How to Create Mobile Exit-Intent Popups That Convert

Do you struggle with visitors browsing your site on mobile devices, but leaving before taking any action? If so, you need to leverage the power of mobile exit-intent popups.

With mobile exit-intent popups, you can engage, recapture, and convert mobile visitors as they’re trying to leave your site forever.

That’s why we’re going to teach you how to create a mobile exit-intent campaign. More specifically, we’ll cover 2 scenarios:

But before we get into the tutorial, let’s get clear on what a mobile exit-intent popup is in the first place.

What is a mobile exit-intent popup

What Is a Mobile Exit-Intent Popup?

Mobile exit-intent popups are notifications designed to recapture your visitor’s attention on mobile devices when they’re actively leaving your site. Exit-Intent Technology® has been traditionally limited to desktop browsers.

But, recently, we changed all that.

For the longest time, one of our most requested features was to have exit-intent popups work on mobile devices. Why was this feature in such high demand?

Because exit-intent campaigns work so freakin’ well. More on that in a minute, though.

Not familiar with exit-intent popups?: Check out some of our best user-created examples.

The biggest challenge in creating mobile exit-intent popups is that it’s harder to track a user’s behavior on a phone than it is from their desktop.

When someone is visiting a site on a computer, we can track mouse movements to understand when people are trying to leave the page.

This is much more difficult to do on mobile devices since we navigate smartphones with our fingers.

But as they say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” And at OptinMonster, we always find a way.

So the big question remains: does exit-intent work on mobile?

Let’s explore that question in more depth.

Does Mobile Exit Intent Work?

Does Mobile Exit-Intent Work

Mobile exit-intent is incredibly effective at recapturing your visitor’s attention when they’re leaving your site from a mobile device.

Before, we were only able to accomplish this through our InactivitySensor™.

With OptinMonster’s InactivitySensor™ technology, our clients could engage users who had stopped interacting with a browser page on their phone. We even added MonsterEffects™ and sound cues to make sure our popups wouldn’t go unnoticed.

These small visual and audible animations created a powerful attention grabber and consistently brought users back to our clients’ site.

But that still didn’t solve the root of the problem: What about visitors who were fully attentive but simply losing interest in the content of your site? How could we bring those users back for you?

That’s where our drive for adding a mobile exit-intent feature came from.

Because mobile exit-intent isn’t necessarily new. In fact, it’s been around for a while. But in the past, it was only available to big companies like CNN, Sony, or Amazon, who had huge developer budgets.

If small or even medium-sized businesses wanted to compete with the big guys, well… they simply couldn’t.

The goods, though, is that now they can. 🙂 Here’s a sneak peek at our mobile exit-intent feature in action:

mobile exit intent in action

Let’s check out how this works more specifically.

Our mobile exit-intent trigger works in 2 ways. When users:

  • Scroll up on their mobile screen
  • Hit the back button on their mobile browser

We found that these were the 2 most significant indicators of a user’s intent to leave your site. Let’s quickly look at both.

Scrolling Up Trigger

When users start scrolling up on their phone screen, that’s a good sign that they’ve stopped engaging with the content on your site. Usually, they’re trying to bring the URL drop-down field to type in another site’s web address.

In a second, we’ll show you how you can trigger mobile exit-intent for users who scroll up after reading your content.

Hitting the Back Button

Another common signal that people are leaving your site is when users click the back button to return to where they previously came from. This is the perfect time to show visitors a popup of a special promotional offer to entice them to stick around.

That’s because, most of the time, your users aren’t leaving because they haven’t found the information useful. They’re leaving because they think they’ve gotten everything they can out of their content.

But you can fix this by putting a mobile exit-intent popup triggered by hitting a phone’s back button. That way, you’ll show users exactly how much more you have to offer.

9 times out of 10, it will be enough to convince casual browsers to stick around.

Ok, now that we know what mobile exit-intent is and how exit-intent works on mobile, let’s get into how you can use this technology to enhance your mobile marketing strategy.

How to Create Mobile Exit-Intent Popups That Convert

Video Tutorial

We understand that everyone learns a little differently. So if you’re more of a visual learner, here’s a video tutorial to help you out:


But if you’d prefer the written instructions at your side, just keep reading.

Like we said earlier, today we’ll cover 2 scenarios:

  • Creating a new mobile exit-intent campaign with a mobile-optimized template
  • Modifying an existing campaign to add our mobile exit-intent feature

Let’s get started.

Building a New Mobile Exit-Intent Campaign

Setting up mobile exit-intent campaigns is incredibly easy. First, log into your OptinMonster account.

Note: Don’t have an account yet? Let’s fix that. Sign up for OptinMonster today to get started or check out this extensive review to see if OptinMonster is right for you!

Then go to the upper right-hand corner of your dashboard and click Create New Campaign:

Create a new campaign final picture

Choose which type of campaign you would like. For today’s tutorial, we’ll choose Popup:

Choose popup campaign types

Now we need to select a template. One of the best features of OptinMonster’s template selection is that you can filter your choices on the left-hand side menu. By clicking Mobile Optimized, you’ll bring up all the templates that are best suited for smartphones:

Mobile Optimized Templates in OM

You can also choose to create a mobile campaign from scratch with our Canvas template:

Canvas Template in OptinMonster

Today, we’ll go with Magnet:

Magnet for mobile optimized template

Name your campaign and assign it to your website:

Name and connect your website

And now we’re ready to modify the campaign. We won’t talk too much about how to customize your campaign in this tutorial.

But rest assured that our easy drag and drop editor makes everything simple.

Just click on the elements you’d like to change to pull up the editing tools in the left-hand side menu:

Pull up your editing tools in the side by clicking an element in your editor

From there, you can personalize every aspect of your campaign to suit your voice, message, and brand.

If you need help with designing your campaign, check out this resource on how to create your first campaign.

What you really need to know is how to set up mobile exit-intent triggers. For that, click Display Rules at the top of your editor:

Choose Display Rules in your OM campaign

Change your first condition from Time on page to exit detected:

Change time on page to exit detected in display rules

Then choose between Low, Medium, and High sensitivity. For scrolling up exit-intent triggers, choose Low or Medium:

Choose Low or Medium Sensitivity for Scroll Up Trigger

To target users hitting the back button, select High sensitivity:

Choose High Sensitivity for Back Button Trigger

But sometimes when you’re given a choice between 2 things, it’s fun to choose both.

If you want to use a scrolling up and back button exit-intent trigger together, that’s no problem.

Simply set your first condition to Low or Medium for the scrolling up trigger. Then modify a second condition in the field just below the first:

Go to the second condition for mobile exit-intent dispaly triggers

Change Current url path to exit detected:

Change time on page to exit detected

And select High sensitivity to create a back button exit-intent trigger:

Set sensitivity to high for back button trigger

Now you have your 2 mobile exit-intent triggers set as distinct conditions:

Both mobile exit-intent triggers set

That’s it! You now have your mobile exit-intent campaign set up.

By default, this campaign will appear on every page of your site. If you want to customize your display settings further, you can add a new display rule. Click +And to add a new condition:

Choose to add a condition with AND

Then change Time on page to current URL path:

Select current URL path

This allows you to set your campaign to specific pages of your site, such as:

  • The homepage
  • All pages except the homepage
  • Exact URLs
  • URLs including specific words
  • URLs beginning with specific words

Select url path for mobile exit-intent popup

And much more.

Now let’s turn our attention to updating an existing campaign to include mobile exit-intent functionality.

Adding Mobile Exit-Intent Popups to Existing Campaigns

So far, we built a mobile exit-intent campaign for a mobile-optimized template. But, in some cases, you may already have campaigns that you’ve made with an exit-intent trigger for desktop.

Because of that, many clients have asked whether they can add mobile exit-intent triggers for campaigns they built before the mobile feature existed.

The answer: Absolutely.

To make sure you have a mobile exit-intent popup for campaigns you’ve already created, click on the campaign you want to edit in your OptinMonster dashboard. Then click on the edit icon to go to the editor:

Edit an existing campaign

Go to Display Rules:

Choose Display Rules in your OM campaign

And check your settings for exit detected. You can choose to have your exit-intent trigger set for:

  • Mobile only
  • Desktop only
  • Both

choose your device for mobile exit-intent

For most use cases, you’ll want to set your exit-intent trigger for both desktop and mobile:

Set exit-intent for all devices

But this isn’t always the case.

Remember that your mobile exit-intent trigger will change according to the sensitivity you set. Low and Medium sensitivity will create a scroll up trigger, whereas High sensitivity will create a back button trigger.

So if you want to have Medium sensitivity for desktop but a back button exit-intent trigger for mobile, you’ll need to create 2 distinct conditions: one for desktop set to Medium and one for mobile set to High:

create a desktop and mobile device

With OptinMonster, everything is fully customizable to make sure you’re getting the right message in front of the right people at exactly the right time.

Once you have your user’s attention, you can show them promotions, grow your email list, or directly increase sales. In fact, you may find the following resources helpful for optimizing your conversion strategy with mobile exit-intent popups:

We hope you found this article useful and if so, feel free to share it with a friend. Do you have any tricks and tips for mobile exit-intent popups?

If so, let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments section below. We love hearing from readers.

For more useful marketing tutorials, head over to our YouTube channel. Just don’t forget to “like” any videos that help you out and subscribe to our channel.

And are you trying to compete with big business marketing teams, but you’re on a shoestring budget? No worries, that’s what we’re for.

Sign up for OptinMonster today, risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee.

Nathan Thompson
Nathan Thompson is a father, a writer, and a lover of travel (in that order). When he’s not wrestling with his kids, you’ll likely find Nathan giving his eyes a much-needed break from screens with a good book or planning a family trip with his awesome wife.

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