Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Webforms - Image Verification

One of the earliest features of AddressTwo has been our free contact forms.  If you haven't already taken advantage of this capability, it's free to all users.  You can embed our form as the "contact-us" form on your website and have leads automatically inserted into your CRM.  There are a number of more advanced features, too, including custom fields, lead-routing, triggering campaigns, tasks, etc. 

But, as our popularity has grown, some spammers have taken notice of our forms becoming prolific on websites all over the internet.  They directed their attention toward beating our anti-spam alogrithm... and after four years, they've cracked it.  So, that means it was time to innovate again... and we did.

Webforms now include an image verification option.  You can turn this on or off when creating forms by checking the box seen below.
This will insert an image into the form, like this one in order to ensure a human is submitting the form and not a spam bot:
Now, you may wonder: why wait so long to add this feature?  Simple: our anti-spam methods previously had been highly effective without needing to require users to take extra steps to verify their identity.  The truth is that using image verification has been shown to reduce the conversions on a form because some would-be leads are unable to get the word right (be it from poor vision, or just fat-fingers).  So, we relied on other anti-spam methods.  And by-and-large those methods have worked to-date and continue to work for many of our customers.

What does that mean for you?  Well, as neat as this shiny new feature may be, I must say that you should still consider carefully whether you want to use it.  If your webform is on a relatively low traffic website (<10,000 hits per month) and if your webform is NOT found on the home page, but rather some deeper navigation page where users must click to find it, then you could be safe without the image verification.  Spam bots go after the obvious targets, and are not likely to find your form if the above criteria are met. We resisted using this anti-spam method until recently and even now recommend that you choose wisely whether you wish to add it to your own webforms.

If you have high-traffic forms and have experienced the frustration of form-spam in the past, the solution is here and it's easier to implement than Captcha or similar solutions.  Just check the box, we'll take care of the rest.

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