What is exit intent popup (and how to make it work for you)

All marketers know that internet users attention span is quite low, some are even joking it’s shorter than the attention of a typical goldfish (which actually have an incredible memory). Maybe our attention span isn’t nearly as bad as the rumoured 8 seconds, but it is true that all it takes is one distraction and we are forgetting for what were we searching for.

Plenty of website visitors forget what did they want from the website they are browsing, so they click the X button and leave the page. Now, you have two options – either do nothing, let the visitor go away and hope they will return at some point or give your best shot and show them a popup to persuade them to stay.

What about exit intent popups? We know these are one of the things that makes marketers tense and website users annoyed! They appear out of nowhere, often right after opening a website and block the entire window asking for an email address or for filling a survey. Even worse if a popup window appears just as a website user is reading an article, browsing products or watching a video.  

Why it’s worth to create an exit intent popup?

Because it reduce shopping cart abandonment rate. Imagine that it appears when a customer decided to leave your website and show a relevant message at the crucial moment, without disturbing him.

This kind of popup is called Exit intent popup or simply “Exit popup”. Never heard of those? It’s high time you learned how to use them! Exit intent popups have been getting more and more popular in e-Commerce marketing – they are less annoying for a website user, help with lowering cart abandonment rates, improve conversion rates and have a higher click rate than regular popup windows.

According to various researches,  about 35% of your website users can be persuaded to stay on your site or finish shopping just by showing them an exit intent popup with a tempting offer.  Worth the effort, isn’t it?

What is an exit-intent pop-up?

An exit intent popup is a type of message that appears on the screen only when a website visitor indicates he is going to leave the website by moving their mouse either in the direction of the upper part of the browser.

This type of a popup tracks the actions of the website user (using javascript) and when he moves the mouse cursor up, in the direction of “Close” button, the address bar or the toolbar the popup is triggered. The exit intent popup then shows up, with a lead magnet, a survey or a tempting discount for the abandoned basket. Smart, isn’t it?

You aren’t annoying your visitors with a popup jumping at them just as they opened the website, it will only show up as they plan to leave the page. On average, exit intent popup can increase conversion rates by around  5-10% (according to Venture Harbour).

But have in mind that website users are smarter nowadays – simply throwing up a popup with some random image and a call to action button will only make the user click the X button and leave the page for good, no matter when did it appear. Unless your popup offers them something they can’t miss, it will be treated as any other popup.

Can’t decide what is the best way to use an exit intent popup in your business? I’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of twelve ways in which you can use exit intent popup!

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Twelve ways to use an exit intent popup

Offer a content upgrade

A website visitor came onto your page because he got interested in one of your articles. Now that the finished reading the article,  he might either leave your page or stay as a potential customer. To convince him to do the latter, how about giving him a chance to get a better and more detailed version of the content they were reading?

It’s called a content upgrade –  a more in-depth or a higher-value version of that one article or blog post. For example, let’s say you have a guide on using your software.  Wouldn’t people read the manual be interested in reading an additional article with tips on how to use your software more effectively? Or if you have a “How to” blog post, using an exit-intent popup to offer a checklist (in exchange for an email address) would be a great idea!

Suggest related posts

The longer someone stays on your website, the better. And what is a better way to make your customers remain on your site than by showing the posts and articles related to the ones they were reading?

Seeing there are more articles that they might be interested in will keep your customers on your site for longer periods of time, and that might result in getting a new subscriber or maybe even in an easier sale.

Give a shopping cart reminder

On average, 68% of all shopping carts are abandoned (according to Baymard Institute). If you have a problem with shopping carts abandonment too, then exit intent popups will be an incredible help for you!

All you need to do is to install the popups on the shopping cart, or your checkout page – when the plugin will detect the customer wants to leave the page, it will remind them that they have items left in the shopping cart (“You forgot about those” or “You still have these items in your shopping cart”) and show thumbnails of the items they added to the shopping cart.

In case your customers aren’t ready to buy just yet (because they are still comparing prices for example),  it’s a good idea to offer to save their basket for later. It will be super easy for your customers to get back and finish their shopping when they are ready, and you will get their email address.

Everyone likes a discount…

If you are looking for a surefire way to turn back customers who are just about to leave their shopping cart, exit popup with a discount is one of the best. After all, who doesn’t like a free shopping coupon?

Offering a discount in the exit popup helps you two things done at once – it encourages your customers to go through with a purchase they were on the fence about (especially if they were wondering about the price) and you get their email address which means you send them newsletters in the future.

…and free shipping too!

Shipping costs are the #1 reason for shopping cart abandonment – according to Baynard Institute, 60% of customers leave their basket when the shopping cost is too big or when you don’t offer the preferred by them shipping option.

By offering them free shipping in the exit popup,  you can convince a large part of the customers to finish the purchase instead of abandoning their basket. For example, you can show to your customers a special exit-intent popup that gives them a coupon for a free shipping option.

Add more value

Some customers might be leaving your store because they didn’t find what they were looking for or they aren’t sure if this is a good deal for them. Giving them an additional benefit might just stop them in their tracks! The moment you notice that a customer is planning to leave the website without finishing his purchase, target him with a tailored up-sell or cross-sell offer.

If they were looking at a pair of leather shoes, why not throw an impregnation spray onto the set? Or a screen protector if they are buying a phone case?

Not only this might save the sale you would lose otherwise, but you also make the customer feel like he got a great deal! See? Exit intent popups don’t need to be irritating!

Give them an easy way to contact you

A brilliant way to use an exit intent popups is to show your contact details or direct your customers to a live chat window. While browsing your store or reading about your service, your customers surely will have questions – the quicker you clear their doubts, the bigger your chance for getting them to purchase your service or your product.

There is a way to easily contact you by directing them to your live chat support. For example, your visitors can leave their contact information and question so you could call them back.

Offer a free trial

Getting a new client to buy your product is hard to do – according to various researches, you have a 5-20% chance of selling to a new customer. Instead of immediately nagging your customer for purchase, why not offer them a free trial of your product first? After trying the product and seeing how useful it is for them, they might be far more interested in paying for the full version.

Exit intent popup should give your customers a direct link to the trial – if they have to search around your website to find it, they will lose interest in seconds.

Suggest new, popular or related products

If you are e-commerce and offer a wide range of products, you can use exit intent popups to suggest similar products to the ones customer was viewing – in the same way to showing your visitors other articles and blog posts. The product the customers are viewing might not be cut out for their needs, but maybe one of the recommendations will be?

Another good idea for an exit intent popup is to use them to promote new or most popular products. It works exceptionally well if you show your customer that said items might be soon out of stock because some customers already bought this.

Ask for feedback

Companies spend vast amounts of money to learn more about their site users and to get their opinion on the product or service. Why not use exit intent popups to get feedback easier and faster?  

Exit intent popup is a great place for adding a short survey for your customers –  you aren’t disturbing your customer with popup ad while they are reading an article or in the middle of a purchase, so they are more likely to fill the survey. Just make sure it’s short – no one has time for answering several questions.

Ask for following your social media account

“If you are not on social media, you don’t exist”, many say. But when it comes to business, just having an account on all those popular social media accounts won’t help much.

Time to think about followers – people who know about your business, interact with you and are interested in learning more about your business. Social media account are a great place for customers to learn more about brands and even better for brands to learn more about their customers!

There’s plenty of ways to get more activity on your social media accounts. Exit intent popups work perfectly for directing your customers onto all of your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are the most popular) and help to focus on the most important social media account for you. You can also use tools like Pinterest tools, Facebook tools, among others, for best results on social media marketing.

Give them a chance to win something!

Who doesn’t like winning stuff? Whether the prize is a small thing like a t-shirt or brand gadgets or a bigger like a free product or a free service,  contests and sweepstakes are incredibly popular with website users. Instead of giving a discount coupon or an ebook in exchange for an email address, why not offer your customers a chance to win something?

Surely you can think of something that your customers would be interested in – a longer license period, a free service or maybe a brand freebie?

When a website visitor shows exit intent, you know one thing: they are seconds from leaving your website. You can either let them go or give them a reason to stay with exit intent popups.

It’s not easy to keep every single customer from clicking the X button but saving even a couple % of users can have a significant effect on your conversion rate and your sales. So why not try to persuade the visitors into reading more articles or finishing the sale before they leave? You have little to lose but a lot to gain!

Do you use exit intent popups? Leave a comment!

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