Howl and the World Howls With You.

Tag: Demand Generation

Exit Intent Popup: The Power to Engage vs. The Power to Annoy

Everyone I know hates popups.  They always make me think of that old whack-a-mole game.  People find them annoying, intrusive, repetitive and obnoxious. An exit intent popup are just another flavour.

Funny thing is, they work.

I started using them on my www.tincancanucks.com book website a couple of weeks ago when I released a sample chapter for download.  Most of my traffic is driven by AdWords and tends to be new rather than returning at the moment.  As a test, I set up a download page on the website for the sample chapter PDF and created an exit intent popup via Convify—an online service which you can integrate with your website.

Exit Intent Popup: How it Works

The way it works is that when someone comes to my homepage (or any other page in the website), when they go to close the browser window (or take another action that show’s they intend on exiting the site) this is intercepted with a popup:

Exit Intent Popup for Tin-Can Canucks

Exit Intent Popup for Tin-Can Canucks

They can click through to the download page, or they can click on “No Thanks” and then exit the site.  There are a lot of ways to configure this exit intent behavior—you can trigger it based on time, number of pages visited, new vs. returning visitors etc.—and in my case I have it configured to show only once a day for any given visitor; that reduces the annoying factor to a reasonable amount I think.

Convify provides conversion metrics (it’s part of a larger digital marketing platform it looks like), and so far, in two weeks I’ve seen a 1% conversion rate.  For a site with fairly small traffic this seems okay to me, and I’m not seeing anything indicating I’m driving traffic away—and the thing with an exit intent popup is that the visitor was leaving anyway, so it’s not likely to raise the exit rate, and even if it reduces my return visitor rate, at the moment that’s pretty small to begin with.

Fundamentally, this is no different from marketing automation gateway forms—in this case I’m not looking for personal information, and so may generate a higher conversion rate than if I was using a gateway form to capture contact info before the download.

And like gateway forms, it works—it drives conversions.  In a marketing automation system, we can track these conversions and score the interactions.  Like a gateway form an exit intent form is another tool in the marketing automation toolbox.

So, in my experience (anecdotal though it may be) I’m seeing increased visitor engagement, which is what I’m looking for for this site.  The popup’s configuration to make it less annoying is a crucial part of its value though, and I think makes the difference between engagement and annoyance.

Exit Intent Popup: Roll Your Own

Now, if you want to use an Exit Intent popup yourself there’s no need to go with a service like Convify—especially if you already have a marketing automation platform.  The ActiveConversion software for instance, will track goal page and URL-specific campaigns, and so can be used to track conversion from clicks in a popup.  While the software doesn’t provide the capability to create the popups, that’s to be expected since it’s not a content management tool, and for those with a little jQuery experience, there’s an excellent tutorial for creating exit intent popups with jQuery which can be found here: http://beeker.io/exit-intent-popup-script-tutorial

Now some may ask: do I still find exit intent popups annoying?

Yes, yes I do.

Perhaps I’m a hypocrite for using them, but the facts are they work—even on me, and I’m one cynical digital marketer.

Like I said, I believe the critical part is to make them as engaging as possible with as little annoyance impact as possible.  In my case above, I’m engaging the visitor with some interesting, useful content—promising the full story about the post-war RCN in the downloadable PDF.  I’m asking them for an additional moment of their time—a couple more clicks—if they’re interested in the content.

And if not?  My apologies for the annoyance.



Word of the day: Friktison

What is Lead Scoring?

The last few years–well, okay the last decade essentially–I’ve been involved with marketing automation and demand generation.  Originally I lead the development of the demand generation product Canterris Marketing Suite, and eventually moved over to Twist Marketing to act as a digital strategist and project manager, with an eye to implementing marketing automation tools and campaigns for clients.

While at Twist I’ve worked with other platforms, from Eloqua to Sharpspring depending on the size of project and clients needs.  One of the things that always comes up–especially for clients new to demand generation platforms–is what is lead scoring, why should we use it and how is it done?

While with Canterris I developed a workbook that helped customers determine their needs in terms of scoring leads coming to their website.  I recently dusted it off and though an updated version of it might be of value, so during the rewrite I thought I’d post some of the basic information here on my Blog to perhaps answer some of the common questions that come up.

What is Lead Scoring?

Across virtually every industry and segment, customers today are in control of the buying process. This is particularly true of the prospective customers you want to target. With on-line access to a wealth of information – from your official website to product review sites to blogs and other social media – they self-educate, identify potential vendors, and form opinions on which vendors best meet their needs. And they do all this long before they’re on your sales group’s radar. As a marketer, it’s your job to find these prospects, separate the serious buyers from the tire kickers, determine when they’re ready to start a purchase conversation, and introduce them to your sales team. How? By reading the prospects’ digital body language.

Just like body language consists of explicit gestures (thumbs up, nodding, waving and so on) and tacit cues (leaning forward in a chair, a tilt of the head, etc.), digital body language is made up of explicit and information. Using this information, you can determine a customer’s sales readiness and which action to take next. Lead scoring is how you do this.

But first, marketing and sales must agree on the definition of a qualified, or sales-ready, lead. This is essential to forming a working partnership in which marketing generates qualified leads and sales closes them. In the on-line world, a qualified lead is one that is both a fit for your products, services and strategies, and sufficiently engaged to start talking with sales. Fit is determined by the explicit information you collect: their role, region, company, industry, revenues and so on. Basically, are they and/or their company who you want to sell to? Do they have the right budget? Are they in the right country? Can they make a purchase decision? Engagement is determined by tacit information gleaned by their activity on your website or email marketing campaigns. What web pages have they viewed? What have they downloaded? What events have they registered for? Based on this information, you can gain insight into their level of interest, where they are in their purchase cycle and whether they’d be receptive to engaging with sales.

I usually recommend a Co-Dynamic lead scoring methodology—a fancy way of saying it allows companies to prioritize leads based on both explicit data, like job title, business or industry, and implicit data demonstrating prospect interest, like website visits, downloads and email campaign response. Lead scores are not fixed, but may increase or decrease over time according to prospect behaviour.

(to be continued as I update more of the workbook)…

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