Most people focus on creating innovative Internet marketing strategies to reach a wide audience and improve goal conversion rates. However, conversion isn’t just a result of a message you give out or the discounts and contests you host. It is a result of multiple factors. One of the most important factors is the ease and effectiveness of your website itself. So when you setup a website, don’t underestimate the value of the design and functionality of each and every page. Today, let's discuss the importance of your 'contact us' page and how you can optimize it for better conversion rates.
There is a very thin line between a high converting contact form and a low converting one. The tiniest of errors can prove as blunders and the smallest of productive changes can turn your conversion rate upside down. Here are a few most basic and yet key factors that can do wonders for your website.
1. Keep Your Fields Minimal
There is no such thing called ‘the more the merrier’ when it comes to your contact form. Remember one thing, users do not like to spend minutes after minutes filling out lengthy forms. Many studies have been conducted over this and they all say you need to keep your fields to a maximum of four to five. And if you can bring it further down to three, that may further increase your conversion rates by up to 50%. So think of the information you really need and avoid all unnecessary questions. For example, if you just need names and email addresses of users, there is no point asking for a phone, age, city, etc. Stick to the essentials.
However, if it is unavoidable for you, be very smart with your long forms. Create multiple step forms. For example, if you need to collect the address, break it down to a city, state, street, zip code, etc. Even though it is cumbersome for users, they at least will have a better idea of what you need.
2. Place It Right
There is no defined formula that can give you the perfect location for your contact form. But you can certainly identify when you need your users to give you that information. A poorly placed contact form lying at the bottom of your landing page holds zero value. Make sure your form is at a relevant location and stands out from among the page. It should seem simple and attractive for your users to fill it out.
3. Do Not Underestimate Design
How your contact form appears will determine whether or not your users sign up. Design is everything. So keep a few things in mind:
- Use the right colors. Your buttons should blend in with the page and yet pop out. Orange, red, green are a few tried and tested colors.
- Go with a horizontal form. Research has shown that horizontal forms look neater and offer a higher conversion rate.
- Size your fields carefully. For example, most people's names are typically between 8-10 characters. Do not make the filed 30 character long, as it is simply unflattering and looks incomplete.
- Stick to one question per row. This won’t overwhelm the user and will make it easier for them to fill out the form.
There are endless ways to customize forms for your users. Your users might have multiple reasons to reach out to you and it is simply counterproductive to serve them all with the same form. Give a separate form for someone who has an enquiry than someone who has a complaint.
If designing separate forms isn’t practical for you, an effective alternative is adding conditional fields. Give your users the option to select qualifying select fields so that they can narrow down their options and communicate clearly.
5. Remember What Not To Ask
Every study conducted over the past few years have indicated that users are very apprehensive sharing their personal information. This mainly includes their phone numbers and residential addresses. The last thing they want is to receive cold calls, promotional messages or unwanted newsletters. So do not ask them for their phone numbers. Asking for an email address is a much better way to get through to your users without turning them away from the site.
But if you absolutely must ask them for their numbers, keep it optional and clearly explain why. Users need to know what will happen to their numbers. So give them an option to decide whether they want to opt in or opt out.
6. Drop The Captcha
The most common problem most websites face is spam bots. We understand you need your users to be genuine, but adding a captcha increases your form filling time by up to 9.8 seconds and reduces your conversion rates by 3.2%.
There are many alternatives available in the market today to reduce spam and increase the probability of real customers. You can opt for Honeypot form fields that stay hidden and identify spam bots at the same time. This keeps you safe and your customers happy!
7. Get Your Copy Straight
Content is a very essential factor in conversion. Studies suggest even though the purpose of your submit button is to submit the form, it is the least effective copy to use. Using alternatives like ‘Register’, ‘Let’s Start’, etc are way more effective.
Another important tip in designing your form copy is to use first language. First person copies are almost three times more effective than third person language. For example, instead of using ‘Begin Journey’, you could use ‘I’m Ready’. These small things go a long way.
8. Do Not Forget the Cell Phone
One of the biggest blunders websites tend to make is forgetting their mobile customers. With smartphones and Internet at every fingertip, your mobile users are increasing in numbers day by day. So you can either create a responsive form or have a different mobile site altogether. Either way, you need to consider how easy your form is to fill out on a mobile phone.
Mobile screens have limited width and are more rectangular in nature. They’re also mostly touch screens and smaller in size. So your page needs to be designed and implemented keeping in mind the ease of a phone.
9. Increase Your Legitimacy
Users are usually hesitant and therefore you need to make a strong case to make them fill out your form. There are two ways to go about it:
- You can have positive testimonials displayed on your page. Two or three positive yet realistic reviews will establish trust in your customer and increase their chances of hitting that submit button.
- Another way to go about it is by showing some social proof. For example, saying ‘You’re about to join a community of 30,000 satisfied users’ or ‘100,000 people have already downloaded this ebook!’ increases your legitimacy.
10. Test It Out
This sounds like the most obvious tip and is yet the least implemented one. It goes without saying that every website, every service and every user base is different. What works for one site might completely fail for another. Therefore no fixed formula can help you optimize your web pages. It is imperative to try out different designs, copies, layouts, formats, etc and track their responses in order to understand what works best for you.
Every single tip mentioned in this blog post might not be relevant to each one of you. But there is no way of knowing what will fail you and what will change the fate of your contact form overnight! Try out different methods, track your website analytics very closely and treat your form like a living, evolving entity.
Catherrine Garcia is a web developer and blogger. She enjoys reading books and watching fun movies.