What About Black Friday and Other Seasonal Sales at Thrive Themes?

Shane Melaugh   491

Will Black Friday 2019 bring a Thrive Themes Discount?

What about a Cyber Monday Sale? Or a special offer around Christmas? These questions come up quite frequently this time of the year.

Watch the video and read on to find the answer...

Note: This video was made for Black Friday 2018, but we are offering the exact same special again for 2019.


The short answer is: no.

We don't do Black Friday Discounts or any other seasonal sales.

Thrive Themes discount? We have a better idea... 

We will do something for Black Friday in 2019 that's way cooler though. At least if you think it's cool to do good in the world.

Like 2017 and 2018, we are doing an UnBlackFriday special this year, based on all sales of Thrive Suite.

This will be worldwide during the entirety of Friday, starting in the ANAT time zone and ending in SST. In other words: no matter where you are in the world, if it's Friday, it counts.

More about this in a moment.

First, let me explain why we don't do any seasonal sales, here at Thrive Themes. It's not because we forget about these occasions or because we just don't care. In fact, we have some very strong reasons for not participating in sales.

Read the most important ones below (and if you sell products yourself, this might be very valuable for you) or click here to jump straight to the UnBlackFriday thing.

Reason #1: Fairness, Buyer’s Remorse & Overpriced Products

Imagine you became a Thrive Suite customer 3 weeks ago and now you find out that we offer some crazy discount on Friday. How would that make you feel?

Disappointed? Betrayed? Maybe even a bit angry?

Those are not feelings we want our customers to have.

We strive to treat every single one of our customers fairly and we do not want anyone to feel buyer's remorse.

Treating our customers fairly also means that we do not overprice our products.

Feel free to take a look at some of our comparison pages (such as Thrive Leads vs. OptinMonster or Thrive Architect vs. LeadPages) and you'll soon discover that we offer tons of value at a very competitive price point.

In fact, you'll see that many competing solutions do less than Thrive Themes products while costing substantially more.

This is, in part, because we keep improving our products and adding new ones, whereas our prices remain constant for long periods of time.

As our products improve and expand, the value of what we offer goes up and so, every once in a while, we increase our prices to match. You can be sure of one thing:

The price you see now on our website is and will always be the lowest possible price so you'll never regret your purchase.

Reason #2: Rapid Implementation

On top of treating customers poorly, offering price discounts also encourages a behavior we are not at all in favor of: procrastination.

If there are sales every few months, then it's understandable for people to stay on the fence and put their projects off for "later". After all, why pay full price now when you can just wait for a sale? And why jump on this sale when the next one might be even cheaper?

Procrastination is a common and highly detrimental problem among entrepreneurs and we don't want to contribute anything to it.

To the contrary: we believe in rapid implementation

Rapid implementation means that you get a "good enough" solution out there fast, so that you can use real world feedback to improve quickly.


Your chances of ever creating something great can be predicted by your ability to DELIVER something simple.

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That's why in products like Thrive Leads, Thrive Quiz Builder and Thrive Architect you'll find templates that you can use immediately without any customization necessary. And it's why a lot of our writing and teaching is based around the principle of shipping things quickly.

Waiting for seasonal sales to make a buying decision prevents you from taking action, which is the exact opposite of this approach.

If you have an online business and you want to accelerate its growth, the perfect time to purchase our tools is now.

Reason #3: Congruent Value

For some products, it makes sense that getting them NOW costs more and that at a later point in time, you may get the same product for a much lower price.

Take a smartphone, for example. When it's brand new, the phone is at the peak of its value. The more time passes, the more outdated the technology becomes and the lower the value of the phone, compared to other, newer entries in the market.

In this case, seeing a 50% price cut on an older model during a sale makes sense and it's not something that screws over the customers who bought the phone when it was new.

With Thrive Themes products, we strive to do the exact opposite. This is why we do special offers when we launch a new product. At the very beginning, you can get the product for a lower price. This is not unfair to anyone, since no one paid a higher price for the same thing, previously.

But it also makes sense in terms of the value of the product. Our products get better over time, as we add more features and improvements. That means it would be doubly unfair to offer them at a lower price, later. You'd be getting a more valuable product at a lower price than previous customers.

Our Charitable Black Friday Special

With all that said, we are doing something for Black Friday. It's just not the usual kind of thing.

Like last year and the year before, we are doing an UnBlackFriday special, in which we support a good cause during this time of year.

And not just any good cause, but one that's perfectly aligned with our mission at Thrive Themes: to empower small businesses and entrepreneurs, because small scale entrepreneurship is a force for positive change in the world.

Here's what we're doing: we will be giving 50% of all revenue generated from new Thrive Suite sales during Black Friday to Kiva.

Kiva is a direct-giving microloan platform. These loans go directly to entrepreneurs in poverty-stricken and under-developed areas and go towards things like paying for someone's education, building fencing around farm land, buying farming equipment or bringing electricity to a small community.

Most importantly, this is not charitable giving that ends up making a community dependent on more charitable giving. These are interest-free or very low interest loans that are used to start or grow small businesses and are then paid back. And once they're paid back, they are given to someone else in need, again as loan.

If you'd like to know more about why I support micro credit and direct giving specifically, this book is a good read.

Summary of Thrive Themes UnBlackFriday

  • 50% of revenue from Thrive Suite sales during Black Friday go to Kiva.org
  • This is worldwide during the entirety of Friday, starting in the ANAT time zone and ending in SST. In other words: no matter where you are in the world, if it's Friday, it counts.
  • To join in, get Thrive Suite on Friday (if you're not a Thrive Suite customer yet). Or tell your friends to get Thrive Suite on Friday (if you're already a customer).

What UnBlackFriday Has Accomplished Already

We started the UnBlackFriday special in 2017, on a whim and as a counter-move to the usual discount and buying frenzy. We were pleasantly surprised to see that many people liked this approach, made a point of getting Thrive Suite on Friday and shared our unusual special with their friends.

The result was that we raised almost $10,000.

And here's the best part: because Kiva loans are paid back, the money can be re-loaned at a later date. As a result, the 2017 UnBlackFriday special has led to $13,825 being loaned to date:

Kiva impact

You can follow the lending impact on the Thrive Themes team page on Kiva. And if you like what we're doing, you can join in and make your own Kiva contributions as part of the Thrive Themes team.

What's Your Take On This?

That's our reasoning for not having any Discounts at Thrive Themes. I'd love to know your thoughts on this, too. How do you feel about sales? What do you think about our charitable giving instead of a simple Thrive Themes Discount? Let us know in the comments below!


by Shane Melaugh  November 27, 2019


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  • Love your take on it!

    My opinion: One of the reasons why we bought into the Thrive brand is your honesty and integrity. Pricing is part of it. But also complete openness about stuff like that. At the same time, this of course aids the Thrive brand indirectly.
    So I think it makes a lot of sense for Thrive but what about one-off purchases or products, that have less to do with buying into the team behind it (that keeps developing more and more cool stuff like you guys) vs. buying a physical product? My opinion here is that deals make sense, you just have to be careful not to overdo it and ideally provide solid reasoning why you are offering a discount

    • Thanks for your comment, Johannes!

      I agree that depending on the business model, deals and special offers can make more sense in some cases than in others. I think I’m a bit blind to the needs and circumstances of businesses that don’t have a strong emphasis on branding and trust building, as that’s always been such an important component in my own businesses.

  • I don’t think your thinking applies the same to physical products. I very rarely discount my main products but I do at this time of year b/c my existing customers become repeat customers and purchase as gifts. I tend to also offer free shipping too.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tara!

      I don’t mean to condemn offering deals in general. Today’s video was more about sharing my thoughts about why we do things a bit differently, but it’s not meant as a “everyone ought to do this” kind of lesson. So, if it works for you, don’t let this discourage you from continuing. 🙂

  • Thank you Shane and everyone at Thrive themes.
    You continue to amaze me with your integrity and loyalty to your products, customers and service.
    Thank you for all that you are and all that you give and do to help us show up better in the world of websites and business.
    As a loyal long time customer I feel safe, taken care of, appreciated and heard.

    How does it get any better than this?…

  • Fully agree with your take on Black Friday deals etc. As I have experienced Thrive yearly membership and all the updates and add-ons that come from you guys, I can only say its amazing value.

    Beyond the value angle its great quality too and still improving all the time. Recognizing a quality product at a very affordable price point is far more important than sale price. Which often come over like old stock firesales leading to a high ticket up sell.

    Of course if you wanted to give me a 50% discount on my next years membership, I’d be extremely happy, but not expected, I’m already happy with the constant plugin and theme updates. They just go to show you guys haven’t forgotten me, and thats a kinda warm satisfying feeling.

    • Thank you for your comment, Keith! It’s good to know that, as a member, you agree with the approach we’ve taken here.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tamás! You make a good point here, about the type of customer who might be attracted to steep discounts.

  • I actually agree. I’m looking at it from two points of view. First, as a current customer who paid the full price, it might bother me to see the price slashed. Second, as an online marketing newbie, I’m looking at this message as an example of why I shouldn’t do this in my own businesses. Well presented and very well explained.

    • Thank you for your comment, Hector!

      I’m not trying to say that every business ought to do it the way we do it, but I hope that explaining our perspective on this can spark some ideas. Since it’s quite unusual, I thought it was worth sharing our reasoning for this.

  • Hi, Shane,

    I absolutely agree! This Black Friday madness is absolutely insane, it obviously makes sense for a big players such as Amazon. But so many other web shops follow suit and give discounts blindly without noticing that they are hurting their bottom line. It has always been a better strategy to offer fair, reasonable prices and work on increasing the value for the customer. Long term this will absolutely pay off. And this is exactly what thrivethemes has always been doing. This is part of the overall philosophy and strategy which ties into what the brand stands for. As a loyal customer it feels good to know that you and your team are treating us the way you do. Keep up the great work – and your pricnig strategy!

  • Under-Promise and Over-Deliver!
    Thrive does this very awesomely (not sure that is a word?).

    I don’t think any other online software service continues to deliver as much as Thrive. Thank you!

    Get off the fence!

  • I agree with your position on this. As a business owner, entrepreneur and consultant I value quality over anything else and if what I get is quality from my perspective, I’m ready to invest in the tool or resource.

    So we give quality and we expect the same from our providers such as Thrive themes.



  • I’ve listened to Derek Halloween and Ramit Sethi speak about this in volumes and I’ve always agreed. However the way in which the relay this concept always had a bit of arrogance to it, which threw me off a bit.

    Yet reading why Thrivethemes doesn’t discount comes across very humble and shows your commitment to serving your customers!

    I think I will adopt this policy as well once I launch my business.

    Thank you guys (and gales)

    • Thanks for your input, Christopher!

      Reading your comment reminds me that I have heard Ramit talk about this as well and I have to say that I like his approach as well (although our pricing and product types are very different from his).

      I’m glad you agree with the approach we’re taking on this matter.

  • In case of digital products you need to look this from another angle also. Competition is big.
    Ok, you dont have to offer discount so buyer will go to competition who offers similar features at big discount.
    That buyer can become long term customer by renewing license each year or maybe upgrading to PRO version or buying more your products.

    • Thanks for your comment, Kasa.

      It’s true that this could be a competitive disadvantage. I think that depends on how much of a commodity your product is. If your product is just one of many and doesn’t have clear and unique ways to set itself apart, then pricing competition becomes a lot more important.

  • I have checked into Optin Monster and Lead Pages. When taking into account all that Thrive Leads and Landing Pages can do, there is no issue. Thrive products are a FAR superior value. You also give us continuous training and updates at no charge. Keep up what your doing.

  • Thanks for the post Shane. I totally agree.
    When I saw your email subject “Will there be a Thrive Themes Black Friday deal?” – my initial thought was, “I hope not” as I have just renewed my Thrive Theme Membership for the 3rd year running!
    I really like your take on this and appreciate your transparency. Thank you.

  • You guys offer massive value for the price so there is no need for the discounts, and I agree with your reasons above as well. Looking forward to fully utilizing the capabilities soon, and thanks for always striving to the best! 🙂

  • Deal seekers are rarely loyal customers and 90% of them are also problem customers in that they want everything for nothing and they demand liberal return policies where they can use an item then return it all used up unfit for resale even on a scratch and dent rack. These are the most expensive customers to cater to because they eat at your margins by requiring rock-bottom pricing and then eat your labor time in the amount of customer service they require after the sale.
    Unfortunately, in the world of retail physical goods, it’s hard to not cater to this crowd.

    • Thanks for your comment, Dan!

      I think you’re painting with a bit of a broad brush with that statement. But in principle, I agree. I’ve also found that in general, the group of customers that paid the lowest price tend to be the cause of more support requests, more refunds etc. than groups that paid higher prices.

  • Interesting point of view. I don’t feel buyer remorse but I feel “not getting another chance” remorse. How do you deal with this feeling? 🙂

    So I think that right attitude is somewhere in the middle as a someone earlier said.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tudor.

      I’m not sure what you mean by “not getting another chance”. Does it mean that you believe you ought to have access to our stuff at a lower price and are waiting for us to go from “overpriced” to “reasonable” so that you can buy?

  • You guys are amazing! I’ve been in one of tops events of Digital Marketing in Brazil and your content is always advanced in many aspects. No need for seasonal sales in my courses too.

  • Shane, you make a great point. As we all know, there will always be those that think they can “game the system” per se’, in waiting to purchase to obtain a discount. I think that’s shameful and frankly, a bit petty.
    If you believe, and enjoy the quality of products and services you receive from those you follow, then be willing to, no, insist, on paying full price when there is an offer made. Surely you make use of what’s offered when it’s free. If it’s useful to you and provides value, then reward that when the time comes.

    Shane and crew, keep up the great work …. I know and trust you will.
    Enjoy your holiday season.

    • Thank you very much, Alex!

      Ideally, we’d always be willing and also capable of paying a fair price for what we purchase.

  • Hi Shane. it makes complete sense in not offering specials. Your products are always high quality and the price is always fair. Keep up the good work.

  • I think both sides (sale and no sale) has valid points. To play devil’s advocate as a consumer, I don’t get upset if something I bought goes on sale at some point after I’ve purchased it. That’s life. Most stuff we buy will eventually be on sale at some point. In fact, there’s value getting it immediately and using it rather than waiting for it to go on sale.

    Sometimes, something I was on the fence about buying goes on sale and that’s the incentive I needed to buy.

    I actually think it would be great if you ran a big sale giving us current members a chance to renew at a lower price. It’s good for you because you secure another payment and good for us because we renew at a lower price for another year.

    Anyway, there are pros and cons for both approaches. I understand your position, though and that’s totally cool… I’ll just have to renew my membership with ElegantThemes instead (JUST KIDDING)!

    • Thanks for your comment, Jon! I appreciate that you took the time to offer a counter perspective, here.

      I think your attitude about sales is great and I agree that there’s value in having something NOW, which can compete with having something later, but at a lower price.

      I think for many products, this makes sense. For example, many physical products lose value over time or become outdated. In this case, it makes perfect sense to pay more when they are new and get them much cheaper a year or more later.

      The way I see it, our products are the exact opposite of this. That’s why we do launch special offers, but not seasonal sales.

      When you get one of our products when it is brand new, you’re getting the product in a lower-value state, because as time goes on, the product will be improved and expanded.

  • Hey Shane,

    I love your take on this. AND I love your products and your entire approach how you do business. That’s why I’ve been a customer for over two years. And I bought your products and programs before Thrive was born. That said, it would also be possible to honor your current clients – even the ones that just purchased recently – and still provide an incentive to potential clients to act now. In fact, this kind of incentive could be just the motivation some people might need to stop procrastinating – which is one of the principles you teach. Here’s what I mean…

    Instead of offering discounts – which is just cheapening the product – you could offer an additional value. There are many ways to do this… You could offer an on-boarding sessions with one of your in-house coaches. Or one of the courses you created in the past. Or even create some kind of a partner deal where you would include a third-party course related to creating effective website, lead offers, etc.; something that normally sells for a few bucks, but would be free with the investment in Thrive products.

    Such bonuses could be offered only to people who select an annual payment method. AND – this is important – you could offer this upgrade to most recent clients who chose the quarterly payments. And to those who signed up within a past 30 days or so and did select the annual payment method you could simply send them an email saying “thank you – I’ve got unexpected goodies for you.”

    This kind of approach could easily motivate a lot of your subscribers who are not yet customers to convert. It would also give your partners a reason to do a special promo for your tool.

    You’re a savvy marketer so you know the power of deadlines and special incentives. This could create fantastic spikes in sales and new customer acquisition AND actually grow and strengthen the Thrive brand when executed the right way.

    Final note: I’m not arguing that your approach is bad. I’m just suggesting that there’s a middle ground which could be very beneficial to you and rewarding for your clients.

    • Thank you for your comment, Adam!

      I think your suggested approach is great. This is a kind of deal or special offer that I can definitely see us doing at some point.

  • Thank you! I’m going to keep my membership as it automatically renews next year. And I’m not using anything friggin’ else. You are a breath of fresh air and a real credit to entrepreneurialism and internet marketing. The industry needs more companies like yours.

  • Awesome. I have a monthly payment of $9 with Grum.co.

    Tomorrow, they’re promoting the same product for $25 one time payment ( Godfathered).
    I would be a fool to keep paying $9 a month. Right?
    I’ll cancel the service today.

  • Makes sense…most of it…
    The disappointed feeling if one lost out on a deal, I’m that convinced as, I see it as anywhere else that does seasonal deals, it’s expected natural and normal, that the same product is sold for X price throughout the year, but that business does specials and then price returns back to the normal selling price. I personally would offer a seasonal discount to get that influx of buyers….and because Thrive has been around for A WHILE, which is why I came back personally after wasting money and time in the Internet Marketing world, buying “rubbish” wordpress plugins/themes that are not kept upto date, put together quickly only to make a quick buck, with absolutely no regard to the customer. After being frustrated, I remembered I bookmarked your home page, and decided to go with the higher price and a company that is HERE TO STAY for the long haul, who is there to improve and offer the BEST SOFTWARE solutions they can. So a brand like yours can only GROW offering seasonal deals, from time to time, I personally can only see it increasing your business and helping those like me from being scammed and having to throw my wordpress plugins on the WORDPRESS DIGITAL JUNK HEAP.

    appreciate your constant efforts Shane 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment, Michael!

      It’s an interesting point about this more long term view. And I have to say: I’m very happy to read what you wrote because this reflects exactly what we are trying to do with our products and our brand. As an avid WordPress user, I know exactly what you are talking about and if we can “save” people from all the junk out there, we’ve done our job. 🙂

    • I loved this article and completely agree with the crux of your point. “BLack Friday Deals” are easy for products and services with inflated pricing and value. I must also say, Thrive’s suite of products is one of the best investments i’ve made as an internet marketer. Thank you!

  • First argument is great! But, second has somewhat manipulative tone…If you’d offer discount today, maybe you’ll save me from my procrastination! Furthermore, even if my opinion is that for digital products there is always room for discounts (I sell them too) first argument beats that one! Really inspirational idea however.

    • Thanks for your comment, Ana!

      I see your point, but… that only applies to you personally. What I mean is: if you are on the fence about our products right now then yes, if we offered a discount today, that would help you take action. It would prevent further procrastination. But only for you (and a small group of other people) and only today.

      What about everyone who’s still on the fence a day after our sale? Or a week after? Or during all the rest of the year, for that matter?

      I believe that not doing seasonal sales is better for everyone, in the long term view, even if it’s worse for some people, in the moment.

  • I learned this lesson the hard way. My prospects would start looking and waiting for discounts, throwing our scheduling off. Ya know what I did instead? I raised my prices…sales went up! I am serious, sales went up.

    • That’s such a great position to be in, Harry. I always envy businesses who experiment with price increases and see their sales increase as a result.

      I’ve not had this luck myself, unfortunately. But it does go to show that we should test our assumptions about pricing. 🙂

  • I love your approach. I had never thought of it this way exactly, but have felt it on many occassions when I see huge “deals”. If they can afford to sell it for that price, then why don’t they always? And then you feel cheated. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is why I’m glad I recently became a Thrive customer. Spot on. Couldn’t agree more. Happy Thanksgiving to all at Thrive.

  • I agree about not discounting products for holidays, etc. However, you can still offer special deals for things like Black Friday… I’ll personally stack extra bonuses during Black Friday to make extra sales and, if anyone who joined recently asks about those, I’ll toss them their way as well with a “thank you for your loyalty email”… Heck you can even email all your existing customers on Black Friday, tell them about your Black Friday deal and then tell them they’re all getting the bonus as well.

    Snag a bunch of new sales on a single day and build massive goodwill with your existing customers – Win Win!

    • Thanks for your comment, Matt!

      I like the idea of adding bonus value instead of slashing prices. That’s something I could see Thrive Themes doing as well. It doesn’t give me that icky feeling I get when I see steep discounts. 🙂

    • Hi Matt,

      Those ‘stacked extra bonuses’ remind me of those long sales pages from 2012 that gave me $2,000 worth of goodies in the form of ‘PLR guff’ for the amazing bargain price of just $7.

      If you stack on some extra bonuses they had better be damn good because the wild west is over……..and you don’t want tyre kickin freeloadin cowboys on your list.

  • Shane, I completely agree with you on every point, but one thing you guys definitely need to improve ASAP is ability to customize your themes for business websites rather than adding random CSS codes here and there, specially the header and footer sections, and the themes’ mobile responsiveness. E.g. this same page’s top section looks very bad on mobile device like many of my sites’ pages 🙁

    So I agree we don’t need sales b/c you guys generally rock and are worth every cent and much more, but please release updates/improvements to the themes. Thanks

    • Thanks for your comment, Ashkan.

      I know we’ve got some work to do on the themes. We’re on it, I promise. 🙂

  • I agree, Shane.
    You didn’t mention that it also makes your lives much simpler.
    I wish cable TV companies here in the states took this approach! With them, a newbie can usually get a much lower price than a long-time customer. As a long-time customer, that really ticks me off!
    Thrive Themes has never disappointed me!

  • Fair enough. I was actually waiting for a sale this Friday lol. But now I’m gonna hit that add to cart button. See? Sale or no sale, whoever needs it, will buy it. And I’m glad to do business with stand up guys like you. The race to the bottom must stop. Cheers!

  • I agree wholeheartedly and actually groan at the thought of all the ‘amazing offers’ I will be receiving through the mail. As a service professional, I find it all just a little bit ‘tacky’.

  • Thanks Shane – it would be great if all the world was so rational!! Makes a pleasant change from the barrages of hyped up hard sell … just simple good value.