One of my clients asked me to add an opt-in form on their 404 page.

It was a weird request. Why do you need an opt-in page on 404 page?

Also, he asked me to create an automation (email sequence) to follow up with those customers.

Until later, I did not realize how powerful and smart the idea was.

Let’s start from the basics.

What Is 404 Page?

404 page is the default page, where your website visitors land, when they mistype internal link on your website. For example, yourwebsite.com/wronglink. You have one 404 page for the entire site.

Many of the people do not know that you can modify it.

There are many companies that create funny, clever and creative 404 pages. Here are some blog posts on other sites, which cover some examples of 404 page:

There are hundreds or maybe thousands of examples.

Using 404 Page To Get More Subscribers

Ok, You got the idea.

They visit some page, which does not exist, and your site redirects them to the standard 404 page.

We all have been there, done that.

But this bad experience for our visitors can be turned into a benefit for them as well as us.

We can apologize for the bad experience and offer them % or $ discount to shop in our store. This way you show that you:

  1. A) care;
  2. B) want to take care of them.

Here is the example of an error page I am talking about.

You have the message which is aligned with the brand language, and shows the customer, that you know that they landed on a non existing page. In general, when your website visitor lands on 404 page, it means nothing to them. In this case, this company explains them what it means.

This example has a clever image, which I believe tells the story.

After the image, there is an offer to get $5 off the next order.

Things To Remember Before You Add An Opt-in On Your 404 Page

If you have a generic opt-in forms, which pop-up or slide in on all pages, I strongly suggest to disable them on 404 pages.

First of all, it will destruct the visitors and might even upset some of them. They already have bad experience because they went to the non working link, and now, here you are, trying to distract them with a pop-up opt-in form.

Second, it might be confusing when they see 10% off on the pop-up and then 10% off on 404 page. Where should they opt in? Should they opt in twice, getting two discounts?

Follow Up After You Got 404 Page Subscriber

After they opted in, you need to deliver on what you promised.

If you promised a discount, especially for ecommerce businesses, I would highly recommend to add some urgency – 24-48 hours is the good number.

You can say something like: “Here is the coupon we promised. However, since we have a lot of traffic and can not keep our offer indentifetly available because it would not be fair to other shoppers, this offer will expire in 48 hours.”

After you send them that initial email, I would highly recommend to follow up with them again and remind them, that the offer will expire today. Of course, disregard sending that email if they did make a purchase.

In Conclusion

Opt-in form on 404 page will generate extra subscribers and extra revenue to your store if you use it the right way.

What is the right way? Common, I just explained it above.

Read it again 😉

If you have more ideas how to leverage 404 page to get more subscribers, please leave them below.

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