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12 Exit Overlay Strategies to Boost CRO + SM Content

12 Exit Overlay Strategies to Boost CRO + SM Content

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Conversion rate optimization (CRO) almost feels like one of those dirty little words that always seems to make people cringe when they hear it. This is primarily because the process of improving it isn’t exactly always so straightforward and easy-peasy. It often takes consistent experimentation in the form of A/B testing and rigid measurement of countless variables. It is science after all.

The good news is that when you find something that works -- it’s like gold.

There’s no denying that most businesses out there could use a little help with their CRO. According to a recent Hubspot report, just 22% of businesses are actually satisfied with their conversion rate optimization rates. Whether you’re content with your CRO numbers or not -- everyone could use higher conversions -- even Apple wouldn’t say no to that.

The beloved exit overlay -- also commonly referred to as the exit-intent overlay or exit-intent popup.

Exit overlays are one of those nifty little tactics that you can use to wield some pretty awesome results -- and with just 6 seconds to get your audience’s attention -- you'll need every ounce of help you can get. So, we’re bringing this nifty little list of 12 exit overlay strategies you can start implementing to boost conversions today.

Boost your email list


1. Boost your email list

Using exit overlays is a killer way to strategically and effectively build your email list. In fact, did you know that a whopping 60% of customers  “prefer receiving marketing messages via email”? Use your overlays as a means to help your audience familiarize themselves with you so you can effectively build relationships with them. It’s pretty straightforward, is a minimal ask and according to PPC Hero, “your engagement rate will be higher than on a discount offer”.

Get the party started


2. Get the party started

Exit intent overlays can be killer at helping to generate that all-too precious viral loop weall know and love. Use your overlays to encourage social sharing as much as possible and have your audience turn into your very own personal team of marketers by offering awesome incentives such as discounts, free trials, coupons and more for sharing with friends!

Court your audience a bit


3. Court your audience a bit

When it comes to creating effective overlays, the key is patience. Research has shown that bombarding your audience immediately when they get to your landing page is detrimental to the user experience. So slow it down partner. Give them a chance to breathe before you make an ask, no matter how small and try to expose them to your brand, content and values for a few seconds before shoving an offer in their face.

Don’t always cut the silt


4. Don’t always cut the silt

PPC Hero used this metaphor and we absolutely loved it because it’s so unbelievably clever. Lots of times businesses will use negative keywords in their campaigns in o rder to prevent unwanted traffic. However, this isn’t always the best option, especially if you can find creative ways to leverage this valuable traffic.  

Take for example, Yes-Downloads. When they found a decent chunk of traffic was getting to their page searching for game hacks and free plays, something they didn’t offer, they didn’t just throw those leads away. Oh, no my friend, they capitalized on them and as a result, were able to keep hold of that steady stream of traffic as well.

Opt-in incentives


5. Opt-in incentives

There’s no denying that pop-ups drive results, but a pretty crucial part of boosting your CRO is making sure you have a killer incentive. When it comes to overlays, you need a solid incentive. So sit back, relax and think for a minute, putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. When was the last time you entered your email into an opt-in overlay? What drew you to it?

Whether it’s a report, infographic, case study, discount or webinar, think of the level of value that you’ve previously found attractive enough to give out your personal information and then duplicate this with your audience.

Hit em’ with the bonus


6. Hit em’ with the bonus

Behold the valuable bonus opt-in. Who doesn’t love a good surprise? Whether you’re hitting them with a last minute, unlocked piece of content or an irresistible double opt-in offer, you can count on the fact that your conversion rates are going to increase in some way, shape or form. So sweeten the pot a little bit with something like a steeper discount and then measure the effects and give yourself a little pat on the back.

Collect and analyze data


7. Collect and analyze data

Audience demographic research got you down? There’s totally an easier way to go about collecting it. Crafting your opt-in so that it can help you track various points about your audience is a great and easy way to passively get to know them better.

One word of caution however, there’s a fine line between collecting demographics about your audience and turning them off from an email sign up. Just make sure not to make it too tedious and if you find that it’s not as effective as you’d hoped, try changing the language a bit or shortening the number of required fields.

Reduce abandonment


8. Reduce abandonment

According to PPC Hero, most online retailers deal with a pretty serious case of shopping cart abandonment that they just can’t seem to nix. While much of the time this behavior is beyond our control, that doesn’t mean that we can’t use our exit overlays to throw out a little reminder nudge or boost incentive with an added perk such as a discount or free shipping.

Get into the flow of things


9. Get into the flow of things

Overlays are great tools to use in order to gain further insight into your audience preferences. For example, split-testing landing pages with two different overlay options is a great way to figure out what style, tone and vibe is most effective when it comes to your copy. So do a little testing, check out the traffic reports or other KPIs such as conversions and tweak your language/style so that it is optimized for your specific audience

Use the right page


10. Use the right page

When it comes to how effective your exit overlay is, you may be surprised to find that sometimes, the answer has nothing to do with the overlay content itself. It’s important to keep in mind that not all pages created equal or have the same potential to generate results. Where are your visitors leaving from? Are your overlays being implemented on the right page? Could there potentially be a better page option, such as one with a more relevant message or higher traffic? If this is the case, then you may want to think about making the switch and measuring the results.

Disarm your audience


11. Disarm your audience

One recent survey by MyBuy found that approximately “48% of consumers” who are exposed to more personalized messages proceed to spend more money after such exposure. It makes sense after all, everyone’s favorite person begins with the letter “M” and ends with the letter “E”.

Using analytics to track visitor behavior can help give you immense insight into the nitty gritty details of your overlay strategy. For example, you wouldn’t want to treat a first time website visitor the same as a verified purchaser or repeat purchaser would you? You could -- of course -- but crafting your copy keeping these nuances in mind is known to be extremely effective in boosting CRO.

Embrace the FOMO


12. Embrace the FOMO

Ah -- the great and mighty overlord that is FOMO (aka “Fear of Missing Out”). What’s so wonderful about this last strategy is that we can all relate to its effectiveness because we’ve all been governed by FOMO at various times in our lives. Urgency messaging is pretty darn effective -- especially when it comes to the holiday seasons. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it should be used wisely so as to prevent overuse -- which completely defeats the purpose.

After all, how incentivized are you going to feel about being exposed to the above mentioned overlay every single time you sign on to the website? The answer: a whole lot different than if you’ve been a customer for two months and it’s your first time seeing it.

In a nutshell -- over embracing FOMO is a big no-no.


So there you have it -- 12 data-backed exit overlay strategies that are statistically proven to increase your conversion rate optimization.


So if you’ve been interested ways to boost your website conversions, then go ahead and implement one or more of these strategies on your website today.

Oh -- and let us know your thoughts! Are you already familiar with any of these strategies? Have you used any, and what were your thoughts? Go ahead and let us know!

12 Exit Overlay Strategies to Boost CRO + SM Content
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