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Generate More Leads with Your Contact Forms

Contact forms are probably the most important website forms that your business needs to put in place. The idea is simple – you offer prospective subscribers some form of reward, and they’ll provide you with their contact information.

It’s a simple enough exchange, and one that is successfully used by millions of websites. Except, in your case, the results aren’t quite what you’d hoped. It’s disappointing, but what more can you do? After all, you’ve made sure that the reward is quite worthwhile.

Is it time to call it quits and give up? Do you soldier on and hope things improve? Or do you scrap the page and start over again? The answer is that you’ll probably need to make adjustments to the page. In this post, we will look at the seven deadly sins when it comes to your contact forms.

Are you guilty of any of these? Read on and find out.

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The Form Is Not Above the Fold

“Above the fold” is a term that was first coined in the traditional newspaper industry. It related to the visible part of the newspaper when the paper was displayed – i.e., when the paper was neatly folded, only the top half of the first page would be visible.

That space is considered prime real estate in the news industry. The concept applies to online media, too, except that here it means that your visitor can see the form without needing to scroll down. Keep it above the fold so that readers know what the next step is.

Headline Doesn't Grab Your Attention

This is a marketing ploy, so be sure to make the headline eye-catching. Does your headline seem interesting? Does it grab the attention and make them want to learn more? Don’t make the common mistake of using something plain and boring like “Subscribe Now!”

Too Many Fields

This is a tricky area. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to subscribe, so you want to use as few fields as possible. Having said that, you do want to make sure people realize that there is value to the reward you’re providing. If they have to work for it, they’re more likely to value it.

If you’re sending out something short, like a quick infographic, you can get away with just asking for a name and email address. However, if you’re sending out something more substantial, like a full report, you can ask for a bit more information.

Do, however, only ask for information that is vital: email addresses, for example. Asking for the phone number as well might be a step too far.

Asking Them to "Submit"

It makes sense to have a “submit” button as one of your call to actions. After all, that is exactly what they are doing. However, that is a wasted opportunity. Instead, customize your text to correspond with your offer. Say something like “Claim Your Token” instead.

Failing to Show Trust

We’ve all been there – we sign up for a newsletter on a site and then get inundated with sales messages from the company, and also from other companies that it has sold the information to. That’s made us all a little warier of giving out our email addresses. Don’t be that company.

In addition, think about what you are asking that person to do. You want them to hand over some of their personal information to your company, a complete stranger. That’s why you need to have a visibly displayed privacy policy. You need to explain to visitors how you are going to use this information, so they know what they’re getting into. If you are going to send a newsletter once a month, and the occasional marketing email, let them know upfront.

You also need to reassure them that their information is safe with you, that you will keep it secure and not share it with anyone else. Do make sure that your privacy policy is in plain view and that they can easily access it if they need to.

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Website Not Designed For Mobile Devices

Do yourself a favor and check out your contact form with your own mobile device. How easy is it to complete? Does it display above the fold? Considering the sharp increase in the number of searches performed via mobile phone, it makes sense that your form must display well on these smaller devices.

Why, then, do so many companies design their form for optimal display on a desktop and then try to reverse engineer it for mobile devices? This is working backward. Design it for mobile phones first. If it displays well there, it will work well on a desktop, as well.

No A/B Testing System

Did you check out your form, think it looked great, and post it? Many companies make the mistake of testing their ads but not their contact forms. After all, the form itself is an ad promoting website conversions.

Take the time to create your page, and then change one element. It could be the font, the color of the button, the size of the button, etc. Run both and see which performs better. Then take the better-performing form, change another aspect, and retest it.

You want to carry on doing this until you end up with the best possible form for conversions. It’s a schlep, but in this area, there are no shortcuts. You don’t know exactly what will work until you test it out.

The 7 Deadly Contact Form Sins

If you’re guilty of committing some of those sins – or maybe all of them – don’t feel too bad; contact forms can be a tough nut to crack. With perseverance and the tips that we’ve shared with you above, you’ll soon be well on the way to getting the page right.

Approach it as you would any other marketing tool. Make the offer enticing, making it interesting, and steer clear of stale and boring here. Finally, never settle. Test your design and retest it to make sure that you have the best possible conversion rate.

David Cherry
David Cherry is Co-Owner of Visibly Connected which he started in 2010 because of his passion for small businesses. He loves learning the stories behind each business he works with and helping them reach their full growth potential. His passions are fitness, family, and reading, and during the weekends you usually find him out on the golf course!
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