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Thinkific

Thinkific Review

By: Thinkific Inc.

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Overview

Thinkific is online learning software that allows users to create their own online academy and host courses online on their own customized websites. It works as a hosting platform for online learning courses and academies. The platform features several applications and tools to allow users to quickly create, manage and sell amazing courses from their own brand optimized websites. In addition to that, it also offers automatic payment processing, analytics and other services.

Detailed Review

It is a common practice to ask children about their future career goals. Interestingly, they would retort enthusiastically and come up with things such as astronauts, doctors, or film stars. When you inquire from the same person after graduation, their tone of reply is hugely different. And the level of indecisiveness is sky-high. The standard piece of advice is, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”

We always recommend individuals to follow their passion, goals, and dreams. But it's only logical to adapt and venture into business ideas that enable one to earn a living. And we do have a platform that encourages you to do what you love and get paid for it.

Thinkific is a highly customizable online platform that allows content creators to build and sell their courses.

Pros

  • Thinkific’s free plan is good enough, but it gets supplemented by the fact that they charge no transaction fees.
  • They support subscription memberships apart from individual users.
  • The instructors also do not have to wait for an extended period to receive payment as they offer instant payouts.
  • They allow white labeling of the website in addition to the existing highly customizable system.
  • Their course builder templates make it easy to create content, and they offer various types of lessons which acts as a cherry on the cake.
  • Thinkific provides customer support via email and phone. As far as we are aware, it may be the only website to offer phone support.
  • Efficient student feedback system as they offer course reviews and surveys (as part of their lessons.)

Cons

  • Thinkific offers a free plan, but it limits the instructor to create 3 courses only. It lacks in their competitor, Teachable, which offers unlimited content and students.
  • One has to utilize a third-party email marketing application as it lacks an in-built feature.
  • They offer 2 steps of the checkout process, which can negatively affect the conversion rate of students.

Introduction

Entrepreneurship has opened the gates to success for millions of people. Take an example of Jeff Bezos, the founder of the largest retail e-commerce website, Amazon. He thought about the plan while he was traveling cross-country, sitting at the back of a car.

We are now advancing towards social entrepreneurship. Learning is also perceived in different limelight now in comparison to the traditional approach. Businesses are becoming engaged in training and learning from various online platforms.

Interestingly, online learning is not restricted to academics only. Individuals and entrepreneurs use the Thinkific platform to share their talent, skills, or knowledge.

All you have to do is to design the course, develop rich content, upload it online, and boom! You earn passive income, as students keep enrolling unlimitedly.

Thinkific aims to provide tools for their users (content creators) that can sustain their online businesses. Moreover, they intend to positively impact the audience too (students who enroll.)

Greg Smith, the CEO of Thinkific, used to teach LSAT courses. That is when he thought of the idea of creating a learning software that will be a profitable venture and also increase student exposure.

The Canada-based platform has delivered over 30 million courses developed by more than 40 thousand content creators.

It encourages one to do what they love, as the courses usually reflect the creator’s areas of interest. Furthermore, one does not require any technical know-how to use this platform.

Customization of the website further promotes the control the owner has over his/her school. Thinkific takes charge of web hosting, payment processing, website security, and sales marketing.

Thus, the content creator has less to worry about and more time to focus on constructing unique and outstanding courses.

They currently offer free, basic, pro, and premier plans. Unfortunately, they limit the number of courses under the free plan (3 courses allowed).

They also restrict features such as custom domain, integration, and type of content hosting. Teachable, a competitor, offers unlimited web and course hosting on their free plan.

However, committed creators at Thinkific can grow their business by creating an attractive website to sell their content as well as membership and bundles.

First things first

Thinkific is a cloud-based LMS used by bloggers, authors, entrepreneurs, speakers, YouTubers, and experts.

One can upload various kinds of courses on the platform ranging from online marketing to sewing classes. Businesses also opt to enroll their employees for re-training.

After contemplating whether it is viable to make an online presence with Thinkific, the creator can sign up with their free course without providing any card details.

They conduct a survey at the beginning after the user logs into the system. It is to identify the user and get to know more about his/her teaching background.

The system tries to give a step by step tour to create a course outline, and it’s landing page. Of course, one can skip this ordeal and continue to the dashboard.

But let us browse through some of the steps included in the process. The user is asked to choose among their course template, whether they want to create a mini-course or a flagship.

We shall discuss that in detail later on, but the next thing is to give your course a title. There are a few options for color customization of the landing page too.

The intent is to introduce the new user to the system. It labels the course as coming soon and urges the users to initiate their emailing list.

We face a congratulatory page at the end, which leads us to the dashboard, or one can choose to share the site. Let us proceed to the admin dashboard and discover its content.

The admin dashboard

The site owner can access the dashboard of Thinkific, which holds the control hub of the website. The design is minimalistic, with the left navigation panel hosting the core task tabs of the platform.

These consist of manage learning content, design your site, market & sell, support your students, settings, and access to the user’s account.

We can say that the admin dashboard has 2 different aspects to it; one is set up & grow, and the other is measure.

It guides the user in working out the basic configurations, which includes setting up a custom domain, choosing the payment processor, and provides access to the perfect launch workbook.

The workbook is a downloadable link. It provides a detailed insight into the online course creation journey so that the owner can quickly launch his/her content.

The other section under set up & grow is the learn how to generate leads. It revolves around establishing a website theme and style, branding, and using the site builder to set up landing pages.

The last part is about getting the first enrollment. It involves the pricing of the course, customizing student experience, and publishing your online content.

Let’s dive into the measure part, which is the second segment of the dashboard. It gauges the performance of the owner’s school.

It shows the statistics of revenue, new accounts, and enrollments. The transactions can be accessed either through the list or the chart view.

These numbers generally reflect on the success of the owner’s school. The high rate of enrollments depicts satisfied customers.

The highly worthwhile courses easily attract new students, and quality content retains them too. The success level of the audience will automatically represent the school’s accomplishments. Thus, it becomes necessary for the creator to track the changes within the section.

The dashboard is intuitive, and it provides users with guidance until they have successfully published their courses.

We can notice some similarities with the Teachable dashboard; hence, it will be difficult to compare their UI. Both have uncluttered features that enhance the design, and any novice user can navigate the site with ease.

Thinkific’s phenomenal course builder

The whole point of creating platforms such as Thinkific is to enable the users to provide remarkable learning experience effortlessly.

We think it is an excellent venue for any newbie content creator to kick start his/her journey with this customizable LMS.

After gaining experience, one can create a sophisticated website with a fully-featured content management system.

A course builder should be able to deliver easy course creation, allow customization of landing pages, and manages students along with their reporting part.

Does Thinkific stand up to the mark with its course builder functionality? Let us check out! The manage learning content tab on the dashboard provides access to the course builder.

There are courses, categories, instructors, video library, and share revenue under managing content.

The first section holds the courses that are already published, and it provides the option of creating new ones too.

Before getting into the process of creating a Thinkific course, we should first lay down the kind of course templates they offer as well as the lesson types.

Various course templates offered by Thinkific

A template is a blueprint of a generic document that can be edited to personalize the content. Thinkific offers pre-formatted models, including blank course, mini-course, flagship course, pre-sell, digital download, membership resource library, and webinar replay.

Blank course, as the name suggests, allows one to add and create the content of your choice. The Mini-course is a baby step before building a great course, known as flagship.

With it, the creator can attract a decent audience by incurring a low cost and facing less risk. Once the audience base is available, one can proceed with the flagship course.

The Flagship will be your trademark course, as it delivers premium content for your audience. One can choose to provide it as a bundle and incorporate features such as coupons, or live tutoring.

The pre-sell template will enable the content creator to establish how well the market will receive his/her course. Thus, it is a prudent idea to know whether to create it or not.

A digital download is a file that is downloaded after the student purchases it, and it usually consists of digital products such as an e-book, podcast, series, or infographics.

Thinkific facilitates membership subscriptions. Thus, the creator can provide a repository resource library whereby the members can easily access learning materials.

The creator can offer webinars; however, some audiences may have missed it. As such, he/she can create a webinar replay that will be accessible to the students for free or at a price.

Quite a lot of templates, we must say. We missed such a feature in Teachable, though. Now lets us go through the types of lessons the creator can include in his/her course. The lessons deliver the content of the course, thus very essential for an optimal learning experience.

Thinkific allows one to include videos, quizzes, multimedia, text, surveys, PDF, audio, downloadable files, narrated presentations, Brillium exams, discussion lessons, assignments, webinar/live stream and importing of content from another platform using Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline or HTML5.

That’s an impressive list of the lesson. However, the choice highly depends on the type of audience and the topic at hand. We can now venture into the course creation process of the Thinkific platform.

The process of creating a course

All the instructors look forward to having a system with allows them to create courses in an uncomplicated way.

A person with no technical knowledge should be able to figure out how to go about the process. With Thinkific, the course builder is responsible for the task.

The courses section under manage learning content allows one to initiate the development of the curriculum.

We also can view the membership &bundles and re-orders section along with the courses tab. The membership programs allow one to purchase bundle courses.

As mentioned earlier, Thinkific assigns templates for various kinds of courses. The full-fledged course is made using the flagship, and the mini-course is appropriate for beginners with no established audience.

The first thing is to name the course, which can be edited later if need be. Next, a very engaging curriculum page loads to allow the creator to edit the different sections within the site.

The content builder site has curriculum, bulk importer, settings, drip, pricing, publish, and preview tabs. There is also a link to access the build landing page.

Right from creating to publish a course, every aspect is available under the builder site. The curriculum page has a navigation page that indicates the layout of the course.

Remember, we are dealing with a template, so we have guidance on how to build chapters and lessons within it.

The first chapter is to introduce the course. It is followed by a section to welcome the student and can include lessons with surveys.

After these, the creator can now establish the hierarchy of his/her chapters, which can have various lessons.

The instructor is in control and can choose to delete the lessons provided in the template. They can edit the title of the first chapters, which should be introductory. The core content can follow later.

They can also choose the type of lessons each chapter will have, whether it will be video, audio, text, multimedia, quiz, survey, etc.

The common question amongst most creators concerns the duration of the lessons. Lengthy videos can exhaust students, and their attention gets disrupted.

If the content is concise, then a lot of information may be left out. That is why the support team of Thinkific suggests that the lessons should be within the range of 5-7 minutes.

It is vital to lay down the structure of the course in a way that will enable the student to follow and understand the content easily.

We have other options available under each lesson that can attract students. It includes making preview lessons, which are free for enrollment.

If the preview catches the attention of the students, then most definitely, they will enroll for the paid part of the course.

One can set some lessons as prerequisites, whereby it becomes compulsory for a student to take that class to proceed with the rest.

The instructor can choose to enable discussion for the lessons or make the video downloadable.

The course builder supports the drop and drag function, which makes it easy to upload content. When multimedia is concerned, one can embed Google Docs, YouTube videos, surveys (Typeform), webinar tools (Zoom, Live Stream), presentations (Prezi), and others.

Moreover, if the content is from another site, then they allow one to import using its URL. The pro plans also allow uploading such files using course authoring tools, e.g., Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, or iSpring.

The files, however, should be exported for HTML5 as Thinkific does not support the e-learning technology standards of SCORM, Tin Can, or AICC Reporting.

The quiz part of the lessons is necessary as it increases the students' participation in learning. Thinkific provides enough facility to create multiple-choice questions.

In their pro versions, one can do more with the quiz section. One can set it as a prerequisite or use Brillium integration to offer advanced assessments.

They provide exhaustive sources for content, which lacked in Teachable as we did not see features such as surveys, Brillium tests, presentations, or webinar tools.

They allow the offering of a certificate of completion to students, which can also be customized by the instructor.

They provide the option of bulk importer, which allows one to upload and edit an extensive database consisting of videos, audio, or PDF files.

There is also a drip schedule that allows the owner to release the content in parts over some time.

The students usually get notified via emails about the date and time of the dripping schedule. It is an efficient way to keep students engaged.

Thinkific hosts all the content; thus, the instructors do not have to worry about the size of the courses.

The only task of the instructor is formulating quality learning content and establishing a proper layout using the course builder to deliver it online. We now move ahead to the settings available for the courses.

Course settings

We have mentioned that Thinkific allows the instructors to have control over their content and provide room for customization too.

The settings section of the course builder has segments of basic settings, course image & description, course player appearance, progress & completion, page code, admins & revenue partners, and SEO.

The basic settings provide the owner to edit the course title and the URL. They can also change the instructor’s identity. It allows them to offer the course as private or hidden.

One can disable text copying and can also delete the course. When it comes to customization, the instructor can add images and descriptions of the content.

The instructor has various options to source the image file; it can be from their computer, web, social media accounts, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Cloud Drive.

They can select either light or dark theme for their course player, and it can be customized, but again one has to upgrade to the pro plans.

The course progress & completion sections enable the instructor to set the flow of the chapters and lessons.

It involves selection options of autoplay and setting a minimum percentage of video completion to be marked complete.

One can add page footer code, and it appears on the landing pages of the course. The owner can add an admin or a revenue partner, and they have limited access to the admin dashboard.

The last page under settings is SEO, which permits the owner to enter the SEO title, description, and course keywords. It enables one to enhance the design and content of the course page so that it appears among the top in the search engine results page.

Proper management of SEO means an increased number of student enrollment, which is the main aim of creating courses.

Publishing of the course

Any marketplace will design various ways to attract customers. Though Thinkific is not a marketplace, as it does not involve the selling of physical products. However, a bundle may include a book or other related items.

To promote the course, one can choose to sell it as a bundle, coupons & discounts. We can also attach some upsell to it, provide a free preview, offer drip course, or provide additional prices for the course.

Pricing plays a vital role in the sales and marketing section. It is a critical decision when it comes to setting a price as a balanced pricing structure calls for numerous tactics of brainstorming and researching.

Thinkific allows the instructor to choose their payment method, either Stripe or PayPal. With their in-built payment integration, there is the automation of sign-ups, enrollment, and payment processing.

Thus, the instructor doesn’t need to worry about payment. But one can choose to associate with external payment solutions such as Infusionsoft, SamCart, Shopify, or Zapier.

It may be the case that Stripe does not apply to the country. PayPal integration is not ideal if one needs to sell courses in other currencies apart from USD.

There various options for the instructor when it comes to setting up pricing. The course can be given out as free, or the owner can choose to set it as a one-time payment.

Members can register for the subscription model. Alternatively, there can be a monthly payment plan if the course delivery is over a couple of months.

Thinkific allows the instructor to include additional pricing, whereby the course has different pricing structures.

Once the course is uploaded satisfactorily, and the optimal price is selected, the instructor can publish it. The students are then allowed to view and sign up for enrollment

The published course can be previewed to check if everything is in order and working adequately. If the content is not up to the standards, then it can be unpublished as well.

Course creation is a mammoth task, and one instructor may be providing courses in various fields. As such, they can create categories, e.g., food, lifestyle, sports, photography, etc.

New instructors can also be a part of the system if the owner allows other instructors to create and publish content. Such contributors also receive a share in the revenue from the sales of the course.

We have seen how courses are created and published via their course builder. Now we look at the site builder, which allows one to customize the website.

Customization ability of Thinkific

When we see the symbol of Mercedes Benz, we automatically link the car with luxury, comfort, style, and high-end value. Such is the impact of branding; it reminds people about the company’s reputation and their worth.

When an instructor signs up with Thinkific, they have a URL that ends with thinkific.com.

One can set up their custom domain instead of using Thinkific’s domain name. It provides the instructors the chance to reach out to students via their identity and earn/retain their trust.

The settings section on the dashboard enables one to set up a CNAME record with their domain host. They have to choose the custom domain and set it as primary, but it is available for paid plans only.

Hence, the instructor can link his/her website with Thinkific and retain its branding. The white labeling ability also gets rid of their name and identity.

Similarly, the footer appears with the text, “Powered by Thinkific.” We can edit the site footer code via the code & analytics section under the settings tab on the dashboard.

The footer is an extension of the website, and it provides easy access to the instructor’s contact information and social media.

The same applies to emails sent from the mail server with “[email protected]” Meaning there are quite some instances when the identity of the platform comes into play.

To improve on this, Thinkific’s Premier and Plus plans allow the owner to white label the website. Although Thinkific is responsible for hosting, payment processing, and all, the instructor can customize the site and make it reflect their name and URL.

The course player will provide the learning environment, and it should be an ideal one. Therefore, we have some options to personalize our player by working on its theme, style, and logo.

Thinkific supports multi-lingual interface; thus, one can change the language for the player.

We see good options for ditching the platform’s identity and re-enforcing the brand of the instructor. The other way to customize is to change the look and feel of various pages using the site builder.

The capability of the site builder

The site builder is responsible for providing options for personalization of the website pages. It allows one to create an attractive and customized look and feel of the homepage, product, and custom page.

It translates into having power in the hands of the instructor who exercises control over the school and other various pages.

After signing up, Thinkific allows the instructor to choose a theme for their website. They currently offer 3 themes that have some variations.

It includes vision, empire, and vogue. The instructor can experience the visual by previewing it or looking at its details.

The website pages are made up of various parts, which work together to provide easy navigation, information, and content to the users/students.

These include the header, footer, sections, settings, blocks, and content.  The blocks are pre-designed elements that are available for editing, deleting, or re-arranging to create the desired feature.

It may be used to introduce a button, logo, category, among other things on the page. The section is to promote product and selling, customizable content, formatted content or, for social proof.

There are also smart sections which get updated automatically in case of any changes in the content. Let us get into customizing the course landing page using the site builder.

The top panel allows one to view it as a desktop, mobile, or full screen. The left bar side has 2 main segments of the builder, which includes pages and themes settings.

The main site builder pages include homepage, coming soon, courses, bundles, default, and custom pages.

So, to personalize any page, one has to access it and customize its header, sections, and the footer.

In the free plan, the header and footer are a default, so there is nothing one can do much about it. However, one can add, copy, arrange, and edit sections in a way that strikes your liking.

The sections have settings for the page in terms of the headings, uploading a hero image, size and alignment, and blocks. It also has theme settings, divided into styles, color, typography, and favicon.

The page adds up to sales, as it introduces the course to the audience. There is a place to indicate the banner, text, pricing, and instructors for the course.

The sections form the building blocks which provide the necessary information to the users. There is an option to drag and drop to arrange the blocks.

A footer is an ideal place for the instructor to link his/her social media accounts with Thinkific to increase the audience base.

Apart from the course landing page, other pages can also be customized using the site builder. It includes the homepage, which is the page that uploads when a user accesses the URL.

It shows what the instructor has to offer, and it has a smart section. Meaning whenever the instructor adds a course, the same gets reflected under this section automatically.

There are default and custom pages. The default pages include checkout (sign-in, payment & thank you), sign-in, sign-up, all courses, student dashboard, and coming soon page.

If you find the default pages insufficient, then the custom pages provide room for the creation of additional customized sites.

It may include extra information such as About Us, or FAQs. The instructor provides a name to such a feature, and start adding sections such as image, buttons, pricing, video, instructor, logo, or students reviews.

All in all, Thinkific has a highly customizable site builder which can enable the owner to personalize features. Their competitor Teachable lacks theme library, and they offer a basic template that can be customized.

Marketing strategies to promote sales

The instructor creates valuable content, Thinkific hosts, processes the payment, and also offers a way to boost sales to benefit the creator.

There are millions of courses online; thus, it is becoming difficult to attract an audience. The instructor has to identify a niche, create content that can fill that gap with practical knowledge/skills.

We have seen that it is easy to create a course on Thinkific. They allow one to add loads of multimedia and content that can grab student’s attention.

The website can also be customized to reflect the brand and identity of the instructor. With the site builder, various pages can open for personalization.

The market and sell section under the dashboard hosts parts of coupons, sales widgets, orders, integration, and affiliates.

Discount coupons can be created for various courses to attract the audience, but it is available for paid plans only. They allow the creation of bulk coupons via postman, which is a third-party tool using API.

One can generate the coupon codes in the system which the student redeems. Furthermore, you may provide applied codes on pages such as course/bundle landing, or during checkout.

Thinkific allows the instructor to create sales widgets that can be embedded on third party sites such as your website, forum, blog, etc.

The pricing structure can play a role in marketing too. One can set a paid course as free for a limited time to arouse the audience’s curiosity.

They can also create free previews that allow students to access some of the lessons for free. One can also link the free preview to the course’s checkout section.

The other way to reach out to a broad audience base is through the arrangement of affiliates, who earn a commission in exchange.

We cannot ignore the importance of email marketing. Hence, Thinkific provides instructors with a lead list of potential as well as the current customers too.

There are many instances where the instructor contacts the audience via emails, either automated or manually. It may be during sign-ups, enrollments, payment receipts, course completion, etc.

One can filter the list in the users section under “support your students” section of the dashboard.

The instructor can use the coming soon page to capture potential students. Moreover, they can include a Leads capture section on the landing pages. What happens is that any person who inputs their email ID gets recognized as a potential lead.

The other way to capture email is via 3rd party applications such as Sumo and Hello Bar. Sumo has tools such as Welcome Mat, Scroll Box, and Smart Bar.

In case one is using solutions such as MailChimp, then it is possible to embed forms on the Thinkific website. We can look at various integrations next, but in comparison to Teachable, Thinkific lacks the sales aspect.

Teachable provided an easy one-step checkout process, while Thinkific has 2 steps. It affects the conversion rates as many people dislike lengthy procedures of checking out. They also have an in-built blog that is missing in Thinkific.

Integrations 

As far as payment gateways are concerned, we have mentioned that Thinkific supports PayPal and Stripe. Interestingly, they have a plus point here as they do not charge any transaction fees, unlike its competitors who do.

They also have numerous native integration options, which include automation tools such as Zapier and InfusionSoft.

Zapier allows the instructor to have a secure connection to hundreds of their favorite applications. InfusionSoft is a sales and marketing related software that helps in scaling up the business by offering automated workflows and its reports.

When it comes to reports, we can utilize the various analytical apps such as Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Facebook pixel, Segment.io.

The Facebook pixel is a code that tracks the action of your site visitors and offers you data that is useful when it comes to creating Facebook ads.

There are many alternatives when it comes to email marketing, as the instructor can integrate with MailChimp, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, AWeber, or ActiveCampaign.

When it comes to student management, we have software such as Accredible and Disqus. Accredible integration allows the instructor to create and send digital certificates or badges. Recognizing the student’s achievement plays a vital role as it motivates them more.

Disqus is used to create a comments section for the Thinkific community. Active participation of instructors and students is made possible via such apps.

Webhooks enables developers to integrate other external applications with your Thinkific account. In this way, the instructor can receive real-time notifications about instances/events involving orders, enrollments, or users sign up or sign in.

The premier plan allows one to apply JWT Single sign-on (SSO). It permits the instructor to sign in into Thinkific school and their external website using one set of login credentials. The authentication process improves compliance, and also supports user access reporting.

The Thinkific API key gets employed for integrating new features within the system, as it allows the application to communicate with each other to carry out a specific function

With essential and advanced integrations, we can conclude that Thinkific offers more in this field as compared to Teachable.

Students management

The school owners create and sell their online content for the audience who are learners. The courses delivered should be of high quality and should meet the requirements of the students.

It becomes the instructors' responsibility to manage their students who are the users and look for ways to increase their audience base.

We often see words such as instructor, owner, author, or course admin. It can get quite complex to understand who is who and what each person does.

To keep in simple, we have to know that there is a school which is owned by the owner. He/she can be the author of the courses, or he/she can hire other individuals for the task.

As such, the course admin roles change, and the owner can decide the extent of duties of these instructors/authors or even affiliates.

The user section, under the support of your students', provides a place where the owner can create new, edit, give the password, enroll, or delete the students from the user list.

The user section holds the profile details of all the individuals, their enrollments, and activity feed. There are options for filtering and bookmarking the list too.

The instructor can manually set a password for the students or give them the freedom to set their credentials.  The list of the students can be imported from other databases or sites using XLSX or CSV files.

Thinkific allows the owner to group their students into groups that share some common characteristics.

The students who wish to enroll in any course have to go through 2 steps. The first is to create/sign in a student account, and the next is the checkout, whereby they select the method of payment.

Only the committed students enroll for online courses as they also look forward to gaining skills and knowledge within a specific field.

It thus becomes necessary for the instructor to track the progress of the student, assist whenever required, and offer room for discussion/forum.

There is a dedicated progress tab on the navigation panel, which provides reports on student's activity. It shows in terms of courses or groups.

These reports provide in-depth details of when the student started the course, their completion rate, their last sign-ins, and when they completed. There are cohort reports which share a similar start date.

Apart from the progress report, there is video analytics available in the video library. It shows the percentage rate of average engagement, total plays, and play rate.

Such statistics are useful for instructors to create even better and attracting video content. All the online courses majorly depend on video for delivering the learning material. Hence, there is a need to make it highly engaging.

Each course can have on lesson discussions, which is readily available, but it can be enabled/disabled by the course creator.

The discussions allow students to participate in conversations, raise questions, resolve queries, and enhance participation in the course.

The instructor is also able to involve the students in the community. Through it, the students can build trust, connect with their fellow students worldwide, and increase engagement in the learning process.

The owners are encouraged to create a community where they can share their posts (text, video, audio, file links, etc.).

The students can also create new posts and engage in the existing ones by commenting on them. The users can view these communities on their student's dashboard.

They can invite more students by sharing a link to the community. Email notifications are used to inform the students regarding various events within the community.

We have mentioned earlier that emails are used to notify the students on various events such as signing up, enrollment in course/bundle, or completion of a course.

These emails can be customized by the instructor to provide personal feedback. However, there may be times when the emails need to send in bulk too.

At such times, one can use Thinkific’s mass user email feature. It is convenient to inform the students about coupons, free previews, course updates, or to contact dormant users.

Having a sound communication channel between the course creator and the user is essential. It ensures there is mutual understanding and allows resolving of issues.

The notification part of student management enables the instructor to decide when to receive alert notices.

The instructor can set email notifications for students too. It includes during course/bundle welcome or course completion email.

The students are entitled to provide their feedback using the course reviews. Although the command to either enable it or disable, it is in the hands of the instructor.

The positive reviews can be a part of your course landing page. It also comes along with ratings out of 5 stars. The free review lessons, however, lack this feature altogether.

We have mentioned that Thinkific allows various kinds of lessons, which are open for grading via quizzes and assignments.

All the quiz and surveys created under each course appears comprehensively on one page. It displays the number of results and the last completion date.

Assignments require the instructor's approval, and it may be set as a prerequisite lesson too. The notification tab on the navigation panel provides the owner the option to turn on/off the toggle for assignments.

The instructor can reward the students with a certificate of completion via integration with Accredible. The surveys are a unique offering of Thinkific, and it is missing out on many of their competitor platforms.

Security of the creators’ content

We often encounter with news on scams, hacked accounts, phishing, and other online security breaches in the newspaper/tv.

Everyone is conscious about what they put online as security threats can damage their image or cause them loss in the business.

The same applies to online content creators, who need to be assured of safety measures as the transactions are via online payment gateways.

Thinkific offers paid content, and to access the material, one has to purchase the course. Moreover, they encourage the use of multi types of media and a large section of the discussion, which limits the chances of imitation/recreation.

The instructor can choose not to provide downloadable content, and they can add watermarks to their PDFs and videos. They can also prevent users from copying & pasting their content.

Thinkific also adheres to The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU. Thus, the personal information which is collected by them is protected.

Thinkific allows the owners to set their terms and condition. It is available for editing via orders and accounts under settings.

The payment gateways are Stripe or PayPal, and they are encrypted through the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

Thinkific has secure cloud hosting and introduces frequent backups. They have secure SSL certificates via Let's Encrypt. Their advanced plans also offer a custom SSL certificate, which can have the company’s name.

Ending remarks

The entrepreneurs, authors, tutors, or any individual enthusiastic about launching online courses will find Thinkific appropriate choice.

Their course builder addresses every critical aspect of course creation. They allow various types of lessons, which makes content-rich and engaging.

Their courses can be made to be private or hidden, and the system allows tracking of the student’s progress.

It is a highly customizable and flexible website that provides advanced personalization via CSS/HTML editing and white labeling of the school and email.

It is becoming challenging for creators to build a space for themselves in the e-learning market. The online platforms should provide techniques to aid in boosting sales.

Though the marketing schemes of Thinkific may not meet up to the mark of Teachable, they are entirely satisfactory.

They offer more options in the area of integration and have attractive features of no transaction fees in their payment processing (Stripe and PayPal). The instructors also receive an instant payout.

They have a private instructor community on Facebook, which allows the creator to learn from one another.

Thinkific allows the owner to retain their ownership over the content and practice control over various aspects of the site.

Of course, most of their elite features require the owner to subscribe to their higher-paid plans, but the free offering is a good starting point to venture into the business.

It is thus, highly recommendable to creators who are at the beginner level and who intend to reuse their content from their existing websites.

Top Features

Course
  • Course Creation
  • Video & Content Hosting
  • Rich Multimedia Courses
  • Voice-over Slide Tool
  • Retain Content Ownership
Sales & Marketing
  • Instant Funds Access
  • Advanced Upselling & Bundles
  • Multiple Payment Methods
  • Multiple Payment Currencies
  • Scheduling Content
  • Coupons & Promotions Creation
  • Marketing Tools Integration
  • Sales Tracking
  • Conversion Pixel Support
  • Affiliate Program
  • Free Trial Courses
Design & Customization
  • Custom Domains
  • Full Course Catalog
  • Landing Pages Creation
  • Website Branding
  • Advanced HTML Editing
Teaching
  • Building Community
  • Custom Student Emails
  • Completion Certificates
  • Student Assessments
  • Multiple Instructor Supported
  • Tracking Student Progress
Student Experience
  • Cross-device Resume
  • Rich Student Environment
  • Multi-language Supported
  • Multiple Devices Optimized
  • Easy Course Navigation
Administration
  • Managed Student Administration
  • Detailed Analytics & Reporting
  • Site Monitoring Dashboard
  • Private Courses Creation
  • Exporting Data
  • Manual Enrollments & Updates
Advanced Tools
  • Single Sign-on
  • White-labeling Support
  • Advanced Integration
  • Javascript Tracking
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Tracking Pixels
Security
  • Secured Cloud Hosting
  • Daily Data Backups
  • 24/7 Monitoring
  • Instant Upgrades

Visibility

Overall Visibility Score 55.38

Score Influencers

  • Overall
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Website Mentions
  • Estimated Visitors

Company Information

Company Name: Thinkific Inc.

Founded In: 2012

Address: #200 - 324 W. Hastings St, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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