Friday, April 20, 2012

Dear Web-to-Lead/Case Spam Sucks

Recently I contacted customer support about problems with Spam getting loaded into my Salesforce instance through web-to-lead forms. While I've enjoyed discussing this problem with your customer service team, please take note of a couple of important points that you may want to add to your solutions when discussing this issue.

Captcha? Really?
Please remove the word 'captcha' from your customer service rep's vocabulary. While I'm sure that there are some web novices out there that are managing sites, most of us with this issue understand the dynamics of web forms and are fully aware of captcha. Many of us also know that captchas can be beaten, and that the people who we are likely to filter out are not spammers -- they are potential customers who don't want to be bothered with additional validation layers.

And for those Salesforce customer service reps who want to help me manage my demand generation programs, I just want to say thank you for your insightful recommendations.

You Are Not Alone
I am not the only customer with a form-based Spam issue. Here's an idea that's been posted on success.salesforce site over a year ago. Any thoughts on when we might be addressing this issue? I realize that hiding the OID will not stop bots from automated submissions that use the actual form, but it's a start. And for those of us that have been customers for a long time (i.e. prior to when this was a problem), even masking the OID doesn't fix the issue. Remember how, when stuff is published on the web it never truly goes away? Making this the key to a gateway that enable the unwanted stuffing of data into your account IS a problem.

Frankly, if I were you, I would consider this unrelenting spam problem to be an assault on your, not just me. When Google started doing email, they used their resources and the power of the cloud to help reduce spam that users experienced. Then, for fun, they bought Postini. Is this really just 'my problem' or is it 'our problem'. 

When You Recommend Solutions That Cost More, I'm Probably Not Going to Be Happy
I know you like your partners. Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot -- they all offer good solutions for aspects of lead filtering and validation. But seriously, do I really need to pay these guys just so that my sales guys to don't have to click on Viagra spam? If the spammer community has essentially broken a feature of your platform, should I be the one who has to pay for the patch?

Sincerely Yours,
Yet Another 'One-captcha-recommendation-away-from--really-angry' Customer

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