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The Brutally Honest ThriveThemes Review

I have been contemplating on using Thrive Themes for a while.  Specifically Thrive Leads.  Over the past few days I’ve done a bunch of research to try to find a specific feature tieing in subscribers and non-subscribers, and to my surprise, I could barely find anything!

As a matter of fact, only 2 companies offer such a feature, and that’s Thrive Leads and ConvertFlow.  It’s simple, I don’t want my email opt-in box to show to people who are already on my list.

ConvertFlow does a great job because they tie right into the API of email responders, and can read the tags so when someone is on my site that’s on my list, I can offer them a completely different offer.

Thrive leads has this thing called Smart Links.  Similar, but rather than tieing directly into the API, anyone who clicks on the link will then be marked as a user.  Then I can show them whatever I want based on the link they clicked.

Super cool, yes, but  WHY THE HELL ARE THERE ONLY 2 Platforms that clearly do this, and do it well.  I’ve tried to find a few other but could find nothing.

So why I’m going to Thrive over ConvertFlow, put simply, price.  I’m in the process of growth, and to grow, right now I need to bootstrap my expenses.  ConvertFlow is awesome, but I’m paying $99/mo for that feature (of course a few more, but that’s really all I use out of it).

For only $19 a month, I can get the smart links, but I can also get the full suite of everything Thrive has to offer!


I am by no means the poster boy for Thrive anything.  In fact, I kind of have this love-hate relationship with Thrive.  Here’s why…

Thrive Sucks

Pretty broad I guess so I’ll break it down.  The usability of Thrive is terrible.  I like things to be super simple.  I hopped on the

I hopped on the Beaver Builder Bandwagon because it made my life so easy.  The application itself was super intuitive and incredibly easy to use. In fact, when I first started using Thrive, I emailed them and the first thing I mentioned was “You guys need to add more padding, I’m trying to add something and all the lines are so close together and it’s super hard to see and use.”  That was well over a year ago, and its still the same, why would they change for little ol’ me :).

I HATE the Thrive Builder.  I just hate it.  It makes no sense, it’s super bulky, and simple things just take way to long.

I forget the exact situation but I was trying to add a new heading somewhere and couldn’t get the spacing right spent like 15 minutes trying to find where the padding/margin was.  I’m pretty sure that was it, don’t quote me, but there were quite a few things that I tried to hop and on just do, that ended up taking way to long to figure out.

It was things like that that just drove me crazy.

Then when I installed it, all of a sudden I had Thrive Boxes, Thrive 2 step, and another Thrive menu in. WTF?  I had to create the light-box in one area, then go to a different area to make it functional, then the third area was settings.  It drove me nuts. I hate clutter, and this was just cluttering up my menu! (Here’s a cool plugin to de-clutter your admin menu btw).

Last was the order of things.  If you want the lightbox to show in a campaign, it has to be on top, and anything below is secondary or something like that.

Bottom line, it’s going to be a big learning curve for me to get used to how the application works.  That was an incredibly HUGE turn off from the start.

HOWEVER… Thrive is amazing!

Confused? Nah, don’t be. I did mention a love-hate thing right?

Thrive is incredible at what they do, and that’s conversion.  Their ideas are on point and they have a ton going for them.

Here are a few things that stand out for me, and some links to accompany them :).

Landing Page ThemesI don’t always want to create something from scratch.  It’s too much.  Sometimes having a solid base for something helps expedite the process while providing amazing results (kind of like my company’s services, wink wink).

Smart Links – I already mentioned above but holy crap, this feature is amazing.

Signup Segue – What the hell? Yeah, Signup Segue talks to your email list, and lets people sign up or download something with one click, not having to re-opt-in all over again.  Brilliant!

All The Features – Popups, Exit Intent, the whole nine.  It has everything that all the other companies already have and some!

Price! – This was the kicker for me, $19 mother fudging dollars a month! THAT’S IT!! That price alone is worth the headache that will happen once I start trying to build everything lol.

YOU GET EVERYTHING!! – Yes, that’s not just Thrive Leads, for that cost you get Leads, Ovation, Smart Widgets, Themes, etc.

Honestly, I’m will most likely ONLY be using Leads, Ovation (which I have installed already), and Smart Widgets, but c’mon, that’s one hell of a deal!

So I’m going to be dropping my $99/mo plan, and I’m switching to this, for $19/mo.  The masters of conversion have convinced me to make the jump, and I’m going all in.

What’s more concerning aka The Bigger Picture

Why aren’t there other services that do this? Or at least more affordable ones?  I don’t mind paying $99/mo for something, but the value of something is related to the benefit I get.  ConvertFlow does a lot of amazing things, but it’s a lot of things that I just don’t use except for the fact that it talks to my email list.

Is that alone worth $1,200/year?  Why aren’t other companies like OptinMonster, or Icegram (2 of my other favorites) implementing something similar?  The fact that someone who opts-in to your website has to continuously see your opt-in offer, just doesn’t make sense, it never has. So I’m always left wondering, why isn’t this feature much more common?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

About the Author
What's UP! This is my site, I write 99% of the articles on here. I'm also the owner of I help out a lot of developers and designers getting into the web game. Helping is fun for me, so feel free to ask me any questions! I've made courses and have a membership as well to help get you on your feet!

7 comments on The Brutally Honest ThriveThemes Review

  1. Angelica says:

    Hey Jonathan check out Really deoends on what ESP you use but I’m testing Justuno integrated with Benchmark as ive had all the same frustrations you’ve had. Would love to know what you think about Justuno’s on site retargeting versus Convertflow.

    1. Jonathan Perez says:

      Thanks Angelica! I’m actually kind of hooked on Thrive right now. It does a ton and for the price, it’s so worth it. I guess it kind of grew on me lol

  2. Kevin says:

    /// Why aren’t other companies like OptinMonster, or Icegram (2 of my other favorites) implementing something similar? The fact that someone who opts-in to your website has to continuously see your opt-in offer, just doesn’t make sense, it never has. ///

    I don’t understand this issue. OptinMonster from its start in 2013 has always set cookies to prevent campaigns from being seen, and for many years allowed Global Cookies to prevent one from seeing *any and all* campaigns on ones site if that Global Cookie it set.

    You may want to review OptinMonster again and it may help you increase you leads and give you more flexible options.

    1. Jonathan Perez says:

      Thanks but Optinmonster never worked for me. The issue is someone who already opted in shouldn’t see the offer. They shouldn’t have to optin for new offers either. It annoys frequent visitors.

  3. Hi Jonathan, you might want to try out It has a “State after conversion” feature that allows you display a success message to users who are already subscribed to your list or completely hide the optin form from them again.

    We have a feature to display an alternative message to already opt-in users planned.

  4. Andy says:

    The last straw for me was Thrive Architect not being backward compatible with Thrive Content Builder (if, using Architect, you touched an object that was built with TCB, the object would disappear).

    Their official support advice was to rebuild any TCB element I want to change, from scratch. Um… no thanks?

    It might be fine as a total solution like Clickfunnels, if you drink the Kool Aid, but if you want to work within the WordPress ecosystem in general and want flexibility and compatibility with well-coded plugins and themes, avoid Thrive Themes and Plugins.

    If you remove their content builder, the formatting is all wrong (paragraph breaks are removed, for example). If you delete Thrive Apprentice, a course-ware add-on to some of their themes, the apprentice lessons all simply disappear. They don’t turn into regular posts, they just vanish.

    I’m on Genesis now, i have to code PHP sometimes to customize my site but I think of it as having a reliable vehicle rather than a sketchy race car that might break down or explode.

    On their support forums, Thrive support has replied rudely too many times for me to ever do business with them again. To their credit, one time, Hanne jumped in and replaced a rude support reply but by then it was too late, the no-love had kicked in full force. Allowing consistently bad, unhelpful support in the first place is not acceptable from a company that serves such a central part of our operations.

    1. Jonathan Perez says:

      what a great comment! Thank you for this! I’ve been using them more and more but I’m not crazy about them. I like architect now cuz I’m getting the hang of it, but I’m far from saying “Oh Thrive is amazing and everyone needs it.” The only thing I really like that they do that I’m not seeing anyone else hop on is the conversion aspect. They focus on landing pages and marketing as opposed to just being a page builder. If Beaver Builder or even Elementor started pushing towards that, Thrive wouldn’t stand out so much.

      I hate their themes lol.

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