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.
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…
There are a few ways you can weed out the less-than-ideal leads, so let’s go over ’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:
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.
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!
→ 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!
Well, hi, I’m Sara—and I’d love to teach you! Between the free tips here on my blog and in my newsletter, the in-depth education in my website copywriting course and my website copy template, and the done-with-you website copy audits I offer, there’s a BTL website solution for everyone. 😏
Click here to inquire about how you can work with me or learn from me!
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