Why use a contact form

Which is better, email address or contact form?

Whether you are currently actively developing a new website or just pondering web development best practice, you may have asked yourself the question, “Which is better: An email address or a contact form?”

If you have, you’re not alone, and if you haven’t thought of it, chances are your web agency partner has. So, what’s the answer? The best option for your website is undoubtedly a contact form.

If you’re wondering why, wonder no longer. In this blog, we’re going to explain to you exactly why the contact form is by far the better option.

Why are contact forms added to a website?

Why are contact forms added to a website as opposed to an email address? There are in fact a number of different reasons.

1. Email addresses lead to more spam

Having an email address listed on your website leads to a massive increase in spam. Hackers and spammers are using increasingly sophisticated programs and automated scripts to crawl through the internet and gather email addresses listed on websites.

Some past techniques for trying to avoid this have included putting parentheses around email addresses, for example enquiries[@]business.com. But this technique is proving to be less and less effective over time and can cause confusion among some of your website’s visitors and prevent potential customers or clients from contacting you.

If you have an email listed on your website, hackers and spammers are going to find it and add it to their lists.

2. Collect the info you need first time, every time

Business enquiries through an email address often end in frustratingly little information being provided by your customers or clients. You could be receiving a request for a quotation but not be provided with the right details to enable you to fulfil the quote.

This means your team is going to spend a lot of time communicating back and forth to obtain the information you need. With a contact form, you can control the entire process by making fields required filling.

By making specific fields obligatory, potential customers or clients will be adding all the who, what, where, how and why details of their enquiry, so you can more efficiently convert potential enquiries into paying customers.

3. Separate the hot leads from the time wasters

In the world of car sales, the term ‘tyre kicker’ refers to the time wasting ‘customers’ who browse the cars with no intent of actually buying.

The same things exist in the world of website enquiries. A contact form requires more concentration and intent than an email address, so by choosing the former over the latter, you’re preventing those who aren’t willing to share their contact information or are too lazy to enquire about your services properly from wasting your time.

This is yet another way of ensuring that only the hot leads with real potential take up your precious time and energy.

4. Stronger lead record keeping

Website visitors who click on your email address and contact you that way are harder to find and track after the fact, making your ability to analyse online performance and conversion more difficult.

With a contact form on your website, all enquiries that come through will be automatically recorded in your online database. This includes all of the information provided as well.

When it comes time to finding and tracking the total number of enquiries or collating the data for use in strategic analysis and decision making, you’ll find it all the more insightful and useful.

5. Remarketing opportunities

Building on from reason number four, having a strong record of incoming enquiries doesn’t just allow you to access the information later but also for ongoing marketing opportunities.

If you’re looking at sending out a newsletter to a database of clients, building your database manually can be enormously time consuming and inefficient. Let your website visitors do the work for you by providing you with a ready list of interested potential customers.

6. More accurate enquiry data

There is another technical difference between the two options that explain why contact forms are added to a website over email addresses

It is more difficult to track email address clicks in Google Analytics than form submissions. The reason for this is pretty simple. Google Analytics records every click on your email address as an enquiry. If your data indicates that you’ve had 20 enquiries, that means 20 people have clicked on your email. It does not necessarily mean that 20 emails were actually sent and received.

Whereas with a website contact form, only a completed (including all the mandatory fields) and submitted form will be counted as an enquiry.

With a contact form over an email address, your SEO and digital marketing reports will be more accurate and give you a better sense of how your website is performing and how effective it is at converting visitors.

7. Greater customisation options

Website enquiries can be customised in many ways. Apart from the fields that you choose for your customers/clients to fill in, you can also use something called “conditional logic” which allows additional fields to appear based on previous options chosen. This allows you to gather more information, if relevant, without risking turning away other website visitors for whom certain fields might be irrelevant.

Moreover, you can also customise where enquiry forms are sent based on the information entered into the form. This means that the right leads will fall into the right inboxes and increase the chance of an enquiry turning into an actual customer/client.

Need more website best practice tips? Contact GO Creative today

The team here at GO Creative are pretty passionate about delivering better quality websites for our clients. Often, that means sleeker, better-looking and more impressive websites. But it also often means subtle improvements that make for a better functioning website with more value for your clients’ businesses.

If you’d like more information about why we add contact forms to websites over email addresses and other ways in which we can improve your website, get in touch with us today.

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