The 42 best exit popup tips and tricks

Exit popups (also known as exit overlays or exit intent popups) are a very versatile marketing tool, with lot of small details and uses cases you should be aware of to fully exploit them. To help you get the most out of your popups I’ve compiled a list of 42 tips and tricks – read, learn and enjoy!

1. Use exit popups for list building

Bitninja’s email popup.

Nowadays every business should have an email list, as email marketing is still the most popular form of online marketing. Gathering the email addresses using a popup is a great choice, because it costs next to none, and has a really low barrier. Later on you can address these visitors using emails or drip marketing, and you can even raise the conversions goals higher. People abandon websites all the time, so gathering their email addresses will yield a nice large email list.

2. Redirect traffic to other content with a popup

Timesulin’s popup with simple links.

After email list building, the most common usage of exit popups is to redirect traffic on your own site. By showing something more interesting to your bored readers, they will get a second chance to convert. For example if you have an ecommerce site, you can use this to show your exiting customers alternative offers. For a content site you can use it to promote your whitepapers, ebooks, etc…

3. Alway test your copy

To achieve optimum popup performance you should always test your popup copy. Continuous testing will slowly raise your popup’s conversion ratio and thus the ROI from your exit popup. For testing to work you should select an exit-popup solution which actually supports A/B testing!

4. Exit popup speed counts.

Your exit popups should appear as fast as possible on your website, as little time is left when the visitors starts moving the mouse towards the close button – so even small performance differences can matter. To make your popup appear so fast the exit popup software should be able to preload the popup contents way before it becomes necessary as realtime loading just does not work. Also, sliding in, or fading effects look cool but with exit popups you’ll want to show the content to the visitor as fast as possible, so do not use these.  Such animations can work well for time-delayed or scroll sensitive popups though.

5. Use exit overlays for post-purchase surveys

Exit overlays are a great tool to run all kind of surveys, post purchase surveys being one of them. Using a popup for such a survey works better than asking your customers in an email because by the time they check their email they have already forgotten the experience. So just create an overlay with the survey questions (for example ask them to rate your checkout experience, webshop contents, pricing and buying experience) and you’ll know what you should improve right away.

6. Test single opt-in and double opt-in email list subscriptions.

When your visitor signs up for your newsletter you have the option to use single opt-in or double opt-in sign-up. With single opt-in the visitor is signed up for your newsletter as soon as he/she presses the submit button on the form. With double opt-in your visitor will get another email asking him/her to confirm the signup.

Single opt-in will grow your email list much faster however the quality will be lower, and you will have to pay more to your email marketing provider for the larger list. Other cons include:
#1. Email marketing providers do not like this solution as it’s harder to prove that the visitor actually wanted to sign up.
#2. Engagement will be lower as subscribers will be less qualified.

In the end both of these can work well, so you should test both single opt-in and double opt-in sign-up and stay with the one which performs better.

7. Use exit popups to push your users to complete their profile data

Profile data is a very useful asset as you can use it to better target your customers. Exit popups are great to remind your user to finish setting up their profiles; make sure you personalize the message based on what is already in the profile. So do not use a generic message, and do not ask for data you already have.

8. Set up your first popup ASAP

Setting up exit popups is easy, most software will guide you through the first steps and your popup will be ready in minute – there is just no point in putting it off. So sign up with a popup provider and create your first popup as soon as possible! Make popup-building and popup-tuning a habit.

9. Use exit popups to promote your best offers.

Promoting offers is easy with popups.

Landing pages for your campaigns are probably not set up for direct conversions, but are a significant step in your funnel. So your visitors get pushed towards the desired goal, but they might exit before converting. Exit popups can target these visitors and address them with a simpler or more compelling offer, thus lowering your losses.

10. Use exit survey to ask your visitors why they abandoned their carts

Cart abandonment is at all time high, with up to 70% of visitors abandon their carts. To get to the bottom of the issue set up a popup survey which asks your customers the reason for the abandonment: Were the prices too high? Did he/she get a better deal? Does  he/she plan to save the cart for later? This will help you tune your message and address the objections on your checkout page.

11. Figure out the what your readers want before creating the popup.

To get most out of your pops you should give your users what they want, otherwise the popup’s conversion rate will be low. Google Analytics is a great tool to get to the bottom of your reader’s desires, check what they read most often, which articles they visited, what content they downloaded.

Your message should be tuned to these new findings and should be clear, concise, and should convey value. For example spell out clearly to your users what they will get and why it’s good for them if they give you their email address.

12. Personalize the message

Personalize the message on your popup and tune it to your visitor’s needs. For example if your visitor entered your site through an ad for black shoes your popup should have a coupon for black shoes.  In effect your popups should be targeted just as your PPC campaigns are targeted. Fall back to the universal message only if you know nothing about your visitor – this will ensure high conversion ratios.

13. Offer help in your popup to reduce cart abandonment

To reduce your cart abandonment rate create an exit popup for the checkout page, which offers help to your customers. A popup with a support phone number or a live chat widget can work wonders in this case.

14. Optimize and track your popups

Optimizing and tracking your popup’s performance is crucial to get the desired results. By tracking the performance of the popups you will be able to home in on different parameters which make or break conversions. For example delaying the popups can be good even if your visitor seems to exit – maybe he/she loaded the website in a new tab and just switched back for a moment before reading your copy. With proper tracking you will be able to pinpoint these nuances and make the popups work even better for you.

15. Keep your exit overlays simple

Simplicity is key to popup effectiveness.

One of the most important rules for popups is to keep them simple. Remember, popups should communicate their value in a fraction of a second and over-complicating them will surely lower the conversions. So keep them simple down to a large tagline, sub-headline, and an image.

16. Show the closing X only after a delay

Show the close button only after a small delay.

Website visitors are already experiencing popup-fatigue, that is they close the popups even before they would read them. So delay the appearance of the closing button. This will increase your conversions – it’s a simple and reliable tactic which works almost always.

17. Choose the right trigger for your popup.

Different triggers are good in different situations, so select the one most appropriate for your content, reader and offer. If you your popup triggers too early you will disrupt your visitors’ experience. If it triggers too late your visitors just won’t see it. Test out which works for you:
1. Show the popup on entry.
2. Show the popup on exit towards the top of the window.
3. Show the popup when the mouse exits the window in any direction.
4. Show the popup after a number of pageviews.
5. Show the popup based on scrolling.
6. Show the popup based on time spent on your website.

The most important is of course to test out which works for you.

18. Use popups to increase your PPC quality score

PPC quality score is important as advertisers use it to rank your ads and calculate your cost-per-click. Exit overlays can be used effectively to increase your PPC quality score, namely the time spent on your site, your site’s bounce rate, and the number of pages visited. Consequently exit popups increase the ROI you get from your PPC campaigns.

19. Use exit popups to target customers earlier in the purchase cycle

Freebies are great for early-stage shoppers.

A reader visiting your web page is highly unlikely to buy right away. Your visitors can be in any stage of the buying process – probably in an earlier stage you would like them to be. So how can you communicate with the different type of visitors all at once?
The answer is simple: use your landing page for visitors in the advanced stages and exit popups for visitors in the earlier stages, for example offer them a free white paper for their email address. This way visitors in the earlier stages will be pushed towards a smaller goal which is more likely to work.

20. Use your exit popups to generate leads

Free calculators like this from Gr8stoves is a nice tool for lead generation.

Generating leads for your website is almost like the list building advice earlier however there are subtle differences. Depending on your visitors generating a lead must not be as hard as starting a full-blown drip email campaign. Sometimes simple, down-to-earth offers can work wonders: offering free advice, or free quotes could be enough to get the lead. These tactics have long been used in traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

This kind of offer is a great match for repeat visitors, organic- or social-media-traffic. Placing such a popup on a low-converting page will save some of your visitors if your offer is compelling enough.

Having a complex product or checkout process is another situation when this kind of offer works great as you can use it to help your customers through the process.

The example above from Gr8stoves uses a free calculator to help their visitors decide.

21. Show decreasing inventory to increase conversion ratio

Urgency and decreasing inventory will increase your conversion ratio, just do not overdo it.

If your visitor has already seen the page he/she is on right now, engage them by showing a gradually decreasing inventory. This way your visitors will be more likely to buy due to the increasing pressure. Using other forms of urgency can work well too. However if you overdo it you will come across being unauthentic, so avoid that.

22. Use popups for cross/up sells

Target your repeat visitors (who are likely to be satisfied)  with exit popups for related items and offer them a discount to earn loyalty. This will pay back in the long run.

23. Reuse your under-performing copy variants to start fast

You probably still have older, not so well  performing headlines and taglines from your landing pages. Reuse these as your popup copy for a quick start, and iterate for even better performance. This way you can start fast with a copy of known quality.

24. Provide yes/no options

Yes/No options displayed prominently on DigitalMarketer’s popup.

Providing your customers with yes/no options instead of a simple opt-in is likely to increase your conversion rates by 30-40%. To make it work so well use the reverse of the call to action to spell out the consequences of pressing the no button: “No, I do not want to receive free offers in email.”

25. Remove distracting elements

Test  removing any distracting elements from your popup, and try to simplify it down to the bare minimum. This strategy works well because popups are a low-latency marketing tool, and must convey the message in a minimum amount of time. A complex message can create confusion, thereby lowering the conversion rate.

26. Use delayed popups on your checkout page

If your customer is spending a lot of time on the checkout page he/she might have second thoughts about the purchase. So show them a popup and offer them help to finish the process. You can show quick surveys in the popup too to gather more information on the cause of the delay.

27. Rescue the abandoned carts using a discount

Rescuing the cart can’t get any simpler. Use the customer’s email to make up for the losses.

Set up a popup showing a discount code on your checkout page so should a customer try exit without finishing the purchase, you can immediately retarget him/her with a better offer. Just make sure you are not making a loss with the new, lower price (or that you will be able to make up for the losses later). It’s a great tactic for first-time visitors and PPC traffic.

28. Offer discounted shipping in your checkout-popup

Free shipping is a must nowadays, if you can’t offer free shipping you should expect above-average shopping cart abandonment. There is a way to lower your losses though: set up an exit popup offering discount shipping on your checkout page and product pages. You may want to combine this tactic with asking for the customer’s email address.

29. Use a time-delayed popup to supercharge your social media influence

Quicksprout’s simple popup asking for facebook likes. The more likes you have the better it works.

To get your visitors to like your page or follow you, show them a time-delayed popup which embeds the social widget and pushes them towards liking your page or following you. Using a delay (or targeting returning customers) is crucial to only show the overlay to your engaged visitors.

30. Gently guide your visitors to increase conversions

GetRooster’s email-asking popup. Visitors just can’t miss it.

Gently guide your visitors by filling in the popup input boxes with the desired data; for example your email fields should show “Enter your email here” when empty. Such guides will resolve any confusion and will help your customers with the sign-up process. Using fields like this is a great idea pretty much everywhere, not just in your popups.

31. Segment your visitors by their behavior, and target them accordingly

Segmenting your visitors and optimizing the popups one-by-one for each segment is a great way to increase your conversion ratios. At the bare minimum, the segments you should use are:
1. First buyers vs returning customers.
2. Visitors just browsing vs visitors with products in their carts.
3. Visitors who are registered vs visitors who are not.
4. Finally, visitors who are already subscribed to your email campaign vs. those who are not.

Just try to think through what kind of segments make sense for your products. You can also try location based segmenting (using GeoIP) and mobile vs desktop browser based segmenting.

32. Show popups to repeat buyers to ask for reviews

Having product reviews on your website is great to increase your sales volume. Do not be shy, show the negative reviews too! To get more reviews simply show a popup asking to review the previous purchases of the returning customers. Remember, people love to give feedback as it makes them feel important.
Source: 17 Tips, Tricks And Growth Hacks To Sky-rocket Your Conversions Using…

33. Use responsive popups

With mobile devices getting more and more commonplace using responsive popups is a must nowadays. The basics for responsive popups are simple: make them scale with the screen size. But do not concentrate on small screens only! Desktop computer screen resolution is growing year after year so make sure your popup looks nice on huge screens too. This is a low-hanging fruit, so go for it ASAP!

34. Use popups to get ratings for your new website design

When A/B testing your new website design show a popup for the visitors on the new page asking for their feedback. Ask them to rate the new website in terms of website speed, navigation, design, content, etc. Use this feedback to further improve your new design.

35. Offer bookmarking your site in the exit popup

Help your visitors get back to you by offering them to bookmark your site. Use a small javascript snippet to automatically add the bookmark on the press of a button. As a bonus this will reduce your PPC and SEO expenses too!

36. Take care of the user experience

Tweak your popup settings to improve the popup’s user experience; tune your popup copy to the expectation of the user. For example, a popup which gets triggered when the user slowly scrolls to the bottom should have different content to the exit-popup – in the first case your reader is probably satisfied, and wants more from the same content, while in the second case the content just was not good enough. Do not show popups targeted at first time customers to your registered users!

37. Retarget your returning customers with abandoned carts

If your customer started a purchase but failed to finish it, retarget them with a popup next time they enter your site. If your visitor still fails to finish the purchase, offer them a discount. It’s a really simple and effective way to increase your sales volume.

38. Retarget your less-wanted segments with a popup

Capturing readers with a PPC campaign will always bring some unwanted low-converting segments with them. These segments are usually too small to target them with a full blown PPC campaign and a landing page, and may slip through even if you use negative keywords. Instead of fighting them try to get value out of them by setting up a popup targeting them with a specialized offer.

39. Match your popup to your pages’ opportunities

Think through which pages should benefit most of an exit overlay and go for the low hanging fruits first. – there is just no point in desiging a popup for a low-volume, low-value page. So place your popup on pages which already have high traffic and are high value – his will help you get the most out of your efforts. Website analytics is a must for this: use Google Analytics or a competing product to find your highest traffic pages. Next find out which of these pages are high value and show offers which are relevant on those pages.

40. Use exit popups to bridge the gaps in your funnel (also known as traffic shaping)

Topbet’s popup bridging the landing page and the signup page.

Your website probably has high traffic entry pages and high converting checkout or signup pages. But no matter how well tuned your funnel is some percentage of your visitors will surely fall through the cracks, and leave without ever visiting your high-converting pages. To address this issue use an exit-popup on the high traffic page which links to your high converting page. To sweeten the deal and increase conversions use a coupon or a discount on the popup.This tactic is great because you do not need any additional content, just what you already have on your website!

This technique is a great match for low-converting traffic, for example social media.

41. Use tools which are easy to manage

You use exit intent popups to get results, so do not over-complicate your life. Test-drive multiple tools and select one that is easy to use. The best software will be easy to get started (and get results) with while providing lots of customization options for the advanced user. The size of the template library is crucial too, however after a certain size things do not get better. Make sure changing the popups is simple as you will not want to spend too much time tweaking your overlays.

42. Find the best software that suits you

Exit overlay solutions come in all shapes and sizes and choosing between them can be hard, particularly if you have not used such software before. Here is what features you should be looking for when shopping around for an exit overlay solution:

1. The solution should have a nice template library. A too large library is not a plus however as you’ll probably just get lost in it.
2. The software should be user-friendly, you should be able to get your first popup up and running in a matter of minutes.
3. Rich set of customization options: sooner or later you will want to customize your popups and their behavior. The software should support this too otherwise you’ll have to switch providers along the way.
4. You should be able to customize your templates with a built-in editor.
5. A/B testing support is a must.
6. URL based filtering is a must too to bind a popup to a set of pages.
7. Exit intent sensitivity should be high to catch exiting users as fast as possible.
8. The provider should preload the popups in the visitor’s browser, otherwise the popup will be slow loading and jerky.
9. SSL support is a must, sooner or later you’ll probably want to migrate your website to SSL.
10. Scroll, click, and delay based activation should be supported.
11. The software should support thank you pages.
12. Popups with videos should be supported.
13. Support for popup targeting and personalization is good to have.
14. Showing the popup when mouse leaves your website is a great feature to have.
15. Clear and easy to understand analytics are a must.
16. Email integration should support both double and single opt-in.
17. Custom HTML-forms should be supported.
18. The popups should be responsive to look good on small mobile- and huge desktop-screens too.
19. Animated effects are nice to have though not crucial.
20. Custom cookie support.
21. Footer opt-in tool is nice to have.
22. A content locker is nice to have though not crucial.

To build a low-maintenance and fully automatic system, the overlay provider should have a rich set of integrations:
1. For email marketing: Aweber, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, GetResponse, iContact, Mad Mimi, MailChimp, Mailpoet.
2. Infusionsoft for business automation.
3. Zapier for integration with even more software.

17 Tips, Tricks And Growth Hacks To Sky-rocket Your Conversions Using On-site Overlays – great stuff.
7 Little Known Ways To Get More Out of Your Conversions from Your Exit-Intent Popups – great stuff, simple yet very effective tips.
7 Tips To Boost Your PPC Campaigns Using Onsite Retargeting
7 Best Practices for Your Exit-Intent Popovers and Popups
7 Ways You Can Increase Your Email Opt-ins and Get More Subscribers
The 19 Best Ways to Use Exit Overlays (Pop-ups)
5 Ways Exit Overlays Can Supercharge Your PPC Campaigns
7 Tips to Maximize The Effectiveness of Exit Intent Popups
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Overlays – this one is a bit hard to read, only read it if you are done with the others.

Just have to love the number 7 ;-)

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