Exit traffic, to monetize or not to monetize? This is a question which is asked very frequently when it comes to digital marketing. Some marketers vouch for that, while others simply hate it. But what is the reason behind this?
Basically, it depends a lot on perception. Some marketers think that this is a good practice to make a last attempt to convert the leaving visitor. On the other hand, some marketers don’t want to annoy the visitor by wasting their time by showing an offer which they don’t care about.
However, there is no straight answer to this question. There are digital marketers who did manage to earn a hefty sum by monetizing their exit traffic. I’ve also seen people losing out on potential regular visitors by flooding them with advertisements. It depends a lot on the approach and techniques.
Before we go into the details of the techniques, I’d like to go through the cost-benefit analysis of monetizing exit traffic. Like it or not, this is a risky marketing technique. For you to decide if that is a risk worth taking, you have to know the pros and cons.
As so many professionals are using exit traffic monetization as a marketing technique, it must have something great about it. Let’s try to get the groove of that blissful side.
Bounce Will Happen Anyway, So Why Not Try?
Do you know that any bounce rate below 40% is considered as brilliant? On average, almost 50% of site visitors simply leave the site just after visiting. And a large chunk of these people will never come back to the site in their lifetime. Is it really harmful to annoy these dudes a bit and try to draw their attention?
We need to understand the core reason behind people leaving a site right away. It mainly happens as people don’t find the information they are looking for on the homepage or the page they’ve landed into. They simply go back to the SERP and look for other options.
If you are showing them an advertisement, or a pop-up call-to-action button, it won’t hurt your business that bad. On the contrary, they might suddenly change their mind after seeing the advertisement. Who knows? It might just be the thing they were looking for when they first landed into your page.
Anger Isn’t a Constant Emotion, But Loyalty Is
Look, you will never achieve anything with your site unless it can provide real value to the audience. If you own a site full of irrelevant content and absolutely no valuable information for the user to process, you will make people angry and annoyed anyway.
I’ll consider that you don’t have a site like that. If you have a site that has brilliant content, and actually helps the visitors, then a little annoyance will not matter. People will come to your site for the good stuff anyway, regardless of the little bit of annoyance you have created for them.
Do you think that the visitors of Backlinko or Moz get furious whenever they see a pop-up? Some of them do, while some others like them. But even the angriest of the users don’t hate these sites as a whole, due to the great information they are provided with.
You do get my point, right? As anger won’t last forever, it is okay to provide your loyal visitors with advertisements you think are relevant. They might find something they actually need at one point, and you can sell to make some extra bucks.
Customer Information Always Has Great Value
What happens in the worst case scenario? The worst that might happen is, some of the visitors start hating you more than their ex, curse you, and never come back. As I’ve already said, this might occur anyway due to the content of your site. But you still get a benefit; valuable customer information!
Though you do know the numbers, still you need to have more specific information on bounce rates. Monetization depends on such information to a huge extent. If you know the specific reasons behind people leaving your site, then you can take action to give them more incentives to stay.
There are multiple ways of collecting information. You can ask all the visitors what they like about your website and what they don’t. That’s a good strategy, I concede. But isn’t it simply better to ask this to a person who is about to bounce? It sure is!
Use the intelligent part of your brain, and integrate questions in the exit pop-up that’ll give you the information you need. Save the response of the users to analyze later. Once you have a significant amount of responses, then start to analyze. You can then find out the common reasons for which people have left your site.
Don’t simply sit idle with the information. Once you have the information in your hand, improve your website according to the needs of the visitors and design more relevant products.
Like all the other good things in the world, exit traffic monetization has its demons as well. Are these demons strong enough to eat up your marketing campaign?
It’s Your Reputation, Stupid
I am damn sure that you have received calls in your home from companies offering their products even if you haven’t asked for it. What was your feeling in those moments? Did you feel really happy and start loving that company from which you received the call? I bet you haven’t.
Now just take a look at this scenario. You are basically doing the same thing to the exit traffic of your site. They didn’t ask for the advertising pop-up you are showing them, yet you are doing it. If they already consider your site as unhelpful, this will fuel their rage even more.
The worst they can do is to write about their bad experience with your site, and your persistence to keep them no matter what they think of your services. If that happens, you’ll lose future traffic as well. People will consider your site simply as a waste of time and stop coming.
This reputational dig will simply screw your business over. Once you receive a bad reputation, especially online, there is no turning back from that. You’ll have to live with the consequences.
Congrats, You’ve Lost Some Visitors Permanently
I did say that loyalty is constant. But loyalty doesn’t come cheap or soon, you know. For you to make your visitors to be loyal towards your website, you simply can’t create a bad first impression. There is a chance that some people will not visit your site for the second time due to your marketing strategy.
If you are willing to monetize your exit traffic, you’ll have to compromise on this. You need to accept the fact that even if it would decrease the bounce rate and increase the chances of ensuring more sales, there will be users who will never come back.
This also ties back to the reputational issue. If you have competitors who are not annoying their visitors as much as you are with exit traffic monetization techniques, then the traffic will simply go to your competitor. You’ll have to be far superior in terms of content for mitigating that.
Google Might Wiggle Your Site’s Rank
Are you thinking that having a low bounce rate would increase your site’s rank? You are right if you think that way. But it also depends on the way you are keeping traffic on your site. Google is getting more and more edgy regarding SERP these days.
Google only wants people to see the most informative and helpful posts in the front pages of search results. If Google bots realize that you are keeping people in your site for more minutes by playing some wicked tricks, then your site will be punished.
Exit traffic monetization techniques are not organic ways to keep traffic in your site. Beware of this before you decide to pull a rabbit out of your hat to monetize your exit traffic.
How We Do It?
As you know the pros and cons of exit traffic monetization, now it’s the moment of truth. Is it okay to adopt this advertising technique? Are the risks worth taking? I’d say, ‘Yes, of course!’ There are ways to mitigate the risks as much as possible and get the best out of this technique without hurting your ranks too bad.
- The Design: Guess what, people care about visuals more than anything else in the 21st century. That’s why you’ll see businesses using a lot of pictures on their marketing campaigns instead of text. You need to adopt that in terms of exit traffic monetization as well. Design the advertisement in a way which seems really pleasant to the leaving visitor.
If you can do that, two things might happen. First, you might even convert the leaving user into a customer. Woo hoo! That’s simply awesome! Second, even if the visitor isn’t willing to buy anything from you, the good design will make them forgive you for the little annoyance you’ve created for them. It’s a straight win-win for both of you!
- Relevance: Show pop-ups that are only relevant to the site you own. Let’s suppose that you have a cat blog. When someone is leaving your site, you simply can’t show them an advertisement on dog food, or lizard cages.
You do get the idea, I think. This will make the visitors think that your site simply aims to sell any product, anyhow. As a result, the visitors who came to your site for information will get mad at you. If you are designing exit pop-up advertisements, make sure it stays relevant to the content you have shown to your visitor.
- Make it Interesting: Boring advertisements are no good for anything. Be it for exit traffic, or regular traffic, boring campaigns will never help you increase the number of sales you are currently having. For exit traffic, this needs to be far more interesting, as this group of people has already decided that they don’t have anything to do with you.
A message like ‘Earn More Money’ will never appeal to them when they are willing to leave. But something like, ‘Earn A Thousand Dollars In Two Hours’ will definitely draw some serious attention. People might find it difficult to believe you, but they will at least want to know what this is all about.
- Don’t Force This Too Much: Make sure that you don’t seem like a desperate douchebag who simply wants to force things on the visitor. Just keep a simple pop-up that can easily be closed. If you make it too complex for the users to get away from your site, you are forcing them too much. None of us like to be forced into doing something. Nobody deserves such an unpleasant experience.
- Fulfill Your Promise: Suppose that someone has clicked on your exit pop-up advertisement. Would they ever be able to forgive you if they find something entirely different from the ad on the next landing page? I wouldn’t. Design the advertisement to draw attention, but at the same time make sure you give the users what you’ve promised. Otherwise, they might even report you for being a fraud!
Like many other digital marketing techniques, exit traffic monetization is one which can be really effective and helpful for making more money online. But you have to do it the right way. Analyze your website and its content to determine if your site is actually ready for such a marketing technique to be applied. If you think so, then go for it.
Nothing can be worse than a badly implemented marketing technique. One would get the exact opposite result compared to the desired one with a horrendous marketing method execution. Know your strengths and weaknesses before going out with your weapons to fight the tough marketing competition out there.
What do you think of exit traffic monetization? Let us know in the comment section!