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Each week, Franchise Marketing Group is featuring a different element of the online marketing cycle to help franchise owners and marketers understand the intricacy of online marketing for franchises. See the other posts in the series: an introduction to the online marketing cycle, using social mediablogging, and website optimization to attract customers to your franchise, and how to craft effective calls-to-action and landing pages.

Today, we’re focusing on the final component involved in the “Convert” stage of the online marketing cycle: the online contact form.

You’ve probably used an online contact form before, either as a customer or as a franchiser trying to promote your business. But have you really thought about the purpose and utility of online contact forms — and are you driving visitors toward them to harness the form’s full potential? Read on for our tips on converting visitors to leads with the ever-important contact form.

Getting Conversions With Contact Forms: a How-To

You know what an online contact form is: it’s a handy spot on your franchise website where visitors can provide their information and submit queries. Not only does an online contact form look more professional than a simple request to send an email with inquiries, it also makes it quicker and easier for potential customers to reach out to you.

Depending on how you’re currently using your online contact form, you may not be tapping into its full potential. In order for an online contact form to prove effective you need to:

1. Place your contact form in a smart spot on your website.

An online contact form should be easy to locate — otherwise, the visitor will give up and seek out answers elsewhere. It’s a good idea to include your contact form on the sidebar of your franchise website so that visitors can easily navigate to it from any page. Adding a “Contact Us” page to your menu structure will also make your contact form more accessible.

2. Use your online marketing channels to direct visitors to your contact form.Want to Convert Franchise Visitors? You'll Need an Online Contact Form.

Remember that all elements of your online marketing campaign need to work in tandem. This means you should be directing visitors to your online contact forms across all of your online marketing channels. To accomplish this, include a link to your contact form in all of your calls-to-action. The easier you make it for a visitor to get to your contact form, the more likely they’ll be to use it.

3. Don’t waste the information you gain from online contact forms.

After you’ve successfully drawn visitors to your contact form and actually gained their submissions, be sure that you act quickly to use the information. Potential customers who use online contact forms are usually looking for information, and fast. If your sales or marketing team doesn’t act on those contact form submissions quickly, you could lose that lead. Here are some tips for cutting back on contact form lead response time:

  • Be clear about responsibilities when it comes to pursuing contact form leads. If you want to divide the contact form leads up evenly amongst your sales or marketing team, be sure that there’s an established system for doing so. Be sure that your plan to tackle the leads corresponds well to the volume of online contact form submissions you receive.
  • Train all your employees to properly handle contact form submissions. Even if it’s your protocol to have sales people handle the contact form leads, it’s still smart to train your other employees on handling them in case the sales team experiences an overload. In general, all team members should understand how to proceed with a lead if needed.
  • Have a system for tracking contact form leads to ensure proper protocols & limited wait times. You won’t have time to supervise the lead conversion process at all times, so creating a tracking system to centralize all information makes sense. Include when the lead came in, all information on the lead, when and how the lead was first contacted, when and how they responded, and when and how any follow-ups were made. Keeping track of this information will help ensure that wait times aren’t too lengthy for your contact form submissions.
  • Add all opted-in contact form leads to your email marketing lists. As a part of your online contact form, be sure to include an email marketing opt-in. If they consent, you can add their information to your email marketing list and capitalize on the information captured in your online contact form.

Integrate a Contact Form Into Your Online Marketing Efforts

Need help when it comes to your online contact forms? Franchise Marketing Group offers web development services, meaning we can create and place a contact form on your franchise website. But that’s not all — we also have talented social media marketing specialists and content writers who are seasoned pros when it comes to publicizing your contact form throughout your online marketing platforms.

Don’t delay — call Franchise Marketing Group at (971) 212-4026, visit our office in Kansas City, or contact us now!