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Screenshots of SurveyMonkey forms next to 4 stars and bar graph

Contact forms are one of the most effective ways to create connections between people - whether it’s a potential customer reaching out on your company’s website, a vendor submitting a proposal, or a former student signing up for alumni opportunities. 

No matter who your audience is, effective communication starts with having the right information so you can get in touch, communicate important information, provide support, gather feedback, and so much more. That’s why implementing a robust contact form is important. 

From simple business inquiries to detailed customer service requests, learn how to craft effective contact forms in four simple steps. Plus, get started with seven purpose-built templates for the most common contact form use cases. 

Creating a contact form that meets your business’s needs while offering a seamless user experience requires a few simple steps. 

Before you even start designing your form, it is essential to define the purpose of your contact form. What do you hope to achieve with this form? Are you trying to gather feedback from your current customers, collect leads for sales, provide support, or simply open up a line of communication to stay in touch with potential buyers?  

When you start by defining the form's audience and objective up front, you can better tailor the form’s design, questions, and form fields to align with your goals—and make sure you’re getting the information you need. 

For example, suppose your goal is to capture leads for your sales team to follow up on. In that case, you’ll need to ask website visitors for some basic contact info, context about the problem they're trying to solve, and likely some additional fields that will map to your company’s existing CRM system. Now is the time to involve stakeholders to ensure your form asks the right questions.  

This strategic approach will ensure a positive user experience by ensuring the form is relevant and easy for web visitors to complete—making it easier for your team to properly route inquiries and respond quickly and effectively. 

The next step is to decide what information you need to collect from your users. Keep in mind that your users will often bounce if there are too many required form fields or if many of the form fields are irrelevant. Your goal at this stage is to strike the right balance between getting all of the information you need to process the contact form effectively and making it easy for the user to fill out the form. 

Common form fields include name, email address, message, and subject. However, depending on the purpose of your contact form, you might also need more specific information, such as a phone number, company name, or the type of service they are requesting. 

Consider how you can simplify your forms to create a positive user experience. For example, can you combine first and last name into one field? Do you need to ask for their phone number, or is an email address sufficient? 

Now that you’ve determined the right questions to ask, it’s time to design your survey. A well-designed contact form not only creates a positive experience for your users but also increases your conversion rates by making it easy and seamless for users to fill out and submit the form. 

In general, you’ll want to keep the form simple, intuitive, and visually appealing. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Embed the form on your website. Save your users a click and embed your contact form directly on your company’s website.
  • Make sure your form is accessible and mobile-friendly. Your contact form will see a higher conversion rate if the survey is easy to use on any device: desktop, tablet, or phone. It’s also important to make sure your form has an accessible design that works with screen readers for the visually impaired.
  • Label each field clearly. Don’t leave your users guessing. For example, for a customer support contact form, instead of “text,” you might label an open text field with the words “describe your problem in a few sentences.”
  • Include a straightforward call-to-action (CTA). Craft an enticing call to action that clarifies the value of submitting the form. For example, for technical requests a CTA like “Talk to an Expert” can be very effective.
  • Set expectations. Your website visitors should know what to expect when they submit a contact form. Will they get a call or an email from your team? When can they expect a response?
  • Reinforce your branding. Your contact form design should match your overall branding, including your logo, brand fonts, and brand colors. This creates a seamless experience while giving prospective customers confidence in your professionalism.
  • Give clear feedback for form errors. Give users clear, immediate feedback on incorrectly filled fields. Highlight the error and offer instructions to correct the issue.
  • Confirm submissions. After submission, display a friendly confirmation message or page that lets users know you’ve received their message and clarifies next steps. 

Do you need to build a contact form, but you’re not quite sure where to start? Free contact form templates can significantly speed up the process of creating a functional and beautiful form that meets your needs. Here are a few templates to help you get started: 

An emergency contact form template makes it easy to collect critical contact information in case of an emergency. This template is designed for schools, workplaces, event organizers, and more. Plus, it’s pre-built with form fields to gather contact names, phone numbers, and relationships of emergency contacts. 

A family reunion contact form template makes it fast and easy to gather all of the information you need to pull off the perfect family event. The template captures contact information, including email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses. Customize the form and add questions about food preferences, accommodation needs, activity interests, and more to help make your family reunion fun and memorable.

Use a website contact form template to gather business inquiries, user feedback, or other specific requests. The fully customizable template makes it easy to collect a website visitor’s name, contact information, and a message for your team. Easily integrate form responses with your existing systems, including email, Slack, or your CRM, to ensure every inquiry gets a prompt response. 

Use a general inquiry form template to gather general business inquiries from your customers or prospects from any device, day or night. This template makes it easy to collect names, contact information, and more so you can easily follow up on any request. 

Elevate your customer service with a customer contact form template. Designed for businesses of all sizes, this template helps you gather feedback from your customers, resolve customer service inquiries, and better understand and respond to your customer’s needs. Easily customize the form to include specific questions about your products or services, ensuring you collect actionable insights to improve customer satisfaction.

A vendor contact form template is essential for businesses to streamline their vendor management process. This template captures comprehensive contact details, service descriptions, and other relevant information from current and potential vendors. Customize the form to include specific fields that align with your procurement and supply chain management needs, ensuring smooth operations and communications. 

Strengthen your alumni relationships with an alumni contact information form template. This template makes it easy to collect up-to-date alumni contact details, current employment status, and areas of interest for events, networking, and volunteer opportunities. You can also include fields for social media handles, milestones or celebrations, and preferences for alumni engagement, ensuring a vibrant and connected alumni community.

An effective contact form is more than just a set of fields on your website; it's a critical tool for engaging with your audience, understanding their needs, and driving your business forward.

For businesses looking to develop or revamp their contact forms, SurveyMonkey offers a comprehensive suite of tools and templates designed to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible. Start creating your optimized contact form today.

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