We created TrustedForm in 2010 as an independent lead certification service to build trust between buyers and sellers of internet leads. Our greatest challenge in this mission has been convincing site owners that it is safe to add our script to their forms. In order to facilitate trust, companies must first trust us. Most companies are reluctant to add a third party javascript snippet on their site and understandably so: it opens up all sorts of possibilities to the owner of the script. Ultimately, you have to trust that the provider of the script will do the right thing.

We believe to maintain the trust of the various companies that add our script to their forms we must be totally transparent about what the script does and, just as important, what it doesn’t do. If you place a 3rd party javascript like TrustedForm on your website you should have 100% confidence in knowing how that script is used. Since ActiveProspect was founded 13 years ago we have worked hard to earn trust by operating in an open and transparent way. In this post I’ll review how we demonstrate this through our actions in four key areas: how it works, your data, our business model, and our history.

How it works

We have always been completely open and transparent about how TrustedForm works and have modified the product over the years to address the needs of our partners. The TrustedForm script issues a unique certificate for every lead. A link to that certificate is captured as an additional data field with the rest of the lead data. We provide a public demo on our website so anyone can see exactly what it does. In addition, the script is openly available on our site and doesn’t require you to have an account with us in order to use it. This allows anyone to try it out anonymously. We provide legal terms in the form of our TrustedForm End User License Agreement (EULA) that describes exactly how the product works. Lastly, people are often concerned about our system performance, so we provide a public web page that displays our system’s current and recent status. All aspects of how the product works are openly accessible.

We let both the buyers and sellers of a lead see exactly what is collected in a TrustedForm Certificate. TrustedForm Certificates are openly viewable by any entity that has access to the TrustedForm Certificate URL for the first 3 days after creation. Simply click on the TrustedForm Certificate URL to view it; there is no need for an account with us to view a certificate during the first 3 days. One reason we do this is so the company issuing certificates can see what TrustedForm collects on their site before they start sending them to their buyers.

We built TrustedForm under the assumption that people would try to trick it (and they have tried). The script doesn’t rely on any vendor reported data. Taking this approach means you can trust the data TrustedForm captures, because it’s impartial and independent.

Your data

Our approach to the data captured by TrustedForm is pretty simple:  it’s your data, not ours. Therefore, we are committed to protecting it. This is the commitment we make to you in exchange for your trust and the privilege of serving your needs.

The same goes for your web traffic. We believe that despite adding our script to your site, we still have no rights to your site visitors. We track what happens, the moment it happens, on the page where our script is placed. We don’t cookie your visitors or track their behavior across the network of other sites where our script is placed. We won’t reveal to another company when someone is visiting your website. We strive to provide value to our customers while protecting the rights of the site owner and consumer privacy.

While we don’t use your proprietary information, we also must protect what you consider to be proprietary from your partners with whom you may share a TrustedForm Certificate. For example, we hide query string data that could reveal search terms or traffic sources. We give control to the lead seller to determine how much information they share with partners. They can specify whether referrer URLs are collected. In addition, account holders can pass masked certificates to their partners, which mask both the origin of the lead (website URL) and the video replay. This allows them to protect source information while still enabling their partners to independently verify TCPA compliance for every lead. With masked certificates, the account holder has total control over if and when they decide to reveal the complete certificate to their partners. And, since we use a universal script that is the same for all accounts and contains no unique identifiers, we can’t track which sites are owned or operated by a particular account.

If TrustedForm Certificates aren’t claimed by a paying customer, we delete them. In other words, if a customer hasn’t specifically asked us to store data on their behalf, we don’t store it. If our customers don’t need their data, there is no point in us keeping it. It only makes sense to incur the costs of storing massive amounts of data if you plan to monetize it in some way – we don’t.

Our business model

The TrustedForm script is used for one product: TrustedForm. We don’t use the script, or the information captured by the script, for any other products or sources of revenue. We believe the data gathered by the script belongs to the site that generated that data and any of their lead buyers with whom they choose to share it.

We charge a transaction fee to claim a TrustedForm Certificate in addition to a separate monthly storage fee. Everything, other than long-term storage, is included in the transaction fee. Capture all the data collected, see a video replay of the form interaction, and scan the page for TCPA disclosure language to verify consent in real-time – all for one price.

We charge for storage separately because it’s important to be transparent about our fees in the event a customer ever wants to stop using TrustedForm. Therefore, a customer can stop using TrustedForm and just pay for the storage fees for the old certificates. They don’t have to keep paying any ongoing subscriptions, and they can store their Certificates with us as long as they want. While breaking these fees apart may seem more complicated, we believe it’s the fairest way to price the service. It makes it easy for customers to stop using the service while still retaining all of their historical data.

Our history

A lot has changed over the years, but the TrustedForm business model hasn’t. We’ve been consistent in our mission and have never used the TrustedForm script for any other purpose. The TrustedForm script is used to certify internet leads. Period.

We’ve grown a great deal over the years, and we currently capture 10 billion user events per month across thousands of websites. TrustedForm is trusted by some of the biggest brands in the world. We’ve made a significant, positive impact on the lead generation ecosystem and we are very proud of that.

We’ve worked hard to dramatically reduce our storage costs and have passed those savings to our customers, literally reducing our storage fees by 99% since we first launched.

While we created TrustedForm as a lead certification service, the reality is that many of our clients now use it for TCPA compliance. We’ve helped protect our customers from numerous consumer complaints and lawsuits.

Our actions illustrate our resolve to be authentically open and transparent, and we will continue to be so. For those of you who have trusted us by placing our script on your websites, thank you for your ongoing support. Our business depends on your trust, and therefore it means everything to us.