Do you receive numerous submissions from your contact forms? Are some of these submissions unnecessary and considered spam? Spam can be very annoying when receiving form submissions and can also throw off your lead submission data. We utilize a number of different methods to combat spam, but there are a handful we use more often than others. One technique to reducing form spam on your site is to implement the honey pot technique.

How Honey Pot Works

Automated bots do not see what humans see on a visually rendered screen. Bots see and think that all form fields, whether styled to be hidden or not, should be filled out. Because bots are not smart like humans, all of the fields within a form will then be filled out.

Because of this, we can block submissions from bots. By using CSS to visually hide a "bait-like" textbox field (in this case, with the id of "fill-me-in"), the user will not know that the field exists and will not fill in the field. Bots, on the other hand, do not know about the CSS and only see that the input element exists within the HTML. Therefore, bots will fill in the input field (and get their hands caught in the "honey pot".)

Here is a quick code example to show you how to set it up:

HTML:

<input type="text" id="fill-me-in" />

CSS:

input[type="text"]#fill-me-in { display: none; }

Since only bots will fill in the field, we can use JQuery to determine if the field is empty and use that information to determine if the submitted form is submitted from a bot or from a real user.

<script type="text/javascript">
$(document).ready(function() {
$('form').submit(function() {
if ($('input[type="text"]#fill-me-in').val().length > 0) {
return false; // submitted by bot, field is not empty, so do nothing
}
});
});
</script>

This code will check if the attempted submission is from a bot. If so, nothing will happen, effectively eliminating the potential spam that would have been submitted. The honey pot technique is not only limited to JQuery; it can also be accomplished from code behind too. So honey pot away and enjoy all of the spam you aren't getting!

Spam form submissions can be incredibly misleading and frustrating when measuring your marketing channels. If you need help blocking spam in your forms or need help setting up an accurate Google Analytics implmentation, our experts are ready to help! Feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to talk through your issues and how we can help you get accurate data, improving your marketing campaign benchmarking and ROI!

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