Bots are everywhere.
How many times have you seen “hello, thank you for this very informative article on this topic I will continue reading your blogs on this topic” in a WordPress comment section?
Unfortunately, bots do a lot more damage than just padding comment sections with generic spam.
In your forms, spam can throw off your personalization strategy and cost your business money.
Here’s how to protect web forms from spam in the first place – and even break your reliance on outdated forms entirely.
Why You Need to Protect Web Forms from Spam
Chances are, as your website stands now, your lead magnet forms are your best asset for collecting information about your visitors and creating personalized content like email campaigns and retargeting ads.
When bots enter the picture, they can do a lot more damage than people realize.
Since bots make up about 38% of all internet traffic, this is a very real threat.
It’s Screwing Up Your Personalization Strategy
AI tools, segmentation, lead routing, retargeting ads, triggered email campaigns – all these personalization strategies rely on data to learn about your visitors and adapt.
Bot traffic can significantly throw off your data, especially if the bots are well-disguised enough to fill out your forms and mimic human mouse movement.
Not to mention, not all spam information comes from bots. Plenty of real humans may fill out your forms to access gated content but since they don’t work in B2B, they’re not part of your target audience.
It’s Tedious Removing Incorrect Data
Frankly, spam and bots waste time.
When spam or low-quality leads come in through your lead magnet forms, you must spend time verifying the data and cross-referencing accounts yourself.
You could also pay for third-party bot protection and verification services – but wouldn’t you rather avoid it in the first place?
It’s Wasting Your Time and Money
Time is money and vice versa.
Time and money spent sorting through poor data to improve your segmentation and personalization strategies are time and money taken away from other marketing resources.
For example, your retargeting ads will convert much better and drive more revenue without spam information weighing you down.
It’s much more efficient when you can protect web forms from spam and keep your data healthy from the beginning.
How to Protect Web Forms from Spam
Use these tips to protect web forms from spam so you only deal with high-quality data on bona fide business leads.
Use a CAPTCHA
CAPTCHAs – sequences of letters and numbers from a photo you type into a box – are good for keeping spam out of your inbox. Unfortunately, they can also frustrate leads and genuine visitors as well. Some are impossible to read, and many people don’t care to listen to the sequence.
Include a Test Question
If you work on a WordPress site, you may have had to fill out a simple math equation to enter the admin side of the site. A simple question like this prevents brute force hacking attempts and can protect web forms from spam. Again, this additional question can be a nuisance for genuine leads.
Use a Third-Party Service
You can also simply pay to make your bot data and spam go away. Third-party services are available to sort through your data, remove bots, and shield your lead magnets from spam.
Include an HTML Honeypot Question Strictly for Bots
Using HTML, you can include a special question that only bots will see and fill out. If “someone” answers the question, you’ll know they’re a bot and you can simply remove the data from your system.
Employ Session Cookies
Cookies are also effective for preventing direct traffic to forms – which typically comes from bots. However, if someone bookmarks your landing page, they’ll also get flagged as spam.
Use IP Information to Block Spammers
If the same IP address filled out your form 20 times, it’s safe to say that’s a bot. Keep an eye on this type of traffic and purge the data from your system.
Forms are Holding You Back
Honestly, forms are outdated.
Yes, you read that right. Consider these fast facts:
- By 2020, 70% of all business searches will take place on mobile devices.
- Mobile traffic influences 40% of all B2B revenue in leading organizations.
- 65% of businesses will consider switching vendors if a company does not supply a personalized experience.
What do these facts have to do with forms? Simple: forms aren’t mobile-friendly. No matter how much time you spend optimizing them, they’re still clunky forms that no one wants to fill out on their phone.
Plus, leads like to educate themselves at their own pace. By gating your content behind an annoying form, you’re holding back your lead generation capabilities.
Source: Think with Google
Alternatives to Forms Every B2B Should Consider
Break your reliance on forms with the following strategies that allow leads to self-nurture.
Plus, you’ll be able to protect your web forms from bots because you’ll only be collecting verified leads from real humans with business email addresses.
It’s a win-win! Except for the bots – they lose.
- Self-nurturing landing pages: Let your leads consume ungated content at their own pace. Give them a sample and let them give you their business email address to download the rest.
- Content bingeing: Apps like Amazon and Spotify have made buyers expect the same endless curation from every website they visit – even your B2B website.
- Adaptive content hubs: Using data-driven AI technology, you can create a content hub that hand-selects personalized content for known leads and anonymous visitors based on information they’ve already read.
Start Generating More Leads Today
Hushly can help you generate 51% more lead conversions and break your reliance on forms in one fell swoop! Forms aren’t mobile-friendly but adaptive content hubs are. Let your leads nurture themselves and submit an email when they’re ready.
We also use special tools and human verification through LinkedIn data to make sure your email submissions not only come from a real human but a bona fide business address.
Take our demo for a spin and see what a life without forms can be like!