Exit Intent Best Practices to Improve Conversion Rate

Done right, managing your visitors intent to leave your site, known as Exit Intent, can directly impact your conversion rates. Done wrong it can be an annoying distraction and be damaging to your brand. This article contains a list of Exit Intent best practices.

Exit intent Best Practices

You’ve probably seen or been the victim of exit intent. It’s a type of popup that appears on top of all the other content in your web browser. Its purpose is to draw attention to the popup, which it does very well.

A popup is triggered when a visitor either first comes to the site, a Welcome Mat, or is triggered when the visitor is leaving the site, an Exit Intent.

Despite how annoying exit intents can be, they are incredibly effective.

Exit Intent is a feature of the DailyStory Customer Engagement platform.

Below are Exit Intent best practices that we recommend to our customers.

1. Keep Exit Intent simple

An Exit Intent best practice is to keep your Exit Intent simple with a clear, concise offer and an obvious call to action. We recommend including a graphic for visual interest, but it isn’t required.

Think of your Exit Intent as a micro-landing page. Put in the same amount of thought as you would into a landing page.

Be precise in your description. For example, if your offer is a 15% coupon a good description is “New customers are eligible 15% off their first purchase”. Or, if the offer is to sign up for a newsletter: “Love our blog? Can we send you our best articles once a month?”

Take a look at our examples of Exit Intent for some ideas.

2. Offer something of value

According to Adweek, 81% of Shoppers Conduct Online Research Before Buying.

Just like you, these shoppers, whether they are consumers or business buyers, like to do research before starting the sale.

The good news is that thanks to search engines like Google there is an enormous amount of information available to them. And the bad news is that there is an enormous amount of competition for you!

To effectively use exit intent you have to first recognize what has happened:

  • A visitor has come to your site.
  • The visitor has not found what they needed.
  • The visitor is leaving – probably back to their search page.

The visitor is leaving your website because you failed to give them what they were looking for.

Exit Intent is your last opportunity to convince a visitor to convert on an offer.

An Exit Intent best practice is to offer something of value or from a visitor’s perspective: how does this help me?:

  • Signing up for an industry specific newsletter that you publish.
  • Access to white papers or other research to help educate them about their purchase decision.
  • A unique offer, such as a discount code.
  • An offer to send them a reminder email that they visited your website.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes when thinking about your value offer!

3. Your tone matters

The tone of your Exit Intent matters. Don’t be patronizing.

For example, let’s say you are looking for a new wifi enabled pet tracker (such things do exist). You’ve spent a few hours on a Sunday afternoon using Google to hone in on the products you want to research. You’re on your third website and you trigger an Exit Intent behavior only to be presented with:

Exit Intent Done Wrong

Maybe you’ve seen Exit Intent that uses this strategy. Known as “Confirmshaming” it insults you for not opting in.

The psychology behind this is effective because it forces you to do something that you don’t agree with to dismiss the popup.

But don’t be fooled, this has proven to create a negative impression of your brand/product.

An Exit Intent best practice is to focus on the value you are creating for your consumer and possibly educate them along the way. Remember, Exit Intent is shown because you have failed to convince the prospective customer that you have a product or service that fits their need.

This could be better written as:

Exit Intent Done Right

4. Write Great Headlines

This isn’t just an Exit Intent best practice, this is a best practice for all your content!

In the example above, which headline was better? Never Lose Your Dog or We Love Our Dogs?

Actually, they are both good. They convey different meanings to the audience though and the meaning of the headline will set the tone of the message and associated service.

The first headline is slightly negative and could be better written as Easily Find Your Lost Dog.

This article has some great tips on writing effective headlines:

Headlines are so important that a single word can impact a campaign dramatically. We’ve seen e-mail subject lines where a one word change increased click-throughs by 46%.

Another Exit Intent best practice is to A/B test your Exit Intent popups.

5. A/B Test your Exit Intent Popups

I can’t emphasize enough how important A/B testing is. It is absolutely an Exit Intent best practice. By running a series of experiments with your Exit Intent you can directly see how different layouts, colors, content, and call to actions impact your conversion rates.

6. Focus on usability

An Exit Intent popup is disruptive and interrupts your visitor’s actions. This is great because it quickly gets their attention, but can be bad if you interrupt a meaningful action such as checking out or reading content.

An Exit Intent best practice for all your website popups is to enable them to be quickly dismissed. Some ways that visitors expect to dismiss them:

  • Clicking outside the popup area
  • Clicking a close button or X in the popup itself
  • Pressing the escape key

Not following these recommendations risks visitors simply abandoning their visit.

In addition, to quickly closing the popup, ensure that your popup follows other best practices:

  • If a visitor closes an Exit Intent popup, don’t show it to them again unless they request it
  • When a visitor follows a call to action you should always reaffirm the action with a thank you page and welcome email.

7. Mobile Friendly

We don’t like recommendations that sound negative, but an Exit Intent best practice we endorse is to not use Exit Intent (or any popups) for mobile visitors.

Yes, we know that mobile is probably 40-50% of your overall traffic. Instead, use Push Banners that don’t interfere with the visitor’s ability to read the content.

Why the recommendation to not use Exit Intent on mobile? In 2016 Google warned that “interstitials” (popups) that interfere with accessibility may not rank as highly.

But, if you do decide to use Exit Intent on your website, make sure that the Exit Intent works for mobile devices.

8. “Great artists steal”

Pablo Picasso’s famously said that “bad artists copy, great artists steal.

There are literally thousands of examples of Exit Intent available online. And an Exit Intent best practice you should follow is to look at how some of the industry’s best marketers and promoters use and design their Exit Intent popups.

The bottom line is that Exit Intent is a powerful tool that should absolutely be part of your customer engagement strategy.