Online form building platforms specialize in giving users the power to create any web form they need. However, one of the most popular form types is the basic contact form. An effective contact form gives potential donors the ability to learn more about your company without making a huge commitment. On the other hand, a contact form gives your fundraising team the information they need to begin the lead generation process. It’s a win-win!

Three coffeesWith the straightforward nature of a contact form, it always baffles me when I go to the “Contact Us” page of a site and see a form with a zillion fields, asking all kinds of random questions. Think about it – when you meet someone for the first time, do you ever ask for their mailing address? No. That would be weird. If the contact form on your website asks too many personal questions, it might intimidate the potential donor and will lead to high form abandonment.

When beginning a new interaction with a donor, treat it like you would a casual conversation at a networking event. Start with the basic information, and then ask the donor for a way to keep in touch. All you need are three fields:

1. Name

When you first meet someone, a name introduction is almost always the first step. It gives a sense of familiarity to the conversation. Additionally, it’s the most noncommittal information your donor has to provide you.

2. Company / Organization

After you’ve moved past the initial “I’m so-and-so,” the second question that is almost always asked is, “So, where do you work?” Asking your donor for the name of their company is equally expected and can give your fundraising team a huge glimpse into their prospect. For example, knowing where leads work can give insight into the size of their office environment, their industry, and even some of their daily responsibilities.

3. Email OR Phone Number

You’re talking to someone new and the conversation goes well, you usually conclude by asking him or her for a business card. The last field of a contact form should mimic this natural step. If you use an email marketing tool to nurture your list, ask for an email address. On the other hand, ask for a phone number if your fundraising team is driven by calls.

Simple contact forms give your donors the control to begin the relationship. If you need more information, follow up with them and continue getting to know them. But remember – you can’t even begin that process with a scary contact form.

What’s the worst contact form you’ve ever seen? Is there a question you think I’m missing? Let’s chat on Twitter at @evachristine09.

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Eva McKnight

Eva McKnight

Public Relations Specialist at Formstack
Eva McKnight is the public relations specialist at Formstack. She manages Formstack’s social media accounts and media presence. When she’s not bragging about the awesome ways to use Formstack, you can find her taking too many pictures of her cat or trying to avoid cooking.
Eva McKnight

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