I recently built my website and I added a contact form at the end of the home page. I also added the Drift live chat to the site to give the site a chat feature, allowing me to directly chat with visitors if they decided to speak to me immediately.
After some tweaking, I was wondering if the contact form was really useful on my site – the Drift chat feature took care of the primary feature I needed and with less hassle.
So I decided to compare each and see if I would keep both or take one out based on what I need and what they offer.
Okay, so Contact Form 7 does not keep any information submitted to it, it just wraps up all the entries and sends it to a designated email. That’s pro-GDPR right there. However, there is a possibility of losing information if the mail server has a hiccup. I will have to create an autoresponder if the sender would like to have a copy of the information filled.
With Drift, the chat window keeps a history of previous chats from the visitor. I found this really nice so you can always refer back to what you talked about in the past.
What if I needed to find an old message to give the sender an update or a follow-up?
With Contact Form 7, I will have to run a search within my inbox to list all emails sent by the plugin and then figure out which of the displayed emails had the contact I was looking for. You may also have to run a search based on keywords from the conversation if you’re lucky enough to pick the right ones.
With Drift, you can tag your messages and customers and run a search based on tags. You can also run a search though all conversations and using keywords and see where that gets you.
People tend to prefer chatting rather than fill a form with a long message. It’s also a big plus if I’m online because we can have an immediate conversation. I can achieve that with Drift.
Filling out a form can be a daunting task – you’ll need to provide your name and at least your email (your phone number will be optional) and a lengthy message since this medium is unidirectional.
It’s hard to say who wins here. The contact form can be styled and made to look really fancy whereas the chat bubble has limited options. However, I really like the core look of Drift and I am glad I can change fonts and colours to my taste.
Spam & Robots
I was overjoyed when Contact Form 7 implemented the reCAPTCHA feature as its core. That was awesome news! That really helped with spam.
Drift really doesn’t need that protection, that’s a huge plus on its side. I have never received spam messages so both win here.
I decided to take down the contact form and stick with the chat feature instead. I get to control my conversations better and best of all, Drift comes with a mobile app so I can keep in touch with my visitors on the go!
So, is the contact form dead? I don’t think so, or maybe it really is! I only see myself using Contact Form 7 for registration forms now – form content can be pushed to a Google Spreadsheet which I find amazing to collect data.
If you are thinking of switching from a contact form to chat, you could always contact me at The seuntaylor Company and we could have a chat – That’s right! I really did out the contact form. Look out for the chat bubble at the lower-right corner of your screen.