Contact us forms seem so simple on the surface. They are simply a form that someone fills out to get in touch you or your business. Behind the scenes though there are many layers of outlining and planning information that need to be thought through.

The Fields of the Contact Us Form

When building a contact us form, you first must define exactly what fields of information you need to gather about the user.

For instance, a simple form could simply include:

– Name
– Email Address
– Message

Adding Conditional Fields for Better Data Collection

But what if your customer is expecting hundreds of submissions everyday? And what if those hundreds of submissions will be required to go to different people?

A simple solution is to add a drop down select option that will make the form conditional. For example, you could work with your customer to define a list of reasons a person would be contacting them. Then, the team member that receives the message will be based on what the user selected in the list.

For example, you could add a select list for the Subject of the message. Like this:

– Name
– Email Address
– Subject
– Customer Support
– Tech Support
– Create a New Account
– Other
– Message

Technically the website could send the message to the appropriate team member based on the Subject that they choose, but what if all the emails are going to one person? How will that work with your email system? It would be easy for you to set the subject line in the emails so you can create filters in your Inbox that organize incoming email. Maybe thats overthinking for a site that’s only generating up to 10 emails a day, but what about when you are getting 100+ emails a day.

Acknowledgement to the User

Additionally, the user should receive an acknowledgement email. What should that email say? And the user should be sent to a confirmation page. What should that page say? These are more things that need to be thought through before your forms go live.

Using the Acknowledgement Email as Marketing Devices

Statistics show that auto responder emails (especially from eCommerce sites) are opened much more often than email marketing emails. A good tip here is to use the Acknowledgement email and Confirmation page for additional calls to action. For instance, you could include links to your customers Facebook page and request that the user “Like” them. Or follow them on Twitter. You could also include download links to white papers or Marketing PDFs. You could even include links to your customers FAQs or other informative pages where they might find more information.

Be sure to think through how the system should handle the results of this form. Most contact us forms will include important personal information about your customers users. Is there anything additional that you want to do with that information? Do you want it to go into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software? Do you need to be able to export a CSV file of the form submissions? Should the submissions be deleted after a period of time.

Seriously, Contact Forms are such a simple thing, but as always, you need to step back and think through the details. By planning these things ahead of time and thinking through all the potential outcomes you will go live with a much more successful product.

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