Most powerful all-in-one list building tool I've ever used
Ease of use
Easy to build and test a range of opt-in forms
A one-off fee of $59...no monthly recurring fees
Documentation and a responsive support team
Favorite Thrive Leads Features
- 7 different opt-in forms
- Target forms to specific pages
- A/B test different form types
- Set form triggers (incl. exit intent)
- Fast loading and mobile-responsive
- Animate forms to draw attention
- Paste forms anywhere on your site with shortcodes
- Multi-step opt-in forms
- Full library of pre-built templates
- Supports all major email providers
- Make any page element trigger a form with two-step shortcodes
Summary: Thrive Leads is the most powerful all-in-one list builder plugin I've ever used. Period. I use the plugin for all my personal websites and client projects. It helped me double my opt-in rate and collect 1,124 emails in 60 days...
In this review/ tutorial I'm going to show you step-by-step how to use each of Thrive Leads' features to grow your email list FASTER than ever before.
- How to get 1,124 emails in 60 days
- How to get 12.24% opt-in rates
- How to build lead magnets in 13 seconds
- The simple A/B test that increased conversions 91.06%
- 3 "dead-simple" tactics that will INSTANTLY accelerate the growth of your list
- How to turn readers into revenue in minutes
- How to set up and optimize every feature of the tool
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Download The Ultimate Thrive Leads Playbook
Do you want to double your email opt-in rate and add thousands of subscribers to your email list? Learn how to implement and optimize every feature of the Thrive Leads plugin with "The Ultimate Thrive Leads Playbook"...
Thrive Leads Optin Forms
The Thrive Leads plugin allows you to create every type of opt-in form imaginable:
- Lightbox - a popup that overlay your content
- Slide-In - Slides into the content and sits on the edge of the screen
- Ribbon - long horizontal form displayed across top or bottom of your screen
- Widget - appear in any widget-enabled area, including the sidebar and footer
- Post Footer - form appears at the bottom of your content
- In Content - automatically insert opt-in forms inside your content
- Screen Filler - form occupies the entire screen
- Multi-step - ask a question/ add additional layer of interaction
And, place them anywhere on your site with ease.
The opt-in forms can be broken out into 3 categories:
1. Lead Groups
3. Two-step opt-in forms
Let's walk through each one...
In Thrive Leads, you can organize all the forms you want to display automatically on the site into different Lead Groups.
Within each Lead Group, you can create and edit multiple opt-in forms at once, set them to appear in multiple places, and set up A/B tests.
Above, you can see I've organized my lead groups based on the different lead magnets offered on the blog.
When you click on the Lead Group all the available form types will display underneath:
You can add as many different forms to the lead group and instantly see how well each form type is performing based on conversion rate and number of emails collected.
For example, my content promotion ebook Lead Group has collected 888 email addresses in 60 days using the ribbon, lightbox, widget and post footer opt-in forms.
And I can see the popup lightbox captured 716 emails, converting at 5.45%.
Let's take a closer look at the different opt-in forms available inside the Lead Groups.
Note: There is a short video at the end of this section showing you step-by-step how to use Lead Groups to create forms and target them to specific content on your site. Click here to skip to the video.
Thrive Leads makes it easy to deploy and test light box popup forms across your site.
As the popup displays - overlaying the content - the rest of the site is darkened. This helps the form stand out.
There are many different templates to choose from (more on that later).
You can set the following triggers for lightbox popups:
- Show on page load (straight away)
- Show when the user scrolls to a specific part of the content
- Show when the user scrolls to a percentage of the way down the content
- Show after a certain period of time
- On exit (wait till the reader is about to leave)
- Show when the user clicks an element
Thrive Leads also allows you to set device-specific triggers. Since you can't capture exit intent (when someone is about to leave your site) through mouse movements on mobile, you'll need to set a timer trigger for mobile users, or just disable the pop up for them altogether.
Tip: Go to the Audience >> Mobile >> Overview report in Google Analytics and look at the average session duration for mobile devices. Use that number for your mobile trigger time. It will be skewed by bounce rate, but it's a good place to start.
Emails Collected: 716
Average conversion rate: 5.45%
The header ribbon is a slim bar that appears at the top of the page and stays there as the reader scrolls down. This keeps the opt-in form front and center at all times.
You have the option to display ribbon forms:
- On page load
- After a certain period of time
- When user reaches the end of the content
You can also control whether the ribbon displays at the top or bottom of the page:
Emails collected: 66
Average conversion rate: 1.05%
Maybe when you started blogging, you said to yourself "I'm not installing any annoying popup boxes!"
While they can work insanely well, sometimes they just piss people off.
If you find yourself in that boat and are looking for a less aggressive list building approach, or if you want to be extra aggressive by using two different sign up reminders on the same page, there is a solution.
The Slide-In is the more considerate older brother of the popup lightbox. Instead of having a popup display after a certain period of time, you can use the Slide-In form to slide in from a corner of the page (typically the bottom right) only after a visitor has read through a certain amount of the post.
This way you're making sure the reader is actually interested in your content before asking them to opt-in for more, and that you're not immediately turning them off.
Alternatively, if you want to be more aggressive with your list building you can show a popup and a slide-in form on the same post. Set the popup to display shortly after page load and the slide-in form to show when the reader reaches the end of the post.
The slide-in form has the same display options available as the Lightbox popup, plus you control the position it slides into the page:
Add a sidebar opt-in widget to relevant pages:
Sidebar widgets are a great way to immediately draw attention to your lead magnet.
Emails collected: 60
Average conversion rate: 1.09%
Automatically add opt-in forms to the bottom of your content.
Again, if a visitor reads all the way to the end of the post they likely enjoyed it, and will want more. This is the perfect time to ask for their email address.
The post footer is a great way to promote content upgrades.
A content upgrade is a lead magnet specifically related to the content a user is reading.
Note: You can also use Shortcodes to achieve the same result, with greater placement control (keep reading).
Set the form to trigger on page load or when the reader enters the viewport:
Emails collected: 28 (only using on one post - shortcodes for the others)
Average conversion rate: 0.53%
Automatically insert opt-in forms inside your content, without having to manually go in and add shortcodes to each post or page:
Simply open the form settings and configure where you want the form to display on the page:
And set which pages you want the form to display on.
In this example, an opt-in form will be placed after two paragraphs in each post/page selected in the targeting section.
Screen Filler Lightbox
This is a lightbox that fills the entire page. It's a very aggressive list building strategy that could annoy some people. As a result, it's default frequency is set to display every 7 days.
How to set lead groups and opt-in forms:
A short video showing you how easy it is to set up forms with Lead Groups:
Thrive Leads comes with a full Library of pre-built templates
Thrive Leads offers a full library of pre-built opt-in templates - grouped by design.
This makes it easy to keep all the different opt-in forms looking consistent across your site.
For example, you can add a lightbox which looks like this:
And then quickly add an opt-in widget with the same design:
To choose an opt-in template, go to the form editor menu and select "choose opt-in template" from the dropdown:
You'll have the option to choose a standard pre-built template from the library:
Or, one of the multi-step options:
All forms are easily customized using Thrive Leads' built-in drag-and-drop editor:
Note: Thrive Leads is adding new template designs and features almost every week.
How to customize opt-in forms in minutes (with zero code)
Once you've selected an opt-in template you'll be taken to the Thrive Leads form editor - one of the most powerful features of the plugin.
The editor gives you access to all the page elements and editing capabilities provided by the Thrive Content Builder plugin.
Basically, you can add, remove or customize any form element with ease.
Here are just a few of the elements you can customize using the drag-and-drop editor:
- Credit card icons
- Star ratings
- Countdown timers
- Responsive video
- Pricing tables
- Column layouts
- Guarantee boxes
- Styled lists
- Quote shares
- Google Map embeds
- Timed content reveals
Drag and drop form elements, adjust text, font size, color, alignment, margins/padding and add custom CSS.
Click on the element and use Thrive Leads' WYSWIG editor to customize. You can also save your favorite colors.
How to customize forms:
A short showing you the full power of the Thrive Leads form editor:
Triggers, display frequency and animation
Thrive Leads offers a variety of different form triggers, including:
- Show on page load
- Show when the user reaches the end of the content
- Show when a user scrolls to a specific part of the content
- Show when the user scrolls to specific percentage down the content
- Show when a user clicks an element
- Show when the user is about to exit the page (exit intent)
- Show after a certain period of time:
Slide the bar left or right to control how many seconds after page load the form displays.
You can set form triggers by clicking the edit button next to the form and hitting the link underneath "Trigger":
Note: All Thrive Leads' forms are mobile responsive (look good on all devices) and can be set to lazy load (load after the content has finished loading) which keeps your site running fast.
In the main dashboard, you'll find this new option in the top right corner:
The last thing you want to do is annoy your readers by bombarding them with the same opt-in forms every time they open a new page on your site.
There is a way to make sure this doesn't happen...
Thrive Leads allows you to set the display frequency for each form - how much time needs to pass before the same visitor will be shown the same form again.
Click the link under "Display" and slide the bar to how many days you want it to be until your readers see the opt-in form again.
Interestingly, after a LOT of A/B testing I've found that more aggressive display frequencies consistently produce higher conversion rates.
I currently have my forms set to a display frequency of "0" days - the form will be displayed all the time.
Be sure to run a/b tests (shown below) to find the best display frequency for your site.
Besides trigger and display frequency settings, you can also customize the animation settings of lightbox opt-in forms.
Animations are configured within the event manager.
The event manager allows you to do 2 different things:
1. Animate the entrance/ mouse over/ click of an item
2. Create lightboxes that trigger on click/mousover/screen entry
Form animations are a great way to quickly capture the reader's attention.
Here's an example of a call-to-action button with an animated screen entry (reload the page if your missed it):
This function can help you create scrolling effects that capture the attention of the readers as they are scrolling through your content.
To open animation settings, go to the lightbox forms' individual page - either in 2 Step Lighboxes or inside a Lead Group and click the "edit" button.
Under the "Animation" tab you can see the text in blue (in this example it is "Zoom in"). Click the link to open the "animation settings" window:
There are several animation options:
- Zoom in
- Zoom out
- Slide in from top
- Slide in from bottom
- Slide in from left
- Slide in from right
After you select an animation setting you'll be shown a live preview. This is exactly how the lightbox will appear on the site.
Target opt-in forms to specific posts and pages
This is another powerful feature of the Thrives Leads plugin.
A few of the major lead generation tools out there have this feature. However, none are as robust as Thrive Leads.
It allows you to select which specific pages/posts you want to target/exclude with the opt-in form.
There is a long list of targeting options, including:
- Post/page types
- Blog index
- 404 error page
- Front page
And the ability to only show forms on desktop or mobile devices. This can help improve user experience.
These advanced targeting capabilities makes it easy to launch content upgrades (a content-specific lead magnet).
For example, I created a lead group for my SEMrush playbook and targeted it to this review and this expert roundup:
Since both posts featured the SEMrush tool I knew readers would most likely be interested in reading my Ultimate SEMrush playbook:
By providing an ultra-targeted (and relevant) offer to my readers I was able to get a 7.05% conversion rate and collect 166 new email subscribers in 11 days!
And, I did it with a content upgrade that took me less than 2 minutes to create:
Creating content upgrades doesn't have to be complex or time-consuming. In fact, I created the SEMrush playbook in seconds.
I simply took this SEMrush review I wrote last year and turned it into a PDF using the free Print Friendly & PDF chrome extension:
Open the post you want to convert to PDF and click the green chrome extension icon:
And click the "PDF" button to convert the post:
All the links will pass from the post into the PDF. This is very helpful if you plan on promoting affiliate products/services in the PDFs.
Content upgrades convert so well I'm building out one for each post on my site.
Insert forms anywhere with Thrive Leads shortcodes
Sometimes the best way to capture a reader's email address is to place opt-in forms within the content. Here is a live example:
Thrive Leads provides shortcodes you can paste anywhere on your site and immediately have an opt-in form display. No coding or technical skills required.
This way, readers are given the opportunity to opt-in to your email list as they are reading. This strategy is perfect for placing content upgrades throughout posts and embedding sign up forms on high traffic pages.
The shortcodes are located below the Lead Groups section in the main dashboard:
Copy and paste the shortcode where you want it to appear on the post/page. You can add as many shortcode opt-in forms as you like and quickly see which ones are converting the best.
Content Locks are a new feature of Thrive Leads.
Wrap a shortcode around any block of content to gate it with an opt-in form.
Here is a short video that will show you how to use this feature:
Edit the shortcode forms the same you do with the Lead Groups.
Emails collected: 113
Average opt-in rate: 0.93%
Two-Step Opt-in forms
A two-step opt-in form is different from the other form types covered above.
Two-step opt-in forms are located under the shortcodes section on the main dashboard:
You can use two-step shortcodes to make any page element an opt-in form.
For example, in this post I use a two-step opt-in forms to make a button click trigger a popup to display.
When the reader clicks the button this popup displays:
Here is a live example (click the button below):
Download the Ultimate Thrive Leads Playbook
Do you want to double or triple your email opt-in rate and grow a profitable email list faster than ever before? Download my ebook, "The Ultimate Thrive Leads Playbook" below and learn step-by-step how to collect thousands of new email subscribers on autopilot.
Similarly, you can make text links trigger a lightbox.
Copy your two-step shortcode and wrap it around the text you want to trigger the form:
Learn how to make a content upgrade in less than 5 minutes.
Pretty cool, huh?!
You can add two-step opt-in forms anywhere in your content by simply wrapping a shortcode around the page element you want to have trigger the form.
The psychology here is that people are more likely to click a button or a link than enter their email address. After they have clicked a link they have subconsciously committed themselves to the process and are more likely to complete it by entering their email address.
Multi-step forms add an additional layer of interaction to pull the reader into the opt-in process.
They are designed to get more subscribers by posing a question or additional layer of interaction the user cannot resist to engage with.
It works by displaying an offer to the reader and asking them if they want to take advantage of it or not.
If the reader clicks yes the sign up form will display:
If the reader clicks no the form will disappear.
Ask your readers a question that aligns with a pain point. By clicking the button, the reader is indirectly communicating a need for the solution your lead magnet/offer provides. In this case, a way to get more people to visit their site.
Thrive Leads provides several pre-built mult-step templates to get you started:
Monetize traffic with multi-step popups
You can also use multi-step popups to promote affiliate products and monetize your blog traffic.
There are a number of ways you can do this. I like to use multi-step exit intent popups to promote affiliates. For example, when a user's mouse movement indicates they are about to leave my recommended tools page they will see this exit intent popup:
If the reader clicks yes they will see a popup with a call-to-action linking to the Thrive Leads sales page:
If they purchase Thrive Leads I get a commission on the sale.
Double conversion rates with A/B testing
Having the ability to quickly build, deploy and target your opt-in forms is great, but what really matters is how well they convert.
A/B testing is a simple way to compare two versions of your opt-in form to see which one converts better.
Thrive Leads provides the best A/B testing engine I've ever seen in a WordPress plugin.
You can A/B test different form designs against each other:
And identify which form triggers deliver the highest conversion rate:
You can set up these tests in seconds.
Open your "Lead Group" and click to edit the form you want to A/B test. Next, hit the "clone" button to make a copy of the form:
Then, choose which element you want to A/B test:
- Display frequency
- Form design
In this example, I want to set up an A/B test on the form trigger to see if the form converts better when triggered 10 seconds after page load or on exit.
So, I'll click the "Trigger" link and select "show when the user is about to exit the page":
Then, hit "Start A/B Test" and give it a name. You can also select the option to have the winner chosen automatically based off a few predefined conditions:
Here is an example of how a simple trigger a/b test almost doubled my email opt-in rate:
You can see the form set to display immediately on page load had a 6.75% conversion rate vs. the exit intent at 3.54%:
That's a 91% increase and an extra 56 subscribers over a two week period.
But, it gets even better...
Thrive Leads provides a feature I've never seen in any other list building plugin...
The ability to test different opt-in form types against each other.
For example, I might want to run a test to see if slide-in forms convert better than popups.
So, I'd just click "Test types of forms against each other" and then select the form types to test:
In this short video tutorial I'll show you how to set up and deploy A/B tests and reveal the simple trigger test that increase my opt-in rate 91!
Integrates with all major email service providers
Thrive Leads connects to all the major email service providers.
Up until recently you could only connect to autoresponder services by pasting the HTML code of the signup forms generated within those services.
Now users can connect forms to their email service provider with a single click via API connection (much easier).
Thrive Leads now provides an API connection for most of the major email service providers.
- GetResponse (this is the one I use)
Don't worry, connecting your form is easy.
First, open the form editor and click on the input fields and select "connect services":
Next, choose your email service provider and the list you want to connect the form to:
That's it! The form is connected to your autoresponder and you're ready to start engaging with your list :)
Analysis and reporting
Outside of the standard Lead Group and A/B testing dashboards, Thrive Leads also makes it easy to view number of signups, conversion rates, lead referral and comparison reports over specific time periods:
Conversion Rate Report
Conversion Source Report
Another cool reporting feature provides the ability to view the actual emails, lead groups and referral sources for each conversion:
Should you invest in Thrive Leads?
Thrive Leads is the most powerful all-in-one list building plugin I've ever used.
The tool makes it easy to set up and A/B test every type of opt-in form imaginable - lightbox popups, widgets, slide-ins, in-content, screen fillers, post-footer and ribbons.
Shortcodes make it possible to add opt-in forms anywhere on your site, while two-step forms allow you to make practically any page element trigger a lightbox.
A range of form triggers - including exit intent - and display frequency settings give you complete control over when and how often people see certain forms.
A built-in integration with Thrive Content Builder's drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to customize forms and add over 30 different page elements. If you don't want to worry about design, select a template from a full library of pre-built opt-in templates.
It’s easy to get started with a/b testing and you can even test different opt-in form types against each other – that’s a first for list building plugins.
The tool provides advanced targeting options so you can make your opt-in forms and lead magnets extremely relevant to the content your audience is reading (content upgrades) - this will drastically increase your email signup rates.
Thrive Leads provides simple reporting dashboards that make it easy to identify which form types and a/b test versions are performing the best.
If you're serious about building your list, I highly recommend you get a copy of Thrive Leads.