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Exit Popup Hacks and Examples for an Engaged (And Bigger!) E-mail List

Did you know that over 90% of website visitors will leave a site without clicking anything? How can you make sure your content is seen? We have two words for you: Exit Popups. 

Exit popups are often greyed out and may seem annoying at first, but with just the right amount of creativity and some good ol’ fashioned direct speech, you can create an exit popup that is both engaging and converts. 

Before we get into how you can leverage exit popups to make your audience stick to your content, let’s discuss what makes excellent exit popups (keep reading for examples) so traction-worthy? 

Email marketing remains the most valuable tool in a marketer’s arsenal despite the upsurge in social media and paid ad marketing. Emails open a direct line to your audience/customers that you can use to feed them relevant content. Infact, HubSpot stats suggest that more than 59% of marketers say that email marketing enables them to reach the highest ROI compared to other marketing channels. Additionally, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement ever since they employed exit popups. 

For the uninitiated, exit popups are messages with a call-to-action that literally pop up right when a website visitor intends to leave the site. It can track the visitor’s activity on the webpage, and right when the visitor is about to exit; it will display a lightbox popup overlay with a message to convince them to stay or take an action. 


How do exit popups work? 

So this is how they work – a visitor stops by your website and explores your products. Then, they decide to exit the page and move their cursor to the close button or outside the frame. That’s when a popup appears on their screen with an offer – a discount, coupon, free trial and so on – and they stay back on the page to read it. This is your chance to win them over with a compelling message and a CTA that will indeed click and convert in the way you want them to.

Do exit popups work on mobiles? 

As of February 2022, 57.88% of all web traffic came through mobile phones. So, half of your visitors may visit your website on their mobiles. From what we have discussed so far, it is established that these popups appear when the visitor moves their cursor. But that’s not possible on a mobile, right? So how do we implement this strategy on mobile? 

Hubspot explains that exit popups appear on mobile devices when the visitor completes either of these two actions: 

  • When a visitor scrolls down a web page at a normal pace but quickly scrolls back up to the top of the page. 
  • When a visitor hits the “back” button on their screen. 

How to deploy conversion-worthy exit popups? 

The easiest way to deploy an exit popup on your website is by using a tool that’s specifically designed to create popups. Tools like HubSpot’s Exit-Intent Popup software: HubSpot Exit Intent Form track visitors’ mouse movements and clicks on your website and show your popup form when they are about to exit. You can customize these forms to match your brand guidelines, messages, and popup timing. Once your visitor’s information is collected, HubSpot will send automated emails and re-engagement campaigns or content. 

Here’s how you can leverage HubSpot’s Exit Intent Form for your popups:

  • Trigger email campaigns and reengage visitors after they leave your site.
  • Integrate with other systems like Zapier and Shopify for marketing and demo scheduling without the hassle of additional developments. 

You can also get in touch with HubSpot partner agencies like us to deploy it for you and make the most of your conversions from exit popups. 

Why should you consider exit popups for your page? 

Exit popups are great because they help you retain visitors for longer, increase conversion rates, decrease cart abandonment, grow your email lists and keep them engaged enough to move them to the consideration stage. 

Ready? Lessgo! 


When you speak directly to your audience, they notice what you have to offer. Personalization can act as a hook for your visitors to take an action and engage with you further when they are about to leave. Here’s how you can personalize your exit popups: 

  • Personalize with their names

Picture this: There’s a new farmer’s market in your area, and there are a few vendors who sell the kind of honey you like. Some sell it for $5 a jar, while some go up to $10. As you’re exploring, you end up chatting with one of the vendors selling a jar of the same honey for $8. You chat up for a good 15 minutes, and somewhere in the conversation, you drop your name and your Pooh-like affinity for eating honey. And then you go on with your day, forgetting about the conversation and the vendor altogether. 

Next Sunday, you take your family to the market again, and one of the honey vendors hollers at you, encouraging you to buy their honey at $5. Then, suddenly you hear someone call out your name and it’s the same vendor you chatted up with last week. Wow, he remembers you. He remembers your name. 

So, who would you buy a jar of honey? 

Yeah, we’d buy it from the one who remembers our name too – even if he’s selling it at a higher price. 

That’s precisely how digital personalization works. 

Even before you offer your products/services to a potential customer, ask for their name. So that when they are about to leave one of your pages, you can grab their attention by displaying their names on a popup. 

You can also get your visitor’s name by asking them to subscribe to your email list, run mini-contests for discounts or simply ask them to enter their name when they come to your website. 

Here’s an example: 

  • Trivia or Quizzes 

This one is straight from the behavioral psychology books. Quizzes are an irresistible lead magnet as they give out personalized information based on how the visitor answers the questions. And tbh, who doesn’t like a little bit of trivia? Especially when it’s about themselves. 

To quote Robert Simmermon, a media psychologist, “Quizzes are fun, but they also touch upon our curiosity to see our stories unfold.” 

According to narrative psychology, we have a natural desire to organize events into stories to create our biographies. This is why storytelling is still an excellent method of content marketing – it feel relatable. And quizzes reaffirm judgements we already hold about ourselves. You can leverage this on your popups to entice your visitors to stay just a bit longer on your website and to gather insights about them. Add a simple but interesting personality questionnaire to draw in the customer and gather enough insight to reengage them via email. Genius! 

But it doesn’t have to be limited to personality types; you can engage them with quizzes on any topic relevant to your brand and your target audience as well. 

  • Customize popups to engage existing subscribers 

Returning visitors will not be too keen on staying on your website if you display the same popup repeatedly, especially when they have already taken the action you intended them to take. However, you can still cater to your existing subscribers with another popup with a different offer. On HubSpot, you can do this with their display rules engine. 

Offer Discounts/Incentives

This is one of the best ways to get your visitor to subscribe to your email list. Offering a discount coupon in exchange for an email address encourages visitors to ultimately purchase from your site. And even if they don’t buy immediately, you can continually reengage them with email campaigns. 

J.Crew does this brilliantly by offering a 15% discount to new visitors on their first purchase in exchange for an email address. 

Here, framing the right message is equally important. J.Crew’s popup positions the value props for submitting an email – early access and exclusive sales, gives a direct call-to-action, provides a timeline, and minimizes the opt-out option. 

A “Get Discount” CTA is much more tempting than a “subscribe now” CTA and a great way to recover exiting visitors. You can also add a deadline to the offer so that if they are interested in your product, they’ll very much like to redeem it before the offer ends. 

  • Free shipping 

High shipping cost is a significant reason why people often abandon their shopping carts. When you offer discounts, you can also add a free shipping on purchases above a specific value to the mix. Try offering this type of exit popup right when a visitor is about to abandon their cart, and you’ll have yourself a deal.

Keep in mind that there are two types of approaches to a free shipping popup: 

  1. Provide a link back to the product they were viewing just before exiting while offering the free shipping option 
  2. Add an ‘apply coupon instantly’ option and a free shipping option – a discount AND free shipping? Who wouldn’t want that? 

The best part about this approach is that it doesn’t require any additional steps at the user’s end. If they were keen on buying your product, but shipping costs were an issue, they can just copy-paste the coupon code and checkout. 

Did we mention that you can add different exit popups to different web pages? Yeah, you can also do that. 


So, you can add a free shipping code exit popup on your cart page – for when a shopper decides to abandon the cart because the shipping cost is too high. On the product pages, you can offer them a discount on the exit popup in exchange for an email address (which will eventually lead them to the cart page.) 

  • Offer Giveaways 

Free digital downloads, content upgrades and done-for-you type content are nice to have. But winning free exclusive items has a higher perceived value and can be that extra nudge for visitors to convert. Giving out tangible products in exchange for an email address can increase traffic to your website and make your visitors stay longer on your page to explore more products or content. 

Of course, you don’t have to give away free stuff to everybody like Ellen DeGeneres! You can let exiting visitors win these products by signing up for a contest or a monthly draw worth $X. 

Suggest related content 

Suppose you are searching “Top 10 Neuroscience courses in Dallas” on the internet, and come across a blog post from an education services brand that not only gives you a listicle of the top 10 courses but also lists the best universities, expenses, entry requirements and so on. Now you’re intrigued – you’re getting all the essential information for your search on one webpage. Now that you have all the information, you want to check out how you can get scholarships for the courses. As soon as you’re about to exit, the site recommends another blog post about “all the possible ways to fund your neuroscience degree in the US – including scholarships.” 

It’s as if the website read your mind! 

This education services brand just made you stay longer on their website. And now that you have all the information you need, maybe you’ll contact them to help you with your applications? Boom! You just converted into a potential customer, my friend. 

To use this type of exit popup, make sure that your content headlines are compelling enough and highly clickable. You can also pull the reader into subscribing to your newsletters for more such content. 

  • Recommend related products

If you have a product that aligns with the reader/vistor’s intent, you can also display exit popups that recommend products they were just reading about. If you offer retail products, you can recommend similar products that the visitor was just viewing. It mainly works when the product they were looking at doesn’t fit their preferences. The exit popup also works well when you want to recommend popular products. 

Take a look at Muubbaa’s strategy below – they use the headline “Most wanted” to encourage buyers to explore more products. 

Check out – Hubspot Marketing Agency

Grow your email list with Exit Popups 

Exit Popups can be as creative as you make them. It is your last chance to draw your visitor’s attention before they leave, so make it count. These popups have the potential to be a compelling marketing and lead generation strategy. Grow your email list with Exit Popups and make non-existing/cold leads much warmer for a prospective communication later. 

Want to know how to best use HubSpot to add Exit Popups to build your warm lead database? Connect with us right away.

Author avatar
Mayank Gulati