Email was clicked before it was delivered? It's a link scanner

Discussion created by 31c49a9e92cfdfc36ec09f16a3d031bc05f44a62 Champion on Jun 15, 2016
Latest reply on Jun 15, 2016 by 31c49a9e92cfdfc36ec09f16a3d031bc05f44a62



I am submitting this discussion in case others may have wondered about this and were unable to find an answer in the Community.


I realized after an email campaign this morning that many leads were getting lead score increases for clicking links in an email but by the time an alert was sent to Sales, the lead score had significantly dropped because the email was bounced. What happened here is that the clicked activity was not from the actual recipient of the email, it was a link scanner from the recipient's email server. The server first "clicks" the link in the email to make sure it is safe and if it is, will then deliver it to the recipient. In my case, the email was bounced anyway so the lead first received a score increase for the click and then a decrease since the email bounced.


Marketo filters and triggers are unable to determine if the email click is from the actual recipient or a link scanner, it can only see if the link was clicked at all. In order to only score clicks AFTER the email is delivered to ensure the click was from the recipient and not a link scanner:


- run a smart campaign trigger of "email is delivered" is any

- create a list

- the flow step of the smart campaign will be to add the leads to a list

- create a scoring campaign with the trigger of "clicks link in email" and a filter of if the leads are part of the list (this ensures the click trigger happened after the email was delivered)

- put a score step in the flow


If batch scoring is easier, I would pull in the two filters of "clicked link in email" in time frame today and "email was delivered" in time frame today. This workaround will only score the click if the email was delivered, but the click could have been before the delivery. So I would recommend the trigger option to ensure the click was after the delivery.


Another option is to remove scoring for clicks link in emails altogether if the links direct to your website anyway. You can just increase the score for visiting the landing pages to avoid the false positives of a score increase for the clicks in the email.


Hope this provides some insights into link scanners. Please share your experiences and best practices as well.