Are you enjoying tons of new subscribers on your online store every day? That’s great! But are they all real?

Small malignant programs – spam bots – might be attacking your website and pushing fake signups onto your contact list.

Do more with Omnisend’s powerful and easy-to-use email marketing. Connect your store today to get your 14-day free Premium trial.

Why Should I Care About Fake Signups?

Spam bots are harmful in many ways:

1. Sending your email campaign to fake email addresses will have a negative impact on its overall performance. A constantly growing bounce rate will spoil your sender’s reputation as well as deliverability rate.

2. Think about the accuracy of the reports – it will be impossible to distinguish real subscriber behavior from that of fake behavior. A real size of segments, bounce rate, interest in email campaigns – all these metrics will be inaccurate in the case of a large amount of fake information.

3. The more fake accounts you have, the more money you spend on your email service provider. Usual ESP subscription pays off and you get profit if you send newsletters actively. However, if you send your email campaign to thousands of subscribers of whom only half are real customers, you spend your money on fakes and get only bounces in return.

How Should I Protect My Website From Spam Bots?

You should consider using reCAPTCHA. Spam bots cannot access it and it is a way of protecting your contact list. However, you oblige your customers to take extra steps if they want to subscribe to your newsletter.

Another, more advantageous way to protect your contacts is to use “Honeypot captcha”. This technique, in contrast, act on spam bots, not your customers. You need to include a form input that only spam bots fill in.

This text field or a checkbox is hidden from most of the users using CSS, but the spam bots see it and fill it in. Paul Boag talks about this technique in a way that is very easy to understand.

Watch his video here:

How Should I Clean Up My Current Email List?

It might be difficult to do if you have thousands of subscribers. That is why the sooner you protect your signup forms, the better. The following tips will help you identify fake email addresses and keep your list healthy.

A piece of advice for Shopify users:

Install the Spambot Hunter app. It is free of charge and it’s like an antivirus system for your store.

Spambot Hunter will automatically mark the spam email address with a special parameter so that it does not accept any marketing promotions. Your email marketing tool, including Omnisend, respects this and won’t send them any campaigns. So you will save your sender’s reputation.

To keep your reports accurate and save money, you should delete those spam contacts from your list by yourself (they will appear in the “Spam Contacts” folder on your Shopify customer list).

Tips for other ecommerce platfrom users:

1. Look through your email addresses. It is hard to explain, but you will see that some of them look strange – like fake ones. Check them out with CleanTalk. This tool has a blacklist of almost six million emails. Yours might be among them.

2. The CleanTalk black list also contains emails abused by bots. They might be normal looking emails that spam bots have pulled out from forums or online stores. When abused email owners start getting your emails, they complain about the spam and cause troubles for your, as a sender’s, reputation.

3. If the subscriber’s first name and last name contains ONLY Hexadecimal symbols, i.e. random A-F letters and 0-9 numbers, it is in most cases fake. For example: 5761729a57132 contains only letter A and all other symbols are numbers. This user will probably be fake.


4. Do you have a lot of customers that start the buying process, enter their email addresses and abandon their carts? You should double-check their addresses. You will be surprised by how many of them are spam bots.

5. First and last name fields are filled but they do not match with the email name. It also can be a case worth checking out with CleanTalk.

It is not worth panicking if you find you have several fake signups. However, you should consider taking some action to prevent your website from massive fake signup attacks. You now know how to do it.

Find out more about how Omnisend can help you sell more. Connect your store today to get your 14-day free Premium trial.

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