From email sign-ups and post-purchase surveys, to more sophisticated purchase orders and quizzes, forms are everywhere. You’ve almost certainly filled one out already this month – perhaps even this week. After all, in 2021 over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, making forms more important than ever.
Creating a seamless online shopping experience through forms is crucial to e-commerce websites. However, it’s fair to say that in engineering and manufacturing, where products and services are more specialised and expensive, contact forms play a vital role in turning your prospects into customers. Coming up, we’ll go through the nuts-and-bolts of contact forms, offering some hints and tips on how to create a contact form that works.
What is a contact form?
A contact form is usually used to learn more about what a prospect needs before they’re in a position to convert. Essentially, they’re a collection of editable fields which your prospect can populate with information about themselves – for example, their name, email address and phone number, sort of like this:
Marketers and customer service agents use this to help shape the way they approach their prospects, whether that’s updating their contact preferences, booking a meeting, or giving them a tailored response to their questions.
Why are contact forms important?
In today’s marketplace, information is everything. Never before have we been able to know so much about our prospects, from their likes and dislikes, to where they are in the world and when they’re most likely to make a purchase.
As our knowledge grows, so does our thirst to learn more. We’re always on the lookout for ways to know more about who’s visiting our website, to better understand how we can help them, and ultimately how we can make a sale.
Contact forms are one of the most useful ways we can do this. They allow us to find out more about our prospects, and to help them effectively.
How to create a contact form that works
Have a single purpose for your contact form
Whether it’s a sign up to marketing communications, like emails, or a place for your lead to ask a question or complete a survey, contact forms are really versatile. They can be used when a customer wants to download gated content or request a quote – in short, they can come in handy for almost anything.
That said, it’s important to have no more than one focus for your contact form. If you try to achieve too much it’ll only confuse your audience and put them off using it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having multiple forms on your website – after all, a bespoke newsletter sign-up, e-book download and contact form can all happily coexist on your website (although perhaps not all on the same page). In fact, if it simplifies your proposition, it’s actually better to have more than one form.
Keep required fields to a minimum
You can set compulsory fields in your form which makes it mandatory for your lead to hand over certain information before they can submit the form. So, if your business can’t do much without a name or email address you’ll probably opt to make these mandatory.
That said, don’t go too crazy with what you choose to make compulsory – every required field you add will affect its conversion rate. Think carefully: do you really need anything more than an email address for newsletter sign-up?
Provide assurances to your audience
Let your prospect set the terms
Where possible, allow your prospect to drive the contact form. Book-a-meeting scheduling, like this one offered by HubSpot, lets your contact request a time that’ll suit them for you to get in touch. At the very least, you should ask how they want to talk to you – whether that’s email, phone or face-to-face.
A great contact form will be constantly evolving based on your user behaviour, so don’t panic if you don’t get it right the first time.
How to set up HubSpot forms on my website?
At FINALLY, we’re just mad about the form builders offered by HubSpot. They work on any platform, are easy to use with their drag-and-drop functionality, and allow you to create up to 1,000 form fields using 12 different field types – not that you’ll need that many! You can embed your form onto your website in seconds with no need to involve your dev team. And did we mention that they’re completely free to use? You really have nothing to lose to give them a go – and FINALLY can help you to get to grips with them.
At a glance: how to create a contact form that converts
- Think about the purpose of the contact form – what are you trying to achieve? After all, a newsletter sign up form will look very different to a book meeting form.
- Don’t ask for too much – think carefully about the bare minimum you need to make your contact form a success. Too many compulsory fields will put off your prospect.
- Let them dictate the terms – whether it's a book-a-meeting widget or an email opt-in box, allow your prospect to retain control of the conversation.
For help with creating contact forms, get in touch with the FINALLY team.