8 Tips for Implementing Exit Intent Pop-ups in WordPress Ecommerce Websites

Having exit intent popups creates a less annoying alternative to the regular popups which show up as soon as or soon after you open a website. As an online business, your top priority will be increasing engagement and decreasing bounce rates. Used strategically, popups can actually improve a user’s experience on your site. The important thing is to figure out how to apply them unobtrusively.

Managing an e-commerce store is more difficult because e-commerce stores don’t provide the same sensory feedback that shoppers get at brick and mortar stores. There’s a certainty that comes from touching and seeing a product that e-commerce stores can’t replicate, even with the best photographs, videos and compelling product descriptions.

In addition, it is all too easy for a shopper to leave an e-commerce store because the rules of basic politeness/guilt, which make them hang around a physical store, don’t apply here since shoppers are basically anonymous.

Since you’re already working from a point of disadvantage, if you don’t apply your popups correctly, you may send even more of your customers out the door without knowing it. Learn more about exit intent popups and how to use them on your site for best results.


Exit intent popups are popups that are programmed to show up right before a user leaves the site. This technology works by tracking velocity and position of the cursor, so that when you move towards the exit button a popup is displayed. This is ideal because it accounts for user’s behavior – it doesn’t bother a person still reading an article or browsing through your products list. Since it comes just before the user leaves, you literally have nothing to lose, but you may change the user’s mind with your message.

Tips for using exit intent popups

  1. Use a different offer

Consider that the visitor has already seen what you have on the page and still wants to leave. Whatever you had on that page either doesn’t satisfy their needs or has already done so, therefore there is no need to show the same thing. Instead, offer the user something different, such as an educational resource (eBooks and white papers are good examples) or highlight a coupon, gift or offer.

  1. Give something valuable

Don’t try to use exit popups to solicit for email subscribers; at this point, the user is looking to go away and won’t be interested in signing up if they haven’t already. Instead, you should offer something tangibly valuable to the user; something they will consider giving up their email address for, such as a useful coupon or educational series or eBook.

  1. Create a tailored message

During your e-commerce website development, you can consider having multiple popups to show up depending on fulfillment of certain criteria by the user. You can base it on shopping cart contents, pages visited, device being used to browse or the referral source of the visitor. For instance, don’t give customers using phones long forms to fill in the popup. You can use cart contents to suggest offers on related products. Don’t ask users that came from email newsletters to sign up for your newsletter; this will show that your message is generic and won’t inspire them to take the action you want.

  1. Apply FOMO wisely

You can appeal to buyers’ fear of missing out, but do so with caution. Try to nudge the visitor to act now on some time-limited deal or offer. Try not to sound too artificial, because buyers can often see through that. For example, you can offer free shipping.

  1. Limit commitment

Most buyers/visitors have an inherent fear of commitment, which is every website owner’s biggest challenge. The visitor is leaving because they aren’t ready to take the plunge yet, whatever the motivating reason. You may not be able to convince them to take the plunge with your popup offer, but you might get them to give you the email so that you can continue following up on them through the buying cycle until they are ready. Offering educational resources in return for email addresses creates little resistance because it seems reasonable to the consumer and creates little commitment on their part.

  1. Make your message simple

Remember that you’re dealing with a visitor who is ready to leave. You have a few precious seconds to get them to listen to you before leaving. Create a simple proposition that requires a simple yes or no, which is all such consumers are ready to handle at that time. This isn’t the time to show a list of six related products that they may be interested in.

  1. Apply reverse CTAs

This is an old trick, but it can help you to get a few more conversions at the eleventh hour. Instead of using your usual Submit and Cancel buttons, you can change up your options to more lighthearted offers like ‘Sign up for free hair moisturizer’ and ‘I think my kinky hair shows my personality’. The trick with this is to avoid emotionally blackmailing your site visitors by giving a completely negative ‘Cancel’ option. The last thing you want is to have a customer leaving your site feeling low.

  1. Be consistent in design

If you’re using an exit intent popup plugin, you’ll find lots of prepackaged templates to get you going. Here are some examples for those using WordPress websites. Try to find a popup template that is as close as possible to the color scheme and design of your site, otherwise the popup will stand out and look out of place.

You can use split testing to find out what works best for your consumers. In a split test, you create two or more popup options and show both to different audiences so that you see which performs better. You can do this with other elements in your site and also for internet marketing, not just popups.


Using popups isn’t completely disallowed, as long as they do not show within the first few seconds of the customer’s visit, even if they seem to be leaving already. They may be switching tabs. Finally, ensure that your exit popup doesn’t distract people from checking out. You can use many techniques to narrow user intent so that these popups show up at the right time only.

This guest post is from Evans Walsh.




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