How many times have you browsed a website with content you really liked and, wishing to stay abreast of new developments or additions, you searched in vain for a contact page only to find there wasn’t one? It’s a unfortunate reality that too many site owners and administrators don’t put enough stock in the importance of having a method with which new and loyal users can be kept in the loop. Which is sad when you consider that it can be done with a simple, short form a visitor can fill out quickly, and through which the site owner can see conversions skyrocket as a result.
That said, not all contact forms are considered equal, especially those designed for WordPress sites where there are so many choices for customization. When you have something in place that allows users to communicate with you directly (unlike social media portals), you build an invaluable connection and establish a definite sense of trust, which encourages more sales, more hits, more click-throughs and pass-ons, etc.
For those who are ready to create a contact form for their WordPress site, there are some things to know first: the platform doesn’t come equipped with a built-in form page or builder, which means you’ll need to install and activate a plugin. WPForms comes highly recommended, as it’s incredibly user-friendly—especially for beginners—and the free version is most likely all you’ll require, so no need to shell out any money.
However, once the plugin is up and running it’s still important, as previously noted, to following some general “best practices” when not only customizing your contact form but ensuring it’s doing its job once it’s up and running. Read on for more.
- Don’t overthink the amount of information you’ll need. This means not putting too many fields—on WPForm you can add as many as you like—for a user to fill out. Doing so makes the process of completing the form more laborious, and hence some users many abandon their attempt and move on. So just use the minimum number of fields you need to understand your audience and to effectively stay in touch with them.
- Give your users a reason to contact you. That means making the form inviting and enticing enough to encourage more interaction. So add a greeting or welcome message to the contact page and offer users the chance to ask specific questions via the form that you can answer quickly and personally.
- Social media is, of course, an outlet not to be ignored, and you may find that users are more comfortable contacting you via those sites rather than getting in touch privately. So on your form page give them the option—by adding social media buttons—of an alternative form of contact.
- Once a user submits a form you’ll be able to show them a confirmation message or have them automatically redirected to a different page. When redirecting them, be sure to choose a page that shows off your most prominent content, such as popular products, an FAQ or resource page etc. And don’t be afraid to offer a freebie or bonus for completing the contact form, such as a discount coupon code or a free gift with their next purchase.
- To make your contact form page more personable add, well, personable content. This could be photos of staff members, your office space or store or simply a message thanking them for taking the time to complete the form. You could also include a mission statement at the top of the form that reiterates the core beliefs behind your products, services, company values or goals.
- Make your form stand out from the crowd by customizing it as much as possible (but don’t make it too busy or you risk “form abandonment”). WPForms is great, but consider picking a specific theme for your page that has unique built-in style sheets for its form templates. Then make those templates your own by adding a plugin like CSS Hero which allows you to edit the visual aspects of a form. And when you choose a theme be sure it comes with a drag-and-drop builder, which will save you lots of time and frustration and make the creation and customization of your contact form a lot more fun.
- Lastly, once your form is completed test it thoroughly to make sure it’s working properly. Too many hosting providers have sub-par mail functions, meaning sometimes those who have filled out a contact form fail to receive email notifications. So send yourself a test submission and have your family, your friends and your colleagues do the same.