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How to Get Rid of Bot Submissions in Marketo Forms

Though digitization has blessed us with the progress that we could have never thought possible, it has also challenged us with its loopholes. As the entire world is transforming digitally, it creates hyper-connected networks that need thorough evaluation regularly to fill any spawning gap. Failing to do so can open up routes for hackers to root into your system.

What is bot submission?

One of the latest additions to cybercrimes; is a bot attack, which is a set of programs designed by hackers to launch automated attacks into your system. The process is conducted by corrupt bots to get unauthorized access to your unique content, business strategy, and private information, which eventually affects the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) ranking of your organization. 

The information collected is used by rival companies to fill fake forms and send spam emails to the addresses collected unethically. Similar malicious programs are being designed to target Marketo web forms.

Challenges Marketo Form users are facing as a result of bot submission.

Is your Marketo Form unable to generate the target conversion?

Marketo’s Forms 2.0 is built to empower marketers by offering them flexible web forms, which can be extended using the Forms 2.0 JavaScript API. As a result of bot submissions of Marketo Forms, marketers are facing challenges such as:

Fake Registrations 

Hostile businesses these days rely on bot submission to make fake registrations and collect leads. This can impact the conversion rate of the target market as they will start receiving spam messages, and advertisers who use Marketo Forms will not be able to gain consistent ROI.

Clicking malicious website links

The email list created by bot form submission is used to send links to malicious sites and downloadable malware. Clicking on which can allow the hacker to hijack into your system to steal sensitive information. This can impact your website’s revenue as your potential customers may stop visiting your page.

High page load time

The increase in fake access requests to your website can overload your server, slowing down your page loading speed and increase your bandwidth costs. Thus, unwanted bot traffic can affect your brand’s reputation, and search engines will subsequently demote your page.

How to prevent bot submission?

The consequences of bot submission in Marketo Forms can be frustrating for marketers, and to avoid such a scenario, you can try adopting a few of our helpful hacks in your Marketo Form.


Typing distorted figures and checking described boxes can be very easy for humans, but not for bots. Thus filtering the processes right at the beginning with CAPTCHA will assure that your Marketo Form is being filled by a living being and not a bot.

Adding this functionality requires a few extra steps as it is not natively part of Marketo’s available toolset. If you don’t have the technical skills to implement this solution yourself, hiring a developer may be necessary. However, if you’re willing to take on the slight challenge, adding CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA could be a great way to prevent bots from easily filling out forms. 

Email verification

To avoid fake registration(s), send a verification link to the user’s email address, clicking on which the candidate can get registered. This process of double opt-in will ensure that the registration is being made from a valid email address. Additionally, double opt-in has the added benefit of reducing the chances of lowering the potential for your email communications getting directed to the spam folder if you’re seeking to add leads for email communications.

Create a honey-pot

By making some extra effort to build bait for bots, you can save your organization from bot attacks that can put your business at risk. Adding a spare field using CSS that only bots can read and fill, is a proven method of identifying bots in the initial state.

Add a test question

Include a question that is more than easy to answer for your potential clients, but not for bots. By adding it to your Marketo Form, you can easily differentiate between a bot and a human. But remember, the question should confuse the bots, not your potential customers.

Use the Web Application Firewall

To protect from bot submission of Marketo Forms, you can incorporate a Web Application Firewall. A malicious scripting code that can edit your website content can deceive customers in order to give up data beneficial for hacking a system. 

Hackers also use SQL Injection to avoid authentication tools and to get access to the database. The Web Application Firewall can help your Marketo form from such bot submission methods.

Analyze time taken to fill a form

It is an obvious fact that a bot will fill out a form faster than a human can. Thus, on noticing an unusually fast filling form, you need to check for bot intervene. Based on your marketing automation metrics, you can estimate the average time taken by a human to fill your Marketo Form.

Hide target request

Since attacking from the customer’s browser angle is an option for hackers, you should ideally hide your target request. By denying the access request to sensitive data directly from your customer’s browser and having the potential candidate type it, you can eliminate the auto-filling process used by hackers.

Allow a single entry per email address.

If you restrict one registration per email address, it will make sure that a bot is not trying to register using your Marketo Form, using the data of an already registered member.

Blocking high-risk zones

Upon noticing a significant problem area, you can resort to IP address blocking of the specific location. Though this will also disable the forms for your genuine customers, it will protect your system from perplexing cybercrimes. Alternatively, you can also set up a limit for the number of web forms that can be submitted from IP addresses.

Embed additional authentication data request

To protect your Marketo form from cross-site request forgery that can damage the customer’s browser, you need to detect unauthorized requests. Using Double Submit Cookies and anti-forgery tokens can protect your system from such hacking attempts. Further, additional authentication for sensitive actions will stop CSRF attacks.

Allowing spams to sign up via bot submission will turn down your entire customer engagement plan and risk the security of important information on which your entire business depends. Incorporating the cited methods into your marketing strategy will enable you to get rid of bot submission in Marketo Forms, leading your business to uninterrupted success. 

Stopping the invasion of cyber hackers in your Marketo Forms will also help build a seamless experience for your potential customers, automatically developing your website reputation and increasing the conversion rate.