The contact form is obviously the last stop in the sales cycle for an online inquiry.
It might not be the most important element on your site. That might be your homepage. Because if your homepage isn't good you lose the visitor's attention before they ever see your contact page.
But the contact page is critical. Get it wrong and you lose someone that has gone through the entire process.
Frustration, complication and confusion all contribute to people not filling out contact forms.
Here are a few of the most annoying things about contact forms that turn inquiries away.
Have you ever filled out a form only to have an error come up once you hit the submit button?
It's so annoying. That's why it's first on this list.
Is it possible that the person using the form filled it out wrong? Absolutely. But as the business owner, it's your responsibility to give them a form that isn't confusing. And it certainly could be something wrong with the form.
Test the form yourself. Have others test it. Test it regularly. Make sure it's easy enough for anyone to complete without error.
2. Too Long
I'm not against long contact forms. I think they can deter those that you don't necessarily want contacting you. But you don't want to error on the side of having a form that is longer than it needs to be.
I can't give you an exact answer for how short or long a form should be. You'll have to test and tweak to get it just right. But audit the form. Look for questions you can remove as you also look for what you can add.
And just remember how you feel filling out that form in the doctor's office. Most people think it's too long and it really is. Don't make your website contact form like the forms in the doctor's office.
3. Too Many Required Fields
This kind of gets back to the error annoyance. You fill out a form and get an error that you didn't fill in a required field. Now you search for the field and in the process the rest of the form data disappears.
It's fine to ask for information that you need and that will help the process. But I've found that it's best to only require the fields that you absolutely need. Such as the email address.
Most people will fill out the rest anyway.
But a possible error will annoy them and send them on their way to the competition.
4. Not Mobile-Friendly
More than 50% of people browse the web on their phone. Your entire website needs to be mobile-friendly. It should have been in 2010, but it's never too late. And so many forms aren't mobile-friendly. They're too wide. They're too small. They're almost impossible to fill out and they will make people leave.
5. No Email or Call Option
Most people are fine filling out a form. Some prefer it. But there are still those that get a little leery of putting their information into an online form.
These folks want an email address or phone number option. It makes them feel safer.
Now, if you feel that those options don't fit your business and target customer profile then leave them off. But if they don't it's usually best to include the other options right next to your phone.
Your physical address along with your hours would be another good item to have.
The contact form is the last step in getting a visitor to get to you to buy what you're selling. Get it wrong and you can annoy them to the point of heading to the competitor. It's worth the effort to make sure you get it wrong. Even the small things.