Marketing often gets a bad rap as it can be difficult to link marketing activities to bottom-line results. With all the advanced technology available today, it’s getting easier to make the connection. One of the effective ways to guarantee signups to your website is to use exit-intent popups.

What Are Exit-Intent Popups?

Popup windows are commonly found on nearly all websites. They can appear during your first visit or at various times while you’re browsing. An exit-intent popup appears when you’re about to leave a website. Although many people hate all forms of popup windows, in this case, since the potential customer was about to leave anyway, you don’t have much to lose.

Here’s how it works. When the site detects that the customer’s cursor is off the page, near the “close” button, or about to type a new web address, a popup window appears. At this point, the business usually offers a coupon, discount, free gift, or another item to keep the customer engaged.

One e-commerce study showed that exit-intent popups have an average 19% conversion rate. That’s a great way to build your email marketing list as well as potentially convert a customer on the way out into a sale.

Here are some great ways to create effective exit-intent popups for your business.

1. Pick a Short Message

Remember that your prospect is about to leave your website. This is no time for lengthy messages. Be short, sweet, and to the point.

exit intent popup

Don’t bore your customer with some novel when they’re already trying to leave. That will get you nowhere.

2. Test Multiple Messages

Not every promotion will work the same for every company. Consider creating a few different promotions, designs, and popups and running them at the same time in A/B tests.

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Measure the effectiveness of coupon codes, free shipping deals, and giveaways and see which one works the best. Sometimes, you can get signups without an incentive, so don’t give everything away until you’ve tried it without an incentive first.

3. Use Consistent Branding

Be sure the design of your exit-intent popup extends your company’s brand and message. Don’t make it cluttered, but keep it consistent. Use engaging and attractive images of your products to encourage interest.

exit intent popup design

4. Don’t Ask for Much

If a potential customer can just key in an email address to claim your special deal, promotion, or gift, you’ll have a better chance of capturing that customer than if you ask for lots of personal information. Once you obtain one contact point, you can always build customer data later.

You’re trying to catch your customer’s attention one last time. Don’t ask for tons of information, and make the information you do ask for low-commitment. It’s a lot easier to click a button than it is to fill out five fields in a form. Customers will always opt for what’s quicker.

exit intent popup design

5. Introduce a Game

Everyone loves to play a game for a chance to win. Incorporating gamification into your exit-intent popup can be another great way to encourage sign-ups.

Spinning a big wheel or playing a mini video game with the opportunity to secure a virtual prize is always appealing.

exit intent popup design

6. Personalize Your Popup

Although generic popups that appear when a prospect is about to leave can be quite effective, you may boost your conversion rate even further if you can customize your exit popup.

exit intent popup design

For example, if you have a customer browsing a particular category, target a popup that will respond to that particular category with a personalized offer. The more relevant your message, the better your customer will respond.

7. Refer to the Referral Site

Another option for personalization, especially if you haven’t captured a name yet, is to refer to the place where the prospect came from. For example, if your site can detect that the prospect came from a particular blog, you can refer to the prospect as a such-and-such blogger.

exit intent popup design

So if a customer is coming from Facebook, you can start off with “Thanks for coming from Facebook. Enter your email address and give us a like to stay up to date with our latest sales!”

8. Offer Upgraded Content

In some cases, you may be able to lure a prospect to share an email address by offering free additional content. This may be in the form of a white paper or a more in-depth article. Perhaps people are leaving because they were looking for more details.

exit intent popup design

Hubspot starts by offering more information in the bottom right. Then as I go for the exit, they hit me with the subscribe popup.

If a customer already enjoyed your content, sometimes offering something a little more in-depth will be enough of an incentive. Think shopping guides, style guides, how-to’s, DIY tutorials, just about anything can work.

9. Distract Them Back

Prospects often leave sites simply because they get a text ping or a phone call. Use your exit popup to remind them of why they were on your site, to begin with. An incentive may just be enough to sweeten the deal so they stay and make a purchase.

exit intent popup design

10. Provide Options

If your site is offering different products and services, it may be hard to know exactly what will motivate your potential customers to stick around. Consider offering a few different choices in content or promotions to entice them to return.

11. Encourage Completeness

People like to finish what they start. If you find that your potential customer is leaving without completing a profile, finishing an order, or providing you with needed information, consider adding a progress bar. This will be a psychological prompt to help encourage them to finish what they began.

12. Address Potential Objections

If a prospect is almost ready to purchase, subscribe, or commit but doesn’t make that final move, it could be because of typical roadblocks such as:

  • Worrying about making a mistake
  • Over-commitment
  • Unanticipated shipping and handling charges
  • Price concerns
  • Missing a cheaper opportunity
  • Lack of time to consider

You can consider addressing these objectives, individually, on various exit popups but offering things like free shipping, a discount code, a money-back guarantee, or a limited time offer.

Bottom Line

Popups that appear when potential customers are about to leave are a last-ditch effort to convert those prospects into possible future sales.

If you can snag at least an email address, you can keep the conversation going in the future or even close a deal that was on the fence at that very moment. Exit-intent popups are a proven way to accomplish both those objectives.

About the author: this is the guest post by Whitney Blankenship, Content Marketing Manager for Omnisend. When not writing awesome content, Whitney is reading up on the latest in digital marketing, e-commerce, and social media trends. You can connect her on Twitter.

Title image from the Cherry pack on Ouch, collection of free vector illustrations

Learn how to create catchy images for your content, check how photos can improve user experience and watch video lessons on the psychology of user behavior.

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