Rise in firewall activity may affect the accuracy of your lead generation reports

We’ve recently seen an uptick in the number of companies that are deploying email firewall software to enhance their cyber security. This technology is designed to “click” on every link on every incoming email before the recipient sees it. The goal is to shield the recipient and the company from potential malicious code embedded in a link.

Once tested, legitimate e-mail – like that sent from PMMI Media Group – is allowed through and at that point, the recipient does see the email and may choose to click (or not click) depending on his or her interest.

Currently, it’s difficult for our leads management system to distinguish between a firewall click and a human click, as both look the same to our software. The sharp increase in firewall activity in 2019 has artificially driven up the total number of leads some advertisers are seeing in their campaign reports. The result is that we are sharing contact information of people who did not click, which is a privacy concern for us, and inaccurate information for the advertiser.

Our technology team is working on a solution

We are focused on resolving this problem, but until we can deploy technology to mitigate the issue, it’s possible that some of the leads in your reports may have been generated from a firewall, not a person. If you see unusually high activity from one company or one contact clicking EVERY link in your e-mail, it’s a pretty good bet that the lead was generated by firewall technology.

Please understand that our solution will err on the side of privacy, which means that it will target firewall activity, but some human click activity may be inadvertently filtered out. Because of our privacy-centric approach, you may get fewer leads than you were previously receiving. Keep in mind that people are not clicking any less frequently – the yardstick is changing, not the underlying behavior of your audience.

The challenges posed by firewall technology are affecting every publisher and e-mail service provider. PMMI Media Group has an experienced team that is working diligently to find a solution that protects privacy and delivers the value you expect from your advertising investment.

A final thought

While e-mail marketing is often a preferred channel for so many of our advertisers, a multi-channel strategy will achieve best results and overcome deficiencies and limitations of any single channel. Please contact your PMMI Media Group salesperson or Client Success Manager if you have any questions.