For ages I have been using an exit-intent popup on my website. My thinking was, if I wait until someone goes to leave my website, I'm not interefering with them reading my content.

However, recently I have been doing some split-testing between different popup timings.

It turns out, displaying the popup immediately is much more effective. I compared two popups that were exactly the same apart from the timing, and these are the conversion rates:

  • Exit-intent: 2%
  • Immediately: 7.1%

This is a really big deal. It means that over the same time period I could get 3.5 times as many signups to my email list, and possibly end up earning 3.55 times as much money.

But I will keep split-testing. I will test out lots of slightly different styles of immediately displayed popups and see which is the best. This is the one I'm currently using:

I suppose an immediate popup still has an advantage over one that displays part way through someone reading the content. If they're not interested, they close it and it won't bother them again. The worst thing is when a popup appears part way through browsing a website. It's too much of an interruption.


I don't know about you, but after I've read some text, I like to relax for a minute and lose myself in some purpleness...

Yes, I agree, the first one does look a bit like a nipple.

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JamesJB Premium
That makes a great deal of sense, Marcus...

James
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IsaacSc Premium
keep us updated marcus! I'm considering of putting a pop-up too. A sidebar signup form is just useless... While I hate pop-ups, i noticed that many SEO gurus do implement them on their sites. That should say something about its effectiveness right?
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Marcus1978 Premium
Right
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Lorisamples Premium
Pop-ups are very irritating regardless of what point they pop-up. If I visit site that has a pop-up, I exit out. Don't shove it down my throat. If I want to signup, I will do so at my convenience.
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wweb53 Premium
Thank you for sharing this, and do tell us how the next test come out.
cheers,
william
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Marcus1978 Premium
:-)
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GaryJr Premium
Thanks for sharing this info.
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Marcus1978 Premium
:-)
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hirohurl Premium
Hi Marcus,

I do not currently have any pop-up opt-in boxes on my blog, but it is interesting to see your results. They tend to confirm what I have heard elsewhere: a lot of people say they dislike pop-up boxes while browsing a site, BUT the stats show that on-site pop-ups ARE an effective way to build your list.

It would be interesting to compare stats for immediate pop-ups and delayed pop-ups. My GUESS is that the (even-more-annoying) delayed pop-ups would beat immediate pop-ups IF you are providing relevant and compelling content...

Interesting to see that you are getting a good opt-in on a pop-up with "Hey You!" as the headline.
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Marcus1978 Premium
Thanks :-)
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Alan-C Premium
Thanks for the interesting statistics Marcus.
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MarionBlack Premium
OOOooo goodie. More purple for Marion.
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Marcus1978 Premium
:-)
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LH-CLUB Premium
Yes, I agree with a comment about having it at the bottom right!

You could say something like No rush when you have finished reading my article would you like to enter your details for this?
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ericpierre Premium
It surprises me. Thought an exit pop-up would be better. But the facts talk a different language. Thanks for sharing Marcus. Keep us posted on your testing.
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Marcus1978 Premium
:-)
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RoriO Premium
Good info, thanks, Marcus.
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mickeyb123 Premium
I don't like pop-ups at all!

I suppose if I had to choose, I would say AFTER they look at the site, NOT during- this is just aggravating and I find myself closing the site, right then.
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neilc Premium
I just find pop ups annoying, in general. Makes me not wanna view the content lol. :P
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MozMary Premium
and did you test pop ups against no pop ups?
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Marcus1978 Premium
Oh, do you mean as in having a clear call-to-action at the top, like a popup but not actually a popup? Or nothing at all?
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MozMary Premium
yes, call to action or stationary enter email box, anywhere they can sign in that isn't a popup ...
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Marcus1978 Premium
I'll have a think about that...
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paulgoodwin Premium
Interesting and maybe you should try the SumoMe welcome mat which appears right at the front and they say is gets 30% more sign ups!!!

Paul
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Marcus1978 Premium
Thanks Paul. I will look into that.
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paulgoodwin Premium
Please do - I got 6 subscribers this week and still use the late popup!!!
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moeller79 Premium
Personally, I really dislike pop-ups that comes immediately when I enter a website. At that point I often do not even yet know what the website is about and what I can find on the page, so why would I then want to sign up for a newsletter. For me that makes me a bit annoyed from the beginning.

But I also see your point about how disturbing it can be when it pops up in the middle of your reading.

Mikael
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Marcus1978 Premium
Well, the popup is not for a newsletter, it's for free training.
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verazhelvis Premium
Very interesting. Thank you..The best position would be somewhere in-between, I guess, but it's difficult to predict how long the visitor will spend on the site.
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Loes Premium
Depends on how interrupting the popup is, when it covers the whole screen and I can't find the X, I leave at once
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Marcus1978 Premium
Well, my full screen one does have a clear X. On previous split tests, the full screen seemed to perform better than a smaller one.
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Loes Premium
As long as it is very visible to click it away, I think it's alright
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verazhelvis Premium
Yes, me too.:)
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ArtOZan Premium
Thanks for sharing that info. Personally , being interrupted by pop up while I am reading often makes me pass on the end of the article.
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Marcus1978 Premium
Me too.
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TitaWorks Premium
Cool, Marcus! Thanks! (The purple break is nice too....)
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Marcus1978 Premium
:-)
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botipton Premium
I have found the same thing using popups. An immediate popup has worked better for me as far as conversions. I also tested position and found that bottom right corner works better for me.
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Marcus1978 Premium
Bottom right corner? Really? I'll have to look into that...
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It would be interesting to know how the bottom right ones score. I would use those, but the immediate ones that pop up in your face when you are reading is extremely annoying, to me anyway. Though I could just hit the X, I normally leave the website and move on because I find it invasive, even when on someone else' website. If the lower left pop-ups work even better, I understand why.

I have a low threshold when it comes to interruptions, something I know I need to work on.
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MozMary Premium
sounds logical, they are not in the way and are at the end so the person has time to read and decide if they want more by the time they get to it...also a bit of an effort to go down there to close it :)
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