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Why am I experiencing bot clicks?
Why am I experiencing bot clicks?

This article will tell you what bot-clicks are, their consequences and what you can do about them.

Francine avatar
Written by Francine
Updated over a week ago

What are bot clicks?

Bot clicks are clicks on URLs in emails that are not performed by the recipient. These clicks are done by email clients (such as Outlook and Gmail). By having bots visit each link, each link is verified for phishing. Only after each link is verified does the email flow through to the inbox.

These bot clicks can have a big impact on email statistics. The click rate is higher and the database is polluted by these fake clicks. In addition, there is an increase in unsubscribes due to bot clicks. Because the unsubscribe link is also a URL, a bot-click causes an unsubscribe. The GDPR mandates that recipients must be able to unsubscribe from email communications with a single click.

How do you recognize bot clicks?

It is not completely possible to tell whether a click was done by a human or a bot. However, there are a few clues by which you can recognize bot clicks:

  • An abnormally high click rate. Do you suddenly see a high click rate that deviates from the normal click rate? Then chances are that bot clicks have been made.

  • One profile has clicked on every link in an email (and then unsubscribed). A characteristic of bot clicks is that a bot visits every URL in an email. Notice that one profile clicked on every URL, then unsubscribed? This has been the work of a bot.

  • You receive complaints that an email was not delivered, when data says it was. Does a customer indicate that they did not receive an email, but you see in Reloadify that the email was delivered? This is due to bot clicks. The profile has most likely been unsubscribed by a bot-click so the email no longer arrives. Tip: have your customer re-subscribe.

  • Lots of clicks immediately after sending. Do you see profiles that have already clicked immediately after sending the email? This is the work of bot clicks. These clicks are performed immediately when the email arrives at the email client.

  • Add an "invisible" link. Do you suspect your emails are victims of bot clicks? Then add a link that is hard for recipients to see. For example, a text link with the same color as the background. After sending, do you see that this link was clicked often? Then this has most likely been a bot-click.

What can you do to prevent bot-clicks?

Bot-clicks only occur when an email client has reason to suspect your links are phishing. What can you do to prevent this?

  • Always mail from a validated domain

  • Do not use shortened URLs (such as

  • Keep the sending reputation of your domain high

Note that bot clicks can never be completely prevented. The above measures help reduce the likelihood of bot clicks, but it is no guarantee that bot clicks will no longer occur.

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