Choosing the right platform for your online courses can be difficult and time consuming. You’ll need to know what the platform offers, the costs involved and if it’s suitable for your business needs.
This quick and easy guide compares two popular online course platforms, Kajabi and Thinkific. Armed with the information you need, you’ll be able to decide what’s important to your business, and if either of these platforms meet your needs.
What do Kajabi and Thinkific offer?
Kajabi and Thinkific offer tools to build and host your online courses, including the following:
- Tools to sell your online courses.
- Tools to structure your courses, breaking them down into modules (‘categories’ or ‘chapters’ depending on the platform) and individual lessons.
- Tools to support course compliance – you can find out more about this below.
- Tools to deliver assessments.
Kajabi and Thinkific offer a platform which does all the ‘technical work’ for you, leaving you time to focus on creating and selling your online courses.
Key features of Kajabi and Thinkific
The following are the key features offered with the Kajabi and Thinkific packages:
Kajabi and Thinkific share many key features, which are explored in more detail in the section below.
You’ll notice there are some variations in terms of marketing tools, the availability of a mobile app, and the ability to offer online lessons and course completion certificates.
However, the key difference is that Kajabi provides an ‘all-in-one’ platform, while Thinkific focuses on delivering the key features for an online course creation platform. Kajabi’s ‘all-in-one’ platform aims to incorporate website setup and marketing tools with course content hosting, to keep everything in one place. Thinkific, on the other hand, provides the core features for delivering your course content, and works with third party tools for additional features, such as marketing, blogging, etc.
What Kajabi and Thinkific do well
Kajabi and Thinkific are similar in what they offer in the following ways:
- Both platforms offer features that allow you to quickly create online courses and add content.
- They both have good useability and accessibility.
- Course creation features are similar, with both using an easy to use drag-and-drop tool.
- Both allow you to create membership packages / subscription plans – although with Thinkific this is only available with ‘pro’ and ‘premier’ plans.
- Both allow you to add videos, audio, pdfs, text, quizzes, etc. to your courses.
- They include unlimited video hosting (both use Wistia for this).
- Both provide a feature so students can ask questions and discuss the lesson content. Either in the form of a comments section (Kajabi) or an in-lesson ‘discussion’ tool (Thinkific).
- The ability to ‘drip content’ is available on both; this allows you to select when sections are unlocked. Note: this isn’t available on Thinkific’s ‘free’ plan.
- Both platforms offer a full website setup and support the technical aspects of running it.
Kajabi and Thinkific vary in some areas; however, this does not always mean one outperforms the other. How you view the following differences will depend on your business needs and how these features meet them:
Both Kajabi and Thinkific offer marketing tools, such as ‘upselling’ and email marketing. This is similar to other course platforms such as Podia and Teachable. However, they vary quite considerably, so depending on your business needs one may be more suitable than the other.
Thinkific doesn’t support different ‘upsell’ offers for different courses, Therefore, as it cannot be tailored depending on the course, it is limited. Similarly, the email marketing capabilities are limited and Thinkific does not offer native email marketing services or allow you to store a mailing list. However, you can integrate email marketing tools, which is useful if you already use alternative marketing solutions.
Kajabi, on the other hand, offers extensive marketing features as part of their ‘all-in-one’ platform. These include: automatic email marketing and sales pipelines.
Which is more suitable will depend on if you have alternative marketing arrangements or even if you require all the features offered by Kajabi.
Kajabi and Thinkific both provide tools for assessing your students.
With Kajabi you can:
- Create quizzes, assignments and surveys.
- Include multiple choice, multiple option and paragraph style questions.
- Allow students to upload assignments.
- Include images with your questions.
- Set a pass score for your quizzes and use automatic marking.
With Thinkific you can:
- Create quizzes, assignments and surveys.
- Include randomised question banks.
- Add explanations to your questions.
- Import quiz questions.
Both offer customer service support, however, which is more appropriate for your business will depend on your needs and how much you’ll require the service.
In addition to email support, Kajabi offers live chat support 24/7, while Thinkific provides only email support Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm PST. This could be an important consideration, particularly if you’re in a different timezone to the customer support service.
Note: Kajabi only offers 24/7 chat support on its ‘growth’ and ‘pro’ plans; on the ‘basic’ plan this is limited and isn’t offered 24/7.
To ensure course compliance, both Kajabi and Thinkific have the option of locking content until specific lessons have been completed. Thinkific also allows you to set ‘mandatory video completion’ before access to the next lesson is provided.
Kajabi and Thinkific both allow you to ‘drip’ content, to control when students have access to it. Kajabi offers the additional benefit of being able to send automated emails informing students that new content is available, while Thinkific doesn’t currently offer this.
Analytics and reporting
The ability to track students’ progress is available on both platforms. For assessments, Kajabi and Thinkific allow you to view individuals’ scores, analyse responses and track quiz results.
In addition to this, both platforms provide analytical information relating to your videos, including engagement rates and play rates.
Although they differ slightly, both Kajabi and Thinkific offer a fair amount of flexibility in terms of the pricing options for your courses. This includes options such as a one-off payment, recurring fees and subscription.
Pros and cons of Kajabi vs Thinkific
Of course there are some areas in which Kajabi or Thinkific offer something additional or outperform the other. How useful these features are to your business may determine whether they impact your decision making.
Examples of these are as follows:
- Kajabi’s ‘all-in-one’ platform offers additional features, particularly in terms of marketing, without the need to integrate other tools.
- The additional marketing tools include a sales pipeline builder to market and funnel traffic, and automatic email marketing. Note: there are limitations depending on the package you choose.
- Allows you to build a ‘community’ area. The features of this include: allowing members to start and take part in discussions, and send private messages; allowing admin to set discussions, pin posts and send announcements. Thinkific does also offer a ‘community’ feature but it’s more limited and doesn’t allow you to organise discussions by creating topics.
- You can create a fully functioning blog; while Thinkific does not offer blogging capabilities.
- Offers a mobile app, which isn’t available with Thinkific.
- Offers unlimited courses and videos, as well as unlimited student numbers on all of its paid plans (note: the ‘free’ plan has limits on courses). Kajabi limits the number of ‘products’ (courses, subscriptions or other digital products) and the student numbers enrolled, even with their most expensive plan.
- Offers a free plan which Kajabi doesn’t.
- With the exception of the ‘premier’ plan, it is also considerably cheaper than Kajabi. Of course there are limitations with the cheaper packages so you may need a more expensive plan to meet your needs. More information can be found in the pricing section below.
- Provides course completion certificates. However, this isn’t a built-in feature, it uses a third party platform – Accredible – and access is only available with ‘pro’ and ‘premier’ plans.
- Its ‘video library’ means you only need to upload your videos once to then use with different lessons and courses, as you require.
If you are to invest in either of these options, pricing will no doubt be an important factor in your decision making. Below is an overview of the packages, fees and any limitations on courses, student or admin users:
* You can find more information about Kajabi’s payment plans in our Kajabi Pricing blog.
In addition to the four main packages, Thinkific also offers a ‘growth’ package which can be added to a ‘pro’ plan to gain access to some of the ‘premier’ plan features. This costs an additional $0.01 per student, after the first hundred students.
Thinkific is clearly the cheaper option, with the exception of the ‘premier’ plan. It also offers unlimited courses and student numbers on its paid plans (note: the free plan limits courses); while Kajabi has limitations on products, pipelines and student users on each of its plans. However, Kajabi is designed to be an ‘all-in-one’ platform and offers additional marketing features to Thinkific.
Which option is most suitable, if any, will depend on your budget and requirements, and whether either platform matches these.
Do Kajabi or Thinkific offer AI powered, adaptive courses that personalise content for users?
A key feature missing from both Kajabi and Thinkific is the ability to offer AI powered, adaptive courses that personalise course content for individual users. A platform which supports this would allow you to offer a personalised learning experience to your students.
A high quality adaptive learning platform, such as Godaptive, captures data as your learners interact with your course content and automatically reacts to their learning needs. Using artificial intelligence (AI), it can adapt and personalise the content, providing additional resources and further assessment tools where necessary, to support your users’ individual learning needs.
An adaptive learning platform gives you the same ownership over your courses and delivery of your desired content. The key difference you get with AI powered courses compared to traditional courses is a significant improvement in the user experience. Each student gets their learning environment optimised, resulting in improved learning outcomes and much higher student satisfaction.
An online course platform such as Godaptive, which enables the delivery of adaptive personalised courses, can make your online courses stand out from the competition. Supporting better user retention, exam results and course completion rates, you can increase engagement with your products and ensure that your users keep coming back for more.
To learn more about an AI powered, adaptive learning platform visit our ‘Benefits of an Adaptive Learning Platform’ blog. Here you’ll find more information about how adaptive learning works, why to choose it and the benefits for your business and learners.
Kajabi’s main selling point is its focus on providing an ‘all-in-one’ platform. If you’re looking for a platform that offers you online course hosting, sales and marketing all in one place, then it may be preferable over other options. If, however, you don’t require the additional marketing features, then Thinkific may be a better option for you.
Unless you opt for the ‘premier’ plan, Thinkific will also be more budget-friendly than Kajabi, which may be an important consideration, particularly if you don’t require Kajabi’s additional features.
For a platform which can give your online courses an edge over the competition, visit the Godaptive website to find out more about AI powered learning, and how it can personalise your content for your students.