Web Design  |  Graphic Design  |  Branding
 

Brighter Design Blog

Comment and insights from the world of advertising, branding and web development.

Why all website contact forms should look like this

Phil Roberts - Wednesday, October 19, 2011
RSS
enquiry form

How much time did you spend considering the contact page of your website? I’m guessing not that much. In this article I’d like to encourage you to think again.

Website design can be an exhilarating experience for both the web designer and the soon-to-be new site owner. However in all the excitement the humble contact form is often overlooked. The significant function that this form carries out and it’s direct relation to the success of your business would suggest it requires more thoughtful consideration.

Minimize friction to maximise sales leads

One of the general tenets of website strategy is to "reduce friction", that is to allow website visitors to navigate and complete website goals with ease. In the case of your website’s enquiry form, this is achieved by ensuring the form is as brief as possible. Too many form fields naturally put people off. (Recently I encountered one with a massive 32 fields but that’s another story.)

Because of this your website’s contact form probably only consists of name, email and your enquiry fields. Which is a good start but at this point I’d suggest a fraction more friction.

How you’ve lost a prospective customer without doing anything bad

The purpose of your website’s contact form is to deliver sales leads into your business. Sometimes, even though prospects sucessfully complete the form – and submit it – you lose them. Why? Simple human error. Not yours but theirs: they’ve typed their email address incorrectly.

Fast forward to a few days later and your prospect is already beginning to dislike your service. They may even start complaining to friends, colleagues or (worse still) to everyone via Social Media. This is poison for your business and your reputation.

Seen from their point of view it’s understandable: they sent an enquiry days ago and nobody in your company has replied. From your point of view, you may well have replied but as their email was incorrectly typed you have no other way of contacting them.

It’s true, there may also be a contact phone number field in your enquiry form but generally frequency of this is low. Prospects can also be reluctant to complete this for fear of sales calls.

Why a little more friction will secure more sales leads for you

The simple addition of a second form field is all that is needed. Asking users to type their email address again will encourage more careful typing. Granted, it’s not foolproof as some may simply copy and paste the first into the second. However, its a fix that requires the minimum of effort – a small price for getting a few more leads.

Don’t change your enquiry form until you’ve read this last little bit

Your contact form is also an opportunity for you, the business owner to find out where your prospects are coming from. A straightforward "how did you here about us" will tell you all you need to know about the success (or not) of your current marketing. Use a dropdown menu to list specifics. e.g. Google Search, Radio Ad, Referral, Newspaper ad etc to get the most from this crucial touchpoint.

Comments
Post has no comments.
Post a Comment




Captcha Image

Trackback Link
http://brighterdesign.co.nz/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=6807&PostID=134285&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.