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Contact/enquiry forms are the lifeblood of a lead generation website. If you can’t get enquiries the website is pretty much useless. This blog post simply outlines how to add a good contact form to your website.

Don’t make it too long

A long form with lots of fields can be intimidating. If your enquiry form is spiraling out of control ask yourself: do I really need this much information? Usually, a name, phone number and email address are all you should make mandatory. Once you have that information you have enough from them to have a lead that can be followed up. If your form is too lengthy they may never even get as far as pressing the submit button.

Use descriptive/helpful form validation

Form validation means you check the content of the form before allowing it to be submitted. For example, you could validate an email address by checking for the @ sign and that it doesn’t contain any illegal characters. This is a nigh essential part of web forms but it needs to be implemented correctly. If the form cannot be submitted for whatever reason, provide clear and helpful messages so they can correct it. If a form fails to submit too many times the visitor will give up.

Send an auto responder

As soon as the form is filled out send an immediate automatic response to confirm receipt; all it needs to do is let them know that you’ve got the form’s contents. Without this, the visitor is never 100% sure that you got their enquiry.

Respond to the enquiry ASAP

Us website users are an impatient bunch. Generally speaking, if we can’t find what we want right away we tend to go elsewhere. If you receive an enquiry through your website respond to it as soon as possible. A lightening fast response won’t make your company look desperate for business. On the contrary, it will show that you care about your customers—and take pride in your customer service. If you get an enquiry within office hours you should aim to reply within fifteen minutes. If you can reply to people on weekends and evenings then all the better. It likely will give you a good edge over your competitors.

Link to it

Finally, there’s no point having a contact form if your visitors can’t find it. Link to it as much as possible and include a contact option as part of your main navigation.

To use me in a web project call me on 07843 483 078 or get a free quote online.

Tim Bennett is a web designer and developer. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.