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Your Contact Page is Killing Your Business

One of the first things I do when I review a site is look at the contact page. It is a way for me to determine the skill level of the site designer who created it. Why is that important?

Because if you have a crappy contact page, you ARE losing business!

First of all, I need you to drink the kool-aid on this concept; ready…your contact page is not a fucking sales tool! Too many times I see contact pages packed with questions that should be reserved for a conversation or follow-up email.

So, before I give you what you should have on your contact page, I am going to tell you what NOT to have on it. Ready?

1. Unless you have a retail location or some other reason why people would need to know your address, take down the map with driving directions. NO ONE CARES WHERE YOU ARE, you are going to go to them!

2. Stop asking for information that isn’t relevant to someone contacting you. In other words, stop asking where they work, what their work number is, home number, cell number, daytime number, evening number, blah blah blah blah blah! They will give you the right info to reach them, that’s why they are filling out the friggin’ form!

3. Don’t make every select required!

Now that we have those out of the way, here is what you want to have on your contact page:

1. If possible, only ask for the user’s first name, and make this a mandatory select.

2.  Email address – This is obviously ok to make mandatory too.

3. Home address is questionable. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t, it depends on the situation. Women will almost always avoid (by not completing the form) giving you their home address without talking to you first.

4. Phone number – Users will, by default, give you the number that is most convenient for them. Don’t make this one required, and stop asking if daytime, nighttime, morning is convenient. Just pick up the damn phone and call them.

5. Have a privacy policy conspicuously displayed near the form.

6. Don’t just have your contact form on the contact page. It should be in the sidebar of your entire site.

7. Comment or question section – This is where you want them to tell you why they are reaching out to you. Don’t make it required, and don’t limit the number of characters they can use in this box. Nothing pisses a user off more than when they get deep into a thought and your form tells them they are limited to 250 characters!

If you need a general idea on how to set up your contact page, check out mine. Notice I only have two selects that are required, that’s because I just want to know how to reach you, the rest we will figure out when we talk on the phone or through email.

That’s it. Now I know a lot of you out there are freaking out and calling me an idiot, but here are some FACTS. For each additional question you ask on your contact form, you reduce your conversion rate by 10%.  This is why your contact page is not meant to be a sales tool. It’s not there to help set you or your sales people up for the call! Having only 4 or 5 data points also lets you place the form in the sidebar of your entire site.

If you think I am crazy, test it. Run your current contact page for a month, then run mine. If your results don’t improve using mine, then God bless, go in peace and go back to using yours. But I am betting on mine! 😉

10 responses to “Your Contact Page is Killing Your Business”

  1. Alicia Avatar

    Thanks, Daren, very helpful piece.

    I was wondering what you thought about automated responses from business emails/contact forms. I personally find them useless and a little irritating. If I contacted a contractor, I want to hear from them, not a formulaic responses telling me that they will eventually get back to me.

    Would love to hear your thoughts given the above article.

    1. Darren Avatar

      I agree, automated responses (for the most part) are useless at best, damaging at worst. There are however, ways to create them so they don’t look so bad. Obviously, the best response is by reaching out to the home owner right away, but that is often times tough to do when you are knee deep in someone’s bath water. I also don’t like answering services for that matter. I recommend the identity plans many office space companies offer. It is a bit more expensive, but the only impression many home owners get of the contractor’s business are the way they handle the phone, their work trucks, and their appearance. So make all 3 the best they can be.

      And by the way Alicia, thanks for stopping by and commenting!


    2. john shearer Avatar
      john shearer

      Darren I read this a while back…came back to post feedback. Well written and helpful I changed my stuff right away after reading this last year.

      1. Darren Avatar

        Great to hear John, hope it has helped. Thanks again for stopping by and commenting!


  2. Nick Avatar

    Great article I never gave much thought to something so simple as my contact page. Thanks

    1. Darren Avatar

      You are welcome Nick, that’s why I am here! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. Chris Avatar

    Great point Darren, when I use them as a consumer, I don’t want to give up a lot of info, I want to be contacted!
    What about a captcha? I hate them personally, so I don’t use them, but I am getting so tired of the Viagra ads!

    1. Darren Avatar

      In order to make it easier to your user, avoid captcha if possible and get yourself the full version of askimet. And if that still doesn’t work, you gotta live with the SPAM because at the end of the day, you want it to be easier for your readers, so take the burden onto yourself, and thanks for stopping by and commenting Chris!

  4. Chris Spoerl Avatar
    Chris Spoerl

    Well said again Darren. Since taking your advice about inserting a contact form – ” 2 new leads in 48 hours ” You are the Yoda Of Marketing.

    1. Darren Avatar

      Thanks Chris, and congrats on the new business. That’s what it is all about!