Should you use a contact form or email address on your website?

The contact page is one of the most visited pages on a website. So when you’re setting up or updating your contact page, it pays to make sure you’re including the right elements on it.

There are a few key decisions you have to make when creating your contact page. But one of the most important ones is how you’re actually going to let people who land on your website contact you online.

Specifically, will you have people contact you using a contact form on your website? Or will you provide an email address that people can use to get in touch with you?

At first, you might lean toward using a contact form because it’ll allow people to contact you without having to leave your contact page. But then you remember how much you hate it when you’re the customer and a contact form is the only way to get in touch with a company’s customer service team.

This makes you think that providing an email address is the better option. But you’re also worried about getting bombarded with spam in your inbox.

So what should you do? Should you use a contact form or post your email address on your website?

Keep reading below to find out!

 

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Think about the pros and cons

The short answer to the contact form vs. email address debate is that one contact method isn’t better than the other across the board. That’s why it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each method and how they apply to your audience.

Here are the key pros and cons of using a contact form vs. email address on your contact page:

 

Contact form pros

 

Reduces barriers to contact

If a website visitor decides to contact you, they’ll head to your contact page. And if you have a contact form right on that page, they can get in touch with you without having to navigate to another website or app. This makes the process convenient for your visitors and reduces the chances that they’ll get distracted before they follow through on contacting you.

Keeps people on your website

If your website contains a contact form, your website visitor will still be on your website after they submit the form. As a result, they might be more likely to keep browsing through your website. You also have the option of directing them to a specific landing page on your website when they click “submit” on your form.

Related: 11 tips for writing landing page copy that converts + free copy template

Can help you learn more about your audience

When you include a contact form on your website, you usually include name, email address, and message fields for your website visitors to fill out. But as long as you’re selective, you can also add a limited number of additional fields that will help you learn more about your audience.

For example, you might decide to include a field that asks visitors how they learned about your company. Or you could ask them to select the area of your business that’s most relevant to their needs.

Can help you build your email list

If you include a contact form on your website, you can give visitors the option to subscribe to your email list when they submit the form. This can help you build your email list in a way that doesn’t require any ongoing work on your part.

Related: 9 easy list building tips to grow your email list + free list of 27 content upgrade ideas

 

 

Example of contact form on website

 

Contact form cons 

 

Limits trust

As I hinted at earlier, many people don’t trust contact forms. Why? People often wonder whether the form actually sent their message to anyone and whether they’ll ever hear back.

Some people also tend to think that if a company isn’t willing to provide their email address, they’re doing something shady or aren’t truly interested in serving their customers. That’s why some people refuse to even consider buying from or working with a company that only has a contact form.

Makes it hard to track the message

By default, many contact forms don’t send users a copy of the message they submitted using the form. If this is the case with your contact form, your website visitors won’t have a record of the message they sent you and it’ll be harder for them to follow up if they don’t hear back from you.

Seems impersonal

Contact forms usually (but not always) seem pretty impersonal. Your website visitors might be hesitant to contact you if your contact form gives them the impression that there isn’t a real human being behind your business who will respond to them.

Not their preferred method

The results of a study on contact method preferences showed that email was the most preferred method for getting in touch with a business—41.8% of people selected email as their top preference. In comparison, only 15.4% of people identified contact forms as their preferred method of contact.

And when asked which method they would pick if both options were available on a website, 67.3% of people said they would choose email. In sum, contact forms aren’t the preferred method of contact for most people.

Can still attract spam

Many people choose to publish a contact form rather than an email address on their website because they think it’ll protect them against spam. It’s true that email addresses used to be the prime targets for spambots on websites.

However, just like our cars and phones, spambots have evolved technologically over time. And now, an unsecure contact form can be a much bigger security risk than a publicly visible email address. Spambots can hijack your form and use it to send you tons of spam. And if you don’t pick up on this in time, your website domain can end up getting blacklisted. Yikes!

Related: How to clean your email list to keep it healthy + free welcome email series swipe file

 

 

Example of contact form on website

 

 

Want more people to buy your product or book your service?
Learn exactly what to include on your contact page.
Download my contact page copy template + full example.

Send me the template

 

Email address pros

Increases trust and credibility

Many people find a business to be more credible and trustworthy if it provides an email address on its website. They might also be more likely to believe that the business is committed to serving its customers.

More personal

Providing an email address on your website humanizes your business and gives your website visitors a way to contact you directly.

Makes it easy to track messages

When people contact you by email, they’ll automatically have a copy of their message in their sent folder. This guarantees that they’ll have documentation of their message and makes it easier for them to follow up with you if needed.

Enables contact through a familiar environment

Instead of having to contact you using your form on your website, people can contact you using an email client that they’re already familiar with.

Their preferred method

As I mentioned above, most people prefer email over all other methods of contacting a business.

 

Example of email address on website

 

 

Email address cons

Increases barriers to contact

When people contact you by email, they have to click on your hyperlinked email address or copy and paste your email address into their email client. In either case, it’ll take a few extra clicks to actually contact you. And some people may get distracted along the way and never end up getting in touch.

Takes people away from your website

When people send you an email, they have to navigate away from your website and to their email client to do it. Some of these people might not return to your website after they hit “send.”

Increases spam in inbox

When you display your email address on your website, it’s easy for spambots to harvest it and use it to send spam messages to your email address. As I mentioned earlier, though, contact forms don’t protect you from spam as well as they used to. And they can even pose more of a security risk than a publicly visible email address can.

 

 

Example of email address on website

 

So should you use a contact form or an email address?

As you can see, there’s no clear winner in the contact form vs. email address debate. So instead of trying to figure out the “right answer,” think of the pros and cons I shared above in the context of YOUR audience. In other words, consider which pros and cons matter the most to them.

For example, if your audience values convenience and doesn’t think contact forms make you seem shady, you might decide that using a contact form is the right move for your business.

But if your audience hates contact forms with a passion and wants to be able to get in touch with you directly, using an email address is probably the best bet.

And of course, if you really can’t decide between the two options, you can always include both on your website!

 

Want more people to buy your product or book your service?
Learn exactly what to include on your contact page.
Download my contact page copy template + full example.

Send me the template

 

 

 

 

Should you use a contact form or an email address on your website? Discover the pros and cons of each and how to decide which method is right for YOU + grab my contact page copy template & example.

Contact form vs. email address: What to use on your website + Free contact page template & example
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