Archive for January, 2007

Stopping Web to Lead Spam

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Check out a more recent post about stopping web to lead spam. I was able to integrate Akismet into the process and have scripts available to download.

Over the past week, I have had an ever-increasing number of web-to-lead spam entries come into my Org. It gets to be VERY frustrating! Unfortunately, Salesforce.com does not have any sort of anti-spam functionality for web-to-lead (want them to? Vote for it).

What would be great is an add-in to Salesforce.com that evaluates a Lead’s content prior to getting in the Org. Blog software has this for comments. For example, I use Akismet on this blog to take care of the non-stop comment spam I get. It is incredible. It catches 99% of it. If Akismet didn’t exist, I probably would stop allowing comments on this blog.

akismet_spam_caught.png

If you use a tool like Form Assembly or Clicktools for web-to-lead forms, they have functionality to help you. However, what if you don’t?

I discovered that Validation Rules work pretty well. If you can determine any consistencies with the spam you are getting, create a Lead Validation Rule to stop it. For example:

AND(
ISPICKVAL(LeadSource , "Web"),
OR(
CONTAINS( Description , "mortgage") ,
CONTAINS( Description , "diploma") ,
CONTAINS( Description , "auto loan")
))

The Validation rule above will cause an error for any lead with a Lead Source of “Web” AND the Description contains any of the following: “mortgage”, diploma”, “auto loan”. You can make the message of the validation rule say “This is Spam”.

Web to Lead records do not get created if they don’t pass the Validation Rule. However, you will get an email from Salesforce Support with a subject of “Salesforce Lead Alert” with the Lead information in it. What I did was to create an email rule that label emails meeting the following criteria (another alternative would be to delete them):

  • From Salesforce Support
  • Subject of “Salesforce Lead Alert”
  • With “This is Spam” in the message body

If you go this route, be careful not to make your Validation Rule too generic. You could end up stopping a good lead from coming in. If you do happen to neutralize a good Lead, the lead’s information will be in the “Salesforce Lead Alert” email you received. It’d be a good idea to review those emails from time to time.

This is not a long term solution, but can help alleviate some pain.

An alternative approach would be to do something similar with Workflow Field Update Rules or Lead Assignment Rules and to auto-set the Lead Status to “Spam” or to assign it to a “Spam” queue. Doing this will capture the Lead in the database, but will help segment it out of your way.

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Auto-Complete Lookups

Publisher: Salesforce Labs
Product: Auto-Complete Lookups
AppExchange Page
4star.png

Salesforce Labs has another cool application out on AppExchange. This is a great add-on for usability. It is called Auto-Complete Lookups and it affects Account, Contact and User lookups right now, but more are planned.

Once you install it, you need to visit it’s web tab to get started. From that web tab you will be instructed on how to set it up. In short, what you do is:

  • Generate JavaScript on the Web Tab. Copy it to your clip board
  • Paste the JavaScript into the Messages & Alerts section of the homepage. If you have other text in there for your users, just paste the code at the bottom.
  • On the Setup | Customize | User Interface screen, set the “Show Custom Sidebar Components on All Pages” to true.
  • Start using it
  • After you have completed your third letter, the lookup starts.

    AutoComplete.jpg

    It uses the AJAX toolkit to perform the lookup. In my org, the performance was pretty good. I have no idea how it will perform with a large dataset.

    This is a great add-on that is very easy to implement and could be of great value to end users. I recommend it. It will get 5 stars as soon as it supports all objects.

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Scripting Toolkit

In the feed I use to track new AppExchange applications that get published, I saw an interesting one today from Salesforce Labs called the Scripting Toolkit.

It only installs 1 web tab and the tab points to http://www.interclasse.com/toolkit/ and sends parameters such as your Org ID, Session ID and User ID over to the page. After downloading it, I was a little suspect of the URL, so I went directly to http://www.interclasse.com/toolkit/ and was able to get what I needed.

Basically, the scripting toolkit is a “JavaScript Ajax wrapper around the API”. It only runs on Windows. It is very much like the AJAX toolkit except it also allows you to host your own JS files and run them via a command line rather than using a browser. In other words, you could use it to schedule things or just run JS files (AJAX Toolkit) from your desktop. There are a number of good examples in the documentation. It’s yet another useful way to use the API.

I would assume accessing it via the web tab in the AppExchange package is fine, but you can also get what you need directly from http://www.interclasse.com/toolkit/.

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Apex (sforce) Explorer 8.0

The new Apex Explorer (formerly known as sforce Explorer) has been released. You can download it from the ADN Wiki.

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Form Assembly is available on AppExchange

The Form Assembly, which I reviewed back in September, is now available on the AppExchange. The service is largely the same as when I last reviewed it, but additional functionality is in the works.

The Form Assembly allows you to easily create web forms and collect responses. You build the web forms on their site. To deploy, you have the choice of having your form hosted on formassembly.com or downloading the code needed to run the form on your own site. They have an integration with Salesforce.com to auto-generate web-to-lead forms.

Check it out on AppExchange.

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