The internet has become ubiquitous. Consumers use the internet to search products and services before making their purchases. Internet sales are increasing by more than 19% per year. As a result, businesses are seeing more traffic to their websites. However website traffic does not equal customers. A crucial step in the process of converting visitors into customers is to allow easy contact of the business by potential leads. A website contact form is an essential component of any serious business website.
Online Contact Forms
Online contact forms on websites ask a visitor to fill out and submit information about how they may be contacted. Much like a “call to action,” the contact form goes a step further by asking the visitor for their contact information then and there. As a result, it puts the power in you, the business’ hands. Rather than risking the chance that the visitor will leave your website and never contact you, you now have the information to contact them.
An online contact form can increase your response rate, but in order for a visitor to hand over his personal information, you have to give him an incentive to do so. Make an offer that is not available anywhere else such as a free newsletter or a special discount code.
Offer your web visitor an incentive, like a “Free SEO Analysis”
It’s also important to remember to keep the form short and simple. People often give up halfway through long forms, but providing multiple-choice answers (i.e. drop-down list or check boxes) increases the chance of submission. Yet be sure to capture important information such as their name, title, phone number, and email. Some businesses resort to a “two-step’ contact form (also known as “gradual submission”) so that they capture the most important information (such as email address) first, then another page opens that asks for further details(such as age, zip code, etc) that the visitor will then be more likely to fill out, as they have already completed the first step. Many contact-form wizards give you the option of requiring certain fields be filled before the form can be submitted.
The preferred method of contact form creation is to redirect your visitor to a new page once they have submitted their form. The visitor should be redirected to a special page created specifically for submitted forms. By redirecting visitors to this “Thank you for your submission” page, you can track (through Google Analytics or any web analytics tool you have) the number of responses you get through your online contact form.
Example of a redirect after contact form submission.
Tracking contact form submissions is a key part of “Conversion Tracking” and allows easy comparison of the number of contacts through the website from different traffic sources (such as Facebook versus Google Adwords), as well as the ability to track contact requests over time.
Goal Tracking in Google Analytics
Now that you know what an online contact form is, you can see how to collect your web visitor’s contact information. By implementing the tips listed above, you can make the most of this essential method of communication between you and your prospective customers. Remember to simplify the form, track the process and if possible to give visitors an incentive, so that you don’t miss out on any prospective business. As a result, your website will start delivering leads that you can follow up with to convert into customers.