How to market yourself #9: How to get people to contact you from your website

close up of a cell phone keypad

You’ve got a beautiful website and blog and you want people to contact you, either by phone or email. What do you do? Everyone has a contact page on their website. OK, maybe not everyone, but you should have one, really. Here are some really important points to think about when you’re doing your contact page.

How to publish your email address online without getting spam

Spammers use software to crawl the internet to look for email addresses to spam to. This is why people have their email addresses as something like me [at] server.com or something like that to try to cloak the email address from the spammer.

But there’s better ways out there. For example there’s HTML clocking which uses HTML number codes for the ASCII characters.

<a href=”m&#97;ilto:&#97;&#98;c&#64;myhost&#46;&#99;om”> contact us</a>

Here is how the above HTML will look like in the browser: contact us

But even better is JavaScript cloaking of the email address and the mailto: tag.

<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
var username = "rob";
var hostname = "robcubbon.com";
var linktext = username + "@" + hostname;
document.write("<a href=" + "mail" + "to:" + username + "@" + hostname + "?subject=Enquiry" + ">" + linktext + "</a>")
//--></script>

When put into the webpage it creates the clickable email address that will give you “Enquiry” in the subject field of the email. Go on, try it, you can send me an email if you want to:

If you are using WordPress you can happily paste this into the body of a page or post as long as you are using the HTML editor.

Warning: I can not guarantee that any of the above methods will not produce spam at all, just substantially less than if you published your email address uncloaked.

montage of old American postcards

Contact form

But it always makes sense to give your visitors a choice and every website should also have a contact form. There are many different ways of doing these. One thing you need if you want one is PHP on your server.

If you are using WordPress I would recommend the Contact Form 7 plugin. If you are using a Linux server you can basically plug in this plugin and play with it.

However, things are slightly more complicated if you are working on a Windows IIS server. In this case I have found you need to use WP Mail SMTP plugin to get it to work.

Should I include my telephone number and address online?

Old fashioned phoneWhether you include your telephone number and address is entirely up to you. I wouldn’t give out my address on my website for security reasons. I include a mobile number on my contact page and it hasn’t resulted in many problems. In the UK, if your phone rings once and hangs up and you’re wondering whether to call back, simply check the number in the WhoCallsMe website or even just Google the number. If it’s a premium rate scam someone will have posted up a warning about it. This has happened to me maybe 5 times in about 4 years.

How to design your contact page

Generally, I would say that you should put the link to your contact page as prominently as possible on all pages – preferably at the end of the top navigation. The contact page itself should be simple and well laid out. Here is my contact page, what do you think about it?

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Rob: Great piece. There are quite a few jQuery plugins to assist with obscuring email addresses to.

    I like your contact page and the old school phone. Remember when phones were heavy, cold, and warmed up as you used them?

    Do you find that you might need to screen the form a little though, to avoid useless connections like “can you design me a logo for $50″?

    Well, I’d certainly contact you based on your content overall on the site…if I needed a designer :)

  2. says

    Thanks Douglas, I know what you mean by screening. I wish I could stop ordinary people from contacting me to ask me to do a pop art image of their partner! It’s been a while since I’ve had a “logo for $50″ request but one will come in before the end of the year, as sure as eggs is eggs. Glad you liked the article.

  3. Megan says

    Hi there!

    Thank you for that tips. Very useful indeed. Basically, I used WordPress in doing this, it’s just very easy actually.

    Keep it up!

  4. says

    Hi Rob

    Thank you for sharing so much valuable information. I have followed some of your video courses on Udemy, and today I have spent some time on your website reading the “How to market yourself” series.
    You do exactly what you have said in your courses, and you offer quality content on your website.

    Kind regards
    Albert Hoogendoorn
    The Netherlands

    • says

      Thank you, Albert, I’m glad you found it useful. Putting out quality content is the best marketing tool at the moment. :)