In a recent question I posted that one of my favourite patterns for a contact form was to sit it in a fat footer so that it was present on every page. (Edit - This does not have to be a ploy to hide the email address which can be posted elsewhere on the site e.g. top right. It is simply a way to encourage users to contact the website owner.).
Matt Lavoie commented that:
As an aside, contact forms like this drive me crazy. First, if something goes wrong I will never know, whereas if an email bounces that I sent from my account I will receive that error. Secondly, responses from forms like this almost always end up in my spam folder, where as if I sent the email to begin with it would just fall right into the email chain between me and whoever.
There must be ways to design around this issue.
If a contact form automatically cc'ed the user and sent a confirmation that it had arrived would that cover it?
Given that these forms suit low level users and are now becoming very easy to put into any wordpress website (via a simple point an click WYSIWIG editor) what should best practice be?