Thrive Leads vs Sumo Comparison – Which Is Better?

Which is better in clash Thrive Leads vs Sumo? Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin that is conversion-focused, data-driven and lets you build and test any opt-in form design you can create.

Sumo, formerly known as SumoMe, is a plugin that gives the user an app suite with list-building as just one of its features. Sumo can be used on non-WordPress sites such as Shopify, Weebly, and Squarespace. It is not limited only to WordPress. Another example of Sumo-like tool is Getsitecontrol (check Getsitecontrol review).

Price is a notable difference between Sumo and Thrive Leads. Thrive offers lifetime licenses when purchasing license packages of 1, 5, or 15 sites. Sumo comes as a freemium plugin with limited features but can be upgraded to Sumo Pro, which is a paid monthly membership program.

Sumo Basic is quite tempting in terms of all the apps that it has to offer. But like most freemium products, has many limitations that are meant to push you to buy a paid subscription.

Sumo Pro membership is much more expensive than a membership through Thrive Leads, so it’s essential to understand the differences in how both operate.

For this Thrive Leads versus Sumo post comparison I will also be comparing and mentioning Sumo free and paid plan.


Thrive Leads vs SUMO

List-building tools aside, Thrive, and Sumo Pro are both quite different in what they offer, and a direct comparison is tough outside of lead generation capabilities. The best service for you depends on what you need personally to grow and develop your business.

To help you understand what both Thrive and Sumo Pro have to offer, let’s examine what features set one apart from the other to see what best fits your needs for building content, lists, etc.

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  • Name
  • Price
  • Lightbox optin
  • Ribbon optin form
  • Slide in
  • Scroll mat
  • In line forms
  • After content forms
  • Opt-in widget
  • Content lock
  • 2 step opt-in forms
  • Screen filler
  • Multiple choice forms
  • Social Media lightbox
  • Asset delivery
  • Mobile responsive opt-in forms
  • Mobile friendly editing (Desktop, Tablet and Mobile views)
  • Access to opt-in form templates
  • Drag & Drop visual opt-in form builder
  • Add multiple information fields
  • Custom confirmation message
  • Custom confirmation page
  • Opt-in form animations
  • HTML custom forms
  • A/B testing design
  • A/B testing different opt-in types
  • Time and Exit Intent trigger A/B Testing
  • Advanced trigger A/B Testing
  • Set and forget automatic A/B test winner option
  • Automatic traffic optimization during tests
  • Integrated analytics
  • Exit intent
  • Mobile optimized exit intent
  • Time triggered opt-in form
  • Scroll % triggered opt-in form
  • Reaches specific content triggers
  • Click triggers
  • Targeting by category
  • Targeting by page/post
  • Targeting by tag
  • Targeting by cookies
  • Targeting by visitor location
  • Targeting by referral source
  • Targeting by visitor behavior
  • Targeting by visitor browser
  • Targeting by visitor operating system
  • Hide Lightboxes for newsletter subscribers
  • Hide all opt-in forms for newsletter subscribers
  • Show different offers to newsletter subscribers
  • Add tracking and conversion pixels to opt-in forms
thrive leads vs sumo
  • $228/year
    You get access to all Thrive products.
sumo vs thrive leads
  • Free for 1 website
    "Limited" Monthly Website Visits, Limited Sumo Feature Functionality, No VIP Support, “Powered by Sumo” Branding
sumo vs thrive leads
  • $39/mo or $468 paid annually from 1 to 9 sites
    5K to 500K Monthly Website Visits, Full Sumo Feature Functionality, VIP Support, Free of Branding


Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads can be purchased as part of Thrive Suite. For more detailed review check my Thrive Leads review.

Thrive products are all about conversion optimization. When you purchase a Thrive Suite, you also receive a feature-packed toolkit for your sites.

When you get a Thrive Suite membership plan, you get Thrive Leads and many other themes and plugins, including:

  • Thrive Themes gives you ten professionally-designed, conversion-focused WordPress themes to choose from.
  • Thrive Landing Pages allows you to build and implement powerful landing pages on your site with any of the hundreds of templates available.
  • Thrive Architect is a powerful drag and drop visual editor that lets you create content, forms, and pages and optimize them across resolutions and devices.
  • Clever Widgets displays relevant content based on various targeting rules, categories, and more in your widget areas. For more information check Thrive Clever Widgets review.
  • Thrive Headline Optimizer lets you optimize automatic engagement winner, set-and-forget A/B testing for all headlines.
  • Thrive Ultimatum will improve your conversions by using timer campaigns for evergreen marketing tools, perfect for scarcity marketing. Check Thrive Ultimatum review to see what features plugin provides as well as its pros & cons.
  • Thrive Ovation will save you time and hassle in finding the perfect user testimonials for your site. See detailed Thrive Ovation review for more information regarding this WordPress testimonial plugin.
  • Thrive Apprentice – Create pro-looking courses straight from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Thrive Comments – Brings the addictive triggers of social media and a conversion focus to your WordPress comments, through several innovative features like upvoting and downvoting, gamified comment incentives and an impressive number of after-comment-actions.
  • Thrive Quiz Builder allows you to create quizzes with branching logic to increase engagement and segment your growing email list based on the results. Check Thrive Quiz Builder review for pros & cons of this plugin.
  • Thrive Theme Builder lets you visually design and edit whole site without having to hire somebody. For more info check Thrive Theme Builder review and comparison with Thrive Architect.

Thrive’s membership plan has a lot to offer and gives you the tools to build a clean, easy-to-use website.. I have also compared Thrive Leads vs OptinMonster and Convert Pro vs Thrive Leads so be sure to check to see how Thrive Leads compare to other lead generation plugins.


Sumo Pro

Once you upgrade from Sumo Basic (free) to Sumo Pro, you will be able to access the full versions of all the Sumo apps you got to use in the Basic version. The membership price is determined by a number of sites licensed, their traffic volume, and what email marketing service you use.

Sumo offers five opt-in form designs to customize to your liking as well as useful apps for tracking visitor behaviors, social media sharing, etc.

Sumo brings various features to the table:

  • Heatmaps track visitor click behavior on your site to get data which will help you optimize your pages.
  • Content Analytics displays where visitors scroll to on your pages before moving to another one.
  • Google Analytics will show your site’s Google analytics on the Sumo dashboard for easier access.
  • Share increases placement options for social sharing buttons, which will make it easier to site visitors to share your pages, posts, etc.
  • Image Sharer allows you to add social sharing buttons to images.
  • Highlighter allows social sharing buttons to appear when visitors highlight text on a page.
  • Discover adds links to your pages titled “You may also like…” which will drive traffic between multiple Sumo sites.
  • Contact Form creates a contact form for pages that allow you to read and respond to visitor inquiries and reply to them directly from the Sumo dashboard.
  • Buy Button adds readily customizable Stripe E-commerce buttons to your pages. These designs can be A/B tested.

As you can see, Sumo has a lot to offer in terms of visitor analytics, social media sharing, e-commerce buttons, and more to help optimize your pages and maximize your site’s growth. For more detailed description of Sumo features be sure to check Sumo review.


Thrive Leads vs. Sumo – Design & Customization

Thrive Leads utilizes a visual editor called Thrive Architect, which is so flexible that the only limit on what forms you can design is your imagination.

Thrive offers a template library of over 500 professionally-designed, conversion-focused templates to use. You can incorporate assets from any other form into your design, whether you’re using a template or starting from scratch.


thrive leads templates
Thrive Leads templates examples


This allows flexibility in the forms you can create using a simple drag-and-drop visual editor and a little imagination. Sumo Basic offers five opt-in form types and only a few templates to choose from.

The drag and drop editor is simple and easy to use but compared to what Thrive Leads offers, Sumo Basic will feel quite restricting.


designing optin forms sumo
Optin form design and customization in Sumo


Thrive Leads uses block-based architecture for maximum compatibility with HTML and CSS across devices with no coding necessary. Another difference in editing is the ability to customize across devices.

Sumo will shrink your desktop opt-in form to fit a mobile resolution, and while it does work, it’s not tailored to a mobile experience and can ultimately hinder list growth.

What Thrive Leads does to mitigate this is to allow users build desktop, mobile, and tablet-friendly versions of the same opt-in forms. This is possible thanks to block-based visual editing, which allows for ease of scaling across platforms.


block based visual editor thrive leads
Thrive Leads block based visual editor


To change the form across platforms with Thrive Leads, you will first need to build one for desktop viewing.

Once done, you can switch to the tablet view of the same form, and changes made here will affect the mobile display settings, which can be adjusted accordingly to optimize your mobile and desktop form viewing for visitors.

Thrive Leads allows you not only to make beautiful, easily-assembled forms in minutes, but also to customize them across device resolutions.

Sumo may be convenient for automatically downscaling desktop forms, but being able to customize forms specially to mobile or tablet viewing with ease is truly convenient and gives you full control over the user experience and design segments.


A/B Testing Differences

Thrive Leads offers top-of-the-line A/B testing because of its data-driven, conversion-focused features. Thrive lets you test different opt-in form types against each other as well as split test variations on the same design.

An exit intent lightbox can be tested against both a scroll mat form and a sticky ribbon form in a single A/B testing campaign. All 9 form varieties can be tested against one another.

Sumo, on the other hand, only allows such comprehensive testing only with their Popup, Scroll Box, Welcome Mat, and Smart Bar forms.


sumo optin form testing
Testing optin forms in Sumo


What’s more, is that Sumo’s A/B trigger testing is limited to just Time and Exit Intent. Thrive Leads allows you to A/B test time, page load, element clicking, scrolling to specific content, scrolling to a specific percentage of content, and page bottom triggers. Thrive also has automatic winner settings and lets you create traffic optimization settings.


thrive leads optin forms testing
Thrive Leads optin forms A/B testing


So you can set tests, forget about them, and come back and see the results when tests are concluded.

This means that Thrive Leads will actively monitor A/B testing and the performance of each variation being tested, and all losing variations will be hidden once a statistically significant winner has been selected to increase your conversion over time.


Difference in Thrive Triggers & Targetting With Sumo

Thrive Leads has multiple triggers for opt-in forms, including specific pages or posts, WordPress tags, categories, specific sections of content, etc.

These options for visitor targeting and form triggers give you the ability to tailor user experience based on the content they’re looking at and currently interested.

Sumo relies on cookie-based visitor targeting options to determine form triggers. But you are unable to access these from Sumo Basic.


sumo setting targetting rules
Setting targeting rules in Sumo


You can customize opt-in form triggers with Sumo Pro as long as visitors access from the same device and don’t delete their cookies.

You can also set up rules for form triggers that target visitors based on factors like a number of pages viewed, viewing a specific page, geographical location, etc.


Service Integrations Differences

Sumo Basic does not currently provide any email marketing service integration, so emails would need to be manually managed.

Sumo Pro, however, has email marketing integrations, but certain services (i.e., HubSpot, InfusionSoft, and OntraPort) are classified as Enterprise level and would require a more expensive monthly membership to use, which starts at $119 a month to be able to integrate specific email marketing services.


thrive leads marketing integrations
Thrive Leads marketing integration options


Thrive Leads, on the other hand, has these service integrations as a standard feature for your page once a one-time license fee has been purchased for your site.


Thrive Leads And Thrive Suite vs Sumo Basic And Sumo Pro

When it comes to growth and functionality between the three, the only useful comparison would be between Sumo Pro and Thrive Leads.

Sumo Basic is too limited in features to focus on improving analytics and generating list growth but is certainly useful if you are a beginner learning the basics of building an online business and want a free, budget-friendly option for learning the ropes when it comes to building and managing opt-in forms.

That said, if you’re focused on growing and developing your email list and your business in general, Sumo Basic will quickly prove not to be enough for managing emails, testing form varieties or types, or managing form targeting and triggers.

Even the email service integration alone might be worth going premium. What can be frustrating, however, is having to pay a monthly fee for features that should be a no-brainer for any service that is meant to generate growth for your online endeavors.


sumo pro features


The monthly fee Sumo offers increases as traffic on your site increases, which can also be burdensome financially. Thrive Leads, and all of Thrive current and future products, are available to you after license purchase, regardless of site traffic or other factors.

If you do need more features, however, this next section will examine the benefits of a Thrive Suite compared to Sumo Pro to help you decide what would work best for you.

In summary, if you need a service that comes with all of the tools you’ll need to build a site from the ground up with optimal conversion and list growth, Thrive Suite offers the most for the price.

Thrive’s membership plan allows you to select fully-optimized themes and create beautiful, streamlined opt-in forms and landing pages, A/B testing for your forms, headlines, and everything else to determine what is most successful for drawing visitor engagement, list growth, and ultimately, growing your business.

Sumo Pro is the best deal for already-established sites that focus more on social sharing button customization.

Sumo Pro is also great for determining page optimization through analyzing visitor behavior data in terms of clicking and scrolling analytics to see what can be optimized on your site. You will receive all of these features alongside five opt-in forms.

Sumo Basic is ideal for those who already have a site and are looking for ways to grow their email list for free. But the limitations of this freemium program will get pretty tiresome once you have had time to learn the ins and outs of them.

If you want a full-featured service with everything you need to maximize your list growth and produce quality content for a small price tag, Thrive Leads is the clear winner.

If you already have a site that gets high amounts of traffic and has most of your needs sorted as far as list-building and landing pages, and your primary interest is in tracking visitor behaviors, Sumo Pro’s cookie-oriented approach is perfect and has multiple apps tailored specifically for that.

For building a beautiful, conversion-focused WordPress site from the ground up with all the tools needed to supplement that growth and analyze data from every angle, Thrive Suite is precisely what you need.

DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.

2 thoughts on “Thrive Leads vs Sumo Comparison – Which Is Better?”

  1. I’m currently using Sumo but it slows my website a lot, since the app loads the scripts of ALL the forms before the browser can show the content of the page. Have you noticed the same with Thrive Leads ? Does it slow the website in which you use it ?

    1. Hi Laura,

      I don’t have such issues as I always use Asset Cleanup plugin which allows to set when scripts will be loaded.

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