Everything You Need to Know About Server-Clicks

Have you noticed an unexpected increase in open and click rates that does not correspond to a change in marketing incentives?

Or perhaps you’ve noticed a big number of unsubscribes for no apparent reason?

All of the following are likely symptoms of server-clicks skewing your response data, believe it or not. And if that’s a term you’ve never heard before, don’t worry; we’ll explain everything to you.

What exactly are server-clicks, and why are they used?

When the anti-spam filter of the receiving mail server examines the legitimacy and integrity of a possibly suspicious link in an email, it is known as a server-click, sometimes known as a bot-click, or a non-human interaction.

If Gmail’s anti-spam filters are dubious of your email, for example, they will click the links to make sure they aren’t harmful.

Only some links may be clicked by an anti-spam filter, or all links in an email may be clicked. The anti-spam filter may deliver the email to the inbox or mark it as spam based on these criteria.

While this is a useful service for keeping inboxes secure, it complicates reporting on email usage.

Because email service providers (ESPs) like Campaign Monitor provide open and click data, these server-clicks give the impression that the email was opened and clicked by a recipient when it was actually the anti-spam filter.

You may be hearing about server-clicks for the first time, but they are nothing new. Server-clicks are used by mail servers all around the world to protect against phishing attempts. Attacks that are becoming more common.

When anti-spam software tests the links in an incoming email, mailbox providers use different parameters. Some anti-spam filters use your sender reputation to evaluate whether or not a verification is required. Others, on the other hand, will examine all links included in an email sent from outside their company.

It’s crucial to highlight that this isn’t a problem exclusive to Campaign Monitor or any other email service provider. At some point, any email sender is likely to be affected by server-clicks.

Why am I only now learning about this and noticing an increase in server clicks?

Phishing assaults have become more common in recent years, both in terms of volume and prominence. As a result, worldwide security is being strengthened.

As spammers develop new ways to get through security settings, mailbox providers are under increasing pressure to make their inboxes as secure as possible.

What should I do if the number of opens, clicks, or unsubscribes increases dramatically?

If you feel that server clicks are skewing your email data, you can take a few short steps to assist remedy the problem.

Check to see if you’ve started linking to any new URLs. Files, link shorteners, and free online filter files all have the potential to cause issues.

Check the status of your to-do list. Sending to inactive or unengaged email addresses might tarnish your reputation as a sender. This is a bad practice for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is that anti-spam filters are more likely to flag you as a spam sender. Remove subscribers from your mailing lists if they stop reacting to your material.

What can I do to avoid this happening again in the future?

While there is no magic recipe for avoiding server-clicks, you can follow some best practices. The following are the top three things you can do to assist anti-spam filter servers trust you:

1. Request that your subscribers add your email address to their Safe Senders List.

A simple message in your subscribe form or welcome email reminding your subscribers to identify your email as safe will help a lot.

2. Only link to content housed on your own website.

Receiving mail servers favor links in emails that match the sending address’s domain. Furthermore, when you provide a link to another domain, you’re putting your faith in their reputation rather than your own.

3. Enable confirmed unsubscribe for all of your mailing lists.

This feature is available in Campaign Monitor for just such a scenario. Go here to find out how to activate confirmed unsubscribe.


Yes, server clicks are an inconvenient component of email marketing. This form of security and privacy precaution, on the other hand, is beneficial to people. And it’s not going away anytime soon.

As mailbox providers become more security-conscious, following sending best practices is crucial if you want to be included in their inbox.

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