How to Prevent Web Form Fraud

WebFormFraud-1

Published in September 2016, Updated on May 19, 2020

Web forms are a handy tool for capturing that oh-so-important customer and prospect contact information. According to wpforms.com, 50% of marketers say inbound marketing strategies, such as onsite forms, are their primary source of leads. 74% of companies use web form for lead generation, with 49% stating their online forms are their highest converting lead generation tool."

Chances are your website has a contact form with fields for street address, email, and phone number. Maybe you offer a white paper in exchange for an email address, or perhaps you have a newsletter subscription box. On the surface, a web form seems like an easy, straightforward, and inexpensive way to build your list or respond to customer needs—and it is. A word of caution, however. A web form is also a potential gateway for spam and other threats to enter your email list. 

How bad data creeps in through your web form

  1. Your potential customers (a.k.a. people who are good leads and actually interested in your offers) enter incorrect emails on purpose to avoid getting marketing messages from you. A special type of these false email addresses is known as disposable domains, which will bounce and can eventually turn into spam traps.
  2. Interested parties innocently and unknowingly enter a typo into your web form. As above, these will bounce and can become spam traps.
  3. Fraudsters, spammers, and bots submit malicious information to track your campaigns and promote their fraudulent behavior.

The Cost of Unprotected Web forms

Data lies at the heart of every business, without accurate data you can’t target your customers, which impacts not only deliverability but revenue and relationships. Here are 4 issues that can occur when your web forms are unprotected: 

1. Email Deliverability

If you have bad data in your CRMs your email deliverability will be one of the biggest issues that you’ll face. If “ilikecontent.com” domain has been entered into your web forms you’ll hit a hard bounce, but that is just the first issue. When deliverability fails what follows is a poor open rate, click-through rate, resulting in limited purchases. 

2. Sender Reputation 

Along with poor deliverability comes a damaged sender reputation. If you’re sending to problem accounts such as spam traps, bots, moles, screamers and zombie accounts this will ding your IP address or domain, hurt your reputation, and possibly lock you into a blacklist. To learn more information about threats that can damage your reputation, check out, What’s Hiding in Your Email. 

3. Bad Decision Making 

 If you’re lacking confidence in your data, the choices that are being made off of the data will take a toll as well. Think about all of the wasted marketing dollars going to the wrong areas as a result of not capturing clean data on the front end. 

4.  Impact to Sales Cycle 

A sales team only has limited hours in the day to sell.  According to wpforms.com, "only 25% of leads are ready to advance to sales". If there is missing or incorrect information entering the pipeline it can cause a whole line of issues such as, time wasted searching for the correct information, and potential problems between marketing and sales departments.

Protect your forms in real-time

The good news is that you can protect your web forms in real-time and prevent bad data from entering your list in the first place. Tools like Webbula’s leadHygiene can protect your webforms by validating the information entered through our real-time API. Our easily integrated and fast API ensures you are only gathering valid names, email addresses, phone numbers, and postal addresses at the point of capture. This will help you avoid emails that will bounce as well as email threats that are deliverable.

Webbula leadHygiene will help decrease fraudulent or inaccurate data submitting into your forms, increase deliverability and sender reputation, improve your campaign ROI, and create a better customer experience. 

Your list is one of your most valuable assets. Ensure you’re taking the garbage out and keeping your list crystal clean with high-quality customers and prospects. Contact Webbula today to learn how you can prevent threats in real-time with leadHygiene.

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