One doesn’t create a website to remain low profile and anonymous. You need people to know about you and the product, service or idea that you are promoting. There are many people out there that wish to contact you. Perhaps they want to exchange feedback or comment on an article that you posted. It’s possible that people want to review product details and pricing before making a buying decision. To fulfill these purposes, and to engage visitors constructively, websites dedicate a page to create a valid contact form.
How you create a contact form depends on the platform you have chosen to build your website. Contact Form 7, for example, hosted by WordPress, is a free plugin that comes with a step-by-step guide from installation to setup. For some really cool and creative designs, you can also use HTML CSS coding snippets.
The contact form at a very basic level is a listing of data fields capturing information that the visitor fills in before sending it to your email. The form may begin with a prompt ‘Contact us,” followed by the name of the customer, email address, subject matter, and the message. Clicking ‘Send message’ routes the data to the company mail address.
You could very well post your email address and be done with it. Why should you make the customer go through the formality of filling in a contact form? The contact form extends benefits both to the customer and the business organization. For the customer, it’s the single most important window opening up the company – the first point of contact in the visitor’s effort to engage the promoters of the site.
Three Basic Reasons That Prompt a Customer to Use a Valid Contact Form
No matter how focused you are on extending great customer service, you can’t reach everyone; you can’t please everyone. You’ll encounter satisfied customers, dissatisfied ones, and people that love to chat you up on what they consider to be an interesting product. The key is to make the most of each customer interaction and resolve issues in such a manner that it pleases everyone.
- Feedback: The visitor makes general comments on a topic that engages him or offers feedback on a product he has reviewed.
- Clarifications: This visitor needs company information or seeks a clarification that only you can provide.
- Consumer service/ product related requests: The visitor wants specific information on a service you provide or a product you sell.
How Companies Benefit by Using Valid Contact Forms
If your website doesn’t have a contact form, you’re losing a wonderful opportunity to interact with customers. Contact forms help process leads, convert queries into sales, and give you better insights into consumer psychology.
- You protect your email: Unprotected email addresses will submerge your inbox with spam mail, making it difficult to identify and respond to genuine customer emails. Through contact forms, only the right person with the right intention gets to engage you.
- You control the flow of information: When you present limited data fields, the visitor enters specific information. This brings uniformity to each message and makes it easier to process data in the back office. Filters can be added to categorize information.
- You heighten the convenience factor: the company telephone number or email opens you up to customer requests at odds hours when you are unable to respond. Frustrated visitors may question time lapses and delays. With a contact form, customers hit the send button without opening an email box, and you receive filtered messages that can be systematically responded.
Best Practices for Creating High Converting Contact Forms
Contact forms can’t be left to fend for themselves. A great contact form that is well designed should be compelling enough to encourage users to contact you. You need to tweak or redesign their layout to present impressive contact forms which spur customer conversions. Conversion rate experts explain the best practices that transform your contact form into a work of art that’ll draw appreciation from visitors:
Automatically Validate Email Addresses
An address verification and cleaning tool will ensure that bots and spammers won’t target your mail. Only genuine deliverable email addresses will reach your inbox.
Ensure Phone Number Validation
Contact Form Layout: Simple Is Beautiful
Eye-tracking studies reveal that data fields should be short and left-to-right in orientation. Labels ought to be placed on top of the field, and a single row of fields is ideal.
Position Contact Forms Above the Fold to Maximize Impact
Contact forms should be boldly outlined and centralized above the page fold, and nothing should obscure their view.
Restrict the Total Number of Fields
Studies indicate that three fields keep the page optimized for maximum conversion. In any case, never exceed five fields.
Captchas Should Be Removed
Captchas may be effective in stopping spam but they may also irritate visitors by wasting their time. Studies indicate that captchas make you lose at least 3 percent of all conversions.
Never Insist on Phone Numbers
People are wary of parting with personal phone numbers fearing telemarketing calls. At worst, visitors squeamish about contact information may feed fake numbers to throw sites off the track. Making this field optional is a good way of reducing visitor attrition.
Include Examples of Social Proof
More conversions occur when examples are provided of an industry expert approving the product, or a celebrity endorsing the service in social media. Quoting a study or a finding is equally effective; ‘63% of user reviews approve this form of advertising’ is one example.
Explain How You’ll Respond
Reassure visitors who press the send button by leaving another field or a popup explaining how you propose to act on their feedback message. It does wonders to improve conversion rates.
Avoid Flashing an Error Message
Nothing irritates a visitor more than a popup error message pointing out what they’ve done wrong. Allow visitors the freedom to write naturally and respond spontaneously. You’ll lose customers if you get them to fill up forms a second time.
Incentivize Contact Form Submission
Visitors will trust you a lot more if you make them feel their advice or feedback is valued. Deciding what becomes just the right reward for a visitor is entirely up to you, but what you offer should be convincing.
Contact form tweaks and design changes that we’ve suggested are not silver-bullet remedies for conversions. What works for you can only be determined through trial and error. But if you feel strongly about website optimization and SEO practices, these tips will lay the foundation for active visitor engagement. All of these guidelines have been rigorously tested and their usability is assured. Use our tips to ensure that your website delivers a warm and friendly interaction with visitors using valid contact forms, transforming every interaction into an active conversion.