There comes a time in any website visit when the person looking at your site decides that they want to leave and closes the tab. Of course, you as the site owner want this to happen after they have done something meaningful on their visit, such as making a purchase, signing up to your mailing list, sharing some of your content, or at the very least having time to take a good look at the things that you have to offer. The longer someone spends on your site the more likely they are to remember your brand and to think of your site as one they might like to visit again in the future. You really don’t want a site visits that only lasts for a few seconds, as this suggests that the person didn’t find what they were looking for and was perhaps taken to your site by search results that weren’t actually relevant for what they were looking for, or even – worse still – that your site itself was not appealing to them.

You may well have noticed that a lot of websites now notice when you are about to click the close tab button. They then employ a message overlaying the screen that is designed to make you think twice about leaving. This is called exit intent technology and it’s something that you can use on your own website to try and encourage readers to remain with you. Here are some of the things you need to know about exit intent technology:

How Does Exit Intent Technology Work and How Can You Implement It?

The way that exit intent technology works is actually quite simple. It simply gauges where the user’s cursor is on the screen and detects when it looks like they’re about to leave. When this event happens, the technology triggers the appearance of a message which can be used in a number of ways we’ll look at later in this article. For example, through exit intent tools such as OptinMonster you can implement pages that automatically provide customers with specified discount codes if the technology thinks that the customer might be about to leave the page instead of purchasing.

Here are a few more ways that you can use your exit intent technology once you have it set up.

Use Exit Intent Technology to Incentivize Email List Sign Up

A primary way that people use exit technology on their website is to get people to sign up for their mailing list. Email Marketing is still very popular and can actually be one of the most effective ways to engage with your readers or customers. Generally, when this is done the lightbox that appears when the system detects that the user is considering closing the tab has a field in it where they can enter their email address and submit it to join the mailing list. Usually an incentive is offered. This can be something like a discount or even a free product. Ebooks are very commonly used as sign up incentives.

Use Exit Intent Technology to Highlight Other Content

Another way that lightboxes and exit intent technology are used is on blogs and news sites. In these cases where the owner of the site is not actually trying to make a sale but to get the person to read more of their website, it can be good for the lightbox that is triggered by the exit intent event to direct the reader to other articles they may find interesting. This can be good for inspiring people to spend longer on your site, but even if they don’t go on to read these articles you have at the very least shown them the kind of content that you have, and perhaps given them a reason to return and look at your site again when they have more time.

Use Exit Intent Technology to Inform About a Discount

For sites that sell products and services, light boxes can be used on exit intent behaviour to suggest that people take advantage of current offers, discounts and promotions. A good example of this could be that when someone is going to leave your site before entering the check-out area you could inform them that there is currently free shipping available. This can be a good way to remind people of the savings they could be making if they continue with their purchase today, rather than putting it off or shopping around with your competitors. Any kind of sale or discount you have going on can be used in this way.

Use Exit Intent Technology to Encourage Content Sharing

You can also use your exit intent technology to try and encourage people to share what they have been reading on your site on social media. While you may have buttons on your articles or other content to help people to do this (and this is something that you very much should have), a further reminder as they leave could be what it takes to get that extra social share. Social media shares are invaluable to blog and website owners, and so adding this simple facility may well help you to get far broader visibility and more backlinks on social media.

Use Exit Intent Technology to Get People to Like or Follow You on Social Networks

On the topic of social networks, you can also promote your own social media pages on the light boxes that you use to engage with people who have visited your site and are about to leave. Even people who have spent some time on your site and have probably gotten everything they need from their own visit can be encouraged to do more for you by exit intent technology. If someone has read your content and enjoyed it or likes the products you sell they may well plan to visit you again in future, but this is not something you can guarantee they will remember to do. People who have clearly enjoyed your site are far more likely to continue to engage with you if they are connected with you on their social networks. This is a good example of using exit intent technology even with people who don’t appear to be leaving your site prematurely.

As you can see, exit intent technology is simple to use and implement but can grant you a lot of benefits when it comes to interacting more with your visitors. From making more sales, promoting your discounts and offers better, growing your mailing list, and getting more from social media, there is a lot you can do simply by adding an un-intrusive message that people will see after visiting your site.

It is important to note that the messages triggered by exit intent technology are not conventional pop-ups and so will not be blocked by pop-up blockers. They are overlays that only appear above the content in the tab where your website is being viewed. This makes them far less annoying to users than popup windows, and when the messages add value visitors, they tend to find them welcome.

Some people reading this article want to test run exit intent technology with a secondary site. Lucikily, the ease of creating a website means that anyone can try their hand at using this technology if they really want to. If you don’t currently have this kind of technology active on your website, why not look into the various applications of exit Intent today?