A contact form, while commonplace on most websites, is not a mandatory element for capturing leads or providing customers with a tool for communicating with your company. Some people prefer to list a phone number or an email address on the contact page of their website, instead of coding a contact form or paying for an online form builder. While there are a couple benefits to these approaches, like circumventing troublesome email blacklists, there are also several drawbacks. These are three reasons why so many companies utilize contact forms for capturing leads on their websites.
Listing a company or personal email address on your website makes it vulnerable to the email address harvesting tools used by spammers. These internet parasites use web scraping tools to find publicly-listed email addresses anywhere they can find them. The addresses are then added to spam email lists, and soon your inbox is flooded with spam. In a round-about way, this strategy of displaying an email address actually causes the problem that it aims to solve. By freely providing spammers with your email address, you’re increasing the likelihood that an IP or block of IP addresses is blacklisted—exactly the problem you’re trying to solve by not using a contact form. Even though the bad IP address of the spammer is blacklisted, often times there are legitimate businesses in that block of IPs that are punished by proxy. Because a contact form email is sent on the server-side, it’s not available to email address scrapers and your inbox is more likely to remain spam-free.
Gather Useful Customer Information
Contact forms are especially useful in gathering information about your potential customers. Useful information for sales and marketing like demographic info, what topic the person is interested in discussing with your business, and where they heard about your company or service can all be gleaned from a well-designed contact form. Customized contact forms allow businesses to gather the exact information they want and need to communicate more effectively with their customers or potential customers.
It’s More Convenient for the User
Listing an email address or providing a phone number on your contact page is not convenient for users. It’s much easier to submit information in a nice mobile responsive contact form than it is to type and send a detailed, lengthy email message on a mobile device like a smart phone. And what if the customer prefers to contact your company after hours? Are they supposed to call you at a later time, when their call is more likely to be answered? You don’t want to lose a potential customer because they had no way of contacting your business after hours or because you made it inconvenient to get in touch with you. A contact form on your business website ensures that your potential customers always have a simple, convenient way to get in touch with you at any time of the day or night.