One of the more popular popups come in the form of exit intent popups. These popups actually track users’ cursor movements, and use what they call exit intent technology to determine which visitors are about to leave the site. Once it is signaled that a visitor is about to abandon a site, an exit intent popup shows up providing a strong CTA.
Exit intent popups, or exit overlays, have become a popular and integral part of online marketing. Below are some of the ways these are utilized to convert visitors into customers.
1. Recover an Abandoned Shopping Cart
E-commerce sites have found that one of the most important capabilities of the exit overlay is that it provides a last-ditch effort to save potential sales loss. It’s been found that shopping carts are abandoned up to 70 percent of the time.
Exit overlays offering a discount, or any other incentive to continue with the transaction, have proven to be vital in converting those abandoning visitors. With the incentives offered by exit overlays, you can encourage buyers to complete the checkout process when it is detected that they are about to leave the site.
According to Malaysia-based e-commerce website eCommerceMILO, exit overlays can covert around 10 percent of abandoned shopping carts, with the number getting as high as 15 percent when you don’t ask for their emails.
2. Don’t Disturb Visitors
The beauty of exit intent technology is that the popups won’t appear until it is determined that the visitor is actually about to leave the site. This allows visitors to do what they came to do on your site, without being disturbed by annoying popups.
Instead of potentially irritating visitors while they are learning about your site and company, they could actually end up appreciating what your exit intent popup has to offer them.
3. Recommend Other Products
There’s a reason visitors leave your site without conversion. Maybe they didn’t find what they were looking for; often, they may not have known where to look. Whatever the case may be, exit intent popups gives you an opportunity to bring to their attention other products or features that you want to promote.
For example, if you are an online sneaker retailer, your exit overlay might bring to their attention a product release that recently went on sale–one that’s not visible on your landing page. This kind of copy on your exit intent popup can keep visitors on your site, and increase the chances of conversion.
4. Counteract ‘Paradox of Choice’
Barry Schwartz’s 2004 book “The Paradox of Choice: Why Less Is More” expressed the idea that the abundance of choice facing consumers as they ponder purchase decisions can also lead to anxiety, fear, uncertainties, and doubts—comparing the conundrum with needing one product in an aisle full of them at a grocery store.
Visitors often go to your site with every intention of making a purchase. But with so many things clamoring for their attention (features, offers, a variety of products), they can be overwhelmed by the “paradox of choice” and leave without conversion.
By providing a clear message of what to purchase and how easy it is to do so, exit overlays can give you the opportunity to relieve consumer anxiety by simplifying the decision process for your customers. In essence, exit overlays can be used to serve akin to a helpful salesperson pointing you the right way.
5. Reduce ‘Analysis Paralysis’
In a similar vein, consumers also encounter what’s called analysis paralysis, which is a state reached when taking into consideration too many variables (budget, wealth of choices, social pressure) that can lead to a plethora of options, but no decision.
There is one experiment conducted by Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia University and author of “The Art of Choosing”, that’s often cited when referencing analysis paralysis. Basically, what the experiment did was compare booth sales in a California gourmet market between one offering a selection of 24 Wilkin & Sons jams, and another with a choice of just six jams.
60 percent of customers were drawn to the booth with the large assortment, while only 40 stopped by to check the booth with fewer choices. What’s revealing, though, is that of those who went to the booth with 24 jams, only three percent wound up purchasing, while 30 percent of those who went to other booth bought jams.
Like the way exit intent popups counteract the paradox of choice, the same can be done with analysis paralysis by simplifying decisions with the use of clear messages.
6. Induce Pattern Interrupt
Pattern interrupt is a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) technique that’s commonly used in sales when dealing with customers. Basically, the technique is used to do or say something unexpected that’s designed to disrupt the prospective customer’s normal pattern.
In the case of e-commerce sites, exit overlays can be used to interrupt the visitor’s pattern (perhaps with an enticing discounted offer, or a new site feature you’re trying to promote) that could buy you precious seconds that would potentially re-engage visitors’ attention.
Rules to Keep in Mind When Using Exit Popups
Like most marketing tools, there are rules in using exit intent popups to be able to utilize them smartly.
Timing is everything. This is what differentiates exit overlays from all other popups: have them appear too quickly, and they come out as annoyance; too late, and the window to convert an abandoning visitor may be all but lost.
Clear exit button. It’s important for you to make your exit overlay message clear, but it is equally important that your customers find that X button should they deem the message not applicable to them. If you make the close button too indistinct, you run the risk of visitors leaving your website altogether.
Copy is key. Your exit overlay message has to grab attention, but it also has to fit your target customers, as well as your line of business. These points are key when coming up with the copy for your exit overlay. Exit intent technology identifies visitors about to leave your site. Make sure you have a message that recaptures their attention.
The above points are just some of the ways exit intent popups can work for you. Whatever your goals are in using this technology, just keep in mind that the important thing is that you are looking to provide value to your customers. If you feel that’s in the heart of your exit overlay use, you’re setting yourself up for success.