It’s crucial that you do all you can to keep website visitors from navigating away. Unfortunately, not everyone will remain on your site, and (of course) it’s impossible to prevent them from leaving.

Fortunately, ‘exit intent’ popups can provide a way to interact with visitors right before they leave. As such, you have one last chance to convert them. Furthermore, these popups give you greater control over your visitors’ exits without sacrificing the user’s experience.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to exit intent popups and the variety of benefits they offer. We’ll then highlight four best practices for creating exit intent popups on your site. Finally, we’ll show you how Popup Maker can help. Let’s get started!

What Exit Intent Popups Are (And Why They’re Important)

An example of an exit intent popup
An example of an exit intent popup from OptiMonk.

In short, exit intent popups trigger when your visitors go to leave your website. They can be triggered via a number of user actions, although mousing over to the toolbar at the top is a common one. Of course, there are a number of reasons users may leave your site, such as coming to the end of an article, finding the content irrelevant, or becoming distracted. However, an exit popup can help to engage them longer.exit intent popups

Many website owners are against the idea of popups. They believe they negatively affect UX and even drive away visitors. On the contrary, when used on your website exit intent popups can offer many benefits. For example:

It’s clear that exit intent popups can benefit your visitors and your website. However, it’s important to create them the ‘right’ way for maximum impact.

4 Best Practices for Creating Exit Intent Popups

As exit intent popups are a popular marketing tool, there are many guides available on how to optimize them. However, we’re going to look at how you can create effective exit intent popups from the very start. Let’s dig in!

1. Use Clear and Direct Copy to Improve UX

An example of a popup with clear and direct copy
Clear and direct copy – such as seen in this popup example from Curiosity Pack – is most effective.

Clear and direct copy is just as it sounds, and it’s a beneficial addition to any popups on your website. When used on exit intent popups, it can improve UX (by making it easy for the reader to understand the purpose) and increase the odds of the popup being read.

Writing clear and direct copy is something that comes with experience. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you create them:

  • Write simply. Cut any fluff, and say what you need to say in as few words as possible.
  • Use headings and font styles. Another way to be more direct is in how you present the copy. This means using headings or bold-style font for the main message, and less impactful styling for any supporting copy.

Overall, you want to deliver your message as quickly and efficiently as possible. To do so, consider the information that must be shared and cut out all the rest.

2. Incorporate “Yes” and “No” Choices to Improve Conversions

An example of a popup with "yes" and "no" choices
“Yes” and “No” options – such as that featured in Esquire’s popup – provide choice to your readers.

Choice is something that your visitors will appreciate. With this in mind, it’s a great idea to add “Yes” and “No” choices to your popups. This can improve conversions, as it’s more difficult to say “No” than to ignore the popup. How you incorporate your choices will matter greatly. As such, there are two main tips you’ll want to follow:

  1. Use contrast. While both choices should be visible, the positive choice should be bolder, brighter, and more attractive.
  2. Describe consequences. What will your visitors gain by saying “Yes”, and what will they lose by saying “No”? Add these to your buttons to further drive impact.

Of course, your main goal is conversions. However, giving your visitors options can soften the marketing attempt and make the visit more enjoyable for them.

3. Use A/B Testing to Find the Best Design For Your Popup

An example of an exit intent popup
With A/B testing, you can test the effectiveness of various elements. For an example, see the button color and headline for this popup from Social Triggers.

A/B testing is a method used by marketers to determine the best version of their website elements. Ultimately, this method can help you optimize your popups for maximum conversions.

If you’ve never used A/B testing before, no worries. Here are two simple guidelines to follow as you begin to test your popups:

  1. Change one thing at a time. With only one element of a tested popup changed, it will be much easier to know what’s working best.
  2. Set a sample size and stick with it. The larger your sample size, the more helpful your results. With this in mind, you should set a reasonable sample size at the beginning of your testing, and follow through with testing until it has been reached.

While you may go into testing with assumptions, it’s important to keep an open mind. You want to follow the results, even if they go against your own theories on effectiveness.

4. Use Cookies to Keep Your Popups Unintrusive

An example of a website cookie notice
Cookies – used by many sites, including Microsoft – help to limit intrusive popups and keep the UX enjoyable.

When you visit a website, a log is saved to your browser. This is known as a site cookie, and it’s a tool you can use on your own website. The truth is, popups can be a nuisance to visitors if used too frequently. However, cookies can lessen annoyance and improve UX.

Fortunately, cookies are easy to implement on your site. They’re even easier to optimize. Here are two ideas to get you started:

  1. Set a time limit on popup recurrence. This means deciding how often a popup should reappear once a visitor has seen it. In many tools (including Popup Maker), this is set to one month. Of course, it can be changed to fit your own needs.
  2. Set cookies on specific popups/triggers. You can also offer different popups to users, based on the ones they’ve already seen before.

By using cookies on your site, you can prevent certain popups from showing to regular visitors too frequently. They’ll likely appreciate the action, and this may lead them to come back again.

How to Create Effective Exit Intent Popups With Popup Maker

Popup Maker homepage

Popup Maker is an all-in-one popup creation plugin that’s easy to use and full of powerful features. What’s more, there are a number of extensions that introduce extra functionality, such as Exit Intent Popups. As its name suggests, it enables you to create popups that trigger as your visitors leave.

To use this feature, first install the extension. Once installed, you can then easily set up exit intent popups by adding one from the Popup Editor. From the Exit Intent Settings, you can set them to trigger when you’d like, customize the message as you need, and also set cookies for each popup.

Popup Maker's Exit Intent Popups settings

Best of all, you can use different exit intent popups on different pages of your site. This enables you to customize your popups for different website visitors for improved effectiveness.


By utilizing exit intent popups on your site correctly, you can improve overall conversions and even keep visitors returning. This will have a positive impact on your website, while also delivering a quality visitor experience.

In this post, we’ve introduced exit intent popups and their benefits. We’ve also outlined four best practices to use when creating them for your site. They include:

  1. Use clear and direct language to improve user experience.
  2. Incorporate “Yes” and “No” choices to improve conversions.
  3. Use A/B testing to find the best popup version.
  4. Use cookies to keep your popups unintrusive.

Do you have any questions about how to create exit intent popups, or how Popup Maker can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pexels.