email filters click links in emails to check for malicious activity before they’ll deliver them to the recipients. Email filters that check links are becoming more common and affect all send performances, regardless of the ESP (Email Service Platform like critical impact) sending the email.
Due to the nature of email, it’s difficult for ESPs to determine if a link was clicked by an email filter or by your intended recipient. Email filters do not want to be identified – or it would be easy for unscrupulous senders to link to different content when they detected a spam filter “click”.
Email filters include link scanners and click bots, which are network security devices deployed by companies to scan and then block links to websites they deem to be potential threats, such as those that could host malware or phishing sites. These devices perform their duties by clicking on every link within an email before the email is delivered to a recipient’s email server.
Sometimes a particular part of the message content can cause the clicks to be tested more frequently as well. We’ve seen the click rate go up temporarily and then go back down after a couple weeks in some client accounts – we don’t have any control over this type of behavior.
Every organization is different, so it’s good to note that .org, .edu, and other organizational domains are known to have aggressive spam filters that could trigger inflated clicks, which can lead to inflated clicks in some sends, but not others.
A bot is code. So no you can’t spot it like the Bay-breasted Warbler, but you can spot results from bots affecting your data. Here are a few clues:
Yes, bot clicks look scary, but hey, everyone gets them, so just relax and be aware of how you look at your data. Some of the outcomes of of bots on email campaigns are:
To overcome the challenges posed by bots and filters, marketers can implement various strategies to identify, mitigate, and address high click rates in emails.
High click rates in emails can be influenced by bots and filters, making it crucial for marketers to understand and address this issue. By comprehending the critical impact (pun intended) of bots on click rates and the influence of filters, marketers can implement strategies to mitigate their effects and obtain accurate campaign performance insights.
And, through the adoption of advanced analytics, vigilant monitoring, validation techniques, email authentication and continuous adjustment, you can measure genuine user engagement better – to make data-driven decisions in your email marketing efforts.
Until next time, keep those emails rolling!
Jim Gibbs is Critical Impact’s Growth Channel team lead and has been selling and closing for a long time. Jim is known to be able to sell bananas to monkeys.