Thrive Leads Review 2023: The Only List Building Tool You’ll Ever Need 

 January 7, 2023

By  Julian

Is this the RIGHT plugin to help me grow my mailing list?

Read our Thrive Leads Review to find out everything you need to know!

Thrive Leads Review - Summary:

Thrive Leads is a powerful WordPress plugin that is designed to do one thing: grow your email list. It provides you with high-quality opt-in forms, an easy-to-use visual form builder, analytics and reports, A/B testing, and more!

Main Benefits:

  • Quickly learn how to use the visual builder to create high-converting opt-in forms.
  • Create any type of opt-in form you'd like.
  • Cut the workload by 90% by using one of the hundreds of opt-in form templates.
  • Track your conversion rates to find out what is working best.




Ease of Use



Thrive Leads Review 2023

Thrive Leads is one of the best plugins that provides high-converting opt-in forms and a/b testing. It comes with a drag and drop visual editor that makes it easy to build forms. You will also be provided with a clean user interface where you can track your conversions and manage everything like display options and more.

Thrive Leads Review

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit my disclosure page.

What is Thrive Leads?

Thrive Leads is one of the go-to tools in WordPress lead generation (list building). It is used and recommended by some of the biggest pros in blogging and online marketing, including a couple handfuls of the 60+ experts we featured here.

Thrive Leads Logo

The plugin was created by professional internet marketer, Shane Melaugh, and his team at Thrive Themes.

It is designed to help you create high-quality opt-in forms that convert. And with its easy-to-use drag and drop editor, anyone can do it. Especially with all the hundreds of templates it offers (we'll get to those later).

What You Get With Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads offers a wide range of features...

Huge Selection of Opt-in Forms

Thrive Leads comes with essentially every type of opt-in form you can think of!

Note: The first NINE forms are a part of a LEAD GROUP. Lead groups make it easy for you to organize your opt-in forms. You can create one group for one opt-in offer. For example, one for your newsletter and another for an ebook. You cannot, however, run two lead groups at the same time.

1. The Lightbox (Popup)

Email popup forms are one of the most popular forms out there. They are on every other site (or more!).

However, some people think they are annoying. I mean, I can see it. Sometimes, people just want to read the content without having anything distracting them.

But from a website's standpoint, there are plenty of reasons to love the lightbox.

For one, they can be very eye catching and attention grabbing (especially with Thrive Leads :D).

Example of a Thrive Leads Lightbox

And it's common knowledge at this point that email popup forms are among the most effective. Especially if you utilize something called exit-intent

Exit-intent means you have the ability to display an opt-in form when a user moves their cursor out of the  browser window.

2. The Widget

Every blog that chooses to use a sidebar almost always has a widget form. I mean, it may not be the best at converting website visitors into email subscribers, but it is nice to just have it there. You know?

Widget Form

Thrive Leads also lets you create a widget form for your site's footer area. Peep the example below:

Footer Widget Form

Pretty nice, huh?

3. The Ribbon

Have you ever seen that little notification bar on top of a browser window when you visit a website? Sometimes, it's on the bottom and it sticks there. Meaning, no matter how much you scroll up or down the signup bar stays in its place (unless you hit the X).

Ribbon Form Bar

This is what the ribbon is. A sticky notification bar that can be placed either on the top or bottom of the screen.

4. The Scroll Mat

I'm sure you've seen one of these.

The scroll mat is usually triggered right away. And it covers the entire screen.

Scroll Mat

To get back to the website, you would have to scroll down, click a "No Thanks" button, or, of course, sign up and become a subscriber.

5. The Screen Filler

This type of form is like a hybrid of the lightbox and the scroll mat.

The Screen Filler Form

The screen filler form also supports the exit-intent feature.

6. The Slide-in Form

Next on the list is the slide-in. This form is almost like a lightbox, in that it pops up when it, well, pops up.

Slide in Form

The form is triggered when the visitor scrolls down the page. You'll have the choice on when (e.g., 50% or 80% of the page).

7. The In-content Form

This form will show up somewhere within your content.

In Content Form

Its placement will depend on you. You'll have the choice to have it under your first paragraph or your tenth paragraph and every other in between.

8. The Post Footer Form

Next on our list of forms is the post footer. It's almost exactly like the last one we looked at, in-content.

The difference is this form shows up right below your blog article's last line of text.

Post Footer Form

9. The PHP Insert

The next on the list is the PHP insert. If you don't know what PHP is, you probably shouldn't mess with this one. It could lead to breaking something on your website.

This form requires you to copy a strip of code and paste it somewhere on your site.

PHP Insert Form

The form looks like any other form on our list. So please, if you're not familiar with PHP, don't go messing up your site trying to get another form in.

10. The Lead Shortcode

Like the PHP insert form, this one also requires you to copy and paste a code to your site.

Lead Shortcode 1

But unlike PHP, the shortcode is HTML-based. Meaning, all you would need to do is hit the TEXT tab in your [default] WordPress editor and paste it in.

Lead Shortcode 2

11. The ThriveBox

Have you ever heard of the content upgrade? It's where you offer a checklist, for instance, for a guide on how to do something.

Anyway, the ThriveBox is an easy solution to this.

Simply create your lightbox and embed the link to your post...

ThriveBox 3
ThriveBox 1

Your visitor clicks, the lightbox pops up...

ThriveBox 2

...they sign up and wham, bam, thank you, ma'am. An additional subscriber is added to your list.

12. The Signup Segue

This one is interesting. It isn't exactly an opt-in form, but more of a link.

Thrive Leads Signup Segue

Here's how it works:

  • Send the link to your subscribers.
  • They click, they get automatically signed up for your event/list.
  • Done.

Pretty cool, huh?

This would work if you were hosting a webinar. Instead of having your subscribers go through another signup process, you could have them simply click a link and they're automatically on the list.

The same would work if you're setting up a new email list.

For example, let's say you have your main list at 5000 strong and you're planning on launching a coaching program. To see if any of your subscribers are interested, you would send them this link. And if a thousand of them click, you would have a nice list of leads before you launch.

100+ Easy-to-Edit Templates

That's right. Thrive Leads offers hundreds of templates. Each type of opt-in form has its own versions of templates. And they continue to add more.

So if you think about it, there are over a thousand of them, considering there are a dozen types of opt-in forms.

Let me show you some of my favourites.

Thrive Leads Template 1
Thrive Leads Template 2
Thrive Leads Template 3
Thrive Leads Template 4

This literally is just 2% of the templates Thrive Leads offers, of course. I would love to show you more, but that would just take too much time.

So I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. 😉

Believe me...they're all amazing.

The Drag and Drop Editor

Thrive Leads uses the Thrive Architect visual builder to create opt-in forms.

Thrive Leads Architect Editor

I love using this thing. It's incredibly easy and powerful.

I even use Thrive Architect to create all my content on all my sites. It's that good. And for it to be included in Thrive Leads is awesome.

Email Marketing Integrations

Thrive Leads can integrate with all the leading providers in email marketing. And then some.

The integration process is quite simple: connect through an API key.

You will find that you can connect Thrive Leads with Aweber, ConvertKit, GoToWebinar, Mailchimp, MailerLite, and so many more.

Thrive Leads Integrations 1
Thrive Leads Integrations 2

A/B Testing

With Thrive Leads' A/B testing feature, you can test 2 or more forms against each other.

For example, you can create 2 different versions of a lightbox form. Perhaps, one of them with the exit-intent and the other without it.

OR you can test the design like colour palettes and images. OR even opt-in copy like headlines. That's the beauty of split testing. You have the ability to find something that works and something that doesn't.

You'll also have the option to automatically choose a winner based on performance. Whichever form with the best conversion rate wins. Loser gets archived.

Thrive Leads A/B Testing

The A/B Testing feature also comes with detailed reporting. This includes a chart, conversion data, and more.

Advanced Display Settings (e.g. Exit Intent)

Thrive Leads comes with a ton of display features. You could practically display anything you want on any page.

Where do I begin?

i. Exit-Intent and Smart Exit

Exit-intent is when an opt-in form pops up when the user has their cursor hovered out of the browsing window. This tells the Thrive Leads software the user is about to leave the site.

Exit-intent Thrive Leads

For mobile users, however, it's virtually impossible to tell when a user is about to leave a website.

The only way to get your opt-in form to display for them is with Smart Exit. This is a feature where you can choose the amount of time (seconds) before your signup form triggers.

Smart Exit Thrive Leads

ii. Lead Group Display Settings

These settings determine where your Lead Group forms will display. These are the first NINE forms we discussed above.

You can choose to have them on all your posts, all your pages, 404's, etc.

Thrive Leads' Lead Group Display Settings 1

You can even choose to exclude them from certain pages.

Thrive Leads' Lead Group Display Settings 2

iii. Desktop and Mobile Settings

These Thrive Leads display settings give you the option to choose whether or not a form type displays on mobile or desktop.

For instance, if you have an opt-in form you think wouldn't work well on mobile, you can switch it off. But it would still show up for desktop/laptop users.

Thrive Leads' Desktop/Mobile Display Settings

Pretty cool, right?

iv. Display Frequency

You know how annoyed your visitors would get if your lightbox form pops up every time they visit a new page? Most of them would leave without signing up to your mailing list.

This display feature will help with that.

For every form you create you will have the choice for how many days are in between each impression. 1 day. 2 days. 3 days. Even 100 days.

Thrive Leads Display Frequency

v. Display Animation

The display animation is what your optin form will look like as it comes into the user's viewpoint.

Do you want it to zoom in? Slide in from the top?

Thrive Leads Animation Display

There are over a dozen of options to choose from!

If you think an animation will grab your viewer's attention, this could be useful.

4. Asset Delivery

Thrive Leads Asset Delivery

Thrive Leads' Asset Delivery is a nice little feature. It takes the download page out of the picture, which could save a little bit of time for you and your subscribers.

Asset Delivery helps you deliver your download links to your subscribers a lot faster than having to send them to a download page.

For this feature to work, you would need to integrate it with a delivery service. Unfortunately, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Aweber, or any of the well known email marketing services don't support this feature.

You would have to look at tools like SendGrid, SendinBlue, and Mandrill.

Thrive Leads Asset Delivery Integrations

How does it work, you ask?

It's simple.

When your visitors decide they want your freebie, they'll sign up. And instead of sending them a confirmation email and a download page, you will simply send them an email with a download link.

Thrive Leads Asset Delivery Email

That's it.

5. The Smart Links Feature

This feature is pretty cool. It's meant to give your existing email subscribers a better experience on your website.

For instance, if you just published a new blog article and wanted to promote it to your mailing list, you would create a Smart Link for that post so that your subscribers wouldn't have to be bothered by any of your opt-in forms.

Even More Cool Features

  • Advanced Reporting - keeps track of everything.
  • Leads Export - keeps a list of all subscriber data.
  • Lazy Load Forms - keeps your site from slowing down.
  • Purge Cache - keeps Thrive Leads' overall performance at a high.

How Much Does Thrive Leads Cost?

Thrive Leads is a part of Thrive Suite, which is Thrive Themes' membership program that includes nearly a dozen WordPress plugins such as Thrive Architect, Thrive Apprentice, and Thrive Theme Builder.

The pricing points for Thrive Suite are shown below:

All price points include everything Thrive Themes has to offer.

  • $99 quarterly
  • $299 annually

You will be allowed to use all plugins on up to 25 websites. They all come with lifetime updates.

Thrive Leads Pros and Cons


  • Build forms with ease using the visual drag and drop builder.
  • Create attractive forms that catch your visitor's attention and get them to signup to your list.
  • Take out 90% of the work by using one of the hundreds of opt-in templates.
  • Have the control to display any opt-in form on any page on your site.
  • Control display settings for mobile and desktop.
  • Easily create content upgrades and even send delivery emails for the download links.
  • Find highly converting opt-in form variations with A/B testing.
  • Track your analytics on one big dashboard.


  • The visual builder can sometimes be slow.
  • There is no feature where you can create opt-in forms strictly for mobile users.

Thrive Leads Review | The Verdict

Thrive Leads is the ultimate lead generation and list building plugin for WordPress. It's user-friendly. Feature-packed. You can create any type of opt-in form you desire and put them on any page on your website.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely. In fact, I'd highly recommend you choose Thrive Leads over all other list building tools. It's what we use on Blogging Aid and have zero regrets.

Thrive Leads Review - Summary:

Thrive Leads is a powerful WordPress plugin that is designed to do one thing: grow your email list. It provides you with high-quality opt-in forms, an easy-to-use visual form builder, analytics and reports, A/B testing, and more!

Main Benefits:

  • Quickly learn how to use the visual builder to create high-converting opt-in forms.
  • Create any type of opt-in form you'd like.
  • Cut the workload by 90% by using one of the hundreds of opt-in form templates.
  • Track your conversion rates to find out what is working best.




Ease of Use




Julian started his first blog way back in the summer of 2014. He is very passionate about building websites and watching them grow. He has made many mistakes over the years and is now dedicated to sharing his knowledge on Blogging Aid so he can help beginner and intermediate bloggers become successful bloggers.

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  1. Hey Julian, it’s been a while! You’ve been well.

    I’m in the process now of switching my network of websites over to Thrive Leads. I’ve been grandfathered into OptinMonster for years so I stuck with them but they recently decided that didn’t matter anymore, and tripled my price. I already have Thrive’s subscriptions anyway and Thrive Leads is one heck of a plugin.

    I agree with your 5/5 rating for sure – my favorite feature is the targeted display options. Using it right now to offer different lead magnets based on what category of post is being read. Still working it out, but so far so good!

    – James McAllister

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