If you own a website, you likely have a place on your site where visitors can fill in their contact information and send you a message – this is your contact form. As a small business owner, having a contact form is a necessity. Contact forms make it easy for your customers to ask a question or send in a comment. In fact, it may be the main source through which customers submit a complaint and in many cases, a contact form helps you avoid publishing an email address on your site.
Of course, there are certain features that all contact forms should have, especially if you want your form to help increase sales and business. Remember, the contact form is all about making it easy to get in touch with you, so keep that general principle in mind.
The important components of the contact form include:
- Name of individual (required)
- Email (required)
- Subject (optional)
- Phone (optional)
- Message (required)
Your contact form should be set up in a way that individuals who want to get in contact with you can type in their name and e-mail address so that after you receive their message, you can easily respond back to them and can even refer to them by name. The name, email, and message are the absolute minimum, but make it easier for them to provide a phone and subject if they want to.
The category section can be important because this is a way for the individual to choose the specific category that relates to the type of message they are sending. For example, they may have an inquiry or they may be providing feedback to you. The message section is, of course, most important. This section will be where they talk to you about whatever it is that they need. Often the category section is a drop-down box with several options from which customers can choose.
What NOT to Do
Avoid using CAPTCHA or other human-checking gimmicks. This is a contact form, not a comment on a blog. Avoid any unneccesary steps with the contact form. The more hurdles you put in front of the customer, the less likely they will be to use the form at all. And don’t forget, sometimes those human-checking systems fail resulting in a frustrated customer.
Also do not forget about those mobile customers. The use of mobile devices for accessing websites is continually on the rise. Make sure your contact form can be used on any device, not just a desktop computer.
In addition to the contact form, make a direct email and phone number by which customers can contact you, especially if your website is an ecommerce one. While the contact form can serve as a primary method of getting in touch, some customers feel much more comfortable picking up the phone or sending an email directly from their address.
Don’t just throw up any contact form. Make sure that it is catered to your ideal customer or client. Otherwise, you may end up losing conversions because prospects are too frustrated or intimidated to complete your form.