5 Contact Form Mistakes and How To Fix Them

Photographer and HoneyBook member Laylee Emadi

The contact form on your website is one of the most powerful tools to help you book more business. It’s also one of the most overlooked and under-optimized. Luckily, the top five contact form mistakes are all easy to fix so you can start maximizing its impact today.

Mistake #1: Asking too many questions

While it’d be nice to know everything about your potential clients, no one wants to fill out a long form. Try to limit your form fields to ones you absolutely need to know, including:

  • Name
  • Contact information (e.g., email, phone number)
  • Location
  • Qualifiers like “What’s your budget?” or “What is the desired project launch date?” – These questions can help you determine at the outset if the inquiry will be a good fit for your business.

Photographer and HoneyBook member Laylee Emadi found her contact form worked best by keeping it simple. “It’s not intricate at all, which works for me,” Laylee said. Although there are seven questions on her contact form, only three are required: name, email and requested type of photography services.

Pro tip: Customize the placeholder text in each form field. Providing examples helps potential clients provide the exact information that will be most useful to you. It can also give prospects more information about your business. Make-up artist Angela Nunnink uses placeholder text in her form’s “estimated budget” field, below, to let clients know her budget minimum. 

For more examples of how the pros are making the most of their contact forms, download The Creative’s Guide to Contact Forms.

Mistake #2: Straying from your brand

It’s important to provide a seamless client experience, especially when clients are first reaching out to you. Make sure your form’s colors, fonts and wording all represent your brand. PJ Dunn of Going Lovely Events keeps her contact form, below, on-brand by using photography and colors consistent with her business.

Pro tip: Steer clear of using colors that don’t contrast enough with your website’s background. Pick colors that make your form easy to read, encouraging visitors to complete all fields and hit submit.

Mistake #3: Burying its location

Is your contact form easy for people to find? In addition to placing your contact form in your website’s top nav, include it on multiple pages throughout your site. Think about adding your contact form on your “about” page or blog posts where you’re running a limited-time promotion. Make it easy for interested clients to get in touch.

Mistake #4: Using one form for everything

Tweak the questions you ask based on your customers’ specific inquiry type. If you have multiple lines of business, follow the best practice of creating a separate contact form for each one. For example, imagine a web designer who splits her time between doing web-design projects and teaching web-design workshops. By using multiple contact forms, she can customize the questions she asks and place the forms on different sections of her website. One form might live on the web-design section of her website and ask questions like “Do you have a website already?” or “What features do you want your website to have?” The second form might live on her upcoming-workshops page and ask “Which workshop dates are you interested in?” or “Are there specific topics you’d like to learn more about?” 

Mistake #5: Sending delayed responses

People who’ve just submitted your contact form are in a decision-making mindset. They’re receptive to what you have to offer. The best time to respond is, you guessed it, right away. Tools like HoneyBook can help you respond instantly to each inquiry without lifting a finger. As soon as someone submits a contact form, they’ll receive an automated email response from you with your brochure, pricing, or any other materials you think would help close the deal. Even though it’s automated, each response feels customized with relevant information that showcases your business. Just use HoneyBook’s Workflows feature to set it up and you’ll never miss an inquiry response again.

Now that you’re on your way to becoming a contact-form expert, let’s recap.

To capture as many leads as possible, make sure your form is:

  • Short and sweet
  • Consistent with your branding
  • Easy to find and placed in multiple locations
  • Customized to each line of your business
  • Set to deliver an automated response

Create a customizable contact form using HoneyBook

Feeling good about contact forms? Try these best practices on your own website! Click here to try HoneyBook forms for free and start getting more leads and business today.Try HoneyBook forms for free


(Photo by Laylee Emadi)

Sobrina Pies

I'm a HoneyBooker—writing about small businesses, the people who run them, and tips and tricks to help them grow. I also run Quiet Like Horses, helping small business owners become better writers. So you can use your words to grow your business—and make more money. 


  1. Interesting article! I’ll keep these things in mind when starting my form.
    I’ve recently been researching accessibility standards for the web and often they say that placeholder text in each form field isn’t helpful for those with short-term memory, can’t be read by screen readers, and the low color contrast could cause problems with those of varying visual abilities.. The alternative suggestions is to create a sub-label/hint (at the cost of digital real estate) or floating labels (which might not be compatible with all browsers).

  2. show me a video or something with a one or two minute breakdown of the process?


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