Next Generation List-Building Tactics

Discover the methods that set the cutting edge list-building pros apart from the rest:

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We've put together a reference guide to go along with this webinar, including the step-by-step rapid list-building progress from this training.

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Links & Resources

Here are the important links and resources mentioned during the webinar.

Q&A Highlights

Here's a summary of some of the most important points covered in the Q&A session at the end:

What's the problem with list-based email marketing solutions like Aweber, Mailchimp, GetResponse etc?

Are the better email marketing solutions that aren't list-based?

Since relevance is so important, are there other ways to use targeting like we do in Thrive Leads?

What's a good opt-in conversion rate? What should I be aiming for?

If I use a Thrive Theme, should I still use the Focus Areas feature or just use Thrive Leads?

What's better: single opt-in or confirmed opt-in (a.k.a. double opt-in)?

If you have any other questions or feedback about this webinar, please let us know by leaving a comment below:

  • juan says:

    There a very good newsletter plugin called wp newsletters which I believe can do list segmentation. I’m driving now but can share a link if you like later.

  • Erik A says:

    I wonder if Thrive Leads work with Woocommerce?

  • Hi Shane,
    I am of cause tempted to purchase Thrive Leads, but as an owner of Thrive Contend Builder I am not shure. If I build my sites with TCB can I use TL or is it not possible? In other words – does TCB exclude TL and vice versa?

  • rob h says:

    Fantastic tutorial on WHY and HOW to benefit with ez split testing and nearly instant implementation. The education here on ways I can use this in my business scenario is very valuable. Thank You. Rob

  • Kjell F says:

    In the video “Create a conversion-focused website from scratch” Shane used subcategories in the blogposts. Is that not recommended anymore, but to use tags instead, only? That´s what I understand from this video. How should I think about categories, subcategories and tags to get it right from the start?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Kjell,

      Subcategories are fine, but they should only be used for large websites that publish often, i.e. for magazine style websites. For example, on a one-person blog where you might post a couple of times per week, you won’t really have enough content to warrant multiple levels of categories. But for a magazine site that publishes 3 times per day or more, it makes sense, because there’s going to be quite a lot of current content and a good category structure will make it easier to navigate.

      The way I recommend thinking about categories and tags is as follows: use categories for your site’s navigation. I.e. the categories should be designed in such a way that it’s as easy and convenient as possible for your visitors to find their way around and find what they’re interested in. Use tags for internal purposes. Add many relevant tags to each post, so that you can set up detailed targeting options for your ads, get better related posts lists and set up better targeting for your opt-in forms. Your visitors will never see the tags directly, though.

  • Marco K says:

    Hi Shane,
    there is a much better email marketing solution. It isn’t list based.
    Klick Tipp is a Tag based System and it’s amazing what u can do with.
    Perfekt segmentation and funnel build for each.
    take a look

    • Emil M says:

      Hi Marco,
      KlickTipp looks to only work in German. Am I right? Because I don’t find on their website anything in English or a way to access a version for non German speakers.

      • Marco K says:

        Yes it’s right, but this year comes an english version.
        Ask support for the link and more infos.

  • Mark says:

    Hi Shane,

    Sorry for the stupid question, but how does the pdf unlock after I clicked on one of the share buttons (which I did)?


    • Shane Melaugh says:

      It’s supposed to happen automatically. I’ve sent you an email with the download link, since it seems that it didn’t work for you.

  • Lise H says:

    So Thrive Leads is not an upgrade to Hybrid Connect, but a completely new product – am I right?

  • Emil says:

    Shane, thanks for the great content you keep on delivering! You are one of the few people from whom I read content. You also managed to make me “addicted” to your products 🙂 I have almost all of them.
    I have a question, and I would really appreciate your answer. I am now almost ready to relaunch my website and start doing email marketing. I just have to finish a few pages and to create the signup forms with Thrive Leads. For now, I use GetResponse, in the sense that I am a paid customer but I didn’t do anything into the account until now. I just imported my small list from MailChimp. Now I prepare myself to start sending email newsletters, autoresponders, etc.
    I have a website on health and wellness market and at this point I make money selling products (water ionizers and supplements) on the ecommerce store which is on a folder on my website ( My strategy is to offer information and educate the visitors and offer them good products so they can implement the strategies for maintaining good health which I offer. I already have one optin bribe and I almost finished the second one.
    Since I’m just starting email marketing, I have the following questions after seeing your webinar (the replay, because I’m in Europe and I was sleeping tight at the moment you were live):
    1. A consultant with whom I worked last year for a short time advised that I have to implement my email marketing system in a way that will let me know:
    – from which link (page or post) each new subscriber subscribed to my list
    – from each form (actual location on the page of the form) on that page/post they subscribed
    What do you think about this? I try to do this by creating many signup forms in GetResponse (one for each position of the signup form on the website) and then asign the code of each to one separate form in Thrive Leads (HC until now). And I think that this will tell me how many subscribers subscribed using the sidebar form let’s say and then combine that with information form Google Analytics, which I hope it can tell me how many sobscribers came from each page (probably I have to create a goal for this in GA).
    Is there an easier way to do this? Or is what I’m trying to do overkill? What do you think I shoul do?
    2. I noticed in the Q&A transcript that you talked about non-list based email marketing solutions. Being a small business at this point, the only one solution I can afford to pay from the ones you mentioned would be Active Campaign. I looked a little on their website and also read some reviews, but I’m not yet sure if it’s a good fit for me. It looks like it does some things I would like to have, like series of emails triggered by events, and marketing automation, which GetResponse does not. For example, I sell products on different niches of health, so automatically tagging a person who clicked a link in an email abou weight loss as interested in weight loss and triggering an email sequence which leads to an offer for a weight loss programs sounds great. Another great thing for me it would be triggering a sequence of nurturing emails to a client who finished the purchase of a product on my website.
    Another reason which makes me attracted to Active Campaign in that it offers an optional CRM module. This may be an advantage for me because at this point I have no employees and I intend to hire some people, but want to keep the team as small as posible. Any automation at a reasonable cost would be very welcomed.
    I have to say that I like GetResponse, so I won’t switch from them to another list based email marketing provider. The question is if you think is a good thing to start with a more powerful marketing tool like Active Campaign instead to start with GetResponse and switch later. Is Active Campaign a good investment for me? I am tempted to go with it, but since I’m not accustomed with this kind of software I don’t know how to thoroughly evaluate it and be sure it’s what I need.
    So, again, the last question is twofold:
    – do you think for a business in my stage of development is a good thing to go with something like AC?
    – is AC a good investment (price vs quality) for small businesses which at this point don’t afford (and maybe don’t need the capabilities and complexity) of Infusionsoft or Ontraport?
    If you find time to give me your take on this, it would be much appreciated.
    Thanks a lot and I wish you all the best,

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Emil,

      I’m afraid I can’t really give you the answers you’re looking for.

      Concerning the first question: really, you’d want to automate this because it will get out of hand, otherwise. You can do this with almost any email marketing system, by creating a script that populates a hidden field in your form dynamically, so you don’t manually have to add different form codes. Of course, it requires some development work instead, so that’s the drawback.

      I think the more important question is: exactly what are you going to do with this information? Because just having a pile of data without a purpose is rather useless.

      My advice is to not worry about stuff like this before you launch. Worry about it once you’re off and running and making some money.

      As for the second question: I have not personally used Active Campaign, beyond some basic testing. Email marketing systems are very complex and I’ve had the experience that the only way to really find out if they are good or not is to use them, fully integrated in a business and with some volume of activity going through them. This makes it almost impossible to just test a few systems and come to a really useful conclusion about which one is best.

      So, all I can say is that Active Campaign looks decent. From what I know they don’t allow any affiliate links, so that’s something you should be aware of (the same is true for MailChimp).

      Apart from that, I can’t say much. Do you need a tag-based system with automation options etc? It can be very useful, but only if you use it. And you have to be aware that using it is very time consuming (setting up automation rules and campaigns etc.). Depending on how busy you are with other things, you might not get more use out of Active Campaign than out of a more basic solution.

      • Julius M says:

        Once again I must stand up for my favourite Email Marketing provider Mailchimp 😉 Yes the rumor is that Mailchimp will not allow affiliate links. But no – its not true.

        As every Email Marketing company Mailchimp is doing a lot to guarantee great deliverability rates. One thing for example is that they will scan Mails for Links with blacklistet Domains. So if you want to promote a casino-trick-system, thats not a good idea. (its not a good idea anyway).

        Mailchimp is NOT a good choice pure affiliate Marketers, who buy lists and send out random Mailings only to gain commission.

        Mailchimp IS a great choice for real business owners, who produce real content. And make a good and responsible use of Affliate Links.

        I work with Mailchimp every day, and send out a lot of Affiliate Links. No problems at all with it!

        More detailed information here:

  • Julius M says:

    @shane, is your unhappyness about all those email marketing services a hint to your next product – “Thrive Mail”, the only conversion focussed email marketing service on the planet…?? Would definitely buy that product!! 😉

    But until you launch that one… 😉 I want to state that Mailchimp DOES offer fantastic list segmantation. The trick is to use just 1 list, and then use the segmentation feature. Here a very basic description Simply said, you can define conditions (opens, clicks, sales, visits on a specific page,…..), lets call them “tags”, and and use them for segmentation of your campaign.

    With this, you could send out a mail for: all who bought a certain product from you in the past, and visited a special site within the last week without buying, and didn’t open a specific mail you sent 30 hours ago. Just to make an example, things like this you can do with Mailchimp.

    Yes its kind of an advanced setup to do this. You will need to activate “Mailchimp Goal”, see here But not too complicated for all those advanced marketers who watch this webinar. What I want to say is, while Mailchimp still has those old fashioned “lists”, you CAN do all those powerful list segmentation and targeting things with Mailchimp. Just use 1 list only, and work with segments, goals, and groups!

    Plus, obviousley, Mailchimp integrates perfectly with Thrive Leads 🙂

  • Susanne C says:

    Exactly what I thought, Julius – when will Shane launch his own email-marketing service? ;-p
    Having tags instead of different lists (like Klick-Tipp does) would be a good idea.
    Above all if the customers service was as good, friendly and serving as the one of Thrive Themes!
    Thank you very much, Shane, for your great work of education and information. You are really more than a marketer!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Susanne! I’ll just tell my developers to quickly build an email marketing service over the weekend. I’m sure they don’t have other plans anyway. 😉

  • Susanne C says:

    Ha! I was sure we can count on you for this like for (nearly) anything, Shane *LOL*

  • Carla says:

    hi there is thrive compatible with WPML? My site is a multilingual site and it’s important for me to have pop-ups in both language.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      We don’t have WPML compatibility, unfortunately. It’s something we can consider if there’s enough demand for it, though.

    • Nubia R says:

      Hola Carla yo tengo instalado en 02 sitios WPML y Thrive Leads y he podido usarlo si quieres que le de un vistazo a tu sitio dejame saber.

      • Thomas Secher says:

        I would need to translate the plugins as I have websites in quite a few languages. I thought that WPML-support was as obvious these days as a hotel room having a bed (and most have quite nice ones *hehe*)…

  • Tina says:

    Hi, can i use Thrive leads with Trafficwave? If not how do i use the WordPress user account activation to collect email addresses or do i HAVE to have Mailchimp or the other listed in the API? Thanks.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Tina,

      Can you create an HTML opt-in form using TrafficWave? If so, then you can use that and the HTML integration in Thrive Leads.

  • Christopher C says:

    I tried to view the pdf guide but some of the texts are garbled?

  • William M says:

    Where do I find the “Share Gate” I want to use that on my Thank You page to Unlock a Special Offer to my clients.

  • Cash K says:

    Any chance of doing A/B testing on pages using your wonderful suite? I’m trying to hack this using Thrive Leads, short-codes and a blank page but it is a hack at best? Really need this!

  • Monica says:

    Another good option for a non list-based email service provider is ConvertKit. I’ve been using it for a while now and it’s excellent. Then again, I’ve also been using Mailchimp with a lot of the advanced functionality and have managed to do basically the same thing with that (i.e., only one list but using segments and groups to automatically send highly targeted emails).

  • Clint N says:

    When will Thrive Themes come out with a Email Marketing Solution? Please!!! I know it will be awesome.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Clint,

      Thanks for your comment! For a long time, my goal was to create an email marketing system. However, with the rise of ActiveCampaign, Autopilot and other solutions like it, it seems that even the big players in email marketing are finally starting to “get it” and putting in place good solutions. So now, I’m not sure if there’s a need for another email marketing solution anymore.

      • cyberninforce says:

        What are your thoughts on Drip? I’ve tried a bunch in the past, none are great. However, Andre Chaperon (pretty well known email guru) does tons of hyper targeted emails, audiences, segments based on tags, etc.

        I feel that Thrive + Drip should be a pretty good match, but I’m only a free version user of Drip at the moment.

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Drip is a powerful tool, but it’s not my favorite.

        You can see exactly why in this review that I published recently: Drip vs. ActiveCampaign vs. Autopilot vs. ConvertKit

        My #1 recommended tool is ActiveCampaign.

  • Relevance is unquestionably the thing that’s going to drive email subscriptions, and you aptly demonstrated how well Thrive themes does that with tags.

    I wonder though how connected a subscriber will be to a website if the subscription doesn’t trigger an autoresponder series that creates authority, likability and trust on the part of the subscriber for the website/author?

    You could create targeted offers relative to tags, but then what? If the intent is to eventually lead the subscriber to buy, doesn’t the Freemium need be connected to a series of emails concluding w/ an offer.

  • Relevance is unquestionably the thing that’s going to drive email subscriptions, and you aptly demonstrated how well Thrive themes does that with tags.

    I wonder though how connected a subscriber will be to a website if the subscription doesn’t trigger an autoresponder series that creates authority, likability and trust on the part of the subscriber for the website/author?

    You could create targeted offers relative to tags, but then what? If the intent is to eventually lead the subscriber to buy, doesn’t the Freemium need be connected to a series of emails concluding w/ an offer.

  • andrew mcbride says:

    Is there a “share gate” option for thrive leads?

  • Sedelia says:

    Do you have a small video on the best way to use Placeit. Thanks

  • Ben A says:

    I’m already a member of thrive themes, in fact a brand new one and I was in the members are trying to learn how use thrive themes. I wanted to download the PDF Guide. Is there a way to do this without the share to Un-lock? After all I am already a paying customer, who is just trying to learn how to use the software that I AM PAYING FOR.

  • Vigor Ferox DOOEL Skopje B says:

    Hello Shane

    I need to say only one thing. This is really AN AMAZING PRODUCT! THANK YOU!

    But, what about “Share Gate”? I am sure (because you haven’t answered on this, and the same as for the video tools you used in other post), that you probably keep the “Share Gate” for the next content upgrade, right? 🙂

    Can you please tell us in which post or category such content upgrade is now available?

    Hey man, you are so good. You just need to tell me to put a needle in the power outlet behind me, and I WILL DO THAT.

    Please, I need “Share Gate” 🙂 Tell us where is the post 🙂

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Vigor,

      Nope, the share gate isn’t the next thing, I’m afraid. We will be building more sharing and social related features, but they currently aren’t as important as the improvements to TCB and new themes.

  • Karen McCamy says:

    Great information, as usual! 🙂 But I’m still trying to wrap my head around the Thrive Leads portion of things…I’m relatively new to Thrive (and loving it!), so bear with me! 😉 It seems from everything in tutorials & webinars I seen/read that Thrive Leads is the ONLY place I can actually create optin forms? I’m just trying to get the big picture and see how all of the “parts” (Leads, forms, Thrive Opt-in, my ESP [AWeber]) all integrate! I have created optin forms (as opposed to using shortcodes) using Thrive Leads, then integrated a couple of the forms with AWeber… Just wondering if I’m missing something? What confused me was the part about Lead groups taking precedence over others in the list… This webinar sort of cleared things up, but I’m still wondering if there is another place to create optin forms…or do they have to be in a Lead Group? I have the full Thrive subscription so I have the complete toolset…Thanks!

  • Sherif A says:

    Just found this one. Really useful.

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