Conversion Optimization

Exit-Intent Pop-Ups: overcoming common mistakes + 20 brilliant examples

Cracking a good exit-intent pop-up is no joke BUT you can do it by steering clear of these mistakes and getting inspired by these examples.

Exit-Intent Pop-Ups: overcoming common mistakes + 20 brilliant examples

Here’s a truth bomb: You can save as much as 15% of lost traffic by using a good exit-intent pop-up.

Why? Because a good exit-intent pop-up works. A good exit-intent pop-up:

  • Tells a story
  • Engages the audience
  • Catches them by surprise
  • Keeps them hooked enough to stay on

That said, cracking a good exit-intent pop-up is no joke. You have to build, test, revise, and do it all over again — and yet these 5 common mistakes can still steer by you.

5 common exit-intent mistakes and how you can overcome them

1. Drab Content

When it comes to exit-intent pop-ups, the devil is in the details. Even tiny details like color and font can affect your overall conversion rates.

To increase conversion rates on your exit intent popups, choose fonts that are easy to read, write copy that is relevant and engaging, and design eye-catching headlines that hold the attention of your visitor.

With the right combination of font styles and colors in your exit intent popup, you can create a simple yet memorable message that will intrigue visitors enough to take action.

Let’s look at Example 1 and Example 2 below.

Example 1

See what we mean? While Example 1 here gives you a horrid sense of nostalgia, Example 2 is actually a neat way to use an exit -intent pop-up. 

Example 2

Pro Tips:

  • Use a highlight color that is off your brand language but will actually pull people in
  • Catch them by surprise. Use graphics that are unorthodox or wacky but still true to your brand
  • Have a human element. People are generally more drawn into a design when they see another person on it
  • Have an element that is slightly off, say by 30 or 45°. It’ll surely catch their attention

2. Poor Targeting

One of the most common reasons exit-intent pop-ups fail is poor targeting: if you’re advertising a great benefit but it is only relevant to half the people seeing it, it’s not going to make much of a dent is it?

The lesson? Start with the basics of proper targeting. Be thoughtful about how you set up your exit intent pop-up, and be careful with the combinations you’re using to target your audience.

Remember: your pop-ups won’t always be targeted only by country. They should sometimes (if not often) be targeted by device, time, frequency and other elements that determine which page a visitor is on, how many times they’ve visited a page or their history on your site.

Pro Tips:

  • Develop user personas and configure campaign settings to catch them at a time when they will be most receptive
  • Look into targeting exit-intent pop-ups to specific pages, such as the checkout page

3. Asking For Too Much

Setting the right amount of information to ask from your visitors is crucial. This way, you won’t scare them off, and neither will you go overboard with unnecessary questions. 

When readers are so busy, they need a convincing reason to opt-in. You have to make them feel like they are missing out on something or that the opportunity is too good to be true, if they don’t get your email list.

That is why when it comes to information, less is more. The idea of asking only for name and email address can be pretty convincing to your reader.

Plus, you can always follow up your exit-intent pop-up with an email or a multi-step pop-up to ask for more information, once you’ve piqued their interest.

Pro Tips:

  • Use the foot-in-the-door approach. Follow up a one-step pop-up with a multi-step form that offers greater value
  • Give them equal value to what is being offered. It’s a much better idea to give them a higher reward when you’re asking for more details

4. Using Irrelevant Offers

It’s as simple as this: don’t use a pop-up if you’re not sure it will compel your viewers enough to convert. 

Make sure that your offer is enticing by asking yourself a couple of questions. Will this offer be truly valuable and relevant to my target audience? Do they have an immediate need for what I’m offering? If your answer is no, then chances are you should try something else.

Ultimately, get to know your target audience, including their wants and needs. Craft your pop-ups such that they fulfill a need for your visitor, thereby making it easier for them to convert through your site.

Pro Tips:

  • Understand where they stand. For example, social media page visitors are generally just curious and browsing but those who saw a specific ad campaign are likely coming in to buy that product
  • Tailor the benefits to fit the person. For example, offer a one-off deal to new visitors but use limited offers and other scarcity tactics for returning visitors

5. Not Optimizing Display Speed

A slow exit popup can mean the difference between a high traffic rate and no conversion at all.

No matter how useful your offer may be, it simply does not matter when the visitors cannot find out about it, because of your exit popup being too slow to load. Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem.

Bottom line, you should always strive to create a fast loading exit popup. If your page takes too long to load completely, then you might scare away more conversions than you’ll acquire.

Create a quick exit popup that loads instantly and enables your visitors to go where they may want to go.

Pro Tips:

  • Take less than 0.2 seconds to get that pop-up across. Sooner, the better
  • Avoid using heavy elements, special effects, etc. Save that for the main website
  • As a general rule, opt for HTML as it is usually faster to load. If you must use images, compress them with a tool such as CompressJPEG

Now that you know the most common exit-intent pop-up mistakes and what to do about them, you can work on developing pop-ups that will actually convert. To help you get started, we’ve put together these 20 top best exit-intent examples for you to absolutely nail your exit-intent pop-ups. 

Don't forget to check out: 24 Scientific Strategies to Increase your eCommerce Conversion Rate

20 creative exit-intent examples that drive conversions

1. Zutano - inspire them to stay back

The one thing that stops visitors from checking out is something catchy. So, when they’re presented with a crawling baby in this example from Zutano, they’re already intrigued.

The company then uses a clever hierarchy of information to represent the discount and call to action.

So, the one thing they’ve successfully managed to do is get you to stay.

creative exit-intent example

2. Roadside Vapes - say it like you mean it

Sometimes, you just have to be honest. We mean, what’s a business without customers?

So, go ahead, tell them what they mean to you, ask them to stay, and maybe even give them a little treat to keep them going.

Pro Tip: Follow it up with a clever image like Roadside Vapes has done here.

creative exit-intent example

3. Casper - incentivize their last steps

Now we all know first impressions are important. But last impressions? Even more so.

That is why it’s very refreshing to see this exit-intent pop-up from Casper and how they have used their final moments to not only benefit the brand but also the customer.

The brand places a survey that helps them understand the customer better, and in return the customer gets to enjoy a $100 discount. Pretty cool.

creative exit-intent example

4. Globe In - be cheeky & win ‘em over

Remember: the key to winning over the internet is being memorable. Sometimes, being cheeky helps you do just that.

This exit-intent example from GlobeIn calls out the visitor, cheekily reminds them that they still have stuff in the basket, and even incentivizes them to go ahead and check out.

So, the visitor is not only (pleasantly) surprised but also wants to go on.

Pro Tip: Ensure that you’re following this only if your brand language supports it. There’s no point in trying to be smart if it won’t click with your audience.

creative exit-intent example

5. Aestheticare - keep ‘em hooked

This is a really good exit-intent pop-up by Aestheticare, and I’ll tell you why.

The brand has the type of audience that likes reading and likes knowing more about their own bodies and health.

So, when Aestheticare offers a personalized consultation, they’re instantly hooked and want to continue.

Likewise, if you offer something valuable to your audience that hooks them in, they’re far more likely to convert.

creative exit-intent example

6. Baby Age - get a timer

A timer’s always a good idea: it creates a sense of urgency that inspires the audience to take some action.

When you follow it up with an exclusive discount like Baby Age has, it presents a challenge with a reward.

That rush of adrenaline itself will inspire the audience to continue browsing and maybe even convert.

creative exit-intent example

7. - appeal to their fomo

The classic case of FOMO! You’ve had it, we’ve had it, everyone’s had it. And a visitor total definitely builds on it. Make good use of it.

Use a total to let them know that they’re not the only one and there are others eyeing what they’ve got. That’ll inspire them to hurry up and get moving.

This is a trick that is commonly used by booking companies such as

8. Snack Nation - give them a (really good) freebie

Who doesn’t love a good freebie? Snack Nation sure does! And so, they’ve used them very well in this highly incentivized exit-intent pop-up.

They’re offering a sample box (that lets customers experience a good range of their products) for free with only shipping and handling charges!

That’s great practice because not only does it get them customer data but also lets the customer try a variety of products and perhaps even favor a few for a repeat order.

creative exit-intent example

9. VisualDNA - take psychological triggers literally

Similar to the exit-intent pop-up example by Aestheticare earlier, VisualDNA really knows their audience well. They know what ticks the audience and what will encourage them to stay.

And they play on it. They let their customers know who they really are, and also find out themselves (GREAT for customer profiles, innit?)

creative exit-intent example

10. Marie Forelo - tell them what they’re missing

Marie Forelo knows what they’re worth. And they make it a point that their visitors know, too.

Not only do they use clever copy to draw eyeballs but also follow it up with substantial points that’ll inspire the visitor to at least make a move.

creative exit-intent example

11. World of Watches - make them go WOW

Not an easy task, but the minute you impress your visitor, you’re gold. Just take a look at this exit-intent pop-up by World of Watches.

They know exactly what moves their audience, what they’ll find valuable, and they’ve found a way to beautifully incorporate their product into the pop-up.

Try it for yourself. Find visuals that really sell your brand. After all, aren't the eyes the gateway to the heart? In the online world, at least!

creative exit-intent example

12. Hidrate Spark - good time to bring in the social proof

Social proof’s always a good idea. It’s when you take a step back and let your customers do your selling for you. And helps both the brand and the shoppers.

A good review highlights the benefits of your brand and sheds light on the positive experience you bring. And a bad review? Gives a holistic representation of your brand. Both combined help shoppers a great deal. In fact, 83% of consumers prefer reviews over advertising.

So, take a note from Hidrate Spark and use social proof in your advertisements and pop-ups and show off the good stuff.

creative exit-intent example

13. Nature - open a conversation

The online world is all about conversations. Why not use your exit-intent pop-up for one too? This exit-intent example from Nature sure does.

It gives visitors an honest platform to just talk: share their opinions, their concerns, and everything that’s lacking.

Such information is valuable as it gives the brand an honest look into how it’s functioning. And that’s always a good idea, isn’t it?

creative exit-intent example

14. JarJackets - make their last moments fun

We don’t know about you but we’re all about fun and games. We really believe that the best way to make it big is to make it memorable. And games do just that, don’t they?

Why not use it for your exit-intent pop-up as well? JarJackets does exactly that: they use a Wheel of Prizes to offer visitors a randomly generated reward, and of course get that lovely little email address.

creative exit-intent example
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15. Inkbox - tease their competitive side

Want to know a fun fact? People are naturally competitive. They like participating, they like being a part of things, but most importantly they like winning.

Give them the chance to. Use your pop-up as a platform to participate in a giveaway, just like InkBox has done! This will get them intrigued and you’ll be able to snag some customer profiles too.

creative exit-intent example

16. Kate Somerville - make things exclusive

Like we’ve discussed, people like being a part of things. But most importantly, they like being a special part of things. So, when you bring in special discounts, exclusive offers, and special clubs, they’re instantly intrigued.

In the eCommerce world, Early Access is where the world’s at — with major brands even selling tickets for it!

So, why not make it a part of your exit-intent pop-up like Kate Somerville has?

creative exit-intent example

17. Revolve - call them to action

This example is great for exit-intent pop-ups since it uses one of the core principles. It stops the visitors in the tracks. How? Well, you’re not exactly used to getting compliments from brands, are you?

A compliment is one of the best ways to make things personal and Revolve uses it fabulously in this exit-intent example. They not only compliment the visitor, but also call them straight into action almost as if they’re directing the next steps. Funny thing is there’s a strong chance it will actually convert into their next steps.

creative exit-intent example

18. Basic Outfitters - use copy that gets their attention

Copy’s always a good game. And great copy? Always a good bet. So, use it well. Put your wizard hat on, rev up your copy skills, and give it all you’ve got.

That’s exactly what Basic Outfitters has done in this exit-intent example. With minimal copy and design, this pop-up still manages to leave an impact.

Wouldn’t you like to do the same?

creative exit-intent example

19. GQ - keep them intrigued

One of the best ways to make copy relatable is to make it all about the reader — even if it may not be — like GQ has done here.

By directing your copy entirely to your reader, you make them feel like they’re a part of the story, the protagonist even, and it shifts the focus on them.

One of the main reasons second person writing works so well, isn’t it?

creative exit-intent example

20. Everlane - give them a community

The online world is all about having a thriving community: whether that’s through social media, podcasts, forums, etc. A community drives people, drives relations, and even drives brands such as Everlane.

That’s one of the main reasons social media is so important for a B2C brand: it makes customers a part of the movement. And who doesn’t enjoy being included?

creative exit-intent example

And there you have it! 20 incredible exit-intent examples (and valuable advice) that will help you drive conversions. Whether you’re inspired by one or all twenty, remember to make it unique to your brand.

In the eCommerce world, one of the most important determinants of success is your brand. Make it count. Make it unique. And make sure everything relates back to it — especially the important stuff — like the exit-intent pop-ups.

After all, wouldn’t you want your brand to be one that leaves an impact?

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