Biz Tips: Building the Perfect Contact Form for Your Landing Page

Biz Tips: Building the Perfect Contact Form for Your Landing Page

Biz Tip:

Building the Perfect Contact Form for Your Landing Page

We’ve all been there: the contact form that seems to go on forever. The unclear ask — what are you even signing up for? The unnecessary questions that are a waste of time to answer. The error message that refuses to let you submit a form because of some invisible, undetectable mistake.

When you’re a potential customer and have to struggle through a contact form that hasn’t been properly QC’d, it’s a huge turnoff. If you run a website and have a contact form that’s indispensable to generating new leads for your business, you should take the same approach to designing a contact form as if you were a potential customer. Let’s look at several pain points that tend to creep up in contact forms and explore ways to nip them in the bud.

The CTA Button

A landing page will only be as successful as your CTA. If you don’t make a clear ask — both visually and rhetorically — it doesn’t really matter if your landing page looks beautiful and works seamlessly. A CTA button that isn’t high contrast or doesn’t give a compelling reason to be clicked will guarantee failure.

Visually speaking, it’s not too difficult to create a high contrast CTA. If your landing page background is a dark color, make the CTA light, or vice versa. At minimum, the sort of language you want to use should reflect the action you want a user to take. “Buy now,” “subscribe for updates” and “get started” are all reliable.

A quick and easy tip for a more sophisticated CTA is to take a major value proposition and turn it into an actionable click. This requires a bit more thinking, since you’ll need to compress possibly a sentence or two into about 10 words or less.

“Buy the last kitchen knife you’ll ever need.”

“Donating to Wikipedia supports free knowledge for everyone.”

“Optimize your landing page for higher conversions.”

Try it out, and like all variables in a landing page, A/B test it to see what works best.

Fillable Fields

Too many and you’re going to scare leads away. Too few and you won’t have enough information to properly qualify leads. This is the dilemma that comes with putting together a contact form on your landing page. Find the right number of fields by coming up with the basic questions you want answered. Besides an email address, what’s absolutely necessary for you to qualify a lead? It probably makes sense to ask for their website if you’re in a B2B niche. If you’re just trying to get someone to follow your blog though, asking for an email is enough; beyond that it can start to feel intrusive.

It might be easier to give your leads the option to select from non-fillable fields such as radio buttons or dropdown menus. Just make sure that whatever fields you do include pass the “is this absolutely necessary?” test. Lastly, whatever fields you do include, make it really clear if they’re optional or mandatory. If someone forgets to fill out a mandatory field, design the error message to point out exactly where they missed a step so that they spend as little time as possible trying to figure out what went wrong.

How many steps?

Friction on your landing page contact form is a surefire way to lose perfectly viable leads. Just like in other high-stakes parts of your website such as a checkout page, you want your contact form to be one step. No hitting a “continue” button or waiting for some sort of special content to load. Keep things as simple as possible to minimize loading time and the possibility of your page crashing. Most importantly, stick to one step because the more steps you add — just like forms — the more likely that you annoy someone enough that they decide it’s not worth the time to fill out your contact form.

GDPR and Privacy Reminders

In the last year, the EU’s GDPR has put the onus on many websites to reconfigure their settings revolving around cookies, data, and other user-related privacy issues. If you do business with customers who are based in the European Union, you should take a minute to assess if there’s something you need to change with regard to your contact form. In many cases, this can be as simple as including a link to your website’s privacy page in the fine print. If you’re not subject to EU guidelines around privacy, it’s still a good idea to let people know that when they fill out your contact form they can expect to hear from you or any potential third parties in the future. Better safe than sorry.

Giving a new website your personal contact info is an exercise in trust; the least you can do when you’re asking people to fill out a form on your landing page is to make them feel like they can trust you. If you follow these guidelines, not only will you be doing the bare minimum to pacify potentially worried users, your landing page should convert better and attract better leads in the process.

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