7 Creative Ways to Use Exit-Intent Popups (+ Examples)
By Sam Thomas Davies Head of Content
@ Sleeknote

Whether you work with e-commerce, B2B, or SaaS, attracting quality traffic to your website is likely among your top priorities as a marketer.

However, getting new visitors through the door is costly and time-consuming, so you want to make the most out of your hard-earned traffic.

After all, with customer acquisition costs going through the roof, you can’t afford to lose an interested prospect after they land on your website.

That’s exactly where exit-intent popups come into play.

With elegant, to-the-point exit-intent popups, you can target visitors who are about to leave your site and show the right message that will convince them to stay and take action.

When used correctly, exit-intent popups can help you:

  • Grow your email list;
  • Get more orders;
  • Increase order size;
  • Collect feedback;
  • And much more.

Here are seven different ways to use exit-intent popups to get you started—with examples and templates you can easily copy for your brand.

Exit-Intent Popup Examples

What Is Exit-Intent?

1. Turn Abandoning Visitors into Subscribers

2. Prevent Cart Abandonment

3. Offer an Incentive (to Some Visitors)

4. Remind Benefits

5. Recommend Alternative Products

6. Handle Common Objections to Buying

7. Collect Visitor Feedback

What Is Exit-Intent?

Exit-intent is a technology that detects when a visitor’s cursor moves outside the browser window.

Since this action hints at the intent to leave a website, many marketers use this sweet moment as the last attempt to persuade visitors with a popup.

But there’s a caveat: Exit-intent popups often come across as annoying—simply because marketers overuse them.

The key to creating exit-intent popups that don’t bother your prospects is to stay relevant for each visitor group.

For example, a first-time visitor who’s abandoning your homepage is at a different stage of the buyer’s journey compared to a returning customer who has $100-worth items in their cart.

If you want to keep your exit-intent messages relevant, personalized, and unintrusive, combine this technology with other targeting options available in your popup builder.

Let’s take a look at seven ways to do that.

1. Turn Abandoning Visitors into Subscribers

Asking for an email address when someone is about to leave your website is nothing new.

What I suggest here is to add more context to your email popups to make them relevant to the abandoning visitor, rather than show the same popup to everybody.

One way to achieve this is to use page-level targeting for your exit popups. 

For example, if a visitor is about to leave one of your product pages, they’re likely interested in your store but unsure about that product’s fit, quality, or price. Here’s how you can grab their attention and turn them into email subscribers:

Now, if someone is browsing coffeemakers, they’re likely interested in coffee equipment, beans, and such. With an exit popup that only shows on specific product pages, you can make your email list more attractive to the abandoning visitor with a promise to notify them when they can buy these products for a lower price. It’s a much more compelling offer than “join our weekly newsletter.”

If you want to personalize this popup further, you can use a merge tag and update your popup copy automatically based on the product or category name the visitor is browsing:

With this type of exit popup, you’ll disturb much fewer visitors and get more subscribers who’re looking forward to hearing about your offers.

Remember, quality over quantity.

2. Prevent Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment popups are the most common use cases of exit intent.

Just because you cover the exits doesn’t mean that visitors will magically stop leaving your site, though. Your popup’s offer, design, and copy play a big role in persuading shoppers to stay.

If you’re already offering welcome discounts on your store, the exit-intent position is a great place to reiterate your offer. For instance, you may have a site-wide welcome slide-in that looks like this:

For exit-intent, you can slightly adjust your copy to make it fit the context and drive urgency, like this:

This way, you’ll get more leads for your email list that you’d otherwise lose. Plus, you’ll give visitors a reason to stay and place an order.

And what if you’re not currently running any offers on your site? That takes me to my next point.

3. Offer an Incentive (to Some Visitors)

If you don’t want to discount your products for exiting visitors, I completely get you. Discount codes can hurt your profit margins and reduce your products’ perceived value.

Whatever your incentive is (a free product, shipping, or small discount), my suggestion is to offer it only to a portion of your visitors.

Not just any portion, though. Incentivize warmer leads—the serious shoppers—to complete their purchase. 

A valid indicator of buying intent in e-commerce is basket value. So consider offering, for example, free shipping to orders over a certain basket value and use exit-intent popups to remind shoppers they’re missing out on this opportunity.

If a visitor has, say, $50 in their cart and decide to leave your store, they can see this exit popup:

Whereas another shopper with only $30 doesn’t yet qualify for your offer and sees this popup instead:

By reminding the second group of visitors what they’re missing out on, you won’t only recover an (almost) abandoned cart, but you’ll also make them spend more and increase average order value.

4. Remind Benefits

So far I assumed you’re willing to spend money to make money. Meaning, you’re okay with taking a small dent into your revenue to get more visitors to stay on your site and keep shopping.

What if you’re not?

The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to offer anything extra to convince abandoning visitors. You can use exit-intent popups to remind shoppers what they’re about to miss out on.

Do you have a solid return policy, a bulletproof satisfaction guarantee, unbeatable product quality, or fast delivery? Remind visitors of these additional benefits of shopping from your store.

Three simple bullets often do wonders in this type of exit popup:

It’s one thing to hear what makes your shop unique from you—the store owner or marketer—and another thing to hear it from your happy customers. In other words, if you want to take this exit-intent popup one step further, use your customers’ words instead of marketing copy.

Insert real screenshots of your top customer testimonials or embed your Trustpilot reviews into your popups to add credibility and social proof to your claims:

Now your existing customers will help convince on-the-fence visitors to stay on the website and choose your store over others.

Zero dollars spent. Lots of potentially lost revenue recovered.

5. Recommend Alternative Products

There are hundreds of reasons why a visitor might be leaving their cart behind or abandoning a product page without taking action.

If you’re offering seamless website navigation, using trust badges, providing multiple payment options, you’re already taking measures to prevent cart abandonment. 

But it’s not always your website itself that’s causing friction. Maybe that specific product isn’t right for the visitor or the price is higher than they expected.

In either case, there’s a perfect opportunity here to guide shoppers back to your store and that’s by recommending alternative products when they’re about to leave your site.

Let me illustrate with an example. Say, a visitor is browsing bags and then decides to leave the page. You could (a) offer them a discount or (b) guide them towards what’s already on sale:

If they’re shopping for bags, chances are, they’re also interested—if not more interested—in bags at a discounted price. An exit popup like this draws more visitors to your sale and stops abandoning shoppers without hurting your profits.

If you don’t have a sale section on your store, you can recommend products directly in your exit-intent popup, instead:

With a product recommendation popup that shows on exit-intent, you can redirect abandoning visitors’ attention to your bestsellers and help them keep shopping with one click.

6. Handle Common Objections to Buying

It’s not the same thing when someone visits your homepage and decides to leave immediately because you’re not a good match, compared to when they add products to their cart and then decide to leave.

In the second scenario, there’s clearly something stopping them from placing an order. With an exit-intent popup, you can address and solve this pressing issue before it causes visitors to leave for good.

A simple contact form that shows at the right time works especially well if you’re selling subscriptions, high-priced products, or items with a longer buying cycle:

While this popup offers a helping hand at the right time, it requires you to be ready to answer questions. It doesn’t handle the objections right away, either.

An even better example you can follow, then, is this one:

A short, pre-recorded video that handles the common customer objections about your products, delivery, or returns, and shows when shoppers are about to leave your site.

What’s better, you can set the first popup to run during working hours, and schedule the second popup to show only when you’re away.

It’s personal, efficient, and, best of all, it costs nothing.

7. Collect Visitor Feedback

No matter how many initiatives you take, you won’t convert all abandoning visitors into buyers, that’s a given. But at least, you can make the most out of the situation.

If you have pages with high bounce rates or if your cart abandonment rates are higher than average, there’s no better way to learn the reason than to ask people who are leaving your site.

Didn’t they trust your website? Couldn’t they find what they were looking for? Or did they quickly want to check their delivery status or see if you have a certain product in stock?

All it takes is a simple survey popup with radio buttons, asking how you can improve your store, like this:

While the above form is ideal for new visitors or top-of-the-funnel prospects, you may need to get more detailed feedback from people who are deeper in your sales funnel, abandoning, for example, your checkout or pricing pages. 

An exit-intent popup with an embedded third-party survey is the perfect way to achieve that:

Once you know the main reasons why people leave your site, you can go back to my previous point and better address those issues in your future exit popups.


Exit-intent popups aren’t everyone’s favorite. They’ve been misused by marketers for many years.

In this post, you read several ideas that you likely have heard before in one way or another.

But today, I wanted to show you a new way to use exit-intent popups—one that convinces the right group of visitors to stay on your site rather than annoy all of them.

Hopefully, I did a good job, and now you know that there’s a better way to use exit-intent popups to get the most out of your website traffic.

Recreate these exit popups in your own popup builder or get started with Sleeknote for free and test all these possibilities for yourself.