How to Use Exit-Intent Campaigns to Increase Your Conversions

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April 26, 2019

Chances are you’ve heard the stat that only 2% of your traffic will ever convert, right?

Although the average ecommerce conversion rate might be slightly higher these days, most businesses are understandably unhappy with such a low figure.

And hey, we totally get it.

Enter the era of exit-intent campaigns.

Rather than let your most valuable traffic slip through your fingers, exit pops grab your visitors’ attention at the perfect moment and help convert them into full-fledged customers.

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Today’ exit intent campaigns are a far-cry from spammy pop-ups of the past. From higher conversion rates to creating a better customer experience, there’s a reason why such pops are a staple of ecommerce brands today.

It all boils down to how you use them.

4 Foolproof Ways to Convert Customers with Exit-Intent Campaigns

Below is a quick breakdown of how modern businesses crush their exit-intent campaigns. The following tactics are fair game for turning your would-be bounced traffic into customers.

1. Offer Targeted Deals and Discounts

Perhaps the most obvious use of exit-intent campaigns is to provide your visitors with a little financial “push.”

Doing so doesn’t mean that you’re really giving anything away for free, by the way. Deals and discounts are the norm for the vast majority of consumers. Whether it’s free shipping, a dollar-off amount of a percentage discount, your traffic is expecting something to sweeten to deal.

So why not give it to them?

Pops like this one from Blue Apron work brilliantly to encourage your traffic to act sooner rather than later.

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The countdown timer creates a sense of urgency. Meanwhile, the steep discount is more than enough to win over anyone on the fence. Whether it’s a skeptic or someone who was already interested, such a discount is exactly what you need to move them through your funnel.

2. Crack Down on Cart Abandonment

If your business is plagued by high cart abandonment, you aren’t alone.

In fact, a staggering three-fourths of shoppers will leave any given site without completing their initial purchase.

Exit-intent campaigns are a way to provide your shoppers with an incentive to keep things moving. For example, tacking on a small discount or time-out message can do the trick.

Minimum managed to reduce their cart abandonment rate significant through an exit intent campaign like the following.

This business was able to win more sales and score sign-ups for their newsletter at the same time.

Discounts are particularly effective because unexpected costs at checkout (think: shipping, fees, taxes) represent one of the biggest reasons why people abandon their shopping carts in the first place. These sort pop-ups ensure that your traffic doesn’t bounce while also making them feel like they got a great deal.

3. Personalize Your Offers

Exit intent campaigns work in tandem with your on-site cookies which allow you to “follow” your visitors as they move from Point A to Point B.

By accepting cookies, brands can segment their visitors based on their behaviors including which pages they spend time on or whether or not they’ve been to your site before.

Want to offer a specific product discount? Give a freebie to a first-time or return visitor? Go for it. Here’s an example from Everlane of an exit-intent campaign targeting new customers.


This tactic also allows you to segment your email opt-ins as well. In turn, you can send them personalized messages and offers in the future based on where they came from.

Exit-intent campaigns aren’t just about one-off purchases: they’re about creating long-term customers who you can sell to time and time again.

4. Promote Your Latest Offers or Content

Let’s say you have a fresh promotion or time-sensitive offer.

Customers old and new should know about it, right?

Time-sensitive campaigns and offers are a prime reason to hit your visitors with an exit-pop. Doing so serves as sort of a second chance to encourage visitors to see what you have to offer without being spammy about it. Here’s a great example from Casper. Casper deal

Shoppers are savvy and know that they’re being sold to. Offering context to your pop-up beyond “just because” is a smart move for appealing to their desire for a bargain while still being tasteful.

What Are The Best Practices of Exit Intent Campaigns?

We’re glad you asked!

Now that you have a taste of how exit-intent campaigns can increase conversions, the question remains: what’s the anatomy of an effective pop-up?

Here are some quick best practices to consider which ring true for just about any business or industry.

Keep your copy short. Pop-ups with fewer words traditionally convert more customers as they’re straightforward and are easier to digest at a glance. As noted by the examples throughout this post, be economical with your words.

Make your CTA loud and clear. Don’t simply ask your visitors to “Click here.” Note that high-performing calls-to-action not only boast custom text (“CLAIM NOW” or “YES, I WANT IT”), but also a clashing color scheme that immediately stands out. Bright, bold colors are always a safe bet.

Timing is relative. There is no “right” way to time your exit-intent campaigns. 10 seconds? 30 seconds? We recommend that you experiment based on your average time-on-page and bounce rate to see what garners the most response.

Here’s a perfectly-timed exit-intent abandonment pop that ticks all of the boxes above.

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See how that works?

Ready to Run an Exit Intent Campaigns?

Listen: your visitors are busy. Like, crazy busy.

And chances are they could use an extra “push” to spend.

Exit-intent campaigns are capable of grabbing any and all visitors and ultimately convincing them to convert.

With the help of the tactics and campaign types outlined above, you have everything you need to start crafting your own campaigns to increase your sales.

And with that, good luck!

About Emil Kristensen

Emil Kristensen is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote: a company that helps e-commerce brands engage their site visitors—without hurting the user experience.