Digital marketing is great for connecting small businesses with their customers. Up here in the mountains of North Carolina, your locally owned company stands out when you have a great website (and up-to-date social media) where people can see what you’re about, let you know what they’re interested in, and even reach out to you with questions.
That’s why website contact forms are so great!
Unfortunately, today’s spammers are using website forms to bypass email filters and flood you with unwanted messages, links, and even ill-advised marketing pitches.
Here’s what you should know about spam from your website contact form.
What Issues Can Website Spam Cause?
As with any spam, unwanted messages coming through your website contact form are just plain annoying. But they can also be a problem for your business. Here are some potential spam issues:
- Spam messages contain links that send you to disgusting and even unsafe websites.
- You get so many spam messages that you stop paying attention to your inbox and miss connecting with real live customers.
- Website contact form spam can be used to get your company’s private email address via confirmation emails, setting you up for more spam or security breaches.
- Underhanded marketing companies spam small businesses to prey on their insecurities and trick them into unnecessary services.
What Should NC Small Businesses Do if You Think You’re Getting Contact Form Spam?
The best thing for you to do is delete any obvious spam immediately. One message every once in a while isn’t a problem, but when you start getting them all the time—or you’re not sure if something is spam or legit—you should definitely contact your local Banner Elk website pro.
There are some relatively straightforward tools we can use that will stop the spam from ever getting to you.
How Can Your Web Designer Make Your Contact Form Less Vulnerable to Spambots?
If bots are spamming your website, there are a few simple tools to confuse them and stop them in their tracks.
- Changing the names of the fields in your online form can confuse bots, which are programmed to look for typical field titles like “name” and “email.” (Unfortunately, the bots are always getting smarter, and clever field labels can confuse real humans, too.)
- Turning off automated email confirmations, and instead sending visitors to a confirmation web page on your site, can discourage bots looking for your email address.
- Captcha tools ask website visitors to check a box or perform some other basic task before they can submit an online form.
- Add a plugin that can distinguish between real people and automated spambots. Of course, your web manager should be up-to-date on the best, most effective plugins to use for your website and host. And you have to keep up with them as technology upgrades.
Why Are Marketing Companies Spamming My Website?
Unfortunately, sometimes spam comes from real live people. Recently, I’ve noticed so-called “marketing professionals” using website contact forms to spam North Carolina small businesses with deceptive or downright false claims. And because they’re human, they can get past our little spambot tools.
Of course, since they’re technically human, they should know better than to pick on our local Appalachian small businesses. But these people are, as I like to say, “turdbuckets.”
People who call themselves “marketing professionals” who spam you with pitches through your website are straight-up not legit. They’ll copy and paste the same message into a hundred small business contact forms.
This message usually makes one of two absurd claims:
- Your website is underperforming on SEO, and they can make it better.
- Your website is vulnerable or broken, and they can make it better.
Newsflash: They can’t make it better.
Long story short, legit marketing companies don’t need to spam small businesses through their website contact forms. They don’t need to send out a gazillion generic spam messages.
Ask yourself: If these guys are so good, why are they resorting to this kind of ham-fisted “marketing” “technique”?
Are You a Banner Elk-area Small Business Suffering from Website Contact Form Spam? You need Deckard & Company’s Elk Park-based services.
We’ve built a lot of small business websites over the years. We’re always on the side of the small business owner. In fact, we’re members of the Banner Elk and Avery County Chambers of Commerce. We know how to shut down website spammers. And we’re picking up new tools for discouraging them all the time.