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Filter email clicks to combat spam filters that click all links

Pardot, Marketing & Content Tools

We've recently seen a rise in the number of spam filters that are clicking all the links in our emails (including the one-click unsubscribe), presumably to check the legitimacy of the destination URL.  The emails are still delivered to the recipient so our message may reach them the first time.  However, based on our automated processes, this causes false clicks which can lead to false MQLs.  It also causes false unsubscribes for a portion of our first time recipients so they are removed from our mailable database.

This is not a new problem (see https://wordtothewise.com/2013/07/barracuda-clicking-all-links-in-emails/ for a description back in 2013) but it seems to be growing in popularity.  We're currently seeing about 10% of our new contacts.  It is account specific so it tends to occur with all prospects at an account using this technology.

Since the email clicks all occur at the exact same time, it's easy to manually identify these situations.  However, at 10% of our list, we need to automate the handling of these leads.

Our request: Can Pardot implement some type of filter that identifies recipients that click on all links at the same time and ignore these clicks?  This would allow us to avoid false unsubscribes and false MQLs.  It would be great to have this as a core piece of the email configuration process.  With current features, there is no way for Pardot customers to automate this.  Thanks!

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  • Heather Stables - 2 years ago

    Good news!

    Yesterday, we released some updates in Pardot that we expect to help mitigate this issue for our customers. As you already know, a lot of popular email security programs click all the links in an email to check that an email is safe before delivering it to a recipient's inbox. These clicks have the side effect of skewing your click-through rates, increasing prospect scores, impacting ES program paths and unsubscribing prospects. 

    We've made two major changes to address this:

    We've added visitor filters for the most common security scanners to ALL Pardot accounts on 11/12/2018. Any activity from new visitors from those scanners will be filtered out so that we will not count those link clicks or execute score increases or completion actions from them. To learn more about visitor filters, please see H&T articles here: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=pardot_admin_filters_parent.htm&type=5 

    We've also updated the header list-unsubscribe link to use the latest specification for list-unsubscribe headers so that scanner clicks cannot successfully unsubscribe prospects. This only applies for the header link and we still recommend that customers use the Email Preference Center (rather than the plain unsubscribe link) in the email body.

    Learn More about this change in the following Knowledge Article: https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewSolution?urlname=Low-email-clicks-and-click-through-rate&language=en_US 

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