What are Exit Intent Pop-ups and Why You Should Use Them on Your WordPress Website

I’m sure you’ve heard how effective pop-ups are at growing email lists and increasing goal conversion rates. However, pop-ups can also be highly annoying and very good at frustrating your hard earned visitors. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you want to experience the impressive results that pop-up optin forms can deliver but you don’t want to drive away your audience. This article is for you. In this guide, we’ll answer the question what are exit intent pop-ups. You’ll also learn how you can increase your email subscribers, conversion rates, and followers without ruining the user experience of your website.

If you haven’t tried exit intent pop-ups on your WordPress website, then you’ve been missing out on a proven way to make your website more effective, whatever its purpose.

What are Exit Intent Pop-ups and Why Use Them?

Regular pop-ups that are displayed on a website either as soon as a visitor arrives at your site or after they’ve been there for a few minutes can deliver great results. But at what cost?

I’m sure you’ve arrived at a new website and been asked to enter your email address almost instantly. Why would you want to share your precious email address with a website you’re totally unfamiliar with? If you’re anything like me, in most cases you just hit the back button right away when confronted with a pop-up on arrival.

Setting a time delay on your pop-ups and waiting a few minutes before they’re displayed can be less annoying for your visitors. But again, I’m sure there’s been a time when you’ve been enjoying an article on a website, only for an aggressive email optin form to be shoved in your face, breaking your concentration and ruining your flow.

While you can get great results from blitzing your visitors with pop-ups, if you’re at all concerned about offering your audience a positive user experience, forging a strong connection with them, and generally not annoying and frustrating them, then you’ve probably already decided, that for your project at least, pop-ups just aren’t worth it. After all, you’ve worked hard to grow traffic to your website. So why risk alienating those visitors before they’ve even had a chance to check out your great content, view your products, or find out what else you have to offer.

But what if I told you there was a way you could still reap all the positive benefits of using pop-ups, while also greatly reducing the negative impacts of this popular marketing tactic?

Introducing Exit Intent Trigger Pop-ups

That’s where exit intent pop-ups come into play. But what exactly is an exit intent pop-up?

By using the exit intent trigger, your pop-ups are only displayed when a visitor is about to leave your website. Maybe they’ve enjoyed reading one of your great articles, or they’ve downloaded a file or completed some other action. Now they’re about to reach for the back button, click on one of their bookmarks, or enter another website address in the URL field of their browser.

Just as the focus of their cursor leaves your site and enters another part of the browser, their intent to exit your website is detected and the pop-up is triggered. Instead of just letting that visitor leave, probably never to return again, you can try and persuade them to join your email list, follow you on social media, offer them a discount coupon for your eCommerce store, or carry out some other tactic to either get their contact details or coax them into visiting another area of your site.

That’s the power of the exit intent trigger. It can turn an effective, but annoying marketing technique, into a much more user-friendly and ethical tactic.  Sounds good right? But how can you start using them on your WordPress website? Keep reading, because that’s what we’re going to cover next.

How to Use Exit Intent Pop-ups on Your WordPress Website

Now that we’ve answered the question what are exit intent pop-ups, it’s time to cover how you can start using them to make your website more effective. Thankfully there’s a good selection of free and premium WordPress exit intent pop-up plugins and that’s exactly what we’ll be covering next in our guide to exit intent pop-ups.

The Best WordPress Exit Intent Pop-up Plugins

Here are the best free and premium exit intent pop-ups plugins for WordPress.


Widely credited as being the first plugin to bring exit intent pop-ups to WordPress, OptinMonster is probably the most powerful tool for growing your email list and increasing your website’s goal conversion rates. Since its initial release back in 2013, OptinMonster has gone from strength to strength.

As part of this development, OptinMonster has transitioned from a WordPress plugin to an app. Now, this tool is compatible with all types of websites, and not just WordPress sites.  You can also create custom pop-up designs and then see how effective they are. OptinMonster does more than just pop-ups and there are many different form and message types to choose from. If you’re looking for the best exit intent list building plugin for WordPress, OptinMonster is hard to ignore.

Key Features

Price: from $9 per month

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Thrive Leads

Another premium tool, Thrive Leads will help you grow your email list plus a lot more. The user interface isn’t a slick or polished as OptinMonster but the feature list is certainly comparable. The lower price tag helps too.

You can also choose to join the Thrive membership club and get access to all of their tools and WordPress themes for one recurring monthly fee. If you really want to improve the effectiveness of your website, Thrive Leads and their other tools could be the best option.

Key Features

Price: from $67 or $19 per month

More Details Our Review

WP Subscribe Pro

WP Subscribe Pro from the MyThemeShop team is a much more affordable way to add exit intent pop-ups to a WordPress website. You might not get access to advanced features like split testing tools or drag-and-drop form editors. However, with this exit intent plugin, you can quickly add stylish pop-up forms to your site.

Key Features

Price: $39

More Details (35% off coupon)

Ninja Popups

Ninja Popups is another affordable way to add exit intent triggered pop-up forms to WordPress. For just $25 you get to choose from a large library of form and pop-up panel designs. You can just as easily create your own designs or edit the included templates. Apart from split testing your pop-ups, there’s really not a lot you can’t do with this exit intent WordPress plugin.

Key Features

Price: $25

More Details Our Review

Pop-Up CC Exit

Pop-Up CC Exit gives you a quick way to add exit intent triggered pop-ups to your WordPress website for free. The feature list doesn’t compare to the best premium options, but it’s a good way to experiment with pop-ups.

While you can’t display optin forms in your pop-ups, you can customize the buttons to point to a specific URL. There are six flexible pop-up designs to choose from, all of which are mobile responsive.

There’s also a premium upgrade available if you like what you see but want more powerful features.

Key Features

Price: free

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Final Thoughts

Now you know exactly what exit intent pop-ups are and how you can use them on your WordPress website.

With a great selection of exit intent WordPress plugins to choose from, including professional tools like Thrive Leads, more affordable plugins like Ninja Popups, and free alternatives there should be nothing stopping you from adding user-friendly pop-ups to your website and increasing your goal conversion rates.

We hope you enjoyed our article on exit intent WordPress plugins. If you did, you may want to see our guide on best mailing list plugins for WordPress.

Which exit intent pop-up plugin will use on your website? Let us know in the comments below.