At first glance a contact form may seem like one of the easiest types of forms to create – and in many ways it is. However despite that you should not take it lightly, as there are several factors you will want to consider carefully.
If you’d like to create better contact forms that are much more effective, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself:
- Does the contact form really need a Subject field?
The subject field is one of the more divisive fields in contact forms. It can be helpful to segment the responses and make them easier to manage, but at the same time it adds to the overall length of the form – which isn’t ideal.
As a rule of thumb you should use a subject field if you are expecting a large number of responses, or if it will make it easier to disseminate the responses to various parties. However if not and if there is no other specific reason – you can remove it.
- What is going to stop the spam bots?
Just like everything else, contact forms are susceptible to spam – which can be a big problem if you don’t do anything about it. The good news is that there are several ways to stop spam bots (or filter out their responses), but you need to decide in advance which you’re going to use.
Among the options available to you are CAPTCHA, cookies, spam filters, and hidden fields. Each will help protect your contact form from spam in a different way, so for best results you may want to use a combination of them.
- Are mandatory fields really necessary?
As much as you would like it if people left their name and email address along with the message they send via a contact form – is it really necessary to make it mandatory? The fewer mandatory fields that you have the better, so if you feel it isn’t necessary that would be best.
The only caveat is that sometimes people genuinely just forget to enter their email. If that is a case, displaying a reminder in the follow-up message so they can resubmit the response might be a good solution.
- Is the contact form mobile-friendly?
Every form that you create should be mobile-friendly as the majority of your visitors will probably be on mobile devices. However that doesn’t just mean that it should be a responsive design.
Ideally you should make sure that each form element is mobile-friendly as well. For example drop-down lists require more interactions than radio buttons on mobile devices, and should be avoided except in specific cases.
- Does the contact form have a good follow-up message?
After visitors send a message via a contact form, a follow-up message should be displayed. Instead of a generic ‘Thank you’ message however, you should take advantage of that opportunity to let them know what happens next.
For example you could provide details of when they can expect to hear back from you (e.g. 24 or 48 hours), other resources that may be helpful, or any other relevant information. A good follow-up message should aim to make visitors feel more satisfied.
As you can see each of these five questions can help you to produce more effective contact forms. Actually creating the contact form should be the easy part, and for example if you use AidaForm Online Form Builder you just need to follow the steps at https://aidaform.com/forms/contact-form.html.
Make no mistake there are other factors that you should consider when creating a contact form as well, such as its overall structure, design, and appearance. Suffice to say although contact forms may be ‘simple’, a good deal of thought should (and must) go into creating one – otherwise you are likely to end up with a form that doesn’t really get as many responses as it should.