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No you don’t need a contact form on your website.
Now some of you may choose to disagree with me, that’s fine. Free speech and all that. But I’m guessing a few others are going to completely agree with me.
I’m not even going to try and convince you – you want a contact form – go ahead. It doesn’t hurt anyone…. or does it???
Well, maybe not physically hurt, but mentally yes, and financially, yes yes yes…
Now let’s get one thing straight before I continue. I’m not talking about e-commerce sites, or big corporations where they might have a dedicated person who’s only job it is is to answer contact form enquiries. I’m talking to you, the solopreneur who works endless hours keeping your business running. You wear ALL the hats in your business. There are a million and one ‘time zapping’ activities you could do without and just for once you want to finish work early so you can spend some quality time with the kids.
So for you – ditch the contact form – in fact, ditch any sort of contact details. That includes the phone number!
Wait a minute Karen – but isn’t my website supposed to be there so people can find me and contact me?
Yes, of course, if you want your business to run you.
But, what if you want to be more in control and have a business that YOU run and that YOU are fully in control of….
We are talking about time management.
We are talking about putting your website to work like the powerhouse it was meant to be.
We are talking about working smarter, not harder.
You want a freedom based business don’t you?
Let’s look at some stats. Actually, let’s look at your stats.
Go to your Google Analytics account (if you haven’t got one set up *wags finger* how are you ever expected to find more freedom in your business if you can’t see where your results / leads / sales are coming from – go now, run.. don’t walk… and set up an account. )
So back to Google Analytics, let’s look at the percentage of people who show intent to contact you once they have visited your website.
In your dashboard Go to Behaviour -> Site content -> All pages
Look for your contact page. In the column ‘page views’ you can see the percentage of visitors who viewed the contact page. Pretty neat hey?
This is going to vary for different businesses but roughly 1 – 3% of visitors will be interested in contacting you.
Why is this number so low?
It’s got everything to do with the Customer lifecycle.
You may have heard of sales and marketing funnels, but really all it is, is the journey your customer (or client) goes on starting from not being aware of you and the problems you solve, to them becoming a customer and eventually a brand advocate.
The customer journey has many steps. The start of this journey is where the customer is experiencing a problem and they are looking for a solution. This is why they end up on your website, to find a solution.
Due to the expanse of data on the internet, the search doesn’t stop on your website. Nope. The customer will go away, have a think. Compare other solutions. Chat to their friends. And maybe have time for a beer before they are ready to seriously consider which solution they will go for.
These steps in the customer lifecycle can have several names but they all address the same phycological states the customer will go through.
- Unaware -> Sometime your customer isn’t even aware they have a problem
- Problem aware -> They are aware they have a problem and they find out what they can to understand the problem
- Solution aware -> They are aware that there is a solution and they look for the best solution for them
- Compare / consider -> They begin to compare and consider solutions
- Decision/ Convert -> They make their decision and purchase
Think about how you behave online for a minute.
When you are just understanding your problem, how often do you reach out to businesses? Not often I bet.
Now, when you are considering solutions, do you think you are more likely to reach out then if you have a question about the product or service? Right, you are.
So, considering most visitors to your website are in stage 2, then they are quite unlikely to contact you because they are just not ready.
Makes sense so far?
If your only way of collecting leads from your website is through your contact form then this is the big reason why it’s not going to work very well. Your visitors are just not ready yet.
This approach means you are wasting a huge opportunity. Over 95% of your visitors are leaving with their problem solved – thank you very much – but where does that leave your business? Hoping they remember you and return? Hope is not a good way to build your business. Would you like to hear of a better way?
Implement simple lead generation strategies. The simplest is to give give give, but not just on your website. Send them your best stuff straight to their email address. Once you are welcome in their email inbox you can start to build up trust and let them get to know you. Then when they are ready to reach out, who are they going to think about? Yes, you!
Got it? Do you think that sounds better than just relying on the contact form?
Now, what if they are on your website and they are ready to reach out?
Just because THEY are ready to reach out doesn’t mean they will make a good client. I have had my share of contact form submissions from people (comparing), mostly they are tyre kickers and time wasters. I still respond to everyone but in general, the quality of the leads coming from the contact form are poor.
Whereas the quality of the leads coming from my email list are much higher.
Why is that?
My email list already know me, they know how I work, they trust me. When they contact me, they are pretty much ready to work with me.
So contact form for lead generation is just a time zap in my opinion. I prefer to focus on the quality people I have on my list.
However (there is always something eh..)
There might be some legit reason why someone might want to send you a message.
- There is a problem on your website.
- They want to interview you.
I’ve just told you to get rid of your contact form so what should you do instead?
You need to filter the traffic through your form by adding extra fields.
Take a look at my form and you will see what I mean.
So what about you, are you relying too much on your contact form? How is it working for you?
If you want your website to convert more traffic into valuable leads you need a strategy and the support to help you implement. And that’s where I come in.
I can help you transform your brochure website into a lead generating machine.
If you want to find out how I can do this for you, please contact me.