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! 😉