How to Get Engaged Visitors to Take an Extra Step

Stephanie K   109

As website owners our whole objective is to get visitors to engage with our websites. But one of the biggest engagements possible on our sites is almost always overlooked...

When a visitor leaves a comment on your website, they're raising their hand as an invested member of your audience. When you think about the effort involved in a leaving a comment, it's a little heartbreaking that all you can do with such an engaged visitor is send them a 'your comment is awaiting moderation' message.

So how do you zone in on those invested members of your audience, using their hand raise as a chance to move them along the path to a conversion?


With Thrive Comments Post-Comment Actions, you can completely customize what happens after a visitor leaves a comment, opening up a world of opportunities to take advantage of engaged visitors.

Below are just some suggestions of what you could do based on the goals of your site.

12 Ways to Use Comments For Your Business

1. Give a Coupon Code


Make More Sales

Suitable For:

First Time & Repeat Commenters

Action Used:

Custom Message

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments

How To Give a Coupon Code in a Thank You Message

Starts at 02:54 

To set up a simple coupon code, you just need to add a message and the code into the 'Custom Message' Post-Comment Action.

Personalized message in Thrive Comments

To further personalize your message, your can add the commenter's name to your message by using the {commenter_name} placeholder.

We've left it simple by using a single text based coupon code. If you want to protect your discount from abuse or reuse, you can set the code to one use per account, or use a coupon code generator. It depends on the cart system you're using. If the coupon code generator has an embed code, you can use it in the thank you message.

2. Redirect to a Welcome Page of Goodies

commenters redirected to a welcome page


True Fans or List Building

Suitable For:

First Time Commenters

Action Used:

Redirect URL

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments

Blow your first time commenters away by redirecting them to a page filled with goodies. If your goal is to build a connection with your audience, you can just give out a bunch of free resources. If you're after email addresses, you can offer the goodies in exchange for their details.

Either way, this is a perfect opportunity to get your audience on board with your brand. Make sure to include a mini 'About Us' section, and any getting started content. 

How to Send New Commenters to a Welcome Page

Starts at 03:38 

First you need to create you welcome page filled with valuable, fan building content. Once that's live, go back to Thrive Comments and set your Post-Comment Action to 'Redirect URL'.

Make sure your in the first time commenter actions.

redirect URL Thrive Comments

From here, just paste the URL of your welcome page into the Redirect URL field.

3. Ask Your Commenters What They Want

Survey in exchange of WordPress comments


Content Ideas and Audience Insights

Suitable For:

Repeat Commenters

Action Used:

Custom Message

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments, Google Forms

Get invaluable audience insights and content ideas by asking engaged visitors more questions. Right after a visitor has left a comment is an ideal time to keep them talking. They're already in contribution mode.

How to Set up a Survey Within Your Thank You Message

Starts at 04:15 

First, set up a new Google Form within your Google Drive (by clicking New then Google Form), and add the questions you want to include. Click on Send to get access to the Embed HTML for the form. with this code you can add a Google Form anywhere that allows HTML.

Adjust the width setting to 700px, and play with the height settings based on the length of your survey. We found 700px worked best for the survey above. These height and width settings tell Google Forms how big to make the survey.

Copy the final code and paste it into your Thrive Comments custom message window.

You'll notice we recommend this method only for repeat commenters. This is a great secondary goal for your comments, but it's worth taking advantage of one of the more active conversion focused methods for first time commenters. 

Pro Tip: To add all the responses to an easy to skim Google Spreadsheet, go into the responses tab when you're creating your Google Form. Click on the spreadsheet icon to name and save your responses spreadsheet. 

Responses Google Forms

4. Gamify Your Comments

Collect badges in Thrive Comments



Suitable For:

First Time & Repeat Commenters

Action Used:

Custom Message

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments

Gamification involves pulling elements of what makes computer games so addictive and adding them into non-gaming environments to encourage the same addictive involvement.

One element of gamification is unlocking achievements. That's why Thrive Comments has badges that are awarded to your commenters based on criteria that you set. You can award badges based on number of approved comments, approved replies, featured comments or upvotes received.

Badges in Thrive Comment

You can use the badges provided, or upload your own designs.

How to Gamify Your Comments

Starts at 05:41 

The key to spurring engagement with this method is letting your commenters know there are achievements to be unlocked. And what better place to do this than in the post-comment thank you message.

It's important that you let your commenters know what they need to do to unlock the achievements (comment more, get more upvotes etc.). You're essentially letting them know how to play the game.

If you want to get really fancy you can show them what they'll get. If you're using custom badges, you can add them to your Thank You message using a little snippet of HTML.

First you'll need to go into your media library and get the URL of the badge you want to show. Then add the URL to this little line of code:

<img src="image URL" alt="image description">

The 'alt=' section is just alternative text in case the image doesn't load.

Fill in the green sections then paste the code where you want to image to show up in your thank you message. That's it.

5. Show Some Personality


Build Your Brand

Suitable For:

Repeat Commenters

Action Used:

Custom Message

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments

This one's a bit of fun, but if you don't have any other goals to push you might as well inject some personality into your thank you message. This serves to humanize your brand and build a connection with your audience. 

Let's take raving-fan-generating machine Pat Flynn as an example. He's an expert at mixing personality into a brand, leading to an incredibly loyal fan base. Ask any one of his true fans and they'll be able to tell you that he's a huge Star Wars fan, and that his favorite movie is Back to the Future.

How to Add a Brand Building GIF to You Thank You Message

Starts at 07:28 

Giphy is a GIF library, filled with ridiculous, creative, viral and hilarious moving images. They have a handy embed option, which means all you need to do is copy/paste a code and you can have the GIF on your website. 

Giphy Embed Code in Thrive Comments

Make sure you leave response OFF when using with Thrive Comments.

All you need to do search for a GIF, copy the embed code of the one you've chosen, and add that to the 'Custom Message' Post-Comment Action in Thrive Comments. You can add extra text if you like, or just leave it as a simple GIF.

6. Give Commenters More of What They Love

Related Posts for Commenters



Suitable For:

Repeat Commenters

Action Used:

Related Posts

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments

Keep engaged visitors on your site reading more of your content, by showing them a list of other interesting articles right after they comment.

How to Show Your Commenter Related Posts

Starts at 08:20 

This one's pretty simple. Select the 'Related Posts' Post-Comment Action, add a message if you want, and you're set!

Related posts settings

7. Grow Your Other Networks

grow networks with comments


Platform Building

Suitable For:

Repeat Commenters

Action Used:

Custom Message

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments

If you're trying to build your audience on other networks, such as YouTube, you can give your channel a shout out in your post comment message. 

In an effort to make joining as easy as possible for your commenter, we'll show you how to create an auto subscribe button within your thank you message. All the commenter has to do is click and confirm their new subscription.

You can give joining prompts for other networks also, such as an Instagram account or Facebook group. 

We only recommend this for repeat commenters, since first time commenters should be prompted to join a channel you own instead, such as an email list. 

How to Add a One Click Subscribe Button To Your YouTube Channel

Starts at 08:50 

To create an auto subscribe button for your YouTube channel, first go to your channel and copy your channel ID.

Youtube Channel ID

Copy the section of the URL between 'channel/' and '?view', so for example for Thrive Themes, it's the section in green:

Once you've got your Channel ID, go to this Google Developers page and enter your Channel ID, set the layout to full and copy the code.

Getting a YouTube button

Add the code to the 'Custom Message' Post-Comment Action within Thrive Comments, along with a message asking them to subscribe.

8. Send Commenters to Your Money Makers

use affiliate links in Comments


Affiliate Sales

Suitable For:

First Time & Repeat Commenters

Action Used:

Custom Message

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments

If the goal of your site is to make money through affiliate links, why not put these links in front of your most engaged visitors? You can link to a single tool, or redirect them to an entire page full of affiliate back resources. 

While you can use a 'Redirect URL' or 'Opt-In Form' Post-Comment Action for this, we recommend adding a simple link in a 'Custom Message' Action. This is to avoid annoying your commenters each time they leave a comment.

How to Show Your Best Affiliate Offers in Your Thank You Message

Starts at 10:05 

*Update: You no longer have to use code to add a link to your thank you message. Just click the link icon on the bottom right of the thank you message window to insert a link into your text.

Here's the message we used, feel free to copy / paste:

"Thanks for your comment! I’ll be shooting you a reply very soon. Hey, while I’ve got you here, have you seen my tool list yet? It’s a list of everything I built this very site with, complete with tutorials on how you can use the tools for your own site. Check it out: *add link to your tool list here"

9. Use a Thank You Gift to Build Your List

thanks for commenting lightbox


List Building

Suitable For:

First Time Commenters

Action Used:

Opt-In Form

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments, Thrive Leads

Time to get into the game changers!

If you have Thrive Leads, you can open a ThriveBox lightbox after a commenter submits a comment. The cool thing about this is the commenters name and email are pre-filled from their comment details. All they have to do to subscribe is hit the button.

How to Create an Opt-In Offer For First Time Commenters

Starts at 11:29 

First head to Thrive Leads and create a new ThriveBox. In the ThriveBox, offer something special to your first time commenters such as a free PDF guide.

Once your ThriveBox is all set up head back to Thrive Comments and select the 'Opt-In Form' Post-Comment Action.

Opt-In Form Post Comment Action

Select the ThriveBox you just created from the drop down. And done!

10. Get Attendees to Your Webinar

Webinar Invite


List Building or Sales

Suitable For:

First Time & Repeat Commenters

Action Used:

Opt-In Form

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments, Thrive Leads

Another great use of the ThriveBox option is to get more attendees to your webinars. A live webinar will allow you to build your list and gently present offers to an engaged part of your audience, all while providing value. 

If you don't know how too set up a live webinar, take a look at this Thrive University course.

How to Create an Exclusive Webinar Invite for Your Commenters

Starts at 12:38 

Create a new ThriveBox in Thrive Leads and set up you webinar invite ThriveBox. Make sure to include a countdown timer element to increase scarcity. Connect the lead generation element to your webinar software, and to your email service provider (or just your email service provider if you're using the free method above).

Once your webinar invite ThriveBox is complete, go to Thrive Comments, select the 'Opt-In Form' Post-Comment Action and choose the webinar invite ThriveBox from the drop down.

11. Get Some Quick Feedback

Quiz Lightbox


Audience Insights

Suitable For:

First Time Commenters or Repeat Commenters Temporarily

Action Used:

Opt-In Form

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments, Thrive Leads, Thrive Quiz Builder

A quick, fun and easy way to get some valuable audience insights is to ask your commenters to take a quick quiz.

If you're wondering how this is different to the Google Forms survey method above:

  • A Google Form survey is more suitable for open ended questions with a mix of text and multiple choice answers. The information takes longer to interpret because you end up with a spreadsheet full of raw responses.
  • A Thrive Quiz Builder quiz is a quicker, more user friendly way of asking questions because it only involves multiple choice answers and has a more pleasant flow. The responses can be easily interpreted with percentages, and represented visually with graphs (as you'll see below).
Reporting inside Thrive Quiz Builder.

Reporting inside Thrive Quiz Builder.

We've got this as a first time commenter method because you don't want to be pestering repeat commenters with a lightbox for a quiz they've already taken.

But again, audience insights isn't the most important goal of most websites, so for this method I'd recommend using it for repeat commenters temporarily instead. Run the quiz for a week or two, until you have enough responses, then go back to your usual Post-Comment Action.

How to Create a Fun, Insight Fueling Quiz Inside a Lightbox

Starts at 13:14 

First you'll need to create a new quiz within Thrive Quiz Builder. Add any questions you want, and leave the results page simple with a generic 'Thank's for taking the quiz' message. The end results aren't really important with this kind of quiz, you're just after the individual question responses.

Once your quiz is built, head to Thrive Leads and create a new ThriveBox.

Make sure to set the width of the ThriveBox to 900px rather than the default 650px. This allows the quiz element to take up it's normal width.

lightbox width

To change the width of a ThriveBox, select the 'Thrive Leads Element' in the breadcrumbs then change the max width in the Layout & Position drop down.

From here you just need to drag a Thrive Quiz Builder element into the ThriveBox and select the quiz you created earlier.

add a quiz

The final step is to go to Thrive Comments and select 'Opt-In Form' as your Post-Comment Action, then choose the ThriveBox you just created.

12. Get Big Leads on The Phone

coaching call lightbox


High Value Lead Generation

Suitable For:

First Time & Repeat Commenters

Action Used:

Opt-In Form

Tools Used:

Thrive Comments, Thrive Leads, Thrive Ovation (or alternative)

If you're in an industry where the value of each new warm lead is very high, such as real estate, it's worth getting engaged visitors on the phone ASAP.

Since leaving a comment on your site is pretty much as engaged as a visitor can be, it's the perfect time to ask them to take this step.

In this method, we're using Thrive Ovation to capture and keep up with new lead details, but you can also use your own CRM system (provided they offer embed HTML contact forms) or even Google Forms.

The benefit of using Thrive Ovation is you can use the back-end to keep up with the state of new leads.

Thrive Ovation backend

The back-end of Thrive Ovation, using tags to keep up with lead status.

You can filter by tag to sort contacts by status or next action required.

If you're a Thrive Themes Member, we've got a whole course on how you can use Thrive Ovation as a CRM system.

How to Offer a Consulting or Coaching Call to Commenters

Starts at 15:44

Create a new ThriveBox within Thrive Leads. Add the details about your call offer, then drag in a Thrive Ovation 'Capture Testimonial' Element.

Click on the 'Form Settings' button to add your questions and choose what information you want to collect. Change the Title field text to 'Phone Number' so that your new lead's phone number will be displayed as the title within Thrive Ovation.

Thrive Ovation contact form

Create a tag for new leads. You can name the tag what ever you like, as long as you know it means a new contact form has been submitted. 

Save the ThriveBox, select 'Opt-In Form' as the Post-Comment Action and choose the ThriveBox you just created from the drop down.

Just like with the Thrive Leads Lead Generation element, the commenter's name and email will be automatically filled out from their comment details. All they need to do is add the extra information requested.

If you want to be notified as soon as a new contact form is filled out, you can set up email notifications that will send you all the details of the new lead.

Exhausted Yet?

I am! And we're still just scratching the surface of everything you can do with Thrive Comments Post-Comment Actions. You really are only limited by your own creativity.

Speaking of which, do you have any other ideas of how you could use Post-Comment Actions to take advantage of engaged visitors? I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

While impressive, Post-Comment Actions is just one of the things Thrive Comments can do. Check out the full suite of features here, and start maximizing your WordPress comments today.

by Stephanie K  December 5, 2017


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Leave a Comment

  • Awesome post! I’ve been looking to setup commenting on my website but struggled with deciding on which plugin to choose from…will give Thrive Comments a try for sure! One question…does it support any theme or just a Thrive theme? I currently use a Genesis theme (but testing out a Thrive one as well) Thanks!

      • Thanks Shane! One thing I noticed was that when I left this comment I also clicked the “Subscribe to Notifications” in the lower right corner of the comment section but I didn’t get notified of any posts including your comment reply. Could you please let me know how notifications work? Thanks!

      • Hi Danny,

        That was our fault, we has the notifications turned off. Should be fixed now 🙂

  • FINALLY! I have been waiting 6 months for this to happen. I can’t wait to get this translated to my native language and installed on my sites.

    Thanks for your hard work, I really appreciate it.

    • Hi Alexey,

      You just need to make sure Disqus is set to export all comments back to you native WordPress comments system. You can do this within your Disqus settings in the WordPress dashboard (not the external Disqus moderation panel). Once all the comments are copied to WordPress comments you can remove Disqus and install Thrive Comments, and all of your comments will remain.

  • I am not sure about what I like more and it blows my mind: your plugin and developing work or the way you market it, squeezing it to get the very best thrive solutions anyone can dream of it.

    Thanks Stephanie, also to include again your CRM Thrive Ovation approach (simple and useful). I am not able yet to add a new one, rather than a combination of yours.

    I am wondering if with all these universe of possibilities in Thrive Comments it would be interesting to have some kind of automatic A/B testing just in same way we have with other Thrive plugins.

    You already know what should be next … an engaged digital community need to have their own digital home so what about a Thrive membersite plugin ?

    Thank you, thank you very much for your work, really awesome.

    • HI Jesus,

      Spoiler alert – the membership solution is coming 🙂 Granted, not anytime soon since it’s still in the beginning stages of development, but it’s on the cards.

      You can A/B test variations of ThriveBoxes if you use the Opt-In Form Post-Comment Action. This gives you the opportunity to test the best value proposition to use with commenters. But I’ll have a think about other ways we could integrate A/B testing into the plugin too. Thanks for the feedback!

      • Hi Steph,
        With the membership solution I hope to that Apprentice will follow the Thrive Comment innovations 🙂
        Best regards

  • Hi!

    A great tutorial again 🙂

    I would like that kind of tutorial “the best use of sharing on social networks”, different uses between plugins, thème and third party plugins (like Yoast SEO) and networks, with small Thrive technical tricks.

    Kind regards

    • You can still do double opt-in with the lightboxes Rene, it works the same as any Thrive Leads lightbox (the details are sent to you email service provider and they’ll be asked to confirm their subscription from there). Leaving a comment doesn’t subscribe them to your list. You have to ask them that separately in a lightbox or lead generation form. The only thing different here is their email and name are already filled out in the opt-in from from their comment details, so the user doesn’t have to type it all again, they just have to click the subscribe button.

      • Thank You Stephanie, I see what You mean. I think, I have to increase my english knowledges as well. I knew, that just writing a comment didnt subscribe for the list. Oh, I subscribed for this one and I didnt get a mail for Your Response. I have the same issue with . I subscribed as guest, with the same email that I’m using for thrivethemes. This comment I write logged-in!
        I will take my time to test all the features.

      • Sorry Rene, that was our bad. We had reply notifications turned off with in Thrive Comments. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Hi Dean,

      It’s not on the cards at the moment but I can see the use. I’ll pass it on to the Dev team for consideration,

      • Can you say some more about that Stephanie? I’ve not seen any documentation to suggest T.Comments has extra spam filters, and the base WordPress functionality seems poor. I use Akismet, but reducing plugin load has to be a good thing. What protection does Thrive add?

      • Hi Mike,

        Great question. While we can’t divulge too much about the inner workings of the spam filter, the best I can explain it is it’s an extra layer of inside security, similar to what google recaptcha does.

  • Looks good and is a nice feature. However, I would urgently prefer to have a SPLIT-TEST feature available soon and put it on top of the priority list for development.

      • There are different conversions actions right? like, subscription, and showing related articles… How about testing all these conversion goals against each other and measuring user engagement, like, time spent or clicks for that. Maybe we can define some “value” for each goal or something.

      • A/B testing measures how changes to the content style, value proposition or offer trigger effect the conversion rates on the same conversion goal, say ‘sign up to the mailing list’. Comparing different conversion goals in one test isn’t really viable I’m afraid.

    • Straight from the marketing genius himself – Shane Melaugh! But I agree Joanna, now that we have it I can’t believe no one thought of it sooner. It makes so much sense.

    • Hi Kaivalya,

      It’s not exactly what Thrive Ovation built for, but I’ve found it works really well. Especially if you have a small business and don’t want to get dedicated CRM software.

      • Right. It’s great what Ovation does for Testimonials… both, Gathering and Displaying… But I had never thought of this way. That’s so cool.

      • Stephanie its an excellent example, but it would be nice if Ovation had an option to keep the field labels in the result text. I have used ovation as a feed back system as well, and I could really use these labels, especially when you have different forms with different questions 🙂

  • I was just considering to be a member of Thrive family.I am glad I made this choice. I was looking to give something to those who comment on my blog.All I could do was show them some boring page. Now I have 12 ways to show my respect to the engaged audience. Thanks, Thrive Themes.

  • Great stuff? But one question – if you later on would deinstall the plugin, would you then also loose all the comments you got while using it?

    • Hi Jeremy-James,

      Your comments will remain in the WordPress comments system (so yes they will remain on your site if you deactivate the plugin). Unlike some other commenting plugins, Thrive Comments works directly with WordPress native comments, dressing it up if you will, so all the comments you get are still housed on your WordPress site.

    • Hi Luis,

      At this stage you can’t set up different actions per post. This isn’t something in development either, so if this is a feature everyone wants, hit the upvote button!

      • Now if we change actions it will be changed for older and newer posts, all in the same route.
        At least let us consider different actions by category. We could have several strategies running in parallel or even implement some kind of A/B testing within same category posts.
        By having different actions implemented we can:
        – surprised our visitors and commenters with a different response
        – actions more adjusted to content, context and strategies.
        – keep older comments connected with their actions.

      • That would indeed be useful. One example for the business case would be:
        Blog post readers who comment for the first time, you could f.i. offer them a free gift when they opt-in.
        On my pages where I have a x-day video course, these users are already on my list. So, when commenting I’d like them to receive a different reward, f.i. a trophy. And not the question to opt in.
        So, would be good to have some differentiation options in comments.

  • This is excellent Stephanie, it would be great to have a Social Sharing plugin with the same options. Great video, thanks.

    • Hi Steven,

      Thanks for the feedback. Thrive Comments has a number of social sharing options, like asking the commenter to share the post once they comment, and allowing them to share individual comments on social.

      Is this what you had in mind? If not, can you explain a little further exactly what you’re after?

    • Hi Ellen,

      The launch discount will last just under two weeks, and once it goes up it wont be discounted again (so get it cheap while you can 🙂

  • Looks cool. Can’t wait to get it downloaded and installed. Pretty much sure it’s going to be awesome because: Thrive. Thanks, guys!