So, there you are merrily scrolling through the ‘Analytics’ page of a specific newsletter issue, and you see some weird numbers. Why has that subscriber clicked both the ‘thumbs up’ and the ‘thumbs down’ buttons? Why has that other subscriber clicked on every single link in the email?

Issues like this are caused by very aggressive spam filters, and they are almost impossible to completely erase. All email services (tools like Revue) have this problem. This article should help explain why.

What is bot activity?

You might know them as the little critters that amplify fake news online, but bots can also be the good guys: some email security systems use them to click every link in an email to check for malware or spam before it reaches a recipient’s inbox.

Great for the email recipient, not so great for the newsletter writer who wants to know how well their content is connecting with their audience.

How can I tell if bots are affecting my Revue analytics?

If you’re seeing any of the following, you might be dealing with bots:

  • The same email address consistently clicks both the ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ buttons in every issue you send

  • One email address appears to have opened every single link in your newsletter

  • You’re seeing a high number of clicks immediately after a newsletter is delivered

What does Revue do about that?

We try to filter out as many bot clicks as possible so that your analytics are as reliable as possible. But we can’t filter them all out — especially because new ones pop up all the time.

We prevent these bots from actually unsubscribing readers, but the clicks are still registered and can’t currently be filtered out.

We’re aware this isn’t optimal for people who use Revue, and we’re working hard to make it better. This is an ongoing task for us, and we’ll keep fighting the battle of the bots.

Despite some weird activity now and then, you can trust the analytics you see on Revue to guide you in the right direction when creating your next newsletter issue.

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