You’re spending valuable time, effort and money to drive and increase traffic to your website.

I assume that you want to get the maximum return on all those resources you’re spending. If you do, you have to turn visitors into customers every possible chance you get.

But the challenging questions that you will need answers to for the same are:

  • How can I make more people convert and increase the conversion rate?
  • How can I follow up and eventually bring back visitors who haven’t converted?

One of the tools that most marketers or website admins are using to tackle this problem is popups, modals, overlays or however else you want to call those things that come up on top of a web page, displaying some sort of a message.

According to, 30% of the top 1000 US eCommerce sites use overlays – 22% using entry overlays, 14% using exit overlays and 6% using both.

I’m going to explain why you should stop using popups when a visitor enters your website and why you should use exit intent popups instead.

1. You don’t want to interrupt the users or interfere with their user experience

Think of how you act or  behave on a website: You clicked somewhere and your brain expects to see something specific, and then suddenly you see something else!

If you clicked on an interesting post you saw on your Facebook news feed, you expect to see the post, if you searched for nike air max 90 you expect to find the sneakers you were looking for, if you want to book a hotel for your next holiday you expect a list of hotels for your favorite destination etc etc.

So, what happens when you expect something specific to see and instead you see a marketing campaign on a popup overlay?

After tracking hundreds of thousands of visits, we noticed a clear pattern. The vast majority of the users were looking immediately for a way to close that popup. In most cases they didn’t even care or read what was on it . They just wanted to get rid of it so they could move on to what their brain had expected to come next.

I’m sure you’ve already experienced this dozens of times…

And that’s the first reason you should not use popups when someone enters a website. Let your visitors browse in peace and learn from their behaviour.

2. You don’t want to treat all visitors the same

When you show a popup to all visitors entering your website, you treat all visitors the same. Regardless of who they are, what they’ve done or what they’re interested in. In reality, visitors behave differently, so why would you want to treat them all the same?

Here’s some examples of visitor segments that you wouldn’t want to treat the same:

New vs returning (but not loyal) vs returning (loyal)

You visit a website for the first time and the first thing you see is a popup telling you to subscribe to their newsletter or (even worse) like their Facebook page. Why would you want to? You don’t know who they are or what they do.  You haven’t made up your mind yet – do you like them, do you trust them, do they have what you were looking for?

Let the first time visitors explore and target them with a tailored message when you know more about them.

Visitors with different interests

Imagine you have an online fashion store, selling both men and women product ranges. Wouldn’t it be better if you targeted visitors of each segment with a more appropriate campaign?

The same goes for any other type of website.

On a news website you would increase conversions if you targeted those primarily interested in sports differently from those reading more about finance and economic news.

A digital agency can target a visitor with a very personalized campaign if they first know that she mainly reads conversion optimization related posts on the blog, rather than design related blog posts.

Visitors on different stages of the buying cycle

In most cases users go through a shorter or longer conversion funnel (depending on the type of business) before becoming your customers.

The stages of this buying cycle are:  awareness → consideration → preference/interest → purchase → re-purchase. This is exactly why you should target each segment with tailored and personalized campaigns.

Tracking the behaviour of first-time visitors, you may target them with email subscription campaigns – of course with tailored messages based on what they have seen on the website. Or ask them to simply like your Facebook page.

The objective at this point is to get them interested enough to get a way to reach them in the future. The goal is to nurture them gradually and bring them back to the website.

To returning visitors, offering a free resource like an ebook on a subject they are interested in, will get you more contact or personal details.

And then, you could target those who downloaded the ebook and also saw your “services” page, with a free demo or a free consultation call. You could set up an entire sales pipeline just by using exit intent pop-ups and a killer strategy!

If you use popups on entry you’re definitely losing a lot of leads or customers which you could have generated if you were a little more patient. It is wiser to first understand them, before approaching them with a request.

Use Exit Bee’s Exit Intent Technology Because:

1. You don’t want to irritate or interrupt your visitors when they enter your website.

By waiting until the user is about to leave your website, you increase the chance of a conversion. If for example, a visitor found your post valuable and informative, there’s a better chance he’ll subscribe to your newsletter or share your post with his network if you asked him ‘after’ he read the post.

2. You can target your visitors based on their physical location, the device they’re using or the source they came from. 

Your visitors might not be coming from just one channel. There could be some who are coming in from one of your social channels – Facebook or Twitter, and there could be those who are coming from their own Google searches. These are also people who could be accessing your website via a mobile device or on a desktop, while sitting in office. They are different from one another!

Each of these people are expecting different things from your website. Using Exit Bee you could target them with customised campaigns that are more relevant to the source they came from.

3. You can select the appropriate campaign for each visitor based on the pages he’s seen as well.

Based on the type of your website you could trigger:

  • campaign A to users visiting the men’s section and campaign B to those browsing the women section, campaign C to those browsing men’s shoes, etc
  • a campaign promoting your new sales page only to visitors who are leaving without having seen it

4. You can target visitors based on their behaviour too.

For example, you could:

  • show an email subscription campaign to those who have read two or more posts on your blog
  • offer a discount to those who have added items to the cart but are not completing the purchase
  • ask those who have spent more than 4 minutes on your website, to like your Facebook page
  • anything else you can think of and make sense for your website, business and visitors

Exit Bee gives you the technology. Add the strategy and you’ll start turning lost visitors to customers!

PS: If you made it this far I guess you found this interesting. So just before you exit this page, you’ll see a campaign to request a free personal demo to find out how Exit Bee can help you increase conversions on your website.

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Pavlos Linos

Founder and CEO at Exit Bee. I enjoy working on customer development and marketing optimization. I mostly write about how you can turn more visitors into customers.

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