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How to create an exit intent popup

Published Apr 26 2020

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You know those annoying popups that appear when you try to close a browser window?

They somehow know you’re trying to close it, like if they can read your mind.

In reality it’s a pretty simple concept, you have to listen to a specific DOM event.

I certainly do not recommend the use of popups, because I find them annoying, but your company might ask you to implement one, so here we are.

I like to keep things simple, so here’s the HTML

<!doctype html>
  <title>Popup page</title>
  <div id="popup">

Add this CSS:

body {
  font-family: system-ui;
  background-color: #f6d198;

#popup {
  position: fixed;
  width: 100%;
  visibility: hidden;
  z-index: 10002;
  top: 0;
  opacity: 0;
  transform: scale(0.5);
  transition: transform 0.2s, opacity 0.2s, visibility 0s 0.2s;
  position: relative;
  margin: 0 auto;
  text-align: center;
  box-shadow: 0 1px 10px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5);
  width: 60%;
  background: #862a5c;
  padding-bottom: 100px;
  padding-top: 50px;
  color: #fff;
  font-size: 2rem;

and this JavaScript:

const show = () => {
  const element = document.querySelector("#popup")
  element.style.visibility = "visible"
  element.style.opacity = "1"
  element.style.transform = "scale(1)"
  element.style.transition = "0.4s, opacity 0.4s"

document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", () => {
  document.addEventListener("mouseout", (event) => {
    if (!event.toElement && !event.relatedTarget) {
      setTimeout(() => {
      }, 1000)

See it in Codepen:

See the Pen Exit intent popup, simple implementation by Flavio Copes (@flaviocopes) on CodePen.

The page should appear pretty boring:

If you try loading and getting in/out of the page with the mouse, you should see a popup appearing:

This is due to the fact we listen on the mouseout event, and we want 1 second before showing the popup.

Once you have the basics in, you can start adding fancy things like closing the popup if the user presses the esc key:

const hide = () => {
  const element = document.querySelector("#popup")
  element.style.visibility = "hidden"
  element.style.opacity = "0"
  element.style.transform = "scale(0.5)"
  element.style.transition = "0.2s, opacity 0.2s, visibility 0s 0.2s"

document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", () => {
  document.onkeydown = event => {
    event = event || window.event
    if (event.keyCode === 27) {

and if the user clicks the document ouside the modal:

let eventListener

//inside show()
eventListener = document.addEventListener("click", function (clickEvent) {
  let el = clickEvent.target
  let inPopup = false
  if (el.id === 'popup') {
    inPopup = true
  while (el = el.parentNode) { 
    if (el.id == "popup") {
      inPopup = true
  if (!inPopup) hide()

//inside hide()
if (eventListener) {

Example on Codepen:

See the Pen Exit intent popup, implementation with hide() by Flavio Copes (@flaviocopes) on CodePen.

Now, an interesting thing to do is to store the fact we showed the modal in a cookie, so we only show it once to every person.

This is a possible implementation: we set the popup=true cookie when we show the modal, and we check for the cookie before showing it again:

let showed = false;

const show = () => {
  if (showed) return;

  if (
    document.cookie.split(";").filter((item) => {
      return item.includes("popup=");
  ) {
  } else {
      document.cookie.split(";").filter((item) => {
        return item.includes("popup=")

  document.cookie = "popup=true;path=/;max-age=15768000"
  showed = true

  //...the remaining part of show()

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