Contact Page Best Practices: Ask for Less Info, Get More Conversions

Your web contact page is a key tool for converting visitors into customers. It’s not just a form that you tack onto your website. Think of your contact page as a personal invitation to connect with you.

So, if you were a new visitor to your site, how would you want to be greeted? What would encourage you to give up your name, email, possibly your phone number, and leave a message? What reassurance would you need that your information and query be kept confidential?

Keep these questions in mind as you determine what to include in your contact form. Here are some guidelines to remember:

Identify Your Goal
Why do you want visitors to contact you in the first place? Are you building an email list of qualified customers? Encouraging potential customers to speak to you in person? Asking for donations to your non-profit? Whatever your goal, be clear about what you want to accomplish. This defines what information you need to collect, how you’ll store and retrieve it, and how you’ll act on it.

Welcome Your Visitor With Friendly, Clear Directions
Forms are cold. Open your contact page with a few welcoming sentences that explain why you want the information you’re requesting, how it will be used and how you are ensuring confidentiality. Thank your visitor for contacting you. A little courtesy goes a long way.

Make Your Form Easy to Complete
Unless you have a really good reason, limit your required fields to name, email, an option for a phone number and best times to contact, and a short message. Most visitors won’t have the time or desire to give you any more information than that.

Give Your Visitor an Incentive to Complete the Form
If you’re offering helpful information or a free consult, let your visitor know how soon you’ll be in touch—within 24 hours or one business day, for example. Then exceed your promise. If you’re using a form to build an email list, provide some useful, free content as a download, such as an Ebook or white paper, in exchange for their contact information.

Auto-respond With a Thank You Confirmation
When your visitor clicks the submit button, use an automated response, either on the web page itself or as an email, thanking her for contacting you and confirming that her inquiry was received and you’ll be in touch soon.

Use a CAPTCHA Code to Avoid Spam
A CAPTCHA code is that jumble of distorted letters that your visitor must recognize and type into a field before submitting the form. This ensures that it’s a real person, not an Internet bot, who’s completing your contact form.

Include Your Contact Information
Not everyone wants to complete a form. Some people would rather call you or send you an email. Be sure to include your basic contact information: your name and title, mailing address (if appropriate—if you work out of your home, you may want to exclude this), phone, FAX and email. You may want to include a Google Map with links to directions, as well. For an office or store, add your business hours of operation.

These are just the basics. If you need to collect more information, be sure you have a good, strategic reason. For any information you gather through a contact form, be sure you have a efficient way to store and retrieve it.

Above all, keep the process of contacting you simple, pleasant and efficient, and you’ll improve your chances of building your inquiry pool of qualified customers.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.


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