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Contact forms are the cornerstones of any business website. Contact forms are a great way to keep in touch with your customers quickly. Plus, it helps you to know them better compared to email. Because of simplified communication, it will also help you generate more leads. One of the primary reasons to have a contact form on your website is that it prevents spamming and keeps your website secure.
Today, there are hundreds of contact form plugins available in various online stores. Some of them are free while some are paid. However, some companies prefer to create customized contact forms for their website. Regardless of whether you use default templates or create one by yourself, before implementing a contact form on your website, below are the ten features you must look forward in 2019 and beyond.
1. Customizable Questions
The contact form you purchase or create must have the logic to create custom questions. It should have the facility to enter the logic to ask followup questions based on the previous question’s answer.
For example, let’s say you have an e-commerce website and you want your loyal customers to fill the form so that they can receive special discounts on products and shipping charges. But, you want to provide a discount to only those customers who belong to specific/pre-defined locations.
This feature will help you to segment customers based on multiple parameters such as geolocation, age, gender, etc. beforehand.
2. Short and Simple
Contact forms are a medium of communication between you and your customers. And, simpler the communication faster the conversion. Depending on their purpose, forms on websites can be as long as 20-30 fields and as short as 4-5 fields. It is good to have multiple forms on the website for different applications and purposes, but it should not overwhelm clients. According to Hubspot, forms with three fields have the highest conversion rate at 25%.
Shorter forms are always the best for bringing new clients on-board. You don’t need to know everything about a client in the first meeting. A simple form having four fields, i.e., name, email, phone number (not compulsory), and message will do the job. Before creating a form, ask yourself whether or not you are getting intimidated while filling it.
3. Referral Tracking
It is essential to know how did a customer comes to know about your business and referral field in the form that helps you achieve it. You can also keep this field hidden as most of the forms have them hidden. However, a few business owners prefer to ask their customers upfront.
JotForms offer amazing facilities to add hidden referral tracking fields to your contact form. The field will not show up on the contact form. However, you’ll get the information about the referring domain in your email as soon as a customer fills the form.
4. Pre-defined Choices
Pre-defined choices help you to build contact forms faster. Forms such as 123ContactForm help you to choose the default form fields. You can include whichever area you want using it. These fields will appear whenever you’ll create a new form. Some good examples of default fields are first name, last name, email, country, phone number, gender, nationality, and more.
5. Simple Field Validations
Field validations are an imperative element of a contact form. They help users to identify whether or not the information filled is correct. But, if not shown at the right time and place, field validation can be quite annoying. For example, if the mistakes of users while filling a form are shown after the form filling, then it will adversely impact a user as he/she will have to go all the way back and solve all the errors.
On the other hand, if you have the facility of inline validation similar to Google forms, then it will help users to fill a form 42% faster. It will also prevent users from procrastination. To further reduce the form filling time, you can provide inline examples in each field. It will help avoid the error users make while filling the form in the first place.
6. Images, Videos, and Icons
Over the years, the user interfaces of contact forms have changed quite a bit. Today, merely having a form on your website will not suffice. It will also have to be attractive as well. If your form includes a question where the customers have to choose one then instead of writing them down textually or providing a dropdown menu, you can provide images with text or only images as options. Popular form builders such as Typeform can help you create user-friendly, intuitive, and stunning forms.
7. Easy File Upload and Collection
Today, almost every business requires some sort of documentation from their site visitors. For example, if you have a job search website, you’ll want the job seeker to attach his/her resume while filling the enrolment form, if you have a software development business you’ll need the documents of the client’s requirement as an attachment.
8. Clear, Distinct Labels
A customer will only fill the contact form if it is easy to fill the information, especially in the case of long forms. And it is only possible if you have clearly labeled the fields. Customers often get confused when they have to answer subjectively in a field. For example, if there is a field named message, it is usually recommended that you provide examples in the field beforehand. This gesture will quickly give an idea to the customers as to what are you expecting them to write.
9. Unambiguous Path to Completion
The form seen above is an excellent example of a bad form. Looking at this form, any customer can easily get confused as to which information they should fill first and vice-versa. “The flow” is missing in this form. However, to maintain proper flow, it is recommended to create verticle forms. They have higher readability than horizontal forms. Apart from this, a good practice is to group various fields into sections based on their characteristics.
For example, you can create a title “Personal Info” and under the hood, ask for personal details of the user such as name, address, phone number, email, etc. Then another section named “Select your ID and password” and under the hood, ask them to set password and User ID.
The verticle flow and grouping of various fields will drastically increase the customer experience. Apart from this, form builders such as Typeform offer “one field at a time” form. The form will move along automatically as a user will fill the required fields. No need for manual scrolling.
10. Mobile Friendly
Once you’ve taken care of all the above features the final feature, you must be looking forward to is the mobile-friendliness of the form. With the increasing popularity of mobile websites and web app development, it is crucial that your form is also responsive and mobile-friendly.