Website abandonment is one of the biggest hurdles to converting visitors into customers.
Once they’ve exited your site, you can only hope that chance will lead them back again someday…but why wait for chance?
Using an exit intent popup (politely!) is one of the best ways to prevent visitors from leaving your site without hope of seeing them again.
And you definitely want them back, especially if they didn’t convert into a customer on the first visit.
There are some statistics that prove that “it’s not over till it’s over”. Even customers that get all the way to the checkout process will abandon the shopping cart – 68 percent to be exact.
Overall, retailers lose an estimated $18 billion each year due to shopping cart abandonment.
Bounce Rates And Your Online Reputation
Website abandonment doesn’t just affect your sales conversions. It can also negatively affect your bounce rates and search engine optimization (SEO) as well.
A high bounce rate (which happens when people exit your website after only viewing 1 page) indicates to Google that your site might not be what online searchers are looking for. As a result, you may find your site rankings diminishing in favor of your competitors who are able to engage their web traffic for a longer period of time.
How can you keep these potential customers on your site longer, increasing your chance of conversion?
One effective method is to use the exit intent popup.
What is an Exit Intent Popup?
As the name implies, “exit intent popup” is a popup box that appears to give the customer an incentive to stay on your site.
The “exit intent” verbiage refers to technology that monitors the visitor’s behavior, including mouse movements, to predict when he or she is about to abandon your site.
Strategic Messages Based On The Actions Of Your Visitors
At that very moment, the prospect sees the exit popup appear, containing a strategic message based on his or her interests…at least, as best as it can gauge from what the user looked on your site.
For example, if the visitor was looking at a certain product, the popup can be designed to offer them a discount coupon for it.
The exit intent popup might contain a very simple message like: “You have products waiting in your cart. Don’t miss out on the benefits of product x. Enter “DONTGO” for an additional 10 percent off.”
We’ve found that using a specific code for your exit intent popups will give you the added benefit of measuring its effectiveness.
You can also target messages to specific groups
For example, if your visitor is visiting a blog post about “green smoothies” you might offer them an opt-in gift related to green smoothie recipes… Or if you’re on a sales page, you might offer a “fast action” discount for someone giving your product a try.
Exit Intent Popups Don’t Need To Be Salesy
The funny thing is that, even though they’re designed to help convert visitors into customers, your exit popups don’t always have to be so salesy. In fact, it’s best if they’re not.
Because you definitely don’t want visitors to feel pressured into buying something.
Instead, show them that you want to be their resource for information.
For example, if the visitor was reading a recent newsletter or blog about the product, you could have a popup that offers access to an e-book or whitepaper on the subject…or offer a free subscription to your newsletter.
This allows you to accomplish two things.
- You help the visitor see you as a trusted source of information, not just someone out to sell them something.
- You can obtain valuable contact information by requiring an e-mail address to download the research or get on the newsletter list.
An Automated “Helpful Salesperson”
More than 10 years ago, Barry Schwartz wrote about the effects of an over abundance of choices in his book Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More.
He concluded that instead of more choice bringing about more freedom, it increases our levels of anxiety and depression, and wastes valuable time. In August 2014, the New Yorker quoted Schwartz and concluded,
“If anything, it seems the proliferation and social acceptance of Amazon, smartphones, and online dating has only exacerbated this phenomenon.”
The information age has only added to the problem of too many choices. Most of us have experienced searching for a product online and just giving up because we could not decide between so many options.
How does this relate to exit intent popups?
Website abandonment often occurs when visitors are overwhelmed. There are so many options. The “paradox of choice” is too much and they leave without converting.
Think of the exit intent popup like the helpful salesperson that listens to your needs and recommends the perfect solution.
Providing a clear, direct message through the exit intent popup relieves customer anxiety, simplifies the decision-making process and makes a happy customer.
Exit Intent Popups Overcome Hurdles
As your “helpful salesperson,” exit intent popups can be used to accomplish numerous objectives and overcome many hurdles. Consider these five.
1. Overcome objections
In the real world, salespersons are trained to overcome objections from “I don’t have time” to “I don’t have the money” to “I don’t think it will help me.”
Offering a free, no obligation trial of your product or service overcomes most potential objections. Instead of a pile of abandoning users, you’ll have a pile of valuable sales leads.
2. Add value
Customers will perceive they are getting added value for taking advantage of the exit-intent popup. Whether it’s a discount code, a product recommendation, access to free research or a free trial offer, the customer should feel they are winning.
Be sure your popup does not just sound like an information-gathering expedition. Visitors must feel clicking “yes” is a “no-brainer.” Think of additional incentives that will sweeten the deal for abandoning visitors.
3. Increase frequency
The theory of effective frequency is an age-old advertising method based on reinforcing your message.
In short, it refers to the number of times a visitor must see a message before actually taking action.
Since your popup is closely aligned with your landing pages, it’s simply just another “touchpoint”, which results in another chance to reinforce your message.
4. Decrease your bounce rate
Bounce rates are just one piece of the algorithms used by search engines to rank search terms. If you have a lot of visitors that find you via a search engine, click on your link, then quickly realize they do not want to be there and click back, that’s a bounce.
A lot of those will increase your bounce rate and lower your SEO.
Exit intent popups can work to counteract this by directing users to a specific feature of your site and keeping them on a page longer, decreasing your bounce rate.
5. Add subscribers
Many times building a customer base is a long game. It’s not about selling something to every visitor. The entire premise behind the emergence of content marketing is slowly winning the trust of your prospects until they are ready to buy.
Use your exit popup to build your list of e-mail, newsletter or blog subscribers. Using an exit-intent popup is a tried and true list building strategies.
For example, consider a software company that sells customer management software targeted to physicians. Its exit popup can simply say, “gain access to timely research, trends in your industry and peer insights through our weekly newsletter.”
They become their customer’s trusted news source for industry trends instead of just a company that wants to sell software. Eventually, they are the company the physician trusts with his or her software needs.
Your Exit Intent Popup Can Be Intuitive
It’s no secret what makes a great salesperson. Effective salespeople know how to read body language and offer just the right amount of assistance or incentive without pushing the customer away.
Your exit intent popup can do the same. This effective technology reads customer behavior and jumps in right when needed to create a great customer experience.
The messaging is targeted to the customer, while reflecting the same tone as your website. However, wrong messaging and bad timing can have the opposite effect, leaving customers annoyed.
Our Polite Solution to the Website Abandonment Dilemma
Knowing that this is a huge area of potential growth for business owners, we wanted to implement an exit-intent strategy that was polite, easy-to-use, and super intuitive.
As we did our research, we realized that, even though there are a lot of products out there, the exit-intent realm could definitely stand for some improvement…which is why we can now recommend our own brain-child, the PopupAlly Pro WordPress plugin.
The PopupAlly Pro plugin for WordPress sites is affordable, intuitive, and easily customized to give you the control you need over your exit-intent popup. Who, how often, and when – all the variables are totally up to you.
If you’re looking for a good way to prevent website abandonment, increase conversions and drive up your subscriptions, it’s definitely worth looking into!