Internet marketing with effective 404 pages

In this article we took a look at interesting examples of 404 pages and thought how they can help sending a customer in the right direction so that he goes on surfing the site doesn’t leave it when sees an error.

So here are the examples of how you can get conversion from a 404 pages.

Feedback plus a new lead

A user can contact site developers with the help of a feedback form on a 404 page. Writing to the company may be for some reasons, including good intentions – a report on error or some defect on a resource. There you can start a conversation with a phrase like: “What were you looking for? What haven’t you found?  How can we help?” As the result – you will get a loyal customer or a potential loyal customer.

Tip. Sometimes in order to write to the company a customer has to leave the page, for example, go to the mail agent. It would be better and more convenient if he could fill in the form right on the error page.

Many people like this option but not everyone can use it properly. For example, it happens on some websites that there is just no way to write the administrator about the error:

Allow your user to write about anything: something he hasn’t found on the site, his recommendations, offers, opinions (even if not flattering). Persuade him that specialists (depending on the area of activity and company’s possibilities, of course) will contact him in the nearest future. And if some information is absent, it will soon be available, because the visitor will give the clue where he wants to see it.

Tip. Respond to your user’s message in cordial manner and thank him for help and coming to your company.

Subscribe to the social network account.

As you know, good internet marketing requires coverage. Try using 404 page for it – leave on it the links to your groups in social networks. Many think that it is excessive, but as it turns out  it works! By this simple method you can increase your audience participation – they will see real fans of your brand, people who are interested in the company, will notice topical themes, and become aware of your company news (+ a new lead).

Someone is trying to use combined internet marketing tools: use both the form of turning to the developers and social networks.

Show your discounted products, promotions and discounts

If you have an online store, why not sell on a 404 page? Imagine the situation that the user hits the inexistent for some reasons link from other resource and notices something like: “Sorry! We don’t have this page, but you’d better visit the homepage and look for something in our search”. Many users will just close the site, especially if they are new ones.

In order to attract users you can post not an abstract picture but a list of promotions or discounted items. It will let users start further interaction with the site.

Here is one more very good example for a selling 404 page – a selection of the most popular items.

Give a discount or arrange a lottery.

If you are generous for discounts, you can make use of this technique and give a discount right on the error page. It will definitely increase the indicator of internet marketing efficiency.

Think about original idea to increase conversions on the site! It can be either a small encouragement for a tip on the problem from the user’s side or treating with a drink, a present in the form of a trinket or a T-shirt, etc. – a small thing, but a nice one. Besides, you will not only please a visitor, but also can get a new pleased customer. You shouldn’t forget about consequences, a word of mouth, as such non-standard way of getting presents will increase positive interest to the company, and that is a big plus!

It is possible to download an interesting material

Great idea! You can make it possible for a user to download an interesting material, for example: books, magazines, catalogues etc. Such move will please the visitors and will not remain unnoticed for the company – your site will be visited again. The downloaded catalogue can be read any minute, even if there is no access to the Internet.

For example, for those who like creating and building objects a 404 page of one interesting site has a file for downloading – an image of a game character that can be printed, cut out, assembled, glued and put on the table. The assembled character has at least the site address on it and an e-mail – users create a contact point for your company.

Lead to the interesting articles.

You need it for the user to get interested in the site and the company; show the user  how rich this site is in new and interesting information. The rest of the task will be done by the articles themselves, the right presentation and interest. Add “a pearl” to each text, your own story and some news – it will only look more exciting.

As we see on the example of the previous site, the developers used various tools of internet marketing on a 404 page: social networks, search, blog, sliders, dynamic advertising… scrolling down the page, apart from the blog, you can see a block with pictures and comments. It’s hard to say whether all these methods work well for the company but it is crystal clear that such overload can make the users’ perception more difficult.

Give a piece of advice, a tip or recommendations.

You can make the user who has been lost on the site happy – just give a piece of advice or a free consultation. The company may benefit from it as such things draw leads.

Partners’ or affiliate sites.

Such original method allows sending the users to visit the company’s affiliates or even the partners’ sites. In this simple way the user discovers other sites recommended by the company. It will increase recognition of other resources, prepare the users for loyal attitude to them and their further usage. As an example of an error page of a well-known site comes to mind.

Now let us summarize:

  • On some sites after a couple of seconds (not less than 5) the user automatically goes to the homepage. Other sites just don’t react, and if the wrong address is typed, they send you to the homepage, so there is no error page.
  • Many companies, especially big ones, gradually change the methods of approach, the tools of internet marketing and a 404 page design. Analyzing the feedback from the users, you can choose the most efficient page.
  • Amazing graffiti, games and beautiful design – all these can enhance the users impression. You are really not going to design your own ideas on a plain white page, are you?
  • If your error page is not overloaded, you can post contact data of the company there, it won’t occupy much space on the page.

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