Email forms are an essential communication tool for today's digital age. Whereas once upon a time the preferred method of contact was by phone or fax, now it is by email and live chat.Of course picking up the phone and calling is still an excellent method for communication, the problem is that it is not always convenient. Here's some of the reasons why email is so popular:
- You can send an enquiry or a response at any time of day or night
- Email provides the option of extra details and information to be transmitted
- Email can be sent out to many people in an instant
- Email is very cost effective
- You can setup email forms to find out specific information
- Email can be saved and referred back to as needed
- Email can be automated
- Integration of email with contact management allows for small businesses to track clients
- Email can be used to promote, advertise and build lists
On your website it is important to provide contact details so that people can email you. My suggestion is that you incorporate an email form on your website rather than simply providing an email address. There are 2 important reasons for this. Firstly a form will allow you to specify what contact details and enquiry details you want from your client. Secondly, and this is very important, you don't want email searching bots to come along and grab your email address, because in no time at all you'll end up with lots and lots of spam emails from all over the globe.So what are your options for creating email forms.
- If you know some html and php code, you can create your own forms, and with a bit of css, suit them to your site's needs. You can also search google and quickly find some samples, though they often need to be adapted to work properly for your needs, and can be confusing if you are not familiar with the code.
- Are you using wordpress or another blogging platform? If so then you can search the recommended plugins and find some that will easily add forms to your site. Some that I have used before and find easy to setup and customise include: Contact Form 7, FormBuilder and Fast Secure Form.
- Try a hosted service. The advantage of this method is that the software solutions are often designed to be quick and easy to install yourself. As well they offer anti spam, customisation and most importantly integration with other services such as email list building. There's usually support available if you need, and tutorial videos. I'm trialling ContactMe at the moment on some websites and have found it very good so far. It's easy to create a form and to place the button code onto a page. They offer a free option, or you can pay for an upgrade to get extra features and forms.