Just having a contact form doesn’t mean people are filling it out.

It has to be brief, only ask essential questions, and quickly take people from the beginning to “submit.”

If it doesn’t, you may be scaring away qualified customers.  Here’s how to stop the loss.

Heatmaps track contact formsUse Heatmaps to Track Contact Forms

Google Analytics can show a lot, but it can’t show you exactly how people are using your contact page.

For that, we turn to heatmaps.  Lately, we’ve been using them for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) to see how people use contact forms, and the results are surprising.

25-50% never make it to “Submit”

When someone hits your contact page, all they can initially see is what’s immediately in their screen without having to scroll (called “above the fold”).

If your form extends beyond the fold, it could discourage people from committing to fill out the form and make them leave, or “bounce.”  Google Analytics will show your page’s bounce rate, but it won’t tell you where they leave.

According to our findings, 25-50% of the people who view contact pages, never make to the “submit” button because it’s below the fold, or because the form is too long.

More Options Require More Thought

If at all possible, people should only need muscle memory to fill out your form.  The more you ask, and the more specific your questions, the more they have to think.  If they have to think, you risk confusing them or making them second-guess contacting you.

Ask yourself if you would fill out the form.  If even you hesitate to complete it, cut the questions to the bare minimum.  Don’t make people think.

Don’t Require Every Question

A required question forces someone to answer it before submitting the form.  Some are essential, but many are not.

On our brief form, we used to require all five questions, but we only really needed them to answer two questions.  The other three were nice but not essential.  Now it’s a lot easier to fill out.

Remove Visual Clutter

Typical contact form pages have a lot of copy first, then the form.  This discourages people because they feel they have to read the information before they fill out the form.

contact form example from the website of Optimal Web Consultants, Inc.You can fix this by reducing your introductory copy to the bare essentials and moving the form up, or by reducing the copy to bullet points and moving it out of the way to a column on the right or left and moving the form up.

Cut Out A Step with A Dropdown Form

The more a person has to travel through your site, the more you risk losing them along the way.

To prevent that loss, add a contact form to every page as a dropdown.  This way you can program every call-to-action (ex. “request a quote”) to drop down the form when clicked.

It’s fast, easy and convenient.  Just like contacting you should be.