Do you want to increase conversions on your website dramatically? Exit-intent popups are the not-so-secret weapon that will get you there.
When you show website visitors a great offer just as they’re about to leave your site, you can turn abandoning visitors into new customers. OptinMonster has spent a decade helping businesses improve their lead generation with our industry-leading exit popups.
Should you trust our expertise on exit-intent popups? The answer lies in the success of our customers:.
- Tourism site Bonjour Lisbonne doubled their daily email signups and saw 30% higher sales by using an OptinMonster exit popup.
- And digital marketing agency Reliablesoft.net increased their conversion rate 300% with one of our exit-intent optin popups.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Over 1.2 million websites rely on on our premiere lead generation software to convert their website traffic into subscribers and revenue.
In this article, I’ll show you 40 exit popup hacks that our customers have seen success with again and again. And along the way, I’ll share some of our favorite exit-intent popup examples, along with data from real-life case studies.
Let’s get started.
Feel free to jump to the category that interests you the most:
- How Do Exit-Intent Popups Work?
- Are Exit-Intent Popups Effective?
- Do Exit-Intent Popups Work on Mobile?
- Exit-Intent Popup Hacks To Boost Engagement and Sales
How Do Exit-Intent Popups Work?
Exit-intent® technology lets you make one last effort to convert visitors as they’re about to leave your site.
When you show abandoning visitors a popup with an enticing offer, you have a great chance of getting their email address, making a sale, or keeping them on your site for longer.
When popups first started appearing on the web, many felt they were annoying. They were overused, and the same ‘special offer’ appeared to every visitor!
But tools like OptinMonster changed that.
With powerful targeting features, websites can now show each visitor the offer they’d be most interested in.
And exit-intent is a powerful trigger that has proven to work well in recovering abandoning users.
Using exit-intent targeting, Fastrack recovered 53% of abandoning visitors and increased sales.
You can also look at Medstar Media, which saw their conversion rates increase by 500% when they started showing visitors light box popups when leaving a site.
The bottom line is that if you’re not using exit-intent popups, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Are Exit-Intent Popups Effective?
Yes, exit-intent popups work.
Our customers consistently see higher conversion rates with exit messages than other kinds of popups. Exit popups typically convert an additional 2 to 4% of your website visitors.
But what you’re wondering likely isn’t whether exit campaigns work, but how they work. On desktop, exit-intent tracks the user’s cursor and mouse movements to detect when visitors are about to click the back button or close the browser tab. Your visitors will then see your popup offer before they leave your site.
There are so many benefits to using exit-intent popups on your website. Here are just a few ways these campaigns will help your business:
- Grow Your Email List: Attract new subscribers with fast results.
- Distribute Lead Magnets: Entice new visitors with valuable content, coupons, freebies, and more.
- Reduce Site Abandonment: Keep visitors engaged with your site long before they leave forever.
- Reduce Cart Abandonment: Provide incentives to buy at a critical moment in the customer journey.
- Boost SEO: Increase the time people engage with your site, redirect users to popular posts, and more to help your SEO.
And so much more. Exit-intent popups helped increase Ryan Robison’s email subscribers by 500%.
They also helped Crossrope EXPLODE its list by over 900%.
Ok, so this is all well and good. But is this an effective strategy for your entire audience? What about users coming from mobile?
Let’s address that question right now.
Do Exit-Intent Popups Work on Mobile?
Yes, exit popups work on mobile devices! The technology just works a bit differently, since there’s no cursor to track.
You have two options for showing exit messages on mobile:
- You can trigger a mobile exit-intent popup when someone scrolls up on their screen.
- Or, your popup can display when they hit the back button on their mobile browser.
We found these two actions usually indicated someone was about to leave your website, so they’re the best way to implement exit-intent on mobile.
Check out this article for more on How to Create Mobile Exit-Intent Popups That Convert.
Want to see exit popups in action? Click below to start your 100% risk-free OptinMonster account today (backed by a 14-day money-back guarantee):
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So, let’s talk exit popup hacks.
Whether you’re looking for an idea for your first exit-intent popup or new things to tweak and test, here are some useful ideas that work tremendously well for our customers.
Exit-Intent Popup Hacks To Boost Engagement and Sales
Don’t let your popups be generic. Personalization can make all the difference, which is why it starts our list of exit popup hacks. You can personalize your exit popups through the text and format or by showing different offers to different visitors. When you personalize your popups, you can better appeal to your target audience.
1. Use Your Visitor’s Name
Imagine moving into a new neighborhood. You head down to the store on the corner and end up chatting with the owner for half an hour about your shared love of breakfast burritos.
As you’re walking by a few days later, one of the street vendors yells out at you, encouraging you to buy an apple from their cart. Then, you hear your name; it’s the shop owner you met the other day, smiling at you and inviting you into their shop.
Are you going to buy an apple from an anonymous vendor or the shop owner calling to you by name and smiling at you warmly?
Yeah, we’d pick the shop owner, too.
Guess what? Your website can do the same thing.
Before asking for a sale, ask your visitor for their name.
Later, when your visitor is about to abandon one of your product pages, you could grab their attention with an exit-intent popup with their name on it.
Here’s one such exit popup example:
You can get your visitors’ names when they subscribe to your email list, ask for their name in a previous popup, or detect an existing customer’s name.
2. Personalize by Referral Source
As we just discussed, personalization is key to making advertisements like exit-intent popups feel more friendly.
One super smart and simple way to do that is by personalizing the popup based on the referral source.
For example, let’s say the visitor got to your page through a guest post you wrote for a specific website. Or you got featured somewhere recently, and you want to get the most out of that traffic by personalizing your exit messages for that particular audience.
You can use referrer detection technology to detect when a visitor is coming from any specific domain and use that information to customize your exit popups.
Here’s a popup example from RebootAuthentic:
Notice that the headline is personalized for Smart Blogger readers. You can personalize your exit-intent popups for any audience you choose.
Another possibility is personalizing your popups for traffic from your social media channels. For example, if the referring domain is Pinterest, your exit popup could include a special offer that appeals to those visitors.
If the referring domain is Facebook, you could invite visitors to join the conversation on your Facebook page or private Facebook group.
Think like a detective: what information can you deduce about your visitors from the referring domain? How can you use that knowledge to personalize your exit message?
3. Give a Quiz
Quizzes are one of the most irresistible lead magnets because they provide personalized information based on how the user responds. Personality-type quizzes are especially popular.
Dana Flannery is Director and SEO Specialist at the advertising company TAC Digital. Here’s what she had to say about the effectiveness online quizzes:
“A massive issue in content marketing is that people come to your site, read the content and then leave again. They don’t spend too long on the page (which in turn affects your bounce rate, time on page, etc.) The first benefit to using quizzes is that they drastically increase user engagement. They spend longer on the page and they are more likely to click through to other content, especially when you suggest content related to their answer/result.”
When you add an attention-grabbing quiz to your website, you can keep your visitors more engaged. And you’ll gather important information from them that will help you show them the most appealing offers and content.
Your exit popups are the perfect place to link to your best quizzes.
VisualDNA uses quizzes to gather insights into audiences. People voluntarily take quizzes to uncover who they’re based on psychological theory, and VisualDNA gets to amass an enormous amount of audience data. It’s brilliant!
But quizzes aren’t just limited to personality types. You can use quizzes to re-engage your abandoning visitors on practically any topic.
Here’s an example of an exit-intent popup quiz from Dr. Daniel Amen, the author of Healing ADD: Brain Type Test. This exit popup directs users to a test to find their ADD type:
Once the user gets their result, Dr. Amen’s site has enough information to show the user the best resources for their needs.
4. Hide Popups From Existing Subscribers
If someone has already taken the action you wanted them to take, such as subscribing to your email list, don’t show them the same popup again! That’s a recipe for annoying your visitors.
You should, however, show a different popup with a different offer to those visitors.
Once you’ve gotten a visitor to subscribe to your email list through your popup form, you can show them a different exit popup. Your next popup should encourage them to take the next step in your sales funnel. For instance, you could direct them to a webinar or offer an exclusive discount.
Our conversion experts will design 1 free campaign for you to get maximum results – absolutely FREE! Click here to get started →
People love receiving gifts and winning prizes! You can use plenty of offers in an exit-intent popup to tempt visitors to stay. Check out our favorites below.
5. Offer a Content Upgrade
How about presenting your abandoning visitor with an upgrade to the content they were just reading?
By offering content upgrades, RazorSocial increased its conversion rate by a whopping 520%!
Here’s the exit popup example:
A content upgrade is a more in-depth or a higher-value version of a particular blog post. So, if your blog post is about how to create an email newsletter, your visitors might read it and be very interested in getting started but think that they don’t have time.
As they go to close the browser, present them with a free download of a PDF version of the post or a checklist with the steps they need to follow.
If you need help creating your content upgrades, check out these 10 tools to help you create quality content upgrades.
6. Offer a Discount
It’s always a great idea to use an exit-intent popup to offer a discount in exchange for the visitor’s email address. This tactic accomplishes 2 things at once:
- Offering a discount code encourages shoppers to go through with a purchase they were on the fence about.
- Even if they don’t buy today, offering a coupon lets you collect their email address, so you can market to them in the future.
Here’s a discount exit popup example from Shockbtyte. They doubled their sales conversion rate using exit popups.
And instead of a generic “Subscribe” CTA button, they’ve used much more compelling copy, “Claim discount.”
If you’re looking for a surefire way to recover visitors who are about to abandon your eCommerce site, coupon exit-intent popups are the way to do it. After all, if someone is interested in buying your products, why wouldn’t they accept an easy discount?
7. Offer Free Shipping
Did you know that shipping costs are the #1 reason for shopping cart abandonment? Offer free shipping in your exit-intent popup, and you stand to convert some of those abandoned carts into purchases.
So, free shipping exit popups are a no-brainer. However, there are two different ways you can approach them.
The first way is to give the free shipping coupon code right inside the exit-intent popup, as shown below:
To make the purchase easier, you might even include a link to the product they were viewing or a link to the shopping cart, similar to what Baby Age (now Baby Earth) did below with their “Apply Coupon Instantly” button.
The advantage of this method is that there’s no additional work needed on the shopper’s part to complete their purchase. If they were already thinking about buying, but shipping was an issue, they can make their purchase in just a few clicks.
The only disadvantage to this method is if they don’t buy now, you’ll have missed out on collecting their email address.
Here’s our suggestion:
On your shopping cart pages, your exit popup should provide the free shipping code directly, so you can prevent cart abandonment.
On all other pages, offer free shipping in exchange for an email address.
As with anything, you’ll need to use A/B testing it to see what creates the best results.
8. Offer More Value
Some customers might leave your site because the product you offered wasn’t quite what they wanted. If that is the case, offer them an upgraded version of your product. This is known as an upsell.
Norwegian Cruise Line adds value by offering additional amenities to your reservation free of charge.
Don’t hold anything back on your exit offers. Your exit popup is your last chance to capture those leads, so this is where you should offer your very best deal!
9. Offer a Done-for-You
Sometimes your visitor enjoys your content but is too busy to implement your advice. Solve that problem for your visitors by offering a done-for-you solution.
For example, Betty Means Business offers 3 essential done-for-you scripts to attract more clients and optimize conversions.
You could offer something similar with a fill-in-the-blank PDF template, an Excel spreadsheet, a Photoshop file, a Word Document, or even audio clips.
On product pages, you could implement an exit-intent popup with an offer to configure the product for the customer. Or, if the product requires any work on the customer’s part, offer a complete done-for-you service.
Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and think, “What can I do to make their life easier?” You’ll have the perfect hook for your exit message if you can save them time or frustration.
10. Give Visitors a Chance To Win
Sometimes visitors need a little extra incentive to take action by hosting a giveaway or contest. Free digital downloads are increasingly common prizes, but physical items tend to have a higher perceived value. So, why not give away something physical?
You don’t need to give everyone a physical gift. Just give them a chance to win the gift when they sign up for your newsletter.
For example, the design app Invision offered users an entry into their free t-shirt drawing in exchange for their email address.
Yorkdale, a shopping center in Toronto, offered an entry into their monthly drawing for a $150 Yorkdale gift card.
You could also offer additional entries for other actions, like sharing on social media or referring a friend via email. Giveaways are a powerful means of driving traffic to your website, so put them to good use in your exit popup.
When someone’s about to leave your site, it’s likely because they couldn’t find something they needed. Encourage them to stick around by sharing some helpful hints.
11. Suggest Related Posts
Whether you’re a publisher or an eCommerce store, your website acts as your online storefront. The longer someone stays in your store, the better. So, sometimes your main objective is to reduce your bounce rate and have your visitors spend more time on your site.
A great way to do that is by using an exit-intent popup to suggest blog posts related to the one they were just reading.
Remember, there are several different reasons someone might click away from your site, and it doesn’t always mean they aren’t enjoying your content. Perhaps they simply got distracted by something, like a new email or social media notification.
Remind them why they visited your site in the first place: to get specific information from your content.
The key to the related posts technique is making sure that your headlines are highly clickable. Also, use enticing images that draw the eye and relate specifically to the post topic. If your related posts are appealing, you’re more likely to re-engage distracted visitors and persuade them to stick around for a while.
12. Suggest Related Products
Just like you can suggest related posts in an exit popup on a blog, you can also suggest related products on product pages.
If you have a wide range of products (like clothing or shoes), it’s extremely helpful to recommend other similar products related to the one that the shopper is viewing. The product they’re looking at might not be the right fit, but a similar product might be exactly what they need.
13. Suggest Popular Products
Throw some social proof into the mix and suggest your most popular items in an exit-intent popup.
Not only does this help keep shoppers on your eCommerce site for longer, but it also reminds them that other shoppers love your products!
Muubbaa, a leather apparel company, used the headline “Most Wanted” to reinforce the desirability of their clothing.
14. Overcome Objections
What if your potential customer is on the fence about purchasing your product? What if you could overcome that objection it would be the last nudge they need to make the purchase?
One of the biggest objections shoppers have is the worry they’ll buy your product and later regret it. The dreaded Buyer’s Remorse.
Thankfully, this is also one of the easiest objections to overcome when providing a money-back guarantee.
Another is uncertainty. People need to be sure your product or service has all the features they need. Highlight your most amazing features in a bulleted list.
Take inventory of all the likely objections your shoppers may have. Then make sure that you’ve thoroughly covered them all, either on your product or checkout page or exit-intent popup.
Most Common Objections
Here are online shoppers’ most common objections, along with ideas for how you can overcome those objections in your exit popup:
- I need to think about it. People make purchases based on emotion, so if you appeal to them on an emotional level, you’ll likely overcome this objection.
- I need to talk to my wife/husband/partner. Give them a reason why their significant other will be grateful that they got this product.
- I can find it cheaper somewhere else. Demonstrate that you’re the best value or the best price around.
- I’m happy with what I already have. Show them how their life will be better with your product.
- I don’t have the budget. Offer a payment plan. Or, calculate how your product will save them money or make them money in the long run.
- I’m not sure if it will work for me. Offer a free trial or money-back guarantee.
- How do I know my credit card information will be safe? Display a security badge.
- I don’t have time right now. Throw in a limited-time bonus.
- Why should I choose you instead of the other guy? Show what makes you better than your competitors.
15. Give a Reminder
When a shopper is about to abandon their cart, exit popups offer the best chance to recover them.
Simply remind them that they still have items left in their cart, creating a strong, sometimes irresistible, urge to get closure by completing the purchase.
Your copy could say something like, “Wait! You still have these items in your cart…” or “Wait! Don’t leave without your.” And then includes images of the items they’re about to leave behind.
Sometimes, however, shoppers just need more time to be ready to buy, even though they’re still interested. Offer to save their basket and collect their email in the process. Then it will be super easy for them to come back to your site and pick up where they left off, and you can even start sending them emails to remind them of what they’ve left behind. Check out our list of abandoned cart email examples for inspiration.
16. Offer a Free Trial
It takes approximately 7 touches to make a sale. That means that potential customers interact with your business an average of 7 times before they make a purchase. Offering a free trial gives you a great chance to get your foot in the door and warm up your leads with multiple touches.
SnackNation understands this well. All you have to do to get a free sample box delivered is cover the $9.95 shipping and handling.
Web Designer Depot offers 7 days of free downloads. This popup is smart because it highlights how valuable this free trial is, with over 250,000 graphics to choose from.
17. Offer To Chat
You’ve probably been on a sales page before where you saw a chat box pop up, like this one from Xchop:
This lets you give your potential customers answers to any questions they may have about purchasing your product or service.
However, you don’t have to offer 24-hour live chat to be helpful to your visitors.
You can also use your exit-intent popup to schedule a time to chat later.
This category of exit popup hacks is about getting the visitor to take a small first step. Once they start, they’re more likely to continue. Making the first step easy can increase your overall conversions.
18. Give Visitors a Few Choices
The problem with so many exit-intent popups is that they need to offer something the visitor wants. This happens because many businesses have several different buyer personas, and each persona will respond to offers differently.
Sure, your popup might be offering the greatest ebook known to man about how to juggle 6 balls in the air. But what if a segment of your visitors has already mastered that technique? Then your offer is useless for capturing those visitors.
A simple way to get around this problem is to let them choose what they’re most interested in.
You can do it by first presenting an exit popup with 2-3 options to choose from:
Once they select an option, present them with the optin form to get a lead magnet tailored to their chosen topic.
19. Present a Survey
Customer feedback surveys are a great way to learn more about your visitors and how you can make your website better. However, many sites use them at the wrong times, which makes for a terrible customer experience.
Imagine landing on a website for the first time and then being hit with a survey about how your experience has been on the website. Or being right in the middle of a purchase and getting interrupted by a popup survey. That would be annoying.
The good thing about exit-intent popups is that they don’t interrupt visitors as they’re reading your content. This makes exit popups great for surveys. Just make sure that you don’t include a survey on your homepage or on any other page where it wouldn’t make sense for a survey to be.
Also, be respectful of your visitor’s time and don’t expect them to fill out a survey for nothing. Give them something in exchange. Here’s an exit popup example of a quick 15-second survey with a free gift:
Quick Tip: You can also use the Field Mapping feature to add custom fields to your survey forms, like radio buttons, phone fields, text areas, number fields, lists, and more!
20. Use a 2-Step Optin
Psychologists have discovered that we all have a strong urge to be consistent. Once we make a decision or perform an action, we have the tendency to stick by that decision in all our future actions. This is known as a “decision heuristic:” a mental shortcut for making decisions.
Getting your visitors to take the first step is always the hardest. But if they just take that one step, all the next steps will become much easier. That’s because they’re building up mental momentum.
Strive to make that first step as easy as possible, so you can get the ball rolling. Then, you can ask for a more difficult action. Like a domino effect, you have to apply a bit of force to knock down the first domino, but all the other dominos fall much more easily.
Smart marketers understand this principle and put it to use in their optin forms by asking for an easy action first, such as clicking a yes or no button. Then, they ask for a more difficult action, such as submitting an email address. This is called a 2-step optin.
How to Use 2-Step Optins
How can you use a 2-step opt-in with your exit-intent popups? Simple.
Place a button on the exit popup that users must click before seeing the optin form. Use a call-to-action that would be a no-brainer for your target audience.
Many popup headlines can be easily converted into a 2-step optin.
For example, QuickSprout once used the headline, “Are You Doing Your SEO Wrong?” If this headline had been on a 2-step exit-intent popup, they could have had a button below it saying, “Click Here to Find Out.” Then after the click, they could have displayed the opt-in form for a lead magnet.
Treehouse has used the headline, “Change your Career. Change your Life.” If they put that headline on a 2-step exit popup, they could display a button below it saying, “Claim Your Free Trial.” Then, they’d reveal the form to enter your name and email.
See how that works? A simple button looks much more harmless than a form asking for information. Visitors won’t see the harm in taking that first action, but they’ll feel committed to following through.
21. Give a Yes/No Choice
Another version of the 2-step opt-in is a yes/no choice. But instead of just one call to action (CTA) button, you offer two: a “right” choice and a “wrong” choice.
Here’s an example from Social Triggers:
This tactic increases conversions because of the psychology of choice: people are more likely to claim your offer if they’ve been given a choice to make.
Choices make us feel more in control and more powerful. When we feel powerful, we tend to act more quickly.
For this to work for your exit message, you must make the “right” choice obvious to the visitor.
The color of your call-to-action buttons is important for this exit-intent popup. We’ve been conditioned to associate bold colors with action and dull colors with inaction.
By making 1 button pop with a bright red color and the other button grayed out, the visitor gets the psychological message that they’re supposed to click on the red button, not the gray one.
Be sure to use your powers for good and not evil.
And remember, copy is key.
Your CTA button copy is important too. You want your users to feel they have a choice while still making it a no-brainer decision. This is an art, and many marketers tend to go over the line by writing copy that sounds too pushy or condescending.
Instead, just make sure the button you want users to click sounds much more positive than the alternative. The Social Triggers example above is great because of the contrast between the CTA button text:
- Gimme the Free Ebook
- I Reject the Free Ebook
Why would anyone want to reject something offered for free, especially if it delivers on the big promise in the headline (“Want to learn how to get 5,000 subscribers for free?”)?
No one wants to lose the chance to get something they want or that’s valuable. Your exit popup is the perfect place to stir up some fear of missing out (FOMO) right before visitors leave your site.
22. Create Scarcity
It’s well-known that scarcity increases the urge to buy. Nobody wants to miss out on getting something they want, and it doesn’t feel good when someone else gets a great deal, and you don’t.
Discount retailer Zulily did an amazing job of creating scarcity. When you added an item to your cart, they included the number of items left in big red letters on the shopping cart page. In the example below, you can see a cart that says “HURRY—only 6 left!”
Now imagine how effective this could be as an exit message that appears when someone is about to abandon their cart.
Booking.com used this popup during the reservation process to show how many other people are looking at the same hotel. This adds to the sense of urgency to book right away. Better act now before someone else gets your room!
23. Add Urgency
It’s human nature to procrastinate. People tend to put off making decisions like completing a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter.
Urgency gets the ball rolling by giving a definite deadline. Either you claim this offer now, or it will be too late.
OptinMonster’s exit-intent popup highlights the limited-time discount with a yellow and a red arrow, so you’re sure to notice it.
24. Use the Word “Wait.”
Stop your visitors with the powerful word “wait.”
Perhaps it’s due to our need for closure, but there’s a sense of urgency and intrigue about the word “wait.”
This exit popup example combines “wait” with a free shipping offer.
Green Mountain Mustard knew you were thinking about buying mustard since you were browsing their site, so their exit popup gives you a friendly, tongue-in-cheek reminder.
Do the same on a landing page or a product page. Remind visitors what they’ll miss out on if they click away now.
We often look for external authority figures to help us make decisions. Appeal to that need for authority in your exit-intent popups to drive more conversions.
25. Use Social Proof
Social proof works because we tend to look to others to decide the right thing to do.
Over 100,000 web developers can’t be wrong, right?
Or how about 310,000+ dog lovers? If you’re a dog lover, you might ask yourself, “Why didn’t I join this community sooner? If so many others have joined, they must know something I don’t.”
These are some impressive examples, but you don’t necessarily need huge numbers to leverage social proof in your marketing. You don’t need your numbers at all. A glowing testimonial or customer review can be just as effective as an impressive statistic. (More on testimonials later).
26. Use Your Credentials
Authority is a powerful tool that you can use to increase conversions on your exit popups.
Do you have any special certifications or qualifications that can give visitors greater confidence in your authority and expertise? Show that off on your exit popup!
Timothy Sykes displays his “Top Trader” badge right on his exit-intent popup:
Remember, people have a natural tendency to follow authority figures. Position yourself as the expert, and it will be much easier to get visitors to take the action you’re asking of them.
27. Include Testimonials
We all know how important testimonials are on sales pages, but what about exit popups? The fact is, your exit-intent popup is a mini sales page. You may be giving something away for free, but you’re still asking for something in return, an email address, or a small action, like following you on Twitter.
Convince visitors to take action by using recommendations from your customers and subscribers. If you can include a photo of their faces, all the better.
Kevin Duncan of Be a Better Blogger used a subscriber testimonial on his exit-intent popup to drive home the value of subscribing to his blog.
Web design best practices also apply to popups. Here are some specific ways to use design in your exit-intent popup strategy.
28. Add a Progress Bar
There is a psychological phenomenon that makes people feel uncomfortable leaving things incomplete. It’s known as the Zeigarnik Effect, coined by the 20th-century Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik.
Zeigarnik saw that waiters could remember long food orders and match the correct meal to each customer, but they promptly forgot these orders as soon as the food was delivered. She wondered why, so she conducted a series of experiments to figure it out.
Her theory was that the pending order created a state of “incompleteness” in the waiter’s mind, which made them unable to let go of the information until that state of mind was resolved through the delivery of the meal.
Through her experiments, Zeigarnik discovered that unfinished tasks are remembered twice as well as completed ones. Humans tend to have a child-like impatience to gratify this need for closure.
You can use the Zeigarnik Effect to coax your visitors into action by showing them that they have an incomplete task. By pointing out the “incompleteness,” you’ll encourage them to seek closure by finishing the task.
This can work for exit popups as well. All you have to do is display a progress bar at the top. Here’s a popup page from CoSchedule:
29. Include a Picture of the Bribe
Images can make a huge difference in any online marketing campaign, and exit popups are no exception.
In eCommerce, shoppers often are drawn to the product photo before they notice the item’s name.
Images are vital to shoppers when deciding whether to purchase a product. They’re also crucial to getting them to do something smaller, like entering their email addresses for your free ebook.
Since he’s using an image of the product, which includes its title, he doesn’t even need that much copy to get the point across.
30. Use Arrows
Our eyes have the ability to take in so much visual information that it’s more than our brains can consciously process. So, we’re hardwired to focus on only the most compelling information, the information we believe to be the most important. We simply skim over the rest.
People naturally look for visual cues to tell them what information they need to pay attention to. Because of this, we can direct where the eye will look by guiding the eye using visual cues, like arrows.
Arrows help the viewer comprehend information better than written directions alone. They point the way, direct the viewer’s focus, and help the viewer filter out unimportant information.
Use arrows on your exit-intent popups to direct attention toward your call to action.
Here’s an exit popup example from Kindlepreneur:
31. Use Animation
Another way to guide the eye toward your call to action is with movement.
An animation like the one below is nearly impossible for the eye not to follow. This animation points at the call to action button, combining a directional visual cue with movement. The result is an extremely powerful exit-intent popup.
Hard to look away, isn’t it?
32. Use a Striking Image
Sometimes, you need a striking image to grab your visitor’s attention.
For example, home furniture retailer Made used this unusual image of a model with chairs stacked on top of each other to grab your attention:
FedEx used a map of the globe to illustrate their global delivery in a fun, unexpected way:
SolarWinds used animals and a dash of humor to spice up their ad campaigns:
Even something as boring as a Band-Aid can be made interesting with an eye-catching image:
Use a dramatic or unexpected image in your exit popup, and you’ll stop your visitors right in their tracks.
33. Use Color To Direct the Eye
Remember how we mentioned that our eyes could take in way more information than our brains can process?
Color is one of those important visual clues to find important information. The specific color you use isn’t so important, but using high-contrast colors is.
Studies show that the eye naturally skims a website from top to bottom, making forays into the middle from left to right, forming an “F” shape.
Once you understand this, you can place important elements along that natural F-shaped path and use color to place greater visual weight on some elements.
Take a look at this exit popup from Marie Forleo:
Do you see how the color pink was used to place emphasis on certain words? “We can help” and “award-winning” pop right out at you just before your eyes land squarely on the signup form at the bottom.
Also notice that the “Subscribe Now” button is yellow, which contrasts with the pink background. It’s also the only element of that color, so it stands out even more than the pink text.
Good design is important, and so is clear and effective copy. Here are some specific tips to use on your exit-intent popup copy.
34. Make Them Laugh
Another reason visitors bail on your site is that they’re simply bored. But if you can make them smile or laugh, it’ll be hard for them not to take you up on your parting offer.
KlientBoost used “Is Your Marketing Poopy?” as the heading for their popup. That’s a line that’s certain to stop an abandoning visitor in their tracks.
If humor fits with your brand, this is not the time to hold it in, so let it loose in your exit popup!
35. Use Numbers
Numbers can be used to increase conversions on your exit-intent popups.
For starters, numbers are great attention-grabbers. There’s just something about seeing a number that makes us take notice. Especially if it’s a very specific number, like 1,837.
We also know that people tend to infer larger volume from larger numbers. Basically, that means that 660 minutes sounds larger than 11 hours, even though they’re the same amount of time. Use this to your advantage in your popup copy by using smaller units when you want to give the impression of bigger amounts.
Of course, if you have big amounts to show off, like Syed Balkhi, then by all means, do it!
36. Use Compelling Button Copy
Is your call-to-action (CTA) button copy generic, like “Subscribe,” “Download,” or “Sign Up?”
Sorry, what? Dozed off a bit.
If you want your button to be clickable and compelling, kiss the generic copy buh-bye.
Instead, use copy that focuses on the benefits visitors will get from your offer.
For instance, Shoe Money offers free case studies as their lead magnet. Instead of a generic “Download Now” button, their button copy reads, “I Want Millions of Dollars Now.” How’s that for compelling?
You can also make your button copy more enticing simply by being more specific about what users are getting or the action they’re taking.
If you’re giving away a coupon, use a specific dollar amount on the button: “Get My $10 Off.”
To give you some inspiration, here are even more great examples of call-to-action button copy:
- “Start writing” – Medium
- “Give Basecamp a try – it’s free for 60 days” – Basecamp
- “Find your gym & get membership” – Anonymous case study
- “Show Me My Heatmap” – CrazyEgg
- “Build a Manpack” – Manpacks
- “Send a GiftRocket” – GiftRocket
- “Talk to us” – Contently
- “Let’s Do It!” – Less Accounting
37. Ask Visitors To Follow You on Social Media
Asking for an email address can be tough. Due to information overload, people can be fiercely protective of their email inboxes these days.
However, convincing them to follow you on social media is easier. Especially if your social media channels have a significant following (social proof), it should be relatively simple to get an abandoning visitor to click the “Like” or “Follow” button.
38. Assume the Close
A particularly gutsy move is to stop asking whether visitors want to take action and just assume that they do.
Neil Patel‘s exit-intent popup on his webinar registration page is a simple registration form.
Notice he doesn’t try to sell you on the webinar at all. There’s no headline or any details about what the webinar is about. He simply assumes that you want to register.
CrazyEgg assumes that you want to buy one of their plans. Rather than trying to sell you on their plans, they simply ask, which one will you choose?
39. Incite Curiosity
The information gap theory of curiosity states that we get curious when we think there’s a gap between what we know and what we don’t know. It’s like a mental itch that we just have to scratch.
If you want a surefire way of making your visitors stick around longer, use an information gap to incite curiosity. Once visitors get the curiosity itch, they’ll have to stick around to satisfy it.
In this popup, the headline promises to reveal the strategy that Gary Vaynerchuk used to get 832,241 YouTube views:
Because there is a perceived information gap, visitors will be driven to enter their email out of curiosity.
Derek Halpern offers five templates for crafting headlines that incite curiosity. These are perfect headlines for your exit popups:
- How’d you like to learn about [new remarkable thing] that [desirable outcome]?
- How can you earn [desirable outcome] with [new remarkable thing]?
- There’s a way for you to [desirable outcome] with this [new remarkable thing].
- If you heard about a [new remarkable thing] that could [desirable outcome], would you be interested in learning more about it?
- The key to a [desirable outcome] is to use [new remarkable thing].
40. Get Inside Your Visitor’s Head
The best way to get big results from your exit-intent popups is by putting yourself in your visitor’s shoes. Then you can offer them exactly what they need and want at that moment.
Ask yourself the possible reasons for a visitor to leave this particular page on your website. Out of those, which are the most likely reasons?
CountryLiving knows their visitors would love to have a mouth-watering meal for dinner tonight. However, the main thing holding them back is time. Most people feel they simply don’t have the time to cook an elaborate meal. So, CountryLiving swoops in and saves the day with “26 Easy Dinners that Can be Made in 30 Minutes or Less!”
This is an exit-intent popup at its best. Get inside your visitor’s head, solve their reason for leaving, and become their hero.
Bonus Tips: Best Practices for Exit-Intent Popups
There’s a lot of strategy that goes into creating the best exit popups, but these simple best practices will always be a good guide:
- Alignment: Your popup messaging and display behavior should always match your customer’s intent.
- Targeting: Each exit popup should be designed specifically for a certain part of your overall audience. One size does not fit all!
- Behavior Triggers: Browsing behavior can give clues about the visitor’s intent. Use these clues to trigger the appropriate popups. In Google Analytics, you can see your exit pages or the pages your visitors exit most.
- Interaction: Make it easy for visitors to take the first step. They’ll be more likely to take another step toward conversion once they do.
- Personalization: Show the customer that you understand their needs with customized messaging and display rules.
Ready to get started?
With OptinMonster, you can create exit-intent popups in 5 minutes or less! Learn more about our excluding Exit-Intent® technology in these articles and documents:
- How to Activate Exit-Intent® in OptinMonster
- How to Create Mobile Exit-Intent Popups That Convert
- How to Create an Exit-Intent Popup for Shopify
- How to Create a Website Exit Survey (The Easy Way)
With OptinMonster’s powerful lead-generation tools, you can create exit popups that will get you more leads, sales, and subscribers right away.
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