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My client wants a page in which the following text appears:

"Enter your email below and We will contact you"

It's then followed by a textfield (to write the email address) and a button to submit it.

Is this the right way ? Do people trust to enter their own emails to know more ? (actually immediately below the textfield reassures the user by saying: we don't share your email with anybody,...)

My question is: is an approach where we ask the user to enter their email any better than an approach where we ask to click on a e-mail us link ?

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Unless you have non-working email checks on the text field, I'm fine with it. In fact, I like that better than the email-link, but that's opinion. You could test how users react to either option. (Facebook wouldn't accept my email address...) –  GUI Junkie Oct 29 '11 at 21:48
    
Do users have different questions when requesting to be contacted? –  Emil Oct 30 '11 at 4:58
    
That's a really nice approach. –  Kim Burgess Jan 16 '12 at 2:27
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Whether they leave you an email address or send you an email is in many ways going to be the same thing. But the way that you ask it matters.

"Enter your email below and We will contact you" doesn't give me much in terms of something positive. If it's for a complaint, then you simply contacting me is not what I want. I want someone to deal with my problem as soon as possible. If it's a contact for further information, then I want to know that you will get the information to me as soon as possible.

You need to word the message that you use to give people the assurance that you will deal with their issue / complaint / question directly and quickly.

If you give the situation and reason that you are asking for the contact information or that you want them to email you, I will give a more direct suggestion.

Edit: I would tend more towards using something like:

If you would like more information or have any questions, please leave us a message we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

If this is longer than you have space for, you need to decide what is less important and leave that out.

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Thanks. The page is showing some details about some software that the company sells. The 'contact us' part is for the user to get more information and us to know that he/she might want to buy our software –  chack Oct 30 '11 at 17:34
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Be aware that there are different technical risks; if you ask for someone's email address, they may get that wrong, whereas if they email you their email client will supply the correct from address.

On the other hand, users of webmail will not have a separate email client to use, so they would prefer to have an email address to paste into their webmail.

A side issue is that you have the beginnings of a contact form, which you could expand later to add more information; either more fields (risking annoying the user) or tracking the navigation history of the user on your site, to offer the most appropriate information.

Personally, I would go with Vitaly and say provide multiple options. If you prefer to have the user enter their email address then make that the big, clear option with the others underneath:

If you give us your email address, we'll get right back to you: [  my@email.addy        ]
or you can email us using a@a.com. Don't worry, we won't share your details with anyone.

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You present two options - one where the user submits his email and the other where the user emails you.

In terms of trust, they're the same, because you end up with their email in either case. So if the user doesn't trust you enough to leave his email address, he won't trust you enough to write you either.

In terms of UX, the first option is better, because it requires much less work on the part of the user. If you require users to write to you, they may hesitate, not knowing what to write, or they may put it off till later which never comes. You're basically asking them to make the first move, which is a big request. But if you just ask them to leave their email, you're saying "leave the rest to us, you don't have to do anything".

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Thanks. I am convinced by your arguments that the first option is better, in terms of UX. I just wonder if people are put off in entering the email thinking that they might get spammed. –  chack Oct 29 '11 at 22:13
    
@chack - if they think they're going to get spammed then it's likely that they don't trust you. The only thing you can do is state that you won't ;) nor will you pass their details on to anyone else. –  ChrisF Oct 29 '11 at 22:58
    
There are trade-offs to your first option. First, trust; a form is not an email. The user doesn't really know who is receiving the alert and may feel they'll get added to a generic list in addition to being contacted. Second, it does not give them a record of the transaction. At the very least I would recommend installing a mechanism that emails the user a copy of their comment and shows where the information was sent. –  Zak Mar 8 '13 at 14:31
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