More about the difficulty of monitoring the veracity of web traffic from third-party sources comes from a reader here, who illustrates how even the most sophisticated systems can have problems. Our correspondent says: “We advertised in a major magazine’s eNewsletter for years. They sent us full contact leads for each click. One day, I noticed that 16 people from the same facility supposedly clicked on our ad. I found this very hard to believe and when I brought it to my rep’s attention he confirmed that some companies have email systems that “crawl” (if that is the correct term) through incoming email to check all embedded links to prevent viruses. The email systems were triggering the clicks.
“Somehow they did a little back-end re-coding and were able to eliminate the problem, but it made me wonder how many years this was going on and how many wasted sales calls we made following up with these prospects who had never really clicked on our ads. Not to mention how ticked off these individuals must have been because all the advertisers in all the eNewsletters they receive probably received their contact info.”
We’re not talking here about the outdated systems I’ve been complaining about in recent articles. This is a sophisticated email newsletter service which actually gives you full contact leads from its readers, being beaten by no fault of their own. It just goes to show you need to be very much on your guard with all third-party data.