No Discounts, No Affiliates and No Black Friday Deals

Tis the season for holiday sales 🎄. Here at Anchor Hosting, you may have noticed the complete lack of discount sales or affiliate programs. Not even a black Friday announcement or mention of a potential coupon code. That is entirely intentional. I value my time and am not interested in playing growth games. I’d rather be doing pretty much anything else – including writing this post of why those things just don’t matter. In business what matters is having an awesome product or service and supporting it well. Growth is – or should be – a by-product of how you do that. Being genuine and authentic is where it’s at. 🚀

Customers find the deals, why make it hard for them?

As a customer of many WordPress plugins, products and services, it would be irresponsible not to optimize my costs. If I know company XYZ always discounts their plugins on Black Friday, then I’m going to wait to renew or purchase anything from them until Black Friday. This creates a massive artificially induced revenue stream on a single weekend. I can see how this cycle becomes addictive. Trust me, it’s not helpful for your customers or for your business.

A healthy approach would be to just sell whatever you’re selling at a consistent cost no matter what time of year. Having a “no discount” policy is the easiest way to reward every customer, not just the clever ones who figured out how to play your pricing games. Everyone wins when you don’t run sales as everyone can buy your good or service at a fair price.

Growing every day is way better then waiting for a “Black Friday”

Putting effort and energy into making a single day of sales succeed is a long-term recipe for always needing to run a sale day. Don’t start. It’s an artificial growth strategy. Why not grow every day? Whatever interval you produce is what you can expect to have with your business growth. If you want consistent growth, consider a consistent habit involving an output that can reach your potential customers. The format will vary depending on your skillsets and the type of customer your looking to attract. For me, that’s writing blog posts, running WordPress meetups, and participating in podcast interviews.

Wasted effort on running a sale would be better put into actual work, like a product launch or feature release.

While everyone else is trying to figure out how to promote their work, why not just focus on actual work that matters. Every business has that core thing that makes them money. Take the time you were going to use to promote that thing and actually make it better. Then share the improvements you’ve made to your business. Instead of promoting a “sale” promote your new features and product releases.

Affiliate, loyal and referral programs work but are they necessary?

As an individual, I take two approaches when dealing with affiliate programs. If it’s a business or service I care about, I generally don’t participate in their reward program. I’d rather the business take full profit than pay me to promote their product or service. Whereas if it’s something I’m not as committed to, like Google Workspace, I freely share my affiliate link and take that pay.

Let’s look at Fathom Analytics, one of my favorite web analytics products. I’m a happy paying user of Fathom Analytics. I’ve even gone as far as to build in direct integration with Fathom Analytics which customers of Anchor Hosting can see on their hosting panel. Fathom has a generous referral program where they’ll pay out a 25% commission for all referrals, including future renewals. If you refer people to sign up for Fathom Analytics, you can make some serious money.

Do I personally participate? Nope. I want Fathom Analytics to succeed, with no strings attached. Why take their revenue even if they are offering it to me? I get it. From their perspective, they want to reward the folks that drive the most customers their way. It’s just linking that reward to a monetary payout isn’t what I’m interested in. Being wildly generous and promoting things I find important is.

There is nothing wrong with a well executed affiliate program.

For Anchor Hosting, I prefer to keep it simple. If you want to refer Anchor Hosting to your customers and clients then do so. The best source of referrals is having no strings attached. The referrals Anchor Hosting receives are high quality and have grown organically.

Please, just keep it simple.