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User Friendly Error and Feedback Pages  

:: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 ::

Here's a conversion issue not often given the attention it should.

If someone lands on a page somewhere on your web site, only to get an Error 404 message, (Page can't be found. You're plumb outta luck.), they'll most likely leave and forget your site ever existed.

In Custom 404 Error Pages, Michael (aka "projectphp") calls up the discussion with the problem, and offers possible solutions by customizing the error messages.

This can be a clever, productive way to bring people back into your web site.

Completed tasks are another place for losing visitors. Say, for example, a new visitor finds your web site, scans it, notes the box to sign up for your newsletter and decides, "Hum, this may be worth signing up for." So they subscribe and they're gone.

Have they even seen all the nifty things on your site? Could you have interested them in something else?

This is when those thank you and confirmation pages come in handy. In addition to saying "Thank you", you can also direct them back to points of interest inside the web site.

For ecommerce, this might be specials and sales, or if following up on a sale, directing them to your specials notifications, newsletter, or coupons for future purchases. For information sites, it might be articles or selected articles that you know were popular.

The "Attract their interest. Guide them back inside" school of thought can be applied to form returns, shopping cart confirmations, email to a friend thank you's, newsletter subscription sign ups, etc.

You know your visitors and customers the best. One of your goals is to make them feel welcome and wanted from the moment they land on your web site. If they happened to end up in the dog house by accident, you still have the perfect opportuntiy to guide them back the main house.

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 11/09/2004 10:02:53 AM

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