KickoffLabs Blog:

How to Craft a More Compelling Exit Intent Pop-Up

By Josh Ledgard

Nov 28th, 2016


Everyone says that they hate pop-ups, but for some reason, pop-ups everywhere. I wonder why…

Oh, I know the reason. It’s because they work! Pop-ups, especially of the exit intent variety, drive conversions. They have the power to stop someone in their tracks and make them reconsider.

That’s why you can’t just phone it in with a “hey, sign up for my newsletter before you go” type of pop-up. Your newsletter, as lovely as it may be, is definitely not going to wow someone when they have their eye on the exit door.

When people are getting ready to leave, hit ‘em with your best shot.


Image Courtesy of Imgur

You’ve got to make a grandstand and borrow tactics from the last scene of every cheesy 80s movie you’ve ever seen. It’s boombox serenade time.


Image Courtesy of College Humor

So, without further adieu, let’s get into what exit intent pop-ups are and how to create the best darn one you’ve ever seen.

Here’s a list of best practices for exit intent pop-ups.

What are Exit Intent Pop-Ups?

Put simply, an exit intent pop-up is a small window (pop-up) that only shows up when the site visitor makes a move to leave the page.

It may seem like magic or voodoo, but it’s really just javascript.

As the user’s mouse scrolls up the page, an exit intent pop-up is triggered.

Exit intent pop-ups are like hail marys. If you’re not familiar with American football, it’s that last ditch effort to score. It’s an act of total and complete desperation that actually works a lot better on websites than on the football field.

Statistics show that up to 15% of would-be lost visitors can be converted into email subscribers using exit intent pop-ups.

Exit intent pop-ups are the last chance you have to convert a visitor into a relationship with you. Click To Tweet

Exit intent pop-ups are usually the last chance you have to convert a visitor into a lasting relationship with you.

Start with These Copywriting Principles


Image Courtesy of Giphy

Since the exit intent pop-up is definitely a last chance plea, you have  to capture their attention quickly. But that’s not all. You also need to convince them that they need whatever you’re promoting.

You’ll do that with excellent copywriting.

But you don’t have to be a world class copywriter. All you need to do is follow these principles:

Get to the point quickly.

You have milliseconds to make them stop and notice. Don’t ramble.

Lead with the benefits.

Show them why they should care. Don’t list features. Connect the dots.

Use easy to understand language.

Write in a way that the average 3rd grader can understand. Be casual.

Involve the reader.

Refer to the reader and use the pronouns “you”, “me”, and “I” as much as possible. For example: “Would you like this free ebook?” And your call to action may be “Yes, I want to download my free eBook”.

Focus on the call to action.

Tell them what to do next. Don’t make them guess. Also, consider adding a yes or_ no_ option, instead of just one call to action. People will often pause before clicking no, especially if you find a way to reiterate the benefit, i.e. “No, I don’t want the free training course”.

Have Multiple Pop-Ups

A generic exit pop-up is no bueno. You need a specific exit intent pop-up for every area of your site.

Your pop-up offer should reflect where the visitor is. For example, are they leaving your blog? You may need a special offer here like, “Sign up for my exclusive ecourse” (on a topic related to the blog).

If they are leaving your services page, you can offer a free consultation, a promo code for a percentage off or a free gift.

And, finally, if they’re leaving your main page, consider promoting a contest that you’re currently running. It’ll give you an opportunity to get their email address and market to them in the future.

Tease Your Best Content

I love giving away some type of resource, whether that’s a step-by-step guide, a workbook or a cheat sheet.

However, you don’t have to use a downloadable resource as your lead magnet. You can also promote your best content.

Do you have a blog? Instead of relying completely on your sidebar to promote your best content, consider promoting it as part of your exit intent strategy. This works great for people who’ve already visited your blog before and you don’t want to give them the same ‘ole offer.

Use social proof to promote your content. For example, “check out the post on (insert subject) that’s gone viral on social media.”

Or, you can also create a landing page that contains all of your best content and direct the visitor there. This would kinda be like your “start here” page with your best of posts.

So, why does this work?

It works because most visitors have no idea about your other content. They land on one page, or post, and once they read what they want, they leave. They won’t be familiar with your other superstar posts, and so it’s your job to promote it to them.

Make It Visually Compelling

There are a lot of fabulous ways to add interest to your exit intent pop-up, like the  colors that you choose. If you go with a plain text pop-up, you’ll want to choose colors that pop off of the scene. I recommend “red” for excitement or “blue” for trust.

We discuss this in greater detail on this post: Your Guide to Creating an Epic Call to Action.

If you choose a fullscreen exit intent layout, you’ll definitely want to capture their interest with a compelling photo. Choose a photo that evokes emotion. A good go-to is a photo of someone smiling. It sends the message that your lead magnet equals happiness.

Also, consider using a mockup of your lead magnet (even if it’s a completely digital product) to immediately show value.

Maximize Product Checkout Pages

Shopping cart abandonment is a big deal. If you’re in ecommerce, you probably already know this. Depending on your industry, you may have a cart abandonment rate of up to 75%. Yikes.

So, you definitely need an exit intent pop-up on your checkout pages. It wouldn’t rescue every abandoned cart, but it can convince some customers to complete the purchase.

Here’s why:

The number one reason why shoppers abandon their online carts is due to unexpected costs. Perhaps that’s shipping, maybe it’s tax.

But, imagine a world where you could say, “You know what? I like you. I’m going to give you free shipping on this order if you enter this promo code.” I bet that a lot of people would reconsider.

Actually, it’s a well tested formula for success.

If you want to decrease shopping cart abandonment, offer the shopper an incentive to complete the purchase. That can be in the form of free shipping or a percentage off of the total cost.

To learn more about shopping cart abandonment and how to use email to rescue those carts, check out these posts:

  • 8 Easy Email Strategies to Sell Like A Boss
  • 7 Automated Emails You Should Always Send
  • Commit to A/B Testing

    A/B testing is a must when it comes to all things, but it’s especially important with exit intent pop-ups. You have  to find out what works (and what doesn’t work) so you can move forward and convert even more exit-bound visitors.

    Test everything including:

  • Lead offer
  • Headline copy  
  • Body copy
  • Call to action copy
  • Color of pop-up
  • Color of call to action button(s)
  • Font type used for heading
  • Font type used for body
  • Size of font
  • Color of font
  • Images on your pop-up
  • Don’t get married to one particular pop-up. Even if a pop-up is performing well, maybe there’s some small tweak you can do (such as changing font colors) that can make it even more effective.

    Be Mindful of Your Current Subscribers

    Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget about people who’ve already subscribed. It’s pretty tacky to show exit intent pop-ups to people who’ve already signed up. It makes you seem out of touch. And, it looks like you sorta don’t know what you’re doing.

    So, make sure that you’re configured your pop-up to recognize repeat visitors. You can do that and more with our bounce exit intent widget.

    Are You Ready to Rock Your Own World?


    Image Courtesy of Imgur

    You can build your own exit intent pop-up with us! Don’t be shy. It’s free to get started, with no credit card required. So, sign up here and craft an amazing exit intent pop-up your audience won’t be able to ignore!

    Don’t forget to download this list of exit intent pop-ups!

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