Use a Content Lock to Get More Email Subscribers

Shane Melaugh   258

Updated on February 15, 2021

The recently released API Connections feature in Thrive Leads opens up some new possibilities for you to grow your mailing list... and the content locking short code is one of them!

Check out the video to see how the new feature works.


Content Locking Example

Below, you'll find an example of a portion of the content being locked, using this new feature:

This is an example of locked content on the page. Only once you opt-in is this content revealed. However, if you reload the page or visit at a later time, you won't have to opt-in again - the content will remain unlocked for you.

Hide Multi-Media

The content lock works for all kinds of content, even with the "blur" preview mode used here. You can hide text, images, video and whatever else you want, using this feature.

The blur mode has the advantage of giving your visitors an idea of what they are missing out of. The blurred effect brings the content closer, but still keeps it out of reach. This can be an extra incentive for readers to opt in.

As you can see in the video, the content lock is easy to set up and it adds a powerful new tool for lead generation to your arsenal. While this is something that would typically be sold as a separate plugin or as a paid add-on, the content locking feature is a completely free upgrade for all Thrive Leads users and Thrive Suite customers.

It's available for you to use immediately and all you need to do is update Thrive Leads to the latest version.

API Connection Necessary

This content locking feature only works when you connect to an autoresponder via the API feature. For technical reasons, it's not possible to do the content locking with the HTML form integration.

That means that at the time of this writing, the feature works with Aweber, GetResponse, iContact, MailChimp, MailPoet, ActiveCampaign, Ontraport, Infusionsoft, GoToWebinar and the WordPress user registration.

In our previous post, we've already received a few requests for integrations with other services. If your favorite marketing system isn't supported yet, please let us know by leaving a comment below! New integrations are considered depending on demand, so the more people ask for a specific integration, the more likely it will be added in a future update to the plugin.

Update: We've since added more API connections to the plugin.  Here is the full list of API connections that we support:-

ActiveCampaign Amazon SES AWeber Campaign Monitor Constant Contact ConvertKit Drip Dropbox Everwebinar Facebook FluentCRM GetResponse Google Google Drive GoToWebinar HubSpot iContact Keap (Infusionsoft) KlickTipp MadMimi Mailchimp MailerLite MailGun MailPoet MailRelay Mandrill Ontraport Postmark reCaptcha SendFox SendGrid SendinBlue SendLane SendOwl Sendy SG Autorépondeur Slack SparkPost Twitter WebinarJam Studio WordPress Users Zapier Zoho Campaigns

by Shane Melaugh  May 21, 2015


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Leave a Comment

  • Nice!

    I take it that the visitor gets cookied as soon as they opt in so they don’t have to opt in again on their next visit.

    If it is a cookie based system… I’m not sure if my next request/suggestion is even possible… but it would be great to build something where the form is smart enough to know if the person is already on your list, so that these people don’t have to re opt-in every time we use this content lock feature on other posts. Is the API integration and/or the cookie smart enough to accomplish this?

    • I’d love for this feature to have the ability work out if someone’s already on a list and then instead of displaying an email form (as they’re already on the list) display a social lock instead (to gain more traffic)

      That would be next level stuff, and I don’t know if it’s possible at all, but just a thought 🙂

      • You want to force someone who already IS on your email list, to engage a second time on a social channel? Sorry, I think that is annoying!

      • When it comes to content upgrades what I suggested was actually smart (and is similar to what Shane did recently – as he already has Thrive users email addresses)

      • Some readers will think that it’s annoying, yes. In fact, they will think any kind of lock or any kind of barrier (such as an opt-in) is annoying. From my testing, a share lock will annoy about 2% of visitors and it will increase social shares by about 40x. Decent trade-off, I think. 🙂

      • We are working on a feature set that will make this possible. In fact, that was the plan all along. You’ll see this taking shape with some of our upcoming releases.

    • As long as you use the same shortcode for all the posts, these people don’t have to re-optin. But if a visitor deletes the cookies in his browser, he has to re-optin.

  • Hi, Shane
    This is a great feature. I was scratching my head about it, well looking around, and Boom you did it. The yearly membership is very valuable. I have a question; may be I miss it, but how can I offer similar option with the share option(unlocking by clicking Tweeter or FB), like you do in few of your articles? I very like it.

    • Hello Frederic,

      Thanks for your comment! For unlocking via social sharing, please sit tight. We’re working on something new that will be added to the Thrive Themes brand in the near future. 🙂

      • Hi Shane,
        a Thrive Leads user here.
        Have you implemented a social locker (with the ability to share the post over fb, twitter, g+ and so on) so far?
        Thank you so much

      • Hi Shane,
        a Thrive Leads user here.
        Have you implemented a social locker (with the ability to share the post over fb, twitter, g+ and so on) so far?
        Thank you so much

  • Hey Shane,

    Will it be possible to have the two step optins work with class names soon too?

    Right now we’re limited to class names on lightboxes but what if we have more than one pop up (like lead boxes) on one page

    • Hi Dean,

      I’m not sure I understand this request. It’s already possible to add more than one lightbox to a page, but I’m not sure how it relates to class names.

  • I like this content locker. It would be great if it were integrated with Happy Grasshopper – a favorite system of thousands of real estate agents in the USA.

    To the other guy below, there are other FB, Twitter, etc…content locker plugins available out there.

    I just discovered ThriveThemes and routinely look at hundreds of sites and them designs. I’m very impressed at the integration of the websites, lead pages, and leads system. Nice job.

  • Amazing, the value of the membership keeps getting better with each enhancement – thank you!

    Would love to see integration with SendReach and arpReach which both have API integration capabilities.

  • Great Shane – just great

    I’ve been waiting for this for my podcast transcripts 🙂

    In case I missed it – is the hidden content still indexable by the search engines?

    BTW – if you guys introduced a simple gated system to charge for content in a straightforward members’ area – we wouldn’t ever need to go anywhere else 🙂



    PS – Have a look at the superb new homepage I’ve built with Thrive.

    • Hi Loz,

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, the locked content is still indexable.

      As for the membership system: we might do that in the future, but it’s probably not going to be simple…

  • Great Job Shane!
    That’s the benefit of being a member of thrive themes, you just keep adding value without nickel and diming us although all the enhancement are worth any thing you would charge. But I appreciate you don’t.

    Adding a smart social media share option to this would be great.



  • That would be great to set a cookie when the visitor opt-in so he no longer has to opt-in over and over again. I asked a very similar feature in the forum – still waiting for an answer BTW.

    I’m using a french autoresponder called and I’d love to see integration with that system too.

    • Hello Olivier,

      We’re working on a more involved “already subscribed” feature set. There’s no ETA yet, but you’ll see this feature growing in future releases of Thrive Leads.

  • This is a very powerful audition Guys and the design wise it really unique with the transparency feature and one feature I will soon be using for sure, thanks

  • It would be great if in order to unlock the content people would have to share it on Facebook and the post on Facebook would then send people to a landing page where they would opt in. That could grow our list even faster.

  • Overall I like this. But there is nothing to prevent someone to enter a bogus email address. I have been looking for a solution where I offer bonus content on a per blog basis and this comes close.

    Keep up the great work

    • Hello Cesar,

      Yes, that’s correct. This is a trade-off that there isn’t really any way around. Either you make people confirm their address, meaning you need to send them away from the page they’re looking at, or you keep them on the page but risk getting bogus emails…

  • Hi Shane,
    Your stuff is amazing.
    I noticed there are some places where you are asking people to unlock some articles by sharing your page in FB.
    Is this feature a thrives content unlocking thing or?
    How can I get that too?
    Thanks for what you bring for the world.

    • Hello Ioan,

      The unlocking via social sharing is something that will be coming soon to Thrive as well. 🙂

    • I’ve noted this request for the integration. If we get enough requests for it, we’ll check it out.

  • Keep it up–Loving the recent upgrades/updates
    Image size/mail API/ content lock–
    3 very nice and usable features all in a row.

  • Will this be available on Content Builder?
    Adding Facebook, Google+ and Twitter would be super cool.

    • Hi Keith,

      No, this is only available in Thrive Leads. Social locks will be added later, in a separate plugin.

  • Hi Shane

    I was a bit surprised to see that you only answered one query in the comments when you usually answer all queries. Is there a reason for this?

    Some of us, like me, are a bit dense and don’t always realise all the things we could do with the applications you keep giving us and consequently only use 50% instead of 100.

    I personally take notes on your answers to queries and they help me a lot.

    Many thanks

    • Hi Joe,

      I’ve been travelling a lot lately and hadn’t gotten around to answering the comments yet. 🙂

  • Hey Shane, Really like what you do here at Thrive Themes.
    Excellent work…
    I would be interested in integrating with Vero in the future.

    • Hi Mike,

      Yes, you can definitely use it for that. You simply put your download link in between the two parts of the content locking short code and you’re good to go. 🙂

  • Wow! All you need to add now is a Facebook Connect / Google+ opt-in feature and then Thrive Leads will have absolutely everything you could want in a lead generation tool.

    • Hi Kirk,

      Thanks for your comment! Because of our previous experience with Facebook connect for opt-ins, we decided not to pursue that in Thrive Leads. We’d found it to be quite ineffective.

  • Im no customer yet but i’v been following your updates and products and gotta say that this is the best plugin so far on the market.
    The Content Builder and Thrive Leads tops any other !
    Keep the good work !

  • +1 Vote for API integration with “Campaign Monitor”.

    I feel that this is a fabulous revamp/inclusion of the features I miss from the older social share lock plugin from Shane.

  • That sound quite awesome and I want to say thank you for your great work!

    Maybe it is possible to get the arpReach integration. ArpReach has an API as well and maybe you can make integration with this self hosted autoresponder software as well.

    If you need further information feel free to contact me.

    Kindest regards

    • Hello Chris,

      If they have an API, I’m sure creating the integration won’t be much of an issue. We’re currently just waiting to see which services we get the most requests for, before developing anything new. It wouldn’t make much sense to invest a lot of time into API integrations that very few people will ever use, after all. 🙂

  • Hi Shane Melaugh,

    Thrivethemes is Surely a winner and i am in love with all the features.

    I love the Fact that Your software is a one off purchase and NOT like LeadPages and others that tie you to very expensive monthly subscriptions.

    Many online marketers are increasingly opting for self hosted solutions where one has full control and flexibility.

    In the same vein that thrivethemes settled for a “buy and go” option You Guys should as a matter of Urgency Introduce an API or a Plugin to Integrate with Self Hosted Word Press Autoresponder Email System like IMSC Rapid Mailer.

    I already have Rapid Mailer and am looking for a Word Press supported Squeeze Page and Landing Pages Solution and I think after doing ALL my reviews with LeadPages, InstaPage, OptimizePress etc I have FULLY settled for Thrivethemes.

    The Only problem is I dont see ThriveThemes Supporting RAPIDMAILER.

    Can You Kindly Create a way to Integrate with Rapid Mailer and You have a Ready Customer with Credit Card at hand to Purchase your Software for Multiple WP Sites (Multiple Licence)

    I have MANY other People I can recommend Thrivethemes if you can Inegrate with IMSCRapidMailer

    Kind Regards

    Lloyd Kim

    • Hello Lloyd,

      Thank you for your comment!

      If there are enough requests for a new integration, we will take it on. We’re recording all the integration requests we receive, so we can make sure we take on the ones that will be useful to the largest number of users.

  • Shane,

    neat feature. Congrats.

    Is the locked content indexable by Google?

    +1 to the smart recognition if the user is already in your email list, so he doesn’t have to unlock anything, by the way.

    • Hello David,

      The locked content is indexable, yes. However, I’d always assume that Google will ignore any content that is locked.

    • Thank you for the suggestion, Franck. If there’s enough request for it, we will consider this integration.

    • Hello Bruce,

      I would always assume that search engines are blind to any locked content. So, if you lock an entire post, I would not expect that post to get indexed like a “real” blog post.

      In my opinion, locking away large swaths of content is not the optimal way to use content locking anyway. It’s much better to lock away a small piece of bonus content such as a download link for a PDF, a bonus video or maybe a bonus tip in a post that already contains 10 tips freely.

    • Hi Chris,

      For Thrive Leads and our other lead generation options, you can use an HTML integration which makes it compatible with almost every autoresponder system out there. Unfortunately, this integration doesn’t work with content locking, where the visitor needs to be kept on the same page after submitting the form. That only works via an API.

  • Nice feature! Gives people quick access with just their email address. Hmm, get a lot of fake emails this way or is their way to validate email address?

    • Looking at Shane’s earlier comments, it sound like there is not currently email validation with this feature. I know that some other services (like OptinLinks) have email validation, but I have no idea how good that validation is.

      • We do have in-line validation in the form, so you can’t just enter gibberish. But with the content lock, there’s nothing to prevent someone from entering a fake email address. It’s like a single-optin form.

    • That’s a trade-off with the content lock feature, yes. It works well because it’s instant, but there’s no email confirmation, so there’s no protection against fake addresses.