Taking the crap out of contact forms

Most contact forms suck. They ask too much and take too long to fill out. As a builder of first impression, they make prospects think the company they’re considering to do business with moves at sub-bureaucratic speeds not seen since the first Trabant started burning oil on the roads of East Germany. 

But another big problem with most contact or inquiry forms is their order and lack of usability.

I was recently hired to write new landing pages for a b2b website. Lots of people came to the site and looked at product – in this case, tools – but not enough contacted the company. While my task was to focus on landing pages, I asked if I could also rework the inquiry form. Only after giving up all your personal data were you finally asked what kind of tool you wanted to rent, which is the only reason you’d be on that webpage in the first place.

Besides cutting the amount of stuff to fill out, I flipped the form around so the first thing the customer sees is a headline:

Let’s get started.

Followed by a line of copy:

What tool do you want to rent?

And then a drop-down menu, like this, of the tools they have for rent.

Now when a prospect clicks open the form, he immediately feels, “This company gets me. They’re not wasting my time!”

When you recognize your prospects’ sense of urgency and create systems that better serve them, you’re more likely to turn prospects into customers. And the contact form is huge part of making that happen.


Posted at 11:40 am on Mon, Dec 20, 2010

Trabant photo courtesy of Freimut


About Robert Moss

I write ads: traditional, non-traditional, interactive, edutainment, story-based, broadcast, and experiential marketing events. Sometimes I write about ads and the business of advertising. Sometimes I write about other stuff. The views expressed here are solely my own and don't reflect the views of my employers. I also published a novel called Descending Memphis that's getting great reviews on Amazon. see http://www.amazon.com/Descending-Memphis-Robert-R-Moss/dp/0692364226
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