Kajabi vs Thinkific: Side-by-Side Comparison (Sep 2021)

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You probably have truckloads of questions right now.

Is Kajabi worth the money?

Is Thinkific a good course platform?

How much does Kajabi cost? And does it have a free plan?

We get it.

There are truckloads of online course platforms nowadays. You can sell courses online with any one of them. But, finding the right course platform for your business is the challenge.

So, today we are going to compare two top online learning platforms; Kajabi vs Thinkific.

We’ll focus on the differences between Kajabi and Thinkific. We will see why those unique features matter.

By the end of this comparison, you’ll know the best online teaching platform for your needs and budget.

The only thing you need to do right now is to give this guide some quality time. And maybe grab a drink?

ProductKajabi Thinkific
Member limit10,000 activeUnlimited
UpsellsYesYes
BundlingYesYes
Number of courses100Unlimited
SSL securityVia 3rd partyYes
WebhooksNoYes
Support24*7 live chat
Email
Email
Phone
Starting price$149/mo$49/mo
Product pageExplore KajabiExplore Thinkific
Kajabi vs Thinkific comparison table

What do I like about Kajabi vs Thinkific?

  • Kajabi markets itself as an all-in-one shop for most online business needs. So unlike Thinkific, you won’t have to piece numerous software together to get things done.
  • Still, Kajabi charges no transaction fees on-course sales.
  • Kajabi’s customer onboarding experience is a pleasant one.
  • We particularly love the Kajabi Assistant. It’s handy for finding nested features inside Kajabi.
  • Kajabi also comes with plenty of customization options than Thinkific.
  • It also provides built-in templates you can use to get started quickly, without coding experience.
  • Kajabi offers 24*7 customer support with a live chat option-in all plans, no less. Compare that to Thinkific, which uses email support with a 5-workday limit. Thinkific support is also only available between 10 am and 5 pm PST. But why?
  • Unlike Thinkific, Kajabi offers advanced email marketing and automation capabilities.

What do I like about Thinkific vs Kajabi?

  • In Thinkific, you can design the access portal, course, and payment methods all in one interface. Kajabi’s features are quite nested in comparison.
  • The Thinkific course creation process feels like the more beginner-friendly platform here.
  • Thinkific no longer charges transaction fees on its free plan.
  • Thinkific’s customer support is great.
  • Thinkific is also suitable for a live or interactive classroom experience with features like surveying and narration.
  • Unlike Kajabi, Thinkific provides course completion certificates without needing third-party integrations.
  • Thinkific offers a free plan, which is unheard of at Kajabi.
  • The free plan is great for course creators who want to test the platform before committing long-term.
  • You’ll get a direct integration with Quaderno. That way, you can charge, calculate, and remit sales taxes locally.
  • You can now sell courses in Shopify stores with Thinkific. With Kajabi, you’d need to do a technical third-party payment gateway integration first.
  • Thinkific offers beginner-friendly pricing.
  • Also, Thinkific offers unlimited courses and students in its paid plan. Kajabi has a cap on both courses and students on all its paid plans.

Kajabi vs Thinkific: In-depth Review

Overview

Kajabi is an all-in-one platform. It includes email automations, pipelines, and landing pages. Also expect sales pages, courses, memberships, webinars, native blogging, and custom websites. All that in one place.

Instead, Thinkific focuses on its core benefit.

Thinkific is more of a cloud-based learning management system.

Its primary focus is on creating, marketing, and selling online courses. Thinkific doesn’t have the high-end marketing, automation, or pipeline stacks Kajabi offers.

But, not so fast.

Kajabi’s many tools do come at a premium.

Yet, you may not be looking for those advanced features for now. So don’t write Thinkific off just yet.

And now for the full, head-to-head review.

Interface

Kajabi nests its many features in the sidebar.

The result: a clean dashboard.

Kajabi interface
Kajabi dashboard

If you can’t seem to find a feature, just type its name in Kajabi Assistant. See the AI assistant’s name at the top of the page?

Kajabi interface guides are helpful

The Thinkific user interface looks and feels neat as well.

The Thinkific user interface is neat

Just click any menu item once.

It’ll reveal all the features nested under it. You won’t need to load the entire page to see them. Thoughtful!

search for help in Thinkific

There’s also a Help button on the bottom-left in case you need some help getting started with Thinkific.

Bottomline: Despite its many features, Kajabi’s interface manages to keep things neat and easy to follow. Its AI Assistant and textboxes are great guides for starters, too. Thinkific’s UI isn’t shoddy either. You’ll find what you need fast and easy, too.

Course creation experience

This is a crucial comparison point.

So we’ll break it down into short and sweet sections, starting with course structuring.

Ready?

Course structure

Kajabi provides three types of courses:

  • Mini-courses
  • Courses,
  • Evergreen training. Evergreen Training lets you drip course content or lessons over a period you’ll choose.

Kajabi provides online course templates for all three types:

Kajabi Product Blueprints
Product Blueprints in Kajabi

Neat, eh?

Kajabi calls the templates, Product Blueprints. And anything you choose to create is a Product.

Kajabi course modules are called Categories.

Now, Kajabi has three course levels. Clicking the Create button in Kajabi’s interface loads up a new product or module for you.

Kajabi's Product categories, subcategories, and posts
Kajabi’s 3-step Course Structure

You can then create multiple Sub-categories inside each category. Then you can add posts/course lectures inside the categories and sub-categories.

You won’t need to go as deep, so Thinkific offers two course levels: Chapters and Lessons.

Thinkific also offers course templates. Those are meant to help you start creating online courses in minutes, not hours.

You’ll have three types of Thinkific course templates to choose from:

  • Pre-sell Course: Here’s a good option if you wish to test if your course idea will pay before rolling out a full-blow flagship course. You can gather leads on a landing page first.
  • Mini-course. Pick this option if you are on a budget or want to create a short course.
  • Flagship Course. The option is a deal if you want to create a thorough course with pre-made curriculum outlines.

Check this out:

Thinkific Course Templates
Thinkific course templates

But you can also choose to create a course from scratch with Thinkific.

What you can’t do is upload video from cloud hosting services such as DropBox and Google Drive. Yet, you can cloud-import to your Thinkific Video Library.

The library is a neat feature you can use to stock up all your Thinkific video content.

There’s more.

Once you upload new clips to your Video Library, you can use them anywhere in your course.

Kajabi won’t let you do that.

Bottomline: Course templates make creating a course a quick process so you can start attracting paying students soonest. And we like that both platforms start you off with several options.

Content formats

What type of lessons will each course creation software help you make?

Kajabi will let you add text, videos, images, quizzes, and other content formats to your course categories.

You can also pick a template and follow prompts, adding content, posts, and subcategories along the way. 

Course format types that Kajabi supports

Pretty straightforward stuff.

Adding Course Resources in Kajabi

You can also add helpful resources and downloads at the end of each lecture.

And at the end of each week, you can assign quizzes to assess your student’s understanding.

On the other side, Thinkific lets you add a ton of different content formats as you wish.

And we mean a ton of them:

  • Videos
  • Multimedia
  • Text
  • Downloadable files
  • Images
  • Narrated presentations
  • Quizzes
  • Live streams and the webinar content
  • Surveys
  • Audio
  • Brillium exams
  • Disqus/Discussion lessons
  • PDF
  • Assignments
Thinkific course platform

Now, here’s where else it gets interesting.

Thinkific doesn’t support SCORM files as Kajabi does. But it supports HTML5, ADOBE Captivate, and Articulate Storyline files.

There’s more.

You can add multiple content formats in the same lesson with Thinkific. Go ahead and embed images, audio, and videos on the same page, even.

Instead, Kajabi will limit you to one at a time. You won’t be able to add quizzes and a video on the same page, for example. Sorry.

Now, while you can use externally hosted video inside Thinkific and Kajabi, there’s more to it.

Thinkific will let you embed videos from YouTube and Vimeo right in your text editor. Kajabi will let you use Wistia, Vimeo, and YouTube videos as well.

In either case, you can also embed videos with code, if you are a techie.

Both offer unlimited video hosting, so you won’t need to spend more cash buying the feature elsewhere.

Still with us?

Awesome, because it only gets more interesting from here.

Uploading course content in bulk

Can you upload multiple videos in Thinkific?

Yes, you can. Right here, next to the Thinkific course Curriculum tab:

how to upload multiple videos with Thinkific
Uploading multiple videos with Kajabi

Kajabi can, too.

Plus, it’ll let you bulk-upload up to 20 videos.

Bulk uploading videos in Kajabi

Kajabi recommends you limit the size of your video uploads to 4GB for the best experience. Thinkific recommends you keep them under its 2GB limit.

There’s another reason to pick Kajabi here.

Thinkific won’t let you select multiple lessons and make bulk changes to them. You’d have to edit them one at a time.

Yet you want an online course creator that’ll save you time, especially when managing several online courses.

Course delivery

You want students to put thought into what you are teaching them. Drip-feeding can help limit how much content students can access at a time so that they can’t binge-watch lessons.

Do it well to boost student engagement. That = high course satisfaction = fewer refund requests = better course ratings = attracting new students = good business.

So, how do you drip-feed course content with Kajabi?

Pick the Evergreen Training option from the course types we talked about earlier. Remember?

drip-feeding lessons with Kajabi
How to drip-feed course content with Kajabi

Kajabi will let you set a weekly drip schedule. You can test your students with an assessment exam at the end of each week.

With Thinkific, you can release your course content over time in three ways:

  1. Based on the date a student first enrolled in your course
  2. Based on the date a student accessed the course for the first time, and
  3. On a specific date. This option means releasing the content to cohorts at the same time

The Thinkific Course Player will tell a student when the lesson will be available if they attempt to access it before release.

drip scheduling in Thinkific
How to Drip-feed course content with Thinkific

But, hold up.

You can’t drip content with Thinkific’s Free Plan. You have to upgrade.

Thinkific will let you hold live Q&As to increase your student engagement under its Community feature. More on that below.

But your students may not find commenting on lectures as easy. Thinkific doesn’t allow you to embed comments on individual lectures, for example.

The students will need to go to Course Player >> Discussion to leave a comment.

Contrary, Kajabi will let you engage student comments on each Post or course module.

Enable, disable, or lock lecture comments with Kajabi
Student comment in Kajabi

You can make comments visible, hide them, or lock existing ones. Do that from the bottom-right section when adding content to or editing a module:

But both platforms have gorgeous course players, but let’s dig deeper.

The Thinkific course player feels like the sleeker of the two. It is also easier to find under Manage Learning Content>>Courses>>Player Settings:

How to Change Thinkific course player settings
Thinkific Course Player settings

The Thinkific Course Player will help you:

  • Play videos in fullscreen mode
  • Add, edit, and remove closed captions (SRT files) in different languages
  • Serve subtitles to help hearing-impaired students follow along
  • Change colors and course player themes to match your brand
  • Add course player logo

Your students can also make individual changes to a Thinkific course player to suit their preferences.

Player settings for Thinkific
Setting up the Thinkific Course Player

Kajabi’s Product Player feels a little nested under Products>>Edit Course>>Customize:

Where to find the Kajabi Product Player
Setting up the Kajabi Product Player

But when you do find it, it’ll let you:

  • Add, manage, and remove closed captions (SRT files) like Thinkific
  • Use subtitles
  • Embed a podcast
  • Make videos downloadable
  • Change theme and colors, and
  • See student comments below the video player

Something else.

Kajabi offers a selection of 12 course player designs. So you can brand up to a dozen, different courses, each with a unique look and feel.

Kajabi Course Player Themes
Kajabi offers 12 free themes

Access the Kajabi course player themes by clicking Products>>The Course Name>>Customize>>Pick a Theme.

We like that you can provide a more immersive, distraction-free experience by hiding some content or just toggling the player to fullscreen.

Contrary, Thinkific provides a single theme for all courses. But you can toggle it to a dark or light theme.

Light vs Dark Thinkific course player theme
The dark Thinkific course player theme

It feels well-optimized for video lessons.

But is it the best course player design we’ve seen?

It is not as robust as LearnWorlds‘ video player, but it is a good player nevertheless.

What you might wish Thinkific had is a mobile app, though.

The Kajabi mobile app for IOS
Kajabi’s IOS mobile app

Thinkific made its site mobile-responsive. So Thinkific teachers and students can use their favorite browser to access and manage their content remotely, and from any device.

If your students prefer to learn from a large screen, then having a mobile app might not matter much in this regard.

However, Kajabi’s Mobile App supports push notifications. So you can keep everyone updated on the go. Now, if Millenials are your target market, remember, 43% of them prefer such quick communication channels (OpenMarket, 2017).

Still, the app supports more complex tasks such as customizing products. Watching course videos in the app feels smooth as well.

But, of course, each student’s experience will vary, depending on the capabilities of their devices.

Bottomline: Thinkific’s content delivery options will satisfy many course creators’ needs. But if you need to brand multiple courses, for example, Kajabi has more flexible course delivery options.

Creating memberships

Now, don’t confuse memberships with payment plans.

Memberships allow paying students to access new course material and interact with fellow students as long as they renew their subscription.

Creating memberships in Kajabi takes the same process it takes to create a new product.

Start by picking a Membership template to start with.

Kajabi Memberships 2
Remember Kajabi Product Blueprints? That’s where to start when creating Kajabi memberships

Kajabi makes it easy to create and manage memberships from one place.

You can:

  • Offer bundled courses to your members.
  • Discount those bundles and run a promotion.

And that can help boost your course sales.

You can also add levels to your Kajabi memberships, such as Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

Kajabi Membership Levels
Kajabi Membership levels

From there, when you provide course access to your subscribers Kajabi will automatically drip content to them.

That’s not all.

With Kajabi, you can structure memberships in several neat ways such as Group Coaching, On-demand Training, and Live Training.

Thinkific didn’t support membership sites before. But it does now.

Like Kajabi, you can offer multiple offers in a bundle, discount the bundle, and then promote it to increase sales. Each active subscriber will have access to all the bundled content.

You can drip ready course content on a specific schedule. Or, you can release it while also creating new content.

Just keep in mind that course bundles are only available in Thinkific’s Essential, Business, and Advanced plans.

With any of those plans, you’ll be free to set up annual and up to 12 monthly subscription intervals.

Thinkific will also let you “Hide” new content until a member completes a specific module. That’s a powerful course compliance tool.

Bottom line: Both course platforms top out as some of the best membership site platforms right now. Kajabi lets you create membership levels. However, Thinkific bounces back by only allowing access to new membership content until your people complete a specific milestone.

Analytics and reporting

Kajabi’s analytics and reporting dashboard is in-depth.

You’ll get a lot of different insights here. That includes the average student engagement, total video plays, and your video lectures’ play rates.

Suppose you want to see how well students are progressing in several different courses. In that case, Kajabi will let you filter the data in more ways than Thinkific can. 

For example, you can see course progress by the community, course type, and specific subscribers.

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Thanks to Wistia, you can also tell which students skipped your video. You’ll also tell who watched it once, twice, or multiple times. 

Still, you can see where students are dropping off your videos. That means you can go back and re-work those sections to make them more engaging.

Check this out:

Kajabi anaytics

Kajabi’s analytics section covers a ton of important metrics–from sales to traffic to conversion rates.

Besides, you can integrate Kajabi with Google Analytics to see even more data.

Kajabi Analytics and Reporting
Kajabi’s in-depth Reporting and Analytics

Thinkific‘s reporting also includes the course completion rate and drop-off point data.

But if you have a Pro or Growth Plan, you’ll see more advanced insights such as detailed orders, enrollments, revenue, and student engagement numbers.

Now, you already know Kajabi’s reports run deep.

But, how good are Thinkific reports and analytics?

Let’s take the Student Engagement analytics tab, for example.

It’ll help you see more than just lesson completion rates and progress. You’ll also see:

  • What content types they view the most.
Lesson Views by content type report by Thinkific
Thinkific report on lesson views by content type
  • Whether they’ve taken the quizzes you assigned them, including how many attempts they’ve made.
Thinkific quizze attempts analytics
You’ll even see how many attempts they’ve made to pass your assessment
  • And, the average time it takes them to complete a new course module or lesson.
Thinkific student engagement analytics
Average days to complete a lesson or module report inside Thinkific

Those are all insights you can use to boost your learning management approach.

One more thing: You can integrate Google Analytics with either of the two for even deeper insight.

Bottomline: If you just need in-depth insights about your course business specifically, Thinkific will have you covered. But if you need to gather multiple, in-depth reports from multiple business sources in one place, Kajabi might be the better option.

Assessments and quizzes

Both Kajabi and Thinkific will let you add both single-choice and multiple-choice questions.

You can also add multiple answer choices, paragraph-style, and even add illustrations/images to them.

How to add Assessments to your Kajabi course
Kajabi Assessments can be automatically graded, too

Both platforms will also let you set a passing grade. They will also grade your students’ scores automatically.

But Thinkific goes beyond that.

While Kajabi limits you to using a basic .xlsx file upload, Thinkific will help you create elaborate quizzes using the Thinkific quiz questions template.

Guide to creating Thinkific Quiz assessments
Thinkific’s Quiz assessment template

The templates includes instruction for creating a quality assessment. When you are done, upload the .xlsx file directly into your Thinkific course curriculum.

How the Thinkific quiz questions import template looks like
Thinkific’s Quiz Import Template in Excel (.xlsx) format

It gets better.

Thinkific has a Randomized Questions Bank, where you can have up to 100 questions ready to go.

How to set up Randomized Questions Bank inside Thinkific
Thinkific’s Randomized Questions Bank

That means you can leave Thinkific to automate the process of assigning a specific number of random questions to each student you have.

Just decide how many questions to assign.

There’s more.

Thinkific also lets course creators decide whether to show or prevent quizzes from displaying correct and incorrect answers. That’s brilliant if you want your students to put more effort into passing your assignments.

It gets more interesting, though.

Setting a Thinkific quiz as a Prerequisite Lesson will require that students pass your set grade before they can continue to the next lesson.

How to create Prerequisite Quizzes with Thinkific
Setting up Thinkific’s Prerequisite Quizzes

That means they can retake the quiz until they pass it. That’s a powerful course compliance tool if you want your trainees to take your exams more seriously.

Kajabi tutors can’t customize Assessments to limit the number of times students can retake the assignments.

Still, Thinkific online teachers can allow students that haven’t hit the pass mark to continue on to the next lesson regardless.

However, at the end of the course, they will have to go back to that quiz and retake it. Only then can Thinkific mark their course as 100% done. Neat!

Even better.

Thinkific will let your students explain their answers, which is usually a more accurate way to test understanding than offering mere answer choices.

Thinkifics Explanation Quizzes

And if you want to use sophisticated exams, you can. Go ahead and create Brillium exams with Thinkific.

The native-level Thinkific-Brillium integration will also help you break down your students’ performances in detail. And don’t worry. The two integrate seamlessly.

Oh, one more thing.

Thinkific’s advanced assessment tools are only available to its Pro and Growth plans’ subscribers.

Bottomline: Both Kajabi and Thinkific offer multiple tools for gauging how well your trainees are learning. But Thinkific completely blows Kajabi out of the water here, with its advanced quizzes, surveys, and assessments tools if you are serious about exams.

Course completion certification

Kajabi has no built-in tool for creating certificates.

Unlike Kajabi, Thinkific offers a native-level integration with Accredible, the awesome certificates tool.

What difference does that make, you ask?

The integration will let you choose up to seven templates to create beautiful, personalized Thinkific certificates. No need to log in to Accredible separately. No additional costs.

Creating beautiful Thinkific certificates
Thinkific Certificate templates

However, Thinkific-Accredible integration is only that handy for creating completion certificates automatically.

If you need to design on-demand certificates manually or reward them to specific students, you’ll need to upgrade to a Thinkific Pro or Business plan.

Still with us?

Now, Kajabi doesn’t have a native-level integration with Accredible as Thinkific does. You could use Zapier to create Kajabi completion certificates with Accredible, though. You’ll just need to pay for both the Zap and Accredible integration.

Kajabi Certificates automation
Using Zapier to automate Kajabi Certificates

Alternatively, try creating a general certificate with Kajabi Automations like this:

Automate Kajabi certificates of completion
Kajabi’s Course completion certificate automation

To create a personalized certificate, you’ll need to use Canva or Google Slides to design it. And when you are done, upload them to Kajabi to award them away.

Use Google Slides to create Kajabi certificate of completion
Creating a Kajabi certificate of completion with Google Slides

Bottomline: Thinkific offers an easier, cheaper, and faster way to create and award course completion certificates than Kajabi. Still, both can get technical if you want to create on-demand certificates for specific students.

Community features

Vibrant course communities let students interact with each other within an engaging e-learning platform.

Students can discuss topics and help each other out. They can also give you valuable course feedback through it.

Both Kajabi and Thinkific support the following:

  1. Automatically add or remove students when they enroll in your content or comment on a post. That means less admin work for you.
  2. Students will automatically see only the communities that are available to them.
  3. Customize the look and feel of your community, including giving each community a unique color palette from the rest.
  4. Post topics for discussions as the administrator.
  5. Posts can include a video, image, or link, too.
  6. Control who, when, and how students see the posts.
  7. Manage to comment, including turning specific students’ ability to comment off.

Thinkific’s Community will let you and your students post in a dedicated forum. Students need to start discussions from the Course Player’s Discussion button.

That might not feel as smooth as Kajabi’s organized-by-topic discussions.

Yet Kajabi students can also post spontaneous posts in Feed, where others can see them.   

Now, you can set up a Thinkific community with site-wide access (for everyone), by membership, course, or bundle.  

Contrary, Kajabi can let you use the feature as a standalone offer. Or, you can use Community as part of a paid membership.

In both platforms, the feature isn’t as social-media-smooth as in LearnWorlds. But they work. 

We also wish the feature could had not as deeply-nested in both platforms as it is. 

To access Community features in Thinkific, go to Support Your Students>>Communities>>+New Community.

Creating a Thinkific Community
Thinkific Communities

To find Community settings in Kajabi, go to Product>>+New Product>>Community.

Kajabis Community Product Blueprint
Kajabi Community

The biggest difference here is that Kajabi offers a mobile app. That means you can help your students access your course, interact, and ask you questions on the go.

A mobile app also means you can keep learners up-to-date with push notifications. 

Thinkific does not offer a mobile app. So your students have to log into the Thinkific website portal to access your course as well as interact with you and other students.

That might feel like a bit of extra work to some and lots of inconvenience to other learners.

Also, instead of push notifications, Thinkific will let you blast notification emails like this:

Thinkific admin notifications features

Oh, another thing:

Thinkific Communities are only available to Pro (one community only) and Pro + Growth plan and higher (unlimited communities). 

Bottomline: Both Thinkific and Kajabi offer engaging community capabilities for growing a following around your brand. But if you need to use push notifications over notification emails, Kajabi will have you covered

Design and customization

Design matters.

How you color, structure, and present your course content can either help prop up student engagement or shatter it.  

Fortunately, you can change the look and feel of your course platform with Kajabi or Thinkific. 

Here are some things you can do with both:

  • Take advantage of their visual, drag-n-drop page builders
  • Use free subdomains (branded) or custom domain
  • You can replace the Thinkific or Kajabi branding with your own.
  • Get free SSL certificates to secure your sites.
  • Free hosting.
  • Platform updates and maintenance

What are each one’s unique points, though?

Kajabi starts you off with a choice of 12 product themes, including Kajabi’s Legacy Themes.

The themes are suitable for creating different pages, from the homepage to opt-in and landing pages.

Kajabi Product Themes 1
Kajabi Product Themes

The themes feel stable, speedy, and well-made. So you can skip hiring a web designer and do it yourself in minutes. 

Have a custom theme you’d love to see in Kajabi? Kajabi will allow you to upload it by going to Website>>Design>>Manage Themes<<Upload Theme.

Yet, Kajabi has a visual builder, which you can use to customize the themes further. 

However, you can also choose to start from scratch with custom code if you are a techie.

Kajabi Page Builder Sections

Kajabi’s visual builder has a ton of elements like accordions, timers, images, opt-in forms, videos, and much more.

Thinkific offers a leaner selection of tools.

Thinkific has something called “Site themes” and within each site theme, you have styles. There are four of them under Design Your Site>>Site Builder>>Theme Settings

Thinkifics Page Styles

But its scope is limited compared to Kajabi themes. 

Kajabi will let you create custom,  two-step opt-ins to help you capture more email addresses for your mailing list. 

You can even customize Disqus comments and message colors.

Kajabi Customization Settings

We like Thinkific’s modish styles only that they are limited.

You may have to look for a dedicated page builder such as LeadPages and ClickFunnels for that – at an extra cost, of course.

Bottomline:  Kajabi offers a ton of customization options. You can create a site or page from scratch and give it the precise feel you want it to have. And all that without needing to hire a costly designer because you can pick an easy-to-use Kajabi theme for it.

Sales and marketing features

Building online courses is only a job half done. 

Remember, it doesn’t matter whether you have the best course in the world if nobody knows about it. So the other half is about getting traction for your online courses.

Now, Thinkific has basic marketing capabilities. 

But, you can do the following marketing tasks with it and pretty well, too: 

  1. Bundle courses for a promotion
  2. Discount those bundles
  3. Give out coupons
  4. Create promotions to increase course sales.
  5. Use testimonials
  6. Add pricing tables to a page

But Kajabi offers more here. 

Take building dedicated landing pages, for example. 

Kajabi’s page builder creates everything from countdown timers to pricing tables and conversion-optimization videos.

It also provides a rich marketing toolkit with powerful marketing tools such as: 

  • Robust email marketing
  • Sales pipelines
  • Marketing automation
  • Reliable payment processing

There’s more.

Here’s a quick breakdown for you.

Email marketing

Is email marketing overrated?

Check these figures out and judge for yourself:

  • Email marketing offers the best return on investment of any digital marketing channel (GetResponse, 2020)
  • It returns $42 for every $1 you spend (DMA, 2019).
  • 62.9% of internet users prefer to receive retailer communications via email (eMarketer, 2019)
  • Did you know that 73% of millennials prefer business communications to come through email? (Adestra, 2016)

So yeah, email marketing is kind of a big deal.

Now, Thinkific works a lot like Podia here. Its integrated email service is suitable for sending email notifications.

The notifications could be in the form of course updates, community communications, or drip lessons.

Thinkific notifications email settings

But Thinkific’s email marketing tools won’t feel as able as Kajabi’s rich and thorough email marketing engines.

Yet, you can integrate your Thinkific account with powerful sales and marketing tools.

It offers seamless integration with several industry leaders:

Integrate Thinkific with top email marketing software

Still, Thinkific won’t let you create autoresponder campaigns, not without an integration, no.

But look at all the email marketing options Kajabi provides:

Kajabi email marketing

With Kajabi you can set up autoresponder campaigns. So nurturing your student relationships might take less of your time when using Kajabi.

Here’s one reason why:

Kajabi comes with robust, built-in customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. That means you can gather all your contacts in one place.

Those could be your past, current, or potential students.

Provided you haven’t deleted past contacts, you can always find them in the CRM, ready to receive new offers from you.

That’s not all.

You can also use Kajabi’s other features to bring together a good following, creating a decent email list that you can market your courses to.

Those other tools include Kajabi’s Community, blogging, autoresponders, past sales records, and your website’s lead-capture pages

Getting a CRM in a course platform is a big deal for several more reasons, including to:

  1. Segment your customers in numerous ways. You can group local and international students separately, for example. Then you can come up with hyper-relevant ways of marketing to each group to boost conversions. HubSpot found that marketers who use segmenting notice a 760% jump in revenue (Campaign Monitor, 2019).
  2. Tag your people in ways you can easily identify.
  3. Award certificates of merits to specific students.
  4. Monitor student-specific engagement.
  5. Track your contacts’ behavior so you’ll know how best to approach them.
  6. Combine with Kajabi’s email marketing tools to reach out to every contact you have.
  7. Trigger coupons and campaigns based on specific actions your contacts take.

The CRM capabilities also come in handy when you want to do some deep email analyses. So Kajabi will let you find out more about a segment, tags, specific students, courses, and so on, on-demand.

The closest you’ll come to those CRM features with Thinkific is to use its Users tab to organize your customers into segments you can be reaching out to with offers and more.

Here’s how that looks in Thinkific:

Segmenting users with Thinkific

However, you can use Kajabi’s autoresponder to send product launches.

Or, you can create sophisticated student onboarding campaigns to get more paying customers.

Like GetResponse, Drip, and ActiveCampaign, you are free to use triggers for sending automated email sequences.

How to create Kajabi email sequences and broadcasts

Then you can let Kajabi’s automation send follow up messages while you work on something else. So once you set it up, you’ll take less time and effort to welcome, nurture, and convert new students.

Bottomline: Kajabi has a robust email marketing suite you can use to make more sales across all your contacts. With Thinkific, you may need to install a third-party email marketing solution to get as much value.

Selling courses

Selling online courses is what you are in this for.

The differences between Kajabi and Thinkific become more visible here.

Take Kajabi’s Pipelines for instance.

Kajabi Pipelines

That’s the name it calls its sales pipeline builder. And, you know how important sales funnels are in the online marketing arena.

Kajabi’s Pipelines let you create simple and sophisticated sales funnels.

But it also gives you the option to start a pipeline from scratch. Or, you can use one of Kajabi’s legacy pipeline templates to get started.

Kajabi legacy pipelines

Thinkific doesn’t have such a feature. But, you might like Thinkific’s Sales Widgets. Find that under Market & Sell.

Those are little buttons or sales cards you can place on any blog or website you wish. Then interested people can click them to view your course and decide if they want to buy it.

Yet, the pipeline builder in Kajabi lets you build custom landing pages and email marketing campaigns.

For example, if you want to launch a product then Kajabi allows you to create an

  1. Opt-in page
  2. Email sequences
  3. Video pages
  4. Upsell pages
  5. Offer/sales pages

Thinkfic doesn’t have an exclusive page builder. You’ll have to integrate with third-party apps such as Clickfunnels, Unbounce, or LeadPages.

Checkout process and conversion optimization

Imagine this:

You can do all the work it takes to bring interested people to your course page. But you might lose 70% of them before they buy. Cart abandonment is real.

There are a bunch of reasons people abandon a purchase:

Reasons for cart abandonment in 2020

Now picture this:

You can reduce cart abandonment by almost 36% when you use a decent checkout process optimization tool.

For example, did you know that 54% of people who abandoned a course purchase can complete it if you give them a discount?

So instead of taking to expensive retargeting marketing strategies, you can just pick a course platform that offers plenty of conversion optimization tools at checkout.

Kajabi cart abandonment tool

Thinkific doesn’t have a similar tool. It has something else, though.

You can offer discounts, coupon codes, and free shipping offers.

You can also:

  • Bundle courses and sell them together as a discounted offer
  • Provide one-time offers
  • Offer payment options; one-time payment, installments plan, or recurring subscriptions/memberships.

Kajabi puts extra effort into its checkout pages.

Kajabi optimized checkout page

Kajabi’s conversion optimization tools include:

  • Bundling courses and selling them as a discounted product offer
  • Coupon codes
  • Different payment plans
  • Kajabi’s own and PayPal’s payment processors
  • More conversion optimization elements than Thinkific, pretty much
  • Having the entire checkout process on one page

There are more.

Kajabi will let you add testimonials, service agreements, videos, moneyback guarantees, several contact lines, and custom colors to checkout pages.

Kajabi checkout page design tools

Also, unlike Kajabi, which lets your customers complete a purchase on one page, Thinkific has a two-step checkout process.

Thinkifics two step checkout process

Potential course buyers have to register an account on one page and enter their payment details on the next page. Not optimal.

Something else.

If you are selling physical products, you can request customers to enter their physical address for shipping. But between the two, only Kajabi will let you do that.

Upselling

After a customer purchases your course, you do not want to leave them to their own devices.

Instead, use the checkout process to guide them towards related courses. Show them discounts they would get for upgrading to a paid course. Show them what other products you have that they might like.

Remember, bundling related purchases and upsell offers are a big reason why Amazon is the e-commerce behemoth today.

See how it uses those upselling tactics here:

Upselling on Amazon

Now, Thinkific will let you display a custom Thank You Page immediately a buyer makes a successful purchase. It is a one-click upsell move.

You can add a video, text message, or call-to-action button in the page.

Creating upsell offers with Kajabi is also easy.

Just create an Order Bump directly in your Offer Checkout Page. Go to Products>>Offers>>Select your existing offer>>Edit Checkout>>Order Bump to access the tool.

Upselling in Kajabi

A buyer will see the additional offer next to their purchase on the same Checkout page. We find that optimal.

Bottomline: Kajabi’s sales pipeline and checkout page optimization tools are some of the most compelling reasons to invest in Kajabi as a course platform. With Kajabi, you won’t need to piece together a ton of separate software to sell more courses. You may need to when using Thinkific.

Payment options: How do you get paid?

You’ve made those sales.

Now how do you get your money from Kajabi or Thinkific coffers?

Thinkific lets creators accept payments with Stripe and PayPal. You can also sell courses in your Shopify store with Thinkific.

Thinkific Payment gateways

If you want to automatically charge, track, and remit tax on each sale, Thinkific has a direct integration with Quaderno you can switch on.

That means you can comply with your local VAT, GST, and sales tax laws provided you have Stripe or PayPal as your Thinkific payment gateways.

If you process payments with Stripe, Thinkific lets you use Stunning, an integration that helps creators recover overdue or failed payments from students. For example, you can use it to send out a time-sensitive discount as an incentive for paying in the specified time. That’s neat!

What if you want to offer third-party payment gateways?

You can with three external payment gateways; Samcart and Infusionsoft. You’ll need to create a Zap integration if you want more options.

All cash goes to your PayPal or Stripe account, which is also true for Kajabi users. From there, you can choose your payout schedule or refund options.

Kajabi limits course creators to offering just Stripe and PayPal payment gateways.

Kajabi payment gateways

But if you have to, you can connect a third-party payment gateway with Kajabi. It supports more options than Thinkific here: Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, and SamCart.

But connecting a third-party checkout platform to either can be a technical process. It will involve Zapier integrations and Webhook URLs.

Bottomline: Stripe and PayPal are good-enough payment methods for many people. But if you need to use 2Checkout, Credit Cards, and PageSegulo (Brazil), LearnWorlds beats both Thinkific and Kajabi payment processing options.

SEO and Blogging

Email marketing may be a leader in digital marketing.

But content marketing is excellent for three things:

  • Attracting organic search traffic with decent keyword research
  • It’s a long-term, engaging, and affordable online marketing strategy
  • It works especially well with email marketing

Can you add a blog on Thinkific?

Thinkific does not have a built-in blogging tool for now. You’d have to create custom pages or link your WordPress site to your Thinkific’s custom links in the header.

There’s a Social Selling feature coming up in 2021, though. It’s on beta right now if you want to give it a try.

Social Selling on Thinkific

But, Thinkific lets creators update SEO for a course as you can see here:

Thinkific Course SEO

That’s a good thing if you prefer to add specific keywords manually. And it may help your course become more visible on search engines.

On the flip side, Kajabi does have a built-in blogging feature.

Like Thinkific, you can add keywords in the fill-in spaces. But there’s no keyword research tool here, too.

Kajabi offers SEO tool everywhere, from updating your online course SEO to optimizing your blog posts for search engines.

Kajabi SEO and Sharing features

Now, what if you want to use webinars to convert listeners to customers?

Both Kajabi and Thinkific support podcasts, webinars, and live events. And if you have read our 25+ webinar statistics recently, then you know how important these content marketing channels are.

Both of them also integrate with Zoom for live conferencing. So you can host hundreds or more students at a time.

Bottomline: If you’d like to tap into content marketing right from your course platform, Kajabi will be your only option here. You can still link your WordPress site with Kajabi as you would with Thinkific.

Affiliate marketing benefits

So you want to take advantage of network marketing?

Thinkific will help you recruit influencers who can recommend your course to their networks in exchange for commissions. Go to Market & Sell>>Affiliates.

Thinkific Affiliates 1

Note that’s different from the Share Revenue tab under Manage Learning Content.

Thinkific affiliate marketing systems

You can only share revenue with people who’ve contributed to creating the course with you. It’s a handy tool for co-creators. But it’s only available in the Pro+Growth and higher plans.

Now, to set up affiliate marketing in Kajabi go to People>>Affiliates.

Kajabi affiliate marketing systems

Thinkific and Kajabi provide the following capabilities:

  1. Add new affiliates
  2. Track affiliate sales
  3. Track cookies for 30 days
  4. Automatically calculate and track affiliate earnings
  5. Share unique links for each affiliate
  6. Assign your affiliates different roles
  7. Restrict which affiliate, or group of affiliates, can or can’t promote a specific course or bundle
  8. View students who signed up with an affiliate link and who referred them to you
  9. Activate a commission
  10. Adjust affiliate percentages

The key difference here is Kajabi will let you point share links to any website you want. That means you can add the links to content you publish in many different websites.

That way, more people can see and click the links and learn more about the specific course you’d be promoting.

Compare that to Thinkific. It only lets course creators point share links to their Thinkific websites. Yes, you’ll only be able to add the links to content you publish on a website you created using Thinkific.

That’s limiting compared to what Kajabi course creators can do with theirs.

Bottomline: Kajabi is a clear winner in each marketing feature department. Maybe that’s why Kajabi is priced on the higher end.

Integrations

Both platforms allow integrations with analytics and tracking scripts. Google Analytics, Segment, and FB pixel are only some of the top picks.

Thinkific integrations

You can also integrate them with your existing CRMs and email tools of choice using Zapier. That will help you use them with thousands of other apps on the market.

What if you wish to go white label so you can train anyone and however you like?

Both Kajabi and Thinkific have API and Webhooks you can put to work. Then you can customize your user experience as you see fit.

Bottomline: Kajabi’s all-in-one nature means you won’t have to piece multiple tools together. Yet, Thinkific will let you start selling courses online on a tight budget with fewer features. Then you can upgrade as you grow.

Pricing

Ah! pricing.

How much does Thinkific cost?

Thinkific pricing

Thinkific’s pricing is beginner-friendly. The free plan is free. And unlike Teachable, LearnWorlds, and Podia, it no longer charges a transaction fee on every sale you make.

The basic plan costs $49 a month while the Pro Plan costs $99 a month.

There is even a high-end plan, Premier. It is meant for enterprise customers such as Universities, institutes, and education companies.

You won’t have limits on how many students and courses you can host, unless you have a free plan, in which case, you can’t create unlimited courses. You can compare all Thinkific plans side-by-side here.

Kajabi’s pricing is premium.

But is Kajabi worth it, compared to what you’ll be getting?

Kajabi pricing
  1. The Basic Plan – costs $149 a month, allows up to 1000 active students, 3 products and 3 sales pipelines.
  2. The Growth Plan – costs $199 a month, allows up to 10000 active members, 15 products, and 15 sales pipelines.
  3. The Pro Plan – costs $499 a month, allows up to 100,000 students, 100 products, and 100 sales pipelines.

Kajabi‘s 14 day free trial is on the short side. Compared that to 30 days in tools like LearnWorlds.

Unlike Thinkific, Kajabi does not offer a free plan which you can upgrade later on. Well, that’s probably to ensure Kajabi doesn’t attract any tire kickers. Only serious creators are allowed.

But there’s a 30-days money back guarantee and you can upgrade or downgrade your plan at anytime. No questions asked.

Bottomline: You do not want to compare Thinkific vs Kajabi based on pricing alone, now do you? Instead, consider your use cases and budget.

Customer support

If you’re going to pay the sticker price for any of these online course platforms, then it’s worth considering their customer support.

As we write this, both platforms’ support teams have been a delight.

Still, Kajabi offers:

  • 24/7 live chat
  • Email
  • One-hour long onboarding call (all plans)
  • Kajabi University (help library) for self-paced learning
  • Kajabi Assistant

Thinkific doesn’t have chat support. You can email them, instead.

Thinkific also provides these:

  • Help center and resources (self-paced learning)
  • Handy FAQ
  • Blog
  • Onboarding call with a Thinkific expert (Premier and Plus plans)
  • Additional training on a dedicated site (Premier and Plus plans)
  • Launch preparedness (Premier and Plus plans)

Bottomline: Kajabi can be helpful with its instant 24*7 chat support. But, Thinkific has legendary overall customer support, and that’s assuring.

Verdict

Now, you probably noticed it:

Kajabi and Thinkific have a lot to offer course creators. So, have you decided between Thinkific and Kajabi yet?

We won’t try to impose our preferences on you.

We respect you enough to trust that you’ll consider this comparison step-by-step.

Now, compare your knowledge business needs with what each online teaching platform has to offer.

Here’s a quick recap, though.

Pick Thinkific if you:

  • Are looking for an affordable course platform
  • Are new to teaching online and need a (relatively) easy-to-learn-and-use course software
  • Want to start your course creator journey with several tools and upgrade as you grow – no pressure
  • Prefer to try a platform out for longer than the duration of a free trial before making a decisive purchase commitment
  • Create and sell courses as your primary business. So you may not need some of the advanced Kajabi features, such as complex pipelines and marketing automation.
  • Want to make awarding automated certificates of completion easy, quick, and beautiful
  • Need a consistently great customer support team on-call…ahem, email.

Pick Kajabi if you:

  • Need to do to robust email marketing
  • Want to create sales funnels to increase sales with automation
  • Prefer to have all your online business activity running on one platform, and not just your online course selling branch
  • Are keen on increasing course sales during checkout with upselling tools
  • Need a top course creation software for managing multiple users, courses, and students
  • Prefer to use detailed analytics to help inform your decisions
  • Want to use marketing automation to grow your online teaching business. That includes attracting course buyers from different online channels such as social media, email, and third-party websites.
  • Have some cash on you or have an existing business that’s already profitable

What is it going to be, course creator?

Akshay HallurAbout me

Hi, I’m Akshay Hallur. The founder of this blog BloggingX and many other online ventures.

I’m a professional full-time blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I’m here to help bloggers like you to create an outstanding blog and earn money from it.

One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to the blogging community. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media networks. SHARING IS ♥️

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