Convertbox - #1 PICK



Thrive Leads


Convertbox Lifetime Deal, Intelligent Tool Try Convertbox
OptinMonster Monsterleads, lots of integration Try Optinmonster
Thrive Leads WordPress based, Easy to use Try Thrive Leads
Convertful Web-based, Tracks leads Try Convertful
Sumo Integrated with Sendfox Try Sendfox
Popup Domination One of the oldest popups Try This!
Lead Boxes Easy to use, with Leadpages Try Lead Boxes

Disclosure: My work and this site are supported by affiliate commissions, so I may earn a commission if you decide to sign up later from one of these platforms. Thank you! More info here.

I’ve written in-depth reviews of dozens of email marketing tools – and this is my latest guide for those looking for the best list building solution that would fit your needs.

My name is Ryan Cruz, and I’ve been a digital marketer since 2010, working for local businesses and small businesses here in North America.

You would have found this article by searching on Google or in social media.

Nevertheless, 99% of the time, I’ve tried these email list building platforms with my own paypal funds and credit card – which helped me test, use, and identify the full scope of these email marketing tools.

Stats don’t lie. In 2019, global email users are around 3.9 billion (that’s more than half the world’s population) and it’s projected to jump 4.3 billion by 2023.

Even a small percentage of email subscribers can make a huge difference for your online business. 

Email marketing is still one of the top if not the best channel when it comes to driving more sales and conversions.

Just look at this article where it shows that for every dollar that you’ve spent, you’ve earned around forty-four ($44).

But a lot of people including myself, struggle with building an email list. Fortunately, there are multiple list building tools available today that can help 

Here are the 5+ Top Email List Building Tools that I recommend in 2020 (from the top recommendation to the last few options)…

ConvertBox - #1 Email List Building & Personalization Tool




ConvertBox was founded a few years ago by Dean Saunders. It’s a powerful email list building tool because it has built in personalization, segmentation and intelligent tagging and tracking capabilities that works in conjunction with your favorite tag-based email marketing automation platform

When you first look at ConvertBox, it’s easy to think that it’s JUST ANOTHER email popup software.

But no. ConvertBox is more than that.

I’ll give you an actual case study and example of how I use Convertbox. 

But if you’re looking for a more detailed review of Convertbox, you can read this full article and review.

ConvertBox can show different popups, overlays and widgets based on numerous “triggers”.

The trigger can be based on referrer traffic, source of traffic, presence of tags in your email marketing software, and more.

This is powerful because you can communicate different messages to different types of website visitors. 

One example on how I’m using personalized popups and messages is on my review articles and bonuses.

If a person is NOT yet a lead, I show them a popup to become a lead. But if they are already a lead, then I can show them a different popup with a different call to action.

Can you see how you can use these to create more relevant messages to different people visiting your website?

Check out ConvertBox here or read my full review.


ConvertBox’s powerful personalization and intelligent tracking capabilities with it’s ONE-TIME payment option (Lifetime deal) makes it my #1 choice for email list building tools. Learn more.

Visit Official Site

OptinMonster - Another Alternative to ConvertBox




OptinMonster was originally founded by Syed Balkhi and Thomas Griffin (Soliloquy) who launched it because they wanted to help solve the problem of many online business owners who struggle with collecting emails to help build their email list and grow their business.

Are you serious in growing your online business? Then there’s only two main ways to do that.

The first is to get more traffic. And there are many paid and free traffic generation methods to get more people to visit your online business.

The next is to increase and improve conversion rates on your websites. 

One of the best ways to improve the conversion rates is by building an email list first and then establishing rapport with your readers.

But email building can be intimidating. 

Fortunately, with tools like OptinMonster, those tech and design roadblocks are addressed properly.

With OptinMonster, you can personalized your communication and messages using different personalization techniques like “Exit intent” InactivitySensor, Monsterlink, 2-step Optins and more. 

You can also easily create split-tests and run different ideas to help improve your website’s conversion rates.

OptinMonster is one of the most gorgeous and long-running email list building software.

  • They’ve been used by over 600,000+ websites
  • Have optimized over 21.4 billion visitor sessions
  • Have generated over 217 million conversions (sales)


One of the best email list building tools in its class. The customer support is awesome and using the tool is easy. If you don’t have a technical and design background, yet would like to learn how to increase email signups, OptinMonster is tool to try.

Visit Official Site

Thrive Leads - #1 WordPress Based Email List Builder

Thrive Leads



Thrive Leads is part of a suite of Plugins created by Shane Melaugh’s team (creator of Thrive Themes). I’ve been using these set of WordPress plugins for most of my niche sites. 

What I loved about Thrive Leads is that it is fully compatible with Thrive Architect. But if you don’t use Thrive Architect, you can still use Thrive Leads because it’s compatible with any WordPress Page Builder like Gutenberg, Elementor, Optimize Press 3, and others.

Thrive Leads is a WordPress based email list building tool. Because it’s part of the WordPress suite Thrive Themes membership (read my full review here), you’ll be able to take advantage of it’s full capabilities when you have Thrive Themes.

But it can still work without Thrive Architect and Thrive Themes.

On my niche sites, the way that I use Thrive Leads is very much similar to how I use ConvertBox.

I use it to build popups and overlay messages that are ‘triggered’ to show at the right segment and time.

Although the targeting options are LIMITED when compared to ConvertBox. For example, Thrive Leads can’t show different popups based on your email providers (like ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Drip, etc) tag segmentation.

But for regular popups like Exit Popups, Time delay popups, and more, Thrive Leads works just fine.


Thrive Leads is my #1 recommendation and go to email list building software if I ONLY want a WordPress based plugin or solution. When you have the Thrive Themes membership you can get Thrive Leads for Free which is a great deal in itself.

Visit Official Site

Convertful - Spin Wheels, Segmentation and more

Convertful Homepage



Convertful is one of the most advanced lead generation and list building softwares available in the market today. 

You can even use it to create short quizzes, spin wheels, floating buttons and more!

These different types of lead generation widgets provides tons of ways for your website visitors to become customer leads and potential customers.

Convertful is a serious contender for the top list of email list building tools, almost as good as the capabilities of ConvertBox.

The downside is that it’s currently only available with monthly and annual payment plans.

You can get started with a FREE Convertful account, but you’ll be limited with only 1,000 Monthly visits and with branding.

There are over 70+ templates inside Convertful, 27 Native integrations to 3rd party tools + Zapier, ability to add remarketing pixels, social like and follow buttons and more.

There are other features available in the advanced plans (Marketer, PRO, Agency) which includes several features like:

  • White Label Dashboard (Agency)
  • Survey Widgets (Marketer)
  • A/B Split-testing (Marketer)
  • Premium Chat Support (PRO)
  • 2-way Deep integrations (PRO) and more!


If you want to start building your email list and growing your list of potential customers but don’t want to pay for list building tools, Convertful is your best option with it’s FREE account.

Visit Official Site


Sumo Homepage



If you’re looking for a simple way to capture more email subscribers without a lot of fuzz and technical hassle, you might want to try the Free option of Sumo.

Sumo is part of the Appsumo family, which includes Kingsumo, Sendfox and just recently Haul Drop.

These brands are the brainchild of top marketer and entrepreneur, Noah Kagan.

The concept for Sumo is simple. To get as many email subscribers as possible for any online business owner.

And Sumo provides for that, starting for FREE.

But if you’re looking for more advanced tagging and personalization capabilities, you’ll want to check out the top 3 picks I’ve recommended in this article.


If you’re just starting out and looking for a list building software with built-in email marketing capabilities, Sumo is one of the FREE options available for you.

Visit Official Site

Ryan Cruz
Ryan Cruz

I help people deal with tech-overwhelm and information overload so that they could drive more traffic, leads, sales and conversions to their online business.