Skip to main content
Act-On Software

Identifying False Positives in Email Clicks

If you are seeing an abnormally high number of clicks in your emails – particularly the 'View in Browser' link – an email scanning service such as Barracuda may be the cause. Read on to learn about spam appliance bots and how to reduce inflated click counts in your Sent Message Reports.

Introduction

Email servers use a variety of tools to prevent delivery of spam messages. Some of these tools will result in inflated, atypical, or suspicious clickthrough data on your Sent Message reports. For example, if your customers use Barracuda Email Security Suite (ESS), it will scan incoming emails and click the first link in each message you send to them. ESS does not identify itself as an email security system (most similar products do), so Act-On does not automatically exclude these clicks.

Typical spam appliance clickthrough activities:

  • High number of clickthroughs on a sent message, often for contacts on the same email domain
  • Clicks occurring all at the same time, often just after the message was sent
  • Clicks all on the same link (the first link in your message, often the "View in Browser" link)
  • Clearly incorrect click data 

Investigate MX Records

If you have the Data Studio add-on feature, you can pull a report that shows the IP addresses recorded for your email clicks. Follow the steps below to use this report to confirm whether these clicks are coming from a security provider.

  1. Use Nslookup in your command line/terminal (Windows steps here) to verify the MX record information
    • When prompted, add the IP address and domain name of the customer responsible for the clicks (available from a Data Studio export on the Email Messages data set)
  2. Check the data that comes back - it should include the name and information for the security provider
    • For example, clicks from Barracuda include .ess.barracudanetworks.com

If you do not have Data Studio on your account, our support team can help you investigate click IP addresses.

Ignore Scanner's IP Addresses

To exclude the false clicks from your email reports, go to Settings > Other Settings > Internal IP Addresses and add the security system's IP addresses. This setting will result in the Sent Message report ignoring clicks associated with these IPs moving forward.

Performing this change will not remove the e-mail clicks from existing reports - the reports can only be changed moving forward.

Common IP Addresses to Ignore

Barracuda ESS

Barracuda US instance - ignore both of the following IP address ranges:

  • 64.235.144.0-64.235.159.255
  • 209.222.80.0-209.222.87.255

Barracuda UK instance

  • 35.176.92.96-35.176.92.127

Barracuda DE (Germany) instance

  • 35.157.190.224-35.157.190.255

Others

These IP addresses have been associated with abnormal click activities in the past:

  • 196.16.0.0-196.19.255.255
  • 34.192.0.0-34.255.255.255
  • Was this article helpful?

Have a question about this topic?

Ask the community!