RSS is DEAD!
EMAIL on the other hand is growing exponentially.
That is the exact reason why should start list building it’s what counts! And every marketer is treating it as HIGH PRIORITY. Whether you are a newbie blogger, an affiliate marketer, or a small business owner, if you don’t build an email list, you are losing out on potential customers and revenue every single minute of the day.
If you are satisfied with the high-traffic, revenue generating Google-ads optimized site and feel that email list building is too much effort (after all you’re not selling a product, so why build one), this article by Derek Halpern should have you thinking again. In fact, if you had been steadily building your email list right from your blog inception, you may not have been deeply impacted when the Panda and Penguin algorithms rolled out. But that’s another story.
The learning here is that its never too late to start building your email list. Gone are the days when list building was a major chore, tools were scarce, and the costs high. Today, there are several tools to help you generate lists in ingenious ways. In fact, plenty of WordPress plugins have cropped up, making it super easy to set things up and start milking your visitors. But where do you start?
Looking for Answers
Newbie : If you are a newbie and you feel overwhelmed/confused by all the link building tricks and techniques you have read online. Or you simply don’t know the best tools needed to get started. (Head over to the Get the Right List Building Tool section.) Weary List Builder : If you already have an opt-in form on your website but your email subscriptions have flatlined and your fancy forms are not attracting visitors as much as you would want them to.
What Went Wrong?
You’ve probably gone through a zillion web posts like this one telling you what you’ve been doing wrong with your lists. After plugging though innumerable resources, you:
- Pull out your notepad and start writing down what’s wrong with your list building strategy
- Figure out how you are going to fix them
- Then make all the desired changes and hope for the best.
By now you have spent days, if not weeks rectifying your problem areas; time that could have been better spent on creating a new product/website or even spent with family.
Don’t forget that you STILL have NO GUARANTEES that this fix is going to work for you.
Get the Right List Building Tool
What no one is telling you in their list building hacks is that you are probably using the wrong tools for the job. Remember, if you are really serious about list building (YOU’D BETTER BE), you should be using a tool:
- That is NOT free
- That helps you incorporate DIVERSE incentives
- That helps you test DIFFERENT value propositions/triggers/design elements/ placement areas
- That helps you TARGET the right visitors
- That helps you EVALUATE your tests accurately
- That is super EASY to implement
- That does NOT EAT INTO your time and money
After all, it would be foolish to build a great business only to leave all your efforts to chance with a crappy list building solution, or WORSE, none at all! That’s why we’d like to show you a neat little WordPress plugin called Thrive Leads.
Why Thrive Leads?
Thrive Leads is a new WordPress plugin from Thrive Themes that will simply blow your list building worries away. I say this because of how thoughtfully the plugin has been designed. Over the course of this review, you will see that unlike most other plugins, Thrive Leads offers plenty of variety, diversity and customizability options without overwhelming or intimidating you.
Benefits for Newbies
- Thrive Leads requires no tech skills to set up
- You can build and deploy a ton of lists in minutes (no BS)
- You have stunning designs and options to create beautiful opt-ins
- Benefits for Power Users
- Thrive Leads lets you target segmented visitors based on posts, categories, tags
- You can create multiple opt-ins and prioritize them according to the need of the hour
- You can run a variety of meaningful tests using the inbuilt A/B testing engine
- And can take advantage of the meaningful reports and insights derived from the tests
Top Features of Thrive Leads
Let’s take a quick look at some of the features that makes Thrive Leads a stand out plugin.
- Plethora of Opt-in Form Styles
- Attention grabbing pop up lightbox
- Ribbon-type sticky bar
- In-post opt-in form
- 2 step opt-in form
- Less intrusive slide-in popup
- Sidebar widget
- Multi-step opt-in forms
Ready to Use Professionally Designed Templates
Thrive Leads has plenty of eye catching, professional design templates that can be used as is. The templates are also 100% editable so you can make it your own. There are no codes to tweak; just drag and drop elements to create impressive forms.
With more and more traffic flowing from high end mobile devices today, having a stiff opt-in is going to put off your visitors. Thrive Leads has a fully mobile responsive design that would look great on any device.
Thrive Leads offers plenty of additional form controls such as check boxes, radio buttons & drop-downs so you can create advanced lead generation forms.
Thrive Leads has been tested to work on all modern browsers; IE. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
Why Thrive Leads Beats the Competition
In Thrive Leads, we put a lot of work into making the user interface lightning fast and easy to work with. We care a lot about this because a common problem is that people will buy a complex and potentially powerful tool, but end up not really using it, because it’s a pain to use. For the same reason, we also have in-line tutorial videos, an extensive knowledge-base and other training material, to help our users get the most out of the plugin. – Shane Melaugh, Founder – Thrive Themes
The key to building lists lies not just in placing an attractive opt-in forms where it matters. It lies in targeting the relevant audience. As a Thrive Leads user, you don’t have to take a stab in the dark to determine your relevant audience. This plugin has been designed to target just the right type of visitors. Here’s how it works.
The Tri Ratna
In Sanskrit, the Tri Ratna refers to Three Jewels. Thrive Leads, in my opinion, has its own three secret weapons to snag those visitors.
1. Catch All Form
This is the straightforward method that most list building solutions offer. You can display a common opt-in form for all your website visitors to use.
2. Segmented Form
You will still be creating opt-ins like you usually do, but now you will assign these forms to show up on specific posts, categories, or tags. For instance, if you have a category that covers all posts related to traffic generation, you can target that particular audience to offer traffic generation incentives (videos, PDFs, secret systems) and build a segmented list. You can then prioritize this specific opt-in ( just by drag and drop) to show up instead of the generic Catch All form. This is guaranteed to win targeted visitors.
3. The Ultimate Content Upgrade Form
This “secret weapon” in Thrive Leads will allow you to target individual blog posts. For instance, you can pick up your most popular posts and “do a content upgrade.” The content upgrade again can be tips that’s never been shared before or secret recipes that will enhance that post. When you create an opt-in for that particular post, you can increase sign ups because your targeted readers are already invested in the idea you are promoting in that article.
There are plenty of experts out there who will tell you how to increase your conversions. But why listen to others when you can see the results yourself. With Thrive Leads you can easily set up tests to see if your sidebar widget works better than your slide in form, or if visitors opt-in when they enter the site or exit it.
You can vary the headlines and call out points to see which ones work best and you can determine if a 3 second trigger is better than a 10 second one. You can even change your offers or incentives, such as a free video course download instead of a PDF download to see which ones are more appreciated.
All tests are preset to run for a specific duration and a minimum conversion rate.These conditions are tried and tested using a well researched formula and should work perfectly as is, but you are free to tweak it to your needs.
Another advantage with Thrive Leads is that you don’t have to manually lookout for the test results. The plugin will automatically alert you to the winner. You can create and try out as many tests as you want, manage them just as easily, and leave it to the tool to do its job. The winners will be retained at the end of the test and losers weeded out, or in this case hidden.
Analytics & Reports
Analyzing figures from your tests can be both boring and intimidating, but with Thrive Leads you can easily understand the highest converting stories and where you leads are coming from so you can focus your link building campaigns on the best converting topics. And its all pretty straightforward stuff.
Integration with Your Favorite Auto-Responders
Thrive Leads plays nice with most popular Auto-Responders and email marketing services like AWeber, GetResponse, Mailchimp, iContact, SendinBlue, Ontraport, InfusionSoft, Campaign Monitor, and Mad Mimi among others.
If that’s not incentive enough for you to check out the plugin, read on…
How Thrive Leads Bests Optin Monster
We took a quick look at how Thrive Leads compared with one of the leading list building solutions Optin Monster. Here’s what we discovered, with a little help from Shane Melaugh.
Thrive Leads : Has 100% editable templates in a easy-to-use visual point-and-click editor.
Optin Monster: Has basic templates where you can make a few changes, but they aren’t fully editable.
Thrive Leads : Features powerful advanced targeting options with a sleek prioritization system.
Optin Monster: Its targeting options are extremely basic, by comparison.
Thrive Leads : You can run A/B tests between different form triggers, design and form types.
Optin Monster: Offers only basic design testing.
Thrive Leads : A/B test results are representative, even when testing different triggers, form positions or form types and the test results will lead to improving the performance of your website as a lead generator, rather than a potentially inconsequential improvement of designs within a form itself.
Optin Monster: Does not specify if impressions are measured by each “potential” view, which may lead to a bias in findings.
Thrive Leads : Ensures tests are automatically run long enough to collect data needed for predicting the winning variation.
Optin Monster: Does not lay down conditions or allow you to set conditions to determine the winning variation. You could easily end up closing a test sooner leading to inaccurate results.
Thrive Leads: You can create advanced lead generation forms with as many fields as you want and also include checkboxes, radio buttons and drop down menus.
Optin Monster: It is limited to either email only or name + email in the basic version.
Thrive Leads: Includes an in-line form validation for required fields, email addresses and phone numbers. Ideal for preventing visitors from submitting a faulty form.
Optin Monster: Has no such options.
Thrive Leads: Has a “lead source” report which shows you where your leads are coming from so you get a view of your most valuable traffic sources.
Optin Monster: Does not offer in-depth analytics to better understand your lead sources.
Thrive Leads: More features than Optin Monster and definitely the cheaper of the two. Even the most basic license includes ALL features and cost varies only depending on how many sites you want it set up on.
Optin Monster: The basic license is a highly stripped down version. If you are serious about list building, you could easily end up spending at least $200 to get the best out of the plugin.
Thrive Leads is better than Optin Monster and the rest of the competition in plenty of ways. This image overview best explains it all.
How Thrive Leads Compares to Other Plugins
Thrive Leads Pricing
In my opinion, Thrive Leads offers a heck of a good price for a tool that is SO FEATURE-RICH. No matter which license you pick up, you can be assured that you get to access to EACH and EVERY ONE of the features available in the plugin. This to me speaks very highly of the team behind the tool.
They aren’t just selling you a half baked product that makes you pay more for every additional feature you want to use. They have done all the hard work and created a great product so you can reap the MAXIMUM benefits at a pretty decent price.
Thrive Leads is a plugin that is perfect for the modern list builder. Its design has been well thought out – keeping in mind ease of use, relevant targeting, effortlessly easy A/B Testing, and super quick implementation. It offers smart features that help you select forms that work best for your website based on actual impressions and clicks. All the features are easy to set up and implement and there are plenty of videos and documentation if you need guidance. The plugin is also very fairly priced in comparison to its competitors.
I believe that with such a powerful plugin at your disposal, your list building efforts will only go from strength to strength. Remember there are no shortcuts to success. Using smart tools like Thrive Leads is what will get you there!
Supercharge your email list building campaign today with Thrive Leads.
You won’t look back! Promise!
UPDATED ON 2/May/2015
Since our original review of Thrive Leads on 2nd March 2015, Thrive Leads has gotten better with a series of improvements and standout features. Here’s a quick look at what’s improved and what’s new.
New Form Type: In Content
As a Thrive Leads user, you can add a variety of opt-in forms at various locations on a page easily. Now there’s a much better and easier way to add opt-ins inside your content. No need for manual tweaks at the back end and messing with codes every time you want to improvise on your opt-in location. In the In-content form settings screen, select the number of paragraphs after which you want the opt-in to show up in your page and voila! the job is done.
Website speed and optimization is highly important today and most plugins, especially the interactive pop-ups tend to slow down a site’s loading time. Thrive Leads Lazy Load feature ensures that your form loads in the background after your page is loaded.
This way, your readers see the most important content first and then, when a form needs to be displayed, it happens instantly with no delays. This feature also plays nicely with most caching plugins, which generally tend to conflict when it comes to A/B testing.
New Opt-in Position for Ribbons
Earlier, the Thrive Opt-in options for Ribbon display only allowed for display at the top of the screen. Although, this is almost everyone’s favorite position, users can now also add them to the bottom of the screen.
There are times when we want to make changes to an existing form, but any such tweak is usually done in real time and affects user performance. After all, you wouldn’t want your readers to see an incomplete form when they want to sign up. Now a toggle switch has been added to quickly hide a form when you want to make edits.
Adding Dynamic Codes to Forms
If you are a power user, you may want to add certain variables to your autoresponder, such as when you want to tag subscribers by traffic source or affiliate ID of referrer. Adding such types of dynamic codes in Thrive Leads is now a breeze.
You can either use shortcodes to add dynamic content to the autoresponder code or you can use the new filter called “tve_additional_fields”. You can learn more about how to use the filter from the knowledge center and there’s also an example plugin to try out at GitHub.
Renaming Lead Groups
Although, this isn’t a major update, users can now rename lead groups according to any new updates to their campaigns.
The biggest feature update to Thrive Leads is the multi opt-in form option. Multi-step opt-in are designed to get more subscribers to your website by posing an interesting question or teaser that adds an extra element of interaction that readers simply cannot resist engaging with. And, to make things easy, there are 3 ready-to-use templates that users can take advantage of.
Multi step opt-ins work by displaying an offer to the user and asking them if they want to take advantage of it or not. If the user says Yes to the offer, another screen is instantly loaded to input the email address. If the user is not interested, the opt-in form closes and disappears from the screen.
The multi opt-in form can easily be combined with other opt-ins such as the two step opt-in (where a user clicks on a link first and then decides whether to take up the offer or not) as well as other types of opt-ins depending on users requirement.
Thrive Leads is certainly getting better by the day and we are enjoying all the new features that have come out so far. What is exceptionally good about all these feature improvements is that they are designed to make creation of sales pages, offers, and user subscriptions not just easy and intuitive for readers, but also easy and effortless to configure for bloggers as well.
If you are struggling with your current subscription rates, go ahead and give Thrive Leads a go! You won’t be disappointed.