Do you really need a Contact page on your website?
Yes and no.
The goal of your Contact page on your business website attracts more relevant leads, prospects or partnerships and affiliates to contact you.
If you’re a blogger looking to attract brand collaborations and sponsorships, then you want to give away some information on how they can get in touch with you. It’s also a great place to link your media kit if you have it.
If you’re a course or program creator, you want to welcome potential students and customers who have questions about your digital product. You also want to be approachable when it comes to them giving you a testimonial or success story to feature on your blog.
On the other hand, if you’re not accepting guest posts, you want to address that too so you don’t have to answer 10,000 emails on the same topic every month.
You get the point right?
Just like your beloved About page, tell people immediately who you serve so it speaks to the right people. Think of it as your front-line employee or receptionist. It leads the right people into your inbox. If you’re expecting them to contact you, make sure you include something that’s relevant to them.
The goal is to make it easy for others to get in touch with you.
So what do you need on your Contact page?
There are five things.
#1 Your email address
The great thing about online businesses is that you can run your whole business via email. Well, almost. You might have to hop on Skype calls if you do coaching. Customer service questions, student inquires, and client requests, can all be done through email. Phone is still used for sales and customer service. But the great thing about online businesses is that you can get away without even paying your cell phone bill, ha!
When people contact me, I prefer them to reach out via email. When I contact them, I prefer the same too. It’s personal, no stress, convenient for them to reply and not limited to the 140-character limit Twitter is all about.
#2 A contact form
A contact form is nothing revolutionary or fancy schmancy. But it’s convenient, effective, and gets people who need you contacting you. And that’s the goal.
When using a contact form, don’t be that person who asks for a long list of things that are useless.
I still prefer having people’s email address and copying and pasting it into a new tab. But there are people who are lazy. Or other times, when people are on their smartphones, filling out a contact form is easier than opening another app and pasting your email address.
Whether you have a contact form or email address (or both) on your website, it’s not the most critical thing. It just gives people an option. When I have a contact form (and I still do), I get a few more spam emails.
#3 A clear profile photo of yourself.
I don’t see many people doing this, but having a good front-face and natural profile photo of yourself is very welcoming. Krista Rae does an excellent job of this.
Most people won’t contact you unless they know who you are and know what to expect. Just like having a personable salesperson who is kind, a proper and happy face of you is a safe bet. I would stay away from silly photos unless that’s your brand.
Sometimes we use stock photos for our website. That’s okay, but if you’re going to use a profile photo, be authentic. Make sure the photo isn’t of someone else. Not of your cat, not your dog, or your hamster, but of you. Stay professional.
#4 Your business hours — and don’t be available 24/7!
Even though online businesses can run 24/7, you probably should really section and carve out time for business emails. If there’s a time frame people can expect to hear from you, list that on your website. That way, when someone emails you at 10pm, they don’t send another email asking, “Why didn’t you reply two hours later?”
#5 The things you want to be contacted for.
Now down to the most important and critical section of your Contact page. Everything up until this part is all implementation and very straightforward.
Most people just see their blog or website as just another thing they need to have to be successful. But really, there should be a purpose behind everything you put out there — and it should be cohesive too.
I worked with clients whose Instagram voice and their blog voice were too different thangs. And their design and voice didn’t mesh seamlessly.
But I digress a little.
I like my website to speak on my behalf. It should deliver information to the people you want to. Every business has someone like that. In small businesses, she might be the receptionist who acts as the gatekeeper. In bigger companies, she can be the recruiter.
On your website, every page should draw certain people in and make them opt-in or contact you or it should deter them away. A few things that people always get contacted for are:
- Guest posting
- Sponsorships and advertising
- Reader and customer questions on your topic or product
- Affiliates, partnerships or joint ventures
You’re definitely not limited to these few things only. But if it’s something that you’re constantly getting contacted for, it can be a section on your Contact page.
But one thing is, don’t make it too long or too short. Don’t write a one-liner or an entire manual. Just be brief, specific and convey all the information you need.
Let’s take guest posting for example. If accepting guest posts isn’t part of your content strategy, then make it clear. You don’t have to state the reason unless you want to. But as long as you write something, you won’t have to respond to 10,000 emails about guest posting when you haven’t even factored it into your strategy.
On the other hand, I see too many people who use that vague line, “For any business inquiries or sponsorships, email me at blah blah blah.”
I suppose if you were the top 2% of influencers that might work for you. Even if you don’t state that, you’ll have people banging down your doors and wanting to work with you. But it doesn’t hurt if you give more clarity into what you can really offer. You can make it clear that you offer reviews, advertorials, and YouTube videos that are customized to their needs.
If you have more specifics, you can even create a Google doc to outline everything. Then link it up under your “Sponsorships and advertising” section.
Remember, when done right, your Contact page can really be a front-line employee — or background ninja!
Now, do you really a Contact page?
Wow, after everything you said, you’re telling me I don’t need one?
“You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Your website’s navigation bar only has so much room so for many pages. And let’s be honest, if your top menu has more than five items, it doesn’t look that pretty anymore either. Not to mention, the more links and options you give people, the easier it is for them to get lost, confused, and frustrated. By that time, they don’t even want to take any action.
So what can you do?
Never have something on your website just because someone else has it.
Your contact page is easily the shortest page on your website. Most of the time, it’ll just be your email address and a blank contact form.
So you can certainly get away with merging that page with another page.
And the closest page to merge this with is your About page.
I personally like the idea of having a call-to-action on my About page more. But if for whatever reason, you don’t have an email list or don’t care enough to build one, adding your contact form to the bottom of it makes the most sense.
Mariah of Femtrepreneur does this and she even uses her contact form as a call-to-action at the end of her About page. When people contact her, she only gives them three options in her drop-down menu. They can either contact her
- To request an interview
- To give a testimonial
- To ask a question about a particular course she offers
Of course, she wants to answer any customer questions about her products because she sells online courses for a living. Also, she’ll definitely want to gather testimonials from her students because it’s social proof that what she does is amazing!
This also frames and subconsciously send other people away who aren’t contacting her for these things. You don’t want to spend all day responding to customer service questions when people in your community can answer them for you.
So what about everything else?
She makes it clear that the reader should tweet her or post it on her Facebook group if they had an individual question. This way, other people can benefit from her answers if anyone else has a similar question. If she answered all these questions individually, she’ll have to hire someone to do it. And for every reply, she can only help one person. But if the questions were posted and answered in an online community, many people can hop into help answer them. And hiring someone to monitor one FB group is much easier than answering 10 questions that ask the same thing.
It also helps her build social proof in her online community when she answers questions publicly.
Notice there are benefits both for herself and for others when she makes these decisions.
Don’t get too caught up on your Contact page. But remember the goal is to
- Make it easy and effortless for the people you want to contact you
- Try to answer all the questions you can by anticipating what questions you get most so you don’t leave anyone out
- It’s best when it’s short and brief, but use it as a screening tool so you save time for both parties
- It should fit into your website strategy as a whole
Back to you
What changes do you need to make in your Contact page? Is the copy on your page addressing the right people?
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