Exit Intent Popups : The Complete Guide

exit intent pop up

Exit Intent Popups offer an amazing way to prevent visitors from leaving your website, by simply showing a popup with a special offer or opt-in form whenever they show signs of leaving. Exit Intent Popups rely on the art of misdirection and work pretty effectively to retain your website visitors, grow your email list and even increase revenues in many cases. Let’s look at how exit intent popups work and the different types of exit intent popup examples you can use to prevent people from leaving your website.


How to Exit Intent Popups Work?

exit intent popup example

The way exit intent popups work is really simple. Basically, you add an exit intent popup script on your website to track the movement of visitors while they’re browsing your website on their web browser, and trigger a popup when they show signs of leaving your website (using javascript & mouse movement tracking). For example, let’s say a visitor is browsing your website and leaves without performing any key action that is beneficial to your business such as registering, signing up for newsletter, or making a purchase. At that time, you can quickly interrupt him with a popup that provides a single call to action such as an offer or a signup form, that entices him to stay back on your website.

The most important aspect of exit intent popups is the call to action. Visitors leave for various reason (mentioned below) and it’s important to target the right person with the right call to action, to make them stay. Here are some of the most common reasons why visitors leave a website:

  1. They finished reading an article and are about to leave
  2. Your content is not relevant to what they’re looking for or interested in
  3. They could not find the product or service that they were looking for
  4. Your product is expensive for them and they are looking for a discount offer
  5. Your product or service doesn’t do what they’re looking for
  6. Your product is simply unaffordable
  7. They are only researching various products & services in the market, and don’t have any intention to make a purchase at the moment.
  8. They just got distracted by something else and dropped off your site.


Bonus Read: How to Reduce Bounce Rate in Google Analytics to keep visitors on your website


Now let’s look at some of the ways you can use exit intent popups to re-engage your website visitors and persuade them to stay on your site.


How to Use Exit Intent Popups to re-engage visitors


1. Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

One of the most common ways people leave a website is through shopping cart abandonment. If you don’t do anything to stop them from leaving, you’re leaving money on the table. Just when a user is about to leave your website, you can show an exit intent popup with a discount offer, like the one shown below.

exit intent popup for shopping cart abandonment

You can even show such exit intent popups on magento & shopify platforms to reduce shopping cart abandonment.



2. Sales & Promotional Offers

Ecommerce websites have a lot of things going on, on their site, so there’s a good chance that your visitors miss your latest discount offers and promotions. So you can show a sales/special offer popup with an opt-in form to easily draw user attention to the latest promotions on your website. We’ve seen typically 20% of people opt-in for such offers.

exit intent popup for sales promotion



3. Traffic source-specific promotions

Let’s say you get most of your referral traffic from a single website such as Facebook or Pinterest. In that case, you can create special popups that are displayed only to those visitors referred to by those sites. Showing targeted messages is one of the most effective ways to increase opt-ins and build your email list. We’ve seen this type of opt-ins convert up to 65% of users

exit intent popup for traffic source



4. Contest based popups

Just like promotions, people may not be aware about the latest contests running on your website. Using opt-in popups is one of the best ways to let them know about it.

exit intent popup for contests



5. Promotions for Members only

It’s important to take good care of your loyal customers & members of your online communities. to drive repeate business. You can use exit intent popups with opt-in forms to provide exclusive deals & offers for customers and forum members. Make them feel special and they’ll love you for it. Here’s an example of a how Wine Library provides access to special offers to members of Wine Berserker community. It enabled them to partner with a targeted source of traffic (a wine forum) for their business as well as drive revenues.

exit intent popup for exclusive members only promotions



6. For Newsletter Sign ups

This is one of the most common exit intent popup you’ll see on a blog or news site. Just as you finish reading an article or are about to leave their website, you’ll see an opt-in form to subscribe to their newsletter.  A simple exit intent popup asking visitors to sign up for your newsletter can increase opt ins by 2-10%. You can easily show such exit intent popup on your WordPress site to build your email list.

exit intent popup for newsletter sign ups


Bonus Read: Check out our list of Best WordPress Newsletter Plugins and Free Newsletter Email templates to send newsletters to your mailing list.



7. For Event Promotion

You can also use exit intent popups to inform users about the latest events around your business. Let’s say you’re hosting a major conference or a convention, you can use these triggered popups to let people know about your event. Otherwise, just like contests (#4) & promotions (#2), they won’t know about it. Don’t expect people to search for your opt-ins or know about these one-off events about your business. You need to make them obvious.

exit intent popups for event promotions



8. To boost pre-launch sign ups

If you’re launching a new product or service for a business, then you should try to get as many emails as possible, of prospective users and beta testers. It’s important build an email list to successfully launch your product to a wide target audience. You can add an exit intent popup with opt-in form, on your landing page, to capture emails of all those people who are interested in your new product or service. This will help you create a list of targeted users, most of whom will sign up for your product right on day 1.

exit intent popup for pre-launch




Exit Intent Popups are a great way to stop people from leaving your website, and instead, divert them to taking a key action such as signing up, or making a purchase, by offering a special discount offer or promotion. However, the trick is to segment your visitors and customers based on their behavior on your website and provide targeted messages to maximize conversion from each segment. There are plenty of exit intent tools available that allow you to quickly add a triggered popup on your website. Most exit intent popup software allow you to easily target the right audience and customize popups & opt-in forms according to your business branding. They also provide integrations that allow you to show exit intent popups on shopify, magento and wordpress.


What’s you favorite exit intent popup tool?


About Sreeram Sreenivasan

Sreeram Sreenivasan has worked with various Fortune 500 Companies in areas of Business Growth, Sales & Marketing Strategy. He’s the Founder of Ubiq BI, a cloud-based BI Platform for SMBs & Enterprises.