“It’s all about the list.”
That’s what Brian Gardner told me in an incredibly insightful conversation we had last year. To paraphrase a political cliche, “It’s the list, stupid.”
When I had that conversation with Brian, it was glaringly obvious. It’s one of those things that everyone already knows. But knowing you’ve got to build your list and actually doing something about it are two different things.
A successful Content Marketing approach includes a strategy to build your email list. No one knows this better than Brian Clark. In fact, he built an entire industry out of it with his Authority program over at copyblogger media. I think Authority is a great program; and I subscribe to it. You can become a smarter Content Marketer with Authority.
When you set out to focus on content marketing, you start thinking about ways to build that list – squeeze pages, landing pages, focus on call to action and your unique selling proposition. You spend all kinds of time thinking about building the list through conversion. And those are all good things to think about and work on.
But here’s the obvious and ridiculously easy place that you are missing opportunity to build your email list. It’s called your 404 page. You know – that page that shows up with someone hits a dead link, ends up on missing content, or otherwise lands in your blog’s no-man’s-land.
Yeah, that page. It has been used by others in the past as an opportunity to prevent the user from turning into a bounce by offering search, site links, and archives. But a lead generator? Who’d’ve thunk it?
Kim Doyal, that’s who.
When I read Kim’s post on WordPress Sales Pages, Squeeze Pages and Landing Pages, I found it hidden in there – a single line somewhere between discussing landing pages and describing tools to build them. She lays it out right there – the 404 page.
That’s OK. I missed it, too. But not for long. I’ll be correcting that as I work on rebuilding this site. It’s something you should consider doing, too.
Think about it. There are so many ways we work to try to generate leads and build our list. Some of them are innocuous, but many are annoying (think popups, fly-ins, and other similar forms). Here’s an obvious and simple way to overcome it by using a page that is often overlooked as a squeeze page.
So if you are looking for ways to improve your ability to market, how about adding a signup for your list on your 404 page? Since you have their attention, add an offer signup and maybe some links.