One common question that most website owners and bloggers have, is whether they should re-target their visitors as soon as they land or during their exit? Are entry popups targeting too soon? Are exit intent popups too late to convey the message?

In this post, we’re going to answer it all.

In one of our previous posts, we discussed why your business website to ditch entry popups and opt for exit intent popups instead. Taking a look at the pros and cons of each, we also concluded that exit intent popups were better for websites who wanted to deliver a seamless experience to their visitors.

But according to Conversific.com, there are about 30% of the top 1000 US websites that make use of popups. While 22% swear by entry popups, 14% choose exit intent popups and 6% use both of them.

Entry vs exit intent popups

You may have noticed that a lot many times when you land on a website, you’re retargeted with a welcome popup. Now this popup could be a simple welcome note from the website, hold a special offer for their first time visitors or nudge you to optin to their email list. But either ways, it is the first thing you see instead of what the website really does have to offer.

For instance, this website here. Now you know BaubleBar has really pretty jewellery to offer because you saw an advertising showcasing some pieces. But you haven’t seen their entire range or read any of the specifications. So would you share your email address with them and put yourself at the risk of being spammed – in case you don’t like their products? Absolutely not.

baublebar popup

A visitor would first want to look at what the website has to offer and then decide if he really wants to interact with the business or share his contact details with them.

This is where action triggered or exit intent popups come in.

These popups don’t show up as soon as the visitor lands on the website. They instead track the visitor’s movements across the website and then retarget him only when he shows signs of leaving the website. This gives the website visitor enough uninterrupted time to discover what the website has to offer and form an opinion of it.

For instance, this popup here triggers right before a visitor is about to leave the website offering him a demo of the product he just read about – the reason being, the product could be such that he probably didn’t get a complete understanding of.

offer a demo

But you can’t assume if a visitor has understood the information you offer on your website. Hence, you need to give him enough time to process the same before encouraging some sort of action out of him.

Don’t believe us? Here are a few science backed reasons why exit intent popups work better than entry or welcome popups.

1. Way too many choices

If you run an eCommerce business, then your store certainly has more than one products of more than one brands available. With each of them coming at competitive prices and attractive features, how is one to make a choice? The same holds true for your store visitors.

Most online shoppers abandon their carts or don’t make a purchase from a website simply because they didn’t know what to choose. And that’s absolutely normal. This is why an exit intent overlay comes handy.

When the visitor is all too confused about the purchase, he is definitely going to leave your store thinking he’s going to come back to it at a later time – which is most likely to not happen. An exit popup here that shows him a popular range from the products he has shown interest in or a message that offers help in making the purchase, would be perfect! It gives the shopper a sense of direction.

2. Overwhelmed by information

Now when you have a B2B product or a software to offer, there are various technical and non-technical aspects to it that your target audience needs to know. In this case, you end up jotting down all the necessary information on your website, answering all the possible questions that a visitor might have regarding your product.

This leads to an information overload and overwhelmed with all of it consumed, a visitor is more likely to leave the website without converting. This could be because of two reasons – either the visitor hasn’t understood your value proposition or he thinks that the product you offer is way too complicated for him to use.

In this case, an exit popup that holds him back just before he is about to leave the website does the trick. Retargeting him with your core value proposition or how your product helps in simpler words, offering a demo or starting some kind of a conversation directs the visitor to the path to conversion.

For example, when someone is leaving our website, a campaign popups that hits directly on the reason why the visitor came to our website in the first place – wanting to get more conversions.

purple exit bee campaign step 1

This directs him to the very next step of conversion – a form that gives us some of his contact information to bring him into the sales cycle. What we did here is pretty simple – give the visitor a little direction.

purple exit bee campaign step 2

3. Inability to make a decision

An average professional makes more than at least ten decisions a day – what to wear to work, what to eat, when to schedule the meeting and more. But eventually, we all reach a point where we expect the other person to take the decision instead of us – “what’s for dinner? I don’t know, you tell me.”

This happens to all of us – when we’re shopping online, looking for a tool that helps us in marketing, etc. The inability to make a decision either makes us seek what others think or not take the decision at all.

And this is where the use of an exit intent popup comes in. Just when the visitor is leaving the website because he can’t make up his mind, a campaign shows up to tell him why exactly he should convert – be it an additional off that he can get from your website or limited free premium accounts that he might not get later.

For instance, this eCommerce website here re-targets shoppers leaving from the checkout process with an additional off. Now that’s reason enough to make the decision of completing the purchase right away!

house of blouse ecommerce case study 2

Read case study here.

4. Breaking the natural flow

Here’s a fact – we all have a way of doing things. Be it the way we start the day or the way I write a blog post every day. The flow to the latter includes me researching on different topics that our blog could cover, what people are looking for and then move on to look for data that will help me frame the post better. Very usual.

Now what if when I’m just thinking of writing a post, a person walks in to discuss his experience with exit intent popups? My flow’s broken but I’m definitely going to get deeper insights into how our target customers think and what challenges they are facing in converting their website visitors.

Exit intent popups work in a similar fashion. An average internet user’s flow includes searching for what he is looking for, landing on a website, scrolling through a few pages and then leaving. The popup breaks the flow by getting triggered just before he is leaving with a message that holds him back a little longer and encourages him to convert before leaving!

For instance, I visit this online store, take a look at their products, don’t find one suiting my budget and decide to leave. That’s when a popup that nudges me to subscribe to their newsletter to get special deals comes up. If not a purchase, I’m definitely a lot likely to subscribe to this newsletter and wait for a deal to reach my inbox.

folklore subscription

Read case study here.

Conclusion

If we had to put it in simpler words, here’s why a business website should choose exit intent popups over entry or welcome popups:

  • Entry popups target the visitor as soon as he lands on the website, not giving him time to see what the website actually has to offer. Exit intent popups give the visitor time enough to consume the information a website has to offer.
  • Entry popups demand an action out of the visitor even before he knows what the business is about and would be willing to. Exit intent popups wait for the visitor to process the information he consumed before targeting or expecting an action out of him.
  • Entry popups interrupt the initial flow of the website visitor which brings him to scrolling through your web pages. Exit intent popup only interrupts the visitor when he is about to leave the website, helping you reduce your bounce rates as well.
  • Exit intent popups deliver a richer and more non-intrusive experience to website visitors as compared to entry or welcome popups that seem to bombard the visitor.

Sounds just about right? Then it’s time to replace your entry popups with exit intent popups right away!

ecommerce cta


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Vanhishikha Bhargava

Content Marketer at Exit Bee. Most of the times found trying to create compelling copies for blogs and digital campaigns, keeping a watch on what's happening on social media or ranting on Twitter. At all other times, not found.

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