The ongoing debate on contact forms vs. mailto links often ends in a vague conclusion. It is difficult to ascertain which one has more utility as you cannot exactly determine the usage scenario and the preferences of the users. So, I recommend that it is better to use both. We cannot decide which one is still better than the other without analyzing the advantages and drawbacks of both. So, I will discuss the pros and cons of contact forms and mailto links and how it affects or benefits the owner of the website.
- The benefits of using contact forms
I personally use contact forms on my homepage and I feel that the response to contact forms is excellent; but I advocate using both contact forms and mail to links for clients as they may have their own set of preferences.
- Prevents spam
Contact form impedes spam mails to land in your inbox. The filling of form by the clients helps you to get authentic information about them reducing the chances of spam mails from flooding your mailbox.
- Analysis and tracking of contact forms
You can analyze and track contact forms easily which can give you a better insight about the way your users are interacting with your website.
- Hassle-free process
The most important reason for using contact form is that it’s simple and hassle-free for the users. The users do not have to use another program to get in touch with you which might not be configured on their system.
The drawbacks of using contact forms
- More fields
The users often have to fill many fields which can be irritating for them and even if they have to fill only email, name and message, often it is more than the message and subject of a client.
- Possibility of user error
Even if you have the simplest form, a possibility remains that your may type their email incorrectly in the form. This will wipe out the chances of a possible sale from that user as you will not be able to contact him.
- Maintaining a contact form
It takes a lot of time, effort and money to create and maintain contact forms.
Pros of using mailto links
- Easy to create
It’s easy to create mailto links, you just have type up html codes and your link is set to go. You do not require any CSS styling or testing whether the link is unresponsive.
Mail to links is a reliable way through which you are likely to get more leads if your prospective customers or corporate clients prefer using email.
People tend to trust mail more than contact forms.
Cons of mailto links
There are high chances of spam in mailto links.
- Native client set up
Some of your clients might not have a native set up and they will not be able to contact you.
- Separate program
Your users require using a separate program which takes them away from your home page.
- Unexpected performance
Mailto links can work in unexpected and strange ways depending on the configuration of the users.
I personally use contact forms being a front end designer to showcase my talent. You can draw inspiration from my site but I will recommend you to use both the mailto links and contact forms on your homepage and let the users decide.