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How Thrive Themes Helps Build 6-Figures Businesses: A Chat with GM Bradley Stevens

How Thrive Themes Helps Build 6-Figures Businesses: A Chat with GM Bradley Stevens

Roberto Popolizio
The fastest way to increase revenue and leads for a website? Conversion rate optimization.

Optimizing your website for conversions allows you to squeeze more value from each visitor, lower acquisition costs, and therefore increase revenue without the need to generate more traffic and leads. 

Website Planet had the chance to chat with Bradley Stevens, general manager of Thrive Themes, to learn how their full suite of conversion-focused tools, Thrive Suite, helps WordPress websites increase their conversion rates and generate revenue in multiple ways.

Let’s introduce Thrive Themes to our audience. What products and services do you offer?

At Thrive Themes, we create conversion-focused website building software for WordPress.

Thrive Suite consists of 10 WordPress products sold either individually or as an entire online-business bundle. We specialize in drag-and-drop visual website building, marketing-focused principles, and business growth tools.

The most popular features of Thrive Themes:
  • Visual page builder — Thrive Architect
  • Visual WordPress theme editor — Thrive Theme Builder
  • Online course platform and membership plugin — Thrive Apprentice
  • Quiz builder — Thrive Quiz Builder
  • Lead generation tool — Thrive Leads
  • Scarcity-campaign plugin — Thrive Ultimatum
  • Comments plugin — Thrive Comments
  • A/B split testing tool — Thrive Optimize
  • Testimonial management plugin — Thrive Ovation
  • Automation manager — Thrive Automator

Our drag-and-drop visual editor is very easy to use, but includes a lot of advanced functionality for when you need it. Everything is template driven, with designer-made landing pages, page blocks, theme designs and more but with the ability to customize everything with pixel-perfect accuracy.

How did it all start, and what are your achievements to this day?

We started a decade ago selling WordPress themes (hence the name) but then developed the first ever truly WYSIWYG drag-and-drop page builder for WordPress. It was called ‘Thrive Content Builder’ and has since transformed into ‘Thrive Architect’. At the time there were only a few companies experimenting with visual editors, but none came close to what you could achieve with our software. It blew people’s minds and the company took off.

This was at a time when your only option to customize your website was to hire a developer to custom-code your changes. And now, you could do it yourself without touching a line of code.

Since then we’ve expanded from one plugin to 10, and have created a library of online courses for marketers and website creators, all while staying loyal to our mission of building conversion-focused tools for online businesses.

How does your mission differ from the other companies in your niche?

Easy — with our tools, you aren’t building a website: you’re building a business.

A lot of companies that create WordPress tools focus on the appearance of the website and lose sight of what matters. The purpose of a website is to attract and engage the right customers, drive sales and increase revenue.

A well made website oriented around true conversion optimization principles will become your marketing team and your sales team, working for you while you sleep.
This understanding underpins everything we do, and I definitely see other players in the WordPress market completely missing the point, focusing on animations and design flair at the detriment of conversions.

Who are your typical clients and what problems do they have when they come to you?

We help solo-entrepreneurs (aka: solopreneurs) and small businesses, such as course creators, coaches, and consultants, to build their own business online. We’re not at all limited to that niche, but we have a soft spot for this market because we really believe in empowering emerging entrepreneurs to compete with the big guys.

Years ago, enterprise business-grade software would cost tens-of-thousands of dollars and gave mega-businesses an unfair advantage. But with our software, you can do it yourself.

We also focus a lot on empowering online course creators with our courses plugin, Thrive Apprentice. We identified that eLearning is where the world is going, and is simply the best and most profitable business model for a new entrepreneur. You can build a course with Thrive Apprentice on its own, but then you can use the rest of Thrive Suite to optimize that business with funnels, lead gen, scarcity, split testing and more.

And what makes them eventually choose you over your competitors?

Once someone understands the business purpose of a website and the importance of conversion-focus, they come to us.

With a few tweaks (and the help of the right plugins), you can increase your website conversion rate by 0.5%. That might not sound like much, but if you were only converting at 1% and you were doing $10,000 in revenue per month, that 0.5% is suddenly going to earn you $60,000 a year in boosted revenue without having to increase your website traffic. That can make the difference between a business surviving or failing.

Once you realize that, you start looking at sitebuilders very differently, and that’s when we stand out against our competitors.

We’re also really big on giving you complete control over everything. People choose us because they know they can start small and will have the flexibility to edit and improve their website on their own terms, as the needs of their business change.

How a novel-writing course reached 6 figure in one year using Thrive Themes

There’s one that stands out to me, whose name I shouldn’t mention, because they shared some details with me in private.

They were hobby novelists, working in a dead-end corporate job, doing the 9-to-5 grind. They wanted to teach people how to write fiction. So they used Thrive Themes software to build their own website and to host their online courses. They launched a novel-writing online course and managed to reach a 6-figure income on their own within about a year, cutting back on their day job and working for themselves.

I love these stories because it confirms what we’ve always believed: online courses are an excellent business model. You take an area of expertise that you are familiar with, build a course, create the marketing engine that drives sales, and you can truly become profitable from the start and scale up from there.

What challenges and opportunities do you see in the future of your industry?

The eLearning industry is still growing exponentially, but the marketing landscape that supports it is changing.

Low-cost pay-per-click advertising through Google Ads and Social Media have since become much more competitive and expensive, so funnels that worked 10 years ago don’t work as well today. There’s more of an emphasis on building brand trust and selling to a known audience rather than to cold traffic, and social media platforms are doing what they can to keep audiences right there, rather than letting them slip away to off-platform websites.

AI is an interesting trend. I’m not convinced of it either way, yet. If we end up with AI-created mass-produced content, then it’ll be the unique personalities and businesses that rise to the top.

Lastly, what exciting developments are in your roadmap for the next 12 months?

We’re planning to revamp some of our plugins that we haven’t updated for a while, to really take them to the next level. A whole new interface, improved functionality, and much more. We have some really exciting ideas that we can incorporate into them at the same time, but we stay very quiet about our future plans and prefer to surprise our customers when they’re ready.

All I can say is: the next 18 months are going to be a lot of fun.

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