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Website exit intent survey: What it is and why you need one

Learn more about website exit intent surveys, what they are, and why you need them.

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Your website visitors are a critical part of your sales and marketing strategy. They come to your site to gather information and check out your resources, do research, browse your products, and hopefully make a purchase or sign up for the next step in your sales process. 

At least, that’s what they do if everything goes as planned. But many of your website visitors won’t convert to customers or take the action you’d like them to do, like signing up for your email list. They might even fill their shopping cart with your products and then depart your site completely, never to return. 

Why do these users visit your site and then leave without finishing what it seemed like they came to do? This can be a frustrating mystery for many marketers. And if too many visitors are departing your site swiftly, it can negatively impact your conversion rate and indicate that something on your site isn’t performing the way it’s supposed to. 

Figuring out why website visitors leave your business website helps you refine your site so it delivers what prospects are looking for—and increases sales and revenue as a result. That’s where website exit intent surveys come in. Exit intent surveys ensure your site delivers what it promises and help customers achieve what they came to your site to do. 

What is exit intent? 

Exit intent is a technique used in ecommerce and online shops and other business websites to retain visitors who are about to leave your site. By reviewing and analyzing the actions visitors are taking on your site, you can figure out when a prospect is about to leave your site and take appropriate action. 

How do you figure out if users are on the verge of departing your website? Use digital marketing tools to look at actions like where visitors move their cursor, how far a visitor scrolls through a page, how long the visitor remains idle, the activity level of a visitor, and their previous site activity and history. 

This information is essential to know because it gives you one last chance to connect with those prospects before they’re gone for now—or for good. Once you know the signs that a user is ready to close your site and head somewhere else, you can take action with an exit intent strategy. 

Why are exit intent strategies important?

Getting visitors to your website requires a good deal of time and effort. You might be running paid ads, using an organic SEO or content marketing strategy, or using other marketing tactics to bring in those potential customers. If they’re departing without taking action, all of that time and effort has been wasted.

When a customer is ready to leave your website, you’ve lost an opportunity that you likely worked hard to gain. Exit intent strategies help you capitalize on the last few seconds before they depart. 

Exit intent strategies can take many forms. For example, if you run an ecommerce shop selling handmade pottery, you may have many website visitors who enter your site from a paid ad campaign on social media platforms. They browse multiple product pages, even add items to their carts—but they aren’t making purchases, and your ad campaigns are costing you quite a bit of money. 

Your exit intent strategy in this case could be asking people if they’d like to sign up for your email list via a website popup that’s triggered when they head to close their browser tab. Or it could be with a popup website feedback survey asking them why they’re leaving. 

Exit intent strategies have many benefits for your business. They can help you grow your email list and nurture prospects who aren’t ready to buy right now, but might be down the road with the right marketing efforts. They can improve your conversion rates and reduce shopping cart abandonment by giving you a stronger understanding of what is effective at getting prospects to make a purchase. And they can decrease your bounce rate by helping you offer more value to your website visitors so they stay engaged on your site. 

Also, implementing exit intent strategies isn’t a costly endeavor. When done correctly, they can have a high return on investment and help you figure out why your site isn’t performing as well as it should. That can lead to more sales, a higher conversion rate, more loyal customers, and more revenue. 

Exit intent surveys 

Exit intent surveys are presented to your visitors when they’re about to leave your website, helping you gain insights from your bouncing or non-converting audience. And they can be an essential part of your Voice of the Customer (VoC) program. 

Gathering feedback directly from your customers and website visitors is the best way to know exactly how your customer experience and user experience is working—or not working—for your current and potential customers. 

Benefits of exit intent surveys

Exit intent surveys are popular because they have multiple benefits for businesses. Since they’re quick and easy for your website users to answer, and they don’t require leaving your site, they have high response rates. The insights you collect from these website surveys help you to understand what’s working well on your site and what needs improvement. 

Acting on those insights can help you reduce bounce and exit rates as you learn how to deliver exactly what your website visitors and customers want. You’ll also discover ways to increase your conversion rates so more of your visitors become purchasers. 

Challenges of exit intent surveys 

However, exit intent surveys do come with some downsides in addition to their benefits. They can be seen as intrusive and irritating because they interrupt the browsing experience. Making them easy to close can reduce this frustration; you don’t want to force website users into taking a survey if they don’t want to take, as this will worsen their user experience. 

Exit intent surveys aren’t a perfect tool. Sometimes they might appear when a website visitor isn’t actually leaving the website but simply changing to a different tab or scrolling to an element in the upper menu. And finally, results from these surveys can be biased; the frustrated visitors may be more motivated to participate in a survey than those who are happy or neutral.

Common use cases 

There are many common use cases for exit intent surveys. They’re an adaptable, flexible tool that can help you achieve several of your business goals. If you’re looking to get started creating your own exit intent survey, here are a few of the most popular ways your business can use them.  

Shopping cart abandonment survey 

It’s one of the biggest frustrations for ecommerce retailers: people who find your site, browse your products, add them to their carts, and then depart without buying anything. It’s called shopping cart abandonment, and it can significantly drag down your conversion rate. 

Why do some of your website visitors fail to complete their orders? After all, they clearly liked what they saw since they took the step of adding items to their carts. So what’s stopping them from buying? Some level of shopping cart abandonment is normal—people have busy lives and often get distracted, or they were simply window shopping. But understanding what motivates your users to abandon their carts can help you solve problems that are keeping them from completing their purchases. 

Your exit feedback survey to combat shopping cart abandonment could use one of the following questions to gain more insight:

  • What prompted you to quit shopping?

  • What would convince you to finish shopping?

  • Do you need any additional information to complete the purchase?

Pricing abandonment survey

If you’re a service-based business, you might encounter a related issue to shopping cart abandonment. Instead of adding products into their carts and then leaving, your users may check out your site and resources, read about your services, and then visit your pricing page. All these steps indicate they’re likely to convert; they seem interested and engaged enough to see what your solutions cost. 

But once they get to your pricing page, they leave your website without taking any further action. If this happens frequently, it’s a sign that something is amiss in your pricing strategy or your pricing page that’s lowering your conversion rates and losing you potential customers. 

Asking the following questions can help you figure out what’s going wrong and how you can fix it:

  • What is preventing you from signing up?

  • Is our pricing clear to you?

  • Compared to similar solutions you know, are our prices lower, higher, or about the same?

  • How much would you be willing to pay for the basic plan?

Goal completion survey 

If your website visitors often leave without taking the next action in your sales process, you might wonder if they’re getting frustrated with your website or if they’re leaving because they accomplished what they came to your site to do. 

If your visitors don’t stay long but are finding what they need, that’s a positive sign for your business that your website is delivering what they need. But if that means you’re losing out on valuable leads or purchases, a new marketing strategy for your website could be in order. You won’t know until you ask your site users one of the following questions to gather their feedback and opinions: 

  • Did you complete the goal of your visit?

  • How difficult was it to complete the goal?

Lead generation

Exit surveys don’t just offer you valuable marketing and sales insights. They’re also an effective lead generation tool. Many people leave your website because they couldn’t find what they were looking for, but are interested in what you have to offer. You can create a website exit survey that asks them to leave additional contact details so you can reach out to them with an email marketing campaign or an additional sales contact. 

This method is especially valuable because many of your website visitors could be excellent prospects in the future, but they simply aren’t ready to make a purchase right now for a whole variety of reasons. Gathering their contact information allows you to nurture your relationship with them until they’re ready to buy, allowing your business and products to stay top of mind while they make their decision. 

And since these prospects are willingly giving you their contact details, they’re showing interest and thus more likely to make a future purchase. You can identify and connect with these promising leads by asking them: 

  • Do you need additional information about our offer?

  • Would you like a consultant to contact you for a personalized offer?

Tips for exit intent surveys

Your exit intent surveys can offer valuable insights for your business—if you set up and run them the right way. Here’s what you need to know to create top-notch exit intent surveys that deliver actionable insights for your business. 

Use creative language that engages visitors 

Exit intent survey popups form part of the user experience of your site, so make sure they’re written with care to engage your visitors. You should keep the tone in line with your brand voice as well. 

Keep it short

Your website visitors have busy lives, and most of them don’t have the time or desire to answer a long survey about why they’re leaving your site. Keep your survey short and sweet to get a higher response rate and also deliver a better user experience. 

Consider the design for each campaign

Your website survey popups should look and feel aligned with your brand; you don’t want them to be confused with distracting popup ads that appear on other sites. Design your exit intent surveys to look clean and professional so visitors know they can trust them. 

Make it easy to close

When you’re asking website visitors about your site’s UX, you don’t want to be delivering a negative experience at the same time. Your popup should be easy to close and not use language that makes it confusing for visitors to know what they should choose. Don’t coerce or trick users into answering, because that will leave a bad taste in their mouths and negatively impact their view of your website and even your business. 

Ask for additional information if it makes sense

Collecting email addresses in your exit intent survey is a good step and can boost your email marketing efforts. But you can also collect additional information to help you segment your email lists and hone your sales strategy with your survey fields. Just be sure not to require too much information or users will abandon the survey—two to three fields should do the trick. 

What to do next 

Now that your website exit intent survey is running, what do you need to do next?  

  • Categorize the answers. Analyzing the opinions, information, and data you receive from your survey is the essential first step to understanding your website users’ expectations and feelings. Your survey tool should help you categorize and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data. 

  • Discover the biggest problems. Your website may never deliver a perfect user experience, but you can uncover and work to solve the largest pain points in your website user experience. What do your users say is the biggest issue with your site? You need to figure that out so you can make the fix that will have the greatest impact. 

  • Set up an action plan. Once you have discovered the largest pain points, it’s time to take action. What will most effectively fix these issues, and who is responsible for implementing these solutions? You may need to create a cross-functional team to tackle serious issues. 

  • Make improvements and measure success. Once your action plan has been put into place, you can’t stop there—you need to measure how those improvements are working in the real world. Are they translating into a boost in the user and customer experience? Keep tracking trends over time so you know how you’re doing and how far you have to go—and always work toward making further improvements. 

Key takeaways 

Exit intent surveys can help your business create a website that delivers valuable, authoritative information to your visitors and converts them to customers effectively. Your website is the digital doorway to your business for most people, so you want to be sure you’re creating a top-notch user experience. 

Optimizing digital channels, like your website, is easy and efficient with GetFeedback’s customer experience platform. Create effective exit intent surveys, deliver them to the right people, and get sophisticated reporting and analysis right at your fingertips full of actionable information. Request a demo or start your trial today.

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