If you’re looking to create and sell online courses, Thinkific is a great online course platform that can help you achieve that. However, if you’re not sure whether or not Thinkific is the right choice when it comes to sharing your knowledge and expertise, stick around to learn everything there is to know about the platform, the available plans they offer, the features they offer, and everything else in between.
What is Thinkific?
Thinkific is an online course platform that helps educators and entrepreneurs to create and sell their courses online without any design or coding experience needed.
Thinkific combines plenty of features both for teaching and for selling which makes it a great all-in-one solution for anyone looking to sell an online course easily and efficiently.
Thinkific’s platform allows individuals and businesses to create online courses in their field of expertise as well as deliver and sell those courses to their audience. The opportunities to create courses are unlimited. From social media marketing to online hockey coaching programs, Thinkific caters to all types of creators and students.
They currently have over 25,000 creators on their platform, delivering classes to students in over 160 countries.
What’s Thinkific Used For?
From coaches, bloggers, and YouTubers to authors, speakers, and business owners, everyone can use Thinkific to provide students with online courses and achieve their business goals. Experts can use the platform to scale their business and monetize their expertise by creating an engaging student experience.
You can use Thinkific to book more clients, increase your revenue and grow your business. Using Thinkific’s course-creation, marketing, and selling tools, you can easily create a website where your audience can find and purchase your courses.
But what type of features does Thinkific offer, and how do they compare to other similar platforms?
Thinkific Review: Main Features
Before picking the right platform to sell your online courses on, you need to make sure that it works for you and your course-building needs.
To help you make a well-informed choice, we’ve covered all of Thinkific’s main features and benefits so you can check out whether they fit your needs.
Here are some of the main things that make this platform stand out in comparison to other platforms:
1. Thinkific Course Builder
The course player is what your students will see when they take your course. It’s where they spend most of their time, enjoying your lessons and discussing them with other students who are also taking your course.
Thinkific allows you to customize several details of your course player appearance so it matches your branding or the look-and-feel you want to create for that specific course.
You can go with a course template, and upload your text, audio, or video content all at once. Or you can use their drag-and-drop option to build the layout of your pages and course in the way that works best for your content.
Here are some of the options that Thinkific offers when it comes to customizing the course player.
- Brand your course. Put your logo at the top of your course and use your brand colors so you can keep your branding strong.
- Select your color and font. Select the primary color of the course player (you can use your brand color) and the course player font.
- Select player theme. Select between their light and dark theme for each of your individual courses.
In addition to these features, there are other ways to customize your Course Player, so you can provide your users with the best possible experience. Those include:
- On-Lesson Discussions
- Completion Messages
- Course Reviews
- Free Preview
- Drip Schedule
- Prerequisite Lessons
- Individual Course Player Appearance Customizations
Some of these features are available on the free plan but the paid packages offer even more customization options like dark/light themes, custom fonts, your own course player logo and labels for each type of lesson.
No matter what your industry or business is, these white-labeling options can help you strengthen your personal brand and recognition.
Alternatively, you can also easily integrate Thinkific with your existing website in case you want some extra space for customization or want to bring your courses to your existing audience.
Keeping your students engaged can be challenging so switching up your type of content can help you make the learning experience more interactive and entertaining.
For this purpose, Thinkific supports a wide variety of content types, so you can choose the one that best suits the lesson and learning needs of your students.
Here are the different types of lessons you can host on Thinkific.
- Brillium exams
- Live feed (beta)
Note: Thinkific allows you to upload your videos directly removing the need of paying for another hosting service. They host the files through Wistia and you can upload as many as you want as long as they are 2G.
Drip Content Schedule
Thinkific allows you to “drip” your content, controlling when your students get access to each part (or to all of it). This is especially useful when you do a pre-sell and don’t want students to get access to the course until the official launch or if you want to release one lesson at a time to help students pace their learning.
You can create a unique Drip Schedule per course based on three options:
- Student Enrollment Date
- Student Course Start Date
- On a Specific Date (ie. Calendar Date)
This feature is not available of the free plan so you’d need to upgrade to the Basic Plan to use get access.
2. Thinkific’s Website Builder
Your website is where you will sell your course so naturally, it plays an essential role in the success of your online coaching business.
Thinkific doesn’t fall short when it comes to features for creating a high-converting website for your courses.
Here are some of Thinkific’s website functionalities:
Ten years ago, the process of creating a website was exclusive to those who knew how to code but nowadays anyone can do it thanks to drag-and-drop builders like the one Thinkific offers.
Their drag and drop feature which allows you to “grab” certain sections or objects and drag them to your desired location. This way you can easily build your course and go from concept to a fully-built course within a couple of hours, as opposed to having to code everything from scratch
You can choose between banners, call-to-action, checklist, countdown timers, image gallery, reviews, videos, and much more.
You can use their available layouts that are specifically designed for educational businesses and simply change some of the details you want to personalize or you can choose to use their drag-and-drop feature to create your layout from scratch.
Thinkific’s Theme Library comes with 10 pre-built templates that you can customize to have your website ready in a few minutes instead of having to start from scratch.
Their templates are focused on education businesses so you can make sure any of them would work well for selling your course.
The “Design Your Site” section offers you the ability to customize your sign up and checkout pages and as you probably know they are an integral part in ensuring sales.
If you’re looking to improve your conversion rates, you should take the time to improve the design and layout of your sign up and checkout pages, using the customizing options offered in the “Design Your Site” section.
Thinkific’s Sales Pages
When it comes to sales pages, Thinkific is really easy to build with, using their niche-specific or business sector templates. You can easily employ their templates and do some CSS and HTML customizations to achieve the look you want.
For your Thinkific course to do well and sell, you’re going to have to design a tempting sales page to convince your audience to buy your course. With Thinkific you can easily achieve this, even if you have no knowledge in web design. Using their user-friendly site builder, you can add all the elements your course needs to be successful, including:
- A proper banner using whatever image you want
- A proper description of your course
- Your bio
- Testimonials and reviews
- CTAs and more
3. Thinkific Student Management Tools
3.1 Manage Learning Section
The “Manage Learning Content” section offers you the chance to create categories for your courses, which is a great way to group different courses together, giving your students more perspective as to which courses are related.
Use this section to create any kind of category you want, add images to each category, and group your courses accordingly. Other helpful features that you can find in the “Manage Learning Content” area include:
- Membership types. The “Manage Learning Content” section allows you to set differente membership types and payment options for your students to choose. Some of the options you can choose from include
- Free membership plan
- One-time payment
- Subscription membership
- Monthly payment plan
- Custom pricing options
Although, you’ll need access to Thinkific’s Pro plan to use these membership options.
- Adding a free trial feature to your course. Learners can then sign up to your course for free and get access to the free part of your course, but will need to pay to access the rest of your content.
- Customizing the completion page of your courses so you can promote related courses, which is a great selling feature.
- Split revenue between instructors. If you have a pro or a premier account, and you’re selling courses that feature multiple instructors, you can use this section to determine the percentage in which the revenue will be split amongst each contributor.
- Bundle courses. If you’re using any of Thinkific’s paid plans, you can create bundles of courses that you can sell as a single product, which is another great marketing feature.
3.2. Thinkific’s Quizzes
Quizzes and tests are a great form of self-assessment for your students and give them the chance to check their knowledge and motivate them to continue learning.
Thinkific allows you to create simple and more complex quizzes using multiple-choice assessments.
They have a simple template that you can use to import your questions and answer alternatives as well as choose whether each question has one or multiple correct answers. If you’d like, you can also provide your students with further explanation as to why that answer is correct and offer them further guidance on how to get the right answer.
Thinkific will keep a record of your questions and answers stored there and the option to easily import them into a different system if you choose to.
If you’re using their Pro or Premier plans, you can also set your quizzes and tests as a prerequisite for moving on to the next chapter of your course, meaning your students will need to pass the quiz to continue.
With Pro and Premier plans, you also have the chance to randomize your questions, by pulling from a bank of questions you’ve previously set up.
If you’re just starting out by offering a couple of courses to your audience, and aren’t planning on creating really elaborate quizzes, then the basic plan will work well for you. If, however, you’re an advanced learning business that’s planning to scale up, even more, you should consider taking advantage of Thinkific’s Pro or Premier plans.
With the help of Accredible, Thinkific issues completion certificates to students who successfully finish a course, so each learner who finishes your course can be presented with a personalized certificate.
If you want to give your students certificates at the end of each of your courses you will need to use Thinkific’s Pro or Premier plan, which offers such options. The cost of a pro-level or premier-level license is something that might be worth considering, especially if you’re serious enough about what you’re teaching that you want to provide certificates for it and it is something students will value.
If you decide that you want to provide your students with certificates for completing your course, you can use Thinkific’s certificate templates to provide personalized certificates to each student. You can also set a time period for which the certificate will be valid.
If you’re not satisfied with Thinkific’s certificate template, you can also browse different designs on Accredible. Due to Thinkific’s integration of Accredible, you can customize your certificates to suit your needs best. Using their editor, you can change and remove elements of the certificate, change the branding, the text, and everything else, by adding or removing “dynamic” elements, until you achieve the look you want.
4. Thinkific App Store
Earlier this year, Thinkific launched their Thinkific App Store, making the process of creating professional-looking content much easier. Their app store has around 30 apps across 4 different categories, including automation, email marketing and growth, analytics/tracking, and student experience.
The Thinkific App Store allows creators to more fully customize their courses and other learning products they’re offering.
In addition to helping course creators, developers can also benefit from creating and selling apps for the Thinkific App Store by accessing a global market of over 50,000 active course creators.
5. Marketing and Selling with Thinkific
Unlike academic learning management systems, Thinkific is a platform that’s specifically designed for marketing and selling purposes. Since marketing and selling online education is one of Thinkific’s main uses, it provides a range of features course creators can implement to achieve their marketing goals.
Most of these features can be found under the “Market and Sell” section on the panel, but you can also find some of the other marketing and selling tools in other sections, so if you want to make use of everything Thinkific can offer, make sure not to skip out on these.
Here’s where you can find some of Thinkific’s most valuable marketing and selling features, beginning with the “Market and Sell” section.
Market and Sell
The “Market and Sell” section offers a range of options when it comes to selling and marketing. Some of those include:
- Setting up coupons. If you’re using one of Thinkific’s paid plans, you’ll have the option of setting up coupons that can be used when purchasing your courses or bundles. You can set the discount percentage for the coupon, set an expiration date (optional) and the number of times the coupon can be used (also optional).
- Adding affiliates. Thinkific’s platform allows you to add a person or more people as affiliates, who will help sell your courses for a commission. This process is pretty straightforward and simple. All you have to do is add that person as a user and select “affiliate” as his role. You can also do this with existing users.
- Use the sales widget feature. Generate an HTML code using Thinkific’s sales widget feature that you can place on your existing website and have users go straight to a landing page or to checkout. You can customize the widget to display as a button or add a product image to it and any text you want displayed.
No Transaction Fees
Unlike other similar platforms, Thinkific doesn’t charge course creators transaction fees when a student purchases their course, nor does it take a commission from their sales.
The amount you pay on a monthly or yearly basis depends on the level you select. In addition to their free plan, they have packages ranging from $49 to $499/month, so you can choose the one that works best for your needs and change it at any time.
6. Thinkific Integrations
Simply put, the term integrations describes pieces of software that are able to “talk to each other” and pass information through some type of coding. Integrations matter a lot when it comes to online course platforms because they improve the users’ experience and can make the whole process a lot easier when implemented properly.
So far, Thinkific offers integrations in the areas of automation tools, e-commerce, tracking/analytics, email marketing, student experience, and growth tools. Depending on the plan you have, you will have access to different areas of integration, although the essentials will be available to all users, including the ones using the free plan.
Thinkific’s app store is constantly growing, allowing users to find all kinds of apps specifically designed to help course creators in their process.
When you get started with Thinkific, there are a few essential integrations that you should set up so you can start marketing and selling your courses.
Here’s what those areas are, and where you should begin when you’re just starting out with Thinkific.
Thinkific supports direct integrations with two payment gateway services, Stripe and Paypal. You can integrate one of those options or use both if that’s what you prefer. You can set up your payment gateway by navigating to the “Payments” tab, located under “Settings”.
You can use PayPal for one-time payments only, and when it comes to Stripe, in addition to one-time payments, you can also set up subscription and payment plans. Stripe also allows you to change your currency, while PayPal integration supports USD only.
Other integrations in the area of e-commerce include Stunning, a service that’s designed to identify and recover failed Stripe payments, and Quaderno, which helps users manage their taxes.
There are a ton of other apps under the e-commerce section that you can integrate to sell more courses and scale-up.
Some of the most useful ones you should consider setting up, include:
- Shopify. Add a new revenue stream and grow your online course business by creating a Shopify store and selling related products and services to your audience.
- Keap. Grow your business and increase sales using this automated sales and marketing automation software.
- eWebinar. Sell your courses on autopilot and automate the whole sales process.
- DropInBlog. Add a blog to your site and boost your search engine ranking.
- CartStack. Send targeted emails, SMS and web push reminders to recover lost sales from visitors who’ve left your site without completing their purchase.
- Capture. Create engaging quizzes and pop-ups to grow your email list.
These are just some of the available apps and integrations you can use to grow your business and sell more. Depending on the plan you have, you might be able to implement some or most of these integrations to get more customers, more sales, and grow your business.
Tracking/Analytics + Growth Tools
By using Google Analytics and other tracking and analytics tools that can be integrated with Thinkific, you can gain valuable insight into your customers’ activity. Using the tools Google Analytics offers, you can get to know your audience better, analyze all data in one place, get detailed reports and use those to make more data-driven decisions to grow your business.
To use Google Analytics, simply put your tracking code and site verification code into Thinkific so you can track and analyze all data in one place.
Apart from Google Analytics, Thinkific provides a few other useful integrations that you can use for tracking purposes.
- Facebook Pixel. Which you can use to track conversions from Facebook Ads, build your audience and optimize your ads based on the data you collect.
- Mixpanel. Track in-depth student actions using this advanced analytics platform. Improve student experience using real-time data, behavior tracking and data insights.
- Segment. Clean, collect and control customer data to create your ultimate data foundation and understand how your customers are interacting with your site.
- Sumo. Increase your website leads and conversions, drive traffic, market your content better and automate your site’s growth.
- Wizebank Analytics. Keep all your analytics data and everything you need to know about your e-learning business in one place and save time and money in the process.
Email Marketing Integration
Email integration is the process of connecting the email service you use to the course builder, so that when a customer purchases your course that email can be ported right over to your inbox.
Thinkific connects with you to use 6 different email email marketing platforms so you can add your students to your mailing list and automate the entire process. These include Mail Chimp, ConvertKit, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft and ConstantContact.
This is not the case with most course builders, which typically connect with 1-2 email services.
While this may not seem like a big deal, as even if your email service provider is not on the list of available providers, you can use a third-party service to connect your email service to the course provider if you don’t want to spend extra money on additional services choosing a course builder that connects with multiple different email services can save you a lot of money.
This is a really important step for online course sellers so they can add Thinkific students to their mailing list and be able to send them updates, promotions, offers, and so on.
Using your preferred email marketing platform, you can build powerful email and marketing campaigns. You can use the tools these apps provide to grow your online course business by finding new customers, keeping them engaged, and coming back for more by using segmented and automated emails.
There are a ton of different apps you can integrate with your Thinkific account to deliver better student experiences. Here’s an overview of a few of those integrations:
- Accredible. Issue digital course completion certificates to your students to help motivate your students and boost completion rates.
- Beastnotes. Offer your students a better way of taking notes that’s designed to be distraction-free so they can learn better and engage more effectively with your content.
- Community Box. Turn your classroom into a community and enable your students to network with each other and with other visitors on your site.
- Ding. Keep your students informed and excited about your latest content, new courses and other events by sending them smart, personalized notifications.
- Lessonspace. Create engaging one-on-one or group teaching sessions for your students. Teach using video conference, whiteboards, text chat, document editors, or even code.
- Motrain. Use a personalized reward system to motivate your students with prizes, virtual coins and more!
And if you have a premier-level account, you can make use of the Thinkific Brillium integration to create advanced examinations, surveys, and more.
Accessing Your Apps
To access all your apps simply visit the Thinkific App Store, where you can find, set up and access a variety of apps and integrations. You can install any of the apps straight from the store and once they’re installed, you can access them through your Apps page in your Admin Panel.
What If You Can’t Find the App You Need?
And finally, if you can’t find the perfect tool or app among the array of integrations available on Thinkific, you can either:
- Use Zapier, which is a tool that allows users to integrate the web applications they use and automate the whole process.
- Contact Thinkific’s support team and request an app that you think might work together well in their ecosystem. If they like your idea they might implement it and you might see that app in their constantly growing app store.
- Alternatively, you can join the Thinkific Partner Program and build the app you want yourself, if that’s something that might interest you.
7. Thinkific Pricing Plans & Packages
Thinkific offers 4 different packages that range from free to premier.
Let’s take a look at each package separately, to see which one would be the best choice for you.
Thinkific Free Package
What makes Thinkific really stand out from other online course platforms is that they offer a free plan in addition to their paid subscription plans. The free plan allows you to use the core features of the platform so you can create a limited number of courses completely free of charge.
- Limited courses (up to 3)
- Unlimited students
- Email support
- Quizzes & surveys
- Content hosting
- Instant access to your funds
This package is suitable for those of you who are starting out and looking to create your first courses. You can test-drive Thinkific’s core features for free and later on if you’re looking to expand your business, you can select one of their paid plans that offer more features and benefits to meet your needs.
Thinkific Basic Package
Thinkific’s basic package is priced at $39 per month (paid annually) or $49 per month (paid monthly) and it offers the basic tools and features necessary to prepare and launch your first course.
Thinkific’s basic package includes all the core and free features of the platform, including a few additional ones, like:
- Unlimited courses & students
- Live Chat support
- Email students
- Drip (scheduled) content
- Affiliate reporting
- Custom domain
- Email integrations
- Zapier triggers
- Manual student enrollment & exports
- Thinkific App Store
Thinkific Pro Package – Most Popular Plan
Their pro package is priced at $79 per month (annually) or $99 per month (monthly) and it offers course creators including authors, speakers, creatives, consultants, coaches, and trainers a complete suite of tools and features necessary to create an amazing student experience.
Thinkific’s pro package includes all the basic features of the platform, including a few additional ones, like:
- Unlimited courses & students
- Live chat support
- 2 Site admin accounts
- 5 Course admins/authors
- Private & hidden courses
- Advanced course pricing options
- Memberships and bundles
- Advanced Customization
- Priority Support
- Live Lessons with Zoom
Thinkific Premier Package
Priced at $399 per month (annually) or $499 per month (monthly), Thinkific’s premier package is designed for advanced customers who are looking to take their courses to the next level and deliver online education at scale. With this plan, there are no limitations that can stand in the way of you building an education empire.
Thinkific’s premier package includes all the pro features of the platform, including a few additional ones, like:
- Unlimited courses & students
- Live chat support
- 5 Site admin accounts
- 15 Group Analysts
- 50 Course admins/authors
- Single sign on (SSO)
- Onboarding package
Thinkific Plus Package
For those of you out there who are looking for even more than the premier package can offer, there is one more plan that’s available and can be requested by contacting Thinkific directly. The plan comes with a few extra features, such as:
- Course-specific branding
- Plus API Allowances
- Custom migration planning
- Dedicated Customer Success Manager
- Dedicated sandbox site
- Advanced password complexity
- Service Level Agreement (SLA) 99.5%
- Master Services Agreement (MSA)
- Course duplication
- Robust launch preparedness review
Thinkific Review: Pros & Cons
- Free basic plan: This is one of the main advantages of Thinkific vs. other course creation platforms. Many educators and entrepreneurs don’t a big budget when starting their business so this reason alone is enough to draw them to Thinkific.
- No transaction fees: Thinkific doesn’t charge any additional transaction charges on the payments made by students which can make a big difference for most educators.
- Instant access to your funds: Regarldess of the plan you’re using, Thinkific offers you instant access to your funds which is a feature lacking in platforms like Teachable and Udemy.
- Custom domain: For those planning to use their own domain, Thinkific provides custom domains from its Basic plans which helps you build your online presence and recognition.
- Phone support: Thinkific is one of the very few platforms offering phone support. Additionally, Thinkific’s email support is quite responsive.
- White-labeling solution: If you want to crate your own course platform you get rid of the Thinkific branding and can leverage their siftware and features with your own brand. Availabe with Growth packages.
- Third-party integrations: Thikific intergates seamlessly with some of the most popular email autoresonder and payment gateways which makes up for the lack of integrated email or marketing tools. Their app store also has around 30 apps for automation, email marketing and growth, analytics / tracking and student experience.
- Two-step checkout process: Thinkific has a two-step checkout process where users are required to create an account before purchasing a course which could increase cart abandonments.
- No marketplace: Thinkific doesn’t offer a course marketplace which could be a drawback when trying to marketing your course. However, Thinkific is not seeing as a marketplace and doesn’t get organic visitors looking for course which explains why mot of the educators that use the platform already have an audience or other source of traffic.
- No email marketing tool: While Thinkific comes with various third-party email integrations, it doesn’t provide its email autoresponder, which means you need to pay for a separate software.
Thinkific Review | FAQs
If you’re still left with some unanswered questions regarding the platform, its features and anything else related to it, we’ve got you covered below!
Let’s check out some of the most frequently asked questions about Thinkific that might help you decide whether the platform is a good fit for you.
1. How good is Thinkific?
Thinkific is one of the best course creation platforms available. It is designed to help educators, entrepreneurs, and business coaches promote and grow their business seamlessly thanks to their integration with multiple third-party platforms and apps.
2. Is Thinkific free forever?
If you choose the free plan, yes. However, their free plan is limited to three courses, so when you want to scale up and create more courses, you will have to upgrade to one of their paid plans.
3. Is Thinkific safe?
Yes, Thinkific is a very safe and reliable platform with secure cloud hosting and daily backups. All updates are automatic so you always have access to the latest features. It also has built-in security and SSL. Their Support and Engineering teams are trained to report, review and monitor any possible incidents that might occur so they can be resolved right away.
4. What makes Thinkific different from other course creation platforms?
Thinkific is really easy to set up and use since it doesn’t require any coding knowledge or experience. The platform is designed to provide you and your users with an incredible experience. Their Support and Engineering teams are here to help you out every step of the way so you can create and sell your courses seamlessly.
5. Can I build my entire website on Thinkific?
Thinkific gives you the freedom to build not only your courses but your entire brand within one seamless platform. You can achieve all of that without having any knowledge or experience in web design, since the platform is designed to facilitate every step of the process from start to finish, from building to marketing, selling, and so on.
6. What is Thinkific’s Growth package and how much does it cost?
Their Growth package is designed to help course creators scale and expand their business. This package is available as an add-on to Thinkific’s Pro plan and provides course creators with additional features like bulk emails, bulk enrollment, student groups, advanced segmentation, and more. The package price is set at $0.10 per active student, with the first 100 students being free.
Thinkific Review: Wrapping Things Up
Thinkific is an all-in-one platform for course creators where they can seamlessly create, market, and sell their courses to earn revenue and grow their business. Thinkific allows coaches, instructors, and creators to create engaging courses and high-converting sites without any coding or design experience.
The platform is suitable for everyone from small businesses to coaches, authors, creatives, professional trainers, universities, and larger companies. Everyone from solo edupreneurs to large corporations can get benefit from the platform and the variety of features it offers.
Even if you’re still not sure whether Thinkific is the platform for you, there are no risks in trying out their free plan so you can see for yourself if this platform is the way to go.