contact form vs email

Contact Form vs Email Address – Which is Better?

Are you wondering whether to you use a contact form or an email address on your Contact Us page? Your decision will have a big effect on whether or not you get the kind of inquiries you want.

In this article, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of each method, and show you why we believe a contact form is best.

But before we start, understand that your Contact page should help you:

  1. Look professional
  2. Keep your team in the loop
  3. Safeguard your inbox
  4. Make things easy for your visitors
  5. Stay organized
  6. Build your email list

Now we’ll take a look at each requirement and decide on a winner.

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1. Look Professional

There’s no question: when you make the effort to use a contact form vs. an email address, it shows that you take your website and your business seriously.

A publicly visible email address reveals that you either don’t know how to display a contact form, or simply don’t care.

When you have a contact form on your website, your website looks more professional.

Winner: Contact Form

2. Keep Your Team in the Loop

Do you need more than one person to be notified when someone fills out your form?

If you’re just displaying an email address on your website, there’s no way to do this automatically. Instead, you’ll have to forward the email yourself every time to those that need notification.

But with a contact form, you can create multiple notifications and even customize who receives each message based on how the user answers the form.

team notification

This way, any time someone fills out a contact form on your site, the right people on your team are notified immediately.

Winner: Contact Form

3. Safeguard Your Inbox

Publishing an email address on your website is basically asking for spam. Spambots crawl around the internet looking for publicly displayed email addresses to harvest.

Even legitimate visitors can send you all kinds of signature files, email read receipts, or large file attachments that take up valuable space in your inbox. Any of these unnecessary email options could also contain a virus.

The good news is that with a contact form, you can take extra measures to prevent spam.

spam prevention settings

If you want to keep your email inbox clean and keep your website secure, using a contact form is a no-brainer.

And it just so happens that WPForms has a built-in honeypot feature, as well as the option to enable reCAPTCHA or invisible reCAPTCHA for your forms as added layers of protection.

Winner: Contact Form

4. Make it Easy on Your Visitors

What’s easier for your website visitors: filling out a form, or sending you an email?

That depends on your audience. Some visitors may feel it’s more personal to send an email rather than submitting a form.

If you do decide to write an email address on your website, at least make sure to use a clickable email link. A clickable email address is also called a “mailto link,” and looks something like this:

<a href="mailto:someone@example.com?Subject=Hello%20again" target="_top">Send Mail</a>

On the other hand, some visitors may prefer submitting a contact form vs using a mailto link because it doesn’t require opening their email software. Worse, if they don’t have their email software set up correctly, your email link won’t work for them at all making it impossible for them to contact you.

You could be missing out on important queries and leads if your visitors are getting frustrated by the lack of a contact form.

Winner: Tied

5. Stay Organized

If your email inbox is flooded with all sorts of email, it’s easy to lose track of contact page emails from a mailto link.

By using a contact form, you can decide on the email subject line of your inquiries, helping you to keep your inbox organized.

email subject line

Another way to view the responses you’ve received is to view your contact form entries within your website. This way you don’t have to search for them among all your other emails.

entries example

As a bonus, if you’re running website backups you’ll always be able to retrieve contact form submissions, no matter what happens to your email inbox, which is just another benefit of having a contact form on your website.

Winner: Contact Form

6. Build Your Email List

If a website visitors sends you an email using a mailto link on your site, is there any way to get them to subscribe to your email newsletter?

You could ask them in your reply email, and then manually add them to your list. But that’s not a very efficient use of your time or convenient for your site visitors.

With a contact form, you can easily add a subscription checkbox to request permission and build your email list.

And if you’re worried about GDPR compliance, know that WPForms lets you add a GDPR Agreement form field to any form you create for site visitors to click. This field is used to gain explicit consent from site visitors and allows you to send marketing emails to them without worry that you’re violating EU rules and regulations.

Are you convinced you need a contact form for email list building? Check out our roundup of the best email marketing services, complete with free options, and get started today.

Winner: Contact Form

And there you have it! You now know that when it comes to using a contact form vs email address on your WordPress website, the best option is to use a contact form.

Are you now convinced you need a contact form on your website? If so, check out our guide on how to create a simple contact form using WPForms and start making it easier for people to get in touch.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for reading this article – I hope you found it helpful.

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    CEO of WPForms

  2. “There’s no question: when you make the effort to use a contact form vs. an email address, it shows that you take your website and your business seriously.”
    yeah… actually, I have a question. why can’t I just use my regular email app to contact your business? i consider this quite unprofessional.
    if I send a request via this web form thingy, then I don’t keep track of it in my sent messages. so that sucks. I can’t keep a record of our interactions in my email.

    “A publicly visible email address reveals that you either don’t know how to display a contact form, or simply don’t care.”
    or……. that you prefer the simplicity and all the functionality of email to an ad-hoc, quirky, and buggy web form

    btw, this article is from https://wpforms.com/ …… so possibly not completely objective on this question

    “Publishing an email address on your website is basically asking for spam.”
    now that is an actual point. but that is not a concern for the user. that would be the business’s problem. a business should behave in a manner that is to the benefit user experience.

    “What’s easier for your website visitors: filling out a form, or sending you an email?”
    well that’s a no-brainer. what could be easier than clicking a link to create an email?

    “If your email inbox is flooded with all sorts of email, it’s easy to lose track of contact page emails from a mailto link.”
    see previous point. not a concern for the user.

    “If a website visitors sends you an email using a mailto link on your site, is there any way to get them to subscribe to your email newsletter?”
    ah……… now, I think, we are getting to the real reason: marketing spam. but who checked this “yes, please spam me!” box? not me…….

    1. Hi Marc,

      I apologize for any frustration! We provide the contact form to greatly improve the efficiency of our support by including all of the most important details needed to address questions or issues. Then, any follow up replies will take place within your regular email provider, and that will include the full thread for reference.

      For many users, a contact form will ultimately provide a smoother experience by requiring less back-and-forth to acquire the details needed to address their needs. Having these details upfront can help to reduce the time demand on those managing replies, lead to faster and more precise responses, and so help the user to get what they need more quickly. A form can also automate many of the functions that would otherwise need to be done manually (adding subscribers to an email list, forwarding the message to a specific team member based on entry content, etc).

      I hope this shares some additional insights on why we use a contact form and recommend their use. If you have any questions, please feel welcome to get in touch 🙂

  3. I run a web site which is a basically a portal for third parties to show hire space. Prospective renters can contact these space owners direct using our contact forms but we have found that some service providers are blocking or dropping the emails. iCloud and virgin media being 2. How can avoid this happening?

    1. Hi Mike,

      If you’re having issues with email notification deliverability, we’d recommend installing and using the WP Mail SMTP plugin. Often times email notifications can either be filtered out as spam or are blocked entirely from being sent. The WP Mail SMTP will help with authenticating these emails to allow them to be sent through and avoid missing any important messages. For more information, please check out our WP Mail SMTP setup guide.

      I hope this helps! 🙂

  4. In the second bullet, “[…] If you’re just displaying an email address on your website, there’s no way to do this automatically […]”
    I’m 100% sure that this isn’t the case. At my day job we have email addresses that we use as aliases to send an email to dozens of persons at a time internally. Don’t know how IT did that but I know there is no custom-scripts.

    1. Hi Mathieu,

      It’s hard to tell since every site’s configuration is different so there may have been other factors at play at your day job. In this article, we’re explaining that if you just list your email address (for example, as a hyperlink) on your Contact Us page, there’s no way for that email to be sent to multiple people automatically. I hope that makes sense and thanks for your feedback! 🙂

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