Web forms or email addresses?

In this week’s Office Hours we debated whether you should use a web form or share an email address on your website in order to collect leads from your customers.

I firmly believe you should use a web form.

However, some hate to use web forms and prefer other calls to action.

What do you think?

Transcript (Use Web Forms):

I hate filling out forms doing something. I do want a confirmation that somebody has seen it. And I think Anita you bring up a really, a very important point. We all kind of hate, filling out forms, and there are paying the but, so, the form should be asking for the bare minimum information that we really need to take action. Yeah, I had a client who I was so frustrated with the quality of the leads. That P was receiving for his business. He set up a six-page intake form On his website, asking a bunch of questions to basically make the customer qualify themselves and his advice from a lot of bad leads to zero leads. Well yeah because nobody took two and half the answers to the questions were. I don’t know for the people who actually went to the end. Most people didn’t know so we simply Sat down and said, what do you really have to know before you show up at their person to give them a quote obviously you can’t give them a quote online without seeing it. So this is really you know you need their address and phone number and email. You need to know some very basic and we cut it down to still, you know, maybe 10 items in the form from six pages. And number one, he got more submissions which is a lot better than 0. Yeah. And it’s in it’s more is infinitely larger than 0, right? But but point was, he was much more happy with the leads to because he could take action on them but the ones that said, I don’t know, he ended up not getting enough information with. So I’m a big proponent of forms and whenever someone says put an email on a website Cringe I really hate that. Now, this with this is a religious debate. We got to admit this, right? So we can’t step on each other’s. I can’t curse anybody who likes to put an email on a website, but I want to make people use a form to contact me because I could track that and Google analytics. And if I put an email address number one, I can’t track. Back, if someone really submitted that email from that email address, I can do an event tracking on that and track clicks on that email, but but it doesn’t really show me if my marketing is successful, to all it does is show everybody how to spam me. A male Helen whip when when I see an exposed email address that inbox becomes useless because it’s full of so much spam that people just stopped reading the emails. And next thing they know they’re missing. Good leads because they got to our case in point the client this week. They were sending their lead forms to an email address that I had never seen before. I email the email address. Because it’s also an email address. I’ve seen published on the internet and a lot of places and I just wanted to know who gets this, I sent an email, who gets this email and I got back. This email does not exist. So what happened? I suspect is that they publish this email address and all kinds of websites all over the world. They got so frustrated. With Spam, they turned it off. Meanwhile, they didn’t realize that their web form was also going to that email and they weren’t getting any leads.

Transcript (Email and Other CTAs):

I think you bring a good point, putting an email address on a confirmation or thank you page. Might be safer because it’s going to be harder for the Bots to scrape ask. So I do have a different take on your new email. I do always glued include email and I actually played it in the footer of all the pages. The things that I do though is I have my host. I have not seen any, it’s amazing. I’m not seeing any spam from it. I use G. Sweet. And so literally I don’t get spam from it. However, the main reason that I do it and and I do tell my clients, I give them a, you know, it’s like they don’t, I don’t require that they do it, but I encourage it simply because of user experience in the past. I’ve had such bad experience with not getting an answer from a form that if I go to a site, I may feel a form out, but if I don’t see an email, I might go to the next company. I’ve done that before. I have, if I cannot find an email address, I have decided to go to the competition. And that’s, that’s me. But I feel like I think there’s some others out there that have had bad experiences from forms and maybe now, All Sites have gotten better but there are a lot of old sites out there that, you know, forms are set up and they don’t have a clue where they’re going, so that’s kind of why I do it. So, you know, that’s kind of and and since I have not gotten the spam, I don’t really look at it as an issue but I the web site hosting. So there’s also formed spam that I was getting but I use my host web site hosting Just uses human presence. Do you use that? I don’t know what but there is this bot out there and like until I turn that on, I was getting 20 emails fams a day because my form on my website, right? Right. And then I turn that on and it just they all stopped and I’ve gotten some actual leads from from my form and not just Spam. Yeah which then before was hard to tell because I’m like this this looks like Now I know it’s probably a legitimate lead if it comes from my form. So we have I mean, I don’t know if this is considered a form but we have basically two, we have a phone number obviously we have a form that they can fill out and submit like to get you know whatever. But we also just have a contact us which isn’t an email address but what it does is let them send an email to us without giving them the email. So it’s If you have a question, use that contact us link if you’re like, oh, I know I don’t have a question. I just want to know what my benefits. Are you submit the form with your insurance information? If you have no idea what you’re doing, you can call the phone number. Like so we’re really giving different methods like based on what people prefer. But without spamming out, that email address, I do still prefer putting an email address, which is the preference of mine because of past form experiences. I think it’s about and I think I’m, I don’t hear you but I think it’s a consumer. I sometimes prefer an email address to the contact us form because then I can trace it on my end also. If that yeah, what it doesn’t. At least for me personally, it doesn’t like hinder me from contacting someone as long as there is contact information. Yeah, yeah. I’m I finally reached the age where I always call people. Now, instead of emailing Lego, I don’t know if that’s stressing me, but if I see a phone number, I’m like, I don’t want to talk to anybody. I just want to email them and so I don’t know if that’s a generational thing. If like that it gets from like worth working in customer service. I it’s just and I also, I deal with a lot of like automated systems all day and I’m on email all day. So sometimes I’m like, I just want to speak to a human and ask this question because also like I think enrages me more than getting a form email back to a question. Like I think I don’t remember who the vendor was, but I was maybe it was like PayPal or something, I don’t know. And I was had an issue and I would email and they would send me a form response and I would reply to that and then it would be a different form response and I would reply to that. And then like they go back to the first form response and I’m like, completely lost my mind. Like it’s just even a human I do. Don’t understand like losing it because I’m like, I just want to speak to someone. And I mean, I’ve done that on the phone to where I’m like stars are stop reading off of your script. Please listen to what I’m saying, and let’s talk like like human beings like, hey, what? It’s now quarter harder to do that. These two Ali. Ya Ali. If you can tell they’re reading a script for everything. Yeah, they Stu. Oh yeah, Dave will get in trouble if they deviate from, that’s correct. And like, so and I don’t call people unless I have to, yeah, because I don’t like automated systems. Yeah, I don’t want to have to hit 1 in 3 & 9 & 7 in this and that. And what, what if I call a just want to talk to somebody? You get this one thing answered and go about my business. It probably will take me longer to get through your automated system. Oh, yeah. And what your rep is actually going to spend on the phone with me, but I have a site that I work with that actually has Z email and the form. But see, I’m sleeping with my emails. The emails are on the contact page but they are. It’s like, well, if you’re interested in this, then you need to eat, you know, like if you go to the times website, if you want something to do with advertising, there is an advertising email, and if you want it, this do, there’s of that. It’s that kind of, if you need this, you need that. And but the email addresses Are such that I don’t even think anybody is trying to fool with them Because away they’re in there and they’re just kind of in this text, you know. But um yeah I don’t like automated systems. I’d much rather get my email answered but Like Ali. I’m gonna get very frustrated. Is I can Oh, by reading your answer by reading the reply, I can tell that you didn’t read my email. Yeah, no know what backup? I need you to look at this. Yeah, yeah.

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