You may have experienced some bizarre form spam to your newsletter list and wondered:
What the heck? Why would someone spam my newsletter signup form?
It doesn’t mean your website has been hacked or isn’t secure.
It’s not dangerous (just annoying).
It just means that spam bots are finding your site. (This could be good news! It might mean your site is showing up on Google!)
What is the benefit of spamming your newsletter form?
There isn’t one. Spammers create bots that target forms because they are looking for financial gain. They hope to create public links (usually via blog comments) to websites that will generate traffic and revenue through phishing and advertising. And sometimes, your newsletter form might get caught in the crosshairs.
Pretty much, these are bots. The bots aren’t smart enough to realize they’ve landed on a form that only collects email addresses. They just find a form—and they spam it!
How to fix form spam on your newsletter signup
As a WordPress designer and developer, I’ve helped me share of clients tackle form spam on their newsletter signup forms. Here are the most effective ways to stop newsletter form spam in WordPress:
- First, use a trusted and reliable form plugin, like Gravity Forms, that has anti-spam technology. Gravity Forms includes an anti-spam honeypot that can be enabled to prevent spam. Gravity Forms also includes multiple integrations with newsletter services like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, ActiveCampaign, etc. to automatically add subscribers when they fill out your form.
- If spam is still getting through, add Google reCAPTCHA (which hooks up with Gravity Forms). This is the security service that makes you choose the images with cars or stoplights, but it also has an invisible option which your visitors won’t know is there.
- If you’re not using either of these, your newsletter service provider likely has anti-spam code, which they update frequently—but you need to make sure this code is up to date on your website.
Another way to kick spam in the butt? Have me design and maintain a custom WordPress website for you. 😉