Tips to improve your contact form enquiries!

Ensure your customers can easily and effortlessly use your contact form send you an enquiry.

  1. Only collect the information you need. The more information you request, the more cumbersome your form becomes to use and the greater that a prospect will bail. Nobody really likes filling in forms, the web is no different.So ask whether you really need to know somebody’s surname, job title, country, company name, before asking for all of this. You can always ask for this stuff later, should it be necessary!
  2. Don’t make unnecessary information a requisite for somebody to use your form. Is it absolutely necessary to insist upon having someone’s phone number? Many people won’t be comfortable giving out a telephone number. Would I really want someone I’ve not met to have my number?
  3. Make your form fields big, friendly and enticing to fill in. Plenty of white space and padding, don’t but the text up against the sides
  4. DO NOT use a “Reset” button. If somebody clicks this by mistakes rather than “Send” are they really going to bother to re-type everything? This is about as close to a 10 as you can get in terms of contact form nightmares.
  5. Unlike sending normal email, a contact form has no “sent box” that can be referred back to later, so consider using a form that ensures a carbon copy is sent back to the email address entered into the form.
  6. Do send people to a confirmation once they’ve sent your message and reassure people that the message has actually been sent. Don’t refresh the page, and don’t automatically redirect people back to the home page.A confirmation will also mean you can track and record enquiry goals in Google Analytics!
  7. My general rule of thumb is, don’t make people fill in a subject line as it’s quite possible to spend an eternity thinking what to put!
  8. If you’re going to use form validation please do explain, communicate or demo the format in which it should be entered before allowing people to try to send. Example scenario:Your contact form requires that only numbers be used in the telephone field, however does not make this apparent. Thus when someones tries to enter either +44 0784 245 985 or (0115) 853 2885 or even0115-853-2885 the form would fail to send because of both + and ( ) are used. Better yet, why put this barrier in place?Here’s what it looks like in the real world:
    Contact form phone number validation
  9. Tailor the language used on your form to both your website and in relation to what you are asking people to do. ┬áThere are usually far more ‘people friendly’ words that can be used to replace things like “submit”, “invalid” or “error” etc.
  10. If you use form validation to ensure incorrect information is not entered or prematurely sent, do ensure you tell people precisely what is wrong once the mistake it made. Saying “Errors found in form” is utter useless!

Do you do any of these things? Now is a good time to reassess how effective your contact form is.

4 responses to “10 Simple Tips to Improve your Contact Form Enquiries”

  1. Susan Hallam Susan Hallam says:

    Excellent post, David, and a timely reminder to all of us to quickly and easily fix our Contact Us page, which is such a poweful part of our websites.

    A few more suggestions for Contact Forms:

    1. Be sure to double check the “thank you” page that you send after an enquiry is made. This is one of your best marketing opportunities!

    2. Offer alternatives to contacting you in addition to the form: make your phone number highly visible, as well as other email addresses.

    3. Test your CAPTCHA option, the thing that stops automated robots from filling your web form with spam. Is it so hard to use that it puts people off?

    4. Use radio buttons or drop down boxes to make it easier for people to understand the possible choices.

    • Hai Nguyen says:

      Susan, I agree with you. Using CAPTCHA is good to stop spam but it hard for users and may put them off. That is the reason our contact form don’t use CAPTCHA.

      We use real SPAM patterns and user behavior to verify and stop spam. Eg:
      – Users can not enter and submit form less than 10 seconds.
      – Users can not submit form without click on Send button or type “Enter”
      – And many more spam patterns…

  2. MattWest says:

    Some very good advice. I have to agree with Susan’s comment about giving alternative methods of contacting you. I was reminded of a tool I use on my contact page that lets visitors send your contact details to their phone via sms. it’s pretty easy to set up, could be useful for some websites. oh and it was free.

  3. Rizzk says:

    Great post,
    Good suggestions Susan.
    However I would disagree with
    pointno.2 Offer alternatives to contacting you in addition to the form: make your phone number highly visible, as well as other email addresses.

    Displaying your email ID on the website has its loopholes,
    SPAM mails- One of the main reasons why Contact us form are preferred over displaying email IDs on website.

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