Website Contact Forms - Why Have Them?
November 01, 2010 at 2:21 PM
I hear a lot of people say "I don't need a contact form on my website." The general perception can be that a phone number and an email link on the website Contact Us page will do the trick. So why is it important to have a contact form on your website? Does it help to convert more website visitors into enquiries? Here's some food for thought...
When a visitor comes to your website, they'll make the decision to get in touch with you only after they've satisfied some preliminary questions. They need to be sure that you're credible, and that you provide what they're looking for.
The decision to speak to your company can occur when the visitor is at a variety of different places on your website. They may decide to get in touch after reading your company history on your website's About Us page. Or maybe after they've seen completive rates on your website's Prices page. Or maybe after they've seen a great case study or testimonial.
So why does this matter? You need to be constantly prompting the visitor to get in touch with you. As soon as you've gained the necessary credibility and service/product clarity with the visitor, they need to act! Every moment they don't give you their details is a moment you can lose them. Aside from having a contact number staring them in the face on every page (usually top right of the page is the norm), a contact form needs to be there on page as an option.
Why not just a phone number? Because different people work in different ways. Some people are more phone-phobic than others. They're just less likely to pick up the phone because calling a new supplier is a bit intimidating or unpleasant. Some people prefer to write down their requirements so you have more information on their needs before speaking with them. They also may be viewing your website outside business hours, so a phone call isn't going to reach you. Giving people both options ensures you're giving all visitors their preferred method of contact.
OK, so why not just an email link? What's the need for the contact form? Two reasons:
- It's a lot more perceived effort to type out an email, than to just quickly drop your details into a form. An email requires an introduction, sentence structure etc. It just seems like a lot of work. Conversely, a contact form is typically just name, number, email, and message. Remember, you need to make it EASY for your website visitors.
- With a contact form, you actually get the information you need. In an email, someone may not even provide a name, organisation, or contact number, which can make contacting your new enquiry difficult. With a contact form, you ensure that name, number, and email address are required fields. This makes sure you can contact those new enquiries easily.
It takes a lot of effort, marketing dollars, and strategy to drive visitors to your website.
Doesn't it make sense to maximise the chances of them getting in touch with you once they're there? Multiple contact forms and a highly visible phone number on every page is a key component to generating enquiries from your website.