4 reasons why required fields are no longer required on contact forms

Car Dealer PPC Landing Page
JD Rucker December 12 Automotive

What? WHAT!?!? There have to be required fields on contact forms, right? There have been required fields on contact forms for two decades. Nothing could have changed so quickly that they have become unnecessary, right?

Actually, they’re no longer necessary. In fact, they’re a hindrance. Here’s why:

 

People aren't stupid

Seriously, they’re not. This isn’t the dawning of the age of the internet. There are adult buyers today who have been on the internet for longer than they’ve been out of diapers. They have likely filled out hundreds, even thousands of contact forms in their life. Is there a chance that someone might fill out a form with their first name only or even a fake name in order to see what the price was on the other side of the form? Sure. Thankfully, they are few and far between. There’s a right way and a wrong way to make a landing page contact form.

Treat people as if they know what they’re doing.

 

Different contact strokes for different folks

Believe it or not, there are people that never speak on the phone unless they absolutely must. There are people who might go a few days without checking for the mailbox. There are those who don’t trust email anymore because 70% of it is spam. There are those who want to be reached through (gulp) social media rather than other methods.

Give them options. Allow them to select their preference. The form above is a price quote request. Are you going to be mailing them the quote? If not, why would you require their address? They are trying to do business with you. They wouldn’t be on the page if they weren’t.

 

The NSA killed data collection for many

The conspiracy theorists and paranoid freaks from a couple of years ago now seem like the wisely cautious today. Yes, governments, businesses, and organizations of nefarious inclinations are willing to do anything they can to get a hold of your personal data and many people are concerned. Some refuse to leave a good chunk of their information on any format online. Physical address is one of the concerns for many.

Why require them to do something that they simply don’t want to do in order to do something simple like find out of the price of your merchandise?

 

It's an intro, not an interrogation

Keep it simple. Get whatever information they’re willing to leave. If they want to be contacted, they’ll leave some form of contact information. If they don’t want to be contacted, they won’t be filling out contact forms now will they?

You will need more information from them eventually in order to perform the transaction, but this is just the first step. This is a sign of willingness to start the engagement process. Just as you wouldn’t expect a car salesman to ask you for your address the moment you walk onto the lot, you shouldn’t expect the website to do it, either.

If you’re going to pay for people to visit your site through PPC or other means, make sure you don’t do the things that prevent them from allowing you to contact them.

Written by JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of both Judeo Christian Church and Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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Comments

4 Comments »

 
#1
guest
December 12th, 2013 at 6:29 am

This is so right – you tell ‘em JD

PS shame your Comment form does not follow the same guidelines

 
 
#2
JD Rucker
December 13th, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I’m not the biggest fan of Disqus but it has its advantages.

 
 
#3
Ryan G
December 16th, 2013 at 9:42 am

With you in theory JD, but I’d love to see real data to prove your point. What about requiring some level of social connectivity on contact forms, such as the way Disqus works for commenting. This way when inquiries come in the merchant or organization has a real connection cord with website visitors. This would also help reduce spam inquiries.

 
 
#4
JD Rucker
December 17th, 2013 at 2:09 am

Absolutely, Ryan, and for those who are chasing down a lot of bogus leads that might be a challenge. However, I feel that most have more of a challenge getting enough real leads rather than being distracted by bogus ones. Still, data would be helpful and the best that I’ve seen so far is anecdotal at best.

 

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