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November 27, 2014 AT 11:13 am

Happy Thanksgiving – Our promise and thanks

Adafruit Thanksgiving Googleplus

Back in 2010 we posted up an outline of some of the things we will not do here at Adafruit and last night on ASK AN ENGINEER we talked about this too.

It started out making it clear we will not make blinking Christmas tree kits. That was a promise to make, and we’ve kept it.

What else? We will never sell advertising space on Adafruit.com (our blog is up to 11 million pages view / 2 million visitors a month now, we get asked a lot by companies each week to allow them to buy ads on our site). We will never do any affiliate programs, or “sponsored projects”, “sponsored posts”, we will not litter the site with all those social media “share buttons” on every post and product page.

We’ve never spammed anyone and we want to be very clear, we never will. That’s right, you’ll never get a “sales” or “promotional” newsletter from us, we will never share your email address with anyone, we will never send you “special offers” or anything that you didn’t ask for. We are never going to harvest customer emails and send spam. Your physical address will never be shared or used – you’re never going to get a catalog from us or anyone in the mail because you purchased from Adafruit.

It’s really annoying when you go to a web site and the first thing that pops up is a “sign up for the newsletter” window with a tiny close (x) box you’re forced to click to get to the site. We’re not going to do that either. It seems like anytime you give a company your email address now it ultimately get spammed. It’s unfair to say “join our mailing list” “or subscribe to newsletter” which could mean anything and then you’re spammed forever. Opting out of these later never seems to work and who knows who or where your email address went to. What if it’s a start up company and they’re sold or go out of business? What happens to your information then? Usually more spam or worse.

When someone purchases something from an online store, they need to give an email address for confirmation, tracking and customer service needs – it’s not fair to the customer to then spam them later, so we’re making it clear – we’ll never do that, and for anyone who works at Adafruit, they’re not allowed to do that. What emails do we send? We send order confirmations, multiple tracking emails (USPS, UPS) product in stock notifications if you’ve requested that and any customer service correspondence or automatic emails about order/shipping status. But you’ll never need to worry about us sending spam about a discount or sale. If we ever do a newsletter, it will not be part of a purchase you’ve made with us.

What does this mean? Well, it’s likely terrifying for marketers who would want to work with or at Adafruit. As companies grow, new folks come in and they can change some of the values of a company, so we’re putting it right here, these are the things we’re not going to do. Adafruit doesn’t have a marketing department yet and we’re not sure we want one. We see the value in marketing, we just do things differently.

Over the last 5+ years we’ve been told we’re leaving “money on the table” because we do not spam, we won’t put advertising on Adafruit.com – that we could be monetizing pages views for lots of money, that we do not have share buttons on every post/product page so people will not share on social media, that we should take money to do sponsored projects, sponsored posts or have an affiliate program. Maybe they’re right and we’re sure that’s a business model that will work for others, but we think our customers and community enjoy the experience at Adafruit and will reward us by purchasing our products. By not being distracted by all these spammy things, it means we focus 100% on new products, tutorials, writing and sharing code & hardware, making videos and creating great content.

We’re posting this today, Thanksgiving, because of you, our customers and community. We are solely supported by you. Enjoy the turkey, there’s no spam at our table. Thank you!

-Ladyada and the Adafruit team


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9 Comments

  1. And that right there is one reason why I spend so much money at Adafruit rather than some of the alternatives. That and your incredible documentation and example code. Keep on rocking!

  2. In the “early days” of the Internet, many sites required that you enter a phone number before they’d allow access to see what they were selling. I looked up “Dial-a-prayer” in the phone book and would give them that number.

    I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! Adafruit is one of the things I’m thankful for!

  3. Thank you! It’s absolutely appreciated!

    Those decisions go a long way towards why adafruit is the first source I recommend to members of the maker-meetup I help organize, and the dozens of makers where I work. In addition, I’m thankful for adafruit’s dedication to providing excellent tutorials, which help immensely for being able to point inspired beginners towards your store. 🙂

  4. THANK YOU!!!!!! !!!!THANKS!!!!

  5. Clean and honest. I like it.

    Inspiring for other hardware companies as well: http://makingsociety.com/2014/11/marketing-adafruit/

  6. I’m new here and recently placed my first order. The ordering process, the support, and all the educational aspects of the site had already won me over. I was not aware of your email/ad/marketing policies until this post, but I have to say I’m even more impressed! Thank you!

  7. Great policies, and good to hear the focus on products.

    Marketing is important, but *how* you market is at least as important as *whether* you market, and building word-of-mouth based on a reputation for quality and integrity is a pretty good *how*, IMO.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

  8. I am thankful for the innovations and ideas that have come from your website. I have worked with PIC Micro-controllers for years and I have converted a few of your tutorials to work with them. Encouraging our youth to pursue STEM education is necessary to continue improving technology and your company has done a lot to show that it is not just a boys world. It’s strange that most people do not even realize how important a women was to the creation and programming of Charles Babbage’s “analytical machine”. Ada Byron was encouraged to study math, and when she became Lady Ada Lovelace, she used her intelligence and affluence to change the world. Thanks Lady Ada and Thanks Adafruit.

  9. You guys are the best, and what you’re saying in this post is why that is the case. Of course not everyone can be the best… they are left to fight over the scraps that you’ve "left on the table" I guess 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving guys, and best wishes for the future.

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