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Implementing a Web Contact Form (for Tax & Accounting Professionals)

Video Transcript

00:00:00:02 – 00:00:25:11

Welcome to the GetNetSet Website Building Video Series for tax and accounting professionals where we cover all the essentials of creating a site that helps you grow your business. Today we’re going to talk about implementing a web contact form on your site. A contact form enables visitors to send you a message right from the site without having to go over to their email platforms.

00:00:26:07 – 00:00:49:12

So we have our generic homepage here. And let’s imagine that a visitor comes along, likes what they see, and decides they want to get in touch. So they go ahead and click on the contact link here. Now, where we have main office, you would provide your office address. And as we’ve shown here, it’s a great idea to have an option to view the location on a map.

00:00:49:14 – 00:01:12:08

And of course, you’ll also give your office phone number if possible. It’s nice to show an email address, but you will want to work with a site developer about how best to do that. There are Internet robots that patrol around sites collecting email addresses. It’s a process called scraping and it can lead to getting all kinds of spam in your inbox.

00:01:13:04 – 00:01:37:11

In any case, even if your email is listed in order to send you a message a person would have to navigate over to their email platform. Maybe that’s a different browser tab. Maybe it’s a whole different window or even a different browser. Again, with a web contact form, the visitor stays right here on your site. There are no distractions and no confusion.

00:01:38:05 – 00:02:08:14

So let’s see how it works. I’m a visitor here filling out the form, so I enter a name, put in my email, and then I can start typing my message. Now, Alyssa here wants to send a message to our favorite fictitious tax pro, Tax Pro Tammy. She starts explaining a little bit of her situation and then goes on to type out the rest of her message.

00:02:09:06 – 00:02:32:01

Once she finishes notice that she has to check this box, what’s called a CAPTCHA. It’s a screener that blocks robots, so it protects you from that spamming we mentioned. And then she would just click send. So now what happens on your end? Well, imagine this is your email inbox. You can see that there are some normal email messages here.

00:02:32:07 – 00:02:52:04

But we have highlighted this one message. Notice how the subject line immediately identifies that it’s a message from your website. And from the web form that tells you right away that this is a potential new client. So you might want to get on it quickly. And in any case, the subject line makes the message stand out so you won’t miss it.

00:02:53:01 – 00:03:19:13

Once you click on the message to open it up, it just looks like an ordinary email message and you can treat it like one. In this case, Alyssa is interested in help with self-employment tax issues. Specifically, she has heard about the home office deduction but she doesn’t know how it works. On Tammy’s end, she just clicks on the reply button, and that just sets up her normal reply window.

00:03:19:13 – 00:03:51:02

Again, you’re not doing anything different from the way you handle email messages every day. So Tammy writes her response. And then once she clicks, send from that point on. The conversation is handled entirely through email. The fact that the original message came from the web form doesn’t make anything more complicated for you at all. Now, in terms of what Tammy actually says in her response, you do want to say enough that the person really knows that you read their message and took it seriously.

00:03:51:08 – 00:04:16:13

And they also want to know that you’re treating them as an individual. So right here, Tammy references directly the work that Alyssa does and says it sounds interesting. It’s always nice to be encouraging like that as it helps you to build a bond of trust. Beyond that, you want to share enough detail to show that you can handle the issue without giving any form of specific tax or accounting advice.

00:04:17:03 – 00:04:41:01

So Tammy just talks about some of the challenges of dealing with the home office deduction, how to figure it, and how you have to set up the space to qualify. And then she just suggests that it would be a good idea for Alyssa to work with a pro to make sure she gets everything right. Then Tammy just offers a very friendly open invitation to discuss things further.

00:04:41:06 – 00:05:08:14

And at the bottom, she would, of course, display her contact information. And if she has an appointment or request page on her website, she can include a link to that as well. Above all, just remember that now that the conversation is rolling, it’s just an email exchange. The web form doesn’t place any burden on you. It just makes it easier and more convenient for someone to get in touch for that all important first time.

00:05:10:04 – 00:05:16:05

So we hope this has been helpful. Thank you for watching and we will see you in the next video.