Thrive Leads Review: The Ultimate List Building Plugin For WordPress

thrive leads review
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Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my Thrive Leads review.

You’re probably aware of how vital it is to establish an email list and generate leads. But how do you know which WordPress lead generation plugin to use?

Thrive Leads is a popular choice, but is it the best option for you?

In this Thrive Leads review, we hope to assist you in discovering this. I’ll also demonstrate how the plugin functions and how to use it on your WordPress site.

Let’s get this party started:

Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin that allows you to construct an email list from scratch. It doesn’t send emails for you; for that, you’ll need to use an email marketing service. It does, however, make it a lot easier to actually get subscribers to whom you may send those emails.

Because most email marketing providers are focused on delivering emails, they don’t provide many choices for building your email list.

Thrive Leads bridges the gap by assisting you in the creation of a range of WordPress opt-in forms that you can then target and optimize in a variety of ways.

Let’s start with the several types of forms Thrive Leads provides. You can display the following sorts of forms in total:

  • Lightbox that pops up
  • Notification bar/sticky ribbon
  • 2-step opt-in forms where users click a button to reveal the form (excellent for conversion rates!) in-line forms within your content
  • Forms that slide in (great if you want something a little less aggressive than a popup)
  • Screen filler overlay
  • opt-in widget (super aggressive)
  • Locker for content
  • Mat with scrolls
  • Forms with multiple options (let you create those negative opt-outs)

You’ll be able to use the following features once you’ve created a form:

  • Triggers it to appear at the precise moment it is needed.
  • Targeting it to only show it to the right people
  • A/B testing to determine the most effective copy

In a nutshell, that’s Thrive Leads, however, it also includes several lesser features like:

  • Allow people who have already subscribed to your email list to see alternative offers.
  • Analyze the results of your list-building efforts in detail.
  • For your opt-in forms, choose from a variety of ready-made templates.
  • Using the sophisticated Thrive Architect page builder, create or change a template.

You may also integrate Thrive Leads with almost any well-known email marketing service provider.

The 5 features that make Thrive Leads stand out

In the next part, I’ll walk you through the actual process of generating an opt-in form using Thrive Leads so you can see all of the foundational features. But before I do that, I’d want to point out a few of my favorite features that you won’t find in other WordPress lead generation plugins.

These are, in my opinion, the features that elevate Thrive Leads from “just another list building plugin” to “one of the greatest list building plugins.”

A huge variety of opt-in forms give you full control over your list building

First and foremost, I appreciate the diversity of opt-in form options to which you have access. While there are other lead generation plugins that give most of the same sorts of opt-in forms as Thrive Leads, I’m not aware of any that offer all of them…at least not at the same price:

If you only want to make pop-ups, this might not be a big deal. Thrive Leads, on the other hand, gives you a lot of options if you prefer experimenting with different types of opt-in forms.

You get to use Thrive Architect to build your opt-ins

Thrive Architect is a popular WordPress page builder that offers simple, code-free drag and drop editing.

You can use this sophisticated page builder to create your opt-in forms when you utilize Thrive Leads.

Most other lead-generating plugins don’t provide this feature since they lack the necessary vertical integration (i.e., most other organizations don’t have an already-developed standalone page builder to integrate).

In a word, this means that editing and customizing your opt-in forms will be a lot easier with Thrive Leads…

even if you have no prior experience with programming:

A/B testing so that you can optimize your opt-ins

By comparing two or more alternative versions of your opt-in forms against one another, A/B testing allows you to improve your opt-in forms.

Essentially, it allows you to determine which form generates the most email subscribers so that you can make the most of every visitor to your website.

With Thrive Leads, you can conduct robust A/B testing.

Thrive Leads allows you to test more than just alternate designs and copies.

  • Forms of several kinds
  • Triggers in the form

This allows you to evaluate more technical aspects of your popup, such as whether it performs better when displayed for 10 seconds or 20 seconds. Or whether a more aggressive screen filler or a less obvious slide-in converts better.

That’s a unique feature that not many lead generation plugins provide.

SmartLinks feature so that you don’t annoy your existing subscribers

If someone has already subscribed to your email list, it’s a little strange to keep asking them to sign up…again. Isn’t that correct?

That brings me to one of Thrive Leads’ coolest features:

You can display alternative offers (or no offers) to people who have already signed up for your email list using something called SmartLinks.

In a nutshell, SmartLinks are special links that you may use in your emails to ensure that recipients of your emails do not see your opt-in offers. You can either hide your opt-ins totally or replace them with a different offer:

Some SaaS tools, such as OptinMonster, provide a similar service. However, I am not aware of any WordPress plugins that perform a similar function.

Easy asset delivery to help you create lead magnets

Thrive Leads may also help you offer downloads to new subscribers automatically, allowing you to employ lead magnets on your site with ease.

Some SaaS applications, like SmartLinks, have this feature, but it’s not something you’d expect to find in a WordPress plugin.

How you use Thrive Leads to create an opt-in form

Now that I’ve shared the individual Thrive Leads features that I enjoy nerding out over, I’d want to offer you a more comprehensive overview of how the plugin works.

What better way to do it than to walk you through creating an opt-in form with Thrive Leads? Here’s a simple tutorial that includes some of my personal opinions on how certain features might be useful.

Checking out the Thrive Leads dashboard

When you initially enter the Thrive Leads dashboard, you’ll see a quick summary of the day’s statistics, as well as opportunities to:

  • Lead Groups – These are forms that can be displayed on your site automatically. You can assign specific material to each lead group or make one lead group appear globally. This includes all of the functionality that most people think of when they think of an opt-in plugin.
  • Lead Shortcodes – These are more simple forms that you may use a shortcode to manually incorporate into your content.
  • ThriveBoxes — You may use them to build two-step opt-ins.
  • Signup Segue — These enable you to generate one-click signup links for existing email subscribers. You could, for example, allow users to sign up for a webinar with only one click.

I’m going to show you a Lead Group in this tutorial because it’s probably the feature you’ll use the most.

Create a lead group and add form type

A lead group is a form (or a combination of forms) that appears on a specific piece of material (you can either display it globally or target it by category, post, log in status, etc.).

Multiple lead groups can be created, but only one will appear on each page at a time (you can choose which lead group to give preference to by changing the ordering).

Give your new lead group a name to get started. Then you’ll be prompted to create a new opt-in form via Thrive Leads:

Then you can select one of the nine form kinds available:

For this example, I’ll utilize a popup form (lightbox).

Add a form and customize trigger

Thrive Leads will prompt you to Add a form: once you’ve created a form type (in this case, lightbox).

The screenshot above exemplifies something I enjoy about Thrive Leads: it’s always guiding you along to ensure you’re following the right steps! This form of microcopy isn’t typically considered, but it makes the process go much more smoothly.

When you make a form, the first thing you do is give it a name. Then you’ll be able to:

  • Triggers
  • Display frequency
  • Animation
  • Design

You only need to click to customize the first three. Clicking on the Trigger column, for example, brings up a drop-down menu with numerous trigger options:

In the screenshot above, I’ve highlighted two of my favorite triggers.

Similarly, by selecting Display Frequency, you may specify how often the form appears to your visitors using a slider:

This is useful for avoiding bothering your visitors with constant popups.

Design your form

When you’re comfortable with the triggers, display frequency, and animation, click the Pencil icon to start constructing your form.

You’ll be taken to the Thrive Architect interface, which I discussed previously. You can either start from scratch or use one of the numerous predefined templates included:

After that, you’ll be able to see a live preview of your form:

The following are some of the features that make this interface so user-friendly:

  • Everything is inline and WYSIWYG. Do you want to change the text in your popup? Simply click on it and start typing!
  • You can drag and drop new items into place. Do you want to add a new image or text to your page? Simply drag the element across from the left side of your form, and it will appear.

Another cool feature is the ability to enable or disable various items based on the device that a visitor is using.

For example, to avoid overwhelming your mobile visitors, you may disable a huge image on mobile devices:

And here’s a cool feature you won’t find in many other plugins:

You can create different “states” by clicking the Plus button in the bottom-right corner. You could, for example, build a separate version for users who have already subscribed:

When you combine this with the SmartLinks feature, you have a lot of control over who sees what.

Create A/B tests (Optional)

Here’s how simple it is to build a different variation of your form for A/B testing. Just:

  • Make a new form or clone and edit an existing one.
  • Click the Start A/B test button.

You can change the triggers and frequency for each variant in addition to customizing the form’s look.

This feature’s simplicity is fantastic because it allows you to easily build several variations of your forms in a short amount of time. Even if each form is somewhat different, you can make minor adjustments without wasting time.

You can also use the Automatic Winner option to have Thrive Leads disable the losing forms after a particular amount of time, so you don’t have to think about it again:

Small changes over time might add up to a significant gain in email subscribers.

Set targeting options for your lead group

All that’s needed now is to configure your targeting choices for the entire lead group in order to start showing your form:

You may build up comprehensive rules to target your forms to specific content on your site, in addition to the handy functionality that enables you easily disable a form on desktop or mobile (excellent for avoiding Google’s mobile pop-up penalty).

You can aim for:

  • All pages/posts
  • Individual posts/pages
  • Categories.
  • Archive pages
  • Custom post types
  • Search pages
  • By logged in status

This functionality can be used to establish various lead groups for each of your site’s categories. For instance, if you have categories for:

WordPress Blogging Then you may demonstrate:

Offers on content in the Blogging category that are exclusive to blogging.
Offers on articles in the WordPress category that are special to WordPress.
You’ll have a higher conversion rate if your opt-ins are more relevant to the material your readers are interested in.

Other Thrive Leads features

I’ll go through a couple more features that you’ll probably be interested in further down.

Connecting Thrive Leads to your email marketing service

Connecting Thrive Leads to your email marketing service of choice is simple. Simply navigate to API Connections on your standard Thrive Dashboard and select from the extensive drop-down menu:

Here’s a more in-depth look at all of Thrive Leads’ email marketing services:

Detailed reports so that you know how your opt-in forms are doing

Thrive Leads provides statistics for both your overall list-building activities and individual opt-in forms.

You may even track the evolution of your conversion rate and lead growth over time:

How much does Thrive Leads cost?

Thrive Leads is available as a stand-alone product for $97 per year for one site.

Alternatively, you may have access to Thrive Leads by purchasing a Thrive Suite membership for $299 per year or $99 per quarter.

Thrive Suite is jam-packed with beneficial and necessary tools for any marketer looking to expand their online business. These are some of the tools:

  • Thrive Architect – Create landing pages that convert.
  • Create quizzes for lead generation and engagement with Thrive Quiz Builder.
  • Thrive Optimize – For split testing and optimization.
  • Thrive Theme Builder — A conversion-focused WordPress theme that can be customized.
  • And there’s so much more

Any of these tools can be used on up to five different websites. You will also receive unrestricted support and updates. Licensing for agencies is also available.

Worried you’ll lose money if you don’t use some of the other Thrive Suite tools? Don’t. Even if you only used Thrive Leads, it would be significantly less expensive than a comparable cloud-based service. You’d also have no limits on conversions or traffic.

Thrive Leads pro’s and con’s

  • There are many different sorts of opt-in forms.
  • Thanks to Thrive Architect, creating forms is as simple as dragging and dropping.
  • There are numerous pre-made templates available.
  • A large number of email marketing service connectors are available.
  • Existing subscribers can use the SmartLinks tool to see different deals.
  • Asset delivery is built-in for easy lead magnets.
  • A/B testing that is simple to set up and allows you to determine the winner automatically.
  • Targeting by page and taxonomy
  • Opt-in forms with content locking
  • Templates for content upgrades that have been specially prepared
  • Everything is customized to the specific WordPress install because it’s a WordPress plugin, which can be a hassle if you have many websites.
  • It can be difficult to tell the difference between “Lead Groups,” “ThriveBoxes,” and “Lead Shortcodes” when you first start out.


Thrive Leads is undoubtedly one of the greatest WordPress-specific lead creation plugins. While you might be able to find other plugins that match its opt-in form kinds and targeting/trigger options, I doubt you’ll find one that can additionally provide:

  • A/B testing is the process of comparing two options.
  • SmartLinks are a type of hyperlink that is used to (AKA the option to display different offers to existing email subscribers)
  • Delivery of assets for lead magnets
  • The same amount of functionality as Thrive Architect when it comes to shape construction.

As a result, if you’re looking for a WordPress-specific solution, I strongly suggest Thrive Leads.

This is a one-stop shop for all of your lead generation needs, thanks to access to all other Thrive products.

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