June 12th, 2017
11 min read
The “Contact Us” page. Perhaps one of the more overlooked pages on websites these days.
Slap an email address or a form on there and call it a day, right?
Or, if you are trying to be all corporate, you throw a bunch of hoops for people to jump through in an attempt to look bigger than you actually are. We’ve all seen ’em.
Just like we covered on the about page, your contact us page is also a pretty important core page of your site. And for that reason, we should be more strategic about what we put on there than just throwing up a contact form.
And here’s why…
We’re In The Human to Human Business
In the business world, there’s the common concepts of B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer). But, perhaps we should redefine this to H2H: Human to Human.
After all, people tend to forget that all the decision makers in this world are human beings. Real flesh-and-blood people.
And, in this day and age where you can’t call a company without going through a big phone menu (and we all just dial 0 anyway to try to reach the operator, right?)… people just want human-to-human contact.Just talk to a real person. That's what we all want.Click To Tweet
Business is driven by conversations. Those conversations could take place on the phone, via email, in Facebook Messenger, on Twitter. There are numerous platforms that people may use to communicate.
Those conversations are what drive business. Those conversations could be:
- A person with a casual question. They might not even be ready to buy from you right now, but the fact that you answered the question in a personal way rather than with a pre-formatted response makes it more likely they’ll buy from you when they are ready.
- A person with a question about one of your products. It is almost impossible for a sales page or a sales video to answer every question a person could possibly have. Conversations are what closes sales.
This is a human business.
Your business should be as open and welcoming to any and all conversations as it can possibly be.
Your contact page is a core component of conversions and sales, just like any landing page.
So, with that in mind, let’s discuss how to make a great ‘Contact Us’ page.
What To Do On Your ‘Contact Us’ Page
As I said before, what you DON’T want to do with your contact page is just throw up an email address or a form and forget about it. That’s not personal. It’s lazy.
We want to put a bit more thought into this page.
So, let’s discuss some strategies to keep in mind for your contact page…
#1 – Keep It Personal
One of the more annoying things I see on contact pages is the effort to look more corporate or bigger than you actually are. In my opinion, this is “old school” marketing where people think size equals better. But, these days, people want to do business with people, not inhuman corporations.
Remember, this is human to human. So, talk to them like they are real people. Because… they are.
Introduce them to your contact page. Welcome them to contact you. Make them feel invited. And talk to them like a real person would talk. Don’t use the word “we” if it is just you.
#2 – Show Them A Photo Of Who They’re Talking To
In keeping with the “human to human” thing, people like to know who they’re about to interact with. So, show them a photo of yourself. If it is a team, then show photos of the team members.
Don’t hide behind “departments”. People hate that crap. If you indeed have a larger company with departments, you can still make those departments more real with team photos. ScheduleOnce does a nice job by including photos of their team members. If you hover over them, you get little quirky details about them which make them more human.
#3 – Include Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This one depends on the nature of your business and the volume of inquiries you get. If you get a fair amount of email volume, you can often deal with some of the more common inquiries in advance using an FAQ and keep them from having to email you in the first place.
So, one purpose of the FAQ is just that… a first layer of support that might very well handle their question instantly without an email needed.
But, there is another purpose…
The FAQ on your contact page is also a potential marketing opportunity.
You can take common questions of your market and point them right to blog posts or even offers that answer their question. For instance, here’s one way I did that…
In my case, I do get a fair amount of people emailing me asking how to get started. So, I get up an FAQ question for it and I link them to my Getting Started page as well as a lead magnet that answers their question in more detail than they likely ever asked for (which you can find here). That link is a squeeze page and will put them on my email list.
Here’s another one…
Using the FAQ on your contact page, you can route common niche questions right into products or services – or even lead magnets – and therefore use your contact page for conversions.
#4 – Provide Multiple, Frictionless Contact Options
It’s disappointing the number of companies (even small ones) who seem to look at customers as a nuisance that needs to be kept from direct contact. But, when you make having a conversation hard, you’re hurting your business.
So, you want to have more than just email. Your contact options should be:
- Multiple. Give people choices.
- Frictionless. Contacting you should be easy and not make people jump through hoops. You also want to allow them to reach you on the platform which is easiest for them.
- Instant. You want to get as close to instantaneous as you can.
Potential contact options to include on your page are:
- Email (of course).
- Phone (if your business has a phone number that somebody will actually answer)
- Facebook Messenger
- Live Chat (if you use it)
- Snail Mail (yes, some people still use it)
For email, you could simply display your email address on the page, although that could open you up to robots who collect your address for spam purposes. I’d recommend you use a form. I personally prefer (and recommend) Gravity Forms. There are, of course, various free options such as Contact Form 7.
With Gravity Forms, you can easily set up a question for what the general inquiry is about and then route the message accordingly. This is perfect if you have multiple departments, team members, or support seats.
Facebook is a great, frictionless way to have people contact you. It is practically a utility these days and most people are surfing the internet logged into Facebook 24/7. So, Facebook Messenger is a great and often overlooked platform for client contact. Plus, Facebook is setting up Messenger to be a central tool for communicating with businesses.
There are a few ways you can hook your ‘Contact Us’ page up with Facebook Messenger. The first (and easiest) option is simply to hyperlink to your own Messenger page.
Messenger has a shortlink which is m.me. If you then put your URL name after that, it creates a shortcut link right to Messenger so that somebody can message you directly. For instance, my Facebook page URL is…
So, a link direct to my Messenger would be:
That link opens up the Messenger web app full screen, preset to message me. You can place this link anywhere you want. Go ahead and click on it to see what it does.
Another option is to use is Zotabox. They have a Facebook Live Chat widget that you can use for free. It will only work with pages (not profiles). The widget is nice, but it appears in the lower corner of your page. Great for a live chat support option (if you’re actually there to answer their questions).
The option I personally love these days is ManyChat. ManyChat is about much more than Facebook buttons. This tool allows you to build a list on Messenger, set up autoresponders, Messenger bots and much more. But, for the purposes of our contact page, they have a “growth tool” that allows you to put a simple “Send to Messenger” button anywhere you like (such as your contact page).
The beauty of ManyChat is that when they contact you via Messenger, you can actually put them onto your Messenger list and foster ongoing engagement. And… the open rates are insanely high.
If you wanted to simply invite people to connect on social media, that’s easy as well.
As for using a phone number, only do so if somebody will actually be there to answer it. I’m well aware that you could sign up for Google Voice and technically have a phone number for your business. I have one, too. But, I never answer it. It goes right to voicemail. And, for that reason, I do not list it on my contact page. Voice mail introduces friction. Plus, support is actually much faster (in my case) if you go through the standard support desk.
All this to say…
Make it super easy for people to start a conversation with you and your business. And, think beyond just email.
#5 – Set Proper Expectations
Above, I said you should try to make communication as frictionless and instant as possible. People really want instant gratification these days. Problem is, unless you have a team of support people, instant response is likely impossible.
So, it is important to set expectations.
If it is going to take you a day or so to reply to them, tell them. If there’s a chance you might not even see their email because you get hundreds of emails per day, tell them. If you have to introduce a few hoops because of the sheer volume of email, tell them that. They’ll understand as long as you’re upfront about it.
If there are certain kinds of emails that are not likely to get any reply at all, tell them that, too. For instance, I get enough stupid guest post requests that I don’t even bother to acknowledge them anymore. It is a waste of time. So, I have a FAQ question about it where I openly tell them no. And I won’t bother replying. Perhaps Malika does when she goes through support, but I won’t. 🙂
#6 – Make The Contact Page Easy To Find
Top navigation, ideally. You don’t want to make people go hunting for how to contact you. It should be easy and obvious.
Anything else is the equivalent of making people go through a phone menu and wait on hold for 30 minutes. You know how much you like that. 😉
How To Design A Great Contact Page
Now that we’ve discussed what to put on your contact page, let’s address what it looks like.
Most blogs (including this one up until recently) simply put the stuff onto a standard page, as designed by your blog’s theme. As a result, that page usually has many of the same trappings as your blog, complete with a cluttered sidebar.
Thing is, your contact page is one of your core marketing pages. It should be treated with the same level of importance as your about page. It should look professional. It should look different than a blog post.
Various elements of the Content Builder were used to assemble this page:
- Page sections define the various rows going down the page.
- Columns were used to display photo alongside the text at the top, as well as the contact form and the alternative contact options side by side at the bottom.
- The Tabbed Content element was used for the FAQ.
- The Content Toggle element was used for the collapsible questions under each tab of the FAQ.
- The custom HTML element was used to insert the Gravity Form (using the shortcode) as well as the Manychat growth tool for Facebook Messenger.
Content Builder could easily be used to design almost any kind of contact page you’d like. All without knowing any HTML or CSS coding.
A contact page isn’t going to make or break a business. If you’re accessible and reply to people, people will have no problem getting in touch. For instance, Derek Halpern has one of the most simplistic contact pages I’ve ever seen and he’s doing OK. 🙂
In my view, though, it should be treated with more intention than what most people do with it.
The contact page of your site is actually a marketing opportunity. It is a conversion opportunity.
… if you set it up to facilitate that. 🙂