The contact form is one of the most overlooked forms in all the land. Well, okay, that might be a bit dramatic, and since I work for a form company, my bias to all-things-forms is obvious. But I do think that the contact form is an incredibly under-utilized lead generation opportunity. It’s often regarded as the simple little thing people tuck away on their “Contact Us” page, left to linger on the internet, lonely, collecting virtual dust.
Well, I am here to dust that bad boy off and give you three places you could be using that oft-forgotten form to generate new sales opportunities.
1. Offline Networking
In the age of smartphones and instant connections, contact forms should be shining bright. I have a simple (and mobile optimized!) contact form on my phone that I pull up anytime I meet someone at a networking event. It’s always right after they say “Do you have a card?” The form has three fields: first name, last name, and email address. I put the contact’s information in the form, and my confirmation email goes directly to them as soon as I hit Submit. The email has a little note and my contact information. Boom! No business cards, no hassle. And, if you are really smart, you can pass that contact info to your CRM.
2. Your Slideshare Presentation:
You just nailed your latest presentation. You’re basking in the glow of knowing that you just captivated your audience. Now, you want to put that information online, because every content marketer knows that a good presentation is link gold. But what if you included a way for someone to reach out to you at the end of your presentation as well?
If someone is excited, intrigued, or wants to do business with you because of your presentation, give them a chance to reach out via a simple contact form at the end of your presentation. Even if it’s not a selling opportunity, it might be a good referral or someone that can be of assistance down the road. Also, a contact form is much better than an email or contact slide at the end of your presentation. You can provide immediate feedback (confirmation emails, etc), a cleaner way to handle the contact information, and the ability to route the submission to your CRM or other systems.
3. Your Social Profiles:
You’re probably thinking, “Wait, I thought the point of social media was that someone could DM, message you, INMail you, etc., in that platform?” If you are an avid online networker, you probably manage multiple messages across multiple platforms each day. What if you put a simple link to a contact form or embedded a form in your profiles? Having one consistent way for people to reach out to you creates a much more streamlined process.
“But a contact form is no fun!” Why not? Just because you have a contact form doesn’t mean you can’t add a bit of personality, especially if using it with your social platforms. Add a fun confirmation email or add a little bit more about you on the form. Think of it as a personal landing page.
The contact form will always be a great utility for starting a conversation with someone. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be hidden away on some random page. The best use of a contact form, or any form for that matter, is to start a relationship with someone in a clean, easy to manage way.
Chris Lucas (@chris_c_lucas) is the vice president of business development at Formstack. Since starting at Formstack six years ago, Chris has worked on PPC, SEO, PR, and social media efforts for the online form building platform. He also has played an instrumental role in the development and growth of Formstack’s sales and marketing teams. Chris now focuses his time interweaving smart web marketing with overall product vision to build an ever-growing user base.