My business lives or dies on the success of my query form. Unlike many businesses, I cannot identify a target demographic. There is no optimal age or income or location or career. My clients defy identification. Until they search for ghostwriting services in some form or other and land on my website, we have no means of contact. And even then, if they don’t submit a query, I’ll never know they were there. Just whispers of ghosts passing in the night.
So I set up my form based on the best science available.
If you want to improve your contact form, take a look at what I did.
It’s yellow. Yes, it’s a bright color that stands out against the background, so you can’t miss it.
It’s high up on the page. It’s high up on every page. So if you go to https://thgmwriters.com/writing/book-writers/ there it is. Lazy people can find it right away. Less lazy people don’t have to hunt down the right page. They don’t even have to scroll to the bottom. If they do scroll for some other reason, a button pops up for instant access. They don’t have to scroll back up.
That button is there from the start on mobile. Lazy people can find the contact form on mobile without scrolling. Filling in that form is my most-desired action. It’s what people see full-time when visiting my website.
Call to Action
Notice that the call to action is written in red. It contrasts nicely with the yellow. Can’t miss it! It’s written in the second person: “your”. It promises speedy delivery. It makes it clear that the quote is free – you have nothing to lose.
The button is written in the first person. What, am I crazy? No crazier than most people out there, who actually get a 24.9% to 90% better response with “my” than with “your”. Basically, when they click the button, it’s like they are speaking through the button. The words should be words they would say to you, not the other way around.
And did you notice the button is red? Red is the highest performing call-to-action button color. It also contrasts well against the yellow background, another CTA booster.
The first thing you might notice about the form is how few fields there are. Just four:
Statistics show that the fewer fields there are, the more likely someone will be to complete a form. In particular, numbers drop off with text boxes and drop-down “select” options. The name and email are obvious. All forms need that information.
What about the phone number? I don’t really need their phone number. I hate using the phone and I don’t call prospects. But it is very important for my follow-up.
In most cases, prospects are astute enough to tell us what they want written. I can usually tell if it’s a screenplay or a blog post or a book or a speech. Not always, but usually. Based on that information, I can usually provide a rough price estimate in my response. This is crucial to qualify leads, so that I don’t waste a lot of time and energy on prospects who would never buy.
For instance, if somebody expects a full-length book manuscript for under $5,000, it would be a waste of my time and theirs to keep the conversation going. There’s no room to negotiate.
Qualifying people on price has saved me hundreds of hours since the early days when I didn’t know better.
What does that have to do with asking for their phone number? The area code tells me whether the prospect is located in the USA, Canada or elsewhere. Canadians expect to be quoted in Canadian dollars form a Canadian-based company.
As a bonus, when the majority of clients ask the writer to contact them by phone, the writer on our team already has their number.
CAVEAT: Some people leave out their phone number because they don’t want to be bothered. They don’t know how much I hate the phone. So this field is not mandatory; I am sure I would lose those leads if it was.
The details field on the form gives prospects the chance to tell us about their project. It’s the only text box, and we really need it. Notice that we prompt them to tell us about:
- Word count
- Type of document
- Sensitive content
These prompts help some people. Others ignore it. For the most part, we get useful information about the project to help us craft an initial response.
Some people include nothing and just write “Call me”. That tells us two things. First, that the client will be high-maintenance. More work means we need to charge more. Second, that they are unlikely to convert, as they are not invested even to the extent of writing two sentences about their project.
Some people write well-organized summaries. That tells us that the client is organized. Less work means we can charge less.
Some people write a long paragraph that is barely legible. If they need a document edited, that’s a heads up that it will be a very substantial edit.
Sometimes this field tells us about the project, sometimes about the client, and sometimes about both.
There is no captcha. People hate those things, and they cost 3% in conversions. So I put up with the easy-to-spot spam and just delete it.
So, I set up the form to:
- Be easy to find
- Encourage people to fill it
- Encourage them to send it
- Qualify leads
- Understand the client
- Provide the best service possible
Have fun tweaking your own forms.