Email List Building for Money

I’m not going to beat around the bush. 

  • Do you want to have lots of email subscribers?
  • Do you want to have those fancy effective email opt-in boxes that all pro bloggers have?
  • Do you want to have the features that allow you to practice the latest list building techniques on your blog?

If you answered yes to the above, then I’ve got just one more question for you.

Do you have $59? Because that’s all you need to have all of the above. (FYI, that’s a ridiculously low price)

Click here to learn more.

This blog post is about Thrive Leads, the latest WordPress plugin that allows you to create email opt-in boxes for your blog.

Here’s a 12-minute overview video that goes through most of the fascinating features in this plugin. If watching the video is not your thing, keep reading the summary below …

The Important Features

Three quick details I’d like to mention before getting to the juicy features. Thrive Leads:

  • Is Mobile Responsive
  • Integrates with all major autoresponder and email marketing software including MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse and iContact.
  • Has a clean dashboard which makes managing different opt-in boxes easy.

Now, the good stuff…

Templates (with the option to customize)

Having templates for opt-in boxes is absolutely crucial. It’s great to have lots of functionality, but sometimes you just want to put something out there and get things going. Thrive Leads offer a number of neat and well-designed templates that you can then customize to your liking.

Thrive Leads Templates

Sidebar Widgets and Ribbons

You can create opt-in boxes in your sidebar. This is quite standard and it is becoming increasingly ineffective. Nonetheless, it’s still best practice to have sidebar opt-in box and you can do this with the Thrive Leads WordPress plugin.

You can also create sticky ribbons, which is represented below by the thin bar at the top of the blog. It’s non-intrusive yet captures the visitors attention.

Sidebar & Ribbon

After Post Opt-In boxes & Slide-In Opt-In Boxes

After Post Opt-in boxes are at the end of blog posts. They are particularly effective for content upgrades. A content upgrade is when you create a bonus and offer as a download, often times in exchange for someone’s email address.

You can also have Slide-In opt-in boxes as shown in the image (the box to the right). These typically slide in after you’ve scrolled down the page, though you can trigger it as you like.

Thrive Leads After Post & Slide-in

Various Pop-Ups & Two-Step opt-ins

There are a multitude of pop-ups that you can create; exit-intent pop-ups and time-based pop-ups included.

You can also have two-step opt-ins, a feature made popular by LeadPages, a popular landing page service. They found that if you got people to first click a button which then triggered a pop-up, visitors are more likely to subscribe. The reasoning behind this is that once they have clicked, they’ve already committed (in a very tiny way) to subscribing, and so once the pop-up is presented, they’re more likely to subscribe.

I think it’s brilliant.

Email Pop-up Opt-in

In-text opt-in boxes via shortcode

Particularly with longer blog posts, you might want to encourage your reader to sign up midway through reading your blog post. See the example below.


A/B Testing

You can create lots of different tests. You can test different headlines, you can test different timings for pop-up boxes, you can test different call-to-actions, you can test different offers, you can test different triggers, you can even test whether having a pop-up box or a slide-in box is more effective. You can test lots of things at the same time, and this allows you to tweak & optimize your blog’s design so you can convert as many visitors into email subscribers.

A great thing about A/B Testing in Thrive Leads is the reporting. Very easy to understand. See below.

Must Have List Building Plugin


This feature allows you to use different opt-in boxes in different pages, hence allowing you to have very targeted offers. For example, you might want to present a special offer pop-up box to readers who subscribe to your mailing list. All you have to do is activate the pop-up box on your ‘Thank You for Subscribing’ page and your new subscribers get a special offer.

What you can’t do with Thrive Leads …

Although Thrive Leads will help you collect your email addresses, you still need an email marketing software such as Aweber or ArpReach (these are what I use). Email Marketing software allows you to email hundreds or thousands of people at one go, and it also allows you to automate the sending of messages.

Another thing Thrive Leads doesn’t allow you to do is Feature Boxes. A feature box is a big opt-in box at the top of your blog. You can’t miss it. This is probably the best plug-in for feature boxes.

The third thing that Thrive Leads isn’t made for is Squeeze Pages. These are whole pages that are specifically dedicated to collecting emails. Thrive (the maker of Thrive Leads) actually have a solution for this, and that’s in the shape of their Thrive Content Builder. This is an easy to use page builder that allows you to use stupidly simple drag-and-drop functionality to create stunning-looking pages. To learn more about that, visit the Thrive Content Builder page.

(If you stretch the functionality of Thrive Leads you can create squeeze pages, but I don’t believe it’s specifically made with squeeze pages in mind)

The Conclusion

Based on my experience (and to be clear, I’ve actually tested this plugin), if growing an email list is high on your priority list and you have a low budget, then buy this plugin for just $57.

At the moment, I use LeadPages to do what Thrive Themes does and the reason is because LeadPages has better template landing pages. But LeadPages starts from $300/year. See the price difference?

Another reason I’d recommend using Thrive Leads is because they’ve already created a similar plugin called Hybrid Connect. This was a success but it has been recently discontinued in order to push Thrive Leads. I’m actually one of their Hybrid Connect clients and having used both Hybrid Connect and Thrive Leads, I can see how much they have improved on the user-experience and the functionality side of things and made everything easier to use.

One thing I forgot to mention is that Thrive offer really good (short) video tutorials and support. You also get a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, something which is not always offered with WordPress plugins.

Seriously, this deal is so good, I got it myself, even though I have LeadPages!

So what are you waiting for?

Do yourself a favor and make it simple for your readers to subscribe to your mailing list. Check out Thrive Leads.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll gladly get back to you.

Update: I no longer use LeadPages and now solely use Thrive Leads & Thrive Content Builder to build my list. They’re that good!

(Please note that I’m affiliated with some products mentioned here. You can see my affiliate disclaimer below for more info)

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Jeffrey Romano is the co-founder of WP Lighthouse and a passionate entrepreneur.
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