Day 13 of #100daysmarketingcreatives - 1st Contact Page
The last of the 1st essential pages for your website is your contact page and there are a few rules you should follow for this one. The first is its name. Always call it 'contact'. People expect that and that is what they are looking for. Everybody uses Windows software. There are thousands of applications to do lots of different things all created by lots of different companies. They could all do things very differently if they wanted but they choose to stick to similar conventions to help people, giving them familiarity, making it easier for people to learn their software. They always expect the 'file' menu to be at the left, the 'help' menu to be at the right, to save or open is always under 'file' as is the means of leaving the system and so on. It is the same with websites. By all means create your own personal branding with a unique look and feel but following a few simple conventions as well will make it easier for people to find their way around your website easier and to enjoy the experience. Always make 'contact' the last option at the end of the menu.
The next rule is to always have a single contact page not multiple ones. The reason for that is maintenance. You can link from many other pages to your single contact page but by having just one you only ever have to update one. This avoids a situation where you might update your email address, postal address or decide you need to collect an extra piece of information and you update two screens and forget the third so it becomes out of date and you may miss messages.
So what is the purpose of the contact page? It is to allow people to contact you obviously but how? My advice is give them as many contact options as you need to. If its easy for them they are more likely to contact you. If they contact you and begin dialogue with you they are much more likely to either purchase from you in the future or collaborate with you somehow.
Having said that, however, I would try to encourage people to use a web form in the first instance. There are a number of reasons for that - you can ensure they give you all the necessary information to answer their query, you can ask their name, their email address, whether they are a customer, a gallery etc.
IMPORTANT - DO NOT PUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS ON YOUR WEBSITE! Let a web form send emails to you. If you display your email address on your website, on other people's website, in web forums and so on you increase the risk of getting onto mailing lists used for spamming. Not only will you receive lots of unwanted junk mail, people might also pretend to send email from you and get your email address blacklisted.
Ask people how they found out about you? Was it from a web search, another customer, a gallery, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, a show, which show? Keep your list up to date and get a feel for where your efforts are working and where you need to put more effort in.
If you are going to be distance selling over the internet it is a legal requirement in many places like here in the UK to provide your postal address. Do this on your contact page, there is no need to display it everywhere else as it will not be required frequently but people will know where to look for it. Put it lower down on the page though below the form.
You could provide a telephone number on your contact page but think carefully before you do that. Yes it will make it easier for people to contact you which is a good thing, however, most artists and creatives are working on their own and they don't want to constantly be bombarded with phone calls day and night, especially from other time zones! My advice is that unless you are operating a separate line in your studio which you are happy to answer any time it rings but can leave it behind at the end of your working day then do not advertise your phone number on your website. Give it to customers, galleries etc in emails if you are happy to do that but not on your website! If you do use it, put it below the form thereby encouraging use of the form first.
Do people visit you? If they do make that easier by displaying your opening times and perhaps by adding a Google Map to your contact page so people can quickly see where you are and click to get directions to you.
Finally think about other ways that people might want to contact you. You might want to think about social media links, however, once we get to the social media area in this project I will suggest a better area for those links so that they are always accessible!
If you have found this free advice useful, please return the favour by following me on Instagram or Facebook liking my posts and mentioning me to your friends! Thanks.
Do you add anything else to your contact page?