Customer Experience

Contact Forms Should Require Only Three Fields

Key Takeaway

Review your website's contact form and remove every 'required' field that isn't absolutely necessary.

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    ✅  First Name
    ✅  Email Address
    ✅  Message

    No other fields should be mandatory on your website's contact form. Every additional required field is both an obstacle and an opportunity for visitors to give up and go elsewhere.

    ❌  Last Name
    ❌  Postcode
    ❌  Phone Number
    ❌  Company Name
    ❌  Position

    None of these should be required - and I've encountered each of them on websites this week.

    Example #1

    This form required me to provide my address. Why do I need to provide my address in order to ask a question?

    Example #2

    This is the contact form on the website for a digital marketing agency. Why do they require a URL (especially when one of the reasons a visitor might be contacting them is to build a website!).

    I can understand why they might like to know the potential client's budget, but this can be discovered in the first phone call or meeting. Asking for it up front only presents an obstacle to securing that first phone call or meeting.

    Example #3

    This form includes nine mandatory fields - everything except phone number, for some reason, must be filled in.

    Example #4

    On this form for General Enquiries, it's not possible to write a message with the details of your enquiry. Instead, you have to pick a tiopic and wait for someone to get in touch.

    Whenever I encounter an unnecessary field I first wonder "Why do they need that?" and then --> "Can I be bothered?" and then "Maybe I'll just leave."

    Sometimes I'll simply make up the information that I'm forced to provide in these fields, but if others are doing the same then it defeats the purpose.

    When visitors arrive on your 'Contact Us' page they have a question. Their goal is to ask it as quickly and easily as possible. So remove every obstacle and make it as quick and easy as possible!

    Ask for only what is absolutely necessary and if you need more later you can request it then. You probably won't need more information but you probably will provide a much better experience for the visitor.

    This is a great example from an Australian charity's website:

    Hello!

    If you're ready to grow, I'm ready to help. Please complete the form and I'll get back to you in 12 hours.

    Message received! Standby for a prompt and friendly response.
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