Often times, ecommerce owners and marketers believe that the path to growth should be focused on finding ways to increase web traffic.
After all, the more relevant traffic to your website, the more sales you can make, right? And while this statement is true (for the most part), the fact is that it takes time and money to generate traffic in increasing numbers.
Instead, wouldn’t it be great if you could take advantage of your current traffic to increase leads and sales?
Improving your conversion rates allows you to capitalize on your current traffic, allowing you to not only get a better understanding of your customers, but also improving your your bottom line. This is especially important for those just starting out in ecommerce as competition continues to get more fierce.
While there are various optimization tactics that you can utilize for your ecommerce store, today we’ll be focusing on exit intent popups, also known as exit overlays.
What’s an Exit Overlay?
An exit overlay or exit intent popup is a modal or lightbox overlay that activates in the same window the user was browsing in, not a new window like a traditional popup. This modal activates when the app you use detects that a user is about to navigate away from your page.
(Example of exit intent pop up from Shopify store Furless).
It’s a marketing tool designed to convert abandoning web visitors into leads, sales & signups.
Exit overlays grey out the rest of the site in order to focus attention on one specific offer—for ecommerce stores that typically means a coupon or some other form of discount such as free shipping or a free gift in exchange for a visitor’s email address.
Additionally, you can offer an ebook or some other type of publication – this is typically useful for people about to leave your store’s blog.
How do Exit Overlays Work?
Exit overlays use an algorithm to track mouse gestures, resting moments, and other user movements. The algorithm then is able to detect when a user is about to abandon the site, triggering a popup that gives you one last chance to engage your visitor before they abandon your site.
Why Use an Exit Overlay?
As marketers, most of us know that the majority of web users won’t convert on their first visit. By the numbers, 98% of visitors to your site will leave without taking your desired action and 55% will leave within the first 15 seconds.
And given the sacrifice you endure to get each and every visitor to your site, having such a large percentage abandon your site is a serious blow.
To this end, exit overlays exist for one reason: to sweeten the pot for abandoning users, and recover value from them before they leave your site.
Further, exit overlays are a way to reduce site and cart abandonment without taking up too much of your valuable time, as much of the work is automated.
Finally, unlike other popups, an exit overlay can be a welcome interruption as they don’t take away from the user’s experience while navigating on site.
How to Use Exit Overlays Effectively
If you want your exit overlays to successfully prevent people from abandoning your ecommerce store, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success.
Provide Relevant Offers
If you’re only creating one offer for all your exit overlays, you’re going to be extremely disappointed in the results as you’ll find your conversions numbers low.
As John Komarek, an eCommerce conversion specialist from Pixelter points out in this article:
“Always make your visitors relate to the pop up you are displaying and offer something that will make them think twice or else they will just proceed abandoning your site – and possibly not come back!”
This means that you will want to create various campaigns that cater to specific segments so that you can tailor your overlay’s message accordingly.
A simple campaign might segment abandoning users into the following different groups:
- First-time visitors
- Returning visitors who haven’t purchased
- Users who are about to abandon a shopping cart
- Users who are about to abandon a browsing session on your blog
At first glance, you might think that a discount should be fine for all of the above segments, but that’s not the case.
For example, it might make sense to offer a discount (such as 10% off) for first time visitors. However, if these first time visitors keep returning and still don’t make a purchase, then it stands to reason that a 10% discount is not the best incentive and that you need to find a different offer to get them to make a purchase.
Or as another example, while a 10% promo code could prevent some people from abandoning their shopping cart, you might find it more effective if you make use of scarcity and urgency like in the example below.
The point is, if you want to connect with visitors before they leave your site and have them engage with your popup, then you’ll want to make sure that you provide a relevant offer to your visitor.
Clean & Clear Design
If your exit intent overlay is cluttered without a clear call-to-action, then you risk people exiting before they even look at your offer. This is because you’re tasking visitors to complete something too complicated. Essentially, they’re spending too much time reading the content instead of paying attention to your marketing message.
A good exit overlay should reflect your brand’s style while keeping your message simple and a clear call-to-action.
(Due to the great design, it’s easy to quickly understand what Leesa is offering in exchange for your email. Additionally, they make good use of urgency with their messaging).
Images can be a great way to engage more of your audience’s senses allowing you to better grab their attention.
Remember the exit overlay from Leesa that we showed you just moments ago? Now take a look below at a version we altered just for this example.
This edited version, without an image, doesn’t catch the eye nearly as well as the real exit popup that Leesa shows visitors that are about to abandon their site.
Provide Additional Motivation
Want to provide an additional push to get users to take your desired action?
Take advantage of people’s fear of missing out (FOMO) by making use of tactics like urgency, scarcity, and exclusivity around your exit overlay’s offer.
A few ideas of how you can do this includes making use of timers, letting people know that availability of a product in a shopper’s cart is limited, or that the offer presented is a one time deal.
While looking for ways to increase traffic to your online store is certainly important, it’s equally important, if not more so, to optimize your conversions.
And while there are many ways to optimize your conversions, exit overlays or exit intent popups are a great way to do so as it’s a process that’s fairly simple to implement and can be automated.
Furthermore, unlike other types of popups, exit overlays stay out of the way of users who are already taking your desired action, while giving you a second chance to interact with shoppers who are planning on leaving your site.