7 Ways Exit-Intent Technology Can Improve Your Conversion Rates

Are you losing out on sales or conversions without knowing it?

By adding a simple conversion optimization tool called an “exit-intent popup,” many website administrators can instantly improve their site’s conversion rates by 3, 5, or even 10 percent. This type of solution is inexpensive, takes almost no time to set up, and provides immediate results.

Exit-intent popups work like this: whenever visitors try to back out of your site, close the active window, or click a new website from their bookmarks bar, a message appears that gives you a final chance to convert them, just as they are about to leave your site.

If you have not yet begun to utilize exit-intent popups on your website, you are losing the opportunity to convert a significant percentage of your website visitors, who otherwise might leave your site forever. The sections below explore seven ways exit-intent technology can improve your website conversion rates, your sales figures, and your bottom line.

1. You Get a Second Chance to Convert

If the exit-intent popup engages, it means your visitor is trying to leave. This indicates that your initial attempt at conversion has failed. Without the exit-intent technology, that visitor would leave without signing up for your newsletter, downloading your special report, or buying your product.

Of course, he or she might return sometime in the future. That is true. However, you have no guarantee of that happening. It is just as likely that the visitor, whom you have successfully drawn to your site with your marketing efforts, will leave forever. Thus, your opportunity to convert that prospect into a customer has vanished.

On the other hand, when you use exit-intent technology, you have a second chance to convert fleeing prospects.

You can approach this second chance in a few different ways:

  1. Reinforce the original message
  2. Change to a new message
  3. Capture contact information

If you choose the first approach, you can restate your original message in different language. Hopefully, by explaining your proposition in different terms, you can convince visitors to rethink their decision to leave.

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Using the second approach, you change the message entirely. The reasoning behind this method is that the original method failed to convert this visitor, so a different tactic might be more effective. For example, if your original message focused on your product’s price, your “second-chance message” might focus on the benefits your product provides to users.

You Get a Second Chance to Convert

The third approach is often the most effective. By capturing the visitor’s email address or other contact information, you now have the opportunity to send a variety of messages via newsletters and email offers. This approach actually deserves its own section.

2. You Can Build Your Subscriber List

Email marketing is one of the most effective campaign strategies online marketers have available to them. Prospects who have given you permission to email them information are an extraordinarily valuable resource. A strong email list gives you the opportunity to trumpet your value proposition every month to people who have already indicated an interest in what you have to offer. This is a win for all parties.

Our data indicate that by asking visitors to join your list as they are about to leave your site, the average content or e-commerce site can:

  • Achieve signup rates of between three and five percent
  • Double or triple this rate by offering a free e-book, special report, or coupon
  • Convert between nine and ten percent by offering incentives

This is a significant percentage, especially since it takes almost no preparation to enact, and you can get the exit-intent software up and running in almost no time. Moreover, when visitors give you their contact info and permission to send them information on your products or services, you can sell to them over the long run.

You Can Build Your Subscriber List

3. You Avoid Disturbing Visitors While They Browse

Unlike regular popups, exit-intent popups do not interrupt your website visitors while they are browsing your site.

How many times have you yourself felt frustration when a sales popup appeared to distract you, just as you were reading an interesting article or product description? Did that make you more likely to sign up for that site’s newsletter or download an e-book?  Did it make you more likely to buy from that site? Or less likely?

You Avoid Disturbing Visitors While They Browse

With exit-intent technology, you do not irritate your website visitors that way. Instead, you do not make the popup sales pitch until they have finished reading and are ready to leave your site.

4. You Can Instantly Recover an Abandoned Shopping Cart

Another way exit-intent technology can improve your conversion rates is by instantly recovering a shopping cart a visitor is about to abandon.

The moment a visitor moves to leave your site and abandon a shopping cart without completing the checkout process, you can address the situation and try to save the sale.  The best way to do this is by offering some type of incentive to complete the checkout process, whether through a sales discount or by offering a coupon. Studies indicate that popups of this type are successful about 10 percent of the time. However, by not requiring buyers to input an email address, you can up the rate to nearly 15 percent.

You Can Instantly Recover an Abandoned Shopping Cart

5. You Can Recommend Other Content or Products

When visitors leave a site without converting, it might mean they have a hot date or need to use the restroom. However, it usually means that they have not found what they were looking for, and plan to look somewhere else. Instead of simply letting them leave, you can use an exit-intent popup to redirect them to other content or products.

You Can Recommend Other Content or Products

“Oh, I see you are leaving,” your popup can say. “If this topic doesn’t stir your Kool Aid, perhaps you’d like to learn more about THIS….” Then you can suggest one or more alternative subjects or products. This is a fantastic way to keep visitors on your site and increase your chances of converting them later.

6. You Can Test Your Messages

Exit-intent software is an excellent way to run A/B tests on your marketing messages. It is a quick, inexpensive, and effective solution.

A/B testing performed the traditional way is time-consuming and expensive. It takes a lot of man-hours, effort, and money to build competing landing pages, drive traffic to those pages, and then analyze the relative effectiveness of the messages on each page.

You Can Test Your Messages

With an exit-intent popup application that offers A/B testing functionality, you can immediately test alternative headlines to see which is more effective (Let me just take this opportunity to briefly mention that our company’s exit-intent popup software, OptiMonk, does indeed offer this type of A/B test functionality, and it works like a charm!).

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This type of testing lets you discover which of your marketing messages is most effective, and thereby improve your conversion rates, with very little effort or preparation.

8. You Can Instantly Boost Your Site’s Conversion Rate

As mentioned in the section above, split testing takes time and preparation. This is likewise true of many other conversion optimization tactics, such as color psychology, heatmaps, surveys, and many others. They are often expensive and require website administrators to exhibit heroic levels of patience before they see any firm results.

This simply is not true of exit-intent technology. With exit-intent popups, you see almost instantaneous results.

Moreover, it does not take any time to introduce, and it is relatively inexpensive.  The principle is so basic, yet it is remarkably effective. Simply by asking visitors, just before they leave your site, if they might, perchance, like to sign up for your newsletter or download your report, you can see an immediate spike in your conversions, even without incentives. Even when success rates are low, you can still point to successes that otherwise would have left your site without a trace.

If you have not yet adopted exit-intent software, you should consider getting on board immediately. To delay is to leave money on the table.

About the Author
Csaba Zajdo is founder of OptiMonk and several other projects specializing in conversion. OptiMonk is one of the leading providers of Exit-Intent Popup technology, which aims to help small and medium businesses leverage the power of Exit-Intent Popups.