A Thrive Leads Review That Shows You Real Results

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 5 stars
  • Spectacular
$67 One Site, $97 Unlimited Sites

  • Thrive Leads
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on: February 23, 2015
  • Last modified: November 22, 2017
  • Features
    Editor: 98%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 80%
  • Price
    Editor: 99%
  • Support and Documentation
    Editor: 80%

Review Summary:

Thrive Leads is the simplest and most powerful list building plugin you can get for WordPress. It has optin form choices for all tastes, A/B Testing and analysis built in, and does not cost a fortune. Check out the review below and you will not be disappointed.

Everyone tells you that you need to grow your email list.

And the Thrive Leads plugin provides you with an insane amount of features to do that.

Trust me, I have used most of them. (And you can scroll down to read my detailed Thrive Leads review)

The problem is that no one tells you how what kinds of results you can get with an amazing tool like Thrive Leads Plugin.

So, before I show you all the cool things this tool does, here is what I have done with it in the last few months.

Easy Ways To Get More Emails With Thrive Leads – The Results

You might have heard about content upgrades, but do you really know what you can achieve with them?

Well, here are some examples to show you what is possible and how easy it is with Thrive Leads.

I wrote this huge post a few months back and decided I should get as many emails as I could from it.

To do this I made a summary version of the blog post and produced a simple PDF from it.

Here are some of the results:

A popup optin specific to the post 9,42%


A content upgrade box within the same page 3.5%


To date this post has brought in 300 emails alone. Just in the last few months.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 17.21.30

I have a website speed improvement post that also has a great conversion at about 6%. This is another content upgrade that brings in lots of emails

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 17.24.44

General (More Boring) Optin Instead?

I have been doing the same thing lately for an SEO Checklist on my site and pushing that popup on every post (which is not smart, but I am focused on SEO at the moment).

It took me about 10 minutes to make the popup thanks to Thrive. It’s getting a lot less optins (2.75%) but I could quickly and easily add it to the whole site and boost my SEO list quickly.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 17.23.35

I supplemented this with some quickly made (10 minutes again) optin boxes that I threw in my most popular SEO posts. It is quite new, but brings in about 4.25% optins!

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 17.27.16

As you can see, it really boosted the optins (per day) for my SEO List specifically (see the whole list growth further down).

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 17.39.25

It All Adds Up

If you use the power of something like Thrive Leads and add in

  • popups to capture lots of attention (specific ones on posts get even better optins as you saw above)
  • in-content boxes like the last one – gets you also quite a few optins
  • end of post (very low optin, but worth considering)
  • and welcome mats, which I am not using at the moment.

I have managed to increase my email list about 10% in the last few months alone (1339 new optins!). And I could push it even further.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 17.34.06

It all depends on your traffic, how specific your lead magnets (content upgrades) are and how much you push.

But Thrive Leads makes playing with this stuff very easy and fast.

And the results can be amazing, as you can see.

Here is what it Thrive can really do in detail…

What Features Does Thrive Leads Include?

Thrive Leads Plugin includes a huge list of options when it comes to building your list.

First there are the options you have for your sign-up forms:

  • Light Box Popups (with lots of options – including exit intent)
  • Header Sticky Ribbon (like the hello bar)
  • 2 Step Optin Forms (often more successful)
  • Optin Forms Inside Pages or Posts (Inline Forms)
  • Slide In Forms (usually at the bottom)

Then there are the other must have features that any successful Email Building Plugin have:

  • Drag and Drop (WYSIWYG) Editor (No tech skills required)
  • A/B Split Testing (so you can test what works best)
  • Analytics (see what is working best)
  • Asset Delivery (you can deliver different downloadables to the same list)
  • Mobile Responsive Forms (work on any mobile device)
  • Speed Optimized (does not slow your site down)

Here’s a Quick Thrive Leads Demo

Below is a video walk through of Thrive leads if you want to see it live:

  • how fast you can create forms
  • how you can assign them to various groups of pages/posts
  • how to do A/B testing

Optin Forms, Popups and More

Thrive Leads Sidebar Optin FormLet’s take a more detailed look at the variety of optins you can easily create with Thrive Leads.

Sidebar Optin

You will probably see this optin I just made (took me about 5 minutes) on my sidebar, but here is an image just in case I have changed it when you read this.

It is very simple to make from the templates and then add to your sidebar as a widget.

Popup Lightbox

The lightbox popup has become a standard when collecting emails (and I have spoken about this before in detail).

Thrive leads gives you lots of options when it comes to your lightbox. Not only the template (layout, style, image etc) but also how it appears:

  • Show on page load (straight away)
  • Specific percentage or point on page (wait a while so reader gets into page)
  • Specific time (after x seconds on the page)
  • On Exit (my favorite, wait until they are leaving them ask them)

They also have an option for what to do on mobile, because it is harder to capture exit intent (when someone is leaving). They have it all covered.

Slide-In Form

This is a popular replacement for the lightbox popup because it is less annoying. Basically, this is a form that slides in from a corner (often bottom right) as the user gets towards a specific portion of the page (usually the end of a page or post).

This has the same options available as the popup form above, but also the position it slides in from. Here is an example template from Thrive Leads:

Thrive Leads Slide In Example

Header Ribbon (like Hellobar)

The header ribbon is also a popular email capture method used on many websites. It was made popular by Neil Patel and the Hellobar, but is now seen everywhere.

This is a slim bar that appears at the top of your bar and stays there even when the user scrolls. Before you always needed another plugin to do it, now it is available as an option on Thrive Leads!

Here is what it looks like:

Thrive Leads Sticky Ribbon

Forms Within Pages or Posts (Inline Forms)

Sometimes the best way to get an email is with a signup in the middle or at the end of a blog post. I often do this by offering a specific guide or extra that comes with the blog post, and this has an awesome optin rate.

Now you can easily create such forms with Thrive Leads and place them right on your page or post – right where you need them!

No tech skills required, no screwing around with other plugins or programming or any other nonsense. Just design it and place it using a shortcode! (not sure what a shortcode isread more about it here, but it is easy!)

Two Step Optin Forms

This is another marketing technique that is having great results right now – the 2 step optin.

The idea is that you can turn any link, button or image into a place to collect emails. The user clicks on it and then a popup comes up where they give their details.

The benefit of this is that it is very easy to collect emails from any kind of content, in any context. No fancy (or intimidating) optin forms needed. Just a simple image, link or button.

2 Step Optins with Micro-Commitment (QuickSprout style)

The Thrive Themes team just keep on innovating and improving their plugins, and this month is no exception!

This week they just announced a feature I have never seen in such a plugin, but has again been made famous by Neil Patel on Quick Sprout.

What is this feature?

It is a cheeky but very effective 2-step optin form, where the first step is just a simple question.

Why is this so effective? Because a simple question seems so innocent but drives you to make a choice. Usually YES or NO.

Right. After you have made this choice, you are taken to the page where you are further asked to confirm that choice – this time to opt-in to something. You have already agreed with (YES), so why not continue to agree with your own opinion and optin? Cunning!

This is called a micro-commitment, and was popularised in a book called Influence, by Caldini. It really does work, despite how stupid it sounds. That is why Neil Patel uses it on his homepage.

And Thrive Leads is the only plugin doing this right now.

How does it look?

Here are the screen shots from the latest video from Thrive Themes.




Content Locker Optin

A very new thing that the Thrive team have implemented is a Content Locker with Email Option.

The basic idea is that you can “lock” a piece of content, or download and ask the visitor to optin to your email list to view it. There have been similar things done with Social Media Lockers before, but this one gives something far more valuable to you – an email to your list.

Obviously, you need to have something good to get people to optin, but it is always worth trying out new ways to get email addresses, and the Thrive Leads plugin always has the latest features.

This is one example of what it can look like from their templates:

Thrive Leads Content Locker

Thrive Leads – Email Services Integration

Thrive Leads makes a big effort to integrate with all the main Email Services. And recently (May 2015) they have added direct API connections so you don’t even have to paste the code in from your email service.
All you have to do is login to your email service right from Thrive Leads and you are done!
All of these email services are supported within the plugin:

  • Aweber
  • MailChimp
  • CovertKit
  • GetResponse
  • iContact
  • Ontraport
  • ActiveCampaign
  • HubSpot
  • MadMimi
  • Mail Gun
  • arpReach

Plus, they have also added some new and exciting features like connections to these services:

  • GoToWebinar
  • MailPoet
  • Signing up new leads with WordPress user accounts

Thrive Leads Email Integration
So all the big email systems, and any other that has HTML forms (which is almost all of them).

High Converting Form Templates

Thrive Leads also makes it easy to create high converting optin forms with their built in templates:
Thrive Leads Built In Templates

And all of these are easily customizable of course, so even if you don’t like something, you can easily change it!

Which Pages or Posts Should Your Optins Appear On?

Some of the other major lead gen plugins have had this feature in the past, but not all of them. And even if they did, the range of options was usually not so powerful as with Thrive Leads.

Simply put, Thrive Leads lets you decide where a “group” of optin forms are going to appear (except the two-step and inline forms, they are added manually).

You can choose from:

  • Which pages or posts (all, none, home, blog, archives etc)
  • Which category or tags
  • Logged in or out
  • Specific pages to show on (or not to show on)

Actually, the flexibility is incredible and sometimes mind-boggling. But it is also simple and powerful to use.

An example: say you want a specific optin form to pop up for posts about writing. Then you just create it for the group “writing” and select that category of posts. Done.

A/B Split Testing And Analysis (What Works?)

Having all these options for creating forms and popups is awesome and fun. But what really matters is what works.

And with Thrive Leads you can also see how many sign ups you are getting for your forms.

That is basic analytics – which forms are working

Taking It Further With Split Testing

What is even better, is trying a few different variations of a headline, or button color or even popup timing to see what works better.

Then you can slowly tune your optin forms to get the maximum number of sign ups.

That is what Thrive Leads can also do for you.

AB Split Testing

Thrive Leads Pricing

When you compare this plugin to other tools on the market, it’s very reasonably priced for what you get, and if you want to use it with other websites and clients (as an agency) there are also options too.

Here are the pricing levels:

  • Single Site: $67
  • Unlimited Sites: $97
  • Agency License: $247

So for most people the costs is $67  (but if you have more sites, it is a very reasonable $97)

Check Out The Pricing Here

Final Thoughts On Thrive Leads

This is a replacement for Hybrid Connect if you have used that before, and I must say they have certainly exceeded what that could do.

With Thrive Leads you can easily add high converting optins anywhere on your site and test them to make sure they give you the most amount of leads you can get.

The only thing missing is Landing Pages, and you can get that too with the Thrive Content Builder. Which not only has Landing Pages, but the same great WYSIWGY drag and drop builder as this plugin.


  • So Simple To Use - Will take you minutes to create optin forms
  • Variety of Optin Forms - Sidebar, Post, Popup, Slide In, 2 Step
  • High Coverting Optin Form Templates - Easy to customize
  • A/B Testing and Analysis - easy to test and improve conversion
  • One of the cheapest and most powerful on the market


  • Does not come with landing pages (can get with Thrive Content Builder)
  • Always need to create groups (where an optin appears) to create an optin - this is a minor annoyance

About the Author Ashley Faulkes

Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).

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