Thrive Leads Review 2020: Ultimately The Best List Building Tool For WordPress

Last Updated on September 23, 2019 by Fabrizio Van Marciano

In short, Thrive Leads is nothing short of a beautifully designed, and must-have conversion marketing tool for any blogger or marketer with a website that wants to seriously grow an email list.

If you’re a regular reader or subscriber of my blog, you may recall that I wrote an in-depth strategy guide about how I was able to boost my email list growth by almost 400%, using good old fashioned bribery (incentivized email marketing).

If you missed that post and would like to read it later on perhaps, then you can check it out here.

Anyhow, one of my all-time favorite premium WordPress plugin's is a tool called Thrive Leads.

By now, you may have heard about it already as it has evolved into one of the most popular list building plugins for WordPress.

If you haven't heard of Thrive Leads yet, then I urge you to continue reading this review, or you can click here to learn how you can use it to grow your email list.

Reminder - If this is your first time on my blog, I wish you a warm welcome. I want you to know the purpose of my online reviews has always been for me to share with you the tools I am using to grow my online businesses.

So, what is this Thrive Leads all about?

Thrive Leads Home
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Thrive Leads is an all-in-one opt-in form builder and email list building plugin for WordPress. This is a premium tool, so it comes at a cost which I'll talk more about later. It works with WordPress hosted websites.

Thrive Leads is, in my opinion, a must-have tool for any serious marketer or blogger. And yes, there are a few other notable list building plugins out there, but Thrive Leads is one of the easiest and feature-packed plugins available.

As with all of Thrive Themes products, Thrive Leads focuses on conversion rate optimization. So, this is not just a plugin for you to create fancy forms in, but it's also a plugin that will allow you to monitor and track the progress of your list-building campaigns with conversion reports, click reports, etc.

If you're shopping around and comparing Thrive Leads with OptinMonster, your can check out my comparison post of the two plugins here.

A list building plugin that will save you time and money

When it comes to saving time, energy, resources, and perhaps your sanity too - Thrive Leads ticks all of the boxes.

As bloggers and marketers, we're busy folks that don't have the time to spend learning how to set up complicated plugins and systems on our websites to generate leads.

From installing, activating, selecting and using a pre-designed opt-in form template - to configuring your email marketing service provider with Thrive Leads, and tracking your conversions - it's all super fast and simple with Thrive Leads.

I've been using Thrive Leads myself, on many website projects, both personal and for my clients since 2015, and it has been one of the very few tools to have made an impact on the growth of my online businesses.

OK, so I think I've ranted on enough about how great this plugin is and how much I love it. Let me give you my honest review and overview of Thrive Leads.

So, how does it work and what are the main benefits of using Thrive Leads in your business?

Thrive Leads was designed to help you create, customize, and brand professional-looking, conversion-focused email opt-in forms for your WordPress websites, quickly, and that’s just the start of it.

Like I said at the start, there are plenty of other tools, plugins, and options for you to use other than Thrive Leads, but you'll soon discover after reading this review that you will not want to use any of them.

Now, how exactly do Thrive Leads save you time?

Well, for starters, Thrive Leads comes with a nice library of pre-designed, conversion-optimized forms that you can instantly drop into your site.

Moreover, these pre-crafted templates can be customized further to match the look and feel of your website.

You see, you're not having to waste valuable time designing your forms from complete scratch. That is an option, of course, because Thrive Leads features the same awesome drag-and-drop element-based editor that is found in Thrive Architect.

In other words, it combines the new technology with the customizability power of the awesome Thrive Architect plugin.

The result is a powerful opt-in form list building tool like nothing else, complete with built-in canvas, metrics, AB split-testing tools, conversion and content marketing reporting tools, and a whole lot more.

So, if you're struggling to decide whether Thrive Leads is for you or not, you have to ask yourself a few questions -

  1. Do you value your time, money, and sanity?
  2. Are you looking for a list building plugin that comes with extensive online tutorials, guidance, and support?
  3. Are you serious about growing your business and email list?

If you answered yes, then keep reading, or click the button below to discover more about Thrive Leads.

Now, tell me about the features and options in Thrive Leads?

I originally wrote this review way back in 2015. We're now just a few months away from 2020, and a lot has changed.

Today, Thrive Leads is used by over 90,000 individuals and businesses around the world.

One of the things I love about Thrive Themes, as a company is that they’re always improving their product range.

They legitimately care about their customers in a way very few other tech companies do. The updates, new features, and upgrades I've seen in Thrive Leads over the years has been phenomenal, and that is one of the reasons I enjoy using this plugin.

I not only enjoy using it, but I feel safe in the knowledge that the support and upgrades will just keep on coming, as long as I'm a customer of Thrive Themes.

OK, let's take a closer look:

#1. Design and publish like a pro

Thrive Leads contains all the email opt-in form templates you could ever need to get started with your list building campaigns.

In addition, these templates can be fully customized using the same point, drag-and-drop editing technology found in the Thrive Architect plugin.

You can also create and design professional and branded opt-in forms with absolutely no limitation and place them almost anywhere on your WordPress site.

We'll talk more about opt-in form placement later on.

By the way, just in case you were wondering. No coding experience is required to design or customize your forms!

#2. Advanced targeting

This is a truly powerful feature within Thrive Leads and one that makes this plugin different from their competition.

You can boost your email opt-in conversions quite dramatically, simply by displaying targeted opt-in offers for your blog or website visitors.

This can be based on the type of blog posts, pages, categories, tags and more.

So, for my website, for instance, I have targeted opt-in forms created for several specific cornerstone articles.

Take a look at my conversion report for the last 3 months. This is for just 5 blog posts where I have advanced targeted forms mobilized -

conversion cm report 2
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#3. AB testing engine

No list building plugin is complete without AB testing tools.

Thrive Leads enables you to create lead groups. In addition to this, you can also create multiple versions of a form within a group so that you can perform simple A/B split testing.

This is hugely significant and beneficial for optimizing forms and thus increasing your conversion rates.

And, if you’re obsessed with doing split testing like I am, you’re going to love using this feature, so much. See the images below.

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Images above: Performance overview for one of my conversion forms. You can create as many forms as you want and perform A/B testing to see which form converts the best for you. Additionally, you can edit, clone, reset stats and archive your forms.

#4. Multiple choice Opt-in Forms

Thrive Leads comes with multi-step and multiple-choice form features. This means you can create a pop-up form that presents a Yes/No choice, with each choice leading to a different offer or call-to-action.

#5. SmartLinks Feature

SmartLinks allows you to create multi-states for none-subscribers and already subscribed users.

This simply means you don't have to keep showing the same opt-in forms to those who have already subscribed to your website. Instead, you can create custom content for existing subscribers to see. Awesome stuff, right?

You can learn more about his feature here.

#6. Asset Delivery Feature

The built-in asset delivery feature allows you to send download links to new subscribers.

This feature is super useful for bloggers and businesses wanting to create targeted content upgrades for their readers.

It really takes away the hassle and work-around chores of having to create new lists inside of your email marketing service provider. See image below.

asset delivery feature
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#7. Reporting and insights tools

The metrics tools give you an overview of how your opt-in forms are performing for each lead group.

This is my favorite feature in Thrive Leads. Because over time, you can actually use this information to fine-tune your list building strategies by seeing exactly where your most valuable traffic is coming from.

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Image above: Create groups of forms and test the types of forms against each other, you can further edit these forms using the content editor, and use advanced targeting tools.

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Above: Generate accurate reports for specific time periods, view detailed graph intervals for a day, week or month.

One single plugin, multiple ways to generate MORE leads!

How versatile is Thrive Leads?

If you're using multiple plugins on your site to help you create more leads, here's what you need to do -

Delete them all and use ONLY Thrive Leads.

Everything you'll ever need is built right in so why bother with other plugins?

Here are the types of lead forms you can create using Thrive Leads. And just to remind you, again, that these forms can be fully customized and branded with your preferences.

  • LightBox (Pop-up forms).
  • Sticky ribbon forms (Top or bottom of page).
  • In-line forms.
  • 2-step opt-in forms.
  • Slide-in (Slides in at the bottom of the page).
  • Opt-in widget forms.
  • Screen-filler lightbox (Takes up the entire screen).
  • Content lock forms.
  • Scroll Mat (Appears first on a page and disappears as your users scroll down).
  • Yes or No multiple choice forms.
placements tve leads
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tve leads canvas
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Total opt-in form control including privacy

Each form within Thrive Leads come with their own unique settings, giving you complete control over how each form behaves on your website, including privacy settings.

For instance, you might want to adjust the trigger setting, display frequency or animation on your screen-filler light-box form.

Or, you might want to turn on SmartExit+ (an exit-intent feature that triggers your opt-in form to appear whenever a visitor attempts to exit your site, page or blog post, or close the tab entirely). See images below.

form settings
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trigger settings thrive
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Easy integration with your favorite email marketing service provider

Now for the important pieces of information, you need to get set up, email integration!

I use and have always used MailChimp, so for me personally, configuring Thrive Leads with MailChimp is so simple to do.

Recommended tutorial: Click here to learn how to integrate and configure API connection with your MailChimp account.

That said, it doesn't matter who you are using for your email marketing because Thrive Leads can be integrated with most of the popular ones today, using either HTML code or direct API.

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I would strongly recommend integrating using API connection as it gives you better control and more options for your forms.

API Connect 2
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OK, so hopefully by now, you're strongly convinced that Thrive Leads would be a great investment for the growth of your online businesses or blog. Let's take a look at the current pricing options.

thrive leads prices
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Each license pack gives you access to all of the Thrive Leads features, unlimited free updates, and 1 full year of support.

The best value for money, however, is the Thrive Themes Membership which gives you access to all of Thrive Theme's plugins and themes at just $19 per month.

You can check out my Thrive Themes Membership review post here.

Pros And Cons

So, what pros and cons come with using Thrive Leads?


  • Affordable when compared to other plugins or services.
  • Easy to install and configure.
  • Easy to use with simple drag-and-drop editing, no coding required.
  • Huge library of editable templates.
  • Advanced targeting tools built right in!
  • A/B Split-testing tools.
  • Powerful metrics and conversion reporting tools.
  • All-in-one plugin with multiple ways to generate leads.
  • Forms are fully mobile-responsive, with the option to turn-off mobile sites.
  • Cross-browser tested and compatible.
  • Advanced options for adding multiple fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-down menus to your forms.
  • GDPR friendly forms.
  • Built-in features like SmartLinks and SmartExit+

And now for the cons...

  • Only available for self-hosted WordPress sites (Not websites).
  • No options for building email opt-in landing pages, however, this feature is available in Thrive Architect.

Final conclusion

I think you know what my conclusion is regarding Thrive Leads.

Thrive Themes never fails when it comes to providing us with products that are truly awesome and valuable for growing our online businesses and increasing conversions.

Thrive Leads is one of those plugins you'll purchase now and look back in a few years time and think -

"Wow, that was one of the best decisions I've ever made. That Fabrizio guy was right all along" 🙂

That's exactly how I feel about Thrive Leads today, almost 5 years after investing in the plugin, which is why I highly recommend it.

Whichever tool you decide to use, I want to wish you the best of luck with your email list building efforts.

I hope you enjoyed reading through this review, if you did, please consider sharing it with your friends and followers on social media. I appreciate you.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links to products or services that I use in my business and therefore recommend. This means if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase of a product or service, I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support.

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