What are email bots, and why does finding them matter?
Companies – especially large enterprises – employ bots as a spam filter, scanning inbound emails for malware, bad links, phishing emails, and “spammy” content. In order to do their job, these bots open emails and scan through every link. Some are gentle; others are aggressive – so much so that they trigger an open and register a click on every link. The kicker? Some will even send your email to the spam folder after registering it as opened or clicked – never to be looked at by an actual person.
Bots get in the way of clean, meaningful KPIs by inflating overall engagement numbers – leading teams to potentially underinvest in building their marketing database. Also, inaccurate data might create the false impression that email marketing doesn’t work (e.g. hey, all these people are clicking my emails but no one’s scheduling a demo! Must be a bad channel).
Over time, some of the real human contacts in your database will unsubscribe themselves, and you should remove others due to low engagement (read more on why you should do this). Unless you’re actively prospecting to grow your email database, over time your contact list will skew more and more towards bots – reducing your audience size and making it hard to figure out what’s actually resonating with leads. Rooting out as many bots as possible from your database will help keep your KPIs accurate and give you a better sense of how well your email marketing is working.