How many emails do you have your inbox? I feel like there are only two types of people in this world, the ones who “zero out” everyday and those who have 900+.
Emails can feel like a never ending battle and you might be tempted to take drastic measures like adding captcha codes to forms on your website to prevent spam but for most people this is a mistake.
What is a captcha?
A captcha prevents the recipient from getting lots of spam emails. A lot of people add captchas to their contact forms on their website, which basically make potential customers prove they are not a robot by typing in information seen in a picture. A captcha code often looks a lot like what you see directly below here:
When to use captchas
There are robots that go around trying to capture contact email addresses. If you have a contact form sitting out on the web, every once in a while you’ll have a robot that will try to fill it out. Robots can’t read something that’s in a picture, especially a picture of the numbers 78421… yet, so the robot fails—preventing you from getting spam emails.
Why might this be bad for your website or business?
Captchas put the burden onto the person visiting your website to weed out spam, so for nonprofit organizations like the Red Cross, saying “help us streamline our administrative costs”, that might make sense but if you’re a commercial business, you’ve made it more difficult for people to contact you by putting up a captcha. You’ve prevented a potential customer from getting in the door over something minor. Anytime you put out a barrier to reduce your junk mail you are also creating barrier between you and real live customers.
At Site Gorilla, we often help anxious businesspeople navigate these decisions when creating their website. How many times have you left a website after it asked you to type in a mysterious mixture of numbers and symbols? Do you think the same thing might be happening to you? Write us and share your story.