You need the right tools to create an online course. Video screen capture software, a tripod, audio equipment and the right editing tools are all necessary. There are many options available to help you choose the right program to sell your online course. Thinkific is one such program. In this Thinkific review we will discuss its unique features.
Thinkific claims that its online course platform allows you to create, market and sell online courses directly from your website. It appears to be a well-respected company, with thousands of course creators using it. Hootsuite and York University are just a few of the clients.
Thinkific, like most online course creators can be used internally at companies as a for profit course module online or as an avenue for schools and universities to create online courses.
Some users and the Thinkific company claim that this platform is for those who want complete control over their online courses. Thinkific also appears to have automated tools that will take the hassle out of your job.
My job is to evaluate the product to verify the claims. So, continue reading this Thinkific review to find out if it’s right for you.
Thinkific Review: What are the Best Features? How Can They Benefit You?
A great online course building platform will typically offer all the features you need, from start to finish. This includes course building, marketing, selling, and teacher/student management.
Thinkific doesn’t allow you to host courses on your website. Thinkific hosts your content, so you don’t need to find hosting yourself. However, it gives you full control over how your website looks.
Thinkific offers more branding control and freedom than systems like Udemy. Let’s look at some other notable features.
For quick course design, use the mainly drag-and-drop editor
Thinkific’s course designer is a key reason why it stands out from the rest. If you don’t wish to, you don’t need to touch any code.
You can organize all your content using a drag and drop editor. This allows you to stack course content and move it vertically.
Thinkific allows you to upload almost any media type. The platform allows you to upload a variety of learning materials, including PDFs and audio files, surveys, and quizzes.
All of these files are stored on the Thinkific servers, as we have mentioned. You don’t need to worry about files being too big or slow on your shared servers.
It offers a variety of editing tools that can be used to customize your course website. You can modify items such as logos, color schemes and banners without having to touch any code.
The HTML and CSS are managed by more experienced developers. This allows you to create a unique site.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review I was impressed by the ease of student communication tools. This is a visual student management area that includes pictures of students, contact information and details about how far they have advanced in their courses.
You can send personalized emails to students or start a conversation with the whole community.
This learning environment also offers incentives, such as completion certificates, report cards and emails to send out any kind of information you wish during courses.
Students who use the Thinkific platform for learning should feel at home, with unlimited replays, language controls and mobile optimization.
Promoting online courses can be a problem for some platforms. This is regrettable as there is no way to make money online if people don’t know about your course.
Thinkific does this right, with integrated marketing and promotional tools. This is a lot of what can be automated. Thinkific offers this functionality, which allows you to send content to students and release certain courses over time.
You can also target the right people by sending automated emails according to a schedule. Thinkific also allows you to set up pricing and get paid instantly if someone registers for your course.
Thinkific offers an affiliate program that rewards bloggers who recommend your course. Thinkific also offers coupons. This allows you to create ads that feature specials and convince potential customers that your course is worth the investment.
You can track everything from affiliates to coupons right from the dashboard. To see where students are coming in, you can also link Adwords, Facebook and other social accounts.
What is the pricing?
Although there aren’t many online courses that charge hidden fees, thinkific claims that they don’t have any hidden fees. It also doesn’t charge transaction fees and has no contracts. It’s nice to know that, but not exceptional.
Thinkific offers a free plan to anyone who wants to try the platform, but not be limited by its limitations. It allows you to launch your store, and build a student base without spending a dime. If you prefer to give the more advanced plans, there is a free trial.
There are four basic pricing plans available:
- Free:Thinkific’s free plan is a great choice for people who need very basic features. You won’t have access to content dripping and certificates for your students. If you are a pro, student data cannot be passed to an email service provider or linked in an affiliate program. The plan only allows you to create and market 3 courses. However, it includes all the necessary tools to validate your course business, including content hosting, basic integrations and Stripe/PayPal support. You also have instant access to all funds.
- Basic: The basic plan costs $49 per monthly. The basic plan includes all the features of the free plan, but you can create unlimited courses and drip your content. Access to some marketing and sales tools is also included. The best thing about the Basic plan is its integration with other email marketing tools. All core features, coupons, promotions, monthly subscriptions and course bundles are included for $49 per month. Affiliate reporting, basic Zapier and drip content, affiliate reporting and bulk student emailer are also available.
- The PRO Plan:The next level up from Basic. It includes everything you need to manage a successful course including CSS/HTML editing and support for two site administrators accounts. You get all the features of previous plans for $99 per month, including completion certificates, hidden and private courses, site white labeling and intermediate Zapier, webhooks and support for 3 course admin accounts. Advanced HTML/CSS editing is also available. Priority support, instructor payout reporting and payment plans are available.
- Premier:The Premier plan costs $499 per month and includes access to many crucial features such as bulk emailing, white-labeled courses, and more. You can create exams for your course, send multiple emails at once, integrate with advanced sales and marketing tools, and even create bulk emailing. This package includes up to 50 course administrators and 5 site administrators. You can also organize your students into groups with the help of Groups. While some features like single-sign-on and public API are targeted at larger businesses, bulk emailing, white labelling, and single-sign on are great for everyone.
Thinkific’s pricing structure has many great benefits. You can start your course free of charge (something not available with competitors Teachable), and the additional three plans are also broken down in a logical manner.
You won’t likely need API access until your course sales are really progressing.
Although I would love to see completion certificates and HTML editing included in the Basic plan’s Basic plan, $99 per month is still a good price.
You can save even more money by purchasing on an annual basis. The Basic plan is now $39 per month, if you pay all upfront.
Support for Thinkific Customers
Pre-sales support is good since the website provides information and allows you to browse case studies and see real-world customers who have taken their online courses with Thinking.
You can access demos of Thinkific products on the Resource page. A blog is also available with many tutorials to help you get started. You can also find links to social media platforms and a free video training on the Thinkific website.
Thinkific offers direct support. It has a Help Center that includes a getting started guide and training, as well as a community section. You can find detailed technical solutions in the support docs, which are full of real user conversations.
Thinkific also offers a contact form which places you in the queue for tickets. There is no option to speak with someone via chatbox or call a support line. Some plans include onboarding guidance. The Business plan gives you priority support.
Although the internet resources are excellent, it would be great to have at least some phone support for those who prefer talking to real people.
Thinkific Payment Options
When deciding whether to use Thinkific’s service, you should not only consider the pricing packages. It’s also important to think about how you will manage payments. It is crucial that you integrate with a payment processor in order to begin taking payments for your courses. Once you accept payments, funds will be sent to the payment processor that you have chosen.
Setting up your payment processor is the first step to get paid with Thinkific. Thinkific supports direct integrations to leading tools such as Stripe and PayPal. You have the option to choose whether you want to connect with either one or both of these options in your course builder.
Thinkific supports Stripe and PayPal as core features. You can also set your course pricing before publishing the lessons online.
When you select Stripe to pay, the payment option will be listed in your order details as a credit card. Your bank account will also be automatically credited with the payouts. You can also change the frequency of payouts to your Stripe account and create a different schedule.
PayPal will be listed as the payment option if you choose it. PayPal payments must be manually transferred into your bank account before they can be accessed. The PayPal website also has instructions for how to obtain PayPal.
It is easy to review your payments and see where they came form by clicking on the Orders Report in your Thinkific dashboard.
Thinkific offers a variety of integrations that will help you elevate your learning experience. There are many great options. You’ll find an Integrations tab on your Admin dashboard. It can be found in the Market & Sell sections. You will find:
- Integrations with Ecommerce: PayPal and Stripe
- Email marketing integrations: ConvertKit MailChimp MailChimp ActiveCampaign Constant Contact
- Analytics integrations: For Mixpanel, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Site Verification, Conversion Tracking (AdWords), etc.
- Communication integrations: For Intercom, Highways.io, etc
Thinkific offers integrations with Infusionsoft By Keap and payment solutions that are supported by Infusionsoft By Keap. Zapier is a Zapier alternative that allows you to explore more integrations with Thinkific. You can also create courses and have them sold through Shopify with Thinkific.
Keep in mind that Thinkific’s add-on options for course creation are always changing. You can make the most of your business development package by constantly checking for new plugins. There’s support for everything, from Convertkit to Brillium.
Thinkific Reporting and Analytics
Reporting is an essential part of any business strategy. The Thinkific user report is an especially useful feature because it allows you to manage a larger and more engaged user base.
The user report function allows you to view data about your students. You can also select the data you want to see when you visit your dashboard. This includes information such as enrollments and creation dates. You can also use the filter section of the user report to export and segment different lists. You have the following filter options:
- Course admin
- Amount spent
- Enrolled in
- Analyst for the group
- Enrollment status
- Name of the group
- Has purchased
- Last sign in
- Progress on the filter course
- Use coupon
Thinkific offers three options for progress reports:
- Progress reports: These are a glimpse into students’ progress and activities in your course. It is possible to see which students have started which course and when they’ve completed it.
- Cohort reports: Compare student completions rates for groups of students who have a common start date. For example, all students who signed up for March would be included in your March Cohort. This makes it easier to compare month-to-month.
- Reports on groups: These are similar to progress reports. They provide information about a particular group. You will need details about all students in the group including their email addresses, names, and completion rates of courses they are enrolled in.
What are the best thinkific alternatives?
You can always consider other options if Thinkific isn’t the best online learning platform for you new business. Take, for example:
Udemy allows you to sell online courses without having to code. It is extremely user-friendly and offers many tools to help you grow such as custom pricing options and a helpful support team. There are also plenty of marketing strategies.
Udemy is a unique online learning platform that doesn’t require you to create an education environment from scratch. Your course can be instantly published in an environment that already has a lot of interest from customers.
Udemy pricing plans don’t allow you to have as much control as Thinkific. This learning platform doesn’t allow you to create your own website or subdomain. Instead, you can join a membership site.
- It is very easy to get started, and it is simple to find new students
- SEO friendly to rank higher
- There is no need to be familiar with coding information.
- Excellent support for online learning, including telephone support
- Paid plans include mobile access to courses
- It is difficult to make a good income after your first course.
- Websites and subdomains are not allowed
- There is no branding flexibility
Podia is another top-rated platform to create courses for your eCommerce strategy. This learning management system makes sharing your work easy. A variety of memberships can be sold online, with different pricing options. You can also use digital downloads and customize elements.
Podia is the site for you if you are looking for an online school that offers everything you need to have a great education. Podia is a user-friendly product that offers secure payment processing and social media access. Podia offers a variety of pricing options for your course business.
Podia is not ideal for selling courses. Thinkific.com and Thinkific Plus offer more advanced reporting features.
- Good customer support
- Set-up and use is simple
- New features are constantly being added
- There are no content restrictions
- Support for VAT and Invoicing
- Create your URL
- Live webinars help you get started
- Get your customer and data.
- Get immediate access to your earnings
- There are limited payment options
- It is not easy to personalize your email marketing
- Analytics support is not included
Why should I choose Thinkific to take my online course?
Thinkific is a simple-to-use tool that lets you create your own online courses. Your site will be fully customizable and include all the necessary integrations. Thinkific supports customers with better experiences at every stage, from the moment they arrive on your site to when they reach their goals. A support team with extensive knowledge and experience will be there to help you throughout this journey.
Is it possible to switch to Thinkific via another platform?
Thinkific offers seamless migration services for those who are migrating from a custom-built site or learning management system. Any questions you may have about content migration or similar issues can be answered by the support team. The support team will also ensure that information such as enrollment dates, student progress and login information are kept in tact when you transition to the Thinkific platform.
Is it possible to create a complete website using Thinkific?
Thinkific lets you build an entire website from scratch, unlike other course creation platforms that only offer you a place on an existing membership platform. Everything you need is available in one platform. You don’t even need to have any previous experience with web design. Even if your technical knowledge is not required, there are ways to use it in marketing and website personalization.
Is it possible to put any content into a Thinkific course
Thinkific can handle a wide range of content types. Within your courses, you can access all types of content including audio and video as well as images and PDFs. Presentations are also possible. It’s easy to add custom lesson types, quizzes, and assignments to Thinkific, so you can create a course that suits your needs. You can also use a variety of media types and lesson types to create an interactive environment.
Who should consider the Thinkific Online Course Platform
Thinkific is a great tool for anyone who wants to create a new online store. It is easy to use and provides all the tools you need to create your online store.
It’s also great for companies that are looking to get started and gain a following. For smaller courses, the Thinkific plan is fine. It’s also a great package to get your course set up with minimal upfront costs.
Table of Contents