How To Get Better Leads With Optimized Contact Forms

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Contact form, submission form, lead form, inquiry form—whatever the frick you want to call it, it’s an essential part of the whole “actually getting hired” process—and because I’m sick and tired of seeing the same generic forms over and over again, I’m going to teach you exactly how to optimize your forms so you can get better leads.

First things first, though – we need to make sure we’re on the same page about something.

Your website’s Contact page isn’t just some bullshit throwaway page to be ignored, at the end of your website copywriting process.

It’s not an afterthought, it’s a deal-closer.

Your Contact page is often one of the most visited pages on your site, and it could make or break you when it’s decision time for your reader.

I wrote an entire post all about how to write the best Contact page for your website—check that out before we dive into creating optimized contact forms!

The next housekeeping detail we need to go over before I share my capital ‘O’ opinions about inquiry forms with you: pre-qualifying your leads will save you so much freaking time, and although I’m not claiming to be the only authority on the subject, I *am* confidently telling you that my way of doing things has proven to work for me, my friends, my clients, my mentees, and my students, so0o0o…

How do you pre-qualify your leads so you can save time and only attract the right types of clients?

There are a few ways you can weed out the less-than-ideal leads, so let’s go over ’em:

  1. List your pricing on your website, OR (at the very least) give your leads an opportunity to easily find the pricing somewhere—a download, a separate page, etc.
  2. Share all of the details you can about what’s included with your services, what your process is, and what your typical project and booking timelines are.
  3. Answer the questions you know your readers will have IN YOUR COPY, as opposed to hidden inside an FAQ section they’ll never read. (Side note: this is not me talking shit about FAQs; this is me telling you that there’s a right & wrong way to use ’em.)

When you strategically include things in your website copy to both save yourself time AND save your reader from having to dig for information, you are removing the need for them to inquire and ask any simple questions.

Everyone’s process, workflow, and preferences are different, but I personally don’t know anyone who would want to get an email from a potential new client, get excited about it, and then find out that the person’s budget was $10, they need the project completed in 1.4 days, and they’re looking for a service that you don’t even offer.

Any question that your website copy can answer for you is one less question you have to spend time emailing someone about.

Let your copy do its job, and serve you AND your readers.

Here are a few of the questions the copy surrounding your submission form should answer:

  • When can they expect a response to their inquiry?
  • If they want to contact you about something other than working with you, how should they do that? Do you have a direct email they can reach out to about other opportunities?
  • (If it’s relevant) What are your office hours?
  • (If it’s relevant) What’s the process surrounding the inquiry? [EX: Will they receive a pricing guide? Will they be redirected to a link to schedule a call?]

Now, let’s talk about what to include on your submission form!

Of course, you’ll want to include space for your leads to share their name (preferably first and last), their email, the name of their brand/business if applicable, and any other necessary identifying details (website URL, social handles, phone number if it’s relevant to your services, pronouns, etc).

Then, you’ll want to add an option for them to select the service they’re inquiring about. I love using a drop-down menu for this, but it could also be a free-response question.

I love asking for more context on my submission form, because my goal is to learn as much about this person and their project through their inquiry form as I can.

So, on mine (pictured below!) I ask for details about what they’re looking for, why they need my help, how I can best serve them, etc.

Most projects aren’t so black-and-white, so I like to give my leads an opportunity to explain, in as much detail as they’d like, the specifics of what they’re looking for. This allows me to give them the most accurate, realistic answer.

Next, I recommend asking where this person first heard about your business. This will give you some great insight into where your leads are coming from, which will help you determine if you’re happy with the way you’re marketing your business!

(Example: if everyone’s telling you they found you on Google, you know you’re killing the SEO game. If everyone tells you they’re finding you on Instagram, you know what you’re posting there is working. If everyone’s coming to you via referral, you know you’re worthy of recommending. See?! Valuable info!)

And lastly, adding some sort of check box or verification that this person has viewed your services and pricing is always a good idea—especially if you only offer a very specific service, or if you’ve noticed people are reaching out without looking at your pricing / considering their budget—even though you can’t guarantee that they’ve *actually* looked at it.

In my experience, this has at least caused people to go back and look at the Services page and make sure they’re cool with what’s included / how much your services cost.

Before I show you my submission form examples, here’s how to create them if you’re a Dubsado user:

Use these templates. They’re sexy. And easy to customize. And you get $50 off if you use the code “BTLCOPY” at checkout — but, tbh, I’d recommend them even if that weren’t an affiliate link.

Okay, now for the submission form examples:

Source: my website
Source: my client, Ansley

Curious exactly HOW these forms were created?

All of the examples I showed you are contact forms created within the Dubsado platform.

Dubsado is my preferred tool for managing my client relationships, because you’re able to customize the hell out of it. I use it for creating forms, sending proposals, contracts, & invoices, building questionnaires, requesting client feedback, scheduling calls with clients and students, and SO much more.

There are plenty of other CRM platforms to choose from—Dubsado isn’t the only choice—but I *do* think it’s the best choice for creative online service providers (like myself!) who want to create an easy, positive client experience.

One of my favorite parts about the Dubsado platform is that if you’d like to try it out, you can do so for free for your first 3 clients. No credit card, no time limit, no restrictions.

I always appreciate when platforms let you try without the pressure of a bullshit 7-day ‘free trial’ looming over your credit card bill, so Dubsado gets some serious brownie points with me for offering a free, flexible plan for trying out their service.

If you use my code “btlcopy” to join—or this link!—you’ll also get 20% off your membership!

You’ll also want to consider…

→ What’s going to happen after this person inquires?

I recommend creating a “thank you” page that the lead is then redirected to, so they can be positive their inquiry went through & so they can learn more about what will happen next. This is a great way to set the tone for an awesome client experience!

→ Will you have a workflow set up, or will you respond manually to each lead?

I prefer to personally respond via email to every single lead I receive, because the nature of what I do is so hands-on—I create custom proposals for every single new client, and I’m also a control freak—but it may work better for you to have workflow in place.

This could be as simple as a confirmation email set up to let the client know you’ve received their inquiry (I do this when I have a waitlist up!) or to invite them to schedule a discovery call, or you could have your entire process automated through your CRM.

To learn more about workflows (specifically on Dubsado!) check out my BTL Expert Interview with Fran of The Passions Collective; she’s answered *tons* of FAQs in this post!

Want to learn more about optimizing your website for success?

If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:

Subscribe to my newsletter! I send one marketing tip, once a week – and, according to my subscribers, it’s “the best marketing newsletter on the Internet” and “the only reason to wake up on Tuesday mornings.” So… yeah. You’ll love ‘er. 😏 Click here to subscribe!

Check out my services. I write website copy, sales pages, email sequences, blog posts, and brand messaging guides for entrepreneurs of all kinds! Maybe you’re my next favorite client.

Read the rest of my blog. It’s home to everything from copywriting tips, to marketing education, to freelance advice, to portfolio-worthy projects… if you like this post, you’ll love the blog. Here’s a quick roundup of my most popular posts.

Sign up for my web copy course. Actually, it’s not *only* about website copywriting—I also teach modules on copywriting basics, developing your target audience, search engine optimization, blogging, and email marketing.

Enlist me as your mentor. I have an entire in-depth blog post about my one-on-one consulting process for new and aspiring copywriters, if you’re interested in having a big-sis-style mentor to help you grow your freelance copywriting business & get results.

To get in touch with me directly, send me a DM or email Have a great day!

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Hi, I'm Sara—Website Copywriter & Marketing Mentor.

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