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Are ‘Fake’ Opens & Clicks Negatively Impacting your Marketing Efforts?

Robot hand on mouse

What are Bots?

Bots are a digital tool that perform tasks automatically in the digital ecosystem (they are also referred to as ‘spiders’ or ‘crawlers’). The common tasks bots perform mimic human behavior but at repetitive and rapid speeds. According to Elsevier (a world leader in data analytics and scientific publishing), it is estimated that about half of all internet traffic is made up of bots and bot behavior carrying out predefined tasks. While bots are utilized by many organizations to work as a defense mechanism to crawl content and eliminate or flag malicious content, they can also be used to inflict malicious acts such as stealing data or implementing a virus within your system.

The Impact on Marketing

Over the decades as technology has evolved, so have digital practices. From an email marketing perspective, bot behavior is negatively skewing results from critical campaigns and causing multi-touch or behavior-based communication flows to misfire. Imagine emailing 200,000 of your customers and believing that you have a clickthrough rate of 40%! Normally, you would be ecstatic and think your campaign has been incredibly successful; however, upon analysis, you see that the data collected is fake and inflated and misrepresenting engagement. Bots will crawl emails and click on essentially every URL you’ve embedded within milliseconds, adversely twisting marketing results. Additionally, if you have a waterfall campaign enabled whereby you provide specific follow-up messages based on a recipient’s behavior, there is a litany of negative effects this could have (i.e., the recipient opts out of all future communications, your email is marked as spam, your IP reputation gets hit, etc.) All these potential negative effects will cost your organization valuable time and more importantly, money.

How Can You Combat or Alleviate Bot Behavior?

While it is unlikely that bot behavior will ever be completely curtailed, there are best practices and technical mechanisms to mitigate the harmful impacts of these agents. Celerity can share proven tips and tactics to proactively reduce negative impacts, and we have a technical solution to identify and remove bot engagement data from campaign activity reports and dashboards. The result ensures only true data is available for analysis and re-marketing. Our solution recognizes bot behavior and will filter and scrub out the data to get to true customer clicks and opens. This allows our customers to then discuss and align on the next best action with a significantly higher degree of accuracy. For example, email domains that clearly showcase bot behavior can be placed in quarantine lists, or you might decide that by reducing the number of URLs within your emails you can mitigate the propensity of bot behavior.

Additionally with Celerity’s solution, you can ensure that triggered or re-marketing campaigns are as effective as they can be and do not send communications based on false bot behavior. This helps to mitigate risk of your marketing campaigns to allow for enhanced brand loyalty and personalization resulting in increased revenues. The last thing you want to do as a company is spend time and labor reacting to bots. By proactively implementing the solution Celerity has developed, you will automatically benefit from the results and continue to focus on and evolve other programs of work.


If you’ve experienced bot behavior on your marketing campaigns no matter the channel or are looking to proactively tackle this issue, we at Celerity would love to help. We can walk you through our solution and implement it in very little time. We are also here to answer any questions you may around this topic or any other marketing challenge you may be experiencing. No matter the technology, we can provide you with our feedback and recommendations to help drive your marketing efforts forward with a focus on scalability and your greater goals at the forefront.

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