December 1, 2021 | Web Design
A contact form on your website is so basic that you may not even give it much thought. But they are often a critical piece of your website functionality.
Your contact form may be the first interaction you have with a prospect. So they should look good and work flawlessly—ensuring you receive every submission.
Why do I need a form? Why can’t I just have an email link?
You could list your email address and have people click on the link to contact you, but we don’t recommend it.
With this setup, when someone clicks on your email address, it will open a mail client on the user’s computer. So it may launch MacMail, Outlook, or whatever tool they use to send and receive email. However, not everyone has a mail client set-up. For example, the website visitor might be using a device at a public place or having multiple email accounts, like personal vs. work.
A form ensures they can contact you from wherever they are.
As the website owner, you can still receive the form submission as an email if that’s the easiest way to respond.
Best free WordPress contact form: Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is a free plugin that can be used for form submissions and is very popular. Its functionality is pretty simple, but this could work for you if all you need is the basics.
- Allows for CAPTCHA to help prevent spam.
- Doesn’t store submissions (read on for why this is important).
- Clunky to set up since you need to use code tags.
- No additional functionality.
- Frequently has deliverability issues.
Please keep reading to learn why it’s worth it to upgrade your contact form.
Never lose a form submission
One of the benefits of using a more advanced WordPress contact form is that you’ll have a record of every submission.
It’s a terrible feeling when you realize you’ve not received any form submissions for a while and check only to find that something has been misconfigured. How many potential sales did you miss? In our opinion, it’s worth the extra cost to know your submissions are being stored so nothing is ever lost.
With more advanced WordPress forms tools, all of the submissions can be found in the admin panel of your website.
Form tools have more functionality
Using a more advanced WordPress form tool also allows for better tracking. We like to set a Google Analytics goal for the thank you page that someone sees after submitting the contact form. Then you can quickly see how many submissions you are receiving as you review your website data.
When you use a form, you can also integrate it with other tools. For example, you can set it up so that everyone who submits a contact form is added to your email marketing list. Or, if you use a CRM like SalesForce or Hubspot, your contact form can integrate with that platform, and the contact form submission becomes a step in the sales funnel.
The best paid WordPress form plugin: Gravity Forms
It’s almost always worth it to upgrade from Contact Form 7 to something more robust and more reliable. Our favorite is Gravity Forms.
The most significant advantage is that all submissions are stored. This is a massive help if you want to export lists and helps ensure nothing is ever lost in a spam or junk folder. It has a drag and drop interface and a lot of optional extra functionality.
You can set up the form with conditional options, meaning they see additional follow-up questions based on someone’s answer. Gravity Forms also allows you to customize the autoresponder and the redirects.
An autoresponder is an email that automatically gets sent when someone submits the form. For example, you can use this to immediately send someone a welcome email or a request to book an online appointment so that you don’t have to do that manually every time.
- Stores submissions.
- Lots of integrations for other marketing tools, payment processing and more.
- Easy to use and set up.
- Allows for CAPTCHA to help prevent spam.
- Gravity Forms pricing starts at $59 per year (well worth the piece of mind).
- Cost for a yearly license and some add-ons need to be purchased separately.
If you are planning to purchase a Gravity Forms license, use our affiliate link: rocketgenius.pxf.io/visiblelogic
Use your WordPress Form tool for more than just your contact form
Once you’ve invested in a paid form tool, you’ll be able to use it for more than just your contact form. Gravity Forms make it easy to set up and use forms in many different ways on your website. Some of the most common methods are:
- Create an e-newsletter signup form. Nearly every email marketing tool (like MailChimp, Hubspot, etc.) allows you to put a form on your website, but Gravity Forms makes it easier to style the form and control what happens after submission.
- Automatically send out information. Send things like white papers or catalogs to everyone who fills out your online form. Without investing in a CRM, you can build your email list by having people submit a form to request information.
- Integrating with your CRM. It’s much easier to integrate with CRMs like SalesForce or HubSpot if you use a forms tool. You can have different lead forms on your site and you can track what page the person was on when they submitted the form.
If you need help choosing the best form plugin or setting up a form, contact us, and we are happy to help.