Email Marketing, Thrive Themes Tutorial

Thrive Leads Tutorial & Review – How To Use It

 July 12, 2019

By  Peter Nyiri

In this Thrive Leads tutorial I am going to show you how you can create professional, high converting lead generation forms without design skills.

What Is Thrive Leads?

zac johnson cartoonIt’s a WordPress plugin, included in the Thrive Themes Membership, which is an all-in-one toolbox of 10 sales funnel builder themes and plugins that enable you build websites that convert with zero design skills. (I really suck at design myself.)

In fact a large percentage of internet marketers and Amazon affiliates use it, including Human Proof Designs, Brand Builders.

All the templates were created based on data given by successful marketers, such as Zac Johnson. You are even given hints regarding the type of text you need to include on the forms, therefore it becomes very easy to collect leads.

(This post contains affiliate links. This means I get a commission if you make a purchase through my links. There is no additional cost to you, but it enables me to provide you information like this for free. Please read my disclosure for more info.)

For Thrive Leads Do I Need Thrive Architect?

You are able to create opt-in forms with Thrive Leads all by itself. However if you want to place your form on a landing page or create a sales page, you will need a page builder.

In order to avoid plugin conflicts, it is recommended to use Thrive Architect as your page builder. Thrive Architect also has over 300 landing page templates ( click the link to take a look at them).

Getting Started

Here’s a video that will give you a quick overview and will guide you how to use the plugin:

Creating An Opt-In Form

This is how you can collect leads for your online course.

1. Choose the template you like out of over 130 different templates. If you also have Thrive Architect, you have access to over 300 different landing pages, sales pages, opt-in, home pages, etc.

Landing page 1

When you replace the image in the templates with your own, it retains the “modern art” style it has, without you needing to change anything!

No photo editing tools needed.

This makes this opt-in form template the perfect choice for non-designers and time-conscience designers alike.

You can change the image, the colors, and everything else to fit your needs.

2. Edit the headline, the text, change the background image as you wish.

Landing page 2

3. Connect to the email marketing service to collect the email address.

Landing page 4

4. Edit the lead generation button and placeholder text.

5. Here is a template for webinar registration – I added my own video from YouTube.

Landing page 5

Adding Opt-in Forms Anywhere Conveniently

A superb list building plugin like Thrive Leads is armed with an array of endlessly customizable opt-in form types. You can use this plugin to add opt-in forms like:

  • Lightbox (=pop-ups)
  • Exit intent popups (desktop only)
  • Ribbon (same as Hello Bar)
  • Scroll Mat (Welcome Mat)
  • In content
  • In content and footer opt-in form
  • Screen filler
  • Slide In
  • Opt-in Widget

Once your form is created, you can conveniently designate which pages or posts these opt-in forms would be shown on your website.

Ribbon-type Form

Tl feature ribbon2

  • Good for narrowly targeted offers for subscribers and engaged visitors
  • Does not interrupt article reading!


A lightbox is an overlay that goes over the website and shows an opt-in form or a picture, etc. They call the user’s attention in a way that is impossible to ignore, because it darkens the rest of the page, but you can still see your site around the edges.

Screen Filler Lightbox/Overlay

Similar to the other type of lightbox, however it covers the entire screen. It is not considered best practice on mobile.

scroll mat animation 04

In-line and Post Footer

An opt-in box or an ad that appears in the middle or after each post.

in content feature


A slide-in is a more friendly alternative to a pop-up. The box comes in with a slow animation from the side.

slide in animation

Scroll Mat scroll mat animation 02

  • Essentially just an overlay (like the lightbox), so no harmful effects on Google search indexing!
  • Good for welcomes, lead generation, product offers, social media promotion and things you want to show visitors before they browse your site
  • As big and attention grabbing as a screen filler, but often perceived as being less intrusive

How To Set Up A GDPR Compliant Lead Generator

GDPR is a law that applies to EU ​citizens. ​That means that even if your businesses is not in the EU, ​you’re still required to comply, because ​people from the EU​ can access your website​​​.​​​

The following features are provided:

Explicit Consent Checkboxes

You can activate the setting to have subscribers tick a box that says something like “I agree to receiving a newsletter and understand that I can unsubscribe any time”.

Thrive leads explicit consent checkbox

Proof of Opt-In

In the Thrive Leads reporting area, you can see a list of all leads that have signed up and you can see which of your Thrive Leads opt-in forms they have signed up for.

This counts as proof of consent: you can show that the contact with this email address signed up on your website, through a specific form.

gdpr leads reporting

Eliminating & Encrypting Personal Information in Cookies

Cookies are an important internet tool. Without cookies, you’d have to log back into every website where you have an account, every time you return there.

All the tools in Thrive Themes encrypt or eliminate any personally identifiable information in cookies. This means cookies are still used, but you can’t connect tracking information back to a specific user, which protects their privacy.

How To Have Different Edits On Mobile And Desktop

There is already the option to show a specific form on desktop and hide it on mobile, then create a different form for mobile. The editor also has separate previews to desktop, tablet and mobile.

However with Thrive Architect, you can modify each form to look good on any screen.

Thrive Architect features the most advanced mobile responsive editor for WordPress. Then, you can start to edit and tweak your form to make it look good on each and every size.

This means you can for example:

  • Hide images on mobile
  • Make text smaller or larger depending on the screen size
  • Hide complete “blocks” from your mobile or tablet forms​

Thrive Leads Integrations

Thrive Themes is ready to connect to 40 tools for email marketing, email delivery, webinar, spam prevention and more. Take a look through the list to see their available API integrations. Click on the link and you will find not only the complete list, but there is also a separate video showing how to connect each service through an API key.

The advantage of connecting through API is that you only need to connect once. Afterwards, when you set up a new lead generation form, you can select the connection from your Edit screen.

One of the services you can connect is Google Recaptcha, giving your forms spam protection.

It is also possible to connect the same opt-in form to multiple services. As an example, you can even have your visitor sign up to your email list and create a WordPress account at the same time, straight from the opt-in form. (Not recommended though, just because it’s too many actions at the same time and chances are your subscriber will miss one of your notification emails.)

There is also connection to GoToWebinar, WebinarJam, Zoom, Facebook, Twitter.

Even if no API integration is available, you can use HTML code to connect, though that will mean not all features will be available.

thrive leads html-code

Thrive Leads Pricing & Membership

Pricing. You can get Thrive Leads for a one-time fee of $67 for 1 site, which includes lifetime updates. The price also includes 12 months support with the option to renew each year for $40. For 5 sites the price is $97.

I believe that you will also need Thrive Architect, which has the same pricing. $67 for 1 site and $97 for 5 sites.

Alternatively, if you are already getting both plugins it is better to get Thrive Membership. It is marketed as $19/month, however you can only pay yearly, which is $218. However this includes all all the themes and plugins for 25 sites. If you team up with another blogger, that’s easily the best investment you can make.

Thrive Leads Support

If you buy a product, support is available for 1 year. If you buy the full membership, you don’t need to renew after a year, you will still get updates and you will probably survive without support. If needed, there are options to extend support at a low price without paying for the entire membership again.

You can get product support for all of the Thrive products, in the Support Forums. You will get answers and solutions from support personnel.

Getting Started With Thrive Leads

Now let’s get into a more in-depth use of the plugin. After going through this tutorial, you will know how to use Thrive Leads and you will be able to create your first opt in form on your website.

First let’s go to the Thrive dashboard and select Thrive Leads.

The very first time you will be prompted to add your license key. And once you did that we will be able to start creating opt-in forms.

Let me show you how the plugin works by adding an opt in form that many will want to add to your website, a Lightbox popup.

You can see that we have no opt-in form set up yet. So in Lead Groups we’re going to add a new lead group. Click on the Add New button.

thrive leads dashboard

From here we give it a name. This is for internal use only.

Take note of the little video symbol by the heading – there is a video tutorial to help you out every step of the way.

add new lead group

And the first step is to add a new form. You can also see that here you have an exclamation point on the settings icon because the targeting options are not set up. We’ll get back to this right after we made our form. So let’s click on the Add New Type of Opt-In Form.

lead groups

Now you want to choose a type of opt in form, let’s select Lightbox.

select type of opt in form

For the moment this will not be visible on your site yet because both Display on Desktop and Display on Mobile are marked “No”. We are now ready to add our first form.

Add a form

So let’s click on the green Add a form icon, create a form and here you you have to give another name. This will be very useful once you start AB testing. So let’s just call this Variation 1.

add new form

From here you can see that we have different options, we have

  • Trigger,
  • Display Frequency and
  • Animation.

The Trigger Setting defines when the opt in form will be shown. It is set to display immediately on page load. But if you click on it, you can change it and you can choose to show it after a certain period of time or maybe after scrolling down to a certain part of the content or a certain percentage down to the content.

So maybe only when people go 50% down on your page, then you want to trigger the Lightbox. This is up to you and this is definitely something that you can test, but our test has shown that you get better results when you show on page load. So let’s just leave this as it is.

The Display Frequency is how often the opt-in will be shown to people who don’t subscribe. If you said this to zero, that means that time your page loads, it will show the opt-in form. This is not something that you want, because it is this super annoying.

If you set this to 7, it means that people will only see the opt in form if there are 7 days in between the first time they trigger it and the next time they come back to your website. If somebody browses around and sees multiple blog posts, they won’t see the opt-in form multiple times if they click away. I think seven is pretty good, so we can just leave this.

Then you can also change the Animation. So this is how the opt in form will come into viewport. You can see here that you have different options. You can just have fun with this and can put it to rotational, for example. This is completely up to you. This is also something that you can test later on. So just pick the one you like and click on Save.

Now you can click on Edit Design and we’re going to start editing our lightbox. You can pick a template you like.

Let’s try to pick a template that resembles the most what you are looking for. If you already have an image of your e-book, you can pick one of the 130 templates that have like an e-book image. If you don’t, and maybe just pick one that has text so that you make sure that it actually looks good when you load the template.

Now you can start editing everything on this page.

Thrive leads template

Simply click on it and start typing. You can put your new title and you can also drag elements around so that you can actually make it look a bit differently, change images, make them smaller.

And the most important thing is if you want to change this lead generation element. You actually click on it and you choose Edit Form Elements. And then you will be able to change, for example, the text on the download button. This will be very important because you want to have a clear call to action.

You can also change the colors of this so you can really make it match your brand. If you click on the button again, then you can simply change the linear gradient. As you can see above, we have this green gradient and you could make it maybe blue if your website is blue, right?

And if you want to change what happens when you hover your mouse, you will have to go to State.

edit lead generation button

Here you can see the Normal state as default and if you go to Hover then you will be able to change what happens on hover effect. Maybe you can use the some tints of blue or have a green shadow.

When you click on the lead generation element, you can connect the form to a service and this is what you will have to do to connect this to your email service.

You will also be able to change it so that you ask only for an email and not for a name for example. You will able to delete one of the input fields. set input fields

So let’s connect to a service. If you have no API connections that are already connected here, you can add a new API connection. Otherwise you can just click on one of the elements and then choose the mailing list and maybe add some tags to this element. I can also change the text that is shown to my subscribers and I can also delete one of the elements.

So if I don’t want to ask for the name, I can simply delete this fields or I can add it back in again if I wanted again. Now, let’s say that instead of saying just email, we wanted to have this say like your best email and like I said, we don’t want to ask for a first name, for example.

The next thing that you’ll be able to do when you connect your opt in form is that you actually can decide what happens after somebody opts in. You’ll be able to redirect to a custom URL. This means that you can redirect to a Thank You page, for example. Or you can simply reload the pages. It’s not necessarily something that I think you should be doing because you should always tell people the action that they took actually took place. So at least you can show a success notification.

This means there will be a little message on top of the screen saying “Thank you” or you’re going to switch states. Now what does this mean? This means that on the same page where the Lightbox shows up, you will show a different content in the same light box. So you can just have the light box say something or you could even have your download link show up in there.

This is something that’s more advanced, so usually you will just redirect to a thank you page or a confirmation page. And this means that you will select the redirect to custom URL.

Mobile Responsiveness

When you finished editing your Lightbox, you can actually check how it looks like on different screen sizes. So in this case you go to your responsive view and from here, let’s click on Tablet. Now as you can see on tablet, this still looks pretty good, so we don’t have to change anything.

And then you can go to mobile too. On mobile,while it looks good, I mean it is responsive, but it does take up a lot of the screen. So you can’t really see the button and maybe the title is a bit big. So now what you could do is you could decide that for example, this image is not really useful on mobile. And then you can go there into your responsive menu and you could just hide this element completely on mobile.

hide on mobile

Now when somebody arrives on mobile, as you can see, they will see the whole form shown and maybe we can also change the font, make it a little smaller.

And then maybe change the spacing a little bit. Now this optin form looks better on mobile and it will actually be okay to show it. So let’s save this.

Now of course, another possibility would be to say that you’re just don’t show this light box on mobile at all. You could show another type of opt-in form on mobile. That’s exactly why there’s this place switches are here.

You could for example, decide to have a ribbon that shows on mobile and a Lightbox on desktop. A ribbon is one of the smallest opt-in forms that you can have.

And so this one, you will switch on only on mobile, but we first have to add in your form.

So let’s create the form, place it on the top. We can show it all the time. It doesn’t bother anyone. And immediately on page load, all of this makes sense for a ribbon. Let’s select a template from here.

ribbon templates

And in this case we actually want to use a two step template. So one of the multi-step templates on mobile this makes more sense. This looks better than having the full opt in form, right? Because it doesn’t cover the whole content.

Turning The Form On

Now that you set everything up, there’s one last thing that we have to do and that is decide our targeting options. Let’s go back to our Thrive Leads dashboard.

And here we still have a red exclamation point and the Opt-in form is not displayed for the moment. So let’s go into the settings, the display settings, and you can see that you can pick where you want to show this form.

opt in form targeting

In our case, we want this to be our catchall opt in offer. So we would show this on all pages and all blog posts. So let’s pick this All Pages, All Posts. You can be very specific with where you want opt in forms to show. You also have the option to exclude certain pages.

So let’s save and close. And our one last thing to make sure that this opt in form shows is switcing these two on. So if you want to show in this Lightbox on desktop, you can do so. And if you want to show it on mobile, you can do so too.

Cloning The Form

Now when you want to change one small thing on the opt-in form, I suggest you choose the clone option.

So if you just want to test something like a button color or maybe a different title, but you don’t want to change the images or maybe the image, but you don’t want to change the title and the button color or whatever, then you can clone your opt in form.

But if you want to change everything about the opt-in form, so maybe you want to use another template, then you can use the Add New Form.

A/B Testing

One thing that you should know about A/B testing is that it can be very difficult to get a statistically significant result. If you’re just testing something small like maybe “Download Now” instead of “Download” on your button, that’s probably not a good test to run unless you have hundreds of thousands of people visiting your website.

I suggest you start with a much bigger change than that and one thing that I can tell you to test and that we tested and with great success is actually test a one-step opt in form against a two step opt in form or multi-step opt in form.

multi step opt in

Now here you can see that there is no immediate opt-in form. You have two buttons, “Yes, let’s make it happen” and “No I don’t like traffic”.

And only when you click on the “Yes” button, you will actually go to an opt-in form.

And when you click on “No” button, the opt-in form will be closed. Of course you can change your text to say whatever you want. And the same thing with the buttons.

So from here now you might be wondering how you can connect your actual opt-in form. And you remember the ribbon where you had a button that actually opened the Lightbox? Well here it’s the same idea. When you click on the button it will open a new state of this light box.

So this is a micro-commitment before actually signing up. The way to edit this type of multi-state opt in forms is to look here in the plus button. You can see that you have a Default State and a State 1 and it is in State 1 where you will find your opt-in form:

multi step opt in state 1

You can see this is the state of our form where we can click on the button and connect it with our email service.

Now we go back to the default state and we click on the button, you can go to the Animations and Actions menu, you will see the action that will close the form for the no button and for the yes button on click it will switch states.

button animation

So this is something that you can actually do on any opt in form you make yourself. But if you use one of the multi-step templates, it’s already done for you. So this is definitely something that you can test a one step opt in form against a two step opt in form and then you will see which one gets the best conversions.

Now that we have this form set up, let’s go back to our Thrive Leads dashboard and we can now click on the Start A/B Test button.

Start AB test

From here you will give a title to your AB test and you can have automatic winners settings. So this is something if you don’t want to bother about looking at your opt in forms, again, you can actually just enable the automatic winners settings and you can here see if you have a minimum 100 conversions. So that means a hundred people who signed up for your list, it will minimum take two weeks.


So that is the quick overview of Thrive Leads.

You have the option to get the entire Thrive Membership or just the leads plugin itself.

Peter Nyiri

Peter Nyiri

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