I read a blog post on coachradio.tv about using a contact form versus and email address. It got me thinking about this topic so I did an informal survey of my friends and was shocked with the results. I found myself to be the odd man out that preferred a contact form over an email address. I believe this is because I have been using web based email for over 15 years and therefor don’t have an email client configured on my computers.
The first complaint I heard from people is that a form typically does not allow you to copy yourself. Although I can understand their view, most of the time you are not emailing hundreds of companies unique questions. My solution if this is a concern simply note what you sent in a text file or calendar appointment for follow up.
The second complaint was that they did not know if the information ever got delivered. This one borders electronic ignorance as unless you are on corporate mail servers or you write special html code to verify the email was opened, you simply almost never know if someone really received your message. In fact the person you are contacting is probably more likely to receive an email from the contact form vs regular email.
The third complaint was that they didn’t know who the contact form was sending the information to. I am confused by this one, because unless you are on Danny Mullen.net and you click contact Danny Mullen, typically you don’t know who even your email will be going to. In fact on some sites that have a high volume of traffic even though it says click here to email Danny, you are not really emailing Danny. You are emailing his assistant who passes important messages to Danny.
As a website owner, my concern with using email only was would I miss an email or it would end up in my spam folder. With the contact forms on my site, I receive special notifications when those messages come to me. In addition, I can filter the information easier and I know that I have received all the necessary information to contact a person back.
The general conclusions from today, Put both! This way people who are familiar / comfortable can do it the way they like. In addition I was reminded of a valuable lesson. It is not about what I like or want, it is what my customers want that is important.
Leave me a comment, what do you prefer?
(Disclaimer: Some of the links contained in this post are affliate links. See the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)