7 Ways to Use Exit Overlay to Help Improve Conversions


There are many reasons a consumer might choose to leave a website; they change their mind about a purchase, they get distracted, they put something in a cart thinking they’ll come back to it, they get frustrated by the design of the site, etc. Unfortunately research shows that although 75% of abandoning visitors intent to come back to your site, only 11-29% actually do. Sometimes this can’t be helped, but sometimes it can, and it’s worth it for your business to try. Many companies have done this by instituting exit overlays into their websites; an exit overlay is a popup that appears in the browsing window after a user has been on a site for a certain period of time, and its purpose is to try to persuade the user not to leave the site by offering promotions, email signups, and other marketing tactics.

Exit overlays have shown to be effective ways of retaining customers, but did you know that they can also help improve conversions for your business? That being said, it’s important to know that specific behavior targeting is just as important as the type of overlay that you use. The best overlays in the world won’t work if you’re not targeting the right audience. Thus, when reading below, consider which audience would respond best to each marketing tactic; the first time visitor, the returning visitor, paid traffic, organic traffic, etc. Check out this article by Getrooster in order to learn more about behavioral targeting, and then read below to find out which type of exit overlays to use to get your customers to take action on your website.

  1. 1. Coupon or Immediate Discount Overlay


Image credit: getrooster.com

Offering a coupon or immediate discount is the most common, and most popular, way to try to retain a visitor who wants to leave your site. It is just what it sounds like; a popup that appears that offers a consumer some type of discount if they decide to make a purchase instead of leaving the site. I know this has worked for me many times because one of the reasons I often leave websites when I’m online shopping is because I decide that I either don’t have the extra money, or that the product is not worth the asking price. A coupon is an easy way to persuade me, and others, to stick around and follow through with that purchase after all. Again, think about what type of audience would respond best to this strategy; I think it could work for both first time visitors, repeat visitors, and paid traffic.

  1. 2. Time Sensitive Discount Overlay


image credit: webengage.com

This is another one that has gotten me in the past. Research shows that creating a sense of urgency in a customer is a reliable way of encouraging them to make a conversion, and what better way to create a feeling of urgency than to offer a coupon or discount that is time sensitive, ie: one that’s going to expire after a short period of time. It’s important to make sure that you clearly communicate what that time period is for your customers; it won’t work if they don’t know exactly when the coupon or code will be invalid. Some people believe that this is only an effective tactic when used once, because otherwise you run the risk of losing credibility with your customers. Keeping that in mind, this might be best used with first time visitors only.

  1. 3. Discount on Shipping Overlay


Image credit: conversionsciences.com

Nothing is more annoying than finding a product that you really want at an affordable price, only to find out that you have to pay a ton of money in shipping. This is an immediate turnoff for me and many other consumers, and it’s definitely one of the reasons why people abandon their shopping carts on websites. So, target that specific audience and offer them a discount code for shipping if it looks like they’re about to ditch the products in their cart. Use an analytic tracking software to find out how many of your customers fall into this niche and if it would be worth it for your business.

  1. 4. Free Gift or Offer Overlay


It’s hard to hate something free, especially if you don’t have to promise anything in return. But did you know that offering a free gift is not only good for the consumer, but for the business owner as well? It costs nothing for the vendor if it doesn’t work, and it’s a good way to get people to give up their email address or try out a subscription to something. Some examples of free giveaways could be a basic version of your product or service, a consultations, an estimate or quote, or a one month subscription. Require an email address in return and use it to also boost your subscriber list! It’s a win-win for everyone.

  1. 5. Live Customer Support Overlay


Image credit: getrooster.com

One thing that’s often missing from an online sale is a human connection. One way to bridge this gap is to offer live customer support through an exit overlay, either on the phone or via a chat box. More companies are taking advantage of this option now and it’s paying off in conversions when a customer has a chance to ask a question about an item or service that confuses them, instead of just giving up and leaving the site altogether. This could work for a variety of audiences including, but not limited to, first time or repeating visitors and paid traffic.

  1. 6. Notification Overlay


Image credit: shopify.com

This may seem obvious to some, but sometimes all it takes is a notification reminder overlay to alert a customer to their actions. There are people out there, known as “hedonic shoppers”, who put things in their cart just to make themselves feel good and who don’t actually intend to buy the item(s). Although there’s not much you can do about them, you can use a notification overlay to separate them from the true shoppers who really are interested in making a conversion. Just remind them that they have something in their cart, and hopefully it will point them in the right direction. Target this overlay towards cart abandoners, both paid and organic.

  1. 7. Overlays That Take Away Risk


Image credit: klientboost.com

Last but not least, when all else fails, take away the risk involved in making a conversion. Risk is often unavoidable, but it can be minimized through an exit overlay. Offer customers the option of a free trial, a money-back guarantee, a free transition to a new program, or the chance to make money if they’re not satisfied. One or more of these offers should reduce the stress and anxiety involved with online purchasing and hopefully increase conversions for your business. This should be targeted towards new visitors who haven’t yet built up a relationship of trust with your company.

Before instituting any of these overlays, make sure you analyze your website traffic and see which audience, or audiences, need the most help in making conversions. Then choose the overlay(s) that target that specific group in order to best make use of this marketing strategy. What are some reasons why your users abandon your site? How are you going to use exit overlays to combat this problem? Share in the comment section below!