For many businesses, organisations and charities, having a website is an essential way to sell good and services to your customers or to impart useful help and information. It’s also a great way to communicate to your customers about all that’s new and going on with your business. A website built with EverWeb is a great way to interact with your customers and can give you valuable feedback about what your customers think of your existing products and services. It can also help you gain valuable insights in to what your customers may want the future.
Your Website’s Communication Options
As an easy to use website builder, EverWeb makes gives a number of ways in which you can facilitate communication with your customer…
- Via Social Media Links such as FaceBook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest
- Blog Posts with Comment Engines such as Disqus and FaceBook Comments and
- EverWeb’s Contact Forms.
EverWeb lets you access all of these communication channels simply and easily without the need to code. For Social Media you can use EverWeb’s built-in widgets or buttons in your site, for blogging there’s EverWeb’s built in blogging platform which hooks in to Disqus or FaceBook Comments allowing visitors to comment on your posts, and EverWeb’s Contact Form Advanced widget for building your own contact form. In this post, we’re going to take a look at how EverWeb’s contact form can help you grow your business.
A Tale of Two Contact Forms…
If you’re new to EverWeb, you add a contact form to your page simply by going to the Widgets tab and drag and dropping the contact form widget of your choice on to the page. There are two contact form widgets that you can use: Contact Form and Contact Form Advanced. We strongly recommend using the Contact Forms Advanced widget. Although the Contact Form widget is very simple, it’s really a legacy widget. It also lacks the security and user features that you need for your today’s business environment, such as reCAPTCHA and other anti-spamming security features. The Contact Form Advanced widget is also feature rich and has received many additions and features since it debuted with EverWeb 2.0. You can even extend your form using EverWeb’s Contact Forms Enhanced Addon which we will discuss further in a later blog.
Getting the Message Across
Your form can be used for a number of different purposes and you’re not limited to just having one form in your site, you can have as many as you want. Typically website designers usually include one form – a simple ‘Customer Contact Form’ which just includes fields for name, email address and a text box ‘message’ field for the content of the customer’s message. These fields are known as ‘Form Controls’ and the Contact Form Advanced widget includes seventeen different types of form controls e.g. checkboxes, dropdown menus, radio button and phone number. Having such a large number of form controls means that you can pretty much design any kind of form that you want. So, in addition to the straightforward ‘Customer Contact Form’ you can design other types of forms for specific needs and purposes e.g. customer surveys, competitions, ranking lists, customer feedback forms and so forth. If you’re using EverWeb’s Contact Forms Enhanced Addon, you can also get your form responders to upload files to you with the ‘File Upload’ control and you can mass mail out to those who have submitted forms to you. More on these features in a later blog post!
When designing more complex forms, though, remember that it’s important to keep things simple, clear and unambiguous. It’s also important to remove bias when designing surveys as it can be tempting to try to get those who complete your survey to give you answers that you want to hear. If you rig the outcome of your survey, your results won’t be worth much or may not be of any real value at all.
Getting the Right Feedback
Getting the right kind of feedback is really important. It can affect business decisions for the future so be careful when designing your contact form. When designing your forms:
- Be concise and to the point with your questions.
- Use language that is appropriate to your target audience in your questions.
- Be clear about what you are asking in each question.
- Be clear with the responses that you create e.g. Yes, No, Don’t Know
- Be clear as to what the aim/objective of the survey is.Keep referring back to this as you work out your form’s questions so you keep on the right track
- Don’t make the survey too long. Your responders will get bored and may not complete the form if there are too many questions. Tip: At the top of the form state how long the survey will probably take to complete.
- Provide help where needed in the form. The widget includes fields such as Placeholder text, Default Value and Control Tip/Instructions so you can guide your responders on how to complete fields in the form if it’s relevant and applicable.
- Get someone to proof read the contact form, or better yet try it out, before you publish it. You can then tweak the form if you need to before publishing.
- Keep the design clear and simple as well. Typically two font choices and two colors is the way to go. A visual frenzy will again put people off from filling in your form.
Once you have designed your form, preview to test it out before you publish!
In our next blog post, we’ll be looking at the Contact Forms Enhanced Addon which will take your contact forms to the next level! In the meantime, if you have a question about EverWeb’s Contact Forms, let us know in the Comments Section below. Also if you have any other question about EverWeb, please let us know. We’re happy to help!