Did you know that 10 to 15% of visitors leaving your site can be saved with an exit popup?

Exit intent popup is the message that appears on a screen as soon as a visitor is about to leave a page. It is a conversion strategy that uses cursor tracking, which determines the moment when someone is about to click on the back button, close the browser, or navigate away.

14% of top 1,000 ecommerce sites in the United States use exit pop-ups, and you should too. Just before your visitors leave your site, give it your one last shot to convert them before you totally bid them goodbye!

In this blog, we will discuss five ways to make your exit-intent popups work effectively for your site.

#1: Target your exit-intent popup properly

Unless people who go to your site arrive fully decided to make a purchase, 99% do not actually buy anything on their first visit.

Good thing though that based on the same survey, 75% who do leave an ecommerce site have intentions to return another day.

If the typical online shopping experience follows this pattern – people visit a site first to do a bit of “window shopping” then come back another day to make a purchase – interrupting it with an exit-intent popup can be effective in persuading them to purchase right away.

ecommerce exit popup

But of course, you do not implement just any kind of pop-up. It would be pointless to display a message that does not have a catch and unrelated to the page your visitor is departing from.

If they are leaving your product page, have a discount code that once applied on the shopping cart page will deduct 10% from their order.

abandon cart popup

If, for instance, they reached the point of adding items in their shopping carts, but seem to be abandoning it, notify them of the items they are leaving behind with an exit-intent popup.

Remember: Always make your visitors relate to the pop up you are displaying and offer something that will make them think twice or else they will just proceed abandoning your site – and possibly not come back!

#2: Be creative with the design

Considering this is your chance to convert a fleeing potential customer, the last thing you can do when designing your exit intent popup is to make it look generic.

Let your exit popup reflect the same style and feel of your overall site. Display the logo, use the same theme and even the color used for the call-to-action buttons.

exit popup design

You can see that the design of Dodocase’s exit-intent popup hardly departed from the design of its homepage. The logo is there, the same checkered background was also used, and the call-to-action button is also in maroon.

You may have noticed also that there is no X button to close the popup. Although it is expected that an X button should be there, not putting it allows your visitors to focus on the message flashed in front of them.

And while it is really up to your visitors whether or not they want to convert, you can guide them make the right decision through colors. In this website popup example, the use of red makes the ideal choice very obvious.

subscriber popup

In our examples so far, you may have noticed also that the popups appear to be floating as the page in the background is subdued. Aside from deactivating the links on the page, this effect, called the popup lightbox effect, ensures that your visitor’s attention is 100% focused on the message.

#3: Have a well-written and straightforward copy

Your creative exit popup design will be useless if it is not complemented with great copy.

Avoid vague messages. Focus on your offer and be clear about it. Have a compelling call-to-action. Anyone who will read it should know what their next action step should be.

popup copy ecommerce

Here’s an example of an exit-intent popup from ZooShoo that has a focused and clear offer and a compelling call-to-action.

In the two months of its implementation, ZooShoo’s overall revenue increased by 7.35%. And of the extra 5,000 subscribers they received, 1,129 of them went on to purchase one of their products.

exit popup design

Personalizing your copy is also a great strategy. Speak directly to your visitor by using pronouns. This way, your copy sounds more personal and conversational.

Apply the principle of urgency in your copy as well, similar to the countdown that goes with the offer in Busted Tees’ exit popup. This compels people to take action faster than let go of the possibility of a good deal.

time limited exit popup

#4: Consider the many purposes a popup in general can take

For the majority of ecommerce sites, exit-intent popups are used to display discounts, free shipping offers, and other ways to encourage purchases.

But more often than not, a popup is used to collect emails in boosting marketing campaigns. Why emails in particular?

According to the Direct Marketing Association, emails have an ROI of around 4,300% compared to SEO, social media, and other forms of marketing.

Why this is so is probably because a person’s inbox is the most personal environment you can be permitted to enter. Once you send your message, it is received in an environment that is free from distractions.

collect email in exit popup

In this example, Busted Tees immediately rewards those who fill out its email subscription popup with a 40% off on the first order.

Aside from collecting emails, a popup can also be used as a timer, such as in checkout pages of airline and hotel websites.

time limited offer popup

#5: Make it pop at the right time

Speed matters when it comes to exit-intent popups.

Ideally, it should appear 150 milliseconds later as soon as it is detected that the visitor is moving the mouse out of the window.

To ensure that the popup appears quickly, use the corresponding exit-intent technology or software in preloading the content. Refrain from using special effects.

Although it would make your popup more attractive, it increases the amount of time required to display it as well as the time your visitors will need to understand your message.

A single image and a simple message are enough to make the most immediate impact.


Exit-intent popups are the last attempts to change a person’s mind about your site and what you can offer, so always keep your best foot forward when it comes to its targeting, design, copy, and speed.

Likewise, use the different ways a website pop up in general can be used as this can help you maximize its potential of engaging you again to your visitors.

What about you – do you use exit-intent popups on your site? What are the different things you do to ensure that it is doing its job effectively?