Here’s How Every PPC Marketer Should Deal with Abandoning Visitors

By Angus Lynch | @TimeForRooster | Director of Marketing at Rooster

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What would a second page view mean for your PPC campaigns?


How would a second chance to ‘make nice’ with abandoning users affect your bottom line?


In my last post, I discussed 5 ways exit overlays can supercharge your PPC campaigns. Here’s a quick summary:


  • Exit-intent technology monitors visitor behavior on your site; when abandoning users are identified, it triggers an exit overlayintended to convert the user
  • Exit overlays are allowed on pages with Google AdWords and Bing Ads traffic
  • Exit overlays can supercharge PPC campaigns by capturing smaller segments, sweetening the pot, building email lists, reducing cart abandonment, and using alternative messaging

In this post, I want to build on these ideas, and explore specific tactics you can use to capture abandoning users in your PPC campaigns.


An exit overlay is a versatile marketing tool that’s most effective when targeted at specific pages, visitors, and user behavior. When used properly, we see exit overlays convert anywhere from 3 to 18% of otherwise abandoning users.


So let’s dig in.


Tactic #1: Coupon or Immediate Discount


Target these users: First-time visitors, paid traffic from Google and Bing


Exclude these users: Paid social media traffic


Place this offer on: Landing pages, pricing or sign-up pages, product pages

The problem with abandoning web users is that most never return to your site after leaving.


And although states that 75% of abandoning visitors intend to return to your site to continue the purchasing process, just a small percentage follow through.


As such, converting visitors with a last-second discount is a good tactic for recovering value before the whole warehouse goes up in flames.


This approach requires a bold ‘ask,’ as you’re asking the user to make an immediate purchase. But with the right offer, it can be very effective.


Below is an example from Neil Patel of Quicksprout, who uses an exit overlay to offer a last-second purchase of his consulting services.


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And another example from Diamond Candles, which uses a $10 off coupon to convince abandoning users to stick around:


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Like any discount, you need to be mindful of not cannibalizing the value of your products.


Tactic #2: Shipping Discount


Target these users: First-time visitors, shopping cart abandoners, paid traffic from Google and Bing


Exclude these users: Returning visitors


Place this offer on: Shopping cart pages, checkout pages


Shipping costs are a necessary evil for most ecommerce sites.


No matter how well costs are disclosed throughout the shopping process, many users abandon once the cost is added to their bill.


A well-targeted exit overlay can be fertile ground to re-engage users who object to shipping costs.


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In the example above, Diamond Candles uses a free shipping offer with a timer (more on that later) to convert cart abandoners.


Keep in mind that this type of offer should only be served on cart and/or checkout pages…there’s no need to jump the gun and show it too early.


And since repeat customers who are familiar with your brand are less likely to object to shipping costs, I would also focus this offer strictly on first-time visitors. Shipping can’t always be free!


Tactic #3: Free Gift or Offering


Target these users: First-time or repeat visitors, paid traffic from Google and Bing


Exclude these users: Paid social media traffic


Place this offer on: Landing pages, pricing or sign-up pages, product pages


Free giveaways work well on the web because they usually don’t cost the vendor (you) anything, especially if you offer subscription tools or services.


Here’s an example from Crazy Egg:


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The best free gift offers accomplish two things: 1) re-engage abandoning users, and 2) allow users to sample part of the program/offer/service you’re promoting.


Amen Clinics uses this approach in the example below:


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This exit overlay not only offers a free giveaway—a test to determine the user’s ADD type—but also allows Amen Clinics to counter objections by letting prospects sample the program before committing.


The results of this campaign were particularly impressive: during a 30-day test, 19.44% of abandoning users were converted to highly valuable sales leads.


Tactic #4: Time-Based Discount


Target this offer at: First-time visitors only, paid traffic from Google and Bing


Exclude these users: Returning visitors


Place this offer on: Landing pages, pricing or sign-up pages


Time-based discounts heighten the urgency of an offer, and can drive a major lift in revenue if used properly.


I say “properly” because timers can be risky: serve this offer to too many user segments, and you risk losing face with your customers.


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Just remember this: make sure users only see this type of offer once. Your offer must be sincere, and if return visitors see the same offer again, you’ll lose credibility.


Tactic #5: Email Signup for Deals


Target this offer at: First time or repeat visitors, paid social media traffic, paid traffic from Google and Bing


Exclude these users: None


Place this offer on: Homepage, product pages, blog pages, company pages (ex: ‘About,’ ‘Contact’)


An email signup for deals is a tactic that can used on a broad spectrum of pages—and with many different user segments.


There are two core benefits to running this type of offer:


  1. You’re likely to secure an immediate sale.
  2. You can continue to market your products through email, and build a customer relationship over time.


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This type of offer is great for increasing value from your paid traffic sources, but it’s also effective on low-converting segments like paid social media traffic.


With this type of offer, grabbing an email address for remarketing purposes takes the sting off doling out steeper discounts.




If you’re interested in trying an exit-intent platform with the capability to target specific user segments like first-time v. returning visitors, cart abandoners, and social media traffic, I urge you to check out Rooster’s free 30-day trial.