Beyond the Contact Page

Marketing, Website Design

I’ve been thinking a lot about the contact page and the role it has to play in your business. The moment a potential client presses send is probably the most excited and receptive that they are ever going to be about hearing from your business. And what usually happens? I look at a lot of websites and test a lot of contact forms, and I can tell you that mostly I see a boring default message starting right back at me, along the lines of “Your Form Has Been Successfully Submitted”. Sure, it’s reassuring but it’s hardly going to be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Secondly, the contact page often receives very little visual love. We might spend hours on building elaborate and enticing home pages, but not really give a second thought to how we present a contact page. ‘As long as it gets the job done’, seems to be the general approach.

In short, here’s what I think every Contact page should have:

  • Images and attention to detail when it comes to styling
  • A friendly, personal introduction
  • A success message with personality
  • An email link as well as a contact form
  • Information about what will happen once they have contacted you (ie. timeframe, next steps)
  • Your social links & signposts to your best content 

So, in this blog post, I want to dive into creating a truly engaging contact page, but also talk about what you can do beyond the contact page to really hook potential clients.

MAKE SURE YOUR CONTACT FORM HAS A LOG

Let’s start with the practicalities. There is only one golden rule with contact forms and that’s to make sure the contact form you are using has an entry or submission log. In the event of your email going down or not working, it’s crucial that you can access any contact forms that have been submitted. I’m sorry to say I don’t rate the native Divi contact form module (no entry log, bit temperamental).

I tend use either Formidable or Caldera for simple forms (they both have good free versions and are easy to style) and Gravity Forms for anything complex. (ProPhoto & Showit both have good built-in contact forms with entry logs before you ask.)

For those of you working with studio management software, like Lightblue, Pixifi or 17 Hats, of course you can embed their forms too. In fact, I’ve got my contact form linked to ActiveCampaign, my email management software, so that I can send automated email responses, which we’ll be looking later in this post.

INSPIRED CONTACT FORMS

Before we go too much further, let’s take a moment to get inspired. I love this round-up from the Shootproof blog that showcases some gems. It actually features one of my fav writers, Ash Ambirge from the Middle Finger Project. Check out her contact form for an exercise in fun memorable last impressions.

And recently I had the pleasure of working with Nadia Meli on creating a website packed full of personality and that includes the contact page. Her mad libs style form is awesome but she’s also pretty straight about letting her audience know that she only wants to hear from her target market.

AFTER THEY PRESS SEND

Earlier, we briefly touched on what happens after a potential client pressed send. Hopefully some kind of success message that isn’t the boring old default message. Now is the time to try to engage with your visitor because at that very moment, at the very least, they want to hear from you and possibly get to know you better. Don’t leave them hanging!

Invite them to connect on social media, direct them to your favourite blog posts or suggest they sign up to your email list. Many contact forms allow you to redirect people to a different page. There you might choose to add useful information, a selection of blog posts, or maybe even record a special video message just for those who have submitted a contact form. The name of the game is to invite them to explore your world at the moment they are most likely to want to do that.

KEEP IT MOBILE

They’ve requested your brochure or pricelist and you can’t wait to send it. You fire up your email, add your fancy PDF brochure and send it straight over. Many people are likely to receive your reply to a mobile device. If you are sending an image-heavy multi-page brochure, chances are it will have a large file size and they will be resistant to downloading it to a mobile devices.

Instead, think about making it as easy as possible for them to receive your information. Think about creating a hidden brochure page you can link to, or publish your brochure online using Abode InDesign CC or Issuu and embed that in a hidden page with an option to download. In short, don’t present them with any obstacles at such a crucial stage.

RETARGET YOUR VISTORS USING THE FACEBOOK PIXEL

In my opinion, this is the single most neglected aspect of Facebook advertising. There is some statistic somewhere that says a potential clients needs 7 ‘touches’ before they will consider interacting with your business. We’ve talked about sending the right success message, signposting to further content, following up with a series of emails but wouldn’t you also want these hot leads to see little reminders of your brand as they browse Facebook & Instagram. I get GREAT results with this. Stop boosting posts randomly and do this one thing. 

Luckily I wrote this blog post about installing the Facebook pixel on your website so that you can show ads specifically to people who have visited your website. You can even drill down and target just those people who have visited a certain page.

I would love to see your inventive contact pages. It’s time to give them a little love in order to get big results.

Enjoyed this article and want to access some more bite-sized learning? Check out Siteschool, our online course which walks you through every aspect of building your own website.

 

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