When musicians put contact information on their websites, most will include a hyperlinked email address. It seems like the easiest, most logical thing to do, but here are 3 reasons why you should use a contact form rather than an email address:
1. Email spam
Ah, email spam. We all get it, we’re all annoyed by it, but it can be a mystery where it comes from. Well, one surefire way to get spam is to include an email address on your website, and/or a “mailto” hyperlink. Spambots love to scan websites and retrieve those addresses, and one way to easily avoid this is by using a contact form. Your second best option is to create an image with your email address embedded into it (but no actual text, or link). But this forces your contact to type in your address in their mailing program or service.
2. Email programs create unwanted hassle
Another reason to use a contact form is that a lot of people use web-based email like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc., as their primary email. Unless they’ve set-up their computer properly, when they click on a hyperlinked email, it will likely open whatever email program is installed on their computer (Outlook, Windows Mail, Apple Mail, etc.). This isn’t necessarily how they want to send an email, so they’ll have to close the program, go back to your website, copy & paste the email, then open their webmail client of choice and paste it into a new email.
3. It’s quicker for everyone
With a contact form, people don’t even have to sign in to their web-based email to send you a message. They can simply enter their email address and type their message, which will go straight to the email address of your choosing.
Where to place a Contact Form on your website
It’s pretty simple where to place your contact form: on your “Contact” page. This is where people will look to get in touch with you, not on your Homepage, Music page, or Videos page.
A couple of exceptions to the rule would be if you placed a contact form that went to a booking email address through your “Shows” page, or through a specific “Book Me” page on your website.
Also, if you have a Store page with lots of items and purchase options, having a contact form specifically for questions regarding purchases on your website might not be a bad idea either.
OK, still want to include your email address on your site?
If you still really want to show your email address on your website, you have a few options so that so spam bots can’t catch it:
You can create an image of your email address:
But this isn’t practical for a few reasons: People can’t copy and paste the email address (so they’ll have to type it from memory), and they can’t click on it to send a message directly (if they do have their computer properly set-up to open their email program of choice).
Previous Website Quick Fix posts:
Musician Website Quick Fix #7: Add Social Links