Effective Use of Exit-Intent Popups

What is an exit-intent popup (exit popup)?

The exit-intent popup is a great tool for reaching out to the user as they are leaving your site. As they move their mouse to close the window/tab or navigate to another site, the exit-intent dialog box is magically activated. This might seem like an odd concept as they have already decided to leave, but this popup gives you one last chance to re-engage with your visitor.

Popups aren’t all bad

Ok, so I know what you are thinking, “popup windows are the bain of my existence.” The humble popup has kind of a bad wrap. We have all been to that site where you are bombarded by popups that obscure the content you are trying to read whilst offering you a lifetime supply of umbrellas for $2.99, but let’s pause here and recognize that:

  1. That is an amazing price for a lifetime supply of umbrellas.
  2. The popup really does grab your attention.

The key to taking the cringe out of popup use is to avoid abusing this capture of your user’s attention. Your messaging should be short, to the point, compelling, and ideally only appear once per session as they are leaving the site.

Remember, all popups are not created equal. The exit-intent popup is often received much more positively than its sometimes perceived annoying cousin, the immediate popup  – which often interrupts the user’s journey through your site. The exit popup on the other hand, is the perfect tool to reel users back in as they are leaving your site.

Effective use of exit-intent popups

There are many ways a user can enter your site, they may get to it from a social media post, an email, a link from another site, etc. The key here is that they do not always enter through your home page, and more importantly they are probably not going to visit every page on your site. Maybe they will check out a couple of pages and then decide to leave…then, in comes the exit popup. This is where you can highlight an important takeaway you need them to know before they leave.

Great uses of the exit popup:

  • Email newsletter sign-ups
  • Time sensitive offers/deadlines, this could be:
    • registration for an upcoming webinar
    • fast approaching cut-off date for program eligibility
    • competitions and entries
    • e-commerce special offers – % off goods and services, or free shipping/coupon etc.
  • Free offerings:
    • ebook
    • downloadable white paper or any other attractive downloadable resource
    • consultations, demos, and reports
  • Awareness of important information:
    • mission statement
    • informative blog posts
    • an engaging video
    • industry or current affair alerts
    • introduce a forum or discussion group
  • Social media links
  • Exit survey – why they are leaving the site

The Big Picture

Along with good site design, effective calls-to-action, and clear navigation, exit-intent popups are a great tool that can help boost conversion rates or highlight important information on your site. Feel free to drop us a line to discuss what type of exit popup might work to make your site perform better.

Post by Jannah Lyon, Creative Director, Wipfli Web Marketing

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