An Open Letter: Let's Put Consumer Consent at the Heart of Lead Generation

No, this is not a lecture but more a call to action and to showcase how we put our money where our mouth is regarding consumer consent in the lead generation ecosystem. With the possible upcoming changes the FCC is proposing, this is probably on many of your minds. As a refresher, consumer consent is when a person consents to a company to use the personal information they provide. Using personal information without consent is illegal in many cases and will be more strict soon. Even though regulation can be a headache, it should be a necessity. As referenced in a previous post, "If you would not let your mother fill out your lead form because of the harassment she would receive, then you have a problem with what you are doing." And if all businesses agree to a similar standard, the industry would improve. 

Shared Responsiblility of Info Security And Privacy

boberdoo's dynamic consent form

As referenced in the link above, you may not be able to sell a lead unless the consumer consents to the exact business to which their information is being sent.  Enter boberdoo's dynamic consent form! This form will allow consumers to consent to whom they want to receive their data. How it works is when the consumer fills out the form, companies that match the input will appear and the consumer will be given the decision to select one or more companies to whom they agree to have their information sent. Here is a quick video illustrating that process. 

What else can my business do? 

Putting consent at the forefront is good for the industry; through this, your leads' quality will also improve. Transparency, transparency, transparency. Did the consumer consent to what you will do with their data? If someone submits their information to you, are you doing what you say you are with their data? Are they just signing up for a newsletter or need a service? What will happen should be at the forefront, not on page nine of the terms and conditions. Be bold, be trustworthy. 

Are you providing a valuable service to the consumer? When they trust you with their personal information, are you working to connect them with what they need? Are you confident it was that person that put their data into the form? Are you checking if it worked out, how long it took and if it was a good experience for them? If they submit the form, will they be bombarded by 20 calls that same day? Lead quality comes from different areas, and some include these questions. You can not expect an angry lead to be a quality one, even if they started that way. 

Does your business have a plan to protect your lead's data? "It is not an issue until it is a problem" should not be the mindset going into this. How would you feel if that was your information? Unfortunately, data leaks and breaches happen but are much less likely to occur with safeguards.

Obviously, not all lead generation companies are bad, but we all know some bad actors that can give the industry a bad name. There is no way you would fly with an airline with a few bad apples as pilots, so you can not blame consumers for being upset at the industry for what the bad apples did with their information. The internet as a whole is changing when it comes to consumer consent, and this can be worrying for some businesses that deal with data, but if you put the consumer first, there will be ways around it, and your business will survive and thrive. 

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