Imagine that you’re in the market for a replacement HVAC system for your home. You’re looking for a local company with years of experience and positive reviews, so you start by searching online. You’ve found a few companies that would be a great fit, so you fill out a few contact forms and wait for some responses. And wait...
Days go by since you contacted these HVAC companies. Winter is coming. You need quotes now so you can get service scheduled in time. But no one calls.
You give up on the first few companies and grab your smartphone. This time, you find a new company, but the contact form on the website is too hard to use on a mobile device. Calling this company could mean sitting on hold for an indeterminate amount of time. At this point, you might be so frustrated you decide to put off replacing your HVAC system.
Now, imagine you’re a potential customer trying to get in touch with your company via your website. What barriers will a potential customer encounter?
If you want to generate more leads, the best strategy you have at your disposal today is to remove barriers that keep potential customers from reaching you. Here are some tips you can use to improve your website today.
1. Put a contact form, phone number, and email address in the footer of your website
Once potential customers read about your capabilities, they may choose to reach out to you for more information. Where does your potential customer have to go on your website in order to contact you?
Having a “Contact Us” page isn’t enough to capture leads. Put a contact form in the footer of your website so that a potential customer can easily find the form on every page.
Also, include your phone number and email address in the footer. If someone wants to get in touch immediately, you want to make it easy to locate your contact information.
2. Examine the design of your contact form on desktop and mobile devices
How does the contact form look on both desktop and mobile devices? Is the form easy to read and complete?
Contact form design is especially important for mobile devices. Make sure the form fields are large enough that you can read your input as you type, but not so large that you have to scroll. A typical form includes name, email, phone, a text area to provide additional information, and a “submit” button.
Also, ask several employees of varying ages to test the form. You want the general consensus to be that the contact form is easy for everyone to use and if it isn’t, ask your web developer to make some tweaks.
3. Test your website’s contact form
Websites are most often constructed using a variety of third-party tools and while you hope that these tools function 24/7, the reality is that they do stop working.
What you can do today is check to make sure that all of your contact forms are functioning. Simply test the form by submitting your own information. After you hit “submit,” see if the designated employees in your company (i.e. sales or customer service) were notified of your submission.
Check your forms periodically or put this task on your web developer’s list to test your contact form after website updates are implemented.
4. Put your website’s “Contact Us” page in the main navigation
What business doesn’t have a “Contact Us” page? When in doubt about how to contact a business, the first page you look for is the “Contact Us” page.
You may have noticed that some companies bury their “Contact Us” pages. Lead generation is critical for continued growth, so can you make it easier for potential customers to find the “Contact Us” page? Absolutely.
Put your “Contact Us” page in the main navigation or place a “Contact” button above the main navigation to make it obvious to potential customers how they can reach you.
5. Use the “thank you” or confirmation page to overdeliver
A potential customer landed on your website, found valuable information, and then reached out to you via the contact form. What happens next?
It’s important to consider what your potential customer sees on the “thank you” or confirmation page that’s shown after submitting the contact form. Perhaps your confirmation page read something like this:
“Thanks for contacting us. We’ll get back to you in X business days.”
If so, it’s time to get to work!
First, if it takes more than one day for the sales team to contact a potential customer, the opportunity could be lost. Use the confirmation page to overdeliver; tell your potential customer you’ll call back in the same day and make it a point to call in less than an hour. Your potential customer might have already contacted other companies, so how quickly can your sales team respond?
Second, include additional information about your company and the services you offer. Once you show your appreciation and indicate the number of hours until a callback is expected, add a link or two for your potential customers to learn more.
Third, embed media on your confirmation page. If you have high-quality photos or video, use this opportunity to show potential customers who will be reaching out. Photos or video of your sales team adds a personal touch.
And if you don’t have a confirmation page for your contact form, ask your web developer to add a page and use these tips to make it a great experience for your potential customers.
While these improvements are simple and easily completed in less than a day, the effect on your lead generation efforts will be felt for years to come.
Claudia Pennington is co-founder & CEO of DIY Marketing. She is a digital marketer working with manufacturers, machine shops and distributors, helping businesses generate more leads and sales with digital marketing and SEO.