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7 Intelligent Ways to Use Exit-Intent Campaigns (The Right Way)

  • Conversion Rate Optimization

I know what you’re thinking… Yes, exit-intent campaigns can be annoying.

And many of them are because most marketers don’t know how to use them right.

A good exit-intent campaign provides value and gives you a reason to stay on someone’s site.

But how?

That’s exactly what we’ll look at in this post. I’ll show you how top brands use exit-intent campaigns to turn their visitors into leads and customers. (Spoiler: some have conversion rates above 60%).

Plus, I’ll share 7 advanced exit-intent strategies you can implement on your site in under an hour.

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How to Create a High-Converting Exit-Intent Campaign

Many marketers fail to understand what makes a great exit-intent campaign.

They use the same campaign across their entire site and neglect their visitors’ behavior which creates a bad user experience.

What’s better is ensuring your exit-intent campaign shows the right message to the right users on the right pages.

It may sound complicated. But it’s not.

Click on any of the below sections to learn how to use exit-intent intelligently. Or, start from the beginning of the post.

1. Use Cookies to Target Specific Visitor Segments

Most consumers love to hate cookies.

But for us marketers, cookies are amazing because they give us more information about our website visitors.

One of the most important aspects of an exit-intent campaign (or any campaign for that matter), is to make sure it only shows to the right visitor segment.

And that’s where cookies can help you.

Cookies will let you know a visitor’s browsing history on your site, if they’re logged in, clicked a certain link, added an item to their favorites, and more.

Use that information in your campaigns.

Remember: these visitors are about to leave your site, so you have to provide value to them if you want them to stay or convert into a lead.

Let’s take an example.

Let’s say a visitor browses your site and visits three different product pages for speakers. Each visit leaves a cookie for that specific page, so the visitor now has three different cookies all indicating an interest in speakers.

Then all of the sudden this visitor chooses to leave your site.

You know they have an interest in speakers, so why not catch them before they leave and try to recapture their interest?

Here’s an example from Bang & Olufsen:

This campaign doesn’t use exit-intent, but it does illustrate how you can use cookies to provide relevant offers to abandoning visitors.

Here’s an example of what those cookies could be:

Takeaway: Create content for your exit-intent campaigns based on the information you have on your visitors. Set up several different campaigns that trigger on different cookies to see what works and what doesn’t.

2. Collect Feedback from Abandoning Visitors

As marketers, we’re always trying to get into the minds of our target audience.

We want to know how they think, so we can market to them more effectively.

The best way to get this information is to ask your visitors.

And even better:

Ask them when they’re about to leave your site.

Here’s an example from Novasol (the largest vacation home rental business in Northern Europe):

When visitors go to leave the Novasol website, this campaign shows, asking them two simple questions about their experience.

Here it is in English:

They’ve tested this campaign on their German and Danish website, and their results are impressive.

Novasol gathered 18,300+ responses from this campaign alone.

This type of campaign works because visitors are able to answer the questions directly in the campaign. Furthermore, Novasol lets visitors know what the survey is for and that they won’t share their visitors’ responses.

When it comes to surveying with exit-intent campaigns, limit the number of questions you ask. Visitors are about to leave the site, so they don’t have the patience to answer more than three to four questions maximum.

Also, a lot of businesses use an incentive such as a discount code or gift certificate to convince visitors to fill in a survey. This isn’t necessarily a good thing because it can lower the quality of the answers you get.

If you don’t offer an incentive but just ask people for their feedback, you’ll get better insights that you can use to improve the user experience on your site.

Your exit-intent survey should only appear on relevant pages on your website, depending on the questions you ask.

Here are a few examples of how you can use exit-intent surveys on different pages on your site:

  • Receipt page: Ask customers to rate their shopping experience
  • Pages with high bounce rate: Ask visitors why they leave (you can use radio buttons or a simple comment field)
  • Product pages: Ask about their general experience on your site or if they found what they were looking for (if no, why not?)

Only your imagination sets the limit for what you can ask abandoning visitors, as long as you keep it simple.

Takeaway: Create different exit-intent surveys for different pages, and keep the number of questions to a minimum.

3. Translate Your Campaigns for Your Audience

It’s an ongoing discussion among marketers whether to translate ad copy based on each target market.

All too often, translations are done quickly and without consideration for cultural differences.

Just think about when Pepsi tried to introduce their product to the Chinese market with the slogan: “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life.”

In Chinese, the translation read: “We bring your ancestors back from the grave”. Not good, especially considering how important ancestor worship is in Chinese culture.

But what about campaigns that only appear on your website?

The short answer is this:

If your website is multilingual, you should translate all your campaigns into the target market’s language (especially your exit-intent campaigns).

Take Kapten & Son:

Their website comes in five different languages: English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

On each website, their exit-intent campaign has been translated to match the language on the site.




By translating the campaigns into the target language, Kapten & Son personalize their campaigns which increase the likelihood visitors will opt in.

To do this, each campaign has a URL-specific condition ensuring the right campaign shows on the right pages.

For instance, the French campaign is triggered on this URL:

When the URL contains an identifier for the language, add that URL to the conditions of your campaign, and it will only show on that page.

(Hint: if you want the campaign to show on all pages on the French website, you simply add a “*” after the URL in the condition like this: https://kapten-son.com/fr/* )

Takeaway: Translate campaigns to match the languages of your website. Remember to get a professional to translate your campaigns to ensure they’re correctly translated both grammatically and culturally. (No one wants another Pepsi incident).

4. Combine Triggers for Better Exposure

Who says a campaign can only have one trigger?

If you want to show your campaigns to more people, try combining different triggers.

You still have to consider your buyer persona, and who you want your campaign to be shown to. After all, you don’t have to show all campaigns to everyone (more on that later).

So what triggers should you combine with the exit-intent trigger?

It depends on the purpose of your campaign.

If you want to promote a product on specific pages, but want to wait until visitors have read a certain amount of the page content, you can combine a scroll trigger with an exit-intent trigger.

If you set the scroll trigger to about 60-70% and add the exit-intent trigger, you’ll avoid interrupting visitors when they begin reading the content. Then, with the exit-intent trigger, you ensure that visitors leaving the page before scrolling 60-70, will still see your campaign.

Another example is if you promote a discount.

Here’s an example from Pixojet:

This campaign triggers on exit-intent AND has a timed trigger. This means visitors will see the campaign after 7 seconds OR if they try to leave the page before the 7 seconds have passed.

There’s a good reason the timed trigger was added to this campaign:

Imagine a visitor comes to the site and decides to buy something. They go through checkout and after having bought something, they continue browsing the site, try to leave the site and then…

BAM! They’re offered a 5% discount

Not good, right?

They’ve already paid full price, and now they might be inclined to return that item because they weren’t offered the 5% discount before they checked out.

Pixojet used this campaign to collect email addresses and made sure that visitors who were already subscribed didn’t see this campaign with the newsletter subscriber condition.

They also wrote an actionable call-to-action button copy that focuses on the value of the offer.

Their result?

Pixo jet got more than 14,000 new email leads from this single campaign.

Editor’s Note

Watch the video below to learn how to create an exit-intent campaign using Sleeknote.

Takeaway: Try experimenting with different trigger combinations for your campaign. What message do you want visitors to see, and when are the optimal times to show it? Lastly, make sure your triggers don’t overlap each other.

5. Reduce Cart Abandonment

I think we can all agree that abandoned carts are the worst, right?

Prospects who already made a decision to buy something, for some reason decided not to go through with it.

Abandoned carts hold a lot of revenue potential, and it’s time to get some of that revenue back.


With abandoned cart campaigns.

When you use exit-intent campaigns in your checkout, there are two main purposes to choose from:

  1. Turning abandoning visitors into email leads; or
  2. Getting them to complete their purchase.

Here’s an example from minimum that focuses on getting leads:

When visitors fill in this campaign, the discount code is sent to their email address.

That way minimum avoids spam email addresses and gets a higher quality of leads.

Using exit-intent campaigns in your checkout is all about providing value to the visitors. Plus, helping them overcome any obstacle that is preventing them from buying.

In minimum’s case, one can assume price played a big role. In fact, this specific campaign had a conversion rate of 37.4% when it was live.

Another option is to give the discount code directly in the campaign like Nicehair:

Nicehair tested this campaign on their different sites (International site, Danish site, Swedish site, and Norwegian site) for a limited time to see if they could reduce cart abandonment.

They made clear that the discount code needed to be used immediately, encouraging abandoning shoppers to follow through with their purchase.

And their results are incredible.

The average conversion rate of this campaign across all four sites was 44.76%.

Almost half the visitors who were about to abandon their cart returned to it after seeing this campaign.

But even though these two campaigns performed so well, Nicehair and minimum know the importance of using discounts sparingly.

Offer them too often and your visitors will expect them and stop paying full price.

Also, when you don’t use discounts often, you can get away with offering smaller discounts and still have great success with your campaign. The perceived value of things will increase the more exclusive it is.

Takeaway: Identify why visitors abandon their cart and try to eliminate that concern in your exit-intent campaigns. Use discounts sparingly and think about what other value you can give to abandoning shoppers. ( For instance, offer to save cart, notify when items go on sale, invite them to get in touch with potential questions, and so on).

6. Inform New Visitors of Products or Services

Whenever a new visitor enters your site, you want to make a good first impression.

You want them to see all the amazing things you offer, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with information and offers on your homepage.

One problem with not having all the information on your homepage is that new visitors might not find what they were looking for and then leave your site.

A good example is if you offer custom solutions to your products but the main focus on your homepage is your ready-to-ship items and current promotions.

So, one solution is to use an exit-intent campaign to inform new visitors of your custom solution before they leave your site.

Here’s an example from Wallstickerland. (Note: the original is in Danish):

This campaign ensures new visitors don’t leave without knowing about special products and offers.

It also gives new visitors a chance to get in touch with Wallstickerland in case they have any questions.

If visitors don’t find answers to their questions on your site, they’re more likely to leave instead of contacting you—unless you give them the option to.

To ensure this campaign shows to the right visitors on the right pages, you can set up a “New Visitor” condition along with a Specific URL condition and add your homepage to that. Or any other page you want to show it on.

You can also use this type of campaign to redirect traffic to popular products or special promotions that might be ignored on your homepage or other pages.

Takeaway: Inform new visitors about your product or services lowers the chances of them leaving, and gives them a better first impression of your site. So, make sure the content of your campaign is unique to new visitors.

7. Increase Sales with Scheduled Holiday-Specific Campaigns

If you’re in e-commerce, it’s likely you have holiday-specific sales throughout the year.

Christmas, Black Friday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Halloween…

The list goes on.

But what are you doing to promote these sales on your site?

Sure, you might have a banner on your home page with a link to the sale, but what about all the other pages on your site?

Not every visitor who enters your site lands on your home page.

You don’t want to take focus from your other products by promoting a sale on all your pages, but you also don’t want people to leave your site without knowing about the sale.

The solution is to use an exit-intent campaign to promote your holiday-specific sale.

That way you don’t interrupt visitors browsing other products, but capture them just before they’re about to leave your site.

Here’s a Black Friday example from BilligParfume.dk:

BilligParfume.dk had this campaign active during Black Friday last year, and their conversion rate was off the roof:


That means 61.3% of visitors clicked through to the sale instead of leaving.

(I can’t wait to see what their results will be this year!)

The best part about holiday-specific campaigns (other than driving sales) is that you can schedule them in advance with advanced scheduling.

Just enter a start date and time, and an end date and time, and your campaign will activate and deactivate automatically.

One thing to remember is to make sure the campaign doesn’t show on the actual page with the sale. You can do that by excluding that specific URL in your campaign conditions.

You don’t even need a sale or discounted items to increase holiday sales.

Take mother’s day, for example.

You could create a filtered search of your products that could be great gifts for mother’s day.

Then, you could create a campaign linking to your filtered search with an actionable CTA.

Here’s an example of what that could look like:

Try to give abandoning visitors a reason to stay on your site, and encourage them to buy something by making a choice for them.

Sometimes, too many options will only confuse people. So by filtering products and giving visitors less to choose from will get them one step closer to becoming a customer.

Takeaway: Schedule campaigns for holiday-specific events throughout the year in advance. Focus on giving visitors a reason to click-through. It can be great discounts, but it can also just be helping them make better purchase decisions.

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Want More Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies?

We’ve put together an exhaustive list of 100+ conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies our fastest-growing e-commerce customers are using to turn more website visitors into buyers (organized for your convenience.)


Exit-intent campaigns can do wonders for your business when you use them intelligently.

You already collect a lot of information about your site visitors, so use that information to get more leads and sales without hurting the user experience on your site.

Lastly, don’t use more than one exit-intent campaign on a specific page. If a visitor wants to leave your site, they should be able to without needing to close down more than one campaign.

What are your experiences with exit-intent? Maybe you’ve tried using it on your own site? Leave a comment below.

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