Contact forms – or client inquiry forms – are one of the easiest things to post on your website. Squarespace and Wordpress have a one-click contact form builder. These things are so easy to include that we tend to give little thought to the strategy behind the form.
So we slap up a few questions that would be good to know when someone first reaches out. Things like…
- What project do you have in mind?
- How do you want people to feel when they visit your site?
- What are you looking for in hiring a coach?
LET'S START AT THE BEGINNING
We should really begin this conversation talking about the purpose of a contact form. This form should make it as easy as possible to move someone from interested to engaged. It’s one of the first opportunities you have to convince them that working with you will make their life easier.
But a contact form is just the first step.
Unfortunately I see a lot of sites that ask people to fill out long, detailed lists of information before getting in touch with the business owner. And most of the time we have no idea that this can unintentionally weed out prospects (and not in a good way) before we can even connect with them.
THE 3 MOST COMMON PROBLEMS WITH CONTACT FORMS
- Assuming this is the only chance to gain information about prospect. When creating a contact form, think about what the most important information is to know before emailing or getting on the phone with a prospective client. Do you really need to know what websites they love and how they’re different than competitors? Or are these things most appropriate to ask once someone has already signed on to work with you?
- Asking them to list their budget. Most people don’t know what it will cost to solve their problems. Many fear that they won’t be able to get what they need with the budget they have, but this is why you explain your value before ever talking money. Asking them what they have to spend is like a recruiter asking for salary requirements before ever discussing the job.
- Diving into their creative vision before deciding if you’re a good fit. Asking things like – What’s your brand personality? – or – “What colors are you drawn to?” are premature at this stage. It’s kind of a waste of your time and theirs to talk about these things before figuring out if you’re a good fit.
MAKE YOUR FORM WORK FOR YOU
- Customize it. The default form just asks for name, email address and a message. Add something extra, specific to your type of business, that will help you have an informed conversation through email or on the phone.
- Build it so it takes no more than 5 minutes to fill out. This means less than ten form fields.
- Ask how they found you. It's easy to forgot how we first found the businesses we follow. By asking them on the front-end, rather than after they work with you, you're more likely to uncover your most effective referral channels.
- Build a system to track your inquiry information. Pull your inquiries into an excel sheet to easily reference the words people are using when they first reach out. This is valuable market research that helps you see who you're attracting and why.