See if this sounds familiar:
You’re on a website for, let’s say, a company that makes cakes. You like their homepage enough to check out some of the cakes they’ve made. You’re starting to get that sugar itch so you briefly check out their blog. You start to wonder where they’re located so you click on “Contact” in the navigation at the top of the site.
Before you know it, your computer is launching an email client and asking you to set up an account. But you don’t want to set up a mail account. You want to know where you can get a sugar fix.
If you surf the internet regularly, you’ve likely come across a website that launches a pre-addressed email instead of having a Contact page. I feel your pain. If you’re creating a website, here are a few reasons you may want to have a Contact page instead of kicking users straight to email.
Won’t Interrupt Information Gathering
As in the above scenario, users often expect a link to a Contact page to open a new page, not an email. Your user may not be at the point where they want to reach out to you. They may be looking for your address or your phone number. They could still be gathering information and deciding whether or not they want to reach out. Forcing a user to reach out before they’re ready often elicits the “Don’t Tell Me What To Do” response, which usually results in someone leaving your website.
Gives Your User Contact Options
Some people love talking on the phone whereas others prefer email. Many may want to fill out a contact form and a select few may want to swing by your shop and check you out (depending of course on what type of organization you run). Your contact page should cater to as many types of visitors as possible. You don’t want to lose someone that’s interested in connecting with you because you don’t have the contact option they prefer. Instead of forcing them to email you, it could be beneficial to let your visitor decide what’s best for them.
More Integrated With Your Website
It’s hard enough to get interested people to your website in the first place. The last thing you need to do is send them away frustrated.
Having a Contact page can seriously reduce frustration, which is always a good thing. Using a contact form is even better since users will be able to get in touch from within your website. That way, when they’re done reaching out, they can continue to peruse your site.
More Complete Tracking With Analytics
If you’ve installed an analytics tool on your website, you can get a lot of information by looking at how visitors interact with your Contact page. Maybe a lot of people visit your Contact page but end up exiting your site instead of getting in touch. Or maybe users are leaving your Contact page and going to other pages on your site instead of reaching out.
If your contact link opens an email, the most you can calculate is how often someone that clicks the link actually sends an email.
Put an Email Link on Your Contact Page
I’m not saying you should never have a link that opens an email. Some people may opt to use such a link. Just put it on your Contact page. That way it’s there for those that want it but isn’t forced upon anyone.
Have you come across a deceptive Contact link that opens an email? Do you usually end up sending an email? Or do you leave? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.