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Contact Form, Email Address and Inquirers

November 10, 2009

Contact forms and email addresses are tools of communication. When added to a website each provides a different technique for inquirers to contact your company. This article explains the advantages and disadvantages of both.

What is a contact form?

In the example below a contact form includes a field for Name, Email, and Phone. Furthermore, it includes an area to write additional information. In the wisnet.com contact form the address, zip, and state were left absent to make the form easy to fill out.

wisnet.coms contact formwisnet.com’s contact form

Contact Form Advantages

  • If an address, state and zip hold importance then it can be a required field.
  • Your company’s email is not visible to spambots. Spambots crawl websites searching for email addresses for the purpose of spamming.
  • Inquirers can fill out the form without using mail programs such as Outlook, Entourage, Gmail, etc. It’s especially convenient when they are out of the office or using a different computer.

Contact Form Disadvantages

  • Usually not user friendly.
  • The form can not be saved to be filled out a later time. Interruptions and distractions can cause them to lose the page, thus having to rewrite their questions and comments.
  • The email address is unknown and can not be saved in the inquirers address book.
  • Inquirers misspell their email address when filling out the form. When replying to their inquiry it will not get back to them.
Email Advantages
  • Inquirers can use a program, such as Outlook or Entourage, which they are comfortable with.
  • Most email programs save a copy of the message that was sent. This can be reviewed at a later time.
  • Email programs tend to save the email address in the address book for future use.
Email Disadvantages
  • Spambots can find the email address easily.
  • The inquirer might not include all relevant contact information such as the address and phone number.
Which is best for my site?

In most situations it is a good idea to have both. If someone has a strong disdain for contact forms email addresses are a convenient alternative. Providing multiple contact options is ideal and the benefits are commanding.