February 24th, 2014 by Doug
Contact forms are a fantastic way for a practice or business to deliver better customer service. The easy-to-use interface of simply typing information in right on a website removes the extra step of having to open an email service or pick up the phone and call during business hours.
Contact forms also make it easier for you to get valuable information about your visitors, transform your traffic into qualified leads, and hopefully increase the amount of business you receive.
How can you be sure that you’re taking full advantage of this fantastic opportunity to truly measure your return on investment? Follow these simple do’s and don’ts of contact forms.
Make Your Contact Form Accessible
Put your contact form in a visible, accessible location. Place it close to the top of the page or at least above the fold. Make sure you have a contact form on every page that’s meant to increase business.
Track Every Conversion
Google Analytics can easily track when a submission is made. Knowing which pages are converting and which aren’t is a great way to shore up those weaknesses in your content.
Utilize ‘Thank You’ Pages
Instead of a simple, “Your form has been accepted,” why not include before and after photos for the procedure they were looking at, or direct them to an area of your site that will better prepare them for when you make contact.
Keep Mobile in Mind
More visitors than ever are using mobile devices when searching. Most of our clients with mobile-friendly sites see at least 40 to 50 percent of their traffic from mobile devices. Be sure your forms are usable on all devices.
Ask for Too Much Information
I have to chuckle at some of the contact forms I’ve seen over the years. I’ve seen everything from Skype usernames being a mandatory field to contact forms with over fifty fields. You know what information you need to take the next step: name, email, and maybe a phone number. Why scare people off when you can easily get the other information later?
Hide Your Contact Form
Very few visitors will scroll to the bottom of a page to find a tiny little contact form. Even fewer will change pages to hunt for a way to make contact. Studies we’ve conducted show that up to 70 percent of all traffic will leave your site when forced to change pages. That’s 7 out of 10 potential leads immediately lost if you force visitors to convert only on a ‘contact us’ page.
Make Phone Numbers Mandatory
People are naturally private, and a phone number is considered much more permanent and personal than an email address. It’s easy to filter spam email, but when the wrong people get your number it’s a nightmare. Ease them into the process, and get a phone number after the initial contact via email.
Use Annoying Validation
Cutting back on spam is important, but no one likes annoying captchas and verification images. Handle all of that on the server side and remove the friction and frustration associated with having to guess what those scribbled letters mean.
Remember, you’re looking for that initial contact. The first few touchpoints are crucial, and contact forms should be working for your business – not against it!