I'm not a robot!
We can probably all agree on one thing: we hate spam. And if there's a way to receive less spam, we go for it. I mean we've all had enough of the viagra adverts (oh wait, you're not getting those?).
The spammers of the world have been crawling the web for E-mail addresses, which is why web designers resorted to embedding an email address as an image, making it 'uncrawl-able'. Soon though, the 'contact form' made it's way to the stage and we've been lovingly using them ever since.
Unfortunately, automated web-bots are eating those forms for breakfast, lunch and dinner, submitting your precious forms with their spam, and flooding your inbox with more nonsense. In comes the CAPTCHA.
The CAPTCHA is: an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". Basically, you're presented with an image containing hard-to-read words and letters, and because your human brain can distinguish the figures, you can fill them in, and a spam robot can't.
However, the robots became smarter and smarter, so they made the tests harder and harder. How many times have you failed a captcha test? I know I failed them many times, and if you're lucky, you get to fill in the entire form again.
Imagine the scenario: a visitor made it to your booking/inquiry/contact form, only to end up navigating away after seeing or failing your CAPTCHA test. You've lost a potential customer or client: That's money out of your pocket. And it doesn't have to be this way!
The best alternatives are the ones that are invisible to the user. Ask your web developer about implementing the Honeypot technique, have a client-side checkbox rendered that needs to be checked, or - if you must - use image recognition, where users have to check the image that has a certain object in it.
And if you keep getting the occasional spam message? Deleting a couple of them every day instead of burdening potential clients with an awful captcha is just another service you're willing to do for them, right?