Thrive Leads Review: A New Generation Of List Building Plugin

Thrive Leads Review
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  • Last modified: February 26, 2018
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Building an email list is one of the smartest things you can do as a blogger.

But you need the right tools to help you and if you use WordPress, that means having the right plugin.

We often forget that while we’re trying to make it easy for our visitors to subscribe, it needs to be easy for us to deploy, customize and test those opt-in forms too.

After all, our time is valuable right?

In this review we will take a closer look at a WordPress plugin that might just be exactly what you need to rapidly accelerate the growth of your email list without any messing around or a huge learning curve. Just a straight forward yet powerful tool to grow your email list.

Sound good? Let’s dive in!

Enter Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is a new WordPress plugin from the Thrive Themes team.

It’s designed to help you add engaging opt-in forms to key locations on your website, make it easy for you to split test different opt-in forms and monitor your progress.

There are plenty of templates and other features that will have a huge impact on your list building efforts.

Let’s take a closer look.

Note: want to skip the review and check out Thrive Leads straight away? Click here.

Add opt-in forms to key locations with ease

Opt-in forms within Thrive Leads are organized into 3 different groups:

Lead groups

Here you have all of the main opt-in form types which include:

  • Ribbons
  • Popovers
  • Widgets
  • After post
  • Slide-ins

These forms are grouped together, so when you add a new group you can add one of each opt-in form or several different ones – this is great for keeping things organized and you can instantly see how well each of the forms are converting.

Lead Groups

Apart from the widgets, the other opt-in form types will be added automatically after you customize the display settings (note: you should only use the display settings after you have customized your opt-in form).

You are free to add as many opt-in forms as you like and you have access to various display settings so you could choose to display a particular opt-in form just on the home page, posts, a tag, a category or a specific post/page.

This enables you to create incredibly relevant opt-in forms for your visitors so you can massively increase your conversions – offering something that is more relevant is super important.

Shortcode placement

Here you can setup opt-in forms that you’ll place using shortcodes.

You can use these within widgets if you want, but they are typically used as in-content opt-in forms.

And they are a great way to get more email subscribers!

For example, a lot of websites will get a significant portion of traffic going to their about page. With this feature you can easily add an opt-in form within that page (or any other).

You can add as many shortcode based opt-in forms as you like and then see which of the pages convert best.

Lead Shortcodes

2 step opt-in forms

A 2 step opt-in form is slightly different from the other forms.

It displays a popover when a link or button is clicked. It works via a shortcode so it’s really easy to add to any of your posts/pages.

2 step opt-in forms have been found to have a huge impact on conversions.

The thinking behind this is that people are more likely to click a button/link than enter an email address but after they click the link they are partly invested in the process so they’re more likely to enter their email address.

It works by adding a shortcode around the text or button you’d like people to click on to display the popover. This makes it extremely easy to setup.

Add A Shortcode

How easy is it to use Thrive Leads and customize forms?

Getting setup is really straight forward with Thrive Leads.

It’s easy to add opt-in forms and stay organized.

One issue I’ve had with other plugins is that it can get difficult to manage if you have a lot of different opt-in forms. But, with Thrive Leads organizing forms into groups, it makes it so much easier to manage.

Opt-in forms are incredibly easy to customize too. You have a slick drag and drop editor that makes things so much simpler. You can see exactly how your form will look as you edit it.

You’re not limited to the elements within the template you choose either because you can add other content elements too.

Template Elements

You’ll also find helpful videos within the plugins interface so you can get a quick helping hand if you get stuck.

Add New Lead Group

Thrive Leads comes fully loaded with engaging opt-in form templates

You get access to some great looking templates with this plugin but what I like most of all is that most are grouped into sets.

This is a great way to keep your opt-in forms looking consistent.

So you can add a popover which will look something like this:

Opt-in Form Example

And then add a widget opt-in form which has the same design:

Opt-in Form Example 2

There’s a good variety of great looking templates and with easy customization functionality you can make them look how you want them within a short amount of time.

Skyrocket your conversions with super easy split testing

Thrive Leads is geared to help you massively improve your conversions.

Thanks to how the plugin is organized, creating split tests is VERY straight forward.

And there is a lot you can test here.

You can either clone an existing opt-in form then make tweaks or you can create a completely new design and test that.

For particular opt-in types you’ll have the option to set a trigger. Like with popovers for example. You can test timed popovers against popovers which appear after a particular point in a page is reached.

While there’s a lot you can test, it’s best to start off with a single hypothesis and then test that.

Social Media Checklist

But it gets even better.


There’s a feature that I’ve never seen in a list building plugin yet which is the ability to test different opt-in form types against each other.

Start New Test Of Opt-in Form Types

You can also select the option for the plugin to choose the winning opt-in form automatically – great if you’re pushed for time.

Other Thrive Leads features you will love

We’ve talked through quite a few of the main reasons why this is an effective plugin but there are some more important features that you will love.

  • SmartLinks – instead of showing your subscribers opt-in forms, you can show them custom calls to action
  • Page level targeting – use inclusion and exclusion rules to decide exactly where on your sites particular opt-in forms should be seen
  • Built in reporting – easily monitor how well your opt-in forms are performing
  • Daily overview – see a snapshot of your progress on a daily basis
  • Support for all major email marketing platforms – if a platform supports custom HTML forms, you can use it with Thrive Leads
  • Various triggers for opt-in forms – find the right balance to ensure your readers aren’t interrupted
  • Supports exit intent for popovers – display popovers just as a visitor is about to leave
  • Links to help videos within the plugin making it easy to find your way around
  • Save your own templates
  • Supports multiple fields, check boxes and more

Final verdict

Most plugins get difficult to manage when you add multiple opt-in forms, but Thrive Leads is the opposite. It’s super easy to find your way around and there are help videos within your reach if you need them.

All the major opt-in form types are supported and they come with some great looking templates which you can customize very easily.

It’s easy to get started with split testing and you can test different opt-in form types against each other – that’s a first for list building plugins.

There are incredibly in depth page targeting options so you can make your opt-in forms extremely relevant to your readers – this will have an incredible impact on your email sign ups.

If you’re serious about building your email list and generating leads – you will love Thrive Leads.

Ready to take your list building efforts to the next level? Find out more about Thrive Leads here.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


  • Every plan includes lifetime updates
  • Easy to use
  • Eye-catching templates
  • Straight forward yet in depth customization functionality
  • Supports any email provider that uses custom HTML forms
  • Help videos which can be accessed from within the platform
  • Powerful split testing features
  • Easy to use reporting features
  • Supports 2-step opt-ins
  • Supports shortcode placement of opt-in forms


  • There is a bit of a learning curve involved with the editor
  • Customization can take longer than plugins which have a simpler interface but the upshot is you get full customization

Thrive Leads

Summary: Thrive Leads is an all-purpose list building plugin for WordPress. It’s easy to use and makes it straight forward to add opt-in forms to all the right places on your website. All major email providers are supported and it comes with a number of powerful features that will rapidly accelerate the growth of your email list.

RatingRated 5 stars

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Adam Connell

Adam used to manage the content marketing efforts for brands earning well over 8 figures in annual revenue. Now he teaches bloggers how to create a blog that thrives in a noisy online world. Click here to get exclusive content you won't find on the blog.

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