Exit intent modals for service design

Today, many web services gain customers through a marketing trick called Exit intent modals. When a user is about to leave a website, a message pops out. It offers a discount or any incentive that would make the customer stay in the website. Startups and businesses that used this trick say they increased their sales or conversion. 
This strategy is interesting for a growth hacking strategy. But it also features one big problem. The loyal customers, or the interested prospects, don’t get the special offers. Because they are loyal and don’t want to leave the website they don't get the offers. And let’s be honest. This is just unfair. It's like saying only people who don't find you interesting get gifts. On the other side, this features shows that a "before you leave" message can be useful for certain customers. So let’s see some scenarios of exit intent modals to enhance the user experience.

What’s good with the exit intent

Positive aspects to build upon

The exit intent feature is interesting because it’s not blocking a behavior.

It’s not an error message on which you have to act on. If you aren’t interested, you can just close the window as you were doing it. So, this feature is interesting to prompt information without disturbing the user too much.

The reminder

Scenario 1

The exit intent could also be a friendly reminder. For example, a calendar app could show the next important meeting you have scheduled.

Show achievements

Scenario 2

In productivity apps, you could see before you leave, a quick stat about the number of tasks you completed. Exit-intent can serve as a dashboard to enhance the pride of the user. That could make the customer come back more often.


Scenario 3

The exit intent can congratulate you before you leave. If you just have booked a fitness course, you could see a message that tells: «Hey bravo! You take care of your health!». Rather than writing a cold birthday email you could just show a funny GIF and wish a happy birthday before the user leaves an app.


Scenario 4

Once a user used an app for a specific number of days, a window could appear with a coupon code. Here you would not reward the prospects that are not sure about the value of your service. But rather, you would reward your most loyal users.

Usually you did this

Scenario 5

The exit intent may show you an action you have usually performed in the web service but didn’t do this time. An email service could ask you if you want to archive the Facebook notifications. Because you did it every day before. If you click OK, the web app will do it for you. You would then gain a cleaner inbox even if you weren’t focused.

Ask for feedback

Scenario 6

Exit-intent can also be used to ask for feedback. This last scenario is particularly interesting for service designers. You can build something like this today with the ReelSurvey app by the great team of Picreel.

About the timing.

Final note

The art of building a good exit intent modal is all about the timing.

Should you users see it every time they want to leave the web service? Should they see it only in particular times? Or after a specific event? The timing will define if your exit intent message is something that will bother or delight users.