Spike in click rates lately


Has anyone else experienced a spike in click rates over the last few months? We had a click rate for all emails that would reliably come in around 2-3% for years, then in the last 3-4 months we are seeing click rates of 15% all the way up through 53% (typically coming in now around 35-40%). This is completely inexplicable as our contacts/audience have remained largely the same, and our emails are largely the same. I feel there must be a change either in the reporting that is mistaken, or in the way clicks are being counted. Has anyone else seen this? Any suggestions as to an explanation? 


Hello @KateL80 ,


I'd recommend checking the drilldowns for your click reporting. Are there contacts that are seemingly clicking every link in the email within a minute or two of it being sent out, or of the other clicks for that contact? If so, this would indicate those contacts (or their organization's network) are using security programs that "open" emails and "click" links to check for malware.


In the event that this is your situation, the only suggestion I normally have is to setup your account for self-authentication,.  However you've already got this on your account, so it's kind of a moot point. This can show the security algorithms that emails being sent through us by you are effectively coming directly from you, and avoid triggering the clicks/opens from bots, but it's unfortunately not a guarantee as some security programs are simply built to function like this.


Beyond that, there's not much else you can do from your end. Our devs are constantly trying to identify the various programs that utilize this functionality, so they can set our system to ignore the behavior and triggers from these particular programs. If the click rates continue to be inflated or worsen, then it may be worth calling in. That way our general support or higher level technical team can see if there's any further info that can be gleamed from the content of the emails with you live on the phone, or to see if the domains of the contacts that are seeming to bot-click them show any other particular consistencies we can track.


As far as managing contacts that are using these programs, and contending with their reporting aspects, unfortunately it's unlikely their reporting info will ever be viable. If you're wanting to keep them separate for the sake for your reporting, then I'd advise isolating these contacts to a new list meant for contacts that auto-forward or use bot security checks, and send separate email copies to that list. That way your main emails to your direct, human contacts will have more accurate reporting. 


If you'd like the step-by-step process of what I'm describing:

  1. Identify the contacts that are causing these bloated open and click statistics. Consider tagging them for quick referral when you identify them, as this can quicken the list creation.
  2. Create a new list, call it something obvious like "Suspected Bot / Auto-Forward Contacts," then add the suspected contacts to that list. If you need to be particularly granular with the list memberships, then I'd advise instead making "suspected..." copies of each of your lists, and applying these suspected contacts to the applicable copied lists.
    • Consider making a note in the suspect contacts of what lists they were previously on, or use the tags mentioned earlier, in case you decide later you don't like this setup and want to put the suspect contacts back into the main lists.
  3. Once the suspect contacts are on the suspect list(s), remove them from the normal list(s) they're on.
  4. From here on, you'll need to send two versions of the emails you'd normally be sending to these lists - one for the seemingly normal contacts, and a copy that you send to the suspect lists.

William A
Community & Social Media Support
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