You should definitely be using a contact form instead of listing your email address on your website and here’s why.
It’s become pretty common place to use contact forms on our websites. Still, plenty of clients ask to just list their email address. I have several reasons why this is never a good idea.
Poor User Experience
Over half of all users are accessing websites through their mobile devices worldwide. And this is only trending up. That means that if someone is trying to contact you through your website, they are most likely doing it from their cell phone.
What this means for your users is that in order to email you, they have to copy your email address, open their email client, paste in your email address and then compose the email, send it and maybe they’ll return to your website. But, at that point they’ve already been inconvenienced by you once. You can make it easier, but it’s still not very efficient for anyone. A “mailto:” link allows your email address to be “clickable”. In a perfect world, clicking the link would automatically open the user’s email client. But, this brings me to reason number two you should not list your email address on your website.
Users Leave Your Website
Even if your “mailto:” link works, your user has been taken away from your website and will likely not return. Since your website is your online hub, you always want to keep users there as long as possible. Besides the obvious goal of educating and securing a lead, the length of time users spend on your site influences your website’s SEO ranking in search engine results.
Email Address Harvesting
Clients who opt for listing their email address rather than use a contact form see an enormous increase in spam email. This is because email addresses listed on your website are easily “harvested” by bots. These bots have one job, to scan website text and collect email addresses to add to spam databases.
Here’s a real life example. I work with an agency who has our emails listed on their website. I receive between 50 and 100 spam emails at that address every week. I use a contact form on my own website and have been able to eliminate over 90% of my spam messages. Which means that I only get legitimate leads and don’t have to spend time labeling messages as spam or sifting through hundreds of emails to find the ones from my colleagues.
Contact Forms Allow for Simple and Easy Email Collection
When you use a contact form, especially in a WordPress website, you can set notifications to be sent to any email you like. That way you get an automated notification and the opportunity to keep track of that contact. You can also integrate popular email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact to these forms and have these email addresses automatically added to your email list! That alone should make switching to contact forms a priority.
Contact Forms are Your Best Bet
Besides “hiding” your email address and making your user’s life more convenient, contact forms allow you to gather important information. Contact forms can tell you where your contacts found you and allows you to direct leads to specific email addresses, streamlining your process. There are also better options for controlling spam emails when you use contact forms instead of listing your email address.