Getting More Juice Out of Exit Popups. 5 Mind Tricks that Will Skyrocket Your Exit Popups Conversions

Seeing visitors leaving your site without engaging with your store is frustrating.
But not being able to stop them in their tracks feels even worse.

After all, you provided them with a smooth buying experience. Structured the site to make it easy to find information.
And then displayed an enticing exit popup to change their mind when they decided to leave.
And yet they ignored it and chose to go somewhere else.

But you know:
Hard as changing the exiting visitors’ minds might seem, it’s not impossible.
For that to happen, though, you first need to understand how your existing visitors think. And then use that knowledge to break their thought patterns.

Luckily, that’s exactly what I’m going to show you in this post.
I’ll teach you five mind tricks guaranteed to increase your exit popups conversion rate.
I’ll also explain how you could incorporate them into your strategy.
Let’s begin…

#1. Say Something that Will Get a Visitor to Think of Anything Else but You Trying to Prevent Them from Leaving

Tell me:
What’s your first reaction to seeing a salesperson at your door?
Irritation? Anger? Fear?

What about the first thing you feel when answering a call from a telemarketer?
I’m sure it’s no different…

You immediately discriminate them. And then use any anti-sales tools you have to get out of the encounter.
You lie about being in the middle of something important. Or say that you’re minding a child and have to get back to doing it asap.
Just to shut them off…

That’s why most salespeople try to divert your attention from the fact that they’re about to sell you something.
And to achieve it, they use a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) technique called the Pattern Interrupt.

As the name suggests, Pattern Interrupt aims to disturb the person’s pattern of behavior.

For example:
Instead of following the standard sales pitch format, the salesperson opens the call with an unusual question:
Hi John, this is Derek Lewis. Does that name sound familiar?

The question immediately throws a prospect off their guard. It also makes it less likely to recognize the caller as a salesperson.

And you know what: Your web visitors are no different.

They know what you’re trying to do the moment they notice an exit popup on screen.
After all, they’ve seen those popups jumping at them almost everywhere.
And so, your challenge is to prevent them from discriminating your popup as yet another way to get their email address.

How to do it?

Ask a question visitors won’t expect
An exit popup on Mailigen featuring an unexpected question

Or use bold, proactive verbs that grab attention
By the way, that exit popup (one the Wisepop’s templates) achieves 18% CTR on average (based on 177K displays) and so far collected 32,761 emails for our users.
Amazing, huh?

Or offer something they’d never expect…
An exit popup on GStar Raw offering free shipping forever

#2. Give an Exit Visitor Simple Choice and Overcome Their Analysis Paralysis

Oh I’m sure you know it already:
We suck at decision-making.

Research proved this trait of our behavior to be true over and over again.
For example:
Did you know that we’ll jump at the opportunity to skip making a decision? And that’s even if this means ending up with a poorer choice.
That’s one reason why we often select the default option, regardless of the consequences.

Also, we are very short-sighted in our decisions, according to a study by a Princeton University Professor (and Nobel Prize Winner), Daniel Kahneman.
And the more choice we have, the less likely we’re are to make a decision.

This last trait of our behavior, known as the Analysis Paralysis, makes us to over-analyze situations to the point of not making a decision at all.

Paul Boag lists many analysis paralysis symptoms on a typical ecommerce site:

  • Too many products in one category.
  • Complex ways of customizing products.
  • An overwhelming selection of special offers.
  • Endless categories and sub categories of products.

But here’s the catch:

By giving a person just one, simple option that counteracts their frustration we can increase their likelihood of saying yes.

#3. Shock or Tease Your Visitors to Stop Their Exit

We love to be shocked.
Any such experience activates the pleasure centers of our brains, surges the dopamine levels, and makes us feel good.
Surprise also makes us pay attention to whatever is surprising us because we don’t know what it is.
And that’s because surprise is also responsible for the release of noradrenaline into our systems.
This hormone is responsible for concentration. And because of it, when surprised we get to pay much closer attention to what’s happening around us.

You could use this trait of behavior to increase conversions of your exit popups.

Here’s how.
Make a bold statement that contradicts what the visitors believes in.

Or tease them with an outcome they secretly wish to.

#4. Ask A Question

I agree:
Asking a question is an old trick in the sales book.
And also one of the most useful ones.

You see:
Our brains are naturally wired to spot questions.

You can do your best to tune out of what’s going around you. But the minute you get a feeling that someone’s asking you a question, you begin to pay attention again.
In his book, To Sell is Human Dan Pink gives an example of a study from the Ohio State University that illustrates it well.
In the experiment, researchers decided to test students’ reaction on pitches advocating changing a particular school policy.
They presented some of the pitches in a standard form. The, they presented the rest in the form of questions.
And as it turned out, respondents who heard pitches presented as questions were more likely to agree to the change.
The researchers concluded that it’s because questions forced students to process the information more intensely.
So, if you need to increase the chances that a visitor will pay attention to your exit popup, ask them a question.
It’s that simple.

An exit overlay on copyhackers.com

#5. Target Your Exiting Visitor’s Desired Action on the Site

You know:
Every visitor landing on your site is looking for something.
But this doesn’t automatically mean they want to buy.

They might be seeking information.

And unless they find it on the site, they will leave.
Therefore, by identifying who those people are and what are their motivations for visiting the site, you can target your exit popup at that desired action and…
…stop them in their tracks.

For example, a mobile visitor isn’t likely to complete the sale right away.
Customers indeed begin their journey to purchase on a smartphone. But the majority complete it on another device.
(image source)

And so, showing them a popup with an offer or sale might not entice them to convert.
But getting them to sign up to a mailing list or get in touch with you just might.
To use this hack, you first need to work out your customer buckets:
Make a list of all the ways visitors land on your site (i.e. mobile, desktop, search, PPC ad, etc.)
Then identify pages these land on, what they might have been looking for, what might have been their objective for visiting the site. Then try to understand what might have caused them not to complete it.
And then, create an exit popup that overcomes that problem.

And that’s it.

Now you know how your visitors think and what mind tricks you can use to increase exit popups conversions.
What’s left is to put this knowledge in motion.
Good luck.

Pawel Grabowski Pawel is an SEO and content marketing consultant working exclusively with SaaS brands.

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