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Dirt Warrior
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all,
Long time lurker but I have decided to create a website for my company and have a question about making contact with your potential customers.

Obviously your final goal using your website as a marketing tool is to attain conversions weather that be filling out an online form, making contact via phone or dropping by an office. The issue i have come across is how to make that conversion easy for the potential customer. If they have to jump through hoops to get in contact with you chances are they will be slower to convert.

This is where my question comes in...

I believe a contact form with input fields to be the most easy way of converting potential customers. Something about the internet that is less personal, making the customer have a 'why not fill this out' attitude. I have been asking myself what are the boundarys of this attitude.

For example, would name and phone number fields prompt more conversions or is that too impersonal for the 'why not fill it out' attitude? What about name, address, phone, email, project description?

What has been successful for those using online marketing with contact forms for conversions.

Sorry for the story i didn't mean for it to be this long...
TIA
 

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Storage Specialist
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56 Posts
actually the "why not fill out this form" is the hard part.

They have plenty of good reasons:

-Are you going to sell my name? (you should have a privacy statement saying you're not)

- is a pain in the arse sales person going to hawk me (lucky for these people is most contractor websites ask you to fill out a form and don't call you anyway)

-is my email going to get sucked up by Russian programmers and I'll start getting spam?

A lot of people are scared to fill in forms online. But you gotta have them...I only require a few fields and I leave the rest up to them.

I just read a post today about how you're losing biz if you don't have a simple email address on your site (it's the easy, normal way for people to contact you -- and it's kinda personal).

The downside is you get a bunch of spam to that address (which is why I've always avoided having an email on my sites). But as the post read, it's easier to delete spam than to try and get back a lost prospect. (It was Seth Godin, btw)

I give three ways to contact me: the form, a phone number, and -- as of today -- an email.

Another downside when they don't use the form is tracking ads (i.e. adwords) isn't possible.
 

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Non-conformist
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1,581 Posts
Greg explained it pretty well, so the only thing I would add is keep it simple. The more info you ask for, the less likely it is they'll fill out the form. For the most part, Name, Email, and Message is enough. Maybe a few checkboxes for the service they are interested in, but only ask for what you need to make a decent response.

Think of it this way. When you call or email, you can get their address when you need it. You probably don't need to ask for it on the form.

I have one form where leaving a phone # is optional if they want me to call. I put a shaded box around this area to make it obvious they don't need to leave a phone # if they don't want to. That shaded area also asks for their time zone and best time to call, so it relaxes users to know this is all optional.
 

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Registered
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15 Posts
-Are you going to sell my name? (you should have a privacy statement saying you're not)
In addtion to this you should also have a note at the bottom of the form along the lines of 'we value your business and will only use your contact information to get in contact with you. we will not give it to any third parties..etc. etc.'.
Think of yourself online - when's the last time you read through a privacy statement to see what was what?

Also - with a contact form you know they are at least interested. One of the most commonly overlooked functions of the contact form is that page you end up on after you hit the 'send' button. Sure, thank them for getting in touch with you, but also provide:

  • An estimated time frame for someone to contact them back
  • Your other contact info (read: telephone and address) if they need something immediately - and encourage them to take the next step and call with a call to action by the phone number and let them know they can get an answer right away by calling you
  • Up sell - talk about how your services are the right choice for them, show them a few testimonials or pictures
I give three ways to contact me: the form, a phone number, and -- as of today -- an email.
This is absolutely best. Different people (and the same people in different buying stages) are comfortable with different methods. Give them every option you can to get in touch with you.

Another downside when they don't use the form is tracking ads (i.e. adwords) isn't possible.
You absolutely can track this. 99% of visitors to your website have browsers that pass information about what website referred them to you (where they clicked on a link to get to you from). You can use this information with a little coding to change the email address provided depending where that visitor came from, and track your conversions that way (be it by form, displayed email address, or even telephone number).


Greg explained it pretty well, so the only thing I would add is keep it simple. The more info you ask for, the less likely it is they'll fill out the form. For the most part, Name, Email, and Message is enough.
I 100% agree with this too - SIMPLE is the way to go, but I would add a phone number option for them. Lots of people don't check their email regularly and would prefer the option to have you call. It would also allow you to get an idea of where they are (area code) without asking for their address.



Best of luck! Let us know how it goes.
 

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Registered
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43 Posts
We've had a "Consultation Request" form on our website for a number of years. I look at it as just one way that potential customers can contact us. Some people prefer to use the internet. Some would rather send an e-mail directly, while others prefer calling or stopping by. We provide a call to action that allows for all scenarios and gives the necessary information so that we can be contacted any way that the potential customer feels most comfortable.

As to the contact form on our website, we ask for Name, Address, Phone, E-mail, Best time to call, Type of Project and How Did You Hear About Us? Only name and e-mail address are required but most people fill out the entire form. I will say that the people who fill out the most information are normally the most interested in a remodeling project. Those who fill out the least are usually tire-kickers.

Hope this helps!
 

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Non-conformist
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1,581 Posts
As to the contact form on our website, we ask for Name, Address, Phone, E-mail, Best time to call, Type of Project and How Did You Hear About Us? Only name and e-mail address are required but most people fill out the entire form. I will say that the people who fill out the most information are normally the most interested in a remodeling project. Those who fill out the least are usually tire-kickers.
Excellent point. The industry you're in plays a big role in how you structure your form. Your's is still a small amount of info to ask for, so it gets people to fill it out, but by asking a couple extra questions it helps sort out your prospects.
 

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Registered
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2,456 Posts
Yes, simple is best. I dropped the forms and just added 'Call Me' and 'Contact Me' buttons. Not sure if I lose any business, but the phone rings steadily and e-mail contacts are steady. Just did a repair today from an e-mail contact, and yesterday, I finished a different one. Only $3K for the two jobs, but it's fairly steady. Start another e-mail job Fri.
 

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Director General
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16 Posts
online form vs email link

Round file the online form. Live with the spam. Get Yahoo email service which blocks much spam away from your in-box. Use email link that automatically fills in the subject line.

Back to the online form, as often as I have visited sites and tried to use the online form, many times there is some format or connect issue.

If you loose one customer because of difficulty or failure to transmit from online form,,,,, well, you know the answer.
 

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Dirt Warrior
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for you time guys, some awesome responses.

In addtion to this you should also have a note at the bottom of the form along the lines of 'we value your business and will only use your contact information to get in contact with you. we will not give it to any third parties..etc. etc.'.
Good idea I will for sure incorporate this! I am familiar with Google Analytics and tracking users by creating and tracking goals such as submitting a form, thanks for the suggestion. If anyone doesn't have Analytics on their website i highly recommend it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbscreative
Greg explained it pretty well, so the only thing I would add is keep it simple. The more info you ask for, the less likely it is they'll fill out the form. For the most part, Name, Email, and Message is enough.

I 100% agree with this too - SIMPLE is the way to go, but I would add a phone number option for them. Lots of people don't check their email regularly and would prefer the option to have you call. It would also allow you to get an idea of where they are (area code) without asking for their address.
It seams like the general consensus around here it to keep it simple which i have done but added an optional drop down for people who feel like they want to provide more information. I feel hiding this away in a drop down keeps it from intruding too much.

And yes the page to which the form pushes the submitter will be taken into account. I'm pleased with this forum and the response THANKS GUYS

BTW here is a mockup of the contact page, not functional but you can see where im going...

shesaidit-x-ca/landscape/contact-x-html

replace the -x- with . (somebody post the live link i only have 2 posts? pls)
 
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