Thursday, April 25, 2013

Second Chance: Appeal the Bounce

A bounce is when a visitor lands on your website and promptly leaves without doing anything.  You work hard to get visitors to your website.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Content Marketing, Email Campaigns, and Pay Per Click (PPC) ads all cost time and money to maintain.  If it costs an average of $1 to get each visitor to your site, each bounce is a wasted buck.

They came, they saw, they left... you lost a dollar.  What can you do?

Why not make one last appeal to your bouncing visitor to get them to hang around?  These "Are you sure you want to leave?" messages can be super annoying, but if you only show it to visitors that you've already lost, what will it hurt?  Even if you get just one of those bouncers to stay, you're ahead of the game.

I suggest limiting the message to those who are not engaged.  

Depending on the site, engagement could be as simple as scrolling or clicking (blogs tend to get lots of bounces because they are just 1 page.)  You could also limit it new visitors.  

Here is some sample javascript code.
<script type="text/javascript">
    //attach the exit confirmation to the onBeforeUnload that fires just before the page closes.
    window.onbeforeunload = confirmExit;

    //set a global variable to be able to turn on/off the exit confirmation
    var confirmLeave = true;

    //if the user clicks anywhere on the page, don't show the exit confirmation
    document.onclick = function() {
        confirmLeave = false;

    //if the user scrolls at all, don't show the exit confirmation
    window.onscroll = function() {
        confirmLeave = false;

    //function that displays your exit confirmation
    function confirmExit()
        //only if our global variable is true, Appeal to the Bouncer to get them to hang around.
        if(confirmLeave===true)        {
            return "96% of our clients would recommend ContourThis to a friend! Are you sure you don't want to check us out?";

You have to use the browser's built in popup box to display your message.  Not all browsers will let you display a custom message (FireFox), and some browsers won't keep the page from closing (Opera), but the point is, in the case of a would be bouncer, anything is better than nothing.