Musician Website Quick Fix #8: Use a Contact Form

Guest post from musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle.

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).

Hypebot contributing writer Dave Cool is the Director of Artist Relations for musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle. Twitter: @Bandzoogle | @dave_cool

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  1. This is interesting. I’ve always been a fan of the minimalist email hyperlink, but the points you bring up are all very relevant. I wasn’t aware of the SPAM problem. I like the hyperlinks for aesthetic reasons but it seems the contact form might be more practical.

  2. There is nothing more frustrating than when you visit a website and cannot figure out how to email a business or band (or their manager) directly.
    Contact forms are not personal. If I want to talk to you I don’t want to be entering something into a contact form where I cannot even include hyperlinked text or an email signature. For all I know the contact form could throw the email into an abyss where it will never be seen.
    That could still be the case with an email link being posted but at least I will know who the message should be addressed to. It’s also fairly easy to judge a company or band’s level of online professionalism by whether or not they have @bandname.com rather than @gmail.com, or even worse, @hotmail.com. For a laugh (and some good insight) about how an experienced venture capitalist feels about email addresses I suggest you check out this blog post by David Beisel: http://genuinevc.com/archives/2012/03/20/what-the-founders-email-address-says-about-your-startup.html
    If you use Gmail or Google apps the spam filter should be able to sort through the unwanted emails. Actually, most good email clients should be able to.
    In short, if you have a contact form and no direct contact I am less likely to contact you and I’m certainly not the only one who feels that way.
    The solution: offer both options and actually make the contact form useful by including fields for information like what the person is contacting you regarding, their twitter handle, url, and other things that are actually meaningful that you want to get from them. Don’t make everything a required field because some people may not have answers to all of your questions.

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