— 3 minute read

In a perfect world, your site would never serve up an “error 404” message because you’d be using the proper redirects, but mistakes happen. To curb any lost traffic and convert site visitors into customers — even if they stumble upon an “error 404 not found” message — use one of these smart marketing strategies.

Help Users Find What They Came Looking For

If your website visitor didn’t find what they were searching for because they encountered an “error 404 not found” message, you still have a second chance to help them. Install a search bar on the page so they can continue their search within your site. You can also provide a list of helpful links, guiding your website visitors directly where you’d like them to be. For example:

  • FAQ page
  • Contact page
  • Your most popular product pages
  • About page

Showcase Your Best-Selling Products

Alternatively, you don’t have to make web visitors go searching your site on their own. Serve up a graphically captivating visual collection of your top products that link directly to the items in your e-commerce store.

Ideally, these products will relate to what the error 404 page was supposed to be. For instance, if someone searched for an article on men’s fashion tips, you might show your bestselling ties and men’s jackets. If they seek information on the recent athleisure trend, you can share your coziest leggings and hoodies. If it was supposed to be a product page for jeans, you could recommend other similar products they might like.

Generate Leads with Captivating Content

Most digital marketers understand the power of a lead magnet, an offer that encourages a website visitor to dole out personal information, usually their email address, in exchange for a valuable asset. Depending on the purpose of your website, your lead magnet could be a:

  • White paper
  • E-book
  • Infographic
  • Webinar

You might consider creating a strong call to action that entices users to learn more about a topic, clicking through to another page on your website where they can download the lead magnet content. Make sure your offer has value to your website visitor and is relevant to the information they were seeking on the page with the error 404 message.

Offer a Sale

People value information from their favorite brands, which is why lead magnets that offer tips and advice can be so successful, but people also love saving money. Offer a coupon from your 404 error page for 10% off or $5 off their next purchase. You can even get cheeky with the copy: “Sorry, we broke this page. But here’s $5 to make up for it.” Consider making this offering part of an exit pop-up. That way, you are using one last opportunity to catch their attention before they exit your site.

Reinforce Your Brand’s Image and Tone

Whatever tactic you use to keep visitors on your site after encountering an error 404 not found message, you’ll want to make sure it matches your brand’s culture, style, and overall marketing strategy.

A serious company shouldn’t post irreverent error 404 messages, but a hip company that sells “fun” as part of its image can be playful. Self-deprecating 404 error messages, admitting that your company made a mistake, can be endearing. Just make sure you also show how you’re going to fix that mistake with helpful links, a search bar, or a free download that allows you to re-engage them.

The colors, layout, and imagery of your 404 error page should match your overall branding strategy, too. Even if your prospective customer ended up in the wrong place, they should immediately know they’re still on the right website.

The final word: Error messages happen, but EasyRedir can help you avoid them. Learn more about our URL redirection services and user-friendly dashboard.

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