This article was written by Michelle Weger.
Imagine you’re looking for a service.
You visit the website of a provider, review all their information, and decide that yes, this is the company you want to go with.
Or maybe you’re not sure. Maybe you look at their website and think “Well, I have some questions first.”
What’s your next step?
If you’re like most customers, you find the handy “Contact Us” button or heading, go to that page, and find out how you can get more information or hire this company for the service they’re providing. If they have a contact form on that page, you fill it out, send off your request, and then you wait.
And… a week from now, do you even remember that you tried to contact them? If you do, you’re likely frustrated by the lack of response, and you may have already decided to go with another provider.
Now, imagine that’s your website.
If you have a contact form on your website, you are risking losing out on potential clients for the simple reason that contact forms break a lot.
Watch the video below or read on to find out why using a contact form means you are losing out on business.
Like I say in the video, whatever platform you use for your website, adding a contact form is likely done by installing a plug-in or a third party app. And just like your computer, social media, and any apps you might have on your phone, those plug-ins and apps will get updated at some point. Those updates are meant to be helpful, but often create bugs that mean they stop working.
So how do you find out it’s not working? Your contact form doesn’t send you a message saying “Hey, by the way, I’m broken.” More likely, you get a message from a potential client another way saying that they tried to reach you, but never got a reply.
It’s a good thing they told you, right?
Except… how many other leads just never got a response and so moved on to your competitor without ever letting you know that they tried to reach you?
This is why we typically suggest to our clients not to add a contact form to your website. Instead, have a link to your email address that your customers can click. This simple solution will open a window that’s pre-filled with your email address, a subject line, and their email address. Sometimes, simplicity is best.
If keeping the contact form on your website is needed, it’s important to make sure you have fail safes in place so that if your contact form stops working, your possible leads can still reach you.
- Set up your contact form so that all inquiries go to a separate generic email address from your regular one. For example, if your email is firstname.lastname@example.org, use email@example.com.
- Then, set up an automatic reply so that whenever someone visits the URL with your contact form, they get a reply from your email system.
- On the page that appears after your future customer submits their form, make sure you include a message telling them to expect the email within 30 minutes and, most importantly, if they don’t receive it, to email you at your email address provided on that page.
This way, if your form is broken and a notification isn’t sent to you, they will know they should have received a response.
Contact forms are one of the many things that seem like a good idea, but have unintended consequences that you might not think of. If you have a contact form on your website or want more creative solutions to make sure you’re maximizing your business potential, book a call with us to find out how we can make your website work for you.