What is Thinkific?
Discover how Thinkific works—what problems it can help you solve and who uses it, along with a tour of its features, pricing and integrations.
I’ll also explain how Thinkific compares to similar tools.
What Is Thinkific?
Thinkific is a highly rated platform used to create, market, and sell your own online courses or membership sites. The platform has revolutionized how individuals earn and learn online by building an all-in-one platform designed for both course creators and their audiences.
Founded in 2021, Thinkific started with a single course creator and a big problem. The company was conceived when co-founder and CEO Greg Smith decided to put his LSAT course online with the help of his brother Matt to reach more students. Since then, more than 50,000 independent creators and businesses have already used Thinkific to share their knowledge, build revenue, and educate students worldwide.
Thinkific’s founding values that inspire every feature they build and email they send: They believe in the incredible power of education and have seen firsthand that when you unite a business and education, you create an unstoppable force for positive change.
Some recent awards:
- Ranked #2 on the 2021 list of Best Workplaces™ in Canada (100-999 employees)
- AdWeek award for Campaign of the Year, for the 2020 Think in Color virtual summit
Who is Thinkific for?
Thinkific creators cover every conceivable industry. Every discipline, career path, hobby, and interest has at least someone who is passing that on to the next generation of learners. Thinkific creators are entrepreneurs and small businesses that have an established reputation and a loyal, growing base of customers or followers. You may be looking to diversify your existing business or scale up and take it to the next level. Does any of the following sound like you?
You’re a savvy, digital entrepreneur who is building a personal brand anchored around your passion or expertise. Whether YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, or a high traffic blog, you’ve developed direct relationships with a wide audience and become an influential voice in your niche.
Academies & Trainers
You may be in professional development, corporate training, technical bootcamps, or a school on nautical safety! The point is that education IS your business and you want a platform that can meet your needs and high standards. Thinkific allows you to deliver exactly the experience you want—be that totally asynchronous on-demand classes, live or cohort-based learning, or a blend of both. With advanced tools for compliance, assessment, certificates, live lessons, digital communities, on-lesson discussion, and the ability to group your students by cohort, there is very little you can’t do!
Brick and Mortar Small Businesses
You could be a specialty retailer, a professional service firm, a consultant, healthcare practitioner, nutritionists, fitness studio, or even a restaurant. You have a business running full steam but are looking for ways to diversify your revenue and maximize your reach. Courses let you serve customers anywhere in the world, and can be set up to add only minimal ongoing work.
The world has finally woken up to the potential of personal and professional development, and there is no shortage of work for coaches! You may have noticed your calendar filling up and simply do not have enough hours in the day. Courses are a smart way to both enhance the learning experience with your existing clients—think take-home exercises and work they do in their own time—as well as to turn your knowledge and philosophy into a stand alone product that completely decouples your potential impact from the number of hours you can work.
Thinkific supports mid-market and larger companies who are looking for a full-featured course solution tailored to their brand gravitate to Thinkific. Thinkific aims to make it simple for these course solution tailored to their brand gravitate to Thinkific. Thinkific aims to make it simple for these course creators to build and deliver fully customized learning products for their audiences, under their own brands, with no specialized technical expertise required.
What challenges does Thinkific help solve?
There are some shared challenges that a lot of entrepreneurs and small businesses face.
Standing out in a crowded market
Take control and build a unique learning experience that helps you shine and delights your customers. Easily customize nearly any element of your site or course, and connect with a whole library of apps to deliver the experience you want.
- Deeper learning tools: live lessons, drip scheduling, assignments, quizzes, certificates, discussions, and communities
- Easy customization: pre-made themes, drag and drop editing, as well a full coding customization (for those who really want to get serious!)
- A marketplace of apps and experts to help you look your best
Thinkfic is one part intuitive software that puts YOU in the driver’s seat, and one part community of experts, peers, and all-round wonderful humans that want to see you succeed. Together, you’ll get up and running faster and keep going with our award winning support team, bustling community of fellow creators, as well as a marketplace of experts to help with implementation.
Here are a few ways Thinkific helps enable knowledge entrepreneurs:
- An intuitive toolkit that makes it easy for instructors and their students to navigate.
- An online community for course creators to share their wins and support each other.
- Regular strategy summits and accelerator programs that bring together the brightest minds to inspire creators and arm them with strategies. Most notably, Amplify, Think in Color, and their fall Course Builder Academy, featuring 60 days of expert online course training.
- A comprehensive blog and help center that is regularly updated with tips, strategies, and inspiration from other course creators.
- For paid customers, live one-on-one support and white glove set-up.
Grow your business in place
As an entrepreneur you face trade-offs between what works now and what you’ll need down the road. Thinkific is not that! It’s easy to use but is also robust enough to support businesses of nearly any size. Never compromise on maximizing your earnings today nor your options tomorrow. Thinkific helps you get off the ground quickly without limiting your future potential.
- Pricing: get started for free, and scale based on needs
- Open platform: connect the tools you need, as you need them with their app store and Open API (you are never boxed in!)
- The best reviews in the business
- Enterprise grade security trusted by small business and the Fortune 500
Thinkific Features Overview
To get an idea of how Thinkific works, here’s a tour of the main features and how they can help you build a thriving knowledge commerce business.
You can build an entire product from content, to landing pages, to checkout in the Thinkific course builder.
1. Drag and Drop Course Builder
Deliver the learning experience you want: live, on-demand, or blended classes.
Bring your vision to life with flexible content options including live lessons, unlimited video, communities, and assessments. Quickly upload and/or drag-and-drop content to create the perfect curriculum.
No design or technical experience required. They take care of the technology so you can get back to teaching.
Create free, paid, and time-limited courses. Sell access to members-only content and communities. You can generate leads with free courses, or generate revenue with paid lifetime and time-limited access purchase options.
Thinkific offers their own built-in payment processor, Thinkific Payments. You can now accept payments, manage payouts to your bank account, and process refunds directly within the main dashboard. This simplifies admin by having everything you need in one place. Thinkific Payments also includes exclusive access to new selling tools, like a single-page performance checkout, which reduces the number of pages and clicks needed for your customer to complete payment.
3. Assessments & Certificates
From easy-to-build multiple choice surveys (with image or rich media), to open-ended surveys and assignments (students can upload almost any file type for review), or even formal exams, Thinkfic has comprehensive assessment capabilities. On top of that, you can automatically issue customizable certificates to students upon completing a course or bundle of courses.
This is ideal for anyone issuing Certified Professional Development (CPD) or Continuing Education (CE) credits, as well as anyone who wants to give their students some recognition for their efforts and something to share on LinkedIn.
4. Membership Site Builder
A membership site is essentially a hub where your learners can get ongoing access to your content, a community, and possibly even your time as the expert!
With Thinkific, you can create a subscription-based membership site -where students pay a monthly subscription for access to your content and community. You can create a single bundle for an all-access membership site, or create several bundles if you’d like to offer different tiers of subscriptions for members to choose from.
Thinkific also integrates with PayPal, Stripe, and other third-party providers.
5. Thinkific Communities
Thinkific Communities are a place, outside of your course content, where you can foster conversations with your students. Using communities helps drive engagement and you can use them for cohort-based classes.
6. Cohort Based Classes
With live lessons, drip scheduling, communities, and student groups, Thinkfic provides all the functionality you need to run high-value cohort-based classes with a blend of on-demand material students can take in their own time as well as live interactions.
7. Award-winning Support & Training
Get fast answers, sound advice, and friendly service from an industry-leading support team that is there for you by email, phone, or chat. Plus access to an extensive knowledge base, training academy, community of 20,000+ knowledge entrepreneurs, and a partner network of vetted experts to add a professional touch to any step of the process.
Thinkific vs Kajabi and Teachable
What sets Thinkific apart from its competitors
- Learning experience: The ability to create unique, differentiated experiences, and realize their creative vision for courses.
- Make it your own: Thinkific works out of the box, without boxing you in. Customize nearly any element of your site or course. And with Thinkific’s app store and open API you can connect to the tools you are already using to run your business.
- Scale in place: The ability to grow your business to any size–made possible by Thinkific’s open platform, app store, pricing plans, and enterprise-grade functionality. So while Thinkific is easy to get started, it does not limit your future potential.
According to software review site G2, Thinkific is a leader amongst online learning platforms for small businesses.
Thinkific vs Teachable and other online course platforms
At a high level, Thinkific outranks its main competitors on star ratings and wins 6 out of 7 factors:
|G2 star rating||4.8/5||4.4/5||4.0 / 5|
|Ease of use||9.3/10||8.3/10||9.1/10|
|Ease of setup||9.1/10||8.2/10||8.6/10|
|Ease of admin||9.2/10||8.2/10||8.6/10|
|Quality of support||9.3/10||8.3/10||7.1/10|
|Ease of doing business with||9.4/10||8.7/10||7.2/10|
Thinkific vs Kajabi
The main difference between Kajabi and Thinkific is that Kajabi positions itself as an ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION. The tradeoff being, if you are doing a bit of everything, you are doing nothing exceptionally well. Thinkific is laser-focused on being the best platform to create an online course and integrates with best-of-breed tools that creators are already using.
Whereas Thinkific enables growing businesses to integrate or build their own solutions, Kajabi takes more of a walled-garden approach, offering a broad set of features with the intent of graduating customers into higher pricing tiers.
The Thinkific App Store is the first of its kind in the online education industry. You can easily access and integrate professional tools to enhance the functionality of your online courses with our course creation toolkit. No technical expertise is required!
On each of the plans, Kajabi has a limit on the number of products (courses) you can offer and students enrolled. So you are forced to upgrade plans as you scale your business—this isn’t the case with Thinkific.
“Kajabi charges $119 per month for their basic plan that lets you create only three products and three pipelines. On the other hand, Thinkific lets you create unlimited courses on the basic plan that costs $49 per month, less than half of what Kajabi costs.”
Adam Enfroy’s review of Thinkific vs Kajabi
Thinkific vs Teachable
Thinkific is most focused on the student learning experience—this, in turn, helps course creators grow their business through word-of-mouth referrals and repeat sales.
One of the main differences between Thinkific and Teachable is that our platform offers better course building and learning reinforcements. For example, Teachable lacks evaluation features like question banks, bulk imports, and exam integrations. They also don’t offer in-app student engagement surveys and advanced course compliance. For those who are serious about building their businesses around online courses and student learning, Thinkific is the best.
“With multiple themes, Thinkfic allows you to create highly customizable course pages instantly. Its other features make it more capable of handling multitasking, catering to more diverse users, and delivering excellent functionalities. Hence, Thinkific is a clear winner.”
Adam Enfroy’s review of Thinkific vs Teachable
The Thinkific App Store ensures our course creators have access to best-in-class tools to run and scale their businesses and capitalize on the growing USD $350 billion online education market. Through the Thinkific App Store, course creators are able to fully customize their courses and other learning products, market their businesses, and simplify their processes. The store and all apps are managed through the Thinkific platform, which has been designed for ease of use and seamless integration. This ensures that course creators can easily tailor their courses to include unique and sophisticated functionality without technical knowledge.
The Thinkific App Store encompasses apps across four key categories:
- Student experience: Functionality that encourages and increases student engagement. Apps include Zoom (live lessons), Lessonspace (visual collaboration), and Motrain (gamification).
- Scaling: Specialized tools to help course creators scale their business, reach new audiences and increase revenue. Apps include Shopify (ecommerce), Typeform (surveys), DropInBlog (content and search engine optimization).
- Tracking and reporting: Analytics that will empower course creators to understand their students’ behaviors, preferences, and needs. Apps include Segment, Google Analytics, Mixpanel (data collection and analysis).
- Automation: Email automation tools simplify backend operations and customer communication. Apps include ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp, ConvertKit (email automation).
All Thinkific pricing plans include the #1 support team in online education. With Thinkific you have complete control, and they never take a cut of your revenues. All plans come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
No transaction fees. Unlimited students. Risk-free.
|Free Plan – $0 |
|Test-drive Thinkific’s core feature set for free, with unlimited students.|
|Basic – $39 USD/MO |
|Start your course creation experience with the basic features and tools you need to launch your first course.|
|Pro – $79 USD/MO |
|For course creators ready to build a successful online course business, a complete suite of tools to create an amazing student experience.|
|Premier – $399 USD/MO |
|For advanced customers ready to build an education empire, get all the Thinkific features + the Growth package. Designed for delivering online education at scale. No limitations – one flat fee.|
|Plus – Quote |
|Features that scale with you. Grow your business with no limitations on their most robust plan.|