Influence of bots on email marketing

The unsubscribe rate is through the roof - what's the reason?The negative influence of bots on your email marketing

Of course, as a marketer, you start sweating when a double-digit unsubscribe rate is suddenly recorded after sending out a newsletter. You get even more confused when the open and click rates are also sensationally high. And complete perplexity sets in when you see that some recipients have clicked 10 different links within 5 seconds or that suddenly all recipients of a domain have unsubscribed.

So? What's the problem?

The answer to this very confusing circumstance is: bots. More precisely, firewalls & virus checkers.Unsubscribe

Some security systems these days are equipped with so-called link checkers. These click every URL that can be found in a mailing, thus preventing phishing and other attack attempts.

These systems become a problem especially if the unsubscribe process of your newsletter is one-click based – i.e. the unsubscribe is already done by clicking on the link, the same applies to one-click based double opt-in mails. If every link is checked and triggered, this also means that the unsubscription is triggered automatically.

This often happens without the user noticing anything. It is also not uncommon for the process to go unnoticed by the sender of the newsletter for a long time or even completely. Even a few of the biggest German publishers have already been confronted with this problem.

Who is mainly affected?

NetworkBy far the most affected sector is B2B mailings. This is based on the fact that phishing attacks on private individuals “only” affect their cell phones and/or private computers. Successful attacks on corporate networks can be significantly more fatal. One careless employee is enough to give hackers access to the intranet. This can very quickly cause damage in the millions.

For this reason, IT managers in companies attach particular importance to the best possible protection against attacks and use appropriate firewalls and virus checkers, which in some cases also check all links in emails by default.

What can you do about it?

The answer is quite simple. Switch from a one-click opt-out process to a double confirmed opt-out. In this case, the unsubscriber simply has to click the unsubscribe button again on the landing page, thereby also confirming that the action is being performed by a natural person. This way, on the one hand, you avoid the risk of automatic bot unsubscribes and on the other hand, you offer your recipient an additional psychological hurdle when it comes to unsubscribing from your newsletter.

Don’t worry, Confirmed Opt-Outs are fully compliant with the GDPR.

In a second step, evaluate the unsubscribes of the last 6 months. If you notice certain domains for which all links were called up almost simultaneously with the delivery and an unsubscription is also associated with this, then this indicates with a very high probability the problem described above. In this case, you should contact the individual recipients or the domain operator and ask whether they would like to be reinstated in the distribution list. Caution: You should not go too far back with the reactivation efforts, as a permission expires if it has not been used for a long time.

Last but not least – take into account that bot clicks affect your metrics and may manipulate campaign performance. Especially if you have a high percentage of B2B recipients in your mailing list.

By the way, the AGNITAS EMM automatically ensures that your measurable links are structured in such a way that bots cannot distinguish them or can only do so with difficulty. The scanners are convinced that all links of your mailing have the same target and thus ideally do not pay much attention to them.

double confirmation

If you would like to learn more about professional email marketing and get to know our EMM, then simply make an appointment for anindividual online demo

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