How many interested customers or clients reach out to you via your contact form?
Besides your checkout page, your contact page is one of the most important on your entire site. This is especially true if you are offering a service based business that relies on people reaching out to you in order to proceed further.
When it comes to design however, many businesses pay little attention to their contact page and their contact form.
Even though it seems like such a simple, even mundane component of your website it is actually extremely important.
In fact, making the following tweaks and change to your contact form have resulted in conversion rates being boosted by nearly 30 percent.
That is a huge increase when you factor in how many of those leads you can convert in to life long customers.
When your contact page is easy to use and interested clients and customers feel confident and comfortable to reach out to you, it increases your leads and allows you to grow your list at a faster rate, which means more customers and more profits.
By making these 10 simple changes, your contact page will become a crazy successful lead magnet that will help you to grow your business.
Ready? Let’s get started…
Before we go into the changes that you need to make to your contact form, there are two very important things that you need to consider first-
Number #1: What reasons would people need to contact you for?
In order to create a solid contact page you have to ask yourself this question- what are the main reasons that cause people to contact my business?
The top reasons that interested customers or even existing customers reach out to a business include-
- help with navigating the website
- asking a question about a product or service
- needing help with a return or exchange
- a wholesale request
- a vendor inquiry
- a quote or consultation
- media or press requests
- affiliate requests
- hours of operation/business location
By getting clear about the uses of your contact page, it can help you to keep your intention in mind as you tweak a few things and track conversions.
Number #2: The Power of the Contact Form
The contact form has a lot of power when it comes to boosting your conversion rate and sales. Don’t believe me? Here is an excellent case study example from Click Optimise.
The brand Click Optimise had around 3,800 monthly visits to their site. Of these visitors, only 56 completed and reached out to the company via the contact page.
By making some tweaks that we are about to share with you here, Click Optimise was able to increase the number of people who used the contact page to 175.
A similar case study was seen with the brand, Imaginary Landscape. There contact form was converting at around 5 percent, but with a few simple changes and by following these ten tweaks, the company was able to increase their conversions to 12 percent. This is a huge increase considering that it took Imaginary Landscape hardly any time to make the changes.
If you want to see the same results for your contact page, here is what you need to do-
1. First and Foremost- Build Trust
Building a trusting relationship between your brand and your potential customers and existing customers is so important.
When you have a clear way for people to contact you, it helps to build a more trusting relationship and instantly allows your potential customers and customers to feel more confident and secure in doing business with you.
Building trust occurs on more than just your contact page however. Your entire website and tone need to convey trust from the very beginning.
When customers or leads trust your brand, they may also be more likely to reach out to you and share their personal contact information.
Especially if you have a long contact form or if you need to collect personal details, it is so important that your brand appears trusting and responsible. Without this, interested parties may never leave their details with you.
In order to convey trust on your contact page, consider making the following changes-
- Clarify how you plan to use their personal information and state what the purpose is for the form- why do you need certain information?
- Have a range of ways for people to connect with you such as social media and email- not just through your contact form.
- Place trust signals on your site such as any affiliations, certificates, awards and memberships.
- Use social proof to show that other people or brands have trusted and worked with you in the past. Aim to include testimonials with faces.
- Offer your own contact information in exchange- how can you expect customers to leave their personal information if you don’t reciprocate in some way?
These changes will make it easier for customers and interested customers to trust you and your brand, and that can go a long way when it comes to earning more leads and more life-long customers.
2. The Perfect Number of Form Fields
Your contact form may require different fields depending on your business and the services that you offer.
It is often believed that the less form fields you have to fill out, the higher your conversion rate and while this is true most of the time, it may not always be the case.
One example of this comes from Kindercare, which is a famous childcare chain located in America.
They found that by increasing the number of fields for parents to fill out, their conversion rate remained the same and they were able to respond to queries quicker and more effectively.
By gaining more information, they were able to better direct parents to the right answer and reduce the load off their customer service team.
There are certain industries that people don’t mind filling out additional information, but this is something that you will need to test and monitor on your own.
Having more fields to fill out may also increase the perceived value of your brand and make your potential customers feel as if your brand is more exclusive.
It may help to keep in mind however, that research does show that a smaller number of fields tends to work best.
In fact, one study conducted by Dan Zarrella found that out of 40,000 contact forms, conversion rates doubled when the fields were reduced from four to three.
These are significant statistics, but it has to also make sense for your brand and what you offer.
If you want to experiment with shortening the length of your contact form, but don’t want to compromise on the information you are gaining from interested customers, a two-step contact forms may be the way to go.
These contact forms create the illusion that they are quicker and easier to fill out and have been shown to increase conversions by up to 59 percent.
When it comes to choosing what fields you want your contact form to have, the bottom line is this- only ask for what information is 100 percent necessary.
When you take this approach, it will allow your contact forms to be organically effective to both your business and the customer.
To really determine the perfect number of field options on your contact form, you have to test it out and see what it is going to work best for your brand.
3. Avoid Mandatory Form Fields
Does your contact form have mandatory fields? If so, you may want to reconsider this.
Having mandatory fields was once believed to ensure that your leads were qualified and really interested in your products and services, but this is not always the case.
In fact, having mandatory fields can actually scare away more qualified leads than they attract.
Research has also shown that by removing required fields, conversion rates were boosted by up to 31 percent and there was no increase in unqualified leads.
If you have mandatory fields on your contact form, experiment with ditching them and see if it makes a difference.
Remember, it can be more effective and more powerful to allow your customer to decide what information that want to devulge to your company.
4. Be Careful What You Ask For
As we have already mentioned – only ask for information that is 100 percent necessary.
When you start asking for additional information on your contact form, it just gives more reasons for people to avoid filling out the form altogether.
You also have to consider what your goals are when it comes to your contact form.
There may be opportunities for you to get additional information later down the track when you have the lead in your system, so keep this in mind and consider staggering out the information you collect.
There are certain questions or fields that have been shown to detract leads more than others and you should definitely avoid asking these questions if possible.
These detracting fields include the following-
- Asking for age reduces conversions by 3 percent
- Asking for a telephone number reduces conversions by 5 percent
- Asking for targeted geographic data such as city and state reduces conversions by 2 percent
- Asking for specific address information such as your street address or number reduces conversions by 4 percent.
Even though these percentages may seem small, put this case study from the travel site, Expedia in perspective-
Expedia eliminated just one field from their contact form which asked for a “company name”. By removing just this one field, Expedia were able to increase their conversion rates and see a whopping $12 million increase in profits.
Another study found that by making the phone field optional, conversion rates increased from 4.2 percent to 8 percent.
This just shows you have to be very careful when it comes to the information that you ask your leads or existing customers to provide.
Bottom line- only ask for information that is 100 percent necessary and be careful what information you ask for.
5. Make it Mobile Friendly
Most websites are now receiving majority of their traffic from mobile users.
Research currently shows that 80 percent of smartphone users browse the internet using their device. This number is only said to increase, so in order to keep up with the trends, your contact form has to work for mobile devices and tablets.
For a mobile friendly contact form, consider making the fields large and easy to read and use a larger “submit” button so it is touch screen friendly.
If you are a brick and mortar business, having a solid contact page is also extremely important if you want potential customers to be able to find your business or contact your business when they are on the move.
You may even want to consider installing a map or syncing your map with a GPS program like Google Maps or Waze so people can find your business easily no matter where they are. This can be a particularly effective strategy for restaurants and smaller boutique shops.
6. Choose A Minimalistic Design
Simply designed contact pages and forms tend to perform better than those that are richly designed. This is due to the fact that minimalist designs appear to be simpler and therefore, more welcoming to fill out.
Richly designed contact forms usually offer a lot of distractions and can deter interested customers from completing the form.
Research has shown that the following design elements can negatively effect conversions when it comes to contact forms-
- drop down fields were shown to reduce conversion rates by up to 16 percent
- right aligned labels on the top of the fields were shown to decrease readability
- two columns were shown to create confusion
- labels on the bottom of the fields were shown to also create confusion
- wide gaps between fields were shown to reduce gaze time in an eye tracking study
7. Follow the Tone of Your Brand
Chances are you work hard to ensure that your website reflects the overall tone and style of your brand, and your contact form or page should be no different.
In order to continue building trust, your contact page and form should reflect the overall tone of your brand and be aligned with the message that you are trying to send to your customers.
Maintaining branding on your contact page is definitely something to observe, but your branding efforts shouldn’t just end there. Even your response or automated email should reflect the overall tone and style of your brand.
8. Be Original
Instead of using the same old contact forms with fields, why not try a different approach?
There are so many different ways to obtain information and have your customers fill out their details.
This includes connecting with potential and existing customers through-
- Social media
- Google Hangouts
- Project Planner
These are just some examples of how you can connect with your leads without having to go through a traditional contact form.
When you offer alternatives, it may also help to appeal to a wider audience and increase the number of leads reaching out to you.
9. Split Test Your Call to Action
Your call to action is one of the most important features on your contact form. Most marketers know the effect a call to action can have, but often they fail to consider the call to action on contact forms.
When it comes to which call to action is going to work best, you really need to test and assess what is going to work for your individual brand. Split test a few options and see what earns you a higher conversion rate.
If you are wondering where to begin, research shows that “submit” is probably one of the least effective call to actions a contact form can have. This is interesting, because submit is probably one of the most common call to actions.
One study even found that using the call to action, “submit” reduced conversion rates by nearly 3 percent. “Download” and “Register” also reduced conversion rates by 15 percent and 10 percent respectively.
The same study however, found that using “Click Here” resulted in a 30 percent increase in conversions and “Go” resulted in a 25 percent increase.
Experimenting with “Click Here” and “Go” may be a good place to start, but get creative with your call to actions and see if they can help to boost conversion rates.
10. Remove Captcha
Protecting your contact forms from spam is important, especially when millions and millions of spam emails are sent out everyday.
While security is important, having a captcha on your contact forms has been shown to dramatically reduce conversions.
Often captcha forms can be so difficult to decode that even the average person can struggle with them. When this happens, customers ditch your contact form altogether and go in search of something else.
While captcha may help prevent some spammers, it definitely cannot deter them all. Spammers are very good at overriding captcha’s and will find a host of other means to get your email address. This is a good point to consider if you are weighing up the value of your captcha.
To further add to the point, captcha’s reduced conversion rates by as much as 3 percent, which just goes to show that they may be doing more than just preventing spammers.
Captchas can be frustrating for customers and leads, so consider testing your contact form without them to see if it really makes a difference.
Is a couple more spammy emails worth the extra customers? Probably.
You can spend all the time in the world making an effective and great contact form, but you have to also remember to reply! It seems obvious but replying in a timely manner is so important if you want to turn that lead into a customer.
So much can happen in a few hours after a lead has sent that contact request, so don’t delay and aim to reply as soon as possible.
You may also want to consider installing and immediate “thank you for your submission” page or banner which pops up after your contact form has been used.
You can also have an automated email go out that explains when your customer can expect to hear from you.
It is these little details that can really help your business to stand out and make your customers and potential customers feel safe and supported when it comes to doing business with your brand.
Your contact form is one of the most important features of your website and when you learn how to maximise your contact form by following these tips, a massive increase in conversions is likely to follow.
Most brands spend a lot of time designing and perfecting their website and landing pages and forget all about the contact form, which is often the most important part!
By simply paying attention to your contact form and getting clear about its purpose and what your customers are using it for, it can go a long way to helping you boost conversions.
Here are the top tips to takeaway when it comes to optimising your contact form-
- Avoid collecting unnecessary information
- Aim to stick to 3-4 fields as a general rule of thumb
- If you have to ask for more than 3-4 fields, consider a 2-step contact form
- Avoid having mandatory fields that users need to fill out
- Avoid asking for -phone numbers, age and address
- Keep your contact form aligned with the overall tone and feel of your brand
- Keep the design of your contact form simple and easy to use
- Find an original way for customers, clients and leads to reach you besides the generic contact form – think outside the box
- Perfect your call to action and split test what works best
- Avoid using captcha or other authentication services
By making these small, yet profound changes your contact form will be one of the top lead magnets on your website.