3 Killer Exit Popup Case Studies That Increased New Leads & Sales


If you’ve read any of Matthew’s email conversion rate posts about his exit popup experiences, you know they’re generating some kickass conversion rates for marketers across the web.

But what’s the best way to use an exit intent popup? Should you try to capture signups? Offer shipping discounts? Reduce cart abandonment? Direct users to high-converting pages?

As you’ll see in these case studies, it all comes down to finding something truly valuable to offer your users.

What You Will Learn

  • What an exit popup is and how it works
  • Different scenarios in which exit popups can be valuable
  • Strategies for capturing email signups with an exit popup
  • Strategies for using an exit popup to secure last-second purchases
  • Strategies for capturing sales leads with an exit popup

By most estimates, over 95% of first time visitors abandon sites without buying or signing up.

Abandoning visitors leave your site for all different reasons:

  • Your value proposition didn’t sway them
  • Your copy didn’t answer their questions
  • Your design/navigation confused them
  • They were distracted during the session

And on and on. My point is this: abandoning users are not all the same, so when using an exit popup to capture leads, sales and signups from this group of visitors, it’s important to try different approaches.

In other words, the last thing you want to do is just throw up any offer and blast every abandoning user with the same message, as per the approach below:


An exit popup is a versatile marketing tool with many different applications.

It can be used to capture email addresses, offer coupons, offer shipping discounts, increase call volume, reduce cart abandonment, offer customer support, or direct traffic to high-converting pages—to name a few.

In this post, I will take you through several case studies of different ways to use exit popups. But first, I want to take a step back and explain how this stuff works.

If you’re already well versed in exit popups/exit-intent technology, go ahead and skip this section.

What Is An Exit Popup & How Do They Work?

Exit popups (I call them exit overlays) are designed to convert abandoning web visitors into leads, sales & signups.

They’re modal lightboxes controlled by what’s known as exit-intent technology.

Exit-intent technology is designed specifically to identify users who are about to abandon your site without taking your desired action (e.g. sale or signup).

When the technology detects an abandoning user, the exit popup is activated:

Neil Patel using an exit overlay on Quicksprout.com

An exit popup/overlay differs from ‘90s style popups because it doesn’t open in a new window, nor does it restrict/impede the user from leaving the site. Further, only abandoning users see it, so it doesn’t interfere with active browsing sessions.

What’s the setup like? Quite simple, pretty much just

1) a line of exit popup javascript in your site’s header
2) the creative for an 800×500 display ad
3) Exit popup software to make it all run.

For a full rundown on setup, I would recommend reading Matthew’s excellent post from October, in which he details his journey to a 469% boost email opt-in rate in less than 24 hours.

But for now, here are 3 case studies demonstrating different ways to increase leads, sales and signups using exit popups.

Case Study #1: Gr8fires Exit Intent Popup Boosts Leads By 300%

Tactic: Email capture


If you saw the Stuart Walker post on increasing email subscriber rates, you already have a good primer for this case study.

Matthew’s journey from a 2.91% opt-in rate in January 2014 to a 9.24% rate in September 2014 involved two major components: adding an exit popup to his blog, and learning to provide something of value in exchange for the email address.

This exit intent popup example from UK-based Gr8tFires—which has made kickass wood-burning stoves and fireplaces for over 30 years—involves the exact same changes.

One of the biggest customer pain points with any home appliance is the cost of installation. With this in mind, Gr8Fires saw an opportunity to offer something uniquely valuable to customers on their exit popup.

The team decided to create an “installation calculator” that provided all the details behind installing a Gr8fires product.


  • Offer the installation calculator free—in exchange for an email address
  • Use the email address to stay top-of-mind with prospects (wood stoves have a long sales cycle)
  • Install the exit popup on all product pages at Gr8fires.co.uk (not the homepage)
  • Target the exit overlay so it was shown only to first-time visitors
  • Set exit-intent sensitivity to medium


The team decided to keep the popup simple with a basic product snapshot, some persuasive copy, and a directional arrow pointing towards the CTA.

Exit popup on Gr8Fires.co.uk, activated when users begin to abandon the page


The results from this exit popup surprised even us:

  • A 300% increase in monthly sales leads.
  • A 48.54% lift in sales for users who signed up to get access to the calculator.

ALERT: Instantly Increase Your Conversion Rate With My Personal Case Studys!

Key Takeaway

Smart marketers know that tackling customer pain points before users have a chance to object is never a bad idea. By offering prospects truly valuable information for free, Gr8fires generated a fantastic lift for its online store.

Case Study #2: Shoe Retailer Uses An Exit Popup To Deliver A Coupon

Tactic: Last-second coupon

shoeme exit intent popup example

ShoeMe.ca set out to offer Canadians the best online shoe-buying experience possible. Since launching in 2012, they’ve become one of Canada’s fastest growing etailers.

ShoeMe wanted to test whether a ‘15% off’ coupon could lower its shopping cart abandonment rate, but with one major caveat: they didn’t want to cannibalize average order value by offering the coupon to all visitors.

So the challenge was, how could ShoeMe use their coupon strategically without disrupting the normal purchasing flow of existing customers?


  • Place the coupon on an exit popup
  • Target the exit popup on shopping cart abandonment pages
  • Target the exit popup so it segmented users who were about to purchase from those who were about to abandon the cart page
  • Exclude returning visitors to the site from seeing the exit popup
  • Set exit-intent sensitivity to medium


ShoeMe’s exit popup reinforced the key benefits of the offering: free shipping, duty-free, and free returns.

ShoeMe’s 15%-off coupon, displayed only to users who abandoned shopping cart pages

‘No Duty’ was specifically intended to reduce anxiety amongst Canadian shoppers (duties are a major pain point for Canadians buying from US merchants).


  • 6.87% of abandoning visitors who viewed the offer on product pages went on to purchase products.

Key Takeaway

ShoeMe’s success shows the value of targeting an exit popup to very specific user segments and web pages.

By targeting its exit popup strategically, ShoeMe was able to convert nearly 7% of otherwise abandoning users into valuable customers.

Case Study #3: Olathe Toyota Increases Calls By 54% With An Exit Popup

Tactic: Sales call promotion

toyota exit popup

Spork Marketing is a leading agency focused on the auto and parts accessory markets. Seeking a new way to boost conversions for their client, Olathe Toyota, Spork decided to test an exit overlay.

Like most car dealerships, Olathe Toyota (Kansas) relies on its parts business to supplement vehicle sales.

The dealership runs a dedicated parts service—complete with its own landing page—to help customers quickly find and order parts.

The landing page generated strong results from customers who used the online search functions, but seemed to generate limited call volume through the toll free line (option #3 on the landing page).

The Spork team decided to try an exit overlay campaign—something quite unconventional for phone campaigns—to see if bringing the toll-free number to the attention of abandoning users would increase call volume.


  • The exit popup would be targeted to auto parts pages only
  • When users began to abandon the page, the exit overlay would activate—dim out the landing page behind it—and focus user attention on the option to phone in for a free parts search
  • The exit overlay would be served only to first-time visitors, eliminating the potential for repeat customers to be irritated by the messaging
  • Exit-intent sensitivity was set to medium


Olathe designed a simple exit overlay for the campaign: a one-word headline, a promise to look up parts for free, and a dedicated toll-free number (for tracking purposes).

Exit popup on Olathe Toyota homepage, activated when users begin to abandon the page


  • Olathe’s exit overlay campaign generated a 54% increase in call volume.
  • The average call length was nearly as long as the account average, which indicates call-quality was not an issue.
  • Most importantly, this campaign increased Olathe’s monthly website revenue by a full 15%.

Key Takeaway

Since an exit popup greys out the background noise, it’s an effective tool for reducing analysis paralysis and focusing user attention on a single action/offer (in this case a phone call).

Wrapping it up

Exit popups are a versatile marketing tool that can be used to capture email addresses, offer coupons, offer shipping discounts, increase call volume, reduce cart abandonment, offer customer support, or direct traffic to high-converting pages.

The keys to a successful exit popup campaign are:

  1. Starting with a clear objective (e.g. email signups, last-second sales, or new sales leads)
  2. Offering something the user truly values in exchange for the sale or signup
  3. Targeting your exit popup strategically to the right pages and right users

Have you found creative ways to use an exit popup? Drop us a comment!

30 Responses

  1. 2.26.2015

    Nice case studies Angus. You just gave me an idea of how could I use my exit pop-ups, thanks :)

    • February 26th, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Thanks Drazen, best of luck with your new campaign!

  2. 2.26.2015

    Thanks Angus

    Lots of ideas here that have certainly got me thinking about how to improve my conversions.

    By the way, that is a seriously great owl picture :-)



    • February 26th, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Thanks Loz! Yea that owl kills me, wish I could take credit for it.

  3. 2.26.2015

    Thanks for sharing Angus

    I am not currently using an exit popup, but this is obviously something that I should be doing.

    1. Do you have any recommendations of the best scripts to buy.

    Opt-in Monster is heavily advertised, but do you have any alternatives that are worth looking at.

    2. I am assuming that these can be easily implemented with Aweber.

    3. Is it possible to use different offers on different pages, to specifically target the readers interests?

    Thanks in advance for your reply



    • February 26th, 2015 at 8:22 am
    • February 26th, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for the comment!

      For your first question, I’m biased on this so I’m not going to give you a specific answer, but I will say this: the exit-intent tool you choose should be able to perform both of the functions you asked about in questions 2 and 3.

      Yes, the tool should be able to easily integrate with AWeber so the email addresses you capture are automatically added to your existing lists.

      And yes, using different offers on different pages is 1) absolutely possible 2) definitely the best way to approach this tactic.

      Further, the tool should be able to target specific user segments like new vs. returning users, cart abandoners etc.

      Simply blasting every user on every page with the same exit overlay over and over again is not the best way to go about this, so you’re on the right track with wanting to include/exclude certain pages.

      Was that helpful?



      • February 26th, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        Thanks for your Angus, and sorry for the first question – hadn’t clicked through on any of the links earlier.

  4. 2.26.2015

    My conversions went up significantly when I started using an exit intent pop-up.

    Thanks for the great case studies!

  5. 2.26.2015

    Great post.

    What I really like is the fact that you need to focus on WHY they’re leaving your site and tackle that very issue in the exit popup.

    Best part about this is, it’s not a marketing gimmick. It provides value to the user while making sure you don’t lose the conversion.

    • Angus Lynch
      February 26th, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks, that’s absolutely true. You need to find something truly valuable to offer the prospect; something that answers their questions, solves their problems, or provides valuable information.

  6. 2.26.2015


    Nice case studies, For me I haven’t started email list. And I don’t know exactly how would I do it, could you please share of any of link ?

    After I read.. Ill definitely try to see the Exit intent pop up.
    Thanks for sharing about the great tool here :)

    Have a great day,

  7. Sam

    I hate popups, they really annoy me when I want to leave and the site i want to leave wont let me leave because a b***** popup pops up… geeeez, however, I should try it out on my own site and see if it does increase conversions,I dont have to visit my own site..

    • March 1st, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Exit popups don’t stop you from leaving the site, they just popup as the mouse moves out of the viewable area.

      Don’t get them confused with those annoying popup warning boxes that only trigger as you actually click to close a page and ask you to stay.

      • Sam
        March 1st, 2015 at 1:55 pm

        yeah you are right I was thinking of those ones

  8. @thegingerwig

    When a person clicks on a link in a site does the exit pop up come on then? My site is primarily an affiliate site so not sure I want a pop up at this point. Thanks

  9. Aviral Bhardwaj

    Hi Matthew Woodward
    Nice case studies your whole blog is very good ..and very informative..thanks for these articles ..

  10. 3.3.2015

    This is a great study, good to see some real life, data backed examples, from outwith the IM niche of how pop ups can be effective.

    Love it Angus.

  11. 3.13.2015

    I can only seem to find exit popups that let you gather email addresses. I use LeadBoxes for this with a variety of lead magnets and content upgrades, but I’d like to be able to direct a person to another page, tell them about an offer etc.

    Do you know of any services/plugins that let me do this? I don’t want the email address (not that kind of site) but I do want them to take an action.

    Thank you!

    • March 17th, 2015 at 11:27 am

      You could just use OptInMonster to create a blank HTML canvas and add an image with href link code around it.

      • J Munro
        March 18th, 2015 at 2:53 am

        Thank you – I asked around on Twitter and the Icegram plugin was recommended which has worked perfectly. It was really easy too. Thanks for replying and thanks again for always providing valuable and engaging blog posts. x

  12. jasa seo

    awesome post matt

  13. Genisel Mutfağı

    Thank you so much for the information.

  14. 7.14.2016

    Nice article Angus – exit popups are still too focused on interrupting the UX with a large popup, you can produce smarter popups that don’t over-take the UX quite easily, and it means if you get the exit intent prediction wrong you’re not losing sales/interest because of it.

What are your thoughts?

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