Spam bots are annoying and they are getting smarter all the time.


A lot of times, we're asked if there is any way to prevent bogus submissions on forms.  The basic answer would be no, there is no out of the box solution that is designed to prevent spam submissions on forms.  However, it's also common to use Captcha's from third party providers.


Unfortunately, we've observed that configuring a captcha on a landing page with an Eloqua form is a lot trickier than we imagined.  Moreover, we've seen spam bots actually submit their entries on forms that are protected by third party captcha's, how exactly they do this is beyond me.


So, I deviced a home grown captcha system that's designed to only receive submissions from real humans.


What you'll need:

1.  Sacrificial form - a complete form with all the information you want to gather with 1 processing step, Post Data To Server and a field for the "answer" to the security question.

2.  Duplicate form - a copy of the sacrificial form with all the necessary processing steps except the Post Data to Server.

3.  An image with a question or incomplete equation.


What to do:

1.  Place the sacrificial form on the landing page

2.  Place the image on the landing page


What should happen.

1.  With the sacrificial form and the image on the landing page, a person needs to put the answer to the security in the form (Fig. 1).

2.  The Post Data to server processing step of the sacrificial form must be then setup to Post the submission data to the Duplicate form CONDITIONALLY on the "answer" field on the form (Fig. 2).

3.  If the answer is correct, the Post Data to Server processing step executes and passes the data to the duplicate form (Fig. 3).

4.  Once the duplicate form receives the submission, its own processing steps fire off to update/create the contact and whatever else it has to do. (Fig. 4).


You can be creative with the image and the answer to make it difficult for spam bots to circumvent.


Here's what it looks like:

Fig. 1:  Landing page with the sacrificial form and security image.

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Fig. 2:  Sacrificial form processing step setup.

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Fig. 3:  Condition of when the processing step executes

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Fig. 4:  The duplicate form's processing steps

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MikeGarcia’s Chocolate Factory … probably not the best practices – but good enough!