Cover illustration adapted from wired.com
You know the thing. Your cursor leaves the window, and suddenly a pop up appears with... something or other, honestly I don't read them. The idea is that if the user is about to leave your site, you should do something to try and retain them -- after all, the worst case is they leave anyway, right? But I always trigger these accidentally. Perhaps a site is too slow to load, so I open another tab while I wait (Shame if your site takes more than two seconds, by the way.) Or perhaps I'm just careless, or I have a nervous habit of moving my cursor. Whatever the case, there are lots of reasons my cursor might leave the window before I'm ready to leave. And now, the content I was waiting for has a giant box blocking it. I'm likely to abandon the site at this moment.
But I wonder if I am the only one. A cursory search on this subject shows a few sites promoting exit intent because they are selling some code that will do it for you (of course), but also a few sites that cite some data showing an increase in conversions. There is surprisingly little hate for something that seems so annoying.
So I'm left with a couple of questions:
- Is this really a positive feature? And if so
- Is it ethical or wise to implement a feature that you personally find annoying, if data proves it's beneficial?