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Best Practices for Contact Forms

Your website is one of the best tools to help you get leads for your business. Having at least one contact form on your website allows potential customers to reach out with questions and request quotes without leaving your site. Let’s review some best practices for contact forms to help you ensure receipt of email notifications of submitted form entries and get the most out of your forms.

Ensuring Receipt of Email Notifications

When we build a site for a client, part of our process during development is to submit forms and verify the client received them. There are outside influences that can affect the deliverability of the notifications after site launch.

Email opened on computer

One of the most common scenarios that affects email delivery is when email hosting changes or more robust spam filters and spoofing protocols are put into place. The typical outcome is that emails are quarantined or may be sent to a spam or junk folder in your email client. We can usually help you resolve delivery by using domain sender authentication or having your email host provider utilize whitelisting.

Another means by which email notifications are no longer received is due to the notified email address being a specific person’s email address versus an alias or distribution type email address ([email protected] vs [email protected]). Using an email that’s department specific versus an individual person has a couple benefits with the largest being that those email addresses are usually updated when people come and go from companies. When individual emails associated with a specific person are used, that person can leave a company and nobody considers updating the contact forms to account for their departure. The other benefit is that whomever manages email accounts can update who receives the emails sent to the departmental type email. Making a change due to someone needing to cover while someone is out of the office for an extended period of time is a quick change in distribution in the email administration rather than possibly having to update several forms on a website.

What Fields Should My Form Include?

Contact us

The purpose of a web form is to collect the information required to assist your potential or current customers. For general inquiries, you’ll likely request the following as required fields:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Comments

If you have a support or quote form, you may have more required fields to allow you to collect all the information required to assist the customer. There is a fine balance between making it easy for the customer to fill out the form and getting necessary information. Think along the lines of “it’s crucial that I have this information to properly respond” compared to “it would be nice to have this information”.

Are there other methods of collecting form data?

Receiving email notifications with the form data isn’t the only method to get the information submitted on your website’s forms. Various form modules and plugins can also feed data to services such as Salesforce, MailChimp, Act-On HubSpot and Constant Contact to name a few. If you’re looking for a means to level up your use of client information, reach out to our team and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have to help you meet your digital marketing goals.