If you are thinking of creating online courses and you want to get a platform that will help you manage the courses in terms of creation, management, and sales, Thinkific might be among the platforms in your consideration list.
And if you wish to know just how effective it is at helping you make and sell your courses online, then this detailed Thinkific review is going to come in handy for you.
It looks at the key aspects of the platform from what it is all about, how it works, its main features, customer reviews, pros, and cons, how to use it, the pricing plan, and how it compares with other similar platforms.
So let’s dig in and see if it is actually what you are looking for.
Pricing: Varies with each plan
Founder: Greg Smith
What is Thinkific
Thinkific is simply a platform that helps you with creation, marketing, selling, and delivering your own online courses to the people interested in learning about the topics you cover in the courses.
It allows you to create your online courses, design them to be as you want, market them, and sell them all in one place.
It offers many features that help you achieve these goals in the best and easiest way possible as a beginner, and also makes it easy for your students to access your courses and make the most of them.
Thinkific is actually among the top websites that people prefer for creating and running online courses smoothly and effectively.
More than 190 countries use Thinkific, and it has generated more than 100 million worth of revenue for the more than 50,000 creators who are using it.
The guy behind Thinkific is Greg Smith, who is the co-founder and CEO of the company.
The idea of Thinkific came about when Greg tried to take his LSAT course online and it became so successful that people contacted him wishing to know how he did and how they could follow the same steps for the same level of success.
So he teamed up with other people to create Thinkific for that very purpose.
How Thinkific Works
Thinkific helps you create your online course by giving you all the tools you need to make it successful. If you want to create a course that is only based on video illustrations, you can easily do that.
If you want PDF, webinars, text-based lessons, surveys, downloads, discussions or other forms, or even mix them all up, Thinkific makes it possible for you to do that.
You get to do all this without needing to have any coding knowledge or experience. However, if you still feel there are other additions to the course that should be coded and you know how to do that, you can always code.
But you don’t have to.
The resources you get within Thinkific are beginner-friendly and you can work with them without even writing a line of code.
When you are done with the course creation process and want to make your courses known so that people can come and learn from them, there are many provisions given by the platform to make it easy to market yourself including creating an affiliate program for your courses, that gives affiliate marketers the chance to promote them and earn a commission.
There are also different methods of payment you can use for your courses.
Students can buy through Stripe, PayPal, or with a credit card. It is up to you to choose which one(s) you want your course to work with.
And when the students enroll in your courses, you can easily track their progress and offer them the kind of support they want to complete them.
Thinkific even collects their emails and give them to you in case you want to reach out to them or market other courses of yours to them to look at when they are done with the ones they are on.
There are also different integrations that add more functionality to your course that make it more professional and educative such as MailChimp, Zapier, Shopify, WordPress, Sumo, Google analytics, and many others.
These integrations help you achieve specific tasks on your courses and go a long way in not only simplifying your work but making your work neat.
Thinkific offers an array of features to its users depending on the plan that they choose so let us look at some of these features.
Creating your courses
Here, you get to, create as well as customize your courses so that they are personalized to your desires.
There is a drag and drop feature as well as a good layout for creating your courses that makes it quite easy for you to get your courses up and running.
You can easily schedule your lessons, make automation on your content, set course pricing, and many other tasks without having trouble.
Designing your course
Thinkific allows you to use educational themes so that your courses stand out, to fully customize your course website through for example using your domain name and having unlimited access to HTML and CSS files that run your courses.
You can also create landing pages for your courses although it is not the best.
Many Thinkific users feel that when it comes to a landing page, it helps you create an average looking one but if you want a classy landing page, Clickfunnels does this job much better.
Marketing and selling your courses
To have an easy time with marketing and sales, the platform allows you to boost course sales with various promotional features including coupons as well as offer subscription courses and membership sites.
Other than that, the other features that stand out in Thinkific include:
~ The ability to offer your students support for example through automated check-ins as well as making their learning experience interactive through complete replays of course materials, showing them their progress through clear progress indicators as well as offering language controls.
~ The great security features such as daily backups and cloud hosting, immediate access to updates, built-in security and SSL certificates, 24/7 monitoring, and 99.9% uptime.
Thinkific Customer Reviews
Generally, Thinkific has been found to be a really good platform to use for course creators. Many people who used other platforms have migrated to Thinkific and have reported a good experience.
Some of the things that the users love about Thinkific include the ability to sell a course for free, the many integrations, and generally the ease of use.
Although, there are some people here and there who have had some complaints about it, as it is for every other platform or business out there.
The biggest complaint is slow-to-respond customer support, although they eventually get back to you.
To be honest, no platform is perfect and Thinkific is no different.
But the good thing is that there are more positive reviews on it than negative ones.
Let’s take a look at some good and bad things people have to say about it.
The positive reviews
“Anytime I have a problem their tech support is great. And I haven’t had any tech problems with the platform – my students are happy and use it easily.”
“We started with an idea to help colleagues and turned it into a course. Thinkific allowed us to get our idea out of our heads and into reality, and a usable product people could buy & use.”
“A really great platform that is easy to tailor to my business needs. Where I was unable to make a change to the system defaults, the customer service team made them with out any issues.”
“Thinkific has been great. The company made it easy for me to understand how to create a course and made itself very available to me whenever I needed help.”
The negative reviews
“There could be more options to customize the design and elements of the course in a user-friendly way that even those who are not great with design can handle.”
“I wish the “landing pages” had more customization, or that instead the system would let you just point to page on your own website. We end up building our landing pages on our WordPress website because we have more control/options, but if we want to use the affiliate functionality, then we have to use a workaround of having the Thinkific landing page “redirect” to our WordPress landing page, which makes for an awkward experience for the end user because they start out on one page, and 3 seconds later get redirected to another page.”
“I have a few little pet peeves, including the way to approve course sales for revenue partners, but none that are too problematic.”
You can get more customer reviews here.
Thinkific Pros and Cons
~ The platform is easy to work with because the website has been well organized. So you will not have a hard time looking for specific details that you want through the menu bar.
~ It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so in case you want to cancel your subscription you can do that easily.
~ The features offered are not complex at all and hence even beginners can easily work with them.
~ It is mobile friendly
~ Being able to customize your branding is awesome
~ They offer the option of integrating with other apps something that saves you both money and time.
~ They don’t offer chat support, only email
~ Uploads may take a long time especially if large
~ A few features and templates could use updates
~ The customer support takes long before responding to your email
How to Use Thinkific
If you are just getting started with the platform, these are the steps that you want to follow:
Step 1. Go to www.Thinkific.com
Step 2. Click on the “Get started for free” button on the top right corner of the website. (you can totally work with the free account until you are ready to invest in their plans to get more functionality)
Step 3. Fill out the registration by typing your name, email, and password. And click on “Create your account” to go to the next step.
Step 4. Define your case for Thinkific. Choose, among the options provided, the statement that best describes your case.
Whether you are coming from another course platform and making the switch or you teach offline but don’t have an online course, or if you are just messing around.
Once you pick your option, other questions will appear, one by one, to help you explain your current situation well, in terms of teaching and courses.
When you are done answering all the questions, click on the “Start creating courses” button.
You will be taken to your Thinkific account dashboard where you manage everything related to your courses.
Step 5. Follow the steps provided in the dashboard to understand how to build your courses and get started right away with them.
They are very easy to follow and when you finish the tasks given in each step, they are ticked off so that you see what other tasks are remaining to get your course published and ready to sell.
And that’s how you create your Thinkific course!
From there if you want to know how to edit it customize your course you can watch the videos provided there and they will help you know how to go about each aspect of customization. The video tutorials are extremely useful.
Now to further succeed with the platform in terms of making more sales with your courses and having your students satisfied with what you teach them, aim to create the most comprehensive course in the area you have chosen.
Make it so detailed that the students who will take it will not need to go to another course to top up the information they get from your course.
Also, try to make the course more affordable for your students.
Keep in mind that people who will be taking the courses you offer are people who want to increase the information on something that they can later earn from.
So they probably don’t have the ability to invest a lot of money into the course. So try to be fair when you set the prices.
Thinkific Pricing Plans
There are about 6 pricing plans in Thinkific that offer different features suited for people with different needs.
The plans below show what you will be paying on a monthly basis although you get to save 20% if you decide to pay annually.
Here are the various plans and what you are charged;
√The free plan (which costs $0)
This plan is helping you to test Thinkific main features before you commit yourself.
√Basic plan (which costs $49/month)
This one allows you to start creating your course using the basic tools and a few essential features.
With it, you get access to all the free features you get in the free plan as well as coupons, email students, affiliate reporting, custom domain, unlimited courses and students, affiliate reporting, email integrations, manual student exports and enrollments, and drip (scheduled) content.
√Pro plan (which costs $99/month).
The plan is mostly designed for course creators that are ready to create a successful online course business, and with it, you get a complete set of tools to help you give your students an amazing experience.
The features that you get here include; all the features that you get with the basic plan and, 2 site admin accounts, 5-course admins or authors, unlimited courses and students, certificates, assignments, memberships and bundles, priority support, advanced customization, live lessons with zoom, communities, private and hidden courses and advanced course pricing options.
√Pro plan add on (Growth Package)
This one costs $499/month and it offers successful course creators access to much higher functionalities than other plans so that their businesses succeed even more.
Its features include all pro plan features as well as, the ability to remove Thinkific branding and do your own, access to advanced segmentation, communities, groups, a public API, webhooks, Zapier actions, Infusionsoft integration, active campaign integration, import students, Brillium, exams integration, bulk enroll students, bulk emails, and the first 100 students that you get are free.
√Premier Plan (which costs $499/month)
This plan is for advanced customers that want to create a bigger brand and get more advanced features for bigger goals.
With regard to features, you get all pro features along with unlimited courses & students, unlimited growth package, 15 group analysts, 5 site admin accounts, single sign on (SSO), onboarding package, 50-course admins/authors, and an onboarding package.
You also get the growth package.
√Enterprise Plan (Thinkific Plus)
To get the pricing for this one you have to contact the Thinkific support team.
With this plan, you get all Thinkific features from the other plans and enhanced abilities to:
~ Build your audience
~ Boost your customer success metrics
~ Direct course sales so that you boost your revenue
~ Create unique experiences for your employees for example through building a database so that you keep them informed and updated on certain issues.
~ Access white-glove services such as email support and direct calls, launch preparedness review calls among many more.
~ Access business features e.g advanced CSS customizability, dedicated sandbox site, unlimited site administrators, up to 3 separate Thinkific sites, unlimited course administrators/ revenue partners, and many more.
~ Access to advanced security features such as Master Services Agreement (MSA), advanced password complexity, RECAPTCHA, and Service Level Agreement (SLA) 99.5%
There are many other platforms out there that offer course creators places to build their own courses and make money from them.
In this section, we will be focusing on how Thinkific compares to other similar platforms including Teachery, iSpring Market, Teachable, Podia, and LearnDash.
√Teachery vs Thinkific
This is a platform that allows you to build and sell your online courses without fees.
Compared to Thinkific, this platform offers you two pricing plans of $49/month and $470/year both of which allow you unlimited courses, landing/sales pages, and students as well as customer support and an affiliate program, and many more features.
You only get a 14 days trial and then after that, you subscribe to any of their plans to make it work for you.
Teachery doesn’t offer upsells or certificate completion courses as is the case with Thinkific.
It also doesn’t support PayPal within your course but you can use PayPal outside of your course and then use Zapier integration to make it smooth for learners to access your courses.
Comparing these two, I would say Thinkific is much better because of the free plan and the extra provisions it offers that Teachery doesn’t.
√LearnDash vs Thinkific
LearnDash is a WordPress based system that helps you create and manage your online courses.
It comes with many features including integrations for your online courses to make them more professional.
It also supports PayPal just like Thinkific.
LearnDash pricing plans are paid annually and there are 3 main plans namely, Basic (for $199/year), Plus (for $229/year), and Pro (for $369/year).
The surprising thing is that they don’t offer a free trial but give 30 days money-back guarantee.
Compared to LearnDash, Thinkific is more convenient and flexible to work with.
√iSpring vs Thinkific
iSpring is a software that offers three main products for creating online courses.
These products are iSpring suite (which is a toolkit for eLearning authoring), iSpring Learn (which is a management system for the online courses you create), and iSpring market (which is a platform for selling your courses).
Each of these products comes with different pricing plans and offers different features with every plan.
Generally, their prices are slightly higher than those of Thinkific and they only offer 14 days free trial.
Putting it up against Thinkific, iSpring is good but a bit complicated for a beginner.
Thinkific has simplified the whole course creation, management, and marketing process and they give the ability to create a course and earn from it without investing a dime, which are huge things.
So I would recommend Thinkific here.
√Teachable vs Thinkific
This is a platform that offers everything you need to build and sell your online courses and coaching services.
They offer as many features as you get within Thinkific and the prices are also almost the same.
There are 3 main plans in Teachable that include Basic (which goes for $39/month), Pro (which goes for $119/month), and Business (which goes for $299/month).
They offer a 14 days trial after which you subscribe to a paid plan.
In my opinion, Thinkific and Teachable are more or less the same in terms of value and you can use any depending on the kind of features you are looking for.
√Podia vs Thinkific
With Podia, you not only sell online courses but also digital downloads such as ebooks.
Their features as the same as Thinkific except that they also focus on selling other resources.
However, they are better when it comes to support as they offer live chat support.
Podia’s pricing plans are also cheaper than Thinkific but they don’t offer a free plan.
You can only access the platforms for free using their 14 days free trial.
I would say that in some cases, Thinkific is better than Podia and still Podia is better in other cases.
What is best for you depends on your goals and desires.
My Final Thoughts on Thinkific
Thinkific is a legitimate platform and therefore I would wholeheartedly recommend it because it’s easy to work with and it offers you effective features to use in coming up with your courses.
It offers the best features for your online course needs.
Nonetheless, as much as it’s a great platform, it isn’t perfect and could use a few improvements such as working on live chat just so that they can make customer experiences even better.
That’s all about Thinkific!
I hope this review was useful and has helped you better understand the program.
If you have any questions about it, feel free to share them with me in the comments, and I will be more than happy to help.
Also if you have any experience with the platform, please share it with us down below. We are very eager to hear from you. 🙂