Are you getting the results you want from your contact page?
Maybe you’ve never given it much thought — it’s a mundane page most of us take for granted.
But think about it: Your website exists to make a connection with your audience. What closer connection could you possibly make than a visitor reaching out to speak to you one-on-one?
When a website visitor goes to your contact page, they have a specific purpose in mind: contacting you. A well-designed contact page will help them to easily achieve their purpose.
But a great contact page will also help you to achieve your purpose. Whether that’s increasing the number of inquiries you receive, or weeding out the contacts that aren’t a good fit, you can accomplish it with a well-designed contact page and form.
I’m going to walk you through exactly how to use WordPress’s native contact form builder, a module of Jetpack for WordPress, to create a contact page that gets you and your visitors the results you want.
Ready to create an awesomely effective contact page? Let’s get started.
Creating an effective contact form with Jetpack for WordPress
Step 1: Activate WordPress Jetpack
In order to create contact forms, you’ll need to install and activate Jetpack for WordPress.
Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that connects your WordPress.org installation with a WordPress.com account, giving you access to extra features like WordPress.com stats, extra sidebar widgets, widget visibility options, gravatar hovercards, WP.me shortlinks, and many more. Each feature is a module that can be activated separately.
In order to use the contact form module of Jetpack, you’ll need to sign up for a WordPress.com account if you don’t already have one. Then log in to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Plugins,” and activate the Jetpack plugin. It will direct you to login with your WordPress.com username and password.
Once that’s complete, navigate to the new “Jetpack > Settings” menu option and click the contact form module to activate it.
The contact form builder is a bit limited in that you can only insert a form into a post or page (no widgets or popups — you’ll need a contact form plugin for those).
After logging in to your WordPress dashboard, decide which post or page you’d like to insert your contact form on, and click on “Edit.”
Step 2: Choose your form fields
From the editor, you can click the big button under the title and permalink that says “Add Contact Form.”
As you can see in the pop-up window, WordPress has already set up a default contact form for you:
You could just click the “Add this form to my post” button, save your page, and be done. Any subsequent form entries from your visitors will be automatically scanned for spam, and valid contacts will be sent to the email from your WordPress general settings.
But we’re not building just any contact page — we’re creating the ultimate, most effective contact page we can, so let’s think strategically about the fields you’re asking your visitors to fill out.
What do you want out of your contact form?
I’ll assume you want people to contact you. Maybe you enjoy hearing from your blog readers, or maybe you contact form is your primary way of gathering leads for your business. At the same time, you don’t want to waste your time and your readers’ time by inviting irrelevant inquiries.
So you need a contact form that will encourage visitors to use it — but only the right visitors, for the right reasons.
Anytime you ask your visitors for anything, that increases their interaction cost. In other words, every field in your form creates a higher barrier to entry for your visitors who want to contact you.
For every form field, consider whether the additional information you may glean is worth the higher barrier to entry, which may lose you some inquiries.
So what fields should you include (if any), besides name, email, and message?
Think about what people usually leave out when they contact you. Do you find yourself asking the same questions over and over? Consider asking them in your contact form instead.
If you find yourself receiving a lot of irrelevant emails that use up your time, try creating a long contact form that asks for a lot of details. This way, only the very determined will contact you, and their messages will come prequalified.
To add a new field to your form, simply click the “Add a new field” link at the bottom.
To remove a field, click the minus sign to the right.
To move a field up or down, or to edit the field, hover over the field to reveal “move” and “edit” links:
Step 3: Arrange email notifications
Now we’ll decide who we want all these inquiries going to.
Click on the “Email notifications” tab at the top of the popup window.
As WordPress helpfully notes, you don’t have to fill this out, since any entries will be automatically emailed to the admin address in your general WordPress settings.
However, it’s a good idea to customize your subject line here.
Keep in mind that any subject line will be seen by the inquirer if you reply to the email you receive. What you need is a subject line that is useful internally, as well as to the inquirer (so they’re not left wondering what the email is when they receive a reply).
The default subject line is “[Your Website’s Title] Contact.” If your website’s title is long, I’d recommend editing the subject line to a shortened version. Or, depending on the purpose of your contact form, you might change the subject to something like “Your Request for a Quote” or “Your [Business Name] Support Inquiry.” You could also use your subject line to set up filters with your email provider to set aside inquiries from your website into a certain folder or label.
Once you’ve entered your desired subject line, click the “Save and go back to form builder” button, then the “Add this form to my post” button.
You should see some new code in the editor that will look something like this:
Step 3: Edit your form
If you want to edit your form, it is possible, though the method isn’t very intuitive.
While you’re editing your post or page, just place the text cursor anywhere within the form code, and click again on the “Add Contact Form” button. It will bring up the popup for that same form. Make your changes, then click the “Add this form to my post” button again. It will not add a new form, but will apply your changes to the existing form.
Step 4: Polish up your contact page
Now that your form is complete, your contact page is all set, right?
Not so fast — for optimal results, your whole contact page should be optimized as well.
Besides the actual contact form, your contact page could also include:
- Alternative contact methods. This will depend on your website and business, but you should at the minimum include your email address so your visitors can contact you directly. (Don’t bother disguising your email address with tricks like spelling out “AT” and “DOT” — most bots can see right through them… and let’s be honest, it looks a little unprofessional. If your email provider has decent spam filters, you shouldn’t have any problems publicly listing your email address.) You might also consider listing a business phone number and mailing address if applicable, plus any social media platforms you can be quickly contacted on.
- An estimated reply ETA. Let your visitors know about how long you usually take to reply to inquiries. It’s just polite; plus it will hopefully prevent impatient inquirers from sending multiple messages if you don’t get back to them right away.
- If your visitors are contacting you with the same questions over and over again, why not save you both some time and answer them publicly? You could create a separate FAQ page and link to it from your contact page, or just list a few of the most common questions right before your contact form.
That’s it! Now your contact page is set up and ready for action. Don’t forget to link to it: Include it in the main menu if getting contacts is one of your primary website goals; otherwise just a link in the footer is fine.
Need more from your contact form?
Jetpack for WordPress’ contact form builder is great for simple contact forms, but if you’re looking for more advanced features, you’re going to need a plugin.
Contact form plugins can enable you to:
- Create beautiful, eye-catching forms that match your blog’s style
- Use contact forms as widgets, popups, slide-ins, and more
- Edit your message formatting as well as confirmation and error messages
- Use more advanced form fields and validations
- Integrate with your email newsletter provider to build your email list
- Allow visitors to submit blog posts, upload files, and more
…and lots more. If you need more than just a basic contact form, check out our list of Top Contact Form Plugins For WordPress.
Jetpack provides an easy solution for setting up contact forms which is always good.
You get access to plenty of other features with the plugin but you don’t have to use them all. Just activate what you need.
Related reading: Is WordPress Jetpack Worth The Convenience?