Exit Popups – Can They Work for You?

Feb 9, 2012   //   by Ada   //   SEO Blog  //  8 Comments

Popups are certainly a very efficient way to communicate your message (and to nag your users, too) and almost any marketer knows this. Conventional popups that display when a user lands on a page (or after some delay, or at specified events, if you are using a more sophisticated tool, such as a WordPress popup plugin) might be the first thing that comes to your mind but since they are also the most used and many users will leave your site right after they see a popup, you might want to experiment with something different. How about exit popups?

What Are Exit Popups?

Exit popups, as the name implies, are those popups you show when the user is about to leave (i.e. exit) your site. Actually, exit popups aren’t that rare and I can bet that more or less every Web-savvy user has encountered them but you probably didn’t know them by name. Well, now you know how these popups that scream, “Wait! Don’t leave!” are called.

Depending on the tool you use, there are different varieties of exit popups and different options you can configure. For instance, if you use a WordPress popup plugin, such as Popup Domination, or Action Popup, you basically have JavaScript alert box and the lightbox opt-in popup at your disposal.

The JavaScript alert box is plain and simple. It could also be more annoying but still it does a great job. The lightbox opt-in popup is more artful. In fact it is a full-blown popup, like the ones you see when you land on a site but the difference is that you see this one when you are about to leave. A lightbox opt-in popup allows to include text, your logo, and almost everything else you can think of. This, of course, doesn’t mean you must include absolutely everything you can think of because this will make the popup fat and it might take some time to load in the user’s screen, especially on slow connections.

When Exit Popups Are the Better Option

The best thing about exit popups is that they are less annoying. Additionally, since you display them when the user is about to leave your site anyway, you are not losing visitors. With conventional popups displayed at startup, many users might get irritated and instead of reading what’s in the popup, they will leave your site altogether. This way you are losing a visitor and this is bad.

With exit popups this doesn’t happen – since the user has already made his or her mind he or she is leaving, you’ve got nothing to lose. What is more, if your message in the exit popup is convincing, you could even get the user back to your site to see more.

Well, with exit popups you have only one chance to show them. With standard popups in theory you can display them at every page refresh or every 30 secs or so but in practice this isn’t a good idea because such a high display frequency is very irritating to the user. Anyway, the fact you are using exit popups doesn’t mean you have to ditch standard popups completely, so in fact you can use on your site both standard and exit popups. You can make these popups with the same message, or use different messages – just decide what your needs are.

What is more, usually it is a question of quality not quantity, so don’t regret the fact you can show an exit plugin only once. Just make your farewell message convincing enough and you might be lucky to make a sale, get a new subscriber, or make the user do whatever you are asking him or her to do.

How to Use Exit Popups

As I already mentioned, WordPress popup plugins with an exit popup option are the best way to display an exit popup, especially if you are already using WordPress as your platform. The simplest way to display an exit popup is with some code you put in your theme (i.e. without a dedicated plugin) but this approach generally limits you a lot. For instance, you will be depriving yourself of all the configuration options that come with the plugin, which in turn will make your message less effective. This is why the best you can do is get a WordPress popup plugin, install it, and think of a cute message your readers will love.

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To read more about exit popups, WordPress popups, such as Popup Domination, and WordPress plugins and themes in general, visit our site at WinkPress. There you will find detailed tips, howtos, and reviews on many WordPress related topics, which will help you take advantage of all the power that comes with WordPress.

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  • Gwendolyn says:

    I will try to install this..Thank you for sharing this good info to us..

  • Ada says:

    Exit popups do work – very often they are more efficient and certainly less irritating than normal popups, so they are worth trying.

  • Robert

    Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of exit pop ups. I don’t use them on any of my sites and probably never will. You do make a great point about exit pop ups: you really aren’t losing any visitors by using them.

    Although I don’t really come across exit popups much, they seem to be used most often around sales pages. “Stay on the page and receive (some better offer/something free).” I wonder if there is a more creative way to use exit pop ups.

    • Ada says:

      Sales sites are always ahead in terms of use of advanced techniques. I’ve also seen exit popups on sales/affiliate sites mainly but also on all other sorts of sites, though much less frequently. I guess the better offer pitch is the best use of an exit popup (if the offer really rocks, then the visitor might reconsider leaving for sure). Maybe if you ask the visitor to bookmark the site, or submit it to social sites is also a good use – it doesn’t require much effort for them but is free promotion for you. Still, this doesn’t beat the better offer pitch.

  • Nice article on popups. I use a cool one on my website. It will help you with the Panda and Penguin updates. Now if people dont stay on your website very long it counts against you. Thanks again.

  • Mark

    Definitely some interesting points on the Exit Popup. I’m trying to decide which route to go, and after reading your article I think I may go with the Exit Popup.

    From a sales perspective (even if you aren’t technically “selling” anything) it does make a lot more sense to place the popup at the exit. It’s like saying, “You’ve seen my product. Now, do you want to buy it (or bookmark my page or join my newsletter or follow me on Twitter, etc.)?” But the Welcome Popup is counterintuitive. It is almost saying, “Hey, I know you haven’t seen my product yet, but will you buy it?”

    I now think the Exit Popup makes a lot more sense.

  • Katrina says:

    Hi, I was just wondering if anyone knows where I can find actual data that shows the exit pop-up really works? I have read so many articles saying how they are great and they work but there is very little data out there that backs it up. ie. What effect did it have? Did it increase your conversion, by how much? I would love to just take everyone’s word for it but I need some data! maybe I’m looking in the wrong places? Can anyone direct me to some good numbers on this?

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