Sean Donahue

Web Contact Forms = Black Holes

April 23rd, 2008

A few weeks back, MarketingSherpa founder Anne Holland recounted her frustrations with Web contact forms, speculating that the communication channel is where customer inquiries go to die. New data shows that the situation is as bad as she suspected., a lead response management software company, conducted a test of Web contact form response times from more than 500 top B-to-B and B-to-C websites. They submitted up to five requests to each site, and found a stunning result: 45.1% of sites never bothered to answer any of their queries.

B-to-B sites fared better than their consumer focused counterparts, with roughly 70% responding to online queries. But before B-to-B marketers pat themselves on the back, they should read the study’s results on response time data.

The average delay between a query submission and a response was:

o 22 hours and 01 minutes for an email response

o 29 hours and 51 minutes for a telephone response

Compare those times to an InsideSales study on optimal response time presented at last year’s MarketingSherpa B-to-B Demand Generation Summit. Responding within five minutes to a Web lead resulted in:

o 100 times increase in contacts

o 21 times increase in appointments with prospects

So take a careful look at your online contact forms. Don’t leave potential prospects hanging for hours, days, or — even worse — forever. You could be missing prime opportunities to begin your marketing or lead nurturing process.

Categories: Business To Business, Consumer Marketing, Sales Lead Generation Tags: ,

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