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

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!


Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is a co-founder of Thrive Themes. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about productivity here.

  • Steven V says:

    Yep, makes sense. Thanks for posting.

  • Johannes D says:

    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

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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.

  • Tara says:

    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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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. 🙂

  • Lian says:

    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?…

  • Keith L says:

    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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

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

  • Tamás says:

    I TOTALLY agree! Why should I give 50-90% discount? I only get those buyer who got a new lower price will move the next shop.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

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

  • Hector says:

    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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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.

  • Trish Jones says:

    This is why I love you guys! It’s refreshing to hear “no, you can’t have it cheap because our prices are fair anyway.”

  • Jens Buenger says:

    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!

  • Harvey says:

    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!

  • Michael O says:

    As one of your original members, that’s exactly what I want to hear.

  • Bayo says:

    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.



  • Christopher Tatum says:

    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)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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.

  • Kasa says:

    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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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.

  • Jim Gonzalez says:

    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.

  • Kevin B says:

    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.

  • Mehrban says:

    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! 🙂

  • Dan T says:

    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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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.

  • Volker says:

    Totally agree. BF Deals are so or so overrated. I am with you Shane.

  • Perfectly understood and agreed. Very good marketing and customer care lesson for me. Thank you Shane.

  • Atif says:

    I am really perturbed with the amount of UK companied jumping onto the Black Friday discount day.

  • 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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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?

  • Daniel says:

    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.

  • Alex Mazzeo says:

    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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Alex!

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

  • Sam says:

    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.

  • Jon D says:

    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)!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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.

  • Erik Heyl says:

    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.

  • I totally agree with your stand, Shane. This post is making me rethink how I give discounts in my business.

  • Ann Davis says:

    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.

  • Michael D says:

    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 🙂

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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. 🙂

  • Diana says:

    Superb reasoning and much appreciated! I use the same approach and am grateful for your concise way of explaining Italy.

    • Alain C says:

      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!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Diana!

  • Erica Gordon says:

    Makes plenty of sense to me. I haven’t done any seasonal sales yet either. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Ana says:

    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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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.

  • Harry Carter says:

    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.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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. 🙂

  • David says:

    I agree! It’s very important for those using the Thrive products to know that you are investing substantially back into Thrive…

    Well done!

  • 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!

  • Jonathan Westwood says:

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

  • Wonderful writeup! This makes a whole lot of sense. I have learnt a thing or two here and I will apply it to my business.

  • Matt Wolfe says:

    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!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      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. 🙂

    • Jonah J says:

      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.

  • Ashkan H says:

    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

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ashkan.

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

  • Keith W says:

    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!

  • Juan says:

    Hum bug Shane – LOL, jk

  • Vio says:

    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!

  • Joan Bell says:

    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’.

  • Lindy S says:

    I’m inspired by your tweetable quote above. Gotta get moving! Thanks!

  • Patrick M says:

    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.

  • Alexander says:

    I think it just a tad pretentious to try to suggest why a Black Friday sale is not right for my business. How would you know that. SO many different factors are involved here – it can’t be a ‘one size fits all’. Can it?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Alexander,

      The intention of this post was not to say that everyone ought to do it the way we do it. I just wanted to explain my thinking on the matter, since we got a lot of questions about deals.

  • Shane, this is my take on it. When you create and deliver high quality products, such as ThriveThemes does. Constantly improve them and deliver excellent service and training, and all at a reasonable cost. There is no need for sales gimmicks, nor special sales of any kind. The quality products should speak by themselves. No Shane, I know there is no Thanksgiving celebration in Ireland, but if you come across a live turkey out there, shake his waddle and let him know how lucky he is by being there.

  • Paul Davies says:

    Yes Shane , that is a great post, I have always given people my best price , and I always expect the same when asking for a price. I also explain when asking that they need to provide their best price , as I will not be coming back for a price match scenario. If I ask for your best price and you then come back to me later after losing the bid , it obviously was not the best price. And that affects the trust factor when moving forward in the future. You never know when that can arise , and if you have the ‘trust’ sorted from the start you will always be in good standing . Thanks for the post no buyers remorse over here !

  • Sid B says:

    The retail industry has been offering sales for, what, a 100 years? I don’t email Sony all pissed off because my neighbor got a deal on a TV on Black Friday, Nor do I assume the TV is over-priced just because they offer a deal. (and frankly, software and digital products are not even like a physical product where ever single one has to be manufactured)

    The objective of a sale is to gain something FAR MORE VALUABLE than getting paid what something is “worth” – a customer. We have customers that have been with us literally for TEN YEARS that joined during a “promotion”. In fact, over 71% of our customers came from one promotion or another.

    And waiting for a sale is about CASH FLOW, not procrastination. In our case, for example, Hurricane Matthew (our office is on the east coast of Florida) cost us over $10K in loss, so looking for sales is about cash flow, not procrastination.

    So I am sorry Shane, but in this case I don’t agree with your justification.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for taking the time to write a counter-argument here, Sid!

      I appreciate that, as it’s a lot less common that comments that are in agreement.

      To clarify: I didn’t mean this post to say “everyone ought to do what we do”. I just wanted to share my thoughts on why we do things differently. Since the marketing space is generally pro deals and special offers, I thought it would be useful to explain why we see things differently.

  • I agree. And that is my objection to doing one click upsell one time offers in shopping carts in case previous buyers see that AND if they then want to buy later but feel bad to pay or email me to ask to pay what they were offered before which takes up more of my time…

  • Yes that is absolutely true Dan – it is as if by giving in to constant haggling from someone that you give them permission to disrespect you… in fact the most troublesome clients I have ever had are the one’s who I have given things free to (and three of those are the only times I have been threatened with legal action!) or who I have given discounts to!

  • Vibeke says:

    It makes perfect sense! I wish more companies would do the same. This constant sales hassle is just pressing the original prices up. In Norway we are quite new to this “black friday”-thing, it has just been going on for some years. I am not brave enough to not do anything, but instead of giving a disvount to the customer, my business will give 100NOK to a charity per sold product. I wonder if it will have any effect…

  • Thomas Heise says:

    Super, this fair and a clear bussiness concept! Thank you!

  • Shane Melaugh says:

    Thanks for your comment, Princess!

  • Michiel says:

    That makes a lot of sense! Some good reasons for not doing these sorts of sales. I recently saw one customer in a private Facebook group expressing his buyer’s remorse when he found out that he could have gotten the product for a way cheaper price during a massive sale. That’s indeed not a nice feeling to have!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Michiel!

      I’ve seen various examples of people expressing their disappointment about Black Friday sales for stuff they bought at full price, too.

  • Alex says:

    Black Friday…..Hmmmm…sales strategy. When any product is good and affordable, that product does not need Black Friday…it sales anytime. I really need thrivethemes but what kept me was not able to pay for one full year membership…am just a newbie online

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Alex,

      I agree that a good product should always provide more value than its asking price. That’s the basis of a positive transaction.

      If you’re holding back because you’re starting out and watching your budget, you’re making the right decision. That’s much wiser than overspending on tools before you’re generating any income from the business.

  • Gareth Naylor says:

    I’m glad to hear this. And I think you are totally right. But it was also helpful to read this because it made me think about how I sell my own products. I think it is so tempting to offer discounts in order to get sales but like Seth Godin says, it can be a race to the bottom, and the worst thing is, you might win.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Haha, yeah. That’s a spot on quote, in my opinion. I see the race to the bottom in many markets and I don’t want to participate at all. 🙂

  • Andre says:

    Hmmm, I’m in two minds seeing your post. And I’ll tell you why. I purchased your products TCB and Leads, etc but didn’t get the membership at the time because I couldn’t afford it. Then you ran a discount on a package deal…..which sort of goes against what you have said in the post about not having a sale…. Anyway, when I enquired about offering a similar deal to customers that had bought products before I got a reply that it was only for new customers.
    Doesn’t leave me with a good feeling about things. To be honest it damaged your image for me. But I’ll keep supporting you guys because I believe in your products. Next time, think about your existing customers too.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Andre,

      We do run promotions. In fact, here are the types of promotions that we’ve run:

      1) Launch offer: a product is cheaper when it is new and after a short period, the price increases to the “normal” level.

      2) Upsell offer: a customer purchases a product from us and they can then get the membership or a different product at a reduced price. The net result is, however, that the customer still spends more than for an individual product.

      3) Price increase: a “warning period” before the price goes up, where the product can still be gotten at the current, lower price.

      4) Special affiliate promotions: a customer is a member in a paid membership program or purchased a product and can get access to one of our products at a reduced price. Again, it’s a discount but the net result is that you pay more (for the membership plus our reduced offer) than if you purchased just our offer at the normal price.

      I’m not sure which promotion you are referring to and I couldn’t find a related forum thread in your support history. I’m very careful about not making deals that are unfair to existing customers, so if you could link me to the specific incidence you mention, I’d like to look into that.

  • Priscilla says:

    I completely agree with your points here, especially #1 and #3. As a buyer I’ve regretted buying things when they were later offered at a lower price – especially when it was supposed to be a limited deal that would never be offered again, and then later they make an even better offer. Doing that might generate short-term profits, but over time customers will lose their trust in people who do this.

    Shane, did you expect so many people would applaud you for NOT offering Black Friday sales? I bet a lot of companies would be surprised to see all these comments, and could definitely learn something from this post :p

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Priscilla!

      I didn’t expect a discussion like this to result from the post at all, no. I was actually hesitant about sending an email about this at all, because I thought this post doesn’t contain any real value. But it’s always good to be surprised with something like this. 🙂

  • Amanda N says:

    I like your explanation and it is totally valid BUT we all like a bit of a bargain some time….

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Sure we do. Think of it like this: instead of charging twice as much of our products and offering 50% off on Black Friday, our offer is a permanent bargain. 😛

  • Dawn Kotzer says:

    Super Sales create a sense of urgency and consistency creates a sense of security. I know which one sustains me over the long haul.
    There are many site platform options in the market. While integrity of business strategy might not be super visible in a company’s messaging but it IS keenly felt by buyers.
    When done thoughtfully with the buyers long term emotional experience considered there IS no buyer’s remorse. Instead we get consistent service, customer relationship and forward moving long term value and conversation. Win-win.
    I’ll buy that. Thanks for maintaining the Thrive way.
    Dawn Kotzer

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s a good point about urgency vs. security, Dawn! I hadn’t thought of it like that, but I agree with you.

  • Heather says:

    Perfect, honest and transparent approach. You rock Shane Melaugh and Thrive Themes…..

  • Jason says:

    Hey Shane, Not only do you and your team deliver consistent value you also deliver consistent logic 🙂 I totally agree with your position and we see the value in your products and the continual upgrades as a very positive win/win.

    I also know that as entrepreneurs that have built your business from start-up to the success it is today you have earned every dollar. I hope you financial goals are now being met (or exceeded) along with all the more important ones like enjoying time with family and friends, valuing experiences over things, contributing to the things that you are passionate about, living each moment (good and not so good) on purpose. Having followed a little of your journey I am sure that you are!
    All the continuing best to you and each of your team.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Jason!

      My personal financial goals have been far exceeded, yes. I consider myself very lucky that these days, I can focus on things like providing a great work environment for our team, nurturing talent, creating great products etc. because my own needs are totally met.

  • John Naismith says:

    Shane, you can always be relied upon ‘to tell it how it is’ and that is the way I like to do business. I’ve been with Thrive Themes from the beginning and am appreciative of the vast amount of value I get from my monthly subscription. I always open your emails and click on the link immediately because I know there will be valuable information/advice and I won’t be wasting my time.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, John! I appreciate the continued support from loyal members like yourself. You’re the foundation that allows us to bring our product to more people, as time goes on. We do not take that for granted.

  • Paul Dunstan says:

    I agree Shane. I am exactly the same with my products, and I value your input and clarity here.

  • David B says:

    Hear, hear! It’s good to be dealing with a business that believes in fairness because it’s right, and not just because it works.

  • Kevin Gallagher says:

    why don’t you put all your tools together and create one system boy, that could be a hubspot beater. I would buy it

  • Willetta D says:

    Thank you! I 100% agree with your business philosophy.

  • Totally agree with you guys!

  • I am looking for discount as well. anyway thanks for posting.

  • Mehedi says:

    My straight forward comment “You don’t know how to business”. Yes, you don’t know.
    Your tactics would ok if you sale only one time products.
    But, You are selling monthly charge products. That means you need to increase member as low rate as possible. If you feels confident with your quality then they will renew it for the next year or so.
    So, you are getting more lifetime member + income.

    Make sense!!

  • Jack says:

    Thanks Shane explaining this to us. We understand and liked your honesty . Keep up the good work & best of luck.

  • Tijs says:

    I like it! Many things are overpriced these days and I sometimes wonder whether some things during Black Friday still aren’t overpriced, just much less than usual.

    In my opinion, ThriveThemes does a great job at keeping customers happy and I think your way of pricing and doing discounts fits with the whole vision of the company.


  • Shane Melaugh says:

    Which offer are you referring to?

  • Thordur Runarsson says:

    I send you request for discount as I saw many sites pretending offering discount coupon codes and they are bullshitting as the prize is what you offer to any new or old members anyway and it took you within a day to send me this page for reasoning why you don´t offer any deals like that and it makes both total sense and is fair plus a great philosophy so with that said I am paying for your membership and looking forward to be in your hands.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, unfortunately there are some sites that offer fake coupons and discounts for our products. Whenever we find them, we try to get them to stop, but there’s only so much we can do…

  • Rainee Carlson says:

    It’s definitely a different marketing strategy. I’ve been procrastinating myself, endlessly researching the “right” service for quite a while. I actually bought Opt-in Monster but have not implemented it b/c I discovered Thrive Themes. The overall structure is easier for non-techs like me. I’m going with the entire bundle.

  • Dave Warfel says:

    Shane — I appreciate & respect your take on this. Very well said.

    Just sharing another WordPress guy who shares your thoughts, and makes a few other worthwhile points.


  • Jamie hayes says:

    I’m finding that the most costly thing about Thrive Themes is the time (is money) in the learning curve. For instance, you have so many options for lead optins, it is confusing. An Infusionsoft Facebook group friend said it’s too hard, just buy Gravity Forms. Although the Thrive Themes ticket response is excellent, it would be GREAT if we could pay megabucks for a some one-on-one screen sharing sessions. Please do not suggest Upwork as I’ve wasted too much time there as well. You need to offer a premium service or referral for those willing to pay.

    • Devin says:

      That’s what Thrive University is for.

      I’m not a Thrive employee, but I am a member and I have found their University to be simple and to the point. Very easy to learn very fast.

      This is coming from someone who is an angler first, and marketer second.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Jamie,

      Thank you for your feedback. I’m sorry that you’ve found it difficult to get the best out of our products.

      We are constantly working on improving our products and creating better tutorials and training as well. We’ve also been discussing internally about what we could do in the direction of premium services and coaching, like you suggest.

      If you’re interested, we could include you in a pilot program to test this concept out.

      • Alisa G says:

        I would love to be a tester. I really fumble around with tech sometimes.

      • Zoe says:

        Hello Shane

        Yes, it seems that one of the common feedback about Thrive for a newbie is its steep learning curve. That’s what’s been holding me back from purchasing the membership. But once the hurdle of learning is cleared, thrive seems to be the market leader in website building.

        I am intending to purchase during UnBlack Friday (totally love the concept btw!). Quick question, would there be any forewarning to existing members before a price increase in the membership? (If I were paying quarterly, I would probably switch to annual if there was going to be a price increase…)

    • guill says:

      Totally agree with Jamie, it would definitely be worth it to be able to pay for some 1-on-1 support. The forum is good but that’s just too time-consuming to wait for answers, back and forth… My problem is also that there are sometimes conflicts and they’re very hard to find, which is why a paid 1-on-1 live support would be great.

      I totally agree that you offer incredibly low-priced products that contain More functionalities than the more expensive ones out there. I mean, OptinMonster would cost me in 2 weeks what ThriveLeads costs in a year… and it is Slower and doesn’t have so many customizations.

      Keep up the good work!

      • Justin says:

        If it helps, there is a Facebook community with people that are extremely smart, incredibly helpful, and quick to respond. It’s a Thrive group not sponsored by Thrive, but it’s a good supplement to the University and forums. I’ll post a link if you want (and if it’s allowed).

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Please, go for it. 🙂

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Thank you for your input on this. Perhaps we can offer some form of premium support in the future. It’s good to get this type of feedback, so we can continue improving our offer.

      • Onuora A says:

        Hi Shane, in the spirit of zigging when others zag, I wanted to offer a contrarian view here.

        Thrive products are amazing and are as intuitive as any other framework on the market right now.

        The challenge I believe is that a lot of people are looking for an easier way to learn a tool that needs hands on time.

        Frameworks are usually only mastered by experimentation and time spent powering through a learning curve. In my experience, no matter how good a tool is, if a user isn’t willing to put that time in, there is not really a solution for that.

        Having said that, I think that Thrive already has a really good library and archive of instructional videos (which I usually find by a Google search). Maybe just finding a way to make those videos more prominent and arranging them more intuitively could solve the problem for a lot of folks.

        It’s also a faster, more practical solution for your team.

        Just my 10 cents.

        You guys are amazing. Thanks for what you do.

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Thank you for your feedback on this, Onuora! This is valuable insight and we’ll try to make the experience of getting up that learning curve easier and our tutorials more accessible.

  • Your ‘No Sale’ position and the reasoning behind it is a very respectable one. I’m a Thrive member and I love the quality of your product, and your support is absolutely remarkable. Please keep up the good work.

  • marcel proust says:

    Do you think your prospective customer will not be waiting until Black Friday anyway in order to pull the trigger on deals offered by your competitors. Many decisions on services like your own are price driven.

    • Devin says:

      I know that’s not the kind of customer I want. I’d like someone I’ve built a relationship with based on value, not discounts.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Of course many people will refuse to buy unless there’s a discount. And many people will refuse to buy, period, and are basically waiting to get stuff for free.

      But we’re not trying to appeal to everyone, here.

  • Henrik G says:

    Confused: Apprentice is a LMS type of solution, and I know that you have integrated it with a few membership plugins.

    Will Apprentice not be released before later next year?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Henrik,

      Thrive Apprentice is an LMS, yes. But it’s not a membership plugin. That’s what I was trying to say.

      The reason it has only been released for members so far is an organizational one. We are building up our support team with new members before we’re ready to release another product.

  • Quentin P says:

    Sticking to your principles is what gives you and the ThriveThemes platform credibility and integrity. Thanks as always.

  • Mark W says:

    The value you guys give to your customers / clients is FAR superior to anything I’ve ever encountered elsewhere. Your commitment to existing customers is brilliant (compare that with banks, mobile phone, TV coys etc who are only interested in new customers – jam fools!!) and treating them fairly like this is a fantastic stance.

    It is, however, a sad reflection that many people are influenced by price and not quality and will potentially purchase vastly inferior products simply because of the perceived value after a discount is applied. More fool them!

  • Robert B says:

    I’ve been with Thrive going on four years now and couldn’t be happier. What I love about your UnBlackFriday deal is, while everyone else is Zigging, you guys are Zagging. Always Classy.

  • Simon B says:

    I agree with you Shane. Just this morning I noticed Content Samurai are offering a 70% of Black Friday Deal. I signed up with a 50% off deal at launch, so it’s niggling me to think that I’m now missing out on that additional 20%.

    It’s not so much the money – it’s only $20 per month difference – it’s the principle of fairness and not treating everyone the same that wrangles with me.

    We have a Thrive Agency package which I believe is already exceptional value for money. When you add in all the superb support and free content that you publish, it’s unbeatable.

    Please keep on exactly as you are doing. You’re one of my favourite companies and one in which I have complete confidence.

    • John N says:

      I totally agree with all you have said Simon. The Thrive Agency package is unbelievable value when compared to my other monthly payments.

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Thank you, John! I’m glad to hear that you are indeed getting so much value out of our offer. 🙂

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Simon! That’s exactly the kind of unfair and frustrating thing we’re just not going to be doing to our customers.

  • Russ A says:

    Good on you. I really like this initiative.

  • Malcolm says:

    What a brilliant idea. Always thought that Thrive was an amazing company and the way you are doing this Black Friday and helping those that can really use the help is just incredible.

    Well done!

  • Valerie W says:

    I love this concept and will be incorporating it into my new business. Keep up the great work, Thrive!

  • Richard P says:



    Read FAQ “Do Kiva borrowers pay any interest on their loans?”

    Kiva doesn’t charge interest and they certainly don’t give you interest on your loans, but your micro loan is basically “free” money to an in-between lender that loans out YOUR money with interest, which they then keep for themselves.

    And if they don’t get repaid on the loan, you are the one that took all the risk, they have only lost your money, not theirs.

    So this lending model is you take on all the risk, and all the loss, and someone else makes money using yours, completely risk free.

    So don’t think that Kiva is a good thing for the end borrower. They are only facilitating other companies’ access to capitol (yours) and those other companies impose interest on the end borrower.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for raising this concern, Richard. It is possible to give true, direct and interest free loans through Kiva, although not all loans provided through the platform are interest free.

      Even the ones that go through partners that charge interest don’t involve any predatory interest practices, though.

  • Viqar says:

    Totally agree with your reasons for not having seasonal/special sales.
    The unBlackFriday initiative is really a wonderful idea!!

  • Vladimir V says:

    I am not usually sharing.. but this time, to my surprise, I did. It make sense. Great products btw… 🙂

  • Christopher T says:

    I truly LOVE this approach!

    I think most sales undervalue your product and create frustration for many other reasons – most of which you mentioned in the article above.

    I equally loath most charities because I know many of them are just money laundering operations disguised as organizations that do good deeds…

    But the org you decided to support sounds amazing!

    I think you guys have found a really great way to participate in the seasonal promotional calander while keeping your integrity and not pissing off your customers. ????????

    Good job guys.

  • Pradeep says:

    Excellent idea, Shane. It’s a win-win for all concerned. Microcredit has worked very well for the poor in countries like Bangladesh, India and a host of African countries.
    Just one question. Will this be a collective contribution or will this be tagged to individual buyers? Some of us may want to top up our contributions.
    Best wishes

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Pradeep,

      It will be a collective contribution. After the Black Friday period ends, we will tally up the revenue and then make one large contribution based on that.

  • Matthew N says:

    Awesome, Shane – thank you and very well said. Lines up perfectly with my values, too. The world needs more of this; we can all play our part.

  • Sarah A says:

    Love this, and I’ve always loved your fair stance on product sales

  • Luis Carlos Eskay says:

    Magnificent lesson in business, life, ethics and entrepreneurship. I´ll get the book.
    Thank you,

  • David P says:

    This is rad guys. I’m so glad I’m part of a membership that gives back where it can. Keep up the amazing work. I love using your products. And one time I made a comment on one of these articles and got a response from Shane and that made me feel awesome. High-ten! I think I might already be in the holiday spirit. 🙂

  • Erik H says:

    This is one reason I love you guy. It’s funny that a lot of companies try to “snow” the customer. Case in point: I’m upgrading my internet and needed a new router. I went to my local BestBuy. They’ve revamped the entire store (must remember to try the Microsoft virtual display….) and their staff/Geek Squad is very helpful. They’re having a VIP event a day ahead of Black Friday. You get your own slave, er staff member and better pricing.

    So I looked, and the router was $299 both there and on Amazon where I’m also a (Canadian) Prime member. But I held off wanting to see if they’d pull a fast one.

    Boy, did they ever. On Friday the 16th the price of the router at BestBuy went up…by $100 dollars, whereas the $299 price on Amazon is their everyday price, with free two-day shipping.

    So you can guess which one I went for….

    Thank you for not cheapening the value of Thrive Themes and for “not” artificially raising the price only to drop it down…

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Ah yeah, that’s even scummier. Sure is easier to offer a steep discount when you’ve just doubled the price for no reason. 😀

  • Leelo Bush says:

    Great idea! We completely understand the issue of devaluing products or services with sales.
    Kiva is an excellent choice as recipient of donations.

  • Lorenzo D says:

    I’m already a member, have been since the beginning, so the reason I find this video interesting is the marketing strategy angle. I think it’s an excellent tactic, and can be used to promote not just your product, but yourself in a way, to specific audiences that care about a certain topic.

    You just announce to them you are going to donate X% of your revenue for the next X days for a certain cause they CARE about. You may “lose” that X% in the beginning, but the customers you acquire are much more likely to become the often mentioned “true fans”. The personal connection to you and your business will be stronger because of (perceived) shared values. As long as you don’t start doing it for wildly different and even conflicting causes, of course…

    But good move, man, good move. What social cause do entrepreneurs care about, as a category? Supporting and rewarding entrepreneurial merit. So you donate to a small entrepreneur fund. Well done… I’m not calling you a cynic, I’ve been following you for a while, I think you genuinely care about these things, and in general, but still, it’s a foxy way to care 🙂

    How about a small series about “unorthodox” or underused strategies to connect with various audiences on ActiveGrowth?

    And technical curiosity: if people buy a membership on Friday, does 50% go to Kiva on renewals? I should think not, but..just checking.

    • mark t says:

      The downside of studying marketing is becoming cynical about everything companies do!

      Is there anything ‘good’ that a company can do, without being accused of pulling a marketing stunt?

      I think not… so for me I’m just happy when a company chooses to do something that I feel is good.

      50% or revenue is also substantial, many companies sing loudly of their supported causes and yet in the small print donate 5% or less of profit.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Lorenzo.

      I think you’re slightly overthinking this. The simpler explanation here is that we really and truly care about entrepreneurship and that’s why we do what we do AND why we chose Kiva as a way to give.

      Renewals won’t be donated, no. We’ll be making a single contribution based on the sales revenue and we’ll be re-giving the money whenever the loans are paid back.

  • Terry Neraasen says:

    Absolutely in sync with my thinking. One feature of Thrive Memberships I really appreciate is that as new versions, features, themes and plugins come along, they are mine at no extra charge because I am a member. Contrast that with many other systems and software that require members to buy the new edition. Thrive is a big leap above all that.

  • Lynn D says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For the take on “sales,” and for donating to Kiva….You all rock and I am sooooooo glad I discovered ThriveThemes.


  • Mary says:

    Shane, I love you. So proud to be a Thrive member.

  • Ryan C says:

    Yes, love it!

  • Tom L says:

    I think it’s a great idea, I’ve been Thrive member for a while, love the products, the podcast, the blog. you’re always making progress, and have helped me make more progress in my business as well. I agree with you black Friday stance, a good example is some of our local clothing stores, I’ve learned not to even bother shopping there unless it’s 50% off sale, because I’ll regret buying items at full price later.

  • Jose says:

    Totally agree, nothing to add. Great iniciative.

  • David says:

    I applaud your choice. Your analysis is 1000% correct.

  • Sara F says:

    Dear Shane,
    I’m sure there are many members out there like me that never make any comments. Each for their own reasons. But like me, they are deeply appreciative of all your hard work on our behalf. We were already 100% behind you. You just increased it to 1000%. Kudos!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Sara. This really means a lot to me and I speak for everyone on the team when I say: times can get tough. We have moments of doubt. And knowing that we have the support of our members really makes a big difference.

  • Rachel Kornak says:

    Cool! It’s so refreshing to see someone fight back against the holiday purchasing frenzy 🙂

  • marksolomons says:

    Absolutely agree – why would anyone want to sell lower than previous customers have paid for an improving product?

    I also send a Black Friday e-mail saying why I don’t offer a discount. Not as good as yours so I may borrow some words from you! Well done.

  • Toni says:

    None of those things really justify not having a sale. But here’s the thing. Your business doesn’t really have to justify not having a sale. I don’t think I belong to a single business related FB group where Thrive isn’t mentioned at least once a day.

    However, I don’t get mad because someone gets a better deal or saves money on a product after I bought it. In fact, I had an issue with PayPal and couldn’t maintain my original Thrive membership free. Now, I pay more…happily. Why? Because it’s very important to my business. Which brings us to the second point.

    People buy Thrive products because they need them to make money in their business and because most of the other things out there are just overhyped using the “tribe-based” marketing strategy. So, I find it hard to believe that if someone saves a few bucks they’d fail to implement. If someone comes to Thrive, they’ve likely tried the other stuff and received overwhelming recommendations for Thrive after becoming frustrated.

    Anywho, that’s my waste-a-few-minutes-of-my-day reply. Keep up the awesome work, sale or no sale. 😉

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this, Toni. I really appreciate that.

      And I’m very happy to see that you pragmatically choose Thrive Themes. For me, this is the perfect outcome. I don’t want to bedazzle and bamboozle and hype people into becoming our customers, I want to simply offer the better solution. 🙂

  • Andrey E says:

    As usual, it’s a fantastic initiative. Being a member I fully support it. I shared your article on Facebook. Wish you all the best on Black Friday (and in the future, of course).

  • Larry+Rampulla says:

    Actions and words echo into the past and shout out to the future… you’ve got a great take on the concept which makes Thrive Themes an ethical company… It’s great doing business with ya!

  • Kristen says:

    Love it and so respect you for this choice. Makes me love being a member that much more!

  • Mike Nuveen says:

    Great job Shane! I completely agree and two very big thumbs up for the Kiva project!

  • Paul Helsby says:

    Totally agree with your approach and commend you on your charitable giving initiative!

  • Jared K says:

    This is epic! To more “Un-Black Fridays” in the future.

    Side Note: This is also why you guys are such awesome marketers too. Taking a common trend and finding a unique angle, position and message that helps you stand out from all the Black Friday noise. Truly epic!

  • Chantal says:

    The value to price ratio for the Thrive membership is so good that it’s like an eternal Black Friday deal!
    Love that you’ll be supporting Kiva this weekend 🙂

  • Bart says:

    Perfect! It all makes sense.

  • David E says:

    Excellent sentiment. In an effort to support Thrive Theme’s generosity, I’ll look into upgrading my membership so that I’m helping the world and offering you a little more revenue for all that your team has done and continues to do to enhance my business.

    BTW, I set up a KIVA Team a few years ago. Hopefully you will consider doing so, allowing more ThriveThemes members and referrals to participate in creating impact.

  • Jimmie M says:

    I just became a Thrive member a couple of weeks ago, and I appreciate knowing that I joined a team with integrity. I admire your approach to treating everyone with value. This is just another affirmation that I made the right decision to join the Thrive Themes family.

  • Mirco says:

    Respect!!!!!! Way to go Shane!!! A great fan from Italy

  • scuzzy76 says:

    Absolutely brilliant, superb approach and what a way to help other entreprenuers. I commend you hugely and you’ve raised your reputation in my books for sure. Top work.

  • Winnie A says:

    Well said. I agree. I’ve always hated the idea of sales. I personally offer my best prices on a launch to encourage and reward early adopters. After that, the best prices go to existing clients. The point is to reward those who believe in you and stick with you not to attract people who are price driven.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, that’s exactly it! I also believe in rewarding existing customers rather than giving the best deals arbitrarily.

  • Michelle Weidenbenner says:

    I love your products and how you’re continuously updating them and improving their complexity. I understand your ‘sale’ mindset and respect that, however, it helped me respect your company even more because you took the time to explain that to me. Well done. I hadn’t heard of KIVA, but love it. Great video, Shane!

  • Rachel H says:

    Hi Shane, Thanks for sharing your perspective! I commend you for your choice of Kiva. However, I have a dissenting voice I’d like to offer. I’ve been a Thrive Themes user for two years, and I must say that if I had to summarize my experience in one word, it would be “frustrating!!!!!” My suggestion for Black Friday would be to provide your customers who are having profound frustrations with Thrive, and with your support process being so slow and so unsatisfying, with the opportunity to speak live with Support Team Members who would actually help them. My perspective is that, as long as you have under-served customers who are not getting the support they need, you start by offering Black Friday solutions to meet these needs first. Extra staff to more quickly respond, people to answer the phones and have real conversations etc. Once your customers are happy, then you can move on to supporting other organizations. I have very specific feedback I could offer, in a more appropriate context than the comments section, should you be interested. Thanks again for this conversation, and for allowing us/me to share.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Rachel,

      Thank you for your feedback! I’m very sorry to hear that you’ve felt frustrated. And I agree with what you’re writing except for one thing: we don’t invest in growing our support team, improving our processes etc. as a special occasion. We do it all the time. For the last two years, we’ve been expanding the teams (especially the support teams) continuously, as fast as we can. I.e. we invest almost every dollar we make in hiring and training more staff.

      Regarding phone support: this is one of those things regarding our fair pricing. We could offer phone support, but we would have to charge a lot more for our products, to do so.

      Of course, making our customers happy and helping them reach the goals they want to use our products to reach is a high priority for us. And yes, I’d love to get your input on this. You can contact us here, with your suggestions.

      • Rachel H says:

        Hello, Shane, thanks for your reply. I’m impressed by how much effort you’re putting into answering all of us! It’s nice to connect with you, personally, since you’re the most visible driving force behind Thrive. I wrote a reply to you right away, but didn’t send it; didn’t want to sound too complaining…. I’m happy to hear that you’re investing in support; great! Week before last I submitted a ticket on Thursday, replied back before noon to the reply I got on Friday, and didn’t hear anything until 7:35 pm on Monday. Is this normal? I wonder if you offer weekend support, or would consider it, so people don’t have to wait more than 72 hours to receive a reply? It my case, that was a long time to live with a frustrating circumstance, and in the end I learned that things weren’t working properly, and another ticket would need to be opened to resolve it. Instead I just gave up. I’ve since been trying to avoid Thrive, which isn’t a great way to manage one’s website! Oh, and if I do submit some observations and suggestions for helping new users to the support address you gave me, is there any chance you would read it?

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Hello Rachel,

        We do have staff working customer support on all days, including weekends. However, on weekends we have fewer people working than during weekdays. During especially busy periods, that can cause delays like the one you’ve experienced. We are also constantly adding more people to our support team, to cut down on waiting times and improve our service. I’m sorry that you had to wait longer than expected to get help.

        If you send in a message addressed to me, it will reach me eventually, yes.

  • Gavin Johnson says:

    Most companies cannot take this position because their products and services look like too many of their competitors. I’m tipping you have read the book Blue Ocean Strategy? There is a bigger message here for all businesses. Swimming in the red ocean you used to be able to survive. I think those days are over. Keep up the good work and as long as Thrive Themes is swimming in the blue ocean you will have a lot of very satisfied customers! BTW I’m not the author!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Gavin! I’m familiar with the Blue Ocean strategy, yes. Although I don’t think Thrive Themes is a great example of a Blue Ocean business. We are surrounded by competitors who do similar things. I’m not sure if our level of differentiation counts as a Blue Ocean type of thing, but we certainly strive for it.

      • Gavin Johnson says:

        I think it would be rare to find a blue ocean business who just swims in blue water. Most are swimming in the red ocean as well. My point really is around this discussion of providing discounts and having sales is that because most businesses look very similar to one another in the red ocean they swim in, very similar, and the competitor goes with Black Friday, they go as well! The only way you can make decisions not to go is if you create more value and develop your product and service offering to stand out from the pack. Don’t get me wrong all the points you make are absolutely valid as well. There are other companies who don’t dive into Black Friday, I won’t name them here but it is no coincidence that their product innovation, execution and service looks a whole lot like yours. Go figure! I think you’re probably selling yourself a bit short but it’s good to be humble as well.

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Yeah, that’s a good point. I was thinking too much in terms of a “perfect” blue ocean, here. Thanks for your reply!

  • Devin says:

    Thank you for setting the example for good business practices. I am only a few years into my entrepreneurial journey and am relieved to now this is a good decision to make.

  • Steven C says:

    Fantastic decision.

  • Thomas says:

    Interesting perspective. Was thinking about offering a Black Friday special but now I’m thinking twice about the holistic impact now. I’ve jotted down Kiva.org in my note in my note of charitable organisations as well.

    Now that I think about it, I do believe that overpricing an item until Black Friday is generally a bad practice. But if a product is fairly price from the get-go, offering a Black Friday special is more like a tongue-and-cheek marketing strategy (this is akin to what’s happening in a traditional market anyway). Where I think event-based discount can be problematic is the expectation that it sets up, and that is harder to undo.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Thomas.

      I wouldn’t say that offering seasonal sales is always wrong. Like I mentioned in the video, it depends a lot on the product and business model. For Thrive Themes, I have no doubt that it’s the right approach not to offer sales, though.

  • Lynnelle W says:

    Excellent. Love this and thank you. I am active on the Kiva site personally, as well.

  • Mary Phillips says:

    Nice one Shane 🙂 Kiva are great. I love their idea of empowering people and supporting their independence. The difficult part is deciding who to help when so many need it.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, exactly. As other commenters have noted, charities can be problematic in so many ways. But giving directly to people who are making things happen, getting educated, starting businesses – I love this approach to helping those in need.

      And it’s true that there are more in need than we can help, but we can just focus on doing our part. One step at a time. 🙂

  • Renae G says:


    I applaud your decision not to do “sales”!

    I can’t tell you how annoyed I get when I see sales for stuff I’ve bought and then can’t take advantage of the savings.

    MarketingProfs comes to mind. I once signed up for a class of theirs and then a few weeks before the course started there was a huge “sale” — I wrote about the experience on my blog: http://www.ineedcopy.com/the-please-pay-more-since-you-are-my-customer-pricing-strategy/. (Hope it’s okay to share that here? If not, please delete!)

    It’s so good to see companies like yours standing proud in and firm about the value you offer in a sea of “sales.”


  • Jonathan says:

    In this world of more money more money more money it’s refreshing to see someone take their customers needs and point of view into account. I am relatively new to the membership however it is worth its weight in gold and I’m so happy my peers suggested it rather than the “others” out there. Thank you for your integrity and most especially for donating to Kiva. In my opinion that is so much more valuable to the world in general. Cheers!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Jonathan! I’m glad you support this approach we’re taking to Black Friday. 🙂

  • Sean T says:

    Love this! Thanks for being awesome. Proud Thrive Themes member. My membership just renewed. This also perfectly lines up with my values. Definitely going to take a look at https://www.kiva.org/

  • David says:

    I’m new as a thrive themes member, but my respect for you continues to grow. Thank you for taking this stand. Kiva does a lot of good as well

  • Kathie Holmes says:

    Good call guys – there is nothing more frustrating that purchasing software and finding it cheaper down the track – I think your stance is a great way to ensure the integrity of your brand and product and you are giving to a good cause along the way. Way to go team!

  • Vincenzo V says:

    A different way to be entrepreneurs: brave and forward-looking. An example to follow.

  • D says:

    Congratulations on this. We actually for several years have declared the Friday after our Thanksgiving as a “Spend Nothing” day.

  • Anthony S. Dallmann-Jones says:

    My wife and I have been giving to KIVA for years and we have funded probably over 30 businesses in 3rd world countries to undying gratitude….ONLY ONCE did someone not repay their loan…once. That tells you something about these people. Just because their standard of living is low does not mean they are not honorable people….moreso, I would say. So, Shane, I heartily endorse what you are doing!

  • Diane says:

    xoxo Just love this, Shane!

  • chris mason says:

    Awesome idea guys.

  • Shelley says:

    Well said… I had an experience just a week ago, where I purchased a product online, and the very next day they sent me an email announcing a 40% discount on exactly what I’d bought. When I pointed it out to them their response was underwhelming. At the very least they should have made sure their autoresponders are talking to their shopping carts.

    I can buy similar products elsewhere, so they’ve lost me as a customer!

    Kiva is exactly the type of charity that makes an impact … enabling people to become self-reliant. Well done Thrive Team.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Wow, that’s terrible on so many levels. Like you said, that’s not only a poor way of treating customers, it’s also a failure in their marketing automation setup.

      But I have to say: I’ve experience similar things as well, with other companies. That’s one of the reasons I never wanted to join in with the constant discount craze.

  • Ariel says:

    Finally a company who’s bottom line in more than just a $. 🙂

  • LaTosha J says:

    I absolutely LOVE this approach! I’m also a very happy Thrive Themes member as well. Kudos to you for working with Kiva. They are a wonderful organization.

  • Emanuele V says:

    Might sound like hyperbole, but I love everything you guys do, from your amazing products to the way you run your business. And this No Black Friday initiative is very commendable. Hat off to you Shane. I’d make you Business Person of the year if I could!

  • Alfred Chung says:

    This is awesome. It sends a different message to the market and most importantly, the customers when the intentions, strategy and actions are fully aligned. A lot of time, we overlooked these areas by jumping on the bandwagon of what others are doing without being clear of why.

  • Pagula Majorda says:

    Not everyone in a startup earns huge and when they love your products but cannot afford the stiff $67 price, they simple arrange a Group Buy and use it equally among themselves. You may move proudly about not conducting a Black Friday or Cybermonday sale for whatever reasons, but the reason is defeated.
    When you give 50% commission to affiliates, you can as well allow the not-so-well-off people who purchase directly from your website and add to your growing community. At least you are getting legit income for your products.
    Think about it, Shane!
    (I had also sent you an email about it, but never got any reply)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your message. My take is that if you can’t afford the prices we charge for our products, I wouldn’t encourage you to buy them in the first place. Our products will still be available for you once you’ve gotten your business to the point where it can cover the costs.

      And regarding affiliates: we’re very selective about who we accept as affiliates. And offering a discount that affiliates are excluded from would be unfair to those who contribute a lot to our traffic and customers.

  • Mario G says:

    My compliments!!!

  • Duncan Moss says:

    Thank you for making a difference. Thrive rocks!

  • Donna P says:

    Love it. I was just thinking about the weekend sales and how to handle. I don’t shop on Black Friday but instead #optoutside and hike. I do participate in local #smallbusinesssaturday shopping. You’ve given me yet, another new perspective on how to approach the upcoming sale days. We donate to similar micro-loan organizations…. to support women entrepreneurs. Seems like a better strategy and well thought out. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jasmina says:

    It is a really great concept of “No Sale”… I love it. Appreciate more reasonable price than the high price with “huge” sale. I’m a Thrive member and I love the quality of your product, and your support is absolutely fantastic. I do highly recommend your product to my friends and clients….. 🙂

  • David F says:

    Shane, where I come from we have a saying: “You biscuit”. It is used in a number of ways. Someone gets an epic barrel on a huge wave, offloads an impossible pass to score a try, caresses a ball to the boundary for 4 runs, helps an old lady across the street, downs a jug of beer in 2 seconds, picks up the hottest girl at the party – basically being cool. So, Shane, you biscuit.

  • Peter M. says:

    I avoid companies which are promoting very often sales. Because then you know the regular price is too high. I think actually it’s bad for business, because some people know this and wait for the next sales. During waiting, they maybe buy it from an other company or forget about the intention to buy the item, because it’s not something they really need. I prefer companies offering a fair price all the time. Often also companies rise there regular price a week before sales and offer then a rebate. But after rebate it’s the same price like 1 week before.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yeah, there are definitely a lot of questionable practices around discounts and sales. I’d rather not participate in all that.

  • Ralph says:

    Congrats, Shane!! Can´t wait to be a member of Thrive Themes – and a member of a community that lives according to almost forgotten values. Thank you very much for this words!!!
    …and by the way, it is so much fun to work with your products and to watch your tutorials!

  • Sohail A says:

    Shane, this is a great thing. I truly appreciate all your work and thank you for inspiring me.

  • Debs says:

    This is one of the many reasons I love working with you guys!

  • Philip B says:

    Another great video and advice! What software do you use to record/edit your video with Shane?

  • Jason W says:

    Yep, totally agree. Why would your product/service suddenly be less valuable for a day. Not worth upsetting existing clients either.

  • Anthony Eldridge-Rogers says:

    Hello Shane, I am with you all the way but ……….. you state in your blog and I quote ‘……giving 50% of all revenue…..’ . What is often lacking is clarity on these kind of statements. How are you meaning revenue here? Is it 50% off the top, i.e of gross reciepts? I.e you take all your costs out of your 50% or do you deduct costs first and then make a split? I am asking this as leading with donations to good causes as a CTA for sales is used quite a bit esp in the not for profit sector and often the actual amount actually getting to the good cause in question from each gross dollar or Euro is very small. I am not suggesting that this is you guys and I am a supporter of you and your brand ( and a customer ) but if you want to place yourself distinctly apart then being totally clear about what exactly gets to Kiva will make your communication on this offer clearer and I think, certainly for me, more enroling.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s a good question, Anthony, thank you for bringing this up.

      So, to clarify: it’s 50% of all revenue from sales of our Thrive Membership and Thrive Agency Membership. That’s revenue before taxes, fees, expenses. Before anything else touches that money, $0.50 out of every $1 that comes in goes to Kiva.

      We’re not doing any accounting gymnastics, here and I have zero interest in constructing some narrative that tries to maximize how generous we look while minimizing how much we actually give. This is not a marketing stunt.

      We will also be publishing the numbers and I believe on Kiva, you’ll be able to see how much we’re giving on a public page, so we can’t fake it, either.

  • Jacqueline H says:

    I appreciate your reasoning very much. I’m not American so I don’t know much about Black Friday but I’m one of those people who bought the entire Thrive Themes just three weeks ago. If I had known or thought about black Friday I might have been tempted to wait for it. Instead I now have a website that’s nearly finished and I haven’t wasted either time or money. It’s better for me, better for you and hopefully I can get on with helping my customers earlier than I would otherwise have done. I love your products although they give me brain ache. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Love your approach, Shane, always have.
    Just double checking: only Friday, not the whole weekend, right?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      It’s only on Friday, yes. But Friday, no matter where you are in the world, so it’s actually a 2 day period.

  • Eres un gran tipo. Que Dios te bendiga.
    Tu producto es muy bueno no necesita descuentos para más ventas.
    Yo lo uso diseñando paginas webs en WordPress en las Islas Canarias es fantástico .

  • Javier Fernández says:

    I really really love this approach, not only your products are good, the values behind Thrive are simply awesome!

  • Roelf says:

    Agree deeply with your pricing approach. Can’t tell the number of times I have been pissed off to buy something at price X only to find out that if I had timed it a little differently, I would have acquired at X – some discount – More power to you

  • Gerd P says:

    Thumbs up!

  • Ron Haddock says:

    Full support on what you do.. You guys are always First Class.

  • Glen says:

    I’ve posted on YouTube but thought I’d chime in here as well.
    I see nothing wrong with offering seasonal discounts. If everyone on that day gets the same offer, then it’s fair. And if people choose to upgrade before or after a sale rather than wait for one, then that is on them.

    And during the holidays, a lot of people choose to be generous to their customers by offering steep discounts or giving away free gift cards or something similair. You guys have chosen to be generous in a different way.

    I do see your point as well, I just think that as a company you are losing out on lots of lost revenue, but maybe you don’t care. As an owner of a small web-design company, I certaainly care about every dollar, and I have played with numerous pricing schemes. Now I’ve more or less leveled off on a set price.

    And I know that you believe that you products are under-priced or at least fairly priced. But I will say that you guys have missed out on revenue from me for years simply because I find it too costly. I do have lifetime memberships to both Elegant Themes and Themify (and I got both on a huge holiday sale) and I am so grateful they offer that the lifetime package. I wish you offered something simualir, but I am pretty sure you never will. Even the yearly priced memberships here are higher than with your competitors.

    Sure, there are things you offer they don’t, but to be fair, there are things they offer that you don’t.

    I’d like to own ALL WP builders BUT it has to be cost effective, and to date, Thrive is not a cost-effective solution for me as an on-going thing.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Glen,

      Thank you for your comment!

      You say we’ve lost revenue on you, because we haven’t lowered our prices. I totally respect your decision to not buy our products because of the price point. You’ve also made a good point of exactly why we don’t do special offers, though. Because A) if we lowered the price by, say, 25%, would you purchase or would you wait until we lowered it to 50%? Or less? What if we did several seasonal sales every year?

      But more importantly: you seem to be waiting for a cheap, lifetime offer from us. And sure, if we did a cheap, limited, lifetime offer, a lot of people would buy and we’d get a lot of revenue. But there’s something really perverse about such offers: they rely on customers NOT using your product.

      There are only two ways that lifetime offers can work for software companies. 1) the company is hoping for a buyout and just wants “growth” (i.e. they don’t plan to make a profit anyway). 2) the company is hoping to attract many impulse buyers who will be too busy buying other stuff to actually use the software.

      This is critically important because our highest cost is customer support. If you buy something from us and you have even just a couple of short interactions with our support staff, we quickly start making a loss on you as a customer. If you’re a member, that’s fine. We might lose money on you during the first year if you need a lot of support, but we can make it up in subsequent years. But if you’re on a lifetime deal, we’re almost guaranteed to lose money, on average.

      This is why I say that our products are very fairly priced: we have a slim profit margin. So slim, that we can’t afford to do a lot of customer support on an individual customer before we start losing money. And yet, we still invest heavily in customer support and spare no expenses to help everyone out. We bank on making it work in the long term.

      I understand that for you, as a customer, none of this matters. You want the best stuff at the lowest price and you don’t care about the internals of the business. But my point here is: if we offered a cheap, lifetime deal on our products, we would likely go out of business (and rest assured: I will sooner go bankrupt than compromise on quality and support). And if we go out of business, that’s no use for anyone. You’d just have some products that were cheap to buy, but that you can no longer use because the company behind them went out of business and there are no more updates.

  • Grant Pasay says:

    I’m 100% impressed with this approach, Shane. I’m already a full member, super happy with all your products, and would recommend anyone thinking of purchasing Thrive Theme products to not hesitate.

  • Dawn Clark says:

    I love it! Awesome positioning. Very congruent.

  • John C says:

    Hello Shane,

    I love your products and business approach. I was reading your comments to some of the posts and one of them resonated with me:

    “The company is hoping to attract many impulse buyers who will be too busy buying other stuff to actually use the software.”

    For context I had Leadpages last year (which I cancelled and became a Thrive Themes member) and they sold me a bunch of additional stuff with their incredible “Black Friday Deal” – many courses – which sounded fantastic but which I never used.

    I have stopped discounting my work – since it cheapens my work product, and then the expectation is always there for more …


    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, John!

      This is a common experience, I think. There are entire industries fueled by impulse buys and banking on people not actually using what they bought. It’s a big old trash mill…

      Just another thing I want to opt out of, both in my personal life and in my business.

  • Winnie M says:

    I’m happy as a Thrive Member and I find giving to micro credits and having a consistent, fair pricing a wonderful approach.

  • Hank says:

    Love it! Another reason why I value my thrive membership.

  • rishin says:

    Well done guys. The more I see of Thrive the more I like what you all do.

  • Sage K says:

    Awesome, Shane. Thank you for doing charitable contributions for all of us Thrive Members!

  • Mike says:

    Hello, I completely understand you logic and it is correct in regards to buyers remorse if they missed a deal but the only issue I have with giving to a charity while making a business decision in this case presents 2 issues for me: First I have a new business that I am trying to launch and have spent considerable amounts of time educating myself on your product with all of the top notch content you provide but I might want to contact this charity myself and see if they can help me on my journey to make a bootstrapped Saas profitable lol.

    The second issue I have is when you associate social causes and politics for example with everyday buying decisions it gets tiring. Here in the US I can not go to Wendy’s for a burger without being asked if I want to donate a dollar or watch a football game as an Army Veteran without feeling guilty that I am betraying my values by supporting people who have little respect for the sacrifice I and so many others (in this country and many others) have made by serving their country. I watch too much cable news already and I find relief in watching something for its entertainment value alone anymore without having to decide if I should continue to watch my favorite Robert Denaro movies because he is so outspoken against a political view I favor, and I appreciate making business decisions solely based on their value to my business.

    The point I am trying to make is that it has come to a point where I appreciate the separation of a capitalistic business and the owners person charitable or political views, and I would prefer not to have to add another layer to the decision process when I am considering making a purchase based on the products values and not their social or political consequences.

    With all that said I believe a profitable business or person should be able to donate how much they want to whoever they want without that being a factor in my decision to purchase from them (even if they want to donate to an organization I do not agree with). I would like a world where I can make decisions based on real value not political affiliations and social browny points, and I can say I will buy your product soon but if I was offered any type of limited time discount I would have already purchased it (thanks Charlie Munger and Poor Charlies Almanac for clarifying why we do what we do!) because I know your products will provide great value, I hope this provides some insight into 1 persons opinions. Thanks

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      I agree with some of what you say. But there’s one fundamental thing I disagree with: the reason we’re giving to Kiva is because we want to give to Kiva. The whole point of UnBlackFriday is that we don’t follow the usual trend of turning this into some kind of a cash grab. This isn’t a political statement. This isn’t a marketing stunt. This is me, using money my company makes, to invest into something I believe in. Which I do a lot of, by the way. And for the first time, we’re telling people about one of the places I give to (through the company, in this case).

      You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to my action.

  • Hassan says:

    When you offer a discount ; you are also doing an act of charity so why not offer a 50 % discount and give 50% of that to charity ; it shall help both sides

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Because we’re trying not to go bankrupt. Also, the whole point here is that it doesn’t always have to be about discounts. You don’t always have to get something. There’s a lot more wrong than right with discounts and the whole Black Friday attitude.

      Basically, everything I said in the video.

  • Dez Futak says:

    That is both a brilliant explanation and good-will solution! Many thanks Shane!

  • MamaRed says:

    This is one, JUST one, of the mazillion reasons I love doing business with y’all. And I love the Kiva contribution! I’ve done the same with this organization and I love what they’re up to. Hugs&Blessings. MamaRed.

  • Ashley says:

    Love your Black Friday concept! Wish more businesses took that approach. I just became a Thrive member several months ago and I already count it among the best decisions I’ve made for my business – primarily for the value you consistently provide, but now also for the values you’re demonstrating!

    I only wish I were a little further along with my website redesign – I’m in the final stages of re-launching my website built with Thrive Architect and a few other Thrive plugins. It would have been great to announce the re-design alongside your UN-Black Friday offer to encourage others to sign up. If I force myself to follow your rapid implementation principles, I might be able to go live by Giving Tuesday. 😉

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Ashley! And thank you for your support of our unusual Black Friday initiative. 🙂

      I hope your application of Rapid Implementation went well!

  • Jen K says:

    Just have to say, what a very thoughtful way to manage a promotion. Fantastically balanced perspective.

    By the way, I’m really thankful for all the thoughtfulness you’ve put into the Thrive University videos and trainings. It’s not too fast and not too slow. I’ve been able to s-l-o-w-l-y build my site and even though certain parts are a little outdated (some still include references to Content Builder), I’m still able to catch on. I had purchased another program, which referred me to use Thrive, and while I’ve bailed on the other program’s instruction, I’m sticking with yours because it’s that helpful! It’s ironic that I have more confidence in your instruction than the one that led me to you! Anyways, sincere thanks, and happy holidays!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Jen!

      And thank you for your feedback on Thrive University. I’m very glad to know that it has been a useful resource for you. We’ve invested a lot in it and it’s good to know that it helps. 🙂

  • Jim Phillips says:

    S Shane, you’re thoughts about sales are spot on!! Love your explanation!

    I’m a Thrive member…used your products since 2015. They are great quality, easy to use, and produce excellent results! Keep up the good work…and NO SALES ever! Best of all to you and the gang at Thrive!!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      What you’re linking to isn’t a scandal, it’s simply the soundbitisation of philosophy. If philosophers aren’t permitted to think and talk about the very edges of things like moral ethics, who will?

      If you read Singer’s books on altruism, you can see the shape his pragmatic advice takes.

  • Arnaud says:

    my impression is that this long explanation kinda plays against you.
    You have your reasons not to do a black Friday discount and you could just say “No, there’s no discount but we give 50% to Kiva” and that would’ve been as efficient (if not more).
    Just my humble opinion, of course.

  • I appreciated this charity plan. It’s really good thing giving people who are suffering. Bit you can also provide some discount. It will not affect your brand. Many companies are doing it. Give some offers to new customers as well. If you are providing offers then you are existing customers also utilize those offers for new product in seasonal sale days.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yeah, sorry. That’s not winning me over. We have good reasons for not joining seasonal sales, as outlined in the video.

  • Alexandra says:

    Lieber Shane, ich werde morgen Mitglied. ich spiele schon seit längerem mit dem Gedanken, weil ich die Produkte und die Philosophie dahinter gut finde. Und mit dieser Aktion habt Ihr mein Herz erst Recht gewonnen! Wunderbar! Fair und wertvoll! Danke Alexandra

  • Raza I says:


    The more I learn about you, the more I like you and Thrive Themes.

    *I LOVE the low cost of ThriveThemes

    *I LOVE your course on creating online courses (the one where you showed how you launched Backlink Battleplan)

    *I LOVE all of the products; Ultimatum, Architect, Lightbox, etc.

    I used to think about getting ClickFunnels, but you have everything I need and are adding more features all the time.

  • Brilliant idea Shane makes a lot of sense. Great to see entrepreneurs been given a start