How many interested customers or clients reach out to you via your contact form?
Next, to your About Us page, your Contact page is one of the most important pages on your entire site. This is especially true if you’re offering a service based business that relies on people reaching out to you to work together with you.
Think about it for a second, people consume your content, they read more about your company and why you would be the perfect fit for them, next step they end up on your contact page.
Your Contact page is more than just a way for people to communicate with you or display your opening hours. You should encourage your visitors to communicate with you about ANYTHING.
When it comes to design and content of the contact page though, it seems many businesses pay little attention to their contact page and the contact form on that website. And although it seems like such a simple little thing, how complicated can a contact form be? Most businesses don’t page enough attention to this page.
In this article we’re going to discuss different tweaks you can make to your Contact page, to boost your conversion rate and thus your changes of getting more leads. And don’t we all want to have more leads? After all, more leads, means more customers and more profit rights?
Before we dive into optimisations though, we need to ask ourselves one question:
What reasons would people need to contact you for?
Like with all optimisations, you first need to critically think about the why. The reasons behind something, what reasons could someone have that they needed to contact you for?
Most of the time, people are trying to communicate with you because they got stuck, they need some information and they can’t seem to find it. That information could be related to:
- Something simple as your website navigation not being clear enough to them
- Some product information missing and they’ve got a question about a product or your service
- A faulty product and they need some help with a return or exchange
- They like your stuff so much, they want to buy it for their entire organisation, so they have a wholesale question
- Maybe they could be a potential vendor for you and want to know what the possibilities are
- They could be interested by your service offering and want to have a quote or consultation
- They might want to know who to contact in case of media or press requests
- Maybe they want to start an affiliate business together with you
- Or your opening hours/business location is not clear?
Whatever it is, there is a reason your visitors are ending up on your contact page. So you better make sure that they get what they are looking for. If you’ve can figure out the reasons, you can become more clear about the uses of your contact page. The result? Higher conversions and more leads.
First and foremost- build trust
Before someone would even want to take that step and tries to contact you, your first need to earn their trust. Building a trusting relationship is always very important, but before you can build that relationship you need to show to your potential leads that you are trustworthy enough for them to give their time to you and start contacting you.
When you’re offering a clear way for people to contact you, it shows right from the start that you’ve got nothing to hide. This in return helps to instantly allow potential customers to feel more confident and secure in doing business with you.
The path towards trust starts already on the first page your visitors land on, so your entire website needs to convey trust from the beginning.
When people trust your brand, they may also be more likely to reach out to you and share their information with you. So how can you build that trust on your contact page?
Provide context for the form
There are two different ways that help to build trust, and it all starts with you providing some context to your visitors whenever it is you want them to take some action. Your contact page is no different than any page on your website, so if you want a prospective client to fill out the form on your contact page, you will need to convince them why they should.
Providing context will help you establish expectations with your prospects, and it will allow you to overcome any perceived friction or risk that people might have by just looking at your form.
A minimal level of context can be provided very quickly by writing some copy that:
- Shows appreciation, you could already thank your potential lead for them showing interest to work together with you, let them know that you’re excited to work together
- Gives an explanation of the purpose of the form, you should describe why filling in your contact form is an essential part of the customer on boarding process. By telling them that the details in the form will simplify the process of working together, and at the same time will give you enough information that will make sure you can deliver that value to their business
- Tells the reader what they can expect in regards to the time that is regarded by their end to invest in the relation. Let them know how long it is going to take to complete the form. This last one is more important when you need to ask a lot of details in a form (more on the ideal length of your form in a bit).
Add some social proof
Trust is an essential item in your conversion funnel, in the journey people take from becoming someone who passes by to someone who buys. Even for building your reputation, it isn’t something that is automatically there, and it is something that needs to be developed over time.
For someone who never did any business with you before that trust still needs to get earned, but by using social proof, you can at least already showcase the trust others placed in you and the benefits they had from that.
You’re probably already using social proof on your product pages, inside case studies, etc., but you should also use the power that comes with great social proof on your contact page.
Having this social proof directly on your contact page will help remove any last minute concerns, and will ultimately lead to increased conversions on your contact page.
Not having any client testimonials yet, because you’re just starting out? Try including client logos, awards or samples of previous work to showcase that you don’t just talk the talk but also walk the walk.
Optimising your contact form
On to the most crucial part of any contact page, the contact form itself. Any contact form is trying to accomplish three things:
- It should be able to filter out problematic clients
- It should help potential clients to figure out exactly what it is they really need
- It should allow you to collect key information to guide you when dealing with that potential new client
The first part is not technically part of the form, but it still is important to think about. Using your social proof and your intro copy you should be able to set the expectations what it is to work with you. If this is not enough, you might also want to include some pre-qualification questions in your form of course.
Not all leads are created equal, and you only want to invest most of your time in those leads that bing the biggest rewards for you and your business.
The second part is focused on getting clients to start thinking, what it is they exactly need from you. You could include questions into your form like “what is the mission of this project”, or “how does the project fit in with your overall objectives”?
Although these also help in filtering out potentially problematic clients, it also helps the people who do want work with you to think about what their expectations are and how they intend to go about achieving their goals.
The third part is focused on getting the key information. What else do you need from potential clients? Name? Email? Company name? How did you hear about us? (To learn which channels are better at driving traffic).
It’s up to you do decide which ones are appropriate for your specific audience, but don’t overdo it. Too many questions might scare away potential customers as well.
The Perfect Number of Form Fields
Depending on the business or services that you offer, you might have a different need of information you want to get out of your contact form.
A lot of people would be automatically inclined to answer that the fewer form fields someone has to fill out, the higher the chances are of people converting. And while there is a certain truth to this, it is not always the case. For example, some time ago KinderCare in the US did a test in which they increased the number of fields in their contact form.
The conversion rate remained the same, but the extra level of information they got made them able to respond faster to incoming questions and more effectively. A side effect of this was also that they could reduce the load off their customer service.
So as you can see they are certain industries in which people don’t mind filling out the extra information, and it can even convey them a sense of security that you want such a high level of details. However, most of the times, simple wins over the complex.
As Steve Jobs used to say:
Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
Your contact form should be simple. In fact, Dan Zarella at Hubspot research 40.000 contact forms of their customers and found that conversion rate improves by almost half when the number of form fields are reduced from four fields to three.
That is a really significant number, but of course it also has to make sense to your brand and what you’re offering. If you want to experiment with decreasing the number of form fields, but don’t want to compromise on the information you’re getting from your leads a two-step contact form may be the way to go.
Start by requesting the necessary information in that first step. You could request the first name only. Then, in the second phase, request their email address, phone number, etc. This is an approach often taken by social media sites. Social proof shows that this is very different to one large signup form.
So there are some variations you can try with a number of form fields, at a bare minimum you should only ask what is a 100 percent necessary for you to be able to take the next steps, but try experimenting with other amounts, or multi-step form to see if you can get more information without lowering your conversion or even increasing the number of conversions.
Mark fields as optional
According to an eye-tracking study by CX Partners, people pretty much ignore notes about fields being required. They automatically assume they have to complete all the fields anyhow.
So by labeling the optional fields with “optional” instead you’re increasing your changes at conversion. Because your visitor knows that you’re not asking them to fill all the fields before they can receive your offer, this makes your form appear simpler to your potential customer, improving your conversion rate.
Research done by eConsultancy even shows that the marking of mandatory fields might even scare away more qualified leads than they attract. By removing mandatory fields, conversion rates were even boosted by up to 31 percent. Not only that, the leads were more qualified buyers.
If you have mandatory fields on your contact form, experiment with making them non-mandatory, marketing the optional fields as optional and see if it makes a difference.
Remove the Captcha
Of course, you don’t want to have your inbox filled up with lots of spam, so one of your first reaction would probably be to include a Captcha on your contact form. And while security and not having spam is important, having a captcha on your contact form has been shown to dramatically reduce conversions.
A lot of times captcha forms can be so difficult to decode that even we have problems trying to type in the correct phrase displayed. When this happens, potential customers leave your contact form altogether and go search for someone who is easier to contact.
According to a study done by Moz in 2009, by disabling captcha’s on their forms, they were able to increase conversion by 3.2 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 considers testing your form without them to see what impact it has on your organisation. And at the end of the day ask yourself, is a couple more spammy emails worth the extra customers? Probably.
Split Test Your Call to Action
The final piece to help increase your conversions on your contact form is your Call-To-Action (CTA). Your CTA is one of the most important pieces on your contact form.
Most people know about the effect a CTA can have on their landing pages, but they often fail to consider testing it on their contact forms.
As with all the other parts of your contact form optimisation though, you need to test this one to make sure that you’re getting the most out of it for your brand. Split test a few options and see what earns you a higher conversion rate.
One of the things to start with is already the copy on the “submit” button. Forms using a default “submit” button have seen a reduced conversion rate of nearly 3 percent. Words like “Go”, “Download” and “Register” also reduced conversion rates by 25 percents, 15 percent and 10 percent respectively.
Experimenting with different copy on your buttons might just be a great place to start.
Now we got the basics covered, what else can you do to increase conversions on your contact page?
Add your full business address and a phone number
Although for a lot of online businesses you would not immediately think of adding your full business address and phone number, having them visible on your website and contact page helps instil trust.
Especially if you’re into eCommerce, medical or financial businesses where people entrust you with their personal data (like credit card details). Just the thought of knowing you contact someone directly goes a long way to relieve anxiety.
To make it even easier for people, make sure to add the proper click-to-call tags for the phone number. This way people (especially on mobile) can click the number, and it gives them a pop-up to start the dialling process straight away. And it’s fairly simple just create a link as you would normally do for a website, and use the phone number as the link.
A second item to think of is adding schema.org tags on your website. This allows you to point search engine to your business official address for example (especially helpful for local businesses. Yoast (from the SEO plugin) has got you covered with a great piece of content explaining how to implement it.
Add a call back button or widget
What is even better than displaying your phone number on your website? A callback button. Nothing shows more that you don’t mind talking to your customers and taking away any friction to help them out as a callback button.
A callback button allows your visitors to request a callback from one of your support staff members. It’s an easy way to generate leads because a lot of leads might just click the button out of curiosity.
Ringostat is a company that provides this service as a widget as part of their overall call tracking and lead generation functionality. It even allows you to show the exact path that led the customer to call you, using their analytics and tracking software.
Provide a live chat option
Finally having someone on hand to ask general questions is even faster in some cases than waiting for someone to phone you back. Or maybe you’re in a situation that taking a phone call’s hard, but you still want a quick answer?
There are lots of different ways to include a live chat on your website if you want it to be fully manned by a normal staff you can include a set of hours on which you’re most likely to respond, or maybe you can automate a lot of questions by implementing a chat bot?
Although your contact page is one of those pages that is easily overlooked, you should treat yours with the same love and attention that you’re giving to the rest of your website.
Investing in an optimised contact page can give great results for your business, and by making any of the above tweaks, you’re sure you will be on the right track.
When was the last time you looked at your contact page and made some changes to it? Leave a comment below on what changes you made and what the impact was.