Use mailto instead of a form

Websites need some way to allow visitors to contact the site owner. Should your site use a dedicated contact form or a mailto link like craig@seagrape.us?

  1. Mailto uses your email client which gives a sense of familiarity.
  2. Mailto puts a copy of the message in your Sent box.
  3. Mailto is more personal and direct because you can see the recipient’s name: craig@seagrape.us.
  4. A form requires an email address without typos.
  5. A form requires POST success and fail pages.
  6. A form requires spam filtering. When I used a contact form for this site, every night spambots filled out the form and POSTed messages to me in Cyrillic—which I can’t read—so their marketing strategy was both annoying and ineffective. Sending an email requires your message to pass through my ISP’s spam filter which excels at weeding out Russian pharmacy ads.
  7. A mailto link is simple and uncluttered.
  8. A form requires a database backend to store the submitted data.

The mailto link is simple, streamlined, and works with the visitor’s email client.