When to Use an Exit Intent Popup (and When Not To)

Are you sick and tired of the low conversion rates? Do you wish there was a better way to convert your website visitors into paying customers? Well, with exit intent popups you can significantly improve your conversion rate and increase your revenue.

However, it’s crucial that you know when to use an exit intent popup and when not to.

What Is an Exit Intent Popup?

An exit intent popup utilizes exit intent technology to show a popup right as the website visitor begins to leave.

The exit intent technology is able to recognize the moment a website visitor is about to leave through mouse clicks, movements and other forms of smart technology. Due to this, you can implement exit intent popups in order to give website visitors one last appeal option before they leave your website for good. 

The Main Goal of Exit Intent Popups

In order to understand the best time to use an exit intent popup, look at examples of exit intent popups.

While it would be great if there were one universal answer, the answer to this question is dependent upon the type of website you have.

If you are running a personal blog for the sole intent of providing your viewers with a fun look inside your life, then your main goal should be to draw as many viewers as you possibly can to your blog, which includes repeat visitors. By doing so, you may be able to draw enough monthly traffic to enable ads on your website, thus leading to an additional revenue stream.

If you own and operate an affiliate marketing or eCommerce website, then your main goal will more than likely be to convert website visitors into paying customers.

When to Use an Exit Intent Popup 

In order to get the most out of exit intent popups, it’s important to have a good understanding of exactly when and how you should implement them.

If you are able to properly implement exit intent popups at the right moments, you can turn website visitors, who would normally leave your site and never return, into future customers.

Here’s three of the best times to use an exit intent popup:

When The Website Visitor Reaches The End of a Page 

One of the most opportune times to show an exit intent popup to a website visitor is after they have reached the end of an article or webpage.

In many cases, website visitors will come to your site through organic search with the intent of gaining knowledge and not purchasing a product or service. However, if you are able to gather their contact information before they leave, you can retarget them at a time where they are more prone to purchase from you.

Therefore, by applying an exit intent popup at the end of a blog article or webpage, you can have the website visitor subscribe to your newsletter, receive a discount code on a product or service, or gain a free resource that they can look back on later.

When The Website Visitor Clicks Out of Their Cart 

Also known as an abandoned cart, when a potential customer adds items to their cart and starts the process of paying but then leaves their cart without purchasing, you are presented with a prime opportunity to give them one last urge to finish the checkout process before they leave your website.

Now, when exactly should the exit intent popup occur? I believe there are two answers to this question.

  • When a potential customer clicks out of their cart and onto another webpage on your site.
  • When a potential customer doesn’t move their cursor for an extended period of time.

When a potential customer clicks out of their cart and onto another webpage, this is a great opportunity to send them a friendly reminder of the items they currently have in their cart. Oftentimes, they plan on returning but simply forget to do so.

Also, if a website visitor doesn’t move their mouse cursor for, let’s say, five minutes, then they probably have walked away from their computer. By implementing an exit intent popup, they will have a friendly reminder to finish the checkout process when they return.

After They Visit Other Websites 

Have you ever shopped for a product or service online and, without even realizing it, had your tab bar full of different websites? If so, you aren’t the only one. 

This is actually a great opportunity to use an exit intent popup to draw them back in. When the website visitor clicks off of your website and opens another website page, which is actually fairly common, you can draw them back to your website with an exit intent popup.

To be clear, this is different from exiting your site. In this instance, they will still have your website open in their tabs, but they are viewing other websites at the same time.

In this moment, there are a few different ways to use an exit intent popup. One way is by having an exit intent popup display right as they are moving their cursor upwards toward another tab. While it takes some skill and expertise to implement, this strategy can be very successful in converting the potential customer.

Another way to capture the website visitor’s attention is to actually have the popup text displayed in the tab at the top of their screen. A simple “Hey, Come Back!” is sometimes enough to draw their attention back to your website and away from those lousy competitors. 

When Not to Use an Exit Intent Popup 

While a well timed exit intent popup can have a profound impact, a poorly timed exit intent popup can have the opposite effect and actually lead the website visitor away from your website.

Here are two times when you should not use an exit intent popup:

1.While The Website Visitor Is Still Active 

If the website visitor is actively scrolling and clicking on various pages, you should avoid disturbing them with an exit intent popup. By doing so, you run the risk of the website visitor becoming frustrated with the popup and leaving your website as a result.

2.While The Website Visitor Is Still Reading an Article

If the website visitor is in the middle of an article, even if they haven’t moved the cursor in the last few minutes, you should wait until they reach the end of the article to implement an exit intent popup.

Find The Strategy That Works Best for Your Website 

Since every website is different, the proper time to use an exit intent popup will vary. Due to this, it’s important to split test multiple exit intent popups at different times to see which strategy works best for your website in particular.