5 Reasons Your Visitors Don’t Fill Out Your Contact Form

  • May 31st 2013
  • by Marvin Russell
5 Reasons Your Visitors Don’t Fill Out Your Contact Form

Ask yourself this question: How many potential customers leave your website without filling out your contact form? The answer is usually “lots” or “way too many”. This is a common problem with websites. Your SEO company does a great job driving traffic to your website, and your visitors start showing interest in your services by viewing a few pages and staying on your website for a minute or two. Then they get to your contact page and see the contact form. But instead of filling out that form, they “bounce” from your website. Why is that?

Here are 5 reasons visitors don’t fill out your contact form:

1. It’s Way Too Long

Have you ever left a store without purchasing anything because the checkout lines were too long? That’s because you are human and humans are impatient, especially on the internet. We use the internet to make our lives easier, not more complicated and definitely not more difficult. A long contact form can be very overwhelming to look at and scare your potential customer right off your website. Keep the number of fields on your contact forms between 3 and 5 max.

If your website offers a service, then your contact form shouldn’t try to sell that service. It should only try to get your foot in the door by asking a few basic questions.  NeilPatel.com was able to increase conversions by 26% by removing 1 field from his contact form.


2.  You Ask for Their Phone Number

We humans hate giving out our phone numbers, especially to sales people. Can you blame us? We have no idea how pushy that sales person is going to be. I used to think requiring a phone number qualified our leads, and that a potential customer wasn’t serious if they couldn’t give us their phone number. Not any more. Data doesn’t lie, and the data shows that asking for a phone number will kill your conversions.

In 2010, Dan Zarrella of HubSpot analyzed over 40,000 landing pages and found that asking for a phone number was one of three fields that killed conversions rates.

Phone Number Bad for Conversions

3. You Ask Your Visitors to “Submit”

The word “submit” is such a negative word. Who wants to “submit” to anything. I’d rather “Send” or “Send Email”.  Actually, “Click Here” and “Go” have the best conversion rates.

Here’s how Google defines the word, “submit”.

Definition of Submit

4. You’re Not A/B Testing

Don’t overcomplicate A/B testing. In this case, it’s simply showing equal groups of visitors different forms and seeing which one converts the most. At The Ocean Agency we tested two different contact pages. Each page showed a slightly different form. Using a simple WordPress plugin like MaxA/B Testing The Ocean Agency doubled the amount of conversions.

AB Testing

5. You Don’t Have Enough Forms

Have you ever gone to the store and ended up buying things you never intended on buying? That’s called “Impulse Buying”. Stores take advantage of this by strategically lining the checkout lanes with goodies to buy. You should take advantage of the fact that humans can often be impulsive. On The Ocean Agency website there is a contact form in the footer of every page, in the body of almost every page, and of course on the Contact Page. We’ve done this for years and found that very often our visitors will fill out a contact form because it’s right in front of their face.


We also track which conversions came from which pages. From that we are able to tell that 7 out of 15 recent contact form submissions came from contact forms on other pages, like the body of the Home Page.


Everything you see above can be done in less than one day. Put your clients aside for one morning, meet with your developer and get it done.

If you have anything to add please comment below. I’d love to hear more ideas.

  • seoservices4smallbusiness

    Good points!! these are the small things we never concentrate much and miss them to follow. Thanks for the share !!

  • Badabing badaboom. I’m going to try #4 and fix #3. But what I really should do is just give in and buy your SEO audit form. I’ve had this tab opened for too long. I might as well pull the trigger.


      Easy stuff right? Thanks for commenting. Get that free trial going. We have a big update coming. Basically a much bigger audit :)

  • Jac Sinex

    Thank you for the quick and easy points. I personally hate the Submit label on buttons and usually use Send or Go – glad that is well supported!

  • MySubmission

    See your point 5. You used the word ‘submissions’ which you had earlier on in point 3 pointed out that it is not correct. Very good post nonetheless!

    • In general conversation the word submit is fine. Just not a button ;)

      • accept your mistake and improve, instead of justifying

  • Joshua MacFall

    I absolutely agree regarding the phone number and the word “submit”. I’d rather not give a direct line to me that could be called anytime day or night. And the word submit is very robotic. I’d prefer a something light-hearted like, “Blast-Off”, “Buckle Your Seat Belts”, “BOOM”, I don’t know…anything rather than “Submit”

    • Glad you agree. I love saying the word “BOOM” after saying something I personally find very meaningful. haha TRUE!

  • clevertail

    Very well said!

    I agree with all of these points completely.

    Something I see a lot of websites neglecting is contact form placement. Actually, I even neglect this to some extent on my own website. That being said, I’ve noticed about a 5 – 15% increase in visitors actually filling out a contact/inquiry form because it’s… 1. Easy to find, 2. A simple and streamline process, and 3. Doesn’t say “Submit.”

    It’s really no supprise that visitors prefer simplicity over complication. ie: too many clicks, choices, or things to do. After all, shouldn’t our websites be easy to navigate and simple to use? So why are so many contact forms defeating us when it comes to our website(s)? They should be working with us and for the user.

  • fp.harikumar

    Excellent tips about visitors contact form filling. http://www.fatpipeinc.com/superutm/index.php

  • animesh

    The mention reason are truly valid and we sometimes miss them to follow.

    The other 2 reason for not filling the contact form what i supposed are

    1.Their might be a Fear of getting spammed email sometimes

    2.Sometimes they are asking information about the users which i actually think is not needed.

  • What great advice! Thanks. I think i’m going with Go! personally I hate “Submit” yet for some reason I had it on my own contact button for months. Go figure :|

  • SherwoodLost

    I wonder if the phone number field still has an effect when it is expected to get a call. Say for instance, you have a business that sells cars, websites, or any other item that requires a conversation. Does it still matter?

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  • I have seen many sites,

    who asks for,

    Last Name
    Skype Id

    Which is totally useless at first sight. You can ask them it later.

    Repeating your point, they just have “Submit” , They don’t care about CTA

    Thanks for your detailed insight Marvin. Would definitely love to share it.

  • There is a free A/B testing tool http://bit.ly/1mNKwwP for business owners to try

  • Ara


  • Thanks Marvin for this valuable post.


  • Chris Stolmeier

    Contact forms can kill customer interest and they don’t meet your customers needs. Direct contact is desired by most customers, but that just isn’t possible with a contact form. Check out HappAppily.com, it provides your customers direct access to your employees. It can be embedded right next to your contact form so now you can appeal to customers that like the contact form and customers that want direct contact.

  • vinodh

    thanks for “Click here”. I changed

  • JCM0165

    Thanks, this is very helpful. . . Some employees at a customer company want to add the phone field to a “quick contact” form so these stats will help dissuade them . . or, at least encourage an A/B test to see.
    Chris McNeil

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