Every website has one, but not every website’s ‘Contact Us’ page has been designed carefully and thoughtfully in order to give the best chance for conversions. You have no doubt got a strong SEO campaign on the go, which, combined with your sterling social media efforts and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is generating a pretty decent stream of traffic through your site. But, even with all this extra traffic, you may still be finding that you are still not acquiring as many leads as you think your popularity justifies.
The truth is that generating traffic is one thing, but if you are unable to convert those visitors into genuine leads then it can all seem like a bit of a wasted effort. Strong conversion begins with the ever-present and ever-important, yet too-often-neglected part of your website. The contact form.
We’ve all encountered bad contact forms as we’ve been browsing. And there are indeed lots of elements that can render a contact form to be ineffective. Put simply, a strong form will generate leads, but a bad one will cost you them. From a design perspective, there are a number of things to consider when crafting an effective contact form, and most of them come down to functionality and user experience (UX). So, let’s take a look at what you should be doing when designing the perfect contact form for your busy website.
Keep It Short
There’s nothing more off-putting to a potential lead, who, even though has thus far been rather impressed with your website and what you have to offer, than a ridiculously long contact form, asking them for all sorts of information from their home address to their place of work. Of course you want to get as mush information as you can out of your visitors – where they heard about you, where they’re from, the various means to contact them, their demographic information – as this is all very useful to you. But, unfortunately, if it’s leads that you’re after, then asking people to give up their life stories will only work against you. You don’t like it when a website asks you for too much information, so don’t expect your visitors to like it either.
Put simply, nobody likes long contact forms. They take too long to fill out, and these days we all expect our online activities to be instantaneous. So, keep your contact form short. Ask them for their name and their email, and provide a space for their message to you. But that’s it. The important thing is to generate the lead in the first place, then, as you engage in further exchanges you can start to ask for more information.
Keep It Basic
Don’t be afraid of white (or whatever colours you are using in your site design) space around your contact form. You don’t want your user’s to be distracted at all or otherwise have to think about what you are asking them to do. All that matters are those boxes that you want them to fill out.
In the same vein, make sure that your contact page is easily locatable from anywhere on your website. Always display the ‘Contact Us’ option clearly from the top menu of every page, and of course slot in those bold links throughout your text which say ‘get in touch to find out more’, or what have you.
Your call to action (CTA) on your contact page also needs to be strong and clear and obvious. Choose a contrasting colour for your button, and avoid the default copy of ‘Submit’ if you can. Indeed, according to Unbounce’s infographic, using the less intimidating “Click here” achieves 30% more conversions than “Submit”, and “Go” 25% more. So, stick with one of these as they appear less committal.
Design For The Mobile
One day it is not too far-fetched to suspect that mobile views of a website will take over those that occur on desk or laptops. Already more and more of your visitors are accessing your site on their smartphone or tablet, which means that fewer and fewer are using the wider displays which you have probably designed you website for. Your site in general, and especially your contact page, needs to be responsive for the mobile. If it is at all glitchy, won’t click through, the wrong size or simply perhaps just doesn’t work on the mobile, then you are losing leads regularly. Users simply will not bother revisiting your site when they finally get back home to their desktop and fill out your form later. It has to work, and work smoothly, on whichever device they happen to find you on.
Account For User Errors
From time to time, users will make errors when filling out your contact form. It’s inevitable. They’ll leave something blank, or mis-type their email or what have you. When they click on the CTA, what happens? You need to make sure that your users are sent back to the form with a clear and precise error message displayed, and, very importantly, your users should not be presented with a completely blank form which forces them to start all over again. They won’t. They simply need to fix the error, and then resubmit.
You website’s contact page is an important tool for generating and tracking leads, and should work, look and feel as an extension of your website. Don’t ask for too much information, account for user errors, and make sure that it’s responsive on the mobile screen and you should start to see more of that traffic turning into quality leads.