Monica Badiu, Email Copywriter & Copy Coach

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You’ve worked hard to create a well-designed website, so that you can draw in potential clients. But, are people actually sticking around? It’s possible that your site is not as effective as it could be at converting visitors into customers. Here is one growth hack to help increase the likelihood of keeping your audience on your site, and hopefully encouraging them to take action.

You’ve probably heard of exit intent popups, but do you know how they work? How can you use them to increase conversions on your website and improve lead generation? This blog post will give you a better idea about what these are and how to leverage their power for conversion.

What is an exit intent popup

This is a popup overlay that is displayed only when visitors show an intent to leave your website. It aims to give your website visitor another reason (or reminder) to sign up for your email list, continue their purchase, or perform some other conversion in your funnel.

What to use them for

Visitor abandonment is a serious issue. Those visitors are now lost revenue opportunities for you, and they will likely never return to your site if you don’t catch them before they leave.

While the most common use of an exit intent popup is to prevent visitors from leaving your website without giving you their email address, there are plenty of very specific cases when this feature will help you do more than just have someone jump on your email list.

You can use them for:

  1. lead generation – offer discounts, guides, ebooks, whitepapers, freebies

  2. recover abandoned carts – this is a great feature for ecommerce websites, where cart abandonment is about 70 percent. When used at this stage you can give your visitor a discount or free shipping to get them to complete their order on the spot

  3. redirect traffic to other pages or landing pages – you can cross-promote useful content that walks the visitor to the next stage of the funnel

  4. increase average order value – recommend related products that clients could add to their carts

  5. collect information – serve users with an invite to join a survey or a quiz so you can learn more about your audience

  6. build up your social following – ask visitors to follow you on social media, that way you can still keep in touch with them

Some exit intent popup examples

Ryan Robinson converted 6x more website visitors into email subscribers by creating a simple exit-intent optin using Optinmonster.

Ryan Robinson converted 6x more website visitors into email subscribers by creating a simple exit-intent optin using Optinmonster.

Neil Strauss uses this exit popup to promote his membership, it increased increased conversions by 125% (via Optinmonster)

Neil Strauss uses this exit popup to promote his membership, it increased increased conversions by 125% (via Optinmonster)

Example of an exit intent popup used to recovered abandoned carts

Example of an exit intent popup used to recovered abandoned carts

Example of exit intent popup used to incentivize order completion

Example of exit intent popup used to incentivize order completion

Mobile exit-intent popup created with Optinmonster

Mobile exit-intent popup created with Optinmonster

Does it work?

Even though popups have a tendency to become annoying, when used correctly, exit intent popups can actually increase your conversions.

Here are some stats to consider before you dismiss this strategy for increasing your email sign up rate:

  • Fastrack uses exit intent popups to recover abandoning visitors who have started but not yet completed booking a hotel room. They recovered 53% of abandoning visitors! (Blog Optinmonster)

  • Blogger Nikki McGonigal implemented an exit intent popup lightbox are it recorded a 5.5% subscription rate, a 1,375% increase in sign ups (Blog Aweber)

  • “10 to 15 percent of lost visitors can be ‘saved’ by using exit-intent popups. In other words, between 10 [and] 15 percent of visitors leaving your site will respond to a well-crafted message.” (Conversion Sciences)

  • Simple, discount based exit intent popups can convert anywhere between 3 to 5% on an average content or ecommerce site (OptiMonk).

What is Exit-Intent and Why it Works

According to “Exit-intent® technology is behavioral technology that tracks and monitors movements of website visitors and detects when they’re going to leave your site without making a purchase or leaving their information. It’s designed to reduce cart abandonment and capture more leads.”

Simply said, when using exit-intent popups, the software triggers based on your visitors’ behavior.

The software tracks visitor’s mouse movements, and when the cursor moves outside the upper page boundary (because the tab bar is usually there), a popup window is shown.

Exit intent popups work because:

  • they do not disturb the user experience, and if done properly, they can enhance the overall user experience on a website

  • they are not as restrictive as conventional popups, since they do not freeze the page, open new tabs etc

  • they trigger and convey surprise at a moment when the user is just about to leave forever.

Exit intent popups are an effective means of boosting conversions. When done properly, they help you seize the opportunity to capitalize on someone who is about to leave your site without converting.

The best way to set up this type of popup is by using the right timing, wording, and placement so as not to annoy visitors but also get them in front of it before they think better and close out their browser window.

Remember: Exit intent popups are more effective than other types because they’re much less disruptive for those visiting your website while simultaneously being able to be highly targeted based on what pages have been visited within your site.

How to make an exit-intent popup

There are various tools you can use to create exit-intent popups. The tool I’ve been using for more than 5 years, which works on everything I’ve tested so far (WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace) is

They have multiple ways of interacting with your website users based on their behavior. For instance, apart from their exit-intent technology, you can also benefit from their InactivitySensor, Scroll Trigger and Timed Display Control to customize your visitors experience on your website. In return, you will see higher sign up and conversion rates.

This tool has an easy to use drag and drop editor, plenty of templates to choose from (75+), a multiple form types (popups, floating bars, fullscreen overlays, slide-ins, click to pop, slide-ins), countdowns, and plenty of behavior based triggers and segmentation, so you can show the right thing to the right people at the exact right time to skyrocket your website conversions.

It’s also very easy to install, you will need to add custom Javascript in the body of your website’s pages BUT you do not need any coding skills to use this tool. It works with nearly every website platform on the internet, and they integrate with every major email marketing service. The only requirement is that you must have a website where you can add custom JavaScript in the body of your website’s pages.

Check it out here:


Here are the steps to create an exit-intent popup with

  1. Navigate to the Display Rules tab in the campaign builder.

  2. Add a rule to your ruleset and choose exit detected from the dropdown.

  3. Select the device you’d like to target. The default is desktop devices only.

  4. Choose an exit-intent sensitivity for your campaign.

  5. Save.

How do exit intent pop ups work on mobile

But how about mobile? How will the software know when a mobile user expresses exit intent? On mobile, an exit intent popup can be triggered when the users hits the back button on their mobile browser or when they scroll up on their screen.

Exit-intent popups work because people don’t want time wasted on websites that don’t offer anything in return. They’re easy to set up and have been shown to increase conversion rates by an average of 11%.

Why should you use an exit-intent popup?

1) Makes sure that every customer leaves satisfied with their experience on your website so they’ll be more likely come back again in the future

2) Reduces the number of visitors who abandon cart without buying

3) Saves time and money spent trying other marketing strategies

Businesses in just about every industry can make use of exit popups to increase their sign up rate and reduce the rate of their abandoned checkout carts. If you’re feeling lost as to how you can integrate this growth hack to grow your business, let’s talk. Book a discovery call, here.

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About the Author

Monica Badiu is an email copywriter and copy coach. She specializes in sales copywriting for online course creators who want to send emails that speak to their ideal customer and generate conversions without using fearmongering or pressure. She’s made clients over $3 million in 2023.

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