Your contact page could be the only thing standing between you and your next sale. Every page on your WordPress site should have one underlying goal; to convert visitors into happy-to-pay customers. If one page is failing, it can spread the rot to the rest of your website. It’s like the fly in a bottle of ointment. Your contact page could be that fly; your thorn in the flesh. That’s because selling is all about perception. It’s all about the presentation, and if one part is broken, the whole presentation could fall apart.
In today’s post, I will reveal a few contact page tricks that will help you create a contact page that doesn’t leave money on the table. Then, I will share a few contact form plugins to help you take care of the technical aspect of your contact page, because you have to get the contact page right from the bottom up.
That out of the way, how do you create a contact page that converts most of your visitors into leads?
Your customer is on your contact page because they need to contact you. Hopefully, they are already sold and all they need now is a way of getting in touch, not a lecture on why contacting you is the best thing they will ever do. Of course, it is the best thing to you, but you are not the customer. Therefore, keep your contact page uncluttered and straightforward.
This is how:
- Tell your customers why they should contact you because – you probably guessed it – you don’t need every dick and harry contacting you. You need the customer to contact you. Be very particulate: “Please contact me for a free consultation”, “Contact us for more information about [a particular service or product]”, “Contact me today to hire…” or something similar should suffice.
- Ensure your contact information (email, telephone number, instant messaging Ids etc) is accessible immediately. Use varied text color, bold or larger fonts if need be, just make sure this information jumps out of the page.
Your contact page should feel like an invitation, not a marketing pamphlet. Customers who visit your contact page should feel the sudden urge to RSVP – to initiate contact with you. They shouldn’t feel like running for the hills, they should feel drawn in.
PROVIDE A PHYSICAL ADDRESS
You can start by providing a physical or mailing address. With a physical address, more people are bound to trust you because you will come across as a “legitimate” business. See? It’s all about perception. Additionally, you are in a better position to attract local customers.
Your FAQ page should contain just that – frequently asked questions. A customer might be contacting you to ask a question and you might lose them in the back-and-forth emails because you suck at email or they just don’t like your email etiquette, but if they can get the information (in your FAQ page) without contacting you, it will speed up the whole conversion process. Case in point: Paypal’s and Payoneer contact pages.
PROVIDE LINKS TO SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES
This can serve two purposes. Firstly, you can provide social proof. Secondly, you give your customers more channels to connect with you. Links to your social media profiles can encourage more people to contact you, either via your contact page or on social media.
Even if they don’t feel compelled enough to contact you immediately, they can choose to follow you, which is always a good thing. Or, as they say, you never know where you next sale will come from. A Twitter discussion can lead to a very big project, so don’t undermine the value of social media. Link to your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn profiles because most people have accounts with at least one of these sites and because your contact page must remain uncluttered. If you would like to list all your social media profiles, use a handy widget such as Social Media Widget or create a separate page just for this purpose.
EXTRA TIP: If your links (except social media links) can open in an i-frame inside your contact page, the better, since you don’t want your customers going back and forth. You want them to get all the information they need without leaving the contact page. You can achieve this easily using the Easy I-frame Loader Plugin.
Provide Instant Methods of Contact
Your physical and snail mail addresses can be good at earning trust but what if a customer needs urgent help to make an order? What if they cannot visit your physical premises but really need your services?
How do you ensure they don’t go away to your competitor?
You provide instant means of communication by availing:
- A fully functional contact form (I will be sharing great contact plugins towards the end of this post so don’t worry)
- A telephone number that you have access to 24-7, especially if you serve a global clientele
- Skype, Gtalk and other forms of instant messaging available to your business
- A mailbox (email address) that is monitored regularly
But even with these instantaneous means of communication, include a single line on when your customer can expect a reply from you. If you run a one-man operation and cannot manage your mailbox and other means of contact every hour of the day (obviously we all need sleep and rest), make it clear when you will be available to address queries, and then show up at these times. If you can’t hack this, hire help.
- Optimize or design your contact page for print in case a customer needs to print out the details.
- Include a link to your contact page on your navigation menu or on multiple locations on your site. Make the page easy to find, and since it will be uncluttered, it will be easy to skim.
- To flesh out the foregoing tip, your contact page should convince your customers to initiate contact without so much verbiage – keep it short, sweet and simple.
- Use a font that is available across all platforms: computers, mobile devices and the different browsers e.g. Arial, Verdana or Sans Serif.
- If you use images on your contact page, ensure they add editorial value. For instance, a photo of your smiling staff can add warmth and personality but a clip art of a mailbox or a telephone adds no editorial value.
Now that you have all the theoretical knowledge you need to create a compelling contact page, let’s look at some examples to learn how the above principles work together. The following are five of the best contact pages I have come across.
Ted clearly understands that a contact page can be more than just a means of asking people to get in touch. You can use your contact form to advance your cause. You can even ask for help from your readers or customers, just like Ted.
These guys seem to understand the dynamics of presentation really well. This contact page is quite informal yet professional, which makes it very approachable.
This contact page utilizes nearly all the principles discussed in this post while managing to remain uncluttered and straightforward. Notice all the relevant links? You can even download directions!
If you are looking for a neat and tidy contact page, this is it. It is a reflection of what a professional contact page should look like. Everything is purposefully designed and right where it belongs, even the bottle.
This is very clever. The design is simple but really intelligent, and it provides all the information you need in a single place. If you look hard enough, you might notice a few social media profiles too. Example images courtesy of The Blog Tyrant.
The above examples should inspire you to create a contact page you will be proud of, and more importantly, one that will convert your readers into customers. But all through, we’ve been covering the frontend side of things. It’s time we went behind the scenes and learnt about the ten best contact form plugins that will help you develop a fully functional contact form.
Top 10 Contact Form Plugins For WordPress
CONTACT FORM 7
This contact form plugin is my all-time favorite and I’ve been using it on my blog for quite some time now. That’s because it’s easy to configure and use. Just develop your form and place it anywhere you want with the help of a shortcode.
In addition, you can create and manage several contact forms as well as customize the forms using simple HTML markup. Further, Contact Form 7 supports Akismet spam filtering, CAPTCHA and Ajax submission, which means users can still submit their queries even if the page reloads. The plugin also allows you to create custom confirmation messages, so you can really engage your customers.
If you are going to go the premium route, the Gravity Forms WordPress Plugin is definitely the way to go. With tons of extra features and options it’s worth the extra money. This plugin is not only capable of creating simple or complex contact forms, but also surveys, polls, and much more.
The plugin is easy to use thanks to the visual form editor, and includes tons of options including (but not limited to) multi-page forms, pricing, order forms, scheduled forms, limited entries. Plus there are plugin add-ons for just about anything you could think of. This premium plugin is well worth the investment.
Ninja Forms is another awesome free contact form WordPress plugin that you should have a look at. Using a drag and drop interface you can quickly and easily build a custom contact form with all the fields you need (and none of the ones you don’t). Plus from a developer’s perspective, there are plenty of hooks/filters built-in so you can customize the plugin or create your own extensions.
JETPACK Contact Form
Don’t forget about the JetPack Contact Form. The brainchild of the folks over at Automattic, JetPack includes solutions for lots of common WordPress plugins (we’ve talked about why you should try it out here and here) – including a nifty contact form. One of the coolest features of the JetPack contact form is that after you’ve activated the module, a Contact Form icon will be added to you rich text editor for posts. To add a contact form to a post or page you would just click on the icon, edit the form, and add it to you post. It’s that easy.
VISUAL FORM BUILDER
Thanks to its ingenious design, Visual Form Builder allows you to create functional contact forms with a single click (ok, a few clicks). The drag and drop interface is easy and fun to use and you can add your forms anywhere on your WordPress site using a shortcode. Visual Form Builder was designed to lock out spammers and it comes with a wide range of field types (textarea, radios, buttons, etc) and fully customizable confirmation messages.
CONTACT FORM BY CONTACTME.COM
This is a very feature-rich plugin that comes in three variants: a free version and two paid plans. The free version offers everything you need to run a basic contact form, but the paid versions open doors to other features such as the ability to attach files and use the plugin to create multiple forms. You will need to create an account with contactme.com to use this plugin.
SLICK CONTACT FORMS
This is a good WordPress contact plugin to use if you’re looking to implement all manner of interactive behavior. The plugin creates a widget that you can use to add multiple contact forms across your WordPress site. You can then set your contact forms to drop down, float about, slide or stick. It’s a good plugin to grab the attention of your customers.
EASY CONTACT FORMS
This plugin borrows some of its design features from the WP Contact Plugin. Easy Contact has a user-friendly interface that you can use to customize every aspect of your contact forms. Additionally, you can install your contact forms using a shortcode, so its pretty basic. Other than that, you can track your readers’ IP address, browser type and referrer giving you the opportunity to understand your traffic some more.
FAST SECURE CONTACT FORM
This is a safe and secure contact form plugin has over 4 million downloads, and for good reason. Akismet and Captcha have been built right in (no add-ons or extensions needed) so you won’t be receiving tons of spam when you add your contact form. It’s simple to use not to mention super effective.
Just like the name suggests, it’s a contact form plugin – no more and no less. This is a free version of a premium plugin, but it gets the job done nicely. Just use the shortcode to add in your contact form to any page or post.
The contact page should encourage your customers to initiate contact, but it’s surprising how many businesses hide their contact page behind other glamorous pages.
Your contact page should work really hard for your business, so ensure more people can find it to begin with. Don’t just set up your contact page and leave; direct traffic to the page and encourage more customers to contact you. That will be all 🙂
Did I leave out something? Would you like to share your take on contact form plugins or creating a compelling contact page? Please share with us in the comment section below!