At first sight, it may seem that a WordPress contact form is a piece of cake. Just create a contact page, include the form syntax and hit “Publish”.
Sadly, that is not exactly the way things work. The aforesaid order of actions is an across-the-board approach to user engagement – an issue which cannot be taken care of with an across-the-board solution. The truth is, your use of web forms should come in alliance with three factors: organizational and personal purposes, as well as your users’ needs. If you have never looked at contact forms from this angle, with the help of the following steps you can figure out whether you are using the forms efficiently. Either way, these tips will be of use if you wish to improve your approach.
There are lots of sites with contact forms out there, yet it doesn’t mean that yours should have one, too. Therefore, start off by asking yourself why do you need a web form to begin with. Here are some reasons that may ring a bell:
- service or products questions
- client or customer feedback
- requests for estimates, information or quotes
- customer service outreach
- appointments or reservations
- signups for an event, list of drawing
- prospective client communication
However, in case your website does not imply any of these communications, or you are not authorized to manage form submissions, most likely, you have no need to publish a web form. Think about it this way: your website is a restaurant with a contact form on its homepage. Is the restaurant seeking feedback from the customers and responds in kind? If so, keeping the form makes perfect sense. Likewise, if your restaurant takes reservations through web forms, the use of contact form is absolutely justified.
The purpose of any web form is to get a certain feedback. Yet what if there is no purpose for the contact form to reach? What if your site doesn’t need this form at all? Clearly, in this case the form would be unnecessary, and there is no benefit for the business or its users from an unnecessary form.
In the abovementioned example, two main reasons for a website to include a contact form were taken into consideration – reservation requests and customer feedback. Hence, in favor of accommodating users (along with making maximum use of web forms), it is best that the restaurant uses separate forms to compass each of these purposes. Here is why this strategy will work best:
- Straightforward purposes: Users have a right to know why a certain form exists. Thus, separating the forms allows you to introduce each of them with a specific copy, which suggests this form’s objective.
- Form fields variety: Taking reservations implies the need for users to submit essential information, such as the time of arrival and the number of people in their party. Separating the feedback form from the reservation form makes it easier to collect this sort of information by adding specific fields.
- Well run administration: Who should be responsible for customer feedback? Who can schedule reservations best? By using various forms, you are free to send separate submissions to different persons with the aim of accommodating users with maximum efficiency.
Not only using separate contact forms benefits the organization of your website, it also improves communication with users. Think of a consulting company that also sponsors local events. Since there are two main spheres of this firm’s activity, there are at least two distinct reasons for people to contact its team members. In this case, not only separating contact forms for event inquiries and service estimates is rational – it also allows the company to organize appropriate submissions and make sure that each matter is handled by a right person.
The same applies to online retailers.
Through maintaining customer service, information requests and separate contact forms the retailer can provide relevant form fields.
Don’t ask for unnecessary information. For example, a field for “subject,” might show user-generated subject lines via email but is it really necessary? There is little reason to provide a subject field if you already have a larger field with all contact request details.
To achieve an objective to make users fill in an unnecessary fields since asking them too much could send them away. The is idea to collect only the minimum information.
For example, a photographer can create a contact form with fields with a shooting place, whether a client wants to pay with credit or cash or whether the subject is an object or a person. However, this before a shoot information do not directly qualify success.
This superfluous details require a lot of efforts from visitors. In addition, the photographer may seem unceremonious.
There are many “Contact Us” forms across the web, but is it the best solution to place a web form on its own page? To be short, web forms should have intuitive locations. It is better not to ignore the importance of alternative locations. If you and your users consider it а wise decision, then go for it and create a separate form page. For example, a contact form can be added to the bottom of description page. Thus, the photographer`s site could have a contact form below weddings and photography pages. That is users without leaving the page can read about a specific service that inspired them to make contact and get in touch immediately.
Certainly, you should first find out which location works better. Here is some simple tests to do it:
- Use multiple locations for publishing web forms. Do it with at least two forms that serve the same purpose and are identical to one another, to ensure you are making proper comparison.
- Record every submission. It will help you to find out what location brings more submissions. For easier monitoring, some WordPress contact form plugins associate forms with unique IDs.
- Make conclusions. You can easily analyze the results directly through WordPress, unless you receive billions of submissions every month. Use Google Analytics to examine your results and set up new goals and funnels.
As you see, by performing this test you have nothing to lose. But in the end, you will find out which location for web forms is more useful.
It looks rather sad when you fill out a contact form and in the end you see a small message “Request Received” at the top of the screen. Users do not know when you will respond since you you have not told them about it.
It would be much better to create “success” messages. When a visitor submits form, the first thing he/she will see should be a page or a message that:
- lets them know when you will answer
- thanks them for staying in touch.
- invites them to further engagement in some certain way; it can be connecting on social media, signing up for your newsletter or reading your latest post.
After the users have chosen to make contact, such a “success” message continues to build affinity with them. Or it just can be another opportunity to assure visitors you are aware about their request.
You have already read what it takes to get maximum from your WordPress contact form. But which contact form is the best to needed to meet all the challenges? See the following forms to consider:
- Gravity Forms: This plugin can create forms to serve virtually any imaginable purpose. It monitors submissions within WordPress and lets you assign unique IDs to forms. Also, the plugin provides a lots of extras like some advanced fields, multi-page forms, form scheduling. Thus, it can create almost any contact form you need. However, it’s not free and it would be a good solution for businesses with specific needs. Сheck this plugin at http://www.gravityforms.com/.
- Contact Form 7: This plugin creates simple forms with a diverse array of field types. It allows you to create multiple forms and customize them to your content. And it is popular among bloggers for its price ($0) and strong feature suite. Check out Contact Form 7 at https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7/.
- Contact Form: If you are a beginner in WordPress, Contact Form plugin would be just perfect for you. It is easy to install and to manage. More advanced users who do not want to spend much time on a variety of settings would also appreciate its features. Contact Form plugin is fast, simple and reliable. Easy and intuitive plugin, the easiest way to add contact forms. It surely would meet your requirements. Take a closer look at Contact Form at https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-plugin/.
To summarize, it is much more important how you use the contact form than which plugin you choose for it. What does matter is whether your contact form meets users’ needs and your global objectives. Don’t ever forget to monitor your submissions! A contact form can be useful only due to the punctuality and quality of your reply. If you promise to be in touch soon, you should keep your word.