In a thread on one of my Facebook groups, Rick brought up adding a captcha to your email submission form to block spam bots from submitting them. While it is one way, I don’t like them because it adds another hurdle for legitimate users trying to sign up on your list.
What are spam bots?
If you have a WordPress site with comments activated you’ve experienced spam bots. The constant stream of garbage they are trying to post as comments on your site is annoying. Mainly they are looking for a place to post links back to their site so they can sell Viagra or bootleg name brand purses.
These bots cruise the web looking for comment forms. The only problem is they can’t tell the difference between your comment form and your opt-in form. It’s all a form to them. So they blindly fill in your opt-in form clogging your list with bogus subscribers.
Another way to block bots
Instead of the captcha, I like the ‘honeypot’ method. By adding a field to your form that only bots can see, you can determine bot from person. The field is in the html code just like a normal field, except using CSS the field is hidden from view. So bots read the code, but people don’t see the field. Then anyone who fills in this field must be a bot.
Unfortunately, this method doesn’t solve the spam farm problem. There are actually boiler rooms in third-world countries where they sit around and fill in email list forms all day. They will even confirm your double-opt message! Don’t ask me why. If you know, please enlighten me. But they do.
I have one list that gets dozens of spam submissions a week all with variations of the same bogus email address. And they double-opt. But then they never open another email. Totally destroys my metrics! Still trying to figure out how to block them.