Thinkific has proven to be one of the best online course platforms, and while they don’t fit every business model if you want to sell a course, they do land on most of the criteria that a lot of course sellers want to incorporate into the experience.
If you don’t know what you’re looking for yet, that’s okay: we’re going to break down Kajabi, another excellent course-seller and coaching program that utilizes a lot of unique features and helps you make a decision based on budget, intuitiveness, and student experience.
Thinkific vs Kajabi: both Kajabi and Thinkific have similar functions, but don’t hit the nail on the head in every department. Let’s see in depth what these have to offer, what they lack, and how to find a balance in between depending on your needs.
- Thinkific and Kajabi Compared
- What Course Building do They Offer?
- How Hard is it to Make a Course?
- Thinkific vs Kajabi Student Management
- Email Marketing Tools
- Pricing (Including Payment Methods)
- Thinkific Pros and Cons
- Kajabi Pros and Cons
- Which Works Better for Your Specific Needs?
Thinkific and Kajabi Compared
Thinkific is a huge, data-driven, marketing-based course selling service. Comparing Kajabi vs Thinkific, Kajabi is an all-in-one online course platform that allows you to sell memberships, content, and more.
You’re about to launch a course, and depending on the topic, length, intricacy, and required downloadable course content, you’re going to find one of these two course platforms fits your needs better than the other course platforms.
The only question is, which one will it be? Let’s find out. Read the complete Kajabi vs Thinkific comparison to decide what is best for you.
What is Thinkific?
Thinkific is one of the top-ranked online course platforms. Thinkific has an online course builder and marketing features designed to help you take a simple concept, and mature it into an online course that you can effectively sell to unlimited students.
You take information that you know, develop it in a linear, module-based fashion, and piece by piece, you go through the course-building options offered by Thinkific and make an online course.
Thinkific offers all the tools and resources to help you market your online course once it’s done, so you aren’t just left in the mud. This is an all-in-one service, meaning
Thinkific is all you need to take your ideas of being an online course builder and turn them into a reality. You’re about to become an online education entrepreneur.
What is Kajabi?
Comparing Kajabi vs Thinkific, Kajabi is all about being a one-and-done service. As a SaaS-based platform, you’re able to build everything online with no software downloads required. Create, manage, sell, market, and promote your online courses all from the Kajabi dashboard.
Kajabi’s core features include delivery of the content in a way that most other services don’t, and has a heavy emphasis on marketing (which is why we put it up against Thinkific, which also has fantastic marketing features), giving you an opportunity to properly market and promote your online courses without any prior knowledge about marketing when you start.
It requires no third-party integrations and tools and is truly an all-in-one solution that anyone can learn to use in a short amount of time.
What Course Building do They Offer?
With Thinkific, you’re going to get some core features such as an all-in-one tool that helps you build your video library and create online courses.
Use their intuitive Screenflow to help capture your videos and design them around the course content and topic. You’re able to incorporate images, text, and documents as well so that your students can download these and view them during their courses or offline. Thinkific is still expanding into interactive content, so that is limited at the moment.
Kajabi has a slightly different approach: they’re going to tell you to either make an introductory, transformative, or certification course. Honestly, you could use any of these and the learning experience will be the same, minus a digital certificate or something like that.
The quickest way to get a course off the ground is with a course bundle. That’s because courses that are bundled together have a higher likelihood of being purchased. They also have a higher probability that they will be used. What this means is that when you bill your courses, you’re in the best position possible to get credit.
In Kajabi bundling the courses is a common way to get courses off the ground. However, not all courses are good candidates for bundle purchases. Kajabi offers bundles, however, the availability of course bundles in Kajabi can vary depending on the course and the bundle. Kajabi offers a variety of bundles that are perfect for different courses and different needs.
There are a few ways to create Thinkific course bundles. The easiest way is to convert your existing course into a Thinkific bundle. This is a bundle where the course is split between two different courses. The content of the Thinkific course will be the same, but it can be split among the two courses.
The creators can create quizzes, assignments, assessments, and tests on both platforms.
Kajabi keeps things linear: choose a topic, use their SEO features to help make your online course more responsive to web searches, do competition analysis with other online courses out there, and locate your target audience. They offer a completely competition-driven online course-building platform.
What About Course Delivery?
Content delivery is done through content dripping from Thinkific, which is a feature that Kajabi vs doesn’t offer.
Content dripping allows you to force a student to complete one course before they’re allowed to move on to the next, which can be beneficial if your courses are monthly installments. This is a marketing tool.
Mini Online Courses
With Kajabi vs, you can make mini online courses that are basically interactive, one-video courses that you can use to help people know what they need from a product. If you end up selling products on your website, or even just multiple courses in different niches, you can use this to help deliver people from a prospect to a lead, and narrow down what they’re looking for.
Both Kajabi and Thinkific provide membership sites, however, in Thinkific the options are more elaborate. Kajabi provides integrated membership sites in form of membership management software. This is easy to operate and manage students’ data, records, and analytics.
At any rate, both Kajabi and Thinkific online course builders deliver linear, modular content once your students actually get into the virtual classroom, consisting of the video library, text, and image-based viewable content, as well as DLC.
How Hard is it to Make a Course?
On either platform, it’s dead simple to make an online course. The course creation process has been made as simple as possible.
Even if this is your first time on any online course builder, both Thinkific and Kajabi will walk you through everything from start to finish to make sure you have what you need, and nothing less.
Thinkific has a relatively clean course creation process, but because they add features all the time, they make extensive online information available to you so that you can navigate their site and course-building options with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions
All you have to do is search their FAQ to get answers to your questions or access their eight-part chapter-based blog that explains everything from start to finish.
They’ll literally tell you which buttons to click; it’s that simple. Even if you don’t use the FAQ or blogs, you’ll still be able to master Thinkific in little to no time at all.
Comparing Kajabi vs Thinkific, it’s a hard toss-up here because Kajabi also offers a handhold through most of the process, but their FAQ and online chapters are limited compared to what Thinkific offers. The course creation process is different however very simple using drag and drop features.
If you’re not going to take the time to learn the system without having to visit FAQs on a constant basis, you can learn Kajabi in a few days. Tops.
Templates aren’t everything, but they are important.
Your template will dictate how your students navigate your course and website, and unless you’re a graphical coder who knows how to make this stuff from scratch, you’ll want to pay attention to the templates offered to you by your LMS system.
Thinkific is about being productive. They want you to build a successful online course, and as a result, they offer tried-and-true course templates for course creation.
In fact, the templates work for your entire website, which helps to expedite the process and make it faster to get your courses online, and hit the ground running.
Thinkific offers more integrated templates than Kajabi, but they don’t really have a market for third-party templates, so you’re limited in what you can do.
Comparing Kajabi vs Thinkific, Kajabi offers some themes, but thanks to third-party theme providers (who usually make content for WordPress sites), there are other options available. The thinkific app store has several integrations available.
This is good and bad because while the built-in themes in Kajabi could be tough, these third-party providers understand supply and demand. They make themes that feel so much better than Kajabi’s integrated ones, and they sell them at a premium.
You’ll only have to pay a one-time transaction fee to get access to a lot of them, but they’re definitely out there and tantalizing, to say the least. With fewer integrated options, Thinkific wins this round. The transaction fees are also low.
Thinkific vs Kajabi Student Management
Thinkific Student Management
Thinkific student management system provides seamlessly integrated website settings, payment gateways, student information systems, and student engagement tools for all students. The system is designed to streamline the process of student enrollment and student engagement. For teachers, the student management system provides powerful reporting tools that allow you to track student progress and assign lessons based on student engagement. The system also allows for the easy creation and management of student rosters.
Kajabi Student Management
Kajabi student management system provides a student enrollment and management system that is designed to streamline the process of student enrollment and student engagement. The system is designed to provide powerful reporting tools that allow you to track student progress and assign lessons. Apart from this, the system also allows for the easy creation and management of student rosters.
Email Marketing Tools
Both Kajabi and Thinkific have integrated email marketing tools. Thinkific allows the integration of popular email marketing tools such as MailChimp, ConvertKit, and others. Kajabi has its inbuilt email marketing application which can be used by course instructors to acquire more business.
The email marketing suite provided with Kajabi makes it one step ahead of Thinkific. This important tool help the creators market their course creation business to potential clients. The email marketing solution is a must in course websites. This helps not only the creators but also the course website.
Pricing (Including Payment Methods)
Going into anything, you need to know what budgets are available for you to work with.
Course creators are usually interested in flat pricing models. Comparing Kajabi vs Thinkific, both Kajabi and competitors have somewhat similar pricing structures, but with different benefits that you need to know before making a final decision.
There are a total of four pricing plans available from Thinkific, each of which is designed for different course creators and business levels. There is a major difference between the two pricing models as detailed below:
As free as a free plan can possibly mean. You’re restricted, such as not being able to have a custom domain and whatnot, but it’s a good place to get started if you’ve never built a course before. Build it on here, take as much time as you need, and upgrade when you’re ready to go live.
The basic plan starts at just $49 per month, you get access to that custom domain you’ve been waiting for, as well as basic email integration, affiliate benefits, and SEO structuring that helps your site operate better in Google. Annually, this plan is just $39 per month.
For larger online course businesses that is really gathering traction, the $99 per month Pro plan allows you to use live Zoom meeting integration, multiple course admins, community building options, email integration, and more. Annually, this plan is $79 per month.
Designed for large-scale online course business, this is $499 per month for access to all the features like onboarding packages, SSOs, up to 50-course admins, more site admin accounts, group analysts, and so much more. Annually, this package is $399 per month.
You can use PayPal, Stripe, and major credit cards to pay for any of these packages.
Kajabi has three plans available, and none of them is the free plan (not that many of these LMS systems do), although you can start a trial-free plan. This is what you need to know about their packages.
Next to the free plan is a hefty $149 per month basic plan. You can price three products and have up to 1,000 active users, all in one website. You do have access to unlimited emails and landing pages, but other than that this package is pretty limited. Annually, this package is 20% off at $119 per month.
For $199 per month, you’ll get instant access to up to 15 separately priced products, 10,000 active monthly members, unlimited landing course pages, marketing emails, and you can host all this through ten admin users on a single website. Annually, this package is 20% off at $159 per month.
For $399 per month, you get access to over 90,000 contacts, you can host up to three separate sites, and have up to 20,000 active members on your site. Unlimited landing pages, marketing emails, and up to 100 separately-priced products all make this worthwhile for a large-scale online educator. Annually, this package is 20% off at $319 per month.
You can use PayPal, Stripe, and major credit cards to pay for any of these packages.
Thinkific Pros and Cons
Plethora of Payment Options:
Students can pay in a number of ways, so you aren’t limited by anything in terms of getting payments to come through. Thus unlimited students support is there, however, one of the most frustrating things about shopping for anything online is following the funnel, coming out at the sales page, and then not having applicable payments or not trusting the site enough to give credit card information. With Thinkific, you don’t run into any of those problems.
You can customize your site in a number of ways, so you don’t end up with drag-and-drop templates. Thinkific does offer templates, and they’re proven to work, but they make your site feel authentic and one of a kind with the micro customization options at your disposal.
Voice Over PowerPoint:
This is an underrated feature, but it’s also overly powerful. You can handle video production from within Thinkific by running a PowerPoint and narrating it through their service. There’s excellent sound clarity, and overall this is just one of those underdog features that you’ll use more than you think.
Excellent Marketing Tools:
You can market your Thinkific course with coupons, landing pages, and other options through the dashboard. Marketing features are something that every online business needs, so the fact that they’re able to do some of it for you is pretty fantastic. There is an affiliate program also that helps drive traffic.
Another benefit of Thinkific is the option to have private and hidden courses. private and hidden courses give the course makers full control of who will enroll in this course.
There’s No Option for Funnels:
Internet sales 101 tells us that you need some sort of a funnel going on, so the fact that Thinkific doesn’t offer this when they offer so many other marketing tools is a real shame. You can make individual landing pages through Thinkific, but they’re lackluster. You might need to use another service for funnels, or make good on the affiliate abilities here. The sales tools are lacking on this platform. The course creators will need to pay for their marketing efforts.
Only Phone Support:
You’ll find some online reviews that discuss this and say it’s a good thing, but I’m going to be real with you: it’s not, it’s really not. Phone support can be helpful when you get straight through, but it’s unlikely to happen. These issues that you face when building a course or managing a website are complex, and not a one-minute fix over the phone. There’s no chat support, so you’re left with long wait times to actually get assistance.
Kajabi Pros and Cons
Tons of Tools:
You want as many options as possible (without being overwhelmed) so that you can make a custom site and a custom experience. With Kajabi, you get enough tools to integrate into your platform and make a truly unique experience for your students. This is one of the best things about this course platform.
Wista Integration for Video Hosting:
You don’t have to lock your videos behind a YouTube share-only link or anything of the sort. By hosting videos on Wista, you’re able to make a closed-off, private education environment for your students and nobody else.
Marketing is the name of the game with anything you try to sell online, and thankfully, Kajabi integrated some tools here to be able to market your courses effectively. It may not be as in-depth as Thinkific, but it’s powerful enough to get the job done and then some. One can easily sell online courses on Kajabi. There is an affiliate program also that helps drive traffic.
Excellent UI (for You and Students):
Building online courses feel intuitive, and when you actually access them, it feels pretty smooth as well. Your students will have a simple time navigating your site, and you’ll have a fun time building it.
No Completion Certificates:
Unless you integrate with Accredible, a third-party course completion certificate supplier, your students do not get anything at the end of the course. No gold at the end of the rainbow, so to speak. While these completion certificates may mean nothing for accreditation to college or job performance, you don’t want to offer an anti-climactic experience, either.
Lack of Custom Coding Options:
Custom code is important because eventually, you’re going to have an idea for a great site add-on that doesn’t exist in a third-party marketplace. Many course owners do. Implementing it will take custom code and someone to design it, and with Kajabi, you cannot inject custom code to make that happen. This is a major downside of this course platform.
After discussing the pros and cons. There is another thing common between these two platforms. You can create and promote free courses to market your paid courses.
Kajabi vs Thinkific Student Experience
The student experience is important because easier to use and less complicated tools will make students more comfortable and thus, increase engagement. Kajabi student experience is more user-friendly and easy to use than Thinkific student experience. The interface of Kajabi is designed to be more intuitive and user-friendly. The left pane contains the basic information about the students, courses, enrollments, and access to resources. Students can easily navigate through the system by using the tabs.
Thinkific, on the other hand, comes with a lot of features and functionality at the cost of user-friendliness. Students have to navigate through a lot of menus to access basic information about the courses and performance. The course management is also a bit difficult to use. The plus point of thinkific is its flexible and customizable features.
Which Works Better for Your Specific Needs?
It’s important to know that Kajabi isn’t just an online course platform, which a lot of people assume going into it. It’s an all-in-one tool for charging memberships, downloadable content, and other things just like it.
Because of that, it doesn’t necessarily work as well for course quality, but it does offer some add-ons that can help more technical courses with a lot of assets that they need to get from their page into the student’s hands. It beats using a Google Drive folder for everything.
Comparing Kajabi vs Thinkific, we think Thinkific won this round, but it’s ultimately up to you. For beginners, Kajabi has some training wheels and obvious advantages, but you should eventually consider upgrading to Thinkific if you’re going to sell online courses.