Spam-Filtered Contact Forms

 

A screenshot of an email inbox with 3,015 spam messages.

If you have a business Web site, then obviously you need some way for potential customers to contact you. Contact forms are one of the most popular ways to do this because they're fast, easy to use, and allow you to specify the information you want from your customers.

The problem is that contact forms are also a target for spambots (robots whose only purpose in their miserable lives is to scour the Internet for contact forms, and use them to spam the recipients).

Go ahead and try it: Put an ordinary contact form on your site, and see what happens after a few weeks. You'll be deluged with every manner of spam that there is.

No worries, though. I have a solution.

Spam-Filtered Contact Forms

After several years of testing, I've come up with a system that traps more than 99 percent of spambots, and yet has a very low false-positive rate of well under 1 percent.

Better yet, my forms filter out spam without using annoying "CAPTCHA" images that frustrate and drive away potential customers. My forms are based on proprietary scripts that look for behavioral differences between humans and robots, and make their decision silently, so the spambot won't even know it's been caught.

How does it work?

When a message is identified as spammy, it's handled in the way you specify when the script is installed. You have three choices: Messages identified as spam can be silently deleted, sent to an alternate email address, or sent to your primary email address with the subject line modified to identify the message as spam. Most people choose to silently delete spam messages because there are very few or no false positives.

How does my system identify spam messages?

Frankly, that's a secret. I spent years developing these scripts, and I'm not going to tell the whole world (and especially the spammers) how they work. But I'll tell you what my system is not. My anti-spam contact form filtering system is different from all others in the following ways:

All of my new client sites automatically include a spam-filtered contact form, at no extra charge. I can also add a spam-filtered contact form to most existing Web sites, but the exact means by which this is done varies according to how the site was built. Sometimes the easiest way is to install the form on your site, but sometimes it's more efficient to create your contact form on my server and link it from your site. Every situation is different.

In all cases, however, the actual filtering is done by scripts installed on my redundant, fault-tolerant, high-availability cloud servers. In the unlikely event that my server is unavailable to handle a message, however, the system will fail over to your server, so you won't lose any mail.

For more information (and to see a real-live example of my spam-free contact forms at work), please contact me.