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How to Use Exit Pop-Ups

Before they go, give your website visitors a reason to stay--or to come back later--with a well-timed exit pop-up.

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This story appears in the March 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entry pop-ups are annoying. Online consumers hate arriving at a website, only to be immediately bombarded by an in-your-face message intended to distract them into taking the action the website owner wants. The pop-up message is almost never relevant, and the timing is so inappropriate that it can annoy visitors into leaving. So are pop-ups dead? Not exactly. There's a pop-up which, if relevant and timed right, can be an effective and nonintrusive marketing tool: exit pop-ups.

Since they're displayed as visitors leave the site, exit pop-ups don't distract your potential customers from completing their mission: conducting research, placing an order or some other action. At the end of their visit, they're more receptive to seeing your marketing message. You can use an exit pop-up to do one of two things:

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