Are you looking for the best WordPress popup plugin to grow your email list as quickly as possible? Not sure whether you should use OptinMonster or Thrive Leads?

Both Thrive Leads and OptinMonster are popular solutions for growing your email list and generating leads from your website.

But make no mistake: there are some big differences between the two companies, and making the wrong choice could hurt your bottom line.

To make sure you’re choosing the right lead generation tool for your needs, we’ve created an in-depth OptinMonster vs. Thrive Leads comparison below.

Since this is such a detailed look at Thrive Leads compared to OptinMonster, we’ve created a table of contents to help you navigate:

  1. Website Integration Comparison
  2. Campaign Creation Comparison
  3. Campaign Targeting & Triggers Comparison
  4. Marketing Integrations Comparison
  5. Account Management Features Comparison
  6. Documentation and Support Comparison
  7. Bottom Line: OptinMonster vs. Thrive Leads

All right, let’s dive right in and get started!

Website Integration Comparison

One of the most important factors in choosing a lead generation solution is: what kind of website can you use it on?

Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin, so you have to have a WordPress website to use it.

Thrive Leads Successfully Installed min

The Thrive Leads plugin and all your settings, leads, conversion analytics, and other data are stored directly on your WordPress website. The downside of this is that you’re responsible for your site security and backups to prevent losing that data.

In other words, if anything happens to your WordPress site, it will also affect the campaigns you’ve spent hours perfecting.

On the other hand, OptinMonster is a standalone app that lives on its own website. To create your lead generation campaigns, you log into your OptinMonster account:

OptinMonster Login 800 wide min 1

And all your campaigns are stored there, separately from your WordPress site.

But, adding your campaigns to WordPress is as simple as using the connector plugin. In the OptinMonster WordPress plugin, you can also choose additional settings for displaying your campaigns on certain blog posts, categories, and tags. We’ll get more into those Display Rules below.

For now, it’s important to know that OptinMonster doesn’t just work on WordPress sites but on any website.

That means you can use the same campaigns on your Shopify or BigCommerce store, Blogger or Wix blog, Squarespace site, or a static HTML website. There’s even a separate OptinMonster Shopify app with extra targeting options.

Why use a standalone app instead of a plugin?

Here are a few important considerations:

  • Automatic Cloud Backup: No need to worry about losing your data since it’s in the cloud already
  • Fast and Reliable: The speed of your optin forms doesn’t depend on your web hosting company’s speed
  • Doesn’t Use Up Website Storage Space: Since your campaigns live in the OptinMonster app, they don’t use up your website storage
  • Manage Multiple Websites in One Place: You can move or copy campaigns between sites, and much more

So if you’re looking for a Thrive Leads alternative that works on non-WordPress sites, OptinMonster is your best bet.

But what if you only need a WordPress plugin? Let’s take a look at a few other important factors to help you decide, starting with campaign creation.

Campaign Creation Comparison

How easy is it to create a new popup or other campaigns in OptinMonster and Thrive Leads?

Let’s take a look at OptinMonster’s campaign creation process first.

After logging in, you see a list of your connected sites on the left, with all the campaigns you’ve created for that website in the middle.

To create a new campaign, click the Create New Campaign button at the top:

OptinMonster Create a New Campaign min 1

You can choose from 5 different campaign types:

  • Popup
  • Fullscreen
  • Slide-in
  • Floating Bar
  • Inline

OptinMonster Campaign Types

But from there, you have all kinds of other campaigns you can build, such as:

  • Sidebars
  • Content Lockers
  • Coupon Wheels
  • Countdown Timers

OptinMonster Campaigns

So with those 5 campaign categories, you can build 9 different campaign types!

Plus, OptinMonster has over 50 pre-designed templates available, each with a unique design and layout. You can filter these designs based on your needs, even selecting templates that work exceptionally well for your mobile visitors:

OptinMonster Mobile Template Filters min

And each campaign type has several unique templates available. For example, here are a few of the designs available for floating bar campaigns:

OptinMonster floating bar templates

You can also design and code your campaigns from scratch using OptinMonster Canvas technology.

All right, now let’s see how that compares to the Thrive Leads campaign creation process.

In the Thrive Leads dashboard, you can build the following types of campaigns:

  • In content
  • Lightbox popups
  • Post footers
  • Ribbons (like a floating bar at the top)
  • Screen fillers
  • Scroll Mat
  • Slide-in
  • Widget (Sidebar Forms)
  • Customize your own

Thrive Leads Campaign Types min

For the most part, these are the same campaigns you can build with OptinMonster. However, Thrive Leads changes many of the industry-standard campaign names, and we’re not sure why.

A screen filler campaign with Thrive Leads, for example, is the same thing as a fullscreen campaign with other companies.

Once you choose your campaign type, you’re redirected to the WordPress dashboard. You then need to re-select the same campaign you just started to create. Honestly, that’s annoying for user experience (UX).

To help users navigate the process, there’s a small popup that says Next Step: Add a form:

Thrive Leads Next Step Add a Form min

But it would be more helpful to be taken directly to the editor. It’s hard to imagine that a user would want to create a campaign without making any modifications whatsoever.

Then, after this, you’re taken to a new screen where you need to click Create Form and then Name Your Form.

And then you’re taken to another dashboard.

Again, that’s annoying.

At this point in the Thrive Leads campaign creation process, you need to know what you’re doing to move forward. To edit your new form type, you need to click the pencil icon off to the side to edit.

We’ve enlarged this part to help you out:

New Lead Form Thrive Leads min

Now a new screen opens up with your campaign editor. Here’s where you finally choose your template:

ThriveLeads Choose your template min

There were a few things that we don’t love here. First, it takes way too long to get from Create a form to the campaign editor itself.

With OptinMonster, it’s 1 click. With Thrive Leads, it’s several clicks and a redirect with a new window popup, which is unnecessary.

Then there are the templates. Though they have a decent variety (still less than OptinMonster), there’s no filter for templates, and they appear in no particular order.

And finally, there’s the learning curve to get comfortable with the software. For example, when you are in the editor, the left-hand side graphic has vague directions on how to add elements:

ThriveLeads Optin Campaign min

But, to do so, you need to go all the way to the very tiny icons on the opposite side of the screen which don’t even 100% match the directions:

Thrive Leads Optin Campaign Direction Icons min

None of this even mentions the fact that we chose the first template, which is, for some reason, explicitly designed for Yellowstone National park.

While we’re sure this is helpful for Yellowstone’s marketing staff, we can’t imagine that it’s a popular choice for most of their market.

And look, we don’t want to come off as critical of Thrive Leads. But creating optin campaigns is our specialty, and we know how easy it is supposed to be. So when we see it over-complicated, it sticks out to us like a sore thumb.

Now is where our team starts to get confused. We simply want to add a button to the campaign. But we have to stop what we’re doing to look up how.

Here’s why:

When you finally do track down the Add Elements icon from the top right-hand corner, you get a list of elements you can add to the campaign. One of those is a Button that you drag and drop where you’d like.

This functions a lot like OptinMonster’s Button element, or so we thought. Because when we tried to add a button here in the bottom of the right-hand corner:

Add a button with Thrive Leads min

It ended up coming out here in the center of the campaign:

Thrive Leads Insert Button min

And we still can’t figure out why.

This happens with many of the elements we’re trying to insert, and, at some point, we have to call it. So here’s a list of the elements that, in theory, you can add to any Thrive Leads campaign:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Button
  • Columns
  • Background
  • Content Box
  • Template Symbols
  • Logos

They also have a large variety of Building Blocks with features like icons, countdown timers, content reveals, and many more.

So even though Thrive Leads has many element options we like, our biggest problem is getting those options in the right place and easily formating our campaign.

Again, we build and modify optin campaigns every single day, so we don’t expect things to be this complicated.

Dropping elements into your OptinMonster editor, on the other hand, couldn’t be easier. You simply locate the element you want from the Blocks section on the left-hand side menu. We’ve got tons of options, including:

  • Button
  • Chat Box
  • Countdown timer (static and dynamic)
  • Dividers
  • Custom HTML (for unlimited customization)
  • Icons
  • Images
  • Optin Fields
  • Spacers
  • Text
  • Video
  • Yes/No buttons

Blocks for OM min

Then you drag and drop your selection into place:

Countdown Timer Drag and Drop min

And with OptinMonster, it actually goes where you placed it. 😉

Then you can edit any element you put into your campaigns:

OptinMonster lefthand side editing tools

We built our campaign editor to hit 3 primary needs. We want it to be:

  • Intuitive
  • Flexible
  • Powerful

With our drag and drop builder, we’re happy to say that we accomplish all 3! Because the editor is so easy to use, you can make loads of different campaigns that serve different purposes without wasting hours in the design process.

This is also particularly helpful when running A/B split tests. With OptinMonster, you can create a campaign, run an A/B split test, and modify one aspect of your duplicated campaign in a matter of minutes. Not hours.

Again, intuitive, flexible, and powerful.

Now that we’ve seen how the basic campaign creation process works let’s take a look at your options for displaying them to the right audience at the right time.

Campaign Targeting & Triggers Comparison

The more personalized and targeted your campaigns are for each visitor, the more effective they’ll be.

So, what kind of targeting options do you get with OptinMonster vs. Thrive Leads?

Let’s take a look at Thrive Leads.

But first, let’s clarify a few key terms: Lead Group, Target, and Trigger.

A Lead Group is a collection of campaigns that will share the same rulesets.

A Target is the type of visitor you want to attract, such as everyone coming from a specific region or specifically from mobile, for example.

A Trigger is a user behavior that will force your campaign to appear.

Ok, with those out of the way, let’s dive in. You can decide where a Lead Group should appear by clicking on the gear icon on the right:

thrive display settings

Then select the blog posts, pages, categories, or tags you want your Lead Group to appear on. Again, you’re selecting targets (not triggers) for your Lead Group here.

thrive lead group display settings

Note that these target settings will apply to all campaigns in the Lead Group (popups, headers, inline campaigns, widgets, and so on).

So let’s say you want your popup to appear on one post, but your inline campaign to display on another, they’ll need to be in separate Lead Groups.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to duplicate optin form types to a separate Lead Group or move it from one Lead Group to another.

And if this all sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Well, we think so, at least. And there’s more.

You can choose your campaign triggers separately for each campaign, even in the same Lead Group. Just edit the campaign and then click the setting underneath the Trigger column.

By default, your popups trigger to display immediately once the page loads, which isn’t great for conversion rates.

thrive trigger settings

If you want to change the default, you can select one of the following options:

thrive trigger options

Ok, now let’s look at how OptinMonster handles campaign targeting and triggers with Display Rules.

OptinMonster’s advanced Display Rules are what make it such a powerful conversion optimization and lead generation solution. You can select whatever Display Rules you need while creating your campaign.

These are a handful of the targeting options you can choose from:

  • Current URL path
  • Pages viewed
  • Visitor’s device
  • Visitor has opted in to/not opted in to/closed/not closed
  • Visitor is new/returning
  • Visitor’s location
  • The URL query arg
  • A cookie
  • The referrer URL
  • Visitor’s ad-blocker
  • Current URL hash

OptinMonster Targeting Options 1

Targeting your campaigns for specific pages is only the beginning.

If you want to fine-tune your lead generation to get the most conversions, you can do that here.

You can use OptinMonster to set up advanced targeting rules like:

  • Visitors who already opted in to another campaign of yours or to visitors who ignored a specific previous offer
  • Brand-new visitors, or visitors who’ve been to your site before
  • Visitors in a specific geographic location (great for retail stores and location-specific offers, or GDPR compliance)
  • Visitors who clicked on a link to your site from social media, a guest blog post on a specific site, or a particular ad campaign
  • Visitors who have landed on a particular landing page such as a pre-sell or sales page
  • Visitors who are using ad-blocking software
  • Visitors who have viewed 3 or more pages on your site (or whatever number you choose) which ensures that only interested people will see it

And so much more. Plus, all of these options listed above (and more) are conveniently located on the same page, so you don’t need to jump around the site to create the rules:

OptinMonster Conditions min

This opens up a lot of advanced options for skyrocketing your email list and conversion rates.

And if you want to add a new ruleset (that can quickly be saved and added to another campaign), you can do that in 1 click:

Add New Ruleset with OptinMonster min

But targeting isn’t the only key to conversions. You also need to make sure that people are seeing your campaigns at the right time.

You can do that with OptinMonster triggers to select when your campaign should appear:

  • Time on page or time on site
  • Exit detected
  • Visitor clicked MonsterLink™
  • Distance scrolled
  • Visitor inactive time
  • Current day, time, date, or month

One thing that makes OptinMonster’s Display Rules so powerful is that you can easily combine different rules.

For example, you could make sure to target engaged and interested visitors by setting a lightbox popup to appear after scrolling down 50% of the page, but only if they’ve been on the page for 20 seconds.

And, like we already mentioned, you can even add different rulesets to set separate triggers for the same campaign, without having to completely recreate everything from scratch.

This kind of fine-tuned targeting isn’t just overly complicated with Thrive Leads. It’s downright impossible.

A Quick Word on Mobile Lead Generation

Did you know that over half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices?

That means if you don’t have an effective strategy for capturing leads on mobile, you could be ignoring most of your potential buyers.

So which lead generation solution is the most powerful when it comes to mobile lead generation: OptinMonster or Thrive Leads?

Both OptinMonster and Thrive Leads allow you to create campaigns that target mobile users.

OptinMonster is unique in that it also has several features designed to super-charge your mobile conversions.

One of those is the powerful InactivitySensor™ which detects user behavior (or lack thereof) on mobile. This means you can deliver a targeted campaign at the precise moment your visitor is about to abandon your site.

Combined with OptinMonster’s MonsterEffects™, which include animations and sound effects, these features make OptinMonster a proven solution for converting mobile visitors:

Now, what happens to those leads after they fill out your forms? Let’s take a look at Thrive Leads vs. OptinMonster integrations.

Marketing Integrations Comparison

Of course, even the most powerful lead generation tool won’t help you if it doesn’t work together with your existing marketing stack.

After all, it defeats the point of automation if your software solutions don’t work together.

So, how do OptinMonster and Thrive Leads measure up when it comes to integrations?

Both offer integrations with the most popular email marketing service providers like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, and many more.

But if you’re looking for support for more advanced software, Thrive Leads won’t help.

OptinMonster has the edge with these advanced integrations:

  • Conversio
  • Eloqua
  • Emma
  • Klaviyo
  • Marketo
  • Pardot
  • Sendloop
  • SharpSpring
  • TotalSend

None of which Thrive Leads offers.

OptinMonster has over 30 native integrations for your favorite email marketing service providers. Plus, OptinMonster also offers webhooks and custom HTML form integrations, so you’re never limited by what marketing technologies you can use.

That’s not all. You can also add as many integrations as you want to each campaign with OptinMonster’s Lead Sharing. This feature makes it easy to automate internal lead management or share leads with joint venture partners.

Now let’s look at how easy it is to manage accounts with each company.

Account Management Features Comparison

If you have:

  • multiple websites
  • many campaigns

Then Thrive Leads does not make it easy for you to manage.

Thrive Leads is strictly a WordPress plugin, so managing multiple sites is a hassle because everything is separate. You need to login to each website to access your campaign dashboard.

And for every site you have, you need to give users separate login information and set up different administrative roles for each site, even if one user is using all your sites.

This creates a huge risk for losing passwords and keeping content (not to mention employees) organized.

Plus, Thrive Leads offers so many user roles that it can get confusing!

There are 6 user roles:

  • Super Admin: Access to all the network admin functions
  • Administrator: Access to all the Administrator functions of the site
  • Editor: Can manage and posts and pages, including those of others
  • Author: Can manage and publish their own posts
  • Contributor: Can write and manage, but not publish
  • Subscriber: Can only manage their own profile

On the other hand, OptinMonster gives you plenty of account management features to organize your campaigns and manage multiple users.

In the OptinMonster dashboard, you can:

  • Manage multiple websites from one dashboard
  • Duplicate and move campaigns between your websites
  • Search through your campaigns, and drag & drop to reorder your website list
  • Archive campaigns for later to keep your dashboard clutter-free
  • Trash campaigns and recover them within 90 days if you made a mistake

That last one is important. With Thrive Leads, if you accidentally delete a campaign and its data, it’ll be permanently deleted. But not so with OptinMonster.

And with OptinMonster sub-accounts, you can give access to your co-workers, clients, and others you work with.

As the account administrator, you can set user roles to decide who else can view, create, or publish campaigns. This is a great feature for agencies, who can give each client access to their own campaigns while preserving the privacy of other clients.

There are 4 different roles:

  • Viewer: Can view, but not make changes to, campaigns for a specific website or websites
  • Author: Can create, but not publish, campaigns for a specific website or websites
  • Manager: Can create and publish campaigns only for the assigned website or websites
  • Admin: Has full access and permissions for everything

OptinMonster Invite a User

Plus, there’s also an Activity Log so you can monitor every action taken on your account by each user.

Finally, let’s look at one last section for our ThriveLeads vs. OptinMonster comparison before seeing which software is more suited for your needs.

Documentation and Support Comparison

With any software, it’s important to have access to fast and helpful support if you have a question or need help.

Let’s take a look at how OptinMonster vs. Thrive Leads documentation and support measure up.

Thrive Leads Documentation and Support

The Thrive Leads plugin is by Thrive Themes. Thrive Themes has documentation on their site to help you get started with their themes and plugins.

thrive knowledgebase

Unfortunately, many of their tutorials are available in video form only. If you need written documentation for accessibility reasons or because you prefer to read instead of watching a whole video, you won’t always be able to find the help you need.

As you can see in the screenshot above, if you need further help, you’ll have to post in the support forum. You can post your issue or question as a new thread, and get a response from a Thrive Themes team member.

Keep in mind that your thread will be visible to all other Thrive Themes members, so you’ll need to be careful not to post private information in the forums. Also, be careful with your screenshots as you may accidentally include pictures with your WordPress site’s administrative details.

thrive leads support forum

OptinMonster Documentation and Support

OptinMonster documentation features 200+ articles that walk you through everything from creating your first campaign, to integrating with dozens of email services providers, to advanced lead generation techniques like setting up MonsterChains to display campaigns based on your visitors’ response to other campaigns.

OptinMonser Documentation

OptinMonster has video documentation, with the same information offered in the detailed text below.

OptinMonste Adblock detected documentation

If your question isn’t answered in the documentation, you can open a private support ticket, email a support team member one-on-one, or live chat with us during standard business hours!

OptinMonster support

Bottom Line: OptinMonster vs. Thrive Leads

So, which WordPress popup plugin is the best choice for you?

If you:

  • Have any kind of website (WordPress, Shopify, or any other platform)
  • Are serious about building a targeted email list fast
  • Need a user-friendly and intuitive campaign editor
  • Want to maximize your conversion rate and revenue

Then OptinMonster is the tool you need.

OptinMonster’s more powerful features like Campaign Scheduling, Onsite Retargeting, enterprise-level integrations, account management features, and more are incredibly effective for building your email list, generating leads, and increasing revenue.

Plus, our prices are super competitive, especially considering how much more functionality you can get with OptinMonster.

You can buy Thrive Leads in 2 ways: buy Thrive Suite, which comes bundled with all of their tools. or buy the standalone plugin.

For Thrive Suite, if you pay quarterly, it’s $99/quarter. If you pay annually, it’s $299/year.

If you want to buy the standalone plugin, you’ll have to pay $97 per year (1 site license).

Here’s OptinMonster’s pricing:

  • $9/month for Basic
  • $19/month for Plus
  • $29/month for Pro
  • $49/month for Growth

OptinMonster Pricing min

Note: The prices in the image above are from a promotion we’re currently running. The standard price is behind the red line. Click the link below to check out if the offer still applies!

Click here to get started with OptinMonster today!


OptinMonster Thrive Leads
View All Features
Website Integrations Use on any website WordPress only
WordPress Plugin
Shopify App
Campaign Targeting & Triggers
Scroll Trigger
On Click Trigger
Campaign Scheduling
Onsite Retargeting®
New vs. Returning Visitor
Referral Detection
URL Parameter
URL Anchor Tag
Adblock Detection
Cookie Retargeting
Success Scripts Retargeting
Mobile Lead Generation
Sound Effects
Marketing Integrations
Account Management
Campaign Building Dashboard Multi-Site Separate Sites - No Overview
Move Campaigns Between Sites
Duplicate Campaigns Between Sites
Archive Campaigns
Recover Deleted Campaigns

Outstanding OptinMonster Features

OptinMonster has everything you need to grow your email list. Here are the features that makes OptinMonster the most powerful customer acquisition & lead generation platform.
Create Beautiful Forms with OptinMonster Builder
Design and Customization
Design Beautiful Forms That are Proven to Convert
Start with our high-performing templates and make them yours. Our design builder gives you full control of the messaging and branding.
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Multiple Form Types
  • 400+ Pre-Made Templates
Targeting and Personalization
Show Personalized Messages at the Right Time with Behavior Automation
OptinMonster's powerful targeting and segmentation engine lets you show personalized messages based on user's behavior to maximize engagement, conversions, and sales.
  • Advanced Page Level Targeting
  • Custom Display Rules
  • Dynamic Text Replacement
OptinMonster A/B Testing Feature
Conversion Analytics
Easily A/B Test Your Ideas and Make Data-Driven Decisions
OptinMonster’s A/B testing feature helps you eliminate the guess work by letting you try different headlines, content, layouts, and styles to see what converts best.
  • Multivariate Testing
  • Built-in Conversion Analytics
  • Get the Stats that Matter

OptinMonster by the Numbers

Visitor Sessions Optimized
21.4 Billion
Optins Served
1+ Million
Sites Using OptinMonster
217 Million