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Your Ultimate Guide to Using Exit Intent to Skyrocket Sales

A good chunk of visitors will abandon your website and landing pages without converting, and that’s a fact. Maybe something else caught their attention. Or, perhaps your value proposition just wasn’t good enough.

Whatever the cause may be, the real question is how do you convert those abandoning visitors?

Today, many successful eCommerce business owners are employing Exit Intent Technology in order to reduce cart abandonments, recapture those sales, boost conversions, and generate more leads.

In this article, we’re going to break down the most effective strategies for exit intent popup with detailed examples to implement into any revenue-driven E-Commerce strategy.

What are Exit Intent Popups?

Exit Intent Technology is an advanced algorithm that identifies and reacts to website abandonment in real-time. Upon detecting exit intent (i.e., mouse movement to leave site) the algorithm triggers an incentivized popup quickly to convince the visitor to take a desired action.


Exit intent popups outline your offering into a simple, concentrated version of what you’re promoting. They boil down the analysis needed to make a decision. If done correctly, exit popups can offer significant uplift, as well as fulfill several revenue-based goals.

However, before we get into the pro tactics, let’s highlight some of the most common mistakes you should avoid.

Things to Avoid While Incorporating Exit Popups

Your exit intent popup shouldn’t be crammed with a bunch of content, navigation mechanisms, or calls-to-action (CTA). The best intent popup compels visitors to make an easy decision.

The Paradox of Choice

There is a common misconception that users prefer multiple choices. But in sales, it’s the opposite. According to research, giving too many choices may lead to Analysis Paralysis, overwhelming the visitor, and possibly resulting in a cart abandonment rather than a conversion.

Including too many call-to-actions (CTA) or decisions in your exit popup will confuse visitors. Your message should make one clear and concise point. If your target is to collect a newsletter signup, try not to invite users to check out your new arrivals as well or add another CTA that’s totally irrelevant to the goal at hand.

In addition, any CTA on an exit intent popup must state what exactly happens when a user clicks on it. So, instead of just saying “yes, no, ok, or cancel” on your CTA button, clearly state your goal: “Send me the latest updates” or “Yes, sign me up.”

Keep it simple: one exit popup, one clear decision.

Bad Design

A poorly designed exit intent popup is bad news for decision-making and conversions. UI issues and bugs aside, some offer so much content that they even require a scroll bar, or feature several anchor links as a target for different pages to send visitors to.


While anchor links and scrolling are ideal for lengthy web pages, exit popups aren’t.

Placing a bunch of navigation mechanisms or text within an exit popup is an outdated approach that’s likely to distract the visitor from the decision you are trying to convince them to make. Remember, if it’s valuable information but requires a scroll, it should have its own page, not a popup.

Now, let’s show you how to use exit intent popups to engage visitors and increase your sales.

6 Best Exit Intent Popup Strategies

1. Segment

Ask yourself the following questions when making a targeted offer with an exit popup:

Who am I targeting?

The more targeted your free exit intent popup is, the better the odds are of preventing website abandonment.

Make your messaging segment or context-specific instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach. This involves making a conscious decision of what could work best for particular pages or audience groups rather than your entire website or all the users.

  • Targeting by Cohort: Before crafting your copy, consider who the offer is aimed for. Are you targeting cart abandoners, first-time visitors, paid traffic, price-sensitive shoppers, or registered users? Use analytics data to get a better idea of your audience’s identity and act accordingly. Once you differentiate between referral sources, behaviors, and intent of individual audience groups, it will help you produce a more strong and relevant message.
  • Targeting by Context: Take a context-centric approach instead of a user-centric one. Landing pages, blog pages, checkout pages, homepages, category pages, and product pages can all feature exit intent popups unique to that page. If someone’s abandoning the homepage, for instance, odds are they haven’t interacted much with your product or brand. In cases like this, triggering a welcome offer to those abandoners can change their minds.

It’s crucial to note that contextual targeting is not only limited to pages. Tailoring your target message based on device type, geo-location, or even local weather forecast are some of the most effective methods you can use to create messages that truly resonate.

What Actions Do I Want Them to Take?

Normally, exit intent popups aim to get visitors to complete a form, view content, or direct them to a particular page.

So, which direction is the right one?

Well, it depends.

If your aim is to promote a short message, then having the visitor either choose to read on or dismiss the message seems reasonable. On the other hand, if you want to gain a new subscription, providing a bug-free form with one straightforward CTA is essential.

2. Recommend

A very underused yet effective tactic is to use exit intent popups to upsell and cross-sell products. Displaying personalized recommendations in your exit intent popups is the best way to enhance recirculation and reduce abandon rates.

You can do this by implementing automated recommendation widgets into the exit popup, then customize the widget’s conditions to recommend based on the product the user viewed right before the abandonment.

3. Personalize

A surefire way to reignite engagement is to personalize your popups based on user interests and on-site behaviors. Consider personalizing and tailoring your message with dynamic variables like:

  • Product affinities
  • The user’s name
  • Subscription status
  • Real-time intent

Making a personalized reference strengthens the connection between you and your visitor, indicates that you understand their requirements, and can dramatically boost your odds of re-engagement.

4. Create Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency is an excellent way to call users to action and encourage instant decisions. Creating urgency with an exit intent popup means placing the visitor in a situation where they’ll feel like they’re giving up on something of value by choosing to click away.

To create urgency, you can incorporate appealing keywords (e.g., sellers, new, best, most popular, % off, etc.) within a given time frame (by last call, midnight, today only, only 2 hours left, etc.). This way, you’ll intrigue your visitors to seize the opportunity right away.

5. Optimize

Exit intent popups that feel easy to users are generally not the outcome of a quick and easy process. To create compelling popups, you must continuously be testing design, CTA, and content.

Constant iteration and ongoing A/B testing is key to presenting your message in the right context.

An effective approach to exit intent technology is to push several different variations at the same time and optimize the best performing combinations dynamically based on specific objectives or KPIs. Popups can be optimized according to your targets—whether that target is to enhance CTR, generate leads, or boost revenue, for example, is up to you.

6. Test

Businesses that deliver the most effective exit intent popups are the ones that constantly iterate and analyze. You need to pay close attention to your data to figure out what’s working and what isn’t.

A page may technically have an exit popup. However, that doesn’t mean that it should. Similarly, a message may work for one segment, while completely fail for another. What we’re trying to tell you is that just because an exit intent strategy worked for your competition, doesn’t mean it’s the right solution for you.

The only way you can deliver the best exit intent popups is via constant testing, analysis, and using data to obtain a better understanding of your audience base.

5 Common Exit Intent Popup Examples

1. Capture Immediate Sales

One of the easiest ways to convert an abandoning visitor is by offering them a coupon or discount. Just be confident, direct, and bold about it.

75% of abandoning site visitors intend to return to your website to continue the buying process, but less than 30% of them actually do. Consider treating your offer like it’s now or never.

A good amount of abandonments happen if your price isn’t right or the shipping costs are very expensive. Offering a discount or even a limited-time incentive on the order will help you secure a last second purchase.

Remember, while discounts can be appealing, you still have to keep your company’s best interests in mind. Try not to offer something that’s way too steep because it will compromise the value of your product or service. If you’re giving an exclusive discount, consider only offering it once.

Don’t forget that you’re giving an incentive for the customer to stay, not conditioning them to be rewarded for leaving your website.

2. Reduce Cart Abandonment

Each year, cart abandoners cause businesses to lose a significant amount of money in sales. Targeting these abandoners with an exit intent popup can drastically reduce shopping cart abandonments, boost conversions, and recapture lost revenue.

It can be beneficial to differentiate between checkout abandonment and cart abandonment while creating a popup for abandoners. Customers that added a product to their cart but have not yet proceeded to checkout can be targeted with an exit popup showcasing personalized recommendations or an incentive to sign up to your newsletter.

Customers who’ve already begun the checkout process can be targeted with free shipping, limited-time discounts, free returns, money back guarantees, etc.

3. Generate Leads

Gettings leads through exit intent popups can be surprisingly easy. The idea here is to offer something of value in exchange for something small and quick: the user’s email. There are several approaches you can take to get subscriptions: discounts, newsletters, and gated content are 3 amazing things to offer.

Offer Discounts

Offering first-time visitors a discount upon email subscription is a great way to reduce hesitation, establish a relationship, and encourage further involvement within your website.

As you’re obtaining a warm lead for retargeting, you can pretty much afford to make the discount offer a little steeper than usual. Make sure not to offer this sort of option too often as users will get used to it and move to leave the site just to get a discount.


Asking your visitors to sign up for a newsletter with a popup indicates they’re already interested in your product and offering and are loyal to your company to some extent. You can target these at frequent shoppers who’ve arrived from different social media platforms.

Promote Gated Content

Providing valuable information in exchange for a user’s email is an effective way to introduce them to your most useful content. Case studies and Ebooks are both fair game. Webinars and courses can be useful as you can deliver them step-by-step to keep your customers coming back for more.

With gated content, instead of having a single form field and CTA, provide a lead-generation form with a few fields filled entirely before the content can be downloaded.

Remember to keep your forms as simple as possible: 3-5 fields is the sweet spot.

4. Cross-sell and Upsell

Exit pop up images or messages present a unique approach to cross-sell and upsell. Businesses can also take advantage by recommending pages, products, or information that visitors are already interested in.


Showcase products similar to the products that your visitors have shown interest in, and doing so will allow you to introduce shoppers to items they previously didn’t notice and drive them to explore further.

Pages and Information

Display a list of related pages from your site that visitors have already interacted with. If your exit popup is on a blog post, for instance, display a list of relevant posts that they’ve read through or commented on.

5. Reduce Bounce Rate on Your Landing Pages

There has been pushback to incorporating exit popups on landing pages as the goal of a landing page is kind of the same—to focus visitors on one offer and make it easier for them to come to a decision.

However, including exit intent popups on landing pages has shown value and can help highlight what you’re trying to promote on the page. If your page is selling flights, for instance, offering booking support and assistance in your overlay will help sway the mindset of indecisive consumers.

Another effective strategy is to find the most relevant advantage on your landing page and reshowcase it on the exit popup. Most landing pages highlight several benefits that entice users in a particular target market to convert.

Reframing the most crucial benefit from your landing page with embedded statistics will help validate your offering and appeal the user to revisit their choices.

Wrapping Up

Exit intent technology is an incredibly effective way to increase conversions, leads, and regain lost revenue. If done right, exit intent popups will appeal to many user segments in different contexts.

No matter your objective, it’s crucial to remember that your goal should never be to force a prospect into taking an unwanted action. Exit popups should entice the user to make one simple decision effortlessly.

Keep in mind that the only way you can produce the most effective exit intent popup messages is via constant analysis, testing, and using data to achieve a better understanding of your customer base.

Your Ultimate Guide to Using Exit Intent to Skyrocket Sales
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