Email Reporting: Clicks Don’t Always Matter
Have you ever noticed strange prospect behavior when viewing your email reports? As a Pardot consultant, some of the most common questions I’m asked have to do with email reporting. In this blog, I’m going to talk about bot activity or ‘fake clicks’ that you’ve probably seen from time to time when reviewing your own reports.
Why does it happen?
A lot of companies out there have some type of email security system in place to help combat the large amount of marketing emails their server gets. The functionality of these systems vary from company to company, but a lot of these systems have the ability to instantly ‘click’ every link in an email the second it hits the recipient’s server. On top of checking the links to make sure they aren’t malicious, these systems have also been known to hit that dreaded ‘unsubscribe’ button. You may have even seen this activity on some of your own prospect records, like the example below. It’s easy to spot once you open the record as every link in the email will have been clicked at the same time, which is very unlikely to happen if this were legitimate prospect behavior.
Is This a Problem?
False positives in any type of reporting are frustrating as they skew the results that you’re looking for. While there isn’t a ton you can do on your end, rest assured that these types of email spam systems are in the minority. We did some research of our own clients’ instances and while we weren’t able to find a consistent pattern, we did notice that this seems to occur more frequently when emails prospects in the Higher Education, Government, and Financial industries.
How Pardot Helps
Towards the end of last year, Pardot rolled out a new batch of visitor filters to be included with every instance. These filters are designed to help catch, and filter out, email activity performed by these spam services that I mentioned above. If you navigate to Admin > Automation Settings > Visitor Filters you’ll see the 33 visitor filters Pardot includes out of the box. If you highlight over the gear icon in the top right corner of your Pardot instance, you have the ability to toggle the ‘Show Filtered Activities’ setting on or off. With this setting turned on, you can open a prospect record and actually filter by their filtered activities, to see if anything was caught.
Keeping this setting turned on is the best way to help maintain accurate reporting within Pardot and ensure that the majority of your clicks are legitimate.
Make sure that you leave Pardot’s default visitor filters alone and don’t delete them. There isn’t a great reason to delete them, and once deleted they must be added back one at a time. Additionally, if you’re able to identify the IP address of ‘people’ performing fake clicks, you can add them as an additional visitor filter to help filter out that activity.
If you need help setting up your Pardot instance or have additional questions about Pardot email marketing, contact Pardot consultants Invado Solutions.