Creating Contact Forms that Convert | Captain Coder

Creating Contact Forms that Convert

Marisa VanSkiver / February 22, 2021

creating website contact forms

No matter what kind of website you have, whether you sell products directly or are a local service, your contact page is one of the most important pages on your website.

And yet it’s often the most neglected.

Instead of just sticking a few details like your phone number and a generic form on your website, there’s more you can do to create a contact form that actually converts and brings in real leads to your business.

What You Need to Include on a Contact Page

So first, obviously, is a contact form. Many of us (including us socially awkward people) would much rather fill out a form than pick up the phone. People are used to finding a simple form on the contact page, so give it to them!

Here’s where I see the most mistakes in a website. Business owners often forget to include their phone number on their contact page. While I firmly believe you should have your phone number in the footer on every single page of your website, many users will click through to a contact page to find it, too. After all, that’s how they get in touch with you, right? There are, apparently, some people in the world who love picking up that phone still (a whopping 76% still love using the phone to get customer service). If you’re a home-based business or solopreneur and don’t love putting your cell phone out there for everyone to see, consider getting a Google Voice number that can forward to your cell phone.

If you have an office or physical location, I always recommend putting your address and business hours on your Contact page as well. This makes it super simple for everyone to find what they need in the places they expect and not get lost on your website.

Pro tip: Link your address to your Google Map page so it’ll open up driving directions when people click it.

Contact Form Fields

Now that you’ve built out the rest of your Contact page, what exactly do you include in that contact form to make it work for you?

Keep your contact forms short and sweet. Too many fields can feel overwhelming to your target audience and can actually prevent people from filling them out. However, you need to get enough information to have something to action on, right?

For every single contact form, I highly recommend including Name, Email, and Message fields and making these required. These will ensure that you can reach back out to those who email you, which is kind of key with leads. LOL.

Next, depending on your type of business, I also recommend asking for a phone number, their company name, and then maybe one or two other questions that might be relevant to your business.

For my local gym client, for instance, their contact form includes a question of what they’re interested in – classes, mitts training, personal training, nutrition, conditioning, or youth. These checkbox options make it super simple for the lead to note what they’re coming for, but it also helps my client funnel those leads to the right person to continue that conversation.

My massage therapy client, on the other hand, includes appointment time frames in all of her contact forms since that’s 90% of the reason someone is reaching out to her.

You’ll notice that both of these are short and to the point and those extra fields aren’t required so that someone who may not quite fit these questions doesn’t have to answer them.

Always Include a CAPTCHA

One thing I hear from people a lot is that they get spam contact form submissions. Unfortunately, many of those come from real people filling out the form that are trying to sell you on something. However, a really quick way to cut back on those is to always require a CAPTCHA response.

You’ve seen them a lot over the years. Sometimes they require you to type in a code in a picture, sometimes solve a simple math problem, or even using Google’s Recaptcha that can present “find the thing” challenges.

No matter what, CAPTCHAs create a simple challenge that helps to cut way back on the noise and ensure you’re only getting actual humans entering your inbox.

After They Fill Out the Form

What happens after someone fills out your contact form now? This is actually one of the best ways to quickly improve your Customer Experience and warm up a lead a little bit more.

While you should always email a copy of the form to yourself to make sure you don’t miss a thing, I’d also recommend taking that lead to a confirmation page that their form has been sent. On this confirmation page, you can assure them that you’ve received their form and give them your typical response times, direct them to any free resources that you may have, or even give them your phone number again so that they may call if it’s something more urgent. This confirmation page helps you set expectations with your customers and gives you a chance to direct them to dig into your content – win win!

Personally, I also like to send a confirmation email to them as well so they have another notice that their message has been received with a little bit of a personal touch. I might even include a copy of the form they’ve filled out so that they can remember what they told me or my clients.

Making Contact Forms Easy in WordPress

If this is sounding like a few steps, it is. If you have a WordPress website, not all contact form plugins are created equal either, and not all of them can handle a redirect, 2 confirmation emails, or a variety of form fields.

That’s why I use Gravity Forms on every single one of my websites. It has one of the simplest interfaces I’ve seen in a WordPress contact form plugin that’s easy for anyone to use, and I can send multiple confirmation emails, redirect to a confirmation page, and even tie it into my email services like Mailchimp.

Following the steps above and using a powerful plugin like Gravity Forms, I’m able to create website contact forms that help my customers get real leads into their inbox (Rebel Boxing Club got 10 in their first week live!).

Take a look at your own contact form. Are you asking the right questions? What happens after someone fills it out? Test it for yourself, have a friend test it, and let you know how easy (or not) they’ve found it.

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