It’s a disease plaguing the entire world. You can guard against it, but inevitably it always finds you. It finds you and then it gets worse over time. Eventually, you become less bothered by it, merely accepting it as an annoying problem that will never go away. This acceptance only makes it worse. Your inbox will never escape…
Since you need customers to have a way to easily reach you, you need a way for them to reach your email from your website. Unfortunately, this also leaves you open to spambots, which in case you live in a cave and haven’t been hit already, are electronic message systems that indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages. Although the programmers who create spambots lie somewhere between slime molds and fungi on the evolutionary tree of life, we haven’t been able to stop them yet. The responsibility to prevent spam altogether stands with you, the merchant.
How can you encourage customers to email you with any questions they have without getting pummeled with spam? Here are three basic steps:
1.) Do not list your email anywhere on your site, especially as text. Spambots can pick up text and before you know it, that email box will be chock full of all sorts of offers you never wanted.
2.) Instead of including this email address, include a “Contact Us” page on your website, and on this page, include a form for customers to fill out with their questions. You can then direct that form to your inbox. If you have a Volusion store, there is a sample form for you to use under Design Website text.
3.) Include a CAPTCHA with your form. A CAPTCHA makes it much more difficult for spambots to work and requires the user to verify a code before posting anything. This prevents auto posting that could occur on your site. If you have a version 5 Volusion site, a CAPTCHA is included on the sample form.
A CAPTCHA looks like this:
Please enter the following code in the box provided:
CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” Essentially, it is a test that a computer can generate and grade but cannot solve. Since you can require a CAPTCHA on your “Contact Us” page, you can help prevent electronic messaging systems from using this form and subsequently inundating you with spam.
Spammers will always find a way to make their money, but taking preventative steps to stop them should clear up your box for the emails you actually want to receive.
In order to setup your CAPTCHA form on your Volusion site, follow these three steps:
1.) Go to your store administration section.
2.) Go to Design > Website Text
3.) Find Article 83. You will see the verification code there. Simply copy the line of code for the verification tool, and paste it at the end of your HTML form.