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Exit Intent Popups That Convert: Getting The Most Out of Leaving Visitors

You've put in the hard work driving traffic to your site. But right when those visitors are about to click away, you have one last golden opportunity to capture them.

Exit intent popups can help you make the most of bouncing visitors by presenting targeted offers, discounts, or email signups precisely when they show intent to leave. Used right, these popups can boost conversions and help you build your email list.

In this post, we'll explore some best practices and examples for creating exit intent popups that engage visitors and persuade them to stick around. Let's take a look at how to get the most out of your leaving visitors.

What Are Exit Intent Popups?

Exit intent popups are pop-up windows or overlays that appear when a visitor starts to leave your website. They are triggered by the user's mouse movement - when the cursor goes above the browser window toward the close tab or URL bar, it's a clear sign they plan to leave.

The exit popup usually presents some type of offer, discount, or email signup meant to capture the visitor's interest at the last second and keep them engaged with your site. For example, an ecommerce store might show an exit popup with a discount code for 10% off their first order.

Some common examples of exit intent popup content include:

  • Limited-time sales or coupons

  • Free trials or samples

  • Email newsletter signups

  • Surveys or polls

  • Requests for feedback

The goal is to give visitors who are clearly at risk of abandoning your site an appealing reason to stick around and convert. Let's look at some tips for creating effective exit intent popups.

Place Your Exit Popup Strategically

One key to success with exit intent popups is timing. You want to catch visitors right as they're thinking of leaving - not too soon so that it's annoying, but not too late either.

Most exit popups are programmed to appear when the user's cursor goes above the top edge of the browser window. But you can fine-tune the placement so it doesn't feel intrusive:

  • Set a delay before the popup appears, usually 1-3 seconds after the exit intent is triggered. This prevents it from popping up at every accidental mouse movement.

  • Limit the popup to certain key pages like your product, pricing, or homepage. No need to show it on lower-value pages.

  • Only display it on the first or second visit, not every time. Frequency caps prevent the popup from getting repetitive.

  • For mobile sites, you may want to disable the popup or use a slide-in banner instead of a disruptive overlay.

With strategic timing and placement, your exit popup can engage visitors at exactly the right moment without being annoying.

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Craft an Irresistible Offer

Your exit popup needs to present an offer enticing enough to pull visitors back in. Come up with something relevant to your business that adds real value for the target audience.

Some proven offers that convert well include:

  • Discounts or coupons. A percent or dollar amount off their purchase works for ecommerce sites.

  • Free shipping. Removing shipping costs can help push hesitant customers over the edge.

  • Free trials or samples. For services or physical products, a free trial period removes risk.

  • Content previews. A sneak peek at a newsletter, course or ebook piques their interest.

  • Time-limited flash sales. Urgency and scarcity help drive conversions.

  • Surveys for rewards. Offer a gift card or credit for providing feedback.

The offer should relate closely to your products, services, or brand. And make sure you promote genuine value - conversions will be low if you overhype underwhelming deals.

Keep Your Copy Clear and Concise

With exit popups, you only have a few seconds to grab attention and convey your offer. Keep your headline, copy, and call-to-action short, scannable, and compelling.

Some tips for writing effective copy:

  • Lead with a strong value-driven headline like "Get 10% off Your Purchase" or "Try Our Product for Free."

  • Use copy that is benefit-focused, clean, and devoid of buzzwords. For example, "Sign up for our newsletter for helpful tips delivered to your inbox weekly."

  • If including images, make them clearly convey the offer or product. For example, show a coupon code or free trial graphic.

  • Use a contrasting color button or CTA text that stands out from the rest of the popup. This guides the eye.

  • Keep body text to just 1-3 concise sentences or bullet points. Visitors will skim.

  • Avoid walls of text. Break copy up visually with headlines, subtitles, bullets, and ample white space.

With a sharp, benefit-driven headline and clean copy, you can communicate a compelling offer in just seconds to recapture their attention.

Include Social Proof and Urgency

Two other effective persuasion tactics to build into your exit popup are social proof and urgency.

Social proof—evidence that other people like and trust your brand—helps validate your offer. Include testimonials, customer reviews, or stats that demonstrate your authority and credibility. For example, "Join over 5,000 subscribers who get our weekly recipes."

You can also instill urgency with time limits or scarcity to encourage immediate action. For instance, "Get 10% off your order when you sign up today only." Just make sure to use honest language and don't exaggerate fake scarcity.

With the right mix of social proof and urgency, visitors are more likely to find your popup offer believable and compelling.

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Optimize for Mobile

Don't forget that a growing chunk of your traffic is probably coming from mobile devices. Exit popups can annoy mobile users and sometimes don't translate well to small screens. Here are a few best practices:

  • Use a slide-in banner at the bottom instead of a modal overlay popup, which takes up the whole screen.

  • Make tap targets large and include ample white space for fat fingers.

  • Ensure copy is short and scannable on small screens.

  • Test if a dedicated mobile exit popup performs better than a one-size-fits-all option.

Optimizing your creative and offer for mobile can help you connect with users who may otherwise miss out on your message.

Track Conversions and Optimize

To refine your exit popups for better performance, closely monitor conversion metrics like email signups, clicks, and sales from the popup vs. your site overall.

This allows you to identify which offers resonate and which fall flat. You can A/B test different popup content like:

  • Headline and copy variations

  • Different discounts or offers

  • Image vs. text-only

  • Video or gifs vs static images

Try waiting a few weeks before changing variables to allow data to stabilize. Over time, you can zero in on the optimal exit popup design and content for your audience.

Getting Visitors to Stick Around

Exit intent popups present that last chance to capture visitors as they're almost out the door. When timed and targeted just right, they can help you boost email subscribers, leads, and sales from likely abandoning visitors.

We hope these tips give you a blueprint for creating exit popups that engage, rather than annoy, your audience. Remember to continually test and optimize based on data to improve performance over time.

With the right compelling popup offer, you can convert more of your exiting visitors into loyal customers.


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