Nonprofits and Data

last person joined: 3 days ago 

This group is for those interested in learning and sharing about all things data-related for nonprofits. The Nonprofits and Data group is for people using data to serve a mission, either directly or by improving nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. That includes everything from collecting data and managing databases to analytics, data visualization and data mining. Here are some examples of topics we discuss: using data to improve organizational effectiveness, measuring impact, using data for storytelling, tools for data management and analysis, figuring out the “right” data to collect, and learning skills to help us use data better.

Spam email address website sign ups

  • 1.  Spam email address website sign ups

    Posted 24 days ago

    We're getting hit with a huge number of bad email addresses in our website signup form. Luckily, these don't make it to Salesforce but it does make a mess in Campaign Monitor. We're looking at two options: add a Captcha to the form or turn on opt-in confirmation. We've wanted to  keep the barrier very low for this sign up but we have to do something. Both solutions place an obstacle in the user's path and I'm curious what others use. On the Captcha side, it might not work to stop the spam and people might not bother. On the confirmation side, they might not bother or it could go to a junk folder. 

    Has anyone else faced this issue and what did you do? Recommendations welcome. 

    Thanks,




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    Mary Gaughan
    FSG
    Boston, MA
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 2.  RE: Spam email address website sign ups

    Posted 24 days ago
    Are these spam email addresses created by bots? We had a similar problem a few years back, where bots would fill out our forms with junk information. We found that we could stop most of the issues with a hidden blank input field. Humans can't see the field, but bots can. Most bots just fill all of the input fields on a form. We configured the form to reject any submission if that field wasn't blank.

    That being said, the options you suggested are perfectly fine.

    The Captcha form is probably the smallest obstacle. Very common and very easy for the user. Probably wouldn't hurt your signup rates at all.

    The opt-in confirmation email is a bigger barrier but produces a better quality email list. These days, you want an email list filled with people who really want to receive your message. If a great percentage of people on your list don't open your emails, your deliverability rates will decline. The opt-in confirmation will definitely create a smaller list, but with higher quality recipients (which leads to better deliverability). Just something to consider.

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    Steve Hansen
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 3.  RE: Spam email address website sign ups

    Posted 23 days ago
    Captha, captha, captha.   Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart  You can use a free one that will keep out 98%. You also can create your own as Steve suggested.  The other thing is to add a question to the form that much be answered exactly such as "what is 4 plus 2."

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    Ellery July
    Saint Paul, MN
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 4.  RE: Spam email address website sign ups

    Posted 23 days ago
    Good point, Ellery. I forgot to mention that. We use basic math questions on some forms and it works well. From what I've seen, it doesn't discourage people from completing the form.

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    Steve Hansen
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 5.  RE: Spam email address website sign ups

    Posted 20 days ago
    Thanks for the advice! We're starting with a honeypot based on time and will then try reCaptcha. This specific form is just asking for an email address, so we don't have space for asking questions. However, that math problem suggestion would be  useful on other forms.

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    Mary Gaughan
    FSG
    Boston, MA
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    Tech Accelerate