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Currently, there is a contact form on a site I develop, with a dismissible (bootstrap-style) alert below the submit button that says

No Solicitors

And when it is closed, a cookie is stored to remember that the user has dismissed it, so that it is no longer visible on subsequent visits.

However, the vast majority of emails has been from web developers looking to be hired to "improve" or "remake" the site, so it appears that this user-friendly and professional notice is not sufficient to deter them from contacting.

The owner has asked me to do something to stop this, like saying on the contact form "I do not hire web developers", but I wasn't sure if that was considered professional, or even inviting, and might discourage legitimate potential clients from contacting.

While keeping the site professional and user-friendly (by not coming across as too aggressive or inconvenienced by being contacted), how can it be made clear that the contact form is only for potential clients, and not for people looking to be hired?

  • A lot of those are generated by bots....keep in mind the source!. Make sure you use a token system , honeypots etc to prevent cross site posting to that end point – charlietfl Jun 4 '17 at 14:48
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Divert them to a dead-end page

Instead of using the alert (or similar space on your form) to say "No Solicitors", provide a link that says "Are you a web designer/developer?"

This should capture the attention of those eager to represent themselves as such. The link can go to simple page that suggests that the owners of this site are currently involved in a contractual relationship with a web development agency, and offers of site improvement and redesign are not being accepted at this time. You may also consider writing a simple script that displays a recent date (not the current date) on the page, to give the impression that the information is current.

This won't eliminate these solicitations, there will always be eager beavers who with win-at-all-costs mentalities, but it should reduce them somewhat.

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