Occasionally we come across companies that tell us they are planning to build their own solution to document consent for regulations like TCPA and CASL. We strongly recommend against this for the 10 reasons below. If you don’t use our solution, use one of our competitors. Just don’t build your own.
- Independent – In a lawsuit it is your word against theirs. Having a neutral independent party provide evidence in your defense can be the difference. The problem with storing your own documentation is that you can manipulate it. The data collected by TrustedForm Certificates cannot be manipulated by anyone – not by you or your lead vendors. Therefore, it is far better evidence than anything internally produced.
- Complexity – If you are going to protect yourself, you should have the highest level of proof possible. The best proof is a video replay of what happened on the page. What phone number did this consumer input on the page? Did they actually click the consent checkbox? What did this consumer actually see? TrustedForm captures every event on the page (form inputs, mouse movements,and clicks) and renders that activity in the form of a video. This is very difficult to build. In fact, our competitors don’t even have this capability. At a minimum you must have a real-time screenshot, but that can still be insufficient.
- Compatibility – The solution must work with every possible browser and operating system combination that visits your website. This is one of the biggest challenges for TrustedForm. We test over a thousand unique browser and operating system configurations including on-device mobile tests to ensure compatibility. With over 7 years of experience running TrustedForm in production, we have encountered thousands of edge cases that required custom handling. It is critical that we ensure our script never breaks anything on the page.
- Performance – Uptime is critical to always capture consent and maintain website performance. If the service goes down, then the value during that time is zero. Your TCPA solution must be scalable. TrustedForm boasts excellent historical uptime, notably at 100% for 2017. Our uptime is publicly available on our site. TrustedForm currently process over 15,000 user generated events per second and 130 Mbs of compressed inbound traffic.
- Adoption – If you purchase leads from 3rd party vendors, they must also agree to place your script on their web forms. This can be incredibly difficult as companies are naturally averse to placing any 3rd party scripts on their websites. We have spent over 7 years gaining the trust of lead vendors to allow our script. Our script has been adopted by hundreds of lead providers across thousands of websites. Often times you compete with your partners for the same web traffic. Do you think they want you to potentially have access to their traffic sources? It is hard enough to gain adoption as an independent third party, but no vendor is going to want to expose what they do to a competitor.
- Cost – Building a custom software solution can be incredibly expensive. We have invested millions of dollars in TrustedForm. In addition to the cost of actually building the solution, companies must consider the cost of hosting such an application at scale. Beyond build and hosting costs, there is the added overhead of maintaining an application and supporting users. Any company should do their homework on the complexity and headaches associated.
- Verification – In addition to documenting what happened on the web form, TrustedForm allows you to scan the page in real-time to verify your required consent language was present before accepting the lead into your CRM. This is an important feature to allow you to automatically verify compliance in real-time.
- Data – TrustedForm is more than a TCPA solution – it is also an important source of data that you can use to optimize your lead generation campaigns. With TrustedForm, all the data that is displayed on a certificate is available programmatically via API call. You get data like lead age, time on page, geo-location, browser, operating system, website domain, etc. All this data can be used for real-time decisions or analytics.
- Sharing – You need to be able to easily share documentation with 3rd parties in a simple fashion. The goal is to never let a complaint escalate to a lawsuit. Complaints need to be addressed quickly with compelling evidence. TrustedForm certs are easily accessed directly from the lead record in your database. They can then be directly reviewed and then emailed to 3rd parties. TrustedForm Certificates have proven to be highly effective at making complaints go away.
- Storage – You need to maintain these records for 5 years. A lot can happen in 5 years. To build your own solution, you are therefor committing to at least 5 years of support and overhead, before even figuring out if it works.
We believe that anyone considering a custom internally built solution should complete a thorough build vs. buy analysis. While we feel strongly (for the reasons above) that you shouldn’t build your own solution, there may be other reasons you are considering building your own solution. If that is the case, please have a candid conversation with us about your situation. Typically the decision to build is driven by cost or the need for functionality that isn’t available in existing solutions. If you are willing to explain your needs to us, we will do our best to address them.