13 June 2011

Making the Most of 'Contact Us' to Gather Leads

Contact us for professional website designWhy listing your contact information on your website just isn't enough. Every business website should have a "Contact Us" page. It's a must-do. It legitimizes your business by offering a real person to contact, and helps you gather leads. But are you making the most of your contact page?

First, study your website analytics to find out how people use your contact page. If you don't already have a web analytics solution--which helps you analyze your site traffic, including specific details of your visitors and how they navigate your site--sign up for the popular and free Google Analytics.

Is this the only page people send queries from? That means you only have one contact form. Instead, why not have one on every page?

People are used to receiving information nearly instantaneously online. Attention spans online are very short and people will use only the most easily accessible information.

If your contact form is hard to locate and visitors have to go through many pages to reach it, few will use it. But having the form on every page or including a link that goes to a page with the form, it eliminates the obstacle of having to find it, enabling people to easily submit queries.

One great thing about this technique is that it reduces the visitor's urge to close your website. If the contact form is right there, viewers are more likely to take action.

Now before you quickly move on and put a contact form or contact page link on every page of your site, here's another technique for making your contact form more effective. Anyone can put a contact form on every page, but it's the way you word your "call to action" form that makes the difference. Your "call to action" form must be worded in a way that clearly inspires visitors to take action and instructs them how.

Every website has a unique goal, whether it's to contact your company, download a particular product, purchase a product, set an appointment, or sign up for your newsletter. Your call to action depends on the nature of your website goal. You need to craft your call to action to not just achieve your goal, but to relate that goal to your target traffic.

Here's an example of a good call-to-action statement that relates to its targeted audience, describes clearly how to contact the business and also offers a bonus incentive for doing so:

"To contact us, simply enter your first name, e-mail address, and comments below and we'll send you a free copy of our e-book The Seven Ways to Double Your Income, valued at $29.95. Contact us now."

Wording is crucial whenever you're writing a call-to-action statement. Words are powerful and must be carefully crafted to get your message across quickly and effectively. Also, the call-to-action font size must be large so it can be easily seen amid your website text.

Here are few ideas to get you started crafting a good call to action:

  • Include verbs or "doing" words.
  • Offer an incentive for people to contact you, such as a free cup of coffee, coupon or discount, free initial consultation or e-book.
  • Remove the risk factor for people by including words like "guaranteed" or "no obligation" so they don't feel pressured to sign anything or think that they'll lose money. Remember, no one likes to be pressured into doing things.
  • Instruct people exactly how to contact you. You'd be surprised how many people struggle to find your contact form or have trouble understanding how to complete it. Remember, it may be easy for you, but not for other people.
  • Don't require people to give up a lot of information. Many internet users want to remain anonymous and fear the security risks of sending private information online. If you ask people for too much information, they'll get scared or irritated and won't want to fill out your contact form.
  • Make the form easily accessible. Is it buried under layers and layers of pictures or text so it's hard to see? Make the form stand out.
  • Keep it simple.

Finally, direct visitors to an automatic thank-you page after they fill out the form. This builds trust and shows them that you care about them. It also ensures that the visit doesn't immediately end after the form is complete.

For professional and affordable website design and development, feel free to contact Farend, for no obligation quotation.

The above article was originally published by Entrepreneur on 28/04/2011 and can be seen at: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219543