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How to Use Exit Popups to Grow Your Business

How to Use Exit Popups to Grow Your Business (30+ Hacks)

Written By: author image Stacey Corrin
author image Stacey Corrin
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the co-founder of RafflePress. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

Are you looking for an easy way to grow your business? Exit popups are an excellent way to boost your website conversion rate and secure new customers. But what exactly are they, and what’s the best way to use exit popups in your digital marketing strategy?

In this article, we share our best exit popup hacks so you can use them to grab visitors’ attention, reduce abandoned carts, and skyrocket your leads and sales.

What Is an Exit Popup?

Exit-Intent popups are attention-grabbing messages that “pop up” to visitors right when they intend to leave your web page.

Depending on the software you use, exit intent popups work by tracking visitors’ movements and noticing when they’re about to move their cursor over the icon to leave your site. At that point, it displays a lightbox popup overlay with a message designed to convince users to take action.

For example, it might ask users to checkout, claim a special offer or discount code, subscribe to your email newsletter, or visit your online store.

Popups often have a reputation of annoying people. But since those users are leaving your site anyway, there’s no harm in trying to get their attention with an eye-catching signup form before they go.

More importantly, there’s proof that exit popups work. When you use exit popups on your website, you could increase client conversions by 500%, like Medstar Media.

Or, if you look at Fastrack, you could recover 53% of abandoning visitors with an exit lightbox popup.

Simply put, if you’re not using an exit popup, you’re missing out on a ton of potential revenue and lead-generation opportunities.

How Do You Create an Exit-Intent Popup?

The easiest way to create an exit-intent popup is with a popup builder.

OptinMonster popup builder

OptinMonster is the best exit-intent popup builder on the market, with millions of users. It comes with a large library of popup templates, smart targeting features, and extensive customization options.

The software is mobile responsive, meaning it works beautifully on mobile devices, is SEO friendly, and lets you create effortless forms to collect email addresses, phone numbers, and any other information you require.

OptinMonster also offers integrations with popular eCommerce tools like Shopify and WooCommerce, WordPress for bloggers and small businesses, and more.

Follow this step-by-step guide to create an exit popup with OptinMonster.

30+ Exit Popup Hacks to Grow Your Business

Whether you’re creating your very first exit popup or want to try and test something new, here are some excellent exit popup hacks proven to get results.

1. Run a Giveaway

Sometimes you’ll need to give users an incentive to take action. While offering free digital downloads is a common way to collect email addresses, physical goods often have a higher perceived value. So why not use your best exit intent popup to give users a chance to win a physical prize?

For example, you could offer free entry into your prize draw for users who subscribe to your newsletter.

With RafflePress, the best giveaway plugin for WordPress, creating an online contest is super easy. Its drag-and-drop giveaway builder lets you create and design your giveaway in minutes. And with ready-made templates designed to meet your business goals, running a contest to grow your email list is a breeze.

1-click entry actions make it easy for users to enter your giveaway quickly. You can even add other actions like referring a friend to make your contest go viral and earn extra entries for participants.

giveaway entry actions

Plus, you can use exit-intent popups to send targeted abandoning traffic to your giveaway landing page to boost participation, like this exit-intent popup example:

Use exit popups to promote your next online contest

As a result, you can grow your email subscribers and even boost your revenue with giveaways, just like Knives Ship Free did.

2. Personalize Exit Popups With Your Visitor’s Name

It’s also a good idea to personalize your popups, even if it’s for an email marketing campaign. If they’re generic, they won’t stand out, whereas if a popup is speaking directly to you with your name and a unique value proposition, you’re more likely to take notice.

Personalize your exit popups with the users' name

So before you even ask users to buy anything, ask them for their names. Then later, when they’re about to abandon one of your product pages, you can get their attention with a popup with their name on it.

You can get visitors’ names by asking for them when they sign up for your email list, enter your contest, or detect an existing customer.

3. Personalize Your Exit Popup By Referral Source

target your popups based on the referring website

While we’re on the topic of personalization, another way to make your popups seem more friendly is to personalize them based on users’ referral source.

For example, let’s say a visitor got to your page from an article you shared on Facebook, and you want to get the most out of that traffic by personalizing your exit popup for that specific audience.

You can use referrer detection exit intent technology to discover when a visitor is coming from a specific domain. Then you can use that information to customize your exit popup.

You can learn more about OptinMonster’s referrer detection technology in the documentation.

4. Offer Content Upgrades in Exit Popups

You can also target abandoning visitors by presenting them with an upgrade of the content they’re reading.

User content upgrade popups to add value while getting more leads

Content upgrades are more in-depth and valuable versions of a blog post. For instance, if your blog post is about how to run a photo contest, first-time visitors might read the post, want to give it a go, but don’t have the time right now.

When they’re about to close their browser, you can offer them a free PDF of the article or a checklist of the steps they need to follow, which they can do in their own time.

5. Add Relevant Blog Posts to Exit Popups

Regardless of the type of business you run, your website is your online storefront. So the longer people stay on your site, the better. Your main goal might be to simply reduce your bounce rate and have users spend more time on your website.

An excellent way to keep people around is by creating an exit-intent popup for suggesting blog posts related to the one they just finished reading.

Use related blog post popups to keep users on your site for longer

You can keep your visitors interested in relevant content by ensuring your headlines are highly clickable. You can also use high-quality images related to the topic that draws the eye.

If the relevant posts you suggest are appealing, you’re more likely to re-engage with distracted visitors and encourage them to stay longer.

6. Add Choices to Your Exit Popup

Many exit popups don’t offer users what they want, which can alienate a portion of your target market. This is usually because most businesses have different buyer personas who react differently to your offers.

Your popup might offer the best ebook known to man about how to run a photo contest. Still, if a portion of your visitors already knows that, but want to know how to run photo contests on Facebook specifically, then your offer is useless for that audience.

You can get around this issue by letting visitors choose the offer they’re most interested in. Simply create an exit popup with several options to choose from.

Offer users a choice in your popups

Then when users select an option, show them an optin form to get a lead magnet tailored for the topic they want.

7. Add a Progress Bar to Exit Popups

Did you know that people are twice as likely to remember an unfinished task than a finished one? Known as the Zeigarnik Effect, you can use it to encourage visitors to take action by showing them they have an incomplete task.

Many survey forms use this tactic to give users the urge to reach the 100% complete mark, and you can use it in your exit popups. All you have to do is show a progress bar at the top to spur people into opting in.

Add a progress bar to your popups

8. Include Powerful Images in Your Exit Popup

Visual content makes a huge difference in any marketing campaign, and it’s no different for exit popups.

A study about the impact of eCommerce images found that 67% of consumers say the product image is more important when selecting a product to buy than product information, descriptions, and reviews.

Use images in your popups to encourage conversions

So think about how you can use images in your popups to encourage users to take action. For example, if you’re running a giveaway, you can show an image of the grand prize. Or, if you’re offering an ebook, add a picture of the book cover.

Related: 7+ Ebook Marketing Tips You Can Actually Use Today

9. Use Exit Popups as a Reminder

Shopping cart abandonment is a real issue for many eCommerce businesses. But just like hack #7, you can use the Zeigarnik Effect to prevent it by using exit-intent popups.

All you need to do is remind users that they still have items in their shopping cart. Doing so will create the urge to complete the purchase.

Try using copy similar to “Wait, you still have these items in your cart…” and display images of the products.

Use reminders in your popups

Yet if users aren’t ready to buy yet, you can offer to save their basket for later and collect their email addresses. Then they can finish their purchase later, and you can even start sending them emails.

10. Offer an Exit Popup Discount

Offer popup discounts to reduce shopping cart abandonment

Offering a discount on exit popups in exchange for visitors’ email addresses accomplishes 2 goals at once:

  1. If shoppers were unsure about buying something, offering a discount encourages them to go through with it.
  2. You can collect their email address so you can market to them in the future.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to recover shoppers who are about to abandon your eCommerce website, coupon exit popups are an ideal solution.

Let’s face it, if they were interested in buying from you anyway, why wouldn’t they take advantage of a free coupon?

11. Provide an Exit Popup Free Shipping Coupon

Shipping costs are the #1 reason for shopping cart abandonment. But if you offer free shipping in your exit popup, you can recover tons of shoppers about to abandon their carts.

There are 2 ways you can offer free shipping in your exit popups.

You can first display the coupon code right inside the exit popup with a link back to the shopping cart.

Alternatively, you can add a button to apply the free shipping coupon to their carts instantly. That way, there are no extra steps for shoppers to take.

Offer free shipping in popups to get users to finish shopping

The only pitfall to these methods is that if users don’t complete the purchase, you’ll miss out on collecting their email address.

To combat this, try displaying your offer on shopping cart pages to prevent shopping cart abandonment. Or you could show the popup on product pages, to offer free shipping in exchange for their email address.

12. Use Scarcity Exit Popups

Having less of something usually encourages people to buy. No one wants to miss out on something they really want, and they don’t feel good if someone else gets it and they don’t. This is called scarcity, and it can be used to have a significant effect on your exit popups.

Add scarcity to your popups

You can show a popup on product pages saying there’s a limited number of that item available. So shoppers should act fast if they want it. Alternatively, you can show how many people are currently looking at the item to spur shoppers into action.

13. Add Urgency to Exit Popups

People tend to procrastinate when they’re making difficult decisions. But you can use urgency to encourage people to act now.

Add urgency to your popups with countdown timers

Try creating a popup with a limited-time deal or discount, highlighted clearly. Similarly, you can add a countdown timer to your popup to increase the sense of urgency. Either users get the deal now, or they miss out.

Similar to suggesting relevant posts to your blog readers, you can recommend related products to shoppers on your eCommerce store.

add related products in your popups to increase sales

If you have a wide variety of products related to each other, for example, shoes, or games, it’s helpful for visitors to recommend products similar to what they’re viewing. What they’re considering right now, may not be the right fit, but a similar product might be ideal.

15. Offer a Free Trial

It takes a lot of nurturing to encourage people to make a purchase. So offering a free trial is an effective way to get a head start developing relationships with potential customers.

Use exit popups to offer a free trial

If you’re selling physical products, you can offer a free sample for the cost of shipping. Or, if you provide a service, you can offer a period where users can use it for free before upgrading.

Showcasing popular products in an exit popup is a great way to keep shoppers on your website longer.

highlight popular products in your exit popups to increase sales

If you add social proof into the mix, it reminds people that other shoppers love your product, adding more weight and authority to your brand. Sometimes knowing that a product is trending is enough to encourage people to buy.

17. Share a Quick Survey in Your Popup

Surveys are an ideal way to learn more about your website visitors and how you can improve your business. But many sites use surveys at the wrong time, which makes for poor user experience.

For instance, if you’re disturbed by popups to take a survey right in the middle of buying something, it’d be pretty frustrating.

Exit popups, on the other hand, won’t disturb your visitors. They show when people are about to leave, making them perfect for surveys.

Use survey popups to gather user feedback about your business

Just make sure the page you launch your popup on makes sense. Starting one after a live chat session, for example, is a great way to find out if you’re offering the best support.

You should also respect your visitors’ time. Don’t expect them to fill out a survey for nothing. Offer them an incentive for providing feedback like a gift or coupon.

18. Use “Wait” in Your Exit Popup Headline

Using powerful words is a fantastic way to stop people in their tracks. When you see the word “Wait,” you’re instantly curious about why you should stop.

“Wait, you’ve forgotten something…”

“What are you waiting for…?”

Pretty alluring, isn’t it?

use power words in exit popups to increase conversions

Use power words like “wait” in your exit popups to encourage users to pause and think. Remind users what they’ll miss if they click away and fail to join your email list.

19. Offer the Chance to Chat

No doubt, you’ve visited a sales page before and have seen a button offering the chance to speak to an advisor. Live chat is ideal for answering questions customers have before buying your product, but they don’t need to be limited to a live chat app.

Use popups to allow users to schedule a consultation

You can use your exit popup to invite users to schedule a time to talk later. Simply include fields for their name, email, and other relevant details you need. Then you can get in touch, address their issues, and encourage them to buy.

20. Use 2-step Optin Exit Popups

Getting website visitors to take the first step in anything is always the hardest. But once they’ve taken that step, all the following steps are much easier because they’re building momentum.

Smart marketers use this technique in their optin forms by asking for an easy action like clicking a button first, before asking for something more difficult, like entering an email address.

use 2 step optin popups to make it easier for users to take action

This is called a 2-step optin, and you can use them effectively in exit popups. Simply add a button to your popup that users have to click before they see an optin form. Just make sure you use a good call-to-action (CTA) for your button that’s hard to resist.

21. Create a Yes/No Exit Popup

Yes/No popups are another version of a 2-step optin. Yet instead of offering only 1 choice, you provide 2, yes, a “right” choice or no a “wrong” choice.

This type of popup works because when given a choice of doing something, you’re more likely to do that thing. The choice makes us feel in control and powerful. And when we feel like that we often act impulsively when making decisions.

Use yes no popups to make the right choice obvious to users

When building your popup, ensure the “right” choice is obvious. You can make the “right” button a contrasting color and the “wrong” button greyed out, so it’s harder to notice. And use compelling copy that makes users feel like they have a choice, even though what you’re offering is a no-brainer.

22. Utilize Social Proof

Using social proof is a powerful marketing tactic because we tend to look to others to decide the right thing to do.

So when putting together your next exit popup, look for ways to use social proof to make your offer more convincing. One way you can do that is to display how many people are already signed up for your newsletter. You can even show how many customers are already using your service.

Demonstrate social proof in your exit popups

Make it clear what other people have done and show how uses can follow their example.

23. Use Numbers to Grab Attention

Similar to social proof, numbers can be used in several ways to increase your exit-popup conversions.

To begin with, numbers are great at grabbing peoples’ attention, specifically odd numbers. There’s something about them that stands out and forces you to take notice.

use large odd numbers in popups to grab attention

People also see much larger sizes with large numbers. For example, 30 days seems a lot more than 1 month, even though it’s the same amount of time. You can use this to your advantage in your popups by using smaller units to give the impression of more significant numbers.

24. Draw the Eye with Arrows

In the same way that excellent copy can improve your popups’ results, so too can excellent popup design by showing the eye where it needs to go.

using arrows in your exit popup is a great way to draw the eye

People naturally look for visual information to decide what is and isn’t important. So using arrows helps guide the eye better than written directions alone. They literally point the way. Try using arrows to point to your opt-in form or CTA.

25. Animate Your Exit Popup

You can also guide the eye to essential elements on your popup by using clever animations.

use animations to highlight your exit popups

The movement from animations makes them extremely hard to miss. Experiment with animations to see what works best. You could animate your CTA button to make it stand out, or even animate the arrow pointing to where users need to enter their details.

26. Ask for Social Media Followers

Since we’re living through a time of information overload, getting people’s email addresses can be pretty tricky. That’s because they’re super protective of them and don’t want their inboxes filled with unwanted messaging.

But if you ask those same people to follow you on social media, you’ll likely have more luck. This tactic works particularly well if you have a large social following, indicating you’re important enough to be worth users’ attention.

Use exit popups to grow your social media followers

So when putting your exit popup together, make sure you show how large your community is to encourage users to like or follow you on social media.

27. Include Testimonials and Reviews

There’s no denying that testimonials and reviews are crucial for the success of your sales page. But what you might not know is that your exit popup is like a mini sales page too. Even though you might be giving something away for free, or asking people to do something, you’re still giving something in return.

use reviews and testimonials in your exit popups to demonstrate social proof

So convince people to take action by showing recommendations from other users. If you can include a picture of their face, visitors are more likely to respond positively.

28. Optimize Your Exit Popup Call-to-Action Button

If you want your CTA button to be clickable, it needs to be compelling. Generic copy like “Subscribe,” or “Download” has been seen so many times before that it simply doesn’t stand out anymore.

Instead, optimize your CTA copy by showing the benefits people will get from your offering. Alternatively, be specific in your button copy about what the offer is.

optimize your exit popup call to action button

For instance if you’re offering a coupon, you could write “Get My $20 Off”.

29. Experiment with Color

Another way you can optimize your popups is by experimenting with the colors you use in your design. The actual color you use is less important than how you use it to direct the eye to where you want it to go.

Experiment with colors that draw the eye in your exit popups

Since people generally scan websites from top to bottom and left to right in the middle, much like an F shape, you can use this information to arrange elements on your form to match.

30. Make Your Visitors Curious

Do you ever get curious when you think there’s a gap between what you think you know and what you don’t know? This mental itch is called a curiosity gap, and you can use it in your popups to drive conversions.

Incite curiosity with exit popups on your website

You can promise to reveal the secrets to something interesting in your popup if users sign up. This will drive users to sign up out of pure curiosity.

31. Hide Exit Popups from Existing Subscribers

What do you do if someone has already taken the action your email popup suggests? You don’t want to keep showing the same popup over and over again. It’ll get annoying and put people off.

With page-level targeting, you can hide popups from existing subscribers. And if you like, you can show a different offer based on where they are in the buyer journey.

For instance, if they’ve already signed up for your newsletter, you can show a discount coupon to encourage them to make a purchase, and so on. But don’t forget to A/B test your popups to see which versions produce the best results.

And there you have it!

We hope this article helped you learn how to use exit popups to grow your business. And if you want to learn how to create an exit popup, check out this tutorial.

And if you need more social proof for your popups, take a look at this guide on how to get more reviews from happy customers.

Don’t forget to follow us on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook for more great tips to grow your business.

author avatar
Stacey Corrin Writer
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.

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