New Thrive Leads Feature: Meet the Scroll Mat

Shane Melaugh   119

Updated on January 7, 2020

With the Scroll Mat, we're introducing a new opt-in form type in our Thrive Leads plugin. Watch the video to see what Scroll Mats look like and how they can help you get more subscribers for your mailing list.



In the video, the scrolling motion looks a bit choppy. This is due to an issue we had with the screen recording. On your site, the Scroll Mat will be smooth as butter. πŸ™‚

Scroll Mat Options

The Scroll Mat opt-in type is available immediately, in the latest version of Thrive Leads. If you are an existing customer, you can update the plugin directly from your dashboard.

Scroll Mats are available only in Lead Groups and that's due to the nature of this form type. As mentioned in the video, this opt-in form always triggers on page load, is always screen filling and always scrolls down from the very top of the page.

Because of this, it doesn't make sense to trigger a Scroll Mat on click, which is why it isn't available as a ThriveBox.

You can, however, get a very similar effect by using a screen filler opt-in form as a ThriveBox. That way, you can a screen filling opt-in form that you can trigger as a 2-step lightbox.​

Shane's Take: Why This Form Type is So Popular

We didn't invent the Scroll Mat and if you follow a few marketing related blogs, you've probably seen a form like this in action.

In fact, I believe this is the "hottest trend" (or fad?) in list-building right now.

What exactly happened, that made this particular opt-in form catch on? While I don't know an answer for sure, here's my theory:

It all comes down to trigger times and the bandwagon effect.

​Before the Scroll Mat, the fad was triggering opt-in forms on exit intent. When we busted the exit intent myth, we showed that using exit intent is actually a bad idea, more often than not.

So why was everyone using it?

The idea behind exit intent makes sense. Plus, people are generally worried about annoying their visitors with opt-in lightboxes. And then, if a few well known bloggers start using exit intent and write about it, the crowd follows suit. Without questioning it or A/B testing it first.

Then, the Scroll Mat style opt-in form comes along. Some people try it out because it's a shiny new thing and, lo and behold, their conversion rates increase!

What magical properties does the Scroll Mat have, that make it perform so well? Never mind! Let's tell everyone about it and create a new bandwagon for people to jump on...

Looking over test data we've gathered by A/B testing with Thrive Leads, it seems to me that the most likely explanation is this: the Scroll Mat converts well because it fills the screen and because it triggers on page load.

Before (exit intent bandwagon) everyone was worried about annoying visitors with opt-in forms. Now, (Scroll Mat bandwagon) no one seems to care about that anymore, even though the Scroll Mat is no less annoying than an instantly triggered lightbox.​

Now, I don't mean to say that using a Scroll Mat is a bad thing. I don't even mean to say that using an exit intent trigger is always a bad thing.

To me, the important conclusion is this: test, to see what works best on your site!​

Using a Scroll Mat because some other blogger uses it is not a good idea. Using a Scroll Mat because in your own testing, you can see that it outperforms other opt-in type is a great idea.​

The A/B Challenge

After the little rant above, I want to challenge you to prove me wrong (or right) by running your own tests with this new form type!

Test the Scroll Mat against your current opt-in form. Test it against instantly loading lightboxes and screen fillers. Test it against whatever else you can think of.

And then share your results with us!​

And as always, if you have any questions or feedback, just leave a comment below!


by Shane Melaugh  October 30, 2015


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  • This is great, Shane. Been wanting to implement this type of opt-in for a while now a la SumoMe. Beautiful execution as always. Thanks for continually bringing it!

    • Thank you, Chik! Btw. we’ll have a bunch of new templates and a new Scroll Mat style coming out in the near future as well. πŸ™‚

    • You can determine what happens when someone sees your Scroll Mat offer and rejects it. You can choose to keep showing it on every visit or you can choose to hide it for a custom period of time. So, anything between constantly showing the Scroll Mat and practically never showing after the first time is possible. Plus, once someone opts in, they won’t be shown the Scroll Mat again.

      • Shane.. I left a message for support similar to this question but didn’t get the answer I was looking for and thought they could be wrong.

        Lets say you have opt in #1 and it’s a pop up or scroll matt – if they have already opted in to this before, they will NOT see this again correct?

        I work with bars and restaurants and our first offer is 50% off your bill good up to $20 off…. So that’s our first lead magnet.. once someone gets this, we don’t ever want them to see this again.

        What is the best way to accomplish this?

      • By default, the opt-in form won’t be shown again to people who have already signed up through it.

        However, since people use multiple devices to access websites, the best way to ensure the right people see the right offers is to use the SmartLinks feature.

  • I really love your work. You make me feel like the other services I use are bad. You really work to make a product better and do it fast too.
    Really thanks, Im sure all the your clients (users) are very happy with this updates (almost a new one every week)

  • Hi, cool feature! Two questions if I can. Is thrive leads included with every Thrive theme? Or is it a separate plugin, subscription,…?

    And my second question: can you also program the scroll mat in this way that it will only show once to every site visitor? Otherwise I can imagine it can start to annoy someone, at least, it would annoy me πŸ™‚ thanks a lot.

    • Thrive Leads is a separate plugin. It’s also available as part of the Thrive Membership, which includes all of our themes and plugins.

      You can set the Scroll Mat to only show once per a custom period of time. For example, you can set it to not show to the same visitor again for 10 days or 30 days or however long you want.

      • Thanks Shane fir yiur answer, I appreciate! Looks cool. I am looking foe a new wordpress theme for my bkog since I am doing a complete makeover of my website, and the Minus theme might be the winner so far, it looks great. And I have been following your work on the sideline for a couple of years now, and it is great to see your growth and evolution, your professionalism has evolved considerably in such a short period of time, in my perspective. I might contact your customer support within a couple of weeks for some pre sale questions. Have a great weekend, Steven

      • Hi Shane,
        how can I set that? I would love to only show the scroll mat once per session to a visitor. Currently I am using Thrive Leads (not the theme)

      • Hello Denis,

        When you add a Scroll Mat to a lead group and you create your first form, there’s an option called “Display Frequency”. Click on that to determine how often the Scroll Mat should be shown. You can learn more about it here.

  • Good job Shane. Just wondering if there is a way of keeping the scroll map on top once the user clicks the down arrow?

    For example, look here at Groove HQ – What’s interesting is that once you click the down button, not only does the scroll mat remain above the blog, the blog tabs change too.

    • No, this behavior is not supported for the Scroll Mat. The most straight-forward way to replicate what you see on that blog is to just have a large opt-in form at the top, in your regular content or layout. The only difference is that you can’t “lock” the viewport to the top like they do.

  • I have seen it on some other sites. Glad it is an option in Thrive Leads now, too. πŸ™‚ I think maybe the reason it is becoming popular is because it IS somehow less annoying than a pop-up, at least to me. Not sure why, but being able to just scroll past it seems less intrusive than having to close a pop up box. Looking forward to giving it a try. Thanks!

    • Thanks for your comment, Valerie.

      You make an interesting point. Personally, I find the scroll mat more annoying than a lightbox, since a lightbox closes instantly on click. So you can get rid of it faster than one of these. But at the end of the day, the one thing that matters about all these different opt-in form types is whether or not they help you build your list. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Robert! Yep, this gives you an interesting option for having “temporary” above the fold content that’s 100% conversion focused.

  • I respect the transparency as part of this announcement, Shane. The Internet marketing world is full of shameless self-promoters and sellers — evident in the number of people who see “247% increases in leads”…every 3 months apparently…by using lead-generating Product X.

    Huge fan of Thrive’s products, but equally so your approach to teaching and selling your products. Keep it up.

    • That’s just how we roll, Brandon…

      I guess the typical marketing way to announce something like this would be to A) pretend like we invented it and B) pretend like it’s going to increase everyone’s conversions by magic.

      Luckily for us, our audience is too clever for that kind of message to even work with them, so we don’t have to bother. πŸ™‚

  • Another great feature! Love how you and the Team crank out new features for the Thrive platform on a near-daily basis.

    Keep up the great work!

  • A bit off-topic, but this may be the best-lit web video I’ve ever seen. In addition to making you look great, the lighting conveys a sense of quality and impeccability.

    • Thank you very much, Tom! Forwarded this comment to Miquel, my video guy, right away. I can’t take any of the credit for the video quality.

  • Finally coming into my slower season – wow can you believe I’m happy about less business for a month or so? Well… it’ll give me a chance to implement more thrive lead forms and multi-stage pages etc etc and use some of the great new features that you’re always coming out with that I’m too busy to have time to implement on my site even though it is so easy! Sheesh.

    In all seriousness – really happy I’ll have some time for a few weeks now to build up my site more with your stuff. I did one major transaction (about $8K revenue) this year as a direct result of implementing thrive leads on my site so I’m pumped to implement more. Thanks Shane & company.

    • Thank you for your comment, Bruce! I’m really thrilled to hear that Thrive products have had such a direct impact on your business. That’s what we strive for!

  • This looks like an awesome feature. I really like the way you presented it also, without a lot of hype and a clear explanation of how it works. Thanks Shane.

  • I can’t wait to test it. I was thinking, perhaps at some stage Opt In Forms will be delivered based on the personal preferences of the visitor, heck the entire page (site) experience could be tailored for each visitor

    • That’s what we’re already developing towards, with the targeting options and SmartLinks in Thrive Leads.

  • Does this require the use of an actual Thrive Theme (as opposed to “technology from a company called Thrive Themes”? :)). I have a web site that uses Thrive Themes (the component) for lightboxes, opt-in boxes, etc but doesn’t actually use one of the Thrive Themes (Pressive, etc). When I tried this the “entry” of the scroll mat was very jerky and on pressing the arrow at the bottom the background image was left in place, with my page over the top of it (not a great look). I am guessing that this is because it has to use a Thrive Themes, er, Theme but would appreciate confirmation (actually, scratch that – I’d appreciate MUCH more a statement that I have hit a snag to be investigated and that it should work with my own theme).

    • Hello Mark,

      The Scroll Mat doesn’t require a Thrive Theme to work, but we also don’t have control over what other developers put in their themes.

      Basically, as long as a theme adheres to the WordPress development guidelines, this should work without problems. But it’s absolutely possible that a non-Thrive theme has some feature or some code that makes it incompatible with the Scroll Mat.

      If you want our guys to take a look at it, please post this in the support forum. I can’t guarantee that we can help you out, though.

  • This looks like a great feature Shane, can’t wait to try it on my site.

    Question, when are you going to implement ribbon templates available as shortcodes? More and more clients are requesting horizontal forms in their content and I’m seeing them often on other sites. Thanks again.

  • Just wanted to pipe in with my compliments on this new feature too. But I mostly wanted to tell you that I particularly appreciate the way you and Thrive Themes do business. You set an example that I wish everyone could/would follow of over-delivery of your services and products. I don’t know of another supplier that consistently gives me more than what I expect. Almost on a daily basis, you restock my arsenal of business weapons with the latest technologies. Your company’s service philosophy serves as a role model for all of us as we build our own companies.

    Yesterday, your support team took care of a problem I was having (a problem not caused by TT but rather my host’s limitations), and got me up and running quickly. I always know that I can count on Thrive Themes. Thanks!

    • Thank you very much for this comment, Tip! I’m happy to see that we’re being useful for you and your business. πŸ™‚

  • There is only one component missing from the scroll mat and the lightboxes – the ability to show the mat only to people who are not yet on your member list!! For example, I don’t want to put an offer to become a member if they are already logged in as a member. My wish list item from you Shane is to somehow incorporate the ability to use short code from our membership plugin so that we can customize the scroll mat (or lightboxes as well). Still a fabulous product and I recommend it daily to people!!

    • Yes, this is already possible. πŸ™‚

      Like Paul said, you can exclude logged in users using the targeting options and you can also use the SmartLinks feature to make sure you aren’t showing your opt-in forms to people who have already opted in.

      On top of that, even if you use none of those features, the default behavior in Thrive Leads is that the forms won’t be shown to anyone once they’ve subscribed through one of the forms.

      In other words: we got your back. πŸ™‚

  • What a pleasant surprise! Thank you for making this. This is really an added bonus because now I can cancel another service that does the same thing and save $$!

  • Shane, Thrive ‘Everything’ just ROCKS! I’m like a kid everyday checking my WP plugin updates needed and when I see one is from Thrive Leads / Content Builder, etc… I’m like a kid on X-mas morning for Thrive – like Santa – just delivers! lol Again, thanks for the non-stop awesome features you guys keep delivering!

  • Hi Shane, great – that`s a feature we’ve been waiting for. Will give it a try on our websites in the next days.
    You guys are are really creating awesome stuff . Keep on going like this .
    Cheers Matthias

  • Thanks Shane and really appreciate all the hard work you and team are putting in: I’ll be testing this for sure! I have a quick question: when will we be able to use Thrive Leads / TCB features on simple contact forms? Many of my customers not only want optins, but they also want to get highly-qualified leads from contact forms. This is especially the case in B2B markets (which is a huge market). For one of my clients, I get more contact forms completed than I do for an email list simply because the end-customer has qualified himself on the site and wants an answer to a specific questions. But being able to test different contact forms is just as important as testing optin forms. Many thanks again!

    • Hello Andy,

      A contact form builder is on our roadmap, but don’t hold your breath for it just yet. At this point, I can’t even say when we’ll start working on it. All I can say is that it’s one of the tools we want to provide at some point in the future.

  • This looks good. Very similar to SumoMe’s Welcome Mat. Question is, how is this different / better / more efficient? I don’t have Thrive Leads yet, but from what I am seeing and how active you are with your people, this might be the way to go.

    • Hi Seshu,

      I’d say the main advantage is that this is far more flexible. With our builder, you can create any design you can think of. Plus, we’ve got a few new templates and a new style of Scroll Mat coming out in a few weeks. Those will be specific examples of thing you can do with our plugin that you can’t do with SumoMe.

    • I have an inbox that is permanently overflowing with emails I will never get around to answering. Trust me: contacting me through our official channels (e.g. the contact link at the bottom of each page) is far more efficient, even though those messages don’t come directly to me.

  • Hi Shane,
    There seems to be a problem with the scroll mat.When you close the scroll mat the css of the Mat messes up with the site’s CSS such as site background,header background etc

  • Any options for animations planned. One of the reasons, I believe, that a scroll/welcome mat isn’t percieved as so annoying (at least for now) is that when you first go to your page you see the content, then it’s scrolled down as the welcome mat appears. So you kind of just think “OK, the content’s not disappear, I;m not being blocked from accessing it, its just down below”.

    Right now I can only see how to get a scroll mat to instantly appear, then to scroll down on click. Would be nice if it scrolled in like the Sumo Welcome Mat.

    • There are no animation choices with the Scroll Mat. The only way it appears is as you describe: it scrolls in from the top of the screen, pushing the content down.

  • I get so tired of the opt in boxes appearing before I even have a chance to see if I like your content and want to join your list. It would make a lot more sense to have an opt in after I have read some of your content first.

    • And that’s why with Thrive Leads, you have complete control over where and how your opt in forms appear. If you don’t like the Scroll Mat, there are dozens of other ways to display opt-in forms. You can display them after a certain time, display them once the reader reaches the bottom of the post, display them as slide-ins so they don’t cover the content area, display them on exit intent, in widget areas, etc. etc.

  • Awesome work guys. Time to dish out more plugins from my website! You guys had pack in more useful features that marketers really need. Can’t wait to see what’s coming up for the next update!

    • Thanks for your comment, Sunny! Glad to know that our products are helping you keep your site lean. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks again for over delivering Shane. Thrive keeps getting better and better and it’s all thanks to you. This Thanksgiving, you’re on my list of what I’m grateful for πŸ˜‰

    Stats for one of our implementations:
    Scroll Mats converting at 1.3%
    Opt-In popups converting at 2.5%
    Exit Pops converting at .5%
    60% scroll down the page is converting at 3.4%


    • Thanks for your comment, Ted! Those are interesting numbers and I 100% agree that it’s all about testing. There’s no way to predict results like these.

    • Yes, you can make this (or any other one of our forms) show only to logged out users. It’s one of the targeting options in the the tab labeled “other”.

  • Hey Shane, I’m thinking about becoming a paid member. I’ve already bought the Content Builder.

    I wanted to know is it possible to do A/B split test with the Scroll Mat to see which version performs better?

    Thank you! πŸ™‚

    • Hello Dayne,

      Yes, you can A/B test all the form types in Thrive Leads. You can even test different form types against each other. πŸ™‚

  • Hi Shane / Team

    Can I use different scroll mats on different posts/pages?

    i.e I’d like to have a specific scroll mat on most posts that relates to a content upgrade on that post only.



    • Hello Ian,

      Yes, you can absolutely do that. In fact, you’ll find the targeting options in Thrive Leads to be very extensive. You can determine with pinpoint accuracy exactly where your Scroll Mats and other forms should appear.

  • Hi Shane,
    How do you disable the scrolling? just as that only the “no thanks” option if available to get pass the scroll box.

    • Hello Amir,

      That isn’t an option for a Scroll Mat. To get this effect, you can use a screen filler opt-in form type instead.

  • Thanks, Shane! You’re always awesome!

    Is it possible to target it so if someone opts-in to your email list, they won’t see the scroll mat again?

  • Hi,

    I have been trying to add thrive lead email subscription widget, i did everything correct, but the subscription box not appearing. any solution ?

    Thanks in advance

  • Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been looking for something like this without the bells and whistles of the other software that has all kinds of stuff I don’t need.

  • I’ve set my homepage scroll mat to show once every 7 days and hid it from already subscribed visitors, but the mat still loads every time I refresh the page on both desktop and mobile. What’s going on?

    • Hello Patrick,

      This is some kind of technical issue that we have to examine directly on your site. Please open a ticket in our support forum to get help with this. Thanks.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}