Maximizing Website Contact Forms To Generate The Most Leads
Contact forms, which allow potential customers to email directly from the site, are a vital component of any good, small business website design.
Many content management systems and site builders have inbuilt contact forms, which are very easy to implement, even for the inexperienced designer.
There are also a number of 3rd party tools, such as Jotform, or WordPress plugins, like Contact Form 7, which make it easy to build out more complex contact forms.
What many web design rookies and small business owners don’t necessarily know or think about is how much the seemingly small details matter, and what is possible with the right tools.
General Best Practices
Lead-generation is an important function of most small business websites, so it is important to have a contact form in an easy to find place, one that is impossible to miss, if not placing a form or call-to-action on every page.
Even with multiple contact forms, it is very important to also have a contact page on or near your main menu because that is where visitors expect it to be.
As a general rule, the fewer fields your form contains, the more likely people are to fill it out.
Forms should be easy to use, whether a visitors is using a laptop, tablet or mobile-phone, with minimal scrolling, and boxes big enough for even those with fat fingers.
Depending on your form setup, it may be possible to enter any email address into the “from” field to make it look like it is coming from the email, but this could create issues with spam if it is not actually sent from the email address you have entered. To correct this, emails should be sent via SMTP from an actual email address, preferably from the same domain as your website (@yourdomain.com).
Certain tools, like Jotform solve this problem for you, while self-hosted WordPress sites will need to setup an SMTP plugin, such as Postmaster or Easy SMTP.
Either way, you want to thoroughly test your forms and make sure they work, every time, or you risk losing valuable incoming emails.
In conclusion, web contact form best practices to get more leads and emails from your website are to:
- Make your form easy to find and access
- Make your form easy to use, regardless of user device
- Make sure your form works, every single time
Once you have achieved these basic goals, you can start to think about extending the functionality of your web forms.
Extend your Forms – The Possibilities of Contact Form 7
Past best practices, the tools you use will make all the difference.
If you want easy setup and dependability and don’t mind paying a few bucks per month, Jotform is the way to go.
If you are using WordPress (If you aren’t you should be), Contact Form 7 is a great, free choice for building out forms with relatively easy to understand short-codes.
The plugin has been around for a long time, is mature, well-documented, and well-extended, with other plugins that extend the basic contact form functionality even further!
Since WordPress is our preferred choice at bizdetail, we will discuss a few of the ways we utilize Contact Form 7 and other related plugins.
The Contact Form 7 Leads Tracking is insanely useful! Add this plugin, and paste the shortcode to the mail field, and new lead emails will display how visitors got to your site, which page they landed on, and which page they submitted your form. Incredibly useful information!
Contact Form 7 Honeypot – Unprotected contact forms typically get hammered with spam, and this plugin presents a field that only bot visitors will see.
When a form is submitted by a bot, they typically add data to all fields, so emails that have data in the honeypot field get automatically blocked.
The Contact Form 7 Honeypot plugin will help you block these bot submissions. Of course, you could always allow visitors to enter in a captcha code in order to submit the form, but less fields is always better. Plus, people hate captchas!
Integrate with MailChimp
By integrating your forms with Mailchimp, you can send form submissions to a specific list, or even deliver an auto-responder message or series of messages. If you are serious about building your list, you can offer a free-giveway to visitors for submitting their email, and use contact form 7 to collect the data.
Integrate with Google Spreadsheets
Get so many emails from customers they are difficult to track and follow up with? Dump all form submissions into a Google Spreadsheet with the CF7 to spreadsheet plugin, where leads will be easy to track and follow up with.
Integrate with CRMs
Many CRMS will integrate directly with Contact Form 7 for easy lead tracking. In other words, you can automatically add new leads and contacts to your CRM without having to enter data manually!
If you are not using a CRM and automatically re-routing and tracking contact form emails, Zoho CRM is an affordable, efficient, and easy-to-use tool, and we would LOVE to help you get setup!
If you are interested in doing more with your website and contact forms, we can help! Please call 925.963.1377 or contact us today to discuss your site and business.