Click Is The New Impression: Marketers Vs. Spam

24 Jun 2024

As 2023 drew to a close, John, an email marketer, had good reason to pop off the champagne he’d been saving for New Year’s Eve.

His newsletters had begun clocking a 35% Open Rate and a mouth-watering 5% Click Rate. However, as time passed, the lack of conversions began to take its toll on John's enthusiasm.

The early thrill of high open and click rates gave way to frustration and disappointment.

Can you tell me what happened here?

SPAMBOTS - That’s What Happened Here.

Designed and operated by massive email providers like Google, Apple, Microsoft and third-party providers like Barracuda, Spambots open every email and click on every link to check for phishing and malicious links.

That’s all good, but a side effect is newsletter marketers’ inability to differentiate between a real click by a human and a spambot click.

This breaks all your drip campaigns, re-engagement efforts, and most newsletter advertisements you buy!

While you might now appreciate the gravity of the situation, almost every newsletter platform (like Mailchimp and SendGrid) is asleep at the wheel or basking in the (short-sighted) bump in ‘reportable stats.’

A more technical way to verify this is to check time on site. The spambot clicks will show up as visits that stayed for less than 5 seconds.

What Can You Do To Fix This?

Honestly, nothing!

Well, you can try the following:

  • Increase link-click scoring time to 1 hour or even 1 day
  • Embed a stealth link
  • Clean up your list with a re-opt-in campaign

But good luck - ain’t nobody got time for that!

What you can do instead is advertise directly on websites that cater to your niche.

The CPMs would be lower, the CPCs would be lower, and the botclicks would be minimal.

In fact, if your audience is any of the following:

  • Programmers
  • AI/ML Enthusiasts
  • Web3 Degens
  • Cybersecurity Professionals

Or at the intersection of a combination of the above - our 4000+ sponsors seem to be in a sweet spot.

Here’s what this week’s sponsor has to say - ‘HackerNoon drives a lot of traffic for a very reasonable cost and the engagement is stronger than X and Reddit.’

I’m expected to create FOMO here and compel y’all to ACT NOW, but we’re not about all that.

And if Advertising based on Intent, instead of cookies, or,

Advertising that generates a 0.20% CTR is what you’re looking for - I’ll see you at the meeting!

To the rest,

May the odds also be in your favor.