Kajabi and Thinkific are learning management systems that are designed to make the lives of online course creators easier. If you are looking to create an online course business, build a website, or sell online courses these sites will offer you different options to consider.
This article will give you a side-by-side comparison in these two online course platforms so you can determine what is the best platform for your business. Whether you are creating a course to supplement your existing business, or creating an online course empire, you need to have a platform that will take you to the next level and help you share your knowledge with the world.
Thinkific is an education platform that lets you create a webpage to help you create and sell your own courses. It is designed to make course creation easier for people who want to build a webpage.
Thinkific was established over eleven years ago by Greg Smith while he was teaching a LSAT class on the weekends. Because he had to take the time to create everything for his class, he did not have time to spend with his family.
Smith has taken what he learned and along with his team has created Thinkific to help people design courses and build their websites. Thinkific has one hundred dedicated employees and is represented in over fifteen countries.
Fifty percent of their leadership team positions are held by women. Their educational software platform helps you market, create, deliver, and sell your own online courses.
Kajabi takes things a bit further and allows for anyone wanting to sell digitized items online. Kajabi is here for you if you are an educator or entrepreneur.
Kajabi launched in 2010 and since then they have served over 25,000 users in 120 countries. Kajabi’s mission is to “empower entrepreneurs, experts, and influencers who are serious about their business to achieve success online.”
They uphold this mission by offering great customer service and by creating features and products that suit their customers needs. Their headquarters are in Irving, CA and they have over one hundred team members.
Kajabi works to help build your business while integrating tools you already use for a seamless, powerful product.
When it comes to pricing you need to take in all your considerations. Some companies may be pricier, but they may have more options. Others might offer a free plan, but it might not have enough options to run your web site.
Taking the time to figure out what you need from your hosting platform will save you time and will help determine which platform gives you more bang for the buck. Both Thinkific and Kajabi have different levels of paid plans that include different features.
You might want to be fiscally conservative and invest in a lower priced option, but you want to consider where you will be in a year. Will the lower cost level have all the bells and whistles it will take to keep your website running smoothly?
You might answer yes but if you do not you might need to consider investing more to make sure your website can grow as quickly and efficiently as you would like it to.
Thinkific offers four different pricing levels. All of their offers include Thinkific’s core features. The core features are email and phone support, instant access to your funds, choice of site language, full e-commerce, secure cloud hosting, easy drag and drop course builder, discussion forums, build out your entire website, upsell offers, student notifications, multiple instructor profiles, and easy, built in SSL certificates.
The first level is free. The free platform includes content hosting, unlimited students, three courses, surveys and quizzes, and instant access to your funds.
The next level is the basic level. The basic level costs $49 per month. It includes everything from the free level plus unlimited courses and students, manual student enrollment and export, coupons, Zapier triggers, email and WordPress integrations, email students, custom domain, drip schedule content, and affiliate reporting.
The next level, which is the most popular level, is the pro level. The pro plan costs $99 per month. It includes everything from the basic level plus communities, two site administrator accounts, assignments, five course administrators/authors, membership and bundles, priority support, private and hidden courses, advanced customization, advance course pricing options, and certificates.
The premier level is the final level. The cost is $499 per month. Included in the premier level is everything from the pro level plus an onboarding package which includes onboarding call, training, and a launch preparedness review. The pro level also includes five site administrative accounts, single sign on (SSO), fifteen group analysts, and fifty course administrators/authors. This level also includes an unlimited growth package.
The unlimited growth package includes bulk enrollment of students, bulk emails, groups, brilliant exam integration, advanced segmentation, Zapier actions, communities, webhooks, infusion soft integration, public API, removable Thinkific branding, and import students.
Kajabi pricing has three levels. All of these levels include access to the Kajabi university, automations, 0% transaction fee, chat support, email support, webinars and events, and ready to use templates, and completion certificates. All of the pricing levels come with a fourteen day free trial.
The first is the basic plan. The cost of the basic level is $149 per month, although they do offer discounts at times. The basic level includes three products, one administrator, three pipelines, one website, unlimited landing pages, 1,000 active members, unlimited marketing emails, and 10,000 contacts.
The next level is the growth level. This is regularly priced at $199 per month. This level includes ten administrative users, fifteen products, one website, fifteen pipelines, 10,000 active members, unlimited landing pages, 25,000 contacts, and unlimited marketing emails. It also includes affiliate program, 24/7 chat support, and the ability to remove Kajabi branding.
The last level is the pro level. This level costs $399 per month. It includes 100 products, 25 administrative users, 100 pipelines, three websites, unlimited landing pages, 20,00 active members, two million marketing emails, and 100,000 contacts. This level also includes 24/7 chat support, affiliate program, advanced automations, the ability to remove Kajabi branding and code editor.
As with pricing, you will want to be sure the features you can obtain will help your website grow and expand. If you just want to set up a couple of courses you might not need as many features. However, if you want to set up a site where you have different offerings from a few members, you will need the features to help your website be the best site for your customers. Both Thinkific and Kajabi have many different features to offer to you.
Thinkific offers different features to help you build your website. Some of Thinkific’s features include the ability to drag and drop and quickly upload quality content to your curriculum.
They are able to support Captivate, Articulate, video, discussions, quizzes, downloads, Typeform, Google Docs, texts, and surveys. With Thinkific, video hosting is included. You can also customize the running of your course system with features such as membership sites, private and hidden courses, evergreen and expiring content, prerequisite lessons, cohorts, multiple instructors, and drip schedule content.
You can showcase your courses with customizable themes. You can also organize content with their drag and drop builder, full access to HTML and CSS, and use your own domain name. Thinkific also helps you market your site with a full set of business tools.
You can offer subscription courses and membership sites on your webpage. You can also use coupons and promotional features to boost your sales. Payments on Thinkific are 100 % safe. They accept all credit cards and charge in over one hundred currencies. You can get paid immediately.
Thinkific also has advanced marketing tools available. These tools include direct tracking, customized commission rates, integrate with over one thousand marketing and business apps, advanced data tracking including Facebook, Google Ads, and retargeting campaigns, and easily connect with your favorite email provider such as Mailchimp and Convertkit.
Students will appreciate the language controls and unlimited replays of lessons provided by Thinkific. You can also set up customized completion pages and certificates acknowledging the completion of a course. You can track your students' progress and keep them motivated by sending out automated reminders and progress emails. You can optimize and monitor your business with cohort and group reporting, data exports, detailed segmentation, and more.
Thinkific is concerned about data and security. Their security features include built in security and SSL, secure cloud hosting with daily backups, 24 hours a day and seven days a week monitoring with 99.9% uptime, and instant access to updates.
Kajabi features include integrated courses, subscriptions, and digital products. They offer custom pricing, delivery, and packaging. They also offer customizable or one click templates to build your website.
You will find everything you need to connect your business in one place on your Kajabi webpage. Your marketing, content, and products will work seamlessly together. Payments are easy with Stripe and Paypal.
They offer one-time, trial, and recurring payment plans, and one-click upsells. Data tracking is another feature that Kajabi offers.
You can track customer progress, view reports, user forecasting, and see how customers are interacting with your website. Their email marketing features include customizable emails to your email list.
You can integrate countdown timers, videos, automations, and more to those who opt-in to your list. Sales pages are customizable with near limitless design flexibility. After you are done customizing and publishing your page, you will be integrated with the rest of your business.
Kajabi offers Kajabi Campaigns which automate, optimize, and scale your business so you can concern yourself with running your webpage. There are full platform integration, and custom automation triggers for you and your staff to help you create a personal audience experience without wasting your time.
Kajabi has a full blown sales funnel feature. Kajabi can also track your leads. You can make personal notes, tag people based on their behavior, and use your results in your automation, products, and marketing. Kajabi offers a place to keep your customers connected to you and your products. You can use Kajabi to create group meetings for your customers and teams.
Kajabi also offers a mobile app that features full access to your content. This enables your users to make deeper connections, and learn more as they explore your website while away from their personal computer. There are no plug-ins or integrations required with Kajabi, but they can adapt to the ones that you normally use.
There are over 25,000 experts, entrepreneurs, and serious influencers in the community that you will have access to. Kajabi also offers a 24 hour a day seven day a week customer experience team availability to answer your questions.
Kajabi also offers the Kajabi University feature. This is a feature that includes videos and training to help you build your website and your business.
They offer courses on how to build your course, how to create and share an offer, how to create an audio based course, pipeline mastery, how to create a screen share course, how to build and run a successful blog, how to build a list, and how to build membership and community. The Kajabi University is offered in addition to the Kajabi help center.
If you need help with your website or if you want to know how to set up a course, it is imperative that your hosting platform has good customer support. The more you can find online and do yourself, the less time you will spend on a phone or waiting for an email to give you an answer to your question.
You do not want to be trying to meet a deadline and hit a brick wall because you do not have the knowledge to keep on going. Be sure to visit your hosting platform’s site to see how their customer support will work for you. Here are some of the features of Thinkific and Kajabi customer support.
Thinkific Customer Support
Thinkific offers a blog, help center, resources including a video to help you set up your site, pdf downloads about pricing, running a successful membership site, and more. They also offer pdf downloads with such topics as setting up a Facebook group to build a thriving community, how to structure your online course, outline your online course curriculum, and more.
They also offer video series to help you with sales and marketing and promotion. Thinkific also offers a training site with free fasttrack training to help you get your website up and running. And help you set up for success.
These videos include how to price your online classes, create your content and curriculum, using student engagement to drive impact and revenue, profitable Facebook ads, designing great courses, and more.
Thinkific also offers online Thinkific experts. They have course creation experts who can help you with course setup, content migration, and curriculum design. They also have site creation experts who can help you with your site set up, website design, and customized web development.
They also have marketing experts who can help you with customer acquisition, branding, and marketing along with technical implementation experts who can help you with SSO, custom solutions, and integrations.
Kajabi Customer Support
In addition to the Kajabi University, Kajabi also offers a help center with topics such as create, brand, and manage your website and blog, partner programs, marketing automation, selling with Kajabi, digital products, themes and design, and email campaigns.
Kajabi also offers a partner program that includes a 30% lifetime commission for any new member you sign up to Kajabi that stays for two years. There are also other levels and monetary rewards. As you sign up new members your commission and therefore your monetary rewards increase.
Setting up Courses
You will be creating many different courses on your website. Some might have overlapping information and others will be unique. Because of this difference you will want to be sure you can set up courses quickly and efficiently on your hosting platform. If you get confused or have to rely on help from the platform to set up your course, this can take time away from more important things like connecting with your customers.
Some people like to tinker with their course set ups while others prefer a template to work from. Keep in mind what you and your instructors will be comfortable with before deciding which platform you will use to host your website. Here are the ways to set up a course on Thinkific and Kajabi.
Setting up a Thinkific Course
Thinkific offers customizable templates for online course creation. The differing templates come with video instructions for each section when setting up your course. The only template that does not have instructions for each section is the blank course template. The blank course template is completely customizable.
You can set up this template any way you choose and you can use the bulk importer that comes with Thinkific to make this process easier. The other templates to choose from are the mini course which is a small, inexpensive course that will let your customers dabble in your site. These are usually low to no cost courses that precede your other major courses. The next level of template is the flagship course. The flagship course template is for your main courses.
This is the course that can contain links to other courses, some physical products or coaching bonuses in addition to the course. Another template is the pre-sell template. This template will help you market a flagship course. The pre-sell template will let you know if you have a market for a flagship course. In addition to the course templates,
Thinkific offers two other templates to help with your website. The Membership Resource Library template is designed to help you build a library of resources and files that will be for members only. You can use this template in a bundle to help boost sales. The Webinar Replay template lets you offer your customers access to webinars you have hosted. These can be used to draw in other potential customers.
Once you have chosen your template you can add your content by using Thinkific’s bulk importer or you can create your own content with the tools provided by Thinkific.
Thinkific has many lesson types that you can add to the content of your course including videos, quizzes, texts, surveys, multimedia, PDF, audio, Brillium exams, narrated presentations, downloadable files, webinars and livestreams, alternative quiz types, ADOBE Captivate, Articulate Storyline, HTML5, and more. You can also copy lessons from another course to help simplify development.
Next you can add your course settings including basic settings, course image and description, course player and appearance, course progress and completion, and page code where you can include custom code. You can also include admin and revenue partners, and SEO. Once you have completed your course you can access and update your landing page. Thinkific offers a checklist before final publication and other optional customizations including the ability to add a free preview, set a drip schedule for your course, customize your site notifications, and enable discussions.
Setting up a Kajabi Course
Kajabi course set up starts with selecting a product blueprint. One of their newest products includes the Community product. This product allows you to build, host, and facilitate your own online community.
The mini-course product is a one category course with a few lessons. This template is great for an inexpensive course or to help people understand a more developed course. The Online Course product is a more indepth course that has five separate categories in order to create a more developed course.
The Evergreen Training product allows you to offer content over time with an automated drip release. The Membership product allows your members to access content on demand. The final product offered is the Blank Blueprint product.
This product is fully customizable and is good if you know exactly how you want your course structured or you want to import an already completed course.
Once you have selected your product it is time to edit the details. You can add a title, description, image, and delete option. Next is the product outline where you can access each post and category and visually organize your content.
You can then walk through your product outline and edit and preview your product. You can also customize the appearance of your product including the product theme, links, color palette, texts, and images. You can also manage comments, create product announcements, clone your product, view member’s progress, or delete your product.
When you are finished with the product outline you can then add videos, downloads, a poster image, and automations. Automations in products include granting an offer, revoking an offer, subscribing to and unsubscribing from an email service, registering for and deregistering from an event, sending an email, adding and removing tags, and sending a single use coupon. You can also manage customer comments to make them hidden, visible, or locked.
After you are done adding videos and more you can then determine how you will be releasing your product. Your product can be published and immediately available to everyone, or it can be dripped with a specified start date for members to access. Your product can also be locked or hidden until you are ready to release it.
You can customize your product’s color scheme, brand font, and instructor information. Kajabi also offers customizable email templates, login, and library pages.
They send out member welcome emails and offer purchase confirmation emails to your customers to make sure they are enrolled in the correct course and to get to the product they have purchased.
They also offer an affiliate marketing program where you can earn commission from others selling your products. You can keep track of your affiliates and have key information such as click count, form submissions, conversion rates, and conversions right on your site. You can get affiliates simply by creating an affiliate share link.
You can keep track of your affiliates by using the affiliate dashboard that is provided by Kajabi. You can also keep track of transactions to your affiliates.
Kajabi also lets you create different offers including payment options for your customers. You can offer a free or paid course.
Kajabi lets you link to Stripe and PayPal to sell your courses. Kajabi walks you through creating, building, and pricing an offer.
You can also customize your checkout page by choosing a primary color, adding extra contact information, service agreement, testimonials, an order bump, and footer navigation.
After you have created your course and your checkout page you can track your progress and create announcements that will let your members know of any news, updates, additions, or changes.
You can customize the welcome email your affiliates receive so that you can customize the language according to your brand. That way your affiliates are not just getting a regular email from Kajabi.
You can also customize your automated emails with different templates. These templates include the member welcome email, offer purchased confirmation, affiliate welcome, reply comment notification for when a reply is made directly to a customer comment, member drip notification, announcement notification, affiliate announcement notification, member payment subscription failed, offer grant confirmation, assessment completion which is sent upon completion of the course, new community comment, mention notification, and more.
You can customize any email that you will be sending automatically with just a few clicks.
Both of these platforms offer many great options for hosting your website. You can pay with credit cards on Thinkfit while Kajabi offers you blogging options within their site. Both have great templates and customizable options for you to choose from to create a website that your customers will appreciate.
Depending on whether you are hosting a site for academic courses or promotional courses you can choose from many options from both platforms. Thinkific is a great site for academics looking to create courses for their students.
You can track student achievement and create quizzes and tests to make sure your students are understanding the course content in both Thinkific and Kajabi. Both platforms offer marketing tools that let you customize your website according to your customers wants and needs.
You can promote your site and obtain affiliates within Kajabi to allow you to earn more money per course. Kajabi also offers a partner program where you get a commission for recruiting members who stay with Kajabi for at least two years.
Both platforms are designed to host your website and make your life easier by having easy to follow templates for course design and built in tools to help keep your website up and running.
Your students and customers will appreciate you using one of these platforms as that will leave more time for you to communicate with your students and customers and make sure they are receiving what they want and need from your product.
You will have more time to create new courses and webinars to help keep your students and customers active and interested in your web site. Happy customers will return and recommend your site to other customers. This way you can build and create a page that people will want to come back to and that will help you earn the money you deserve.
A great website is the most important thing when it comes to online lessons and classes. If you cannot push your product you will not succeed with anything online.
Both of these platforms want you to succeed with your online courses. They will help guide you through creating and sharing your work to the world.