Why do I have empty or repetitive submissions to my Act-On Form?

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If you have empty or repetitive form submissions to your Act-On Forms, spam bots could be the culprit. Spam bots are programs designed to search the internet for unprotected forms and make unwanted form submissions. Spam bot submissions are usually repetitive and may contain abusive language or messaging, while some are completely empty. This can affect the integrity of data and reporting for your Act-On Forms and impact the health of your account's server, slowing it down if not stopping it entirely. Read on to find out how you can protect your Act-On Forms from spam bots.

How Does Act-On Respond to Spam Bots?

When Act-On notices that a spam bot is making repetitive submissions to your Form, we'll disable your Form and reach out to help you protect it going forward.


Follow these solutions to help protect your Act-On Forms from unwanted spam bot form submissions.

Add a reCAPTCHA Field to Your Form

Adding a reCAPTCHA field is a quick and easy way to verify that a person, rather than a bot, is submitting data to your Act-On Form. Act-On Support may ask you to add a reCAPTCHA field to your Form if it's been flagged for spam bot behavior.

Learn more about adding a reCAPTCHA field to your Form.

Note: It's a best practice to add a reCAPTCHA to all Act-On Forms.

Make Relevant Fields Required

You should require visitors to fill out important form fields, including First Name, Last Name, and Email Address, before they can submit your Form. This will prevent blank form submissions and help keep your data clean for future campaigns.

Learn more about setting up form field validation.

Change the External Form Post URL

Oftentimes, adding a reCAPTCHA field and making form fields required is enough to protect your Form from spam bots. However, some spam bots may use an External Form Post URL to make form submissions. In this case, we recommend that you change your URL.

Learn more about creating an External Form Post URL. Repeat the same steps used to create your Form's original External Form Post URL to create a new one.

Ask Act-On Support to Enable ao_bot

If you've tried the above solutions and continue to see repetitive unwanted or empty form submissions, contact Act-On Support to turn on a controlled feature called ao_bot.

Before you begin, this controlled feature has a few requirements:

  • A hidden field called ao_bot with the static value nope  must be added to all Forms (not just the Form affected by spam bots) before you can turn this feature on. This includes your existing Forms and any Forms you create moving forward.
  • You'll also need to add this hidden field to your external forms. Work with your web developer to add a hidden field to any external forms on your website that posts to Act-On. Your code should look like this: <input type="hidden" id="ao_bot" value="nope">

Contact Act-On Support for more help with this feature.

Be careful! If you forget to add this hidden field to your Form, it will reject all form submissions once the controlled feature is turned on. It is very important to check all of your Forms for this hidden field and to add it to your Form creation workflow moving forward.

Need more help suppressing certain form submissions? See our guide here for additional solutions to help you block unwanted submissions to your form.

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