Thinkific is an online course creation platform that you can utilize to design the best-in-class courses and sell them online. The ‘sell’ part, of course, makes sense only if you want to make money online. That aside, Thinkific is one of our recommended and go-to platforms if you are looking for a fully customizable e-learning solution that boasts of high-profile clients including universities such as York University in Canada. Talking of Canada, Thinkific is a Canadian company and perhaps comes with all the Canadian charm you can find.
Let’s discuss a bit about the company history before reviewing this 8-year old company.
Thinkific was founded in 2012 by Greg Smith and at the moment, the company has more than 40,000 course creators with 164 countries represented on the platform. Thinkific can be accessed via the website http://www.thinkific.com. Its primary office address is 520 Alexander Street Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.
With almost 10 years’ experience in an industry focused on e-learning, Thinkific is known best for the creation, marketing, and selling of online courses. This company was founded
This company boasts a revenue of $200 million and its financing status is Venture Capital-Backed. The investors on Thinkific include: Rhino Ventures, BC Tech Association, Launch Academy (Vancouver) and Pallasite Ventures.
The platform has experts that help their users with course publication, designing of their websites, enrolling students and course customization.
Thinkific takes pride in more than 45 million courses taken as of 2020 created by more than 20,000 course creators/teachers across the world.
How to use Thinkific
Thinkific courses are easy to create. The steps involved in creating these courses are:
- Use this link to get started with a two-step registration process. You’ll need to enter your name an email.
- You’ll receive an email from Thinkific to confirm your course creation account dashboard with Thinkific.
- The dashboard shown below gives you entire control of your course creation, management and roll-out.
- To create a course, you click on the ‘Add Course’ button on the left corner of the dashboard
Courses on Thinkific can also be deleted on one condition: the courses must have no students enrolled. Thinkific doesn’t allow courses with enrolled students to be deleted because doing so would affect the user data by removing such aspects as Affiliate commissions and Orders Information.
To delete a course, the following steps are involved
- Find Managed Learning Content and go to it
- Select Courses
- Find your desired Course and select it
- Find the Course Builder and select the Settings tab on it
- Scroll down until you find Delete this course and select it
- Confirm deletion by selecting yes, delete this course.
Thinkific has various integrations that enable the courses hosted by the platform to have a bigger reach and impact. The following integrations are just a few examples of those available on Thinkific:
- Active Campaign
This tool helps manage contacts. It is an Email marketing and CRM tool and is mainly tailored for sales and marketing
- Facebook Pixel
This is useful in keeping close scrutiny at conversions from Facebook Ads.
Aweber is a marketing solution that is very affordable and user friendly
This is aimed at tracking enrollments for courses and the reviews from your enrollments. The purpose of this is to boost conversions on new students
Brillium is for high-level testing via the creation of advanced exams
- Mail Chimp
Mail chimp is best known as an Email Marketing platform. It provides this plus landing pages, ads and tools for automation.
For more integrations, CLICK HERE.
And just like any other organization in Europe, Thinkific has an obligation to protect personal information of its European students/subscribers through a significantly new update to European privacy legislation known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Thinkific compliance with the GDPR and their guide for customers can be found on this link.
Thinkific also encompasses Membership sites. Membership sites are different from regular course sites in that they include the following four aspects:
- They have recurring revenue rather than a purchase that is one-off.
- Their training is ongoing and not just the issuance and publication of a course
- It involves building a community of like-minded people
- This model relies on retention of customers.
For more on the membership sites on Thinkific, follow this link.
To learn more on the successful creation and utilization of online course and membership sites, they provide a demo by Aaron Morin. The demo which is a video can be found HERE together with tips on what the Demo entails.
Thinkific has the following packages:
- Free Plan at $0
- Basic Plan at $49 per month
- Pro Plan at $99 per month. This is also their most popular plan
- Premier at $499 per month
Here is a screenshot of Thinkific Pricing Plans.
For more on these Plans and the amazing features they come with, CLICK HERE.
Thinkific Pros and Cons
Thinkific has a lot of pros. These pros include
- Thinkific is customizable
- They help with all faucets of online course publication
- They offer lots of Webinars
- Courses can collect revenue for the creator in a couple of ways
- Thinkific is easy to use. It has been developed with beginners in mind and they help newbies through all the steps
- They have excellent customer support to an extent that an expert frequently reaches out to enquire on how they can guide their user.
- Thinkific has seamless integration with courses
- They incorporate powerful tools to boost course performance
The platform also has a few cons listed below
- Although their customer support is always on toes, their feedback system is a bit slow and sometimes clients have to wait for a full day.
- The platform doesn’t feature one-on-one training.
- Small text changes may be hard to make from the front-end for novices with only CSS/HTML knowledge.
Other than this, most users don’t find anything that is wrong with Thinkific.
Although Thinkific might be considered as a great platform, some people feel uncomfortable with the little control it avails to the customers and its limited learning features having recently stopped supporting SCORM files.
It should be noted that Thinkific doesn’t have a Mobile App at the moment. But the platform responds excellently with mobile devices, desktops and tablets.
People with an urgent need to upgrade to a different platform can find the info needed below.
Thinkific has a wide array of features incorporated. These features include:
- Bulk Email
- Reviews for courses
- Categories of Courses
- Site-wide promotions
- Assessments for students
- Designs that are customizable
- Custom domains
- Support for multimedia
- Multi-lingua support
- Form fields that are custom
- Drag-and-drop option
- Data export
- Certificates of completion
Now let us consider some popular alternatives that we have compiled.
Thinkific vs. Teachable
These two platforms share a couple of similarities; among them is they both feature course creation.
However, this two have a major distinction. When it comes to site design, Thinkific gets the better of the two, while when it comes to sales and marketing, Teachable has better miles than Thinkific.
Teachable is also much easier to use than Thinkific and slightly high rated course creation and engagement.
Sites on Teachable have, however, inferior design and customization options as compared to Thinkific.
Customer support and training on Thinkific is rated better than that of Teachable.
Teachable on top of this has an iOS App and their checkout process is well optimized. Teachable has support for Apple and Google Pay on their gateways.
Thinkific, however, has page and site builders that are more powerful than those of Thinkific and their prices are better as compared to what they offer.
And Thinkific has zero transaction fees on all plans.
Thinkific vs. Udemy
Upfront, anyone looking for an online training platform that is customizable and flexible, Thinkific is the right platform. Udemy doesn’t offer such flexibility and their users only get features that are in the system. They can’t play with the look of theirs site from their own preference.
Thinkific also offers more flexible pricing on plans as compared to Udemy.
Transaction fees on plans are free for all plans except the Free Plan where they take only 10%. Those hosting their sites on Udemy, however expect charges of up to 50% on revenue.
And when it comes to getting money in your account, Thinkific has an almost instant payment process. Udemy customers have to wait for periods of 2-3 months for payment to reflect in their accounts.
Thinkific also allows their clients full control of their courses but Udemy only allows clients to specify names and add and update lessons, but they cannot, for example, delete the course.
Udemy, as compared to Thinkific, offers different forms of marketing with extensive activities.
Thinkific vs. LearnDash
When it comes to pricing between these two platforms, Thinkific charges $468 annual fee while LearnDash charges an annual fee of $199. For video hosting, Thinkific includes it in their annual plan while LearnDash charges $1188. Thinkific also includes Web Hosting while LearnDash charges $350.
Both of these platforms offer customer support on Email but Thinkific includes an extra phone option.
Thinkific also has automated emails sent to students included whereas this can be done in LearnDash via an Add-on.
When it comes to marketing and sales, Thinkific offers more options than LearnDash.
Thinkific also has content hosting via video, audio, pdf and files. LearnDash lacks all this supports.
Thinkific vs. Clickfunnels
Clickfunnels is undeniably the best platform when it comes to creating sales funnels with better performing conversions. They may not be pocket-friendly as compared to Thinkific but their services warrant the price tags.
Thinkific, however, offers video hosting and email marketing as an inclusion in their annual plan. For click funnel, they have to pay $99 for video hosting and $200 for email marketing.
Thinkific also has Phone support, something that Clickfunnels lacks.
Student experience in matters of such areas as sending automated emails to them, reporting on their progress, exams, Built-in students discussions etc. are available on Thinkific and are non-existent on Clickfunnels.
And features considered, Thinkific has far more impressive ones than Clickfunnels.
Thinkific vs. Kajabi
For beginners, Thinkific offers cheaper prices than Kajabi. However the prices are slightly higher for Thinkific upgrades than those Kajabi.
Thinkific is also easier to setup and is more user friendly.
However, the most differentiating aspect between these two is the number of courses and students. Kajabi is considered better than Thinkific in this respect with the lowest plan, Basic supporting 1000 students.
Thinkific vs. Skillshare
Based on ratings on Knoji, Skillshare comes with a higher score of 4.0 with Thinkific scoring 3.0.
Skillshare offers more discounts and promotions than Thinkific.
However when other aspects such as ease of setup, level of support, customization and design and student engagement are considered, Thinkific easily bags the points.
Thinkific vs. LearnWorlds
Both of these platforms offer free trial periods for anyone who feels like trying them out. However, Thinkific has a free version and LearnWorlds doesn’t.
LearnWorlds is available on all devices, with Android and iOS apps available but Thinkific only has the Web Version.
But when it comes to overall features, Thinkific features, discussed above, outshine those of LearnWorlds. However, LearnWorlds too has some points over Thinkific.
LearnWorlds also happens to have better customer support than Thinkific. They offer a 24/7 live Rep and online support is available. Thinkific only offers support online during business hours.
LearnWorlds also includes in person support, a feature that Thinkific lacks.
Thinkific vs. Teachery
On pricing plans, Teachery only has one plan that goes for $49 while Thinkific has a range of choices that we have discussed above.
Student experienced is also boosted on Thinkific than on Teachery. Teachery lacks such options as, student progress reporting, quizzes surveys and exams and student progress tracking that are all present in Thinkific.
And when it comes to marketing, Thinkific outdoes Teachery with such packages as PayPal support, bundles and upsells and the availability of Enterprise plan. All these lack in Teachery.
Teachery also lacks all forms of content hosting, something that is optimized in Thinkific.
Thinkific vs. Moodle
While Moodle is best for schools, universities, non-profit organizations and VET sector, Thinkific is best for anyone.
Moodle is ideal for users that exceed 1000, and Thinkific is ideal for as low a single person.
But when it comes to customer support, Moodle offer 24/7 online support while Thinkific offers support during business hours only.
Moodle also has mobile apps and they offer in-person training, both of which Thinkific lacks.
Thinkific vs. TalentLMS
Starting with price, TalentLMS starts at a monthly fee of $59 while Thinkific starts at $49 per month. TalentLMS is, however, considered the most affordable LMS service worldwide.
TalentLMS has mobile apps and 24/7Live rep for customer support. This two lack in Thinkific. However, Thinkific also has Webinars, something that TalentLMS lacks.
Both don’t include in-person training in their packages.
Thinkific Course Examples
Thinkific has a lot of courses on its platform.
Some of these courses include:
- Olive Knits
- Samurai Carpenter
- Society of Storyrtelling
- Paul Lam Tai Chi Lessons
And many more. To have look at any of the above named, just CLICK HERE.
Students need motivation and inspiration to feel like they have achieved whatever milestones they had in mind. Thinkific has enabled this by offering certificates that are given on course completion.
Site users can choose from different certificate styles or go outside the box by adding a background or image of their choice. Fields such as names, date of completion and such like can also be prefilled on the certificates. And the certificates carry whatever logo the user choses that suits their brand.
Here is a screenshot of some of the certificates they offer
For more info on Thinkific Certificates, use this link.
Interested personnel can contact Thinkific Help Center via this link.
For PayPal integration with Thinkific, CLICK HERE.
My name is Nate Reiner and I am the editor here at 10Webtools. I have 8 years of experience using 50+ different web tools ranging from podcast, web hosting, email marketing, and much more. I previously managed a team offering support services to a large conglomerate that utilized tens of software solutions. I now run this blog full-time and when I am not reviewing or testing software, I enjoy riding bikes and supporting my clients achieve internet success. You can reach me directly at [email protected]