In the past, most people were skeptical about online education. Reluctant to welcome in new learning methods, feeling like they could never replace an actual classroom.
However, over the past few years, online learning has become increasingly popular.
In fact, the pandemic caused the numbers to skyrocket.
Online courses emerged as a safe and effective option to continue learning in the middle of what seemed to be an apocalypse.
Plus, most of us had this insane amount of free time and an imperative need to stay productive.
Today, we’re talking about millions of users per platform (and counting!) in an industry that is expected to be worth $370 billion by 2026.
No one questions online education now, huh?
So if you’re thinking about creating your own online courses, you’ll need the right tools, so how about Thinkific?
Thinkific is an online platform that helps you create, market, and sell your own courses.
It is quite accessible, which makes it ideal for companies as well as small entrepreneurs and individuals.
The free plan offers an impressive variety of useful features, although the advanced plans deserve our attention as well.
It gives you full control over the design and characteristics of your course without all the tedious work that would usually imply.
Let's start with the fun stuff - taking a look at some example schools built with Thinkific.
Believe it or not, putting together a good-quality online is really the easy part.
The real challenge lies in the marketing stage.
Because what’s the point in putting so much effort into a product no one even finds out about?
Most online course platforms fail at this part which is, in fact, the most important.
And this is exactly what makes Thinkific stand out - they provide a full set of automated marketing tools that will allow you to reach and even overcome your financial expectations.
Here’s what you can do with Thinkific’s business tools:
Let’s not forget about your audience and how important it is to nurture it.
However transparently clear your courses are, there’s always that student who needs support. And even if they don’t, you might wanna keep an eye on their progress.
It is essential to be there for them and track their advancement. See how they’re doing or check if they need anything.
This will also serve as feedback. You’ll be able to assess your own work and improve those aspects that could use an adjustment.
Thinkific offers you quick access to your students and their information.
In your student management area, you’ll find a very visual representation of how your enrollment is doing. You can see your students’ names, contact details, and their progress in the course.
Thinkific allows you to send them customized emails and celebrate their achievements with completion certificates.
All of these things will improve their motivation, thus increasing their chances to enroll in another course or recommend your page.
Did you think you needed coding skills or some techy software to create your online course?
Well, good news: you don’t.
Thinkific’s interface is so intuitive even a 6th grader could use it. (No offense 6th graders)
You can create modules and rearrange them with only one click.
You can also customize the appearance of your course page without having to deal with any HTML, CSS, or whatever other acronyms intimidate you...
Which you can look up after you finish reading this review...
Okay back to the matter at hand!
Thinkific will offer a strong hand if you’re facing an obstacle. Its support site is quite detailed and doesn’t seem to miss anything.
And the bad?
Some users have complained that even though their problem got solved, it took longer than expected - but I didn't encounter this problem when using the tool and submitting help requests.
Let me walk you through it step by step.
Easy peasy. You can either create a new account or purchase a plan.
Customize URL, name, and appearance.
You won’t be able to eliminate the ‘thinkific’ in the URL until you pay for a plan, but that's true for every learning management system we've tried.
This is everyone’s favorite part - push-button beauty!
And luckily, Thinkific’s theme library is pretty well-sorted. There are some really good looking free themes.
If you can’t find the perfect one, you can also edit any of them in the site builder, check out the theme marketplace, or hire a developer to get really custom.
Also - they're are all mobile responsive out of the box, and pretty stylish if you ask me!
Now that we’re done getting comfortable in our working space, let’s get down to business.
You can either start from scratch or select a template.
First things first: name your course. After that, start adding elements to it. Define your chapters and the lessons included in each one.
You can rearrange the order and the structure easily and as many times as needed, so don’t stress too much over that.
The content can be created or uploaded. If you already had created the lessons with another program, it’s quite easy to import your material.
Make sure to add good descriptions and additional resources.
Oh! and don’t forget to save your changes. You’re welcome.
Believe it or not, your landing page plays a big role in the process of buying a course. It is the face of your store and the first impression your potential students will get.
It needs to be attractive and convincing. If your landing page is not solid, neither will be your sales.
Here’s a list of what you need to focus on:
This will include the name and description of your course. Make sure to choose a badass picture that really captures the essence of what you’re selling.
Pro tip: don’t include any logos or brand names in the background image, as they might hide behind other elements in the mobile version.
No one pays for a course without knowing what they’ll learn. All your potential students are gonna go through the curriculum before making a decision.
All the chapters and lessons that are no longer a draft will be automatically included in your course curriculum.
Your call to action will be a button linked straight to your course checkout.
Start now, Sign up, Join...
You know the drill. It needs to be visible and persuasive.
This will normally be placed right below the name and description of the course.
A single platform simply cannot be great at everything (that’s what integrations are for), and Thinkific did a flawless job collecting them for you.
Thinkific focuses on 5 different integration areas:
This is what they call an all-in-one ecosystem that helps you take your course to the next level. Your access to these tools will depend on your plan.
Interested in affiliate marketing? Thinkific's got you covered.
Thinkific has a pretty cool affiliate program that promises to reward you with up to $1700 per referral per year.
If your target audience consists of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and content creators, pay close attention.
All you have to do is sign up as an affiliate here, and once you're approved you can add 'Thinkific' to your account and receive your unique referral link that you will use to promote Thinkific on your social media, website, etc.
Thinkific affiliate payout info:
Sometimes we make the mistake of expecting everything on the internet to be free and get instantly disappointed when it’s not.
But considering everything Thinkific offers, including the means to make a lot of money, its paid plans are a bargain.
Thinkific’s free plan is ideal for those who want to get acquainted with the platform. It will help you start your business without having to pay a dime.
However, as your business starts growing, you will probably start feeling limited, and the paid plans are totally going to be worth paying.
And don’t worry, Thinkific lets you try them out for free before deciding to purchase the one that suits you best.
Let’s get into the details:
Best choice for beginners. It includes 3 courses and everything you need to create, market, and sell them.
You will only have access to the basic features, but they might be enough to fulfill your initial purpose. This plan also supports basic integrations, instant access to your funds, and content hosting.
Unlike the free plan, this one covers unlimited courses, plus some cool additional features. Even though it is, indeed, basic, it is a big jump from the unpaid version.
For a reasonable price, you will have access to all core features, plus the possibility to offer monthly subscriptions, coupons, and promotions. The Basic plan integrates with several email marketing tools as well. Last but not least, it lets you custom your domain.
Overall, I’d say moving from the Free plan to the Basic plan feels like a huge upgrade without having to make such a great investment.
Trust me when I say that the Pro plan takes your courses to the next level. It offers you the features from all previous plans, plus awesome additional resources like HTML/CSS editing, priority support, 2 site administrators accounts, and 5 course administrators.
You might want to consider getting the pro plan if you’re in the process of expanding your business. It will definitely help you reach a broader audience and improve your student experience.
This is the most expensive and complete option. It is specially designed to deliver online education at scale. If you want to go big, you’re gonna need to bring out the big guns.
It allows you to send emails to multiple students simultaneously, create exams for your courses and designate up to 50 course admins and 5 site admins. The Premier also includes essential features like bulk emailing, white labeling, and live chat support.
I know this can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, Thinkific put together this incredibly detailed chart to help you compare each plan and choose the best one for you.
Here’s what we know so far:
But all that glitters is not gold. Thinkific also shows some weaknesses that cannot be ignored:
So, what’s the bottom line here?
Click the button below and give Thinkific a try. We loved it, and think you will too.
There’s no denying that Thinkific has more and stronger pros than cons.
Online education is still a young industry with a long way to go. Over the next few years, we’re gonna watch it become more crowded and sophisticated.
Today, among all the e-learning platforms available, Thinkific is most likely one that’s going to survive and keep growing.
And what’s more, just last year it received a $22 million round of investment. Thinkific has definitely come to stay!