How to Create a Contact Us Page That Promotes Conversation
Three years ago, good communication was supposedly essential for every successful business. Things haven't changed too much over these last few years, so good communication is still a necessity.
Unfortunately, some businesses haven't quite caught up. They struggle to communicate with customers on a basic level.
One of the greatest examples of this struggle?
The common, lackluster contact us page.
Too many businesses publish unappealing, uninformative contact pages these days. Their sites' visitors can hardly get any joy out of using these pages.
And these pages definitely aren't ideal for promoting conversations between brands and customers.
So what's the secret to creating an amazing contact page? Keep reading to find out what some of the defining features of the best contact us pages are.
We'll start by laying out four basic elements of every contact page.
- 1 How to Create a Contact Us Page That Promotes Conversation
- 1.1 1. Ease of Access
- 1.2 2. Complete Contact Information
- 1.3 But Virtual Contact Information Isn't Enough…
- 1.4 3. Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions
- 1.5 4. A Contact Form
- 1.6 Starting the Conversation
- 1.7 An Assurance That You'll Actually Respond
- 1.8 Reasons to Contact the Business
- 1.9 A Call-To-Action
- 1.10 An Example of What Makes Your Business Special
- 1.11 Testaments to the Business' Credibility
- 1.12 Don't Forget to Talk to Visitors As If They're Human…
- 1.13 One Last Tip: Just Keep Things Simple
- 1.14 Fine-Tune Your Contact Us Page Today
1. Ease of Access
When potential customers visit your site and have questions about what they see, maybe they'll try to contact you. They won't, however, be successful if they can't find your contact us page.
You might think that your contact page is visible, but you have to think like a customer. And if you're a customer, you usually expect to find a business' contact information on a designated page.
Some businesses place links to their contact info at the bottom of their websites. This strategy, though, isn't as effective as clearly directing visitors to the page via a navigation bar. It just makes your contact info look as though it was an afterthought.
2. Complete Contact Information
Not enough businesses remember to provide complete contact information today. They usually settle for phone numbers and email addresses.
So what sort of contact info should businesses provide? Below you'll find a few of the most essential pieces of contact information.
Phone Number, Fax Number, and Email Address
As we said before, many businesses include phone numbers and email addresses on their contact pages. Some even include fax numbers.
We consider this information basic because most people can use these methods to contact you. There's a good chance that most people have a phone, fax machine, or an email address.
But including all of this information isn't enough. You should also indicate how effective these lines of communication are and when customers can use them. If, for instance, you only answer your phones during business hours, tell customers as much.
Social Media Handles
Some companies overlook the power of social media, and doing so is a mistake. Social media platforms offer just one more way for businesses to communicate with their customers.
And the conversations businesses open using social media can often seem more authentic to users. These conversations have the personality that a generic email from a customer representative might lack.
For this reason, we recommend that you include links to your social media pages. Doing so will encourage site visitors to start interacting with you on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform you're using.
Just make sure that your social media pages are properly managed. You don't want to direct people to inactive social media pages. That's a great way to hurt your business' credibility.
But Virtual Contact Information Isn't Enough…
Yes, we live in a digital world. Most people, if not all, are going to use some digital platform to communicate with your business.
Here's the deal, though:
Sometimes people don't have access to phones, fax machines, or computers. In these cases, they need another means of contacting you.
So what is it?
Your physical address, of course.
While providing your physical address is important if you want customers to be able to visit your physical location, there's another benefit of providing your address:
It builds credibility.
Think about it. If you encountered a business online for the first time, you'd be a bit on edge. You might even doubt the legitimacy of the business.
If, however, you can see the company's physical address? You'll feel as if you can more easily verify the company's legitimacy by popping that address into a search engine.
A Google Map
Okay. So you've provided your company's physical address. Now it's time to improve upon this information by embedding a Google Map on your site.
Doing so will allow site visitors to get a glimpse of your business' location right on your site. These visitors can even click on the embedded map to get a closer look at things.
3. Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions
Another basic element of any contact page is a link to an FAQ page. And if you don't link to an FAQ page, you should at least address some frequently asked questions on your contact us page.
Well, the logic is simple. Site visitors often navigate to contact pages because they have questions. If you've answered some of those questions before they contact you, the process runs more smoothly.
Furthermore, you can keep your lines of communication open for more serious inquiries this way. No more answering basic questions about your services. More answering detailed questions that lead to conversions.
Those of you who want to learn more about building effective FAQ pages should check out our piece on writing quality FAQ pages.
4. A Contact Form
What would a contact page be without a contact form? This tiny element of contact pages has one of the most important jobs:
It allows site visitors to ask detailed questions.
These forms are preferable to the checkboxes some companies rely on. These checkboxes don't always capture users' needs, so they're useless to some site visitors.
In fact, their usefulness is so limited that some visitors might become frustrated with the options you've provided. And the last thing you want is for customers to get frustrated with your business in the initial stages of communication.
Starting the Conversation
Now that we've discussed the basic elements of contact pages, let's move on to some more “advanced” features of contact pages. We call these features “advanced” because they don't just center on adding elements to a web page.
They prioritize anticipating what customers want before they contact you. Not only that, but they emphasize how you should go about influencing visitors to open up dialogues with you.
Having said that, let's jump right in. First stop: Assurances.
An Assurance That You'll Actually Respond
How many times have you visited a company's website and used its contact page? Now tell us something:
How many of those companies actually responded to your question? And of the companies that responded, how many of them responded weeks after you posted your question?
We think we know that you've had one of these experiences before.
Because you want your business to set a better example, you need to become the company that assures people that you'll respond. You also need to become the company that actually follows through on that promise.
So if you tell people they can contact you via Facebook? You better respond to their Facebook messages.
And, yes, responding to as many customers as possible should be a priority. Especially if you're in the middle of a public relations crisis.
Reasons to Contact the Business
If you're lucky, you work for your company because you believe in what it offers. You know that it provides value, so you can't see why someone wouldn't inquire about your products or services.
Think for a second, however, like a customer who doesn't know anything about your business.
Site visitors don't know everything you know. They have no idea, for instance, about the promotions your company offers. Nor do they have any idea about the free consultation you're currently pushing.
As a result, that information has to be on the contact page. Once you've included this information, people will have a reason to reach out to you.
Fortunately, adding this information to a contact page is fairly simple. Many businesses opt to advertise their special promotions in big, bold letters at the top or bottom of the page.
As an added bonus, advertising the reasons to contact your business help you steer the conversation in the right direction. If you're pushing a new promotion, you generally want people to take you up on your offer. So if they're already inquiring about it, you're on the right track.
Technically speaking, including reasons to contact your business on your contact page can encourage visitors to act. But generating a list of reasons for people to contact your company isn't exactly a sufficient call-to-action.
Just take a look at the following two examples if you want to know why:
- We're running a killer “Everything Must Go” sale.
- Take up to 70% off all purchases during our “Everything Must Go” sale.
The first statement simply tells visitors that you're running a sale, but not in a way that encourages them to shop. Further still, the focus is too much on your business.
You're communicating that you are running a sale and that your sale is great.
See the problem?
Your call-to-action should instead command visitors to take advantage of your sale. Use language that makes them the center of your offer by telling them what they can do to reap the benefits.
And your contact page copy isn't the only element which should encourage visitors to act. The page should be designed in a way that guides viewers to your offer.
An Example of What Makes Your Business Special
Sure, there are tons of reasons to contact your business. You provide a quality service that would greatly benefit potential customers.
But so do several other vendors. As a result, there's nothing “special” about offering quality service.
Our best advice here is to highlight what makes your business special. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What's different about how my company does business?
- Do we target a highly specific group of people that our competitors don't?
- What can we say about our business that others in our industry can't?
Once you've identified the things that make your business special, communicate those ideas on your page. Use copy, images, videos, and any other media you have to get your point across.
Testaments to the Business' Credibility
Recall something that we said earlier: Providing contact information makes your business look more legitimate.
You shouldn't, though, just rely on contact info to build your company's credibility on your contact us page. You must also include testaments to your business' credibility.
Doing so can be as simple as adding customer testimonials to the page. You can also list any major publications your business has been mentioned in or any well-known companies you've worked with.
Site visitors may not trust your business, but they probably trust CNN, The New York Times, and Forbes. And if those publications are recommending your services, maybe people can take a chance on you.
Don't Forget to Talk to Visitors As If They're Human…
At the end of the day, you're designing your contact us page to be read by people. That said, don't be so robotic when designing your web page. Loosen up and appeal to visitors' backgrounds and interests with your copy.
This type of personalization is especially effective when you're marketing to a younger crowd. They love to feel as if businesses are connecting with them on a personal level.
The bottom line:
Use your contact page to make visitors feel as if it was designed specifically for them. Going this route helps you build your reputation as a business that understands your audience's needs.
One Last Tip: Just Keep Things Simple
There's a company somewhere that's currently planning on designing a contact page which has 50 different elements. And there's one thing we'd like to say to this company:
Don't do it.
All 50 of those design elements might be awesome. Together, however, they might create the worst contact page you've ever seen. Some ideas simply weren't made to be used in conjunction with other ideas.
That's why keeping things simple is the trick to creating amazing web pages. You create a much more pleasant experience for visitors when everything is laid out nicely for them. The contact page becomes more navigable and your calls-to-action aren't obscured by tons of elements.
Fine-Tune Your Contact Us Page Today
Though designing an appealing, functional contact us page may seem complicated, it's not so difficult. You just have to take a goal-oriented approach and design your web page around that goal.
And if your approach is solid, everything will fall into place.
But if things aren't falling into place? Well, you can always visit our contact page.
Maybe you'll take some notes while there. Or perhaps you'll use it to get in touch with us. Either way, we'll support you.