Thrive Leads vs OptinMonster – Which Plugin Is The Best Plugin For Building An Email List?

Thrive Leads vs OptinMonster.

There are many plugins for email list building but nothing comes close to what Thrive Leads and OptinMonster can provide.

Let me share with you a simple fact:

Email has 2.6 billion unique users worldwide. Moreover, that number is expected to exceed 2.9 billion by the end of 2019. 

ExactTarget had quoted, “Email is not only alive – it’s the number one direct channel in terms of daily use and consumer preference for both personal and marketing communications.”

Building an email list is no longer an option. It is a necessity for business survival. Regardless it is for affiliate marketing, blogging or business, email marketing is a very powerful tool if you use it right.

The first step in building an email list is to select an email marketing service provider, which I’m sure you already had.

The second and most crucial step is to find a WordPress plugin that will drive your subscription rate off the roof. After all, having the best email marketing service provider isn’t going to give you much assistance if you aren’t converting visitors into subscribers.

To help you on this step, I’ve compared two of the best list building plugins on the market so that you can build your list in the most efficient way possible.


Thrive Leads

Introduction: Thrive Leads is the complete list building plugin for WordPress. It has every type of opt-in form including Sticky Ribbon, Popup Lightbox, Slide-In, Opt-in Widget, and Screen Filler.

Summary: Thrive Leads is a good choice if you want to have complete control on how the plugin works. It allows you to tweak everything under the roof, without any coding skills.

Thrive Leads is one of the most popular list building plugins for bloggers nowadays because there is just so much hype around this plugin. What I love about Thrive Leads are:

  • Multiple opt-in forms which can be set to trigger and appear in multiple places
  • Perform numerous A/B testing (split test)
  • Availability of shortcodes
  • One click sign up links
  • Sign up subscribers directly to webinar
  • Ready made templates and boxes to choose from

What makes Thrive Leads an awesome plugin for list building is the ability to do anything with just one plugin. As for the record, ThriveBoxes is one feature that no other list building plugin had ever integrated and it works like LeadPages’s Leadboxes feature (sorry LeadPages).

For the record, Thrive Leads is included in the Thrive Membership and no separate purchase is required.

1. Configuring Thrive Leads

Love the basic setup? No worries. Here’s the common setup you can choose with Thrive Leads:

opt in types thrive leads vs optinmonster

There are many ready-made templates you can choose from when you use Thrive Leads. Here are some examples:

Thrive Leads ready made templates

Now, that’s really a lot of templates, right?

The guys over at Thrive Leads understand the challenges faced by bloggers and marketers. Not many of us are design-driven and therefore, having different types of ready-made templates and drag and drop builder helps us to create better forms to build an email list.

Disclaimer: My favorite is still ‘Scroll Mat’. Just saying 🙂


2. A/B testing with Thrive Leads

Apart from that, Thrive Leads comes with the awesome A/B testing which is godly. With this feature, you can literally any testing such as:

  • Different Form Types: A lightbox popup vs. a slide-in form or a widget vs. a ribbon.
  • Different Triggers: Show a popup after 3 seconds, once the visitor scrolls 50% down the page or when the visitor is about to exit your site.
  • Different Design & Content: Change the headline, add a new image or switch colors.
  • Different Offers: Download a checklist vs. Participate in a webinar

You can start and stop the A/B testing at any time, as well as the ability to select the winner (either manually or automatically).

split testing feature with thrive leads


3. Precise targeting using Thrive Leads

Advancement of technology allows us to do a lot of things and one of them is to show relevant popups to the right type of audience. With Thrive Leads, you can display specific forms with just a few clicks:

customizing thrive leads

4. Powerful features that made Thrive Leads super powerful

Want to know why Thrive Leads is powerful? Here are four things you should know (if you are dead serious in list building using Thrive Leads):

  • Exit Trigger: Show your opt-in the moment a visitor is thinking about leaving your website.
  • Time Trigger: Choose between showing your opt-in form instantly or after a certain amount of time (in seconds) has passed.
  • Scroll Trigger: Choose between showing your opt-in form when a user scrolls to a specific part of the content, after passing a defined percentage of the content, or after reaching the end of your content.
  • Click Trigger: Show your opt-in when a user clicks an element (like a button or link) in your content.


5. What didn’t I like about Thrive Leads?

Apart of all the goodies that Thrive Leads can offer, there are still things I wished they could be improved.

Thrive Leads doesn’t play well with CloudFlare: I use CloudFlare to speed up my website and I have specific Page Rules to make my website blazing fast. The problem is Thrive Leads visual builder (WYSIWYG) doesn’t work well when those options are turned on. Of course, there isn’t much Thrive Leads could do but if you want to use Thrive Leads with CloudFlare, make sure you turn off the ‘Rocket Loader‘ on CloudFlare (temporary) while setting up forms using Thrive Leads.

What is Rocket Loader?

Rocket Loader improves page load times by:

  • Decreasing the number of network requests by bundling JavaScript files, even third party resources, to avoid slowing down page rendering
  • Asynchronously loading scripts, including third party scripts, so that they do not block the content of your page from loading immediately
  • Caching scripts locally (using LocalStorage, available on most browsers and smart phones) so they aren’t refetched unless necessary

Just too many customizations and made it confusing: Thrive Leads comes with so many customizations which it is really tricky for beginners. Sure, they have videos but let’s be honest. Who views the videos unless you are desperate, right? The options aren’t really direct and idiot-proof if you know what I mean.


6. How much is Thrive Leads?

There are three different pricing structures you can choose from (each comes with one year support):

  • 1 Site: $67
  • 5 Sites: $97
  • 15 Sites: $147

Alternatively, you can choose Thrive Membership which costs $19 per month (with all plugins included for unlimited sites) when you pay annually.

When it comes to pricing, I would say that it is definitely worth the money because of the features that Thrive Leads provide.


7. Is Thrive Leads worth it?

Here’s the biggest question. I’ve been using Thrive Leads since the beta stage and I would say that it is pretty well done. If I would comment, I would say that their finishing isn’t as smooth as OptinMonster but apart from that, they are pretty much awesome to say the very least.


8. My verdict for Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is best for advanced users who want to double their email list in just a short period of time. Plus, it is also a great tool because you get everything you need under one roof.

With the amount of features that comes packing with Thrive Leads, this is definitely one of the best list building plugins I had used for a long time. Highly recommend anyone to use this!

Click here to try Thrive Leads today!



Introduction: OptinMonster is not just a WordPress plugin. It’s a complete web-based app that’s available for different platforms including WordPress.

Summary: OptinMonster is very smooth and easy to use. An absolutely beast that helps you build an email list fast, minus all the challenging configuration and hassle.

Just like Thrive Leads, OptinMonster had evolved a lot … from a humble beginning to a massive email list building for WordPress users.

OptinMonster comes packing with a huge list of features which include:

  • Lightbox
  • Sidebar
  • Floating Bar
  • After post / In-Line
  • Slide-in
  • Mobile
  • Full Screen

The best part? Each of these forms can be customized according to your liking through drag and drop.


1. Display rules on OptinMonster

OptinMonster display rules

Anyone who is serious about email list building knows that display rules feature is critical. For the record, OptinMonster is the first WordPress email list building plugin that offers Exit-Intent feature.

Let me give you a quick example.

If you configure your campaign to load after a 7-second delay and set a 50% scroll value, then your visitors will have to be on your site for 7 seconds AND scroll the page 50% or more to trigger the campaign.

The next step is to choose your intended audience who will see the form.

OptinMonster comparison versus Thrive Leads

Note: You can easily setup more display rules to further customize your forms on OptinMonster. This gives you more control on what your forms can and cannot do, thus giving you more precise audience targeting.


2. MonsterLinks

What is MonsterLinks?

MonsterLinks is the name of the 2-Step Opt-in technology from OptinMonster. MonsterLinks can turn any link or image into a 2-step opt-in process. When a user clicks on the link or an image, a popup opens up asking them to subscribe.

Brian Dean from Backlink uses MonsterLinks on the site to boost email subscriptions. Here’s how it looks like in action.


The concept of Content Upgrades is based on a psychology principle known as the Zeigarnik Effect, which states that those who initiate are more likely to finish the process.


3. OptinMonster’s Success Themes

In short, OptinMonster comes with a list of ready-made templates for you to choose from. Wonder why they use the name “success themes?”

OptinMonsters success themes

Well, these are templates which had been tested out and prove to be extremely effective for your success.

I love OptinMonster’s success themes because I have zero knowledge in design. Yup, no joke.


4. What didn’t I like about OptinMonster?

I often compare both OptinMonster and Thrive Leads (Thrive Leads vs OptinMonster in my mind) and one thing I wished I had more are the ready-made templates.

OptinMonster doesn’t come with that many ready-made templates compared to Thrive Leads.

Another thing I didn’t like about OptinMonster is the campaign setup. Coming from Thrive Leads, OptinMonster seems to be very specific when it comes to campaign creation. While there is nothing wrong with it (generally speaking), it certainly felt like each campaign is dictated by opt-in type. And yes, in some ways that felt very annoying 🙁


5. How much does OptinMonster cost?

The pricing for OptinMoster is slightly different. For starters, each pricing plan comes with very different features.

Basic: $19/month or $108/year (save 25%)

  • Unlimited Optin Forms
  • A/B Split Testing
  • Page Level Targeting
  • User-friendly Reporting 1 site

Plus: $29/month or $228/year (save 25%)

  • Everything in Basic, and:
  • Floating Bar
  • Sidebar Forms
  • After Post / Inline Forms
  • Content Locking
  • 3 sites

Pro: $39/month or $348/year (save 25%)

  • Everything in Plus, and:
  • Exit-Intent Technology
  • Referral Detection
  • Mobile Specific Forms
  • Yes / No Forms
  • Slide-in Scroll Trigger Boxes
  • Smart Canvas Forms
  • Full Screen Takeovers
  • Campaign Scheduling
  • Unlimited Sites
  • Priority Support


6. Is OptinMonster worth it?

I know, you are not pretty much undecided if OptinMonster is worth it. Here’s what I think.

OptinMonster is good and very intuitive. It is prior in the market and what makes it really good is that it is co-founded by Syed Balkhi, founder of WP Beginner. Now, this means that plugins created by him and his team are always very good and able to integrate to any WordPress themes without issue.


7. My personal verdict on OptinMonster

I love beautiful things (and plugins). Personally, I would say that OptinMonster is well created and deserve all the credits in the email list building industry. Being an active OptinMonster user, I would say that there is no doubt in my mind that OptinMonster is good and worth the money.

See OptinMonster demo here!


OptinMonster vs Thrive Leads

The real comparison for OptinMonster vs Thrive Leads is probably the pricing factor.

  • $348 – OptinMonster (Pro’s package with all features included)
  • $228 – Thrive Themes (10 themes and 6 plugins including Thrive leads)

Both OptinMonster and Thrive Leads are available as subscription-based service, which means that you’ll always have to pay either a monthly or annual fee to use them.

Comparing OptinMonster vs Thrive Leads on the smallest plan, here’s how it looks like:

  • $108 – OptinMonster (single site with selected features)
  • $67 – Thrive Leads (single site with all features)

Now, as you can see, it is actually more worth it (and you get more savings too) when you opt for Thrive Leads. Even when using Thrive Leads with the smallest plan of $67, you save $41 per year and on top of that, you are not limited to the features as of what OptinMonster offers for its smallest plan.

Overall, it is important to understand that while both offers very similar features, Thrive Leads is seen to be the best option since it doesn’t limit you for any of its features.

When it comes to email list building, you certainly wouldn’t want to be bolted down with restrictions, right?

I hope you like this OptinMonster vs Thrive Leads comparison. Which is your favorite email list building plugin?

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