LearnWorlds vs Thinkific – The Results May Surprise You in 2021!

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Thinkific and LearnWorlds are both top learning platforms for creating and selling online courses. But which is better?

LearnWorlds and Thinkific are two of my favorite online teaching platforms for several reasons.

They give professional course creators like you and me complete control over our online courses’ look and feel.

FeaturesLearnWorldsThinkific
TypePremium platformFreemium platform
Pricing$29/mo$49/mo
Trial30-day free trial.
No credit card required.
NA
SCORM featureLearnWorlds also supports SCORM
package uploads that
are up to 350MB each.
With Thinkific also you can
host SCORM courses
Video upload-up limit1GB2GB
External video storage options availableVimeo and Wistia are supportedVimeo and Wistia are supported
Uploading course content in bulkLearnWorlds doesn’t support thisYou can
Assessments and quizzesLearnWorlds just added the ability to create and use multiple choice and multiple correct answers type of quizzes, and Question BanksThinkific has direct integration with Brillium. It is an assessment solution that offers sophisticated testing, results analysis, and grading tools. Thinkific also supports Question Banks, quizzes, exams, and assessments.
Community-building featuresLearnWorlds supports student discussions. Only LearnWorlds enables you to create full-blown social communities.Thinkific supports student discussions, live Q&A sessions to increase their engagement.
Selling digital productsAdd the downloadable files as attachments and sell whatever you want like Ebooks. Downloadable podcasts, Files, Templates, Training videos, PDFs.Same as LearnWorlds
Affiliate cookiesLearnWorlds allows you to choose the amount of time to track cookies before they expireThinkific has a 30-days limit
Blogging featureLearnWorlds provides a built-in blogging platformThinkific doesn’t provide a blogging platform at the moment
Integration with ShopifyAvailableAvailable

Second, they’ll let you decide how much to price your online courses.

Then you’ll have the freedom to choose how to market your courses online. That can include offering private courses, discount coupons, and limited-time offers.

You don’t have to kill your online course business by reducing your course price to $10, like some platforms we know.

Now picture this:

You won’t get all those crucial freedoms when teaching online on platforms such as Coursera, SkillShare, or Udemy.

But Thinkific and LearnWorlds are not equal either.

They have up to 19 subtle and not-too-subtle differences.

Comparing the two side-by-side can feel overwhelming and kill time.

That’s why in this Thinkific vs LearnWorlds comparison, we’ll review the differences we’ve discovered over time so you won’t have to.

Here are some handy feature comparison notes to start us off.

What do I like about Thinkific over LearnWorlds?

  • Thinkific offers more direct integrations such as Brillium, Quaderno, and Shopify than LearnWorlds.
  • It is also one of the easiest online course platforms to learn and manage for beginners and experienced course creators.
  • You can also use its free plan to try it out over an extended period – instead of the 30-day LearnWorlds free trial.
  • The freemium plan supports up to three various courses, unlimited students, quizzes, and surveys.
  • You can create narrated presentations and downloadable lessons.
  • Thinkific offers a cleaner dashboard when you’ve used it for a while compared to LearnWorlds.
  • You can allow several payment gateways for one course.
  • It allows you to create sophisticated Brillium assessments, which makes grading and enforcing course compliance easier.
  • With Share a Sale, you can quickly pay co-instructors or co-course creators.

What do I like about LearnWorlds over Thinkific?

  • LearnWorlds offers advanced features such as Interactive Videos and ebooks, which are excellent student engagement tools.
  • You can also create robust course communities with it, complete with Facebook-community-like functions and social profiles. That’s great for allowing students to interact with each other and different instructors.
  • You can create decent email sequences to help boost course sales.
  • It provides multiple themes, templates, and layouts for various functions, such as a blog, sales, email, and checkout pages.
  • You can use several different conversion optimization tools such as testimonials, 1-click upsells, and custom videos on checkout pages.
  • You can create decent blog posts for your content marketing campaign with LearnWorlds.
  • You can also host multiple live online classes if you teach several courses and groups of students.
  • Expect an interactive video editor who excels in teaching with video content.

LearnWorlds vs Thinkific Compared

Overview

Here is the thing.

Unlike Kajabi and Podia, LearnWorlds and Thinkific are not all-in-one course creation platforms.

Thinkific overview

Here’s why that’s a great thing.

Because they do not scatter their attention all over different offerings, they can better focus on improving their online learning software.

And, so they do.

The two offer remarkable e-learning tools such as interactive videos, live classes, in-lesson surveys, and narrated presentations. That means you can create super-engaging online lessons than on other platforms, like Podia or Kajabi.

That’s crucial when you want to keep your students’ attention on what you are teaching.

LearnWorlds overview

That attention is critical. Why?

Because both platforms also offer some of the most effective ways to test students. That can help students to take your course more seriously.

You can choose to apply several various course compliance tools, too.

That includes requiring students who don’t reach a specific grade not to proceed with the rest of your course curriculum until they’ve scored higher.

With that, we’ll now get into the main comparison points.

Here comes.

Interface

We noticed something when we signed up on LearnWorlds for the first time.

This:

LearnWorlds color scheme

LearnWorlds will let you customize the look and feel of your online school right from the start. Then you can set up your location, currency, and language on the following popup screens.

That’s neat.

That neatness continues in its dashboard.

LearnWorlds course options

You’ll get a sidebar menu, which helps nest many more features under just six menu items.

Plus, the items appear in a drop-down menu, so you don’t have to click and load each menu item to see what it contains.

LearnWorlds site builder

We also like how LearnWorlds provides a 1-minute video on the dashboard to show you how to create a course and configure your course player.

Thinkific’s dashboard also uses a similar, neat configuration.

And then, there is this:

Thinkific  URL Custmization

That is Thinkific, letting you know that you can connect it to your custom website domain right from when you first sign up.

The dashboard is easy to get around. And you’ll find what you want to do next in under 10 seconds.

launching new course with Thinkific

On both platforms, you can create a landing page before making a more in-depth online course curriculum.

That means you can create an email capture page and start inviting course pre-orders. Or, you can use the landing page to provide ongoing course creation updates to your waitlist.

Either way, you can use the page to gauge if there’s viable interest for your course. Or see if you need to get the word out there more before launching it.

Bottomline: Both dashboards are neat, mobile-friendly, and offer quick-access links to essential tools, saving time.

Course creation

How does creating an online course on Thinkific compare to the LearnWorlds course creation process?

We will break the answers into nine sections so you can catch the tools that make all the difference.

Course structure

LearnWorlds uses popup screens to guide you through filling in course details such as its name, SEO-friendly URL, and pricing. That makes getting started on the platform less intimidating.

LearnWorlds course structure

You even get to choose who can access your course this early in the course creation process.

See that here:

LearnWorlds course types

Now, both platforms provide a two-layer format for organizing course content.

Thinkific offers Chapters and Lessons.

Thinkific course curriculum

Instead, LearnWorlds offers Sections and Activities.

LearnWorlds course preview

Here’s how they look once you’ve filled them out:

LearnWorlds course contents

They work similarly to a chapter and lesson in Thinkific.

In Course Section Layouts, the sections also double as course templates. They let course creators upload images, products, hero content, text, and payment options.

LearnWorlds provides up to 10 different templates to start with, and you can create a course layout from scratch.

LearnWorlds templates

More on that later.

Like we said before, LearnWorlds and Thinkific make creating courses a breeze.

Take Thinkific, for example.

It offers several online course templates to get you started quickly and with less overwhelm.

Yet, if you are a techie who prefers to design your course’s look and feel from scratch, you can use custom code for that.

Choosing the course templates

Instead, LearnWorlds will let you create different types of courses. The type you choose will depend on the level of access you want to give your students.

  • Coming soon — You can use this as a visible landing page to create interest in your soon-to-be-available course.
  • Draft — Pick this when you want to keep your under-development course unpublished or invisible to the LearnWorld community.
  • Free course — Select this option to allow access to everyone at no fee.
  • Paid course — This option allows only those who’ve bought your course to access it.
  • Private — It’s suitable if you’d like to teach specific people away from the glare of other LearnWorlds’ users.
  • Enrollment Closed — This type will let you make the course layout visible to everyone but only accessible to people who’ve already signed up for it.
LearnWorlds course access

The good thing is you can switch to different course types after.

But, changing the course from free to paid will disenroll everyone. They’d need to purchase the course to regain access.

Bottomline: Both platforms offer an impressive way to start your course creation process. You decide which method appeals to you most.

Uploading course content

Here’s another area where these two come out superior to alternative course platforms such as Teachable, Podia, and Kajabi.

Both support a vast number of content formats. But pay attention because they have crucial subtle differences.

For example, Thinkific will let you upload almost any type of audio, video, and image format.

Better yet, you can use Thinkific to upload Brillium exams, Disqus content, surveys, narrated presentations, downloadable files, and webinar content.

Plus, you can now teach live online lessons with their Live Stream option.

LearnWorlds adding lessons

You can also use custom code to embed other types of content.

From that image, notice two more things:

  • You can download course content from a cloud storage option you already use. Thinkific supports Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
  • Also, Thinkific lets course creators copy lessons from their other Thinkific courses or Video Library. A convenient time-saver!

Elsewhere, LearnWorlds will let you use a SoundCloud audio file, YouTube, and Facebook videos as learning units.

LearnWorlds multimedia

You can also convert documents into ebooks and upload different types of questionnaires.

If you need to teach real-time classes online, you’ll have Zoom Meetings, Webex Meetings, and Zoom Webinar to choose from.

But that’s not all.

You can now host multiple live sessions, such as Zoom and Webex sessions, simultaneously. That’s remarkable if you have multiple instructors and live courses, for instance.

Still with us?

Like Thinkific, LearnWorlds supports HTML5 file uploads.

Remember how Thinkific allows you to copy course content from other courses you have on its platform?

LearnWorlds takes a separate route. It’ll let you copy entire sections, complete with those sections’ course layout to another part of that course or a different course.

LearnWorlds copy pasting all sections

LearnWorlds also supports SCORM package uploads that are up to 350MB each.

SCORM files are zip files that let course creators package complete courses or a single course activity in a standardized format. It feels like using a USB stick in multiple USB-supporting devices.

Here, you can use SCORMs to transfer a course you already created in a form that’s supported where you want to move. You do not need to modify the template much.

Thinkific supports Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline 360 file uploads, the two tools that create SCORM files.

However, you can host SCORM courses on Thinkific, but you won’t get reports on those courses’ performance.

Hiring a software techie to create your SCORM package is something you’d prefer to avoid, this capability might not matter much.

Something else.

LearnWorlds has a 1GB video upload-up limit compared to Thinkific’s limit of 2GB. And, while LearnWorlds can support up to 1080p (Full-HD) videos, they recommend you use 720p (HD) videos, just like Thinkific.

We recommend you compress your videos before uploading them. LearnWorlds offers Handbrake on its video uploads page for that.

LearnWorlds video library

There’s more.

Both Learning Management Systems (LMS) support Vimeo and Wistia video storage. So, you do not have to recreate or re-upload videos you may already have.

Just link them to either platform at no extra cost. And if you pick LearnWorlds over Thinkific, you can also link YouTube and Facebook videos directly in its online course builder.

They also provide unlimited video bandwidth. And, like Thinkific’s Video Library, LearnWorlds provides online storage at no extra cost.

Here’s what that means:

When you upload videos once, you can reuse them in other course curriculums or different lessons of the same course.

But Thinkific won’t just let you pick LearnWorlds over it.

Why?

Well, you can upload course content in bulk with Thinkific, which is a big time-saver. LearnWorlds doesn’t support that.

Thinkific bulk course importer

However, once you’ve bulk-uploaded, Thinkific won’t let you edit multiple files at once like you can on Teachable. You’d need to edit each at a time.

Oh, another thing.

Both Thinkific and LearnWorlds will let you use more than one type of content in the same lesson.

For instance, you can use text and video or PDF and audio or text and images in the same learning units.

Bottomline: The two offer plenty, of course, content options, so you can decide what you like more. While you can use more than one content type in a lesson on Thinkific, LearnWorlds’ Interactive Video features a massive boon for student engagement.

Course delivery

Right off the dashboard, you’ll notice both platforms offer mobile-friendly online schools.

That’s essential for providing fluid learning experiences on different devices and on the go.

It is also a crucial feature in both, considering they do not offer standalone mobile apps.

However, LearnWorlds will create a white-label mobile app for you at a special fee if you ask. It will be an official Android or IOS app from LearnWorlds. And you’ll be free to publish it through your developer account.

Now, let’s turn to another area.

We’ll cover two crucial areas here:

  • Course players
  • Drip-feeding course content

Shall we?

Course players

Now, there are three ways you can access your Thinkific course player settings:

From the shortcut on the dashboard like this:

Thinkific customizing the course player
  • Or, from your Course page, like this:
Thinkific course player settings
  • Or, direct in Settings in the navigation bar like this:
Thinkific course settings

You can pick a light or dark player theme, default language, logo, and favorite color scheme to go with it.

Contrary, LearnWorlds provides five-course player skins you can apply to change your online classes’ look and feel.

LearnWorlds course player

They based each skin on the type of course you want to teach.

There are six more video player skins under School Settings>>Video>>Player Appearance.

LearnWorlds player appearance

Does that seem a little confusing?

The good thing is you do not have to think much about changing the video player’s colors. LearnWorlds automatically matches them with your course’s content or selected school color scheme.

Now here’s the exciting part.

Each platform offers several core features for playing both sophisticated and simple videos.

They also offer common features such as:

  • Customize course player text, speed, and quality.
  • Lesson/video progress bar
  • A list of different lessons in a sidebar
  • Ability to autoplay videos
  • Set the next learning unit to auto-play when the current lesson ends
  • Allow students to mark a class as completed when they finish watching the video.
  • Use captions
  • Apply course compliance rules such as not allowing a learner to continue to the next video if they skipped a unit or haven’t completed the current lesson yet.
  • Resize videos, including removing margins.
  • An exit-to-dashboard button at the top

The result is they both provide beautiful and smooth course players that also boost student engagement.

See Thinkific’s course player, for example:

Thinkific’s course player

But then the differences begin to show.

LearnWorlds takes student engagement to a whole other level with one of its most potent and popular offerings; Interactive Video.

To access the tools, select the course you want to customize. Then go to Contents>>Video>>name video>>Edit Video.

LearnWorlds editing the video content

You can then add text and images from the rich left sidebar in that video lesson.

LearnWorlds drag and drop editor

Each of those elements will have its settings to do. But they are nothing tough to handle. The result is your students will be able to view and interact with various video elements throughout a lesson.

And that can help you emphasize particular points while getting your students’ attention.

But there is more.

Here are other powerful tools the LearnWorlds player will bring to your online teaching experiences:

  1. Use interactive transcripts (free up to 15 minutes after which your subscription will automatically upgrade)—more on this in the Assessments and Quizzes section below.
  2. Students can interact with each other inside the course player by clicking on other student’s links in the Learners tab. (Just be sure you’ve enabled the People directory app first)
  3. Get transcription services under School Setting>>Video>>Transcription Service.
  4. Copyright-protect your videos with a watermark.
  5. Let students download video transcripts.
  6. Display estimated ebook-reading time.
  7. Show the discussions tab (Thinkific supports this, but more on that in a few seconds).
  8. Apply customized unit compliance rules such as passing a quiz before it can be marked as completed. (Thinkific supports this, too)
  9. Then you can apply one-course player settings to other classes if you want.
Applying the course player settings

Bottomline: Both course players do a great job. Yet, together with interactive ebooks and interactive transcripts, LearnWorlds’ Interactive Video tools are in a class of their own as far as course delivery and student engagement go.

Drip schedule feature

Dripping course material over time is an excellent way to keep learners from rushing through the course without understanding much.

You can schedule course content with either platform based on:

  • Specific days after a student enrolls in your course
  • Or drip content on a particular date.

And, if you’d like to keep your students updated with the latest, relevant news, LearnWorlds has a Daily News feature to back you up.

Course compliance options

Both platforms will help you motivate students to complete their online education in several ways.

You can require students to:

  • Watch entire video lessons before proceeding.
  • Complete graded or ungraded quizzes, exams, or assessments to continue.
  • Set pass grades.

Yes, these are solid options for students to get maximum value for what they paid for. Plus, students who complete a course are likely to leave helpful feedback for improving your course over time.

Something else. It may also help reduce the number of learners who’d want a refund without completing the course.

Assessments and quizzes

Experienced course creators know testing is the best way to gauge whether enrolled students are learning anything.

LearnWorlds and Thinkific offer the best student assessment engines in the industry. For example, you can pick from quizzes, exams, and assessments.

Some advanced capabilities here include uploading file assessments, importing test questions from another quiz or exam (LearnWorlds), using survey lessons, and conducting Brillium exams (Thinkific).

Brillium is an assessment solution that offers sophisticated testing, results analysis, and grading tools.

Thinkific has direct integration with it, which translates to not paying additional fees for using Brillium on Thinkific.

Still, both platforms will let you test, grade, and analyze student performances. Then you can use those results to enforce course compliance.

You can offer ungraded exams, closed or open-ended questionnaires, and informal or formal assessments—your choice.

LearnWorlds just added the ability to create and use multiple choice and multiple correct answers type of quizzes:

LearnWorlds quiz questions
Thinkific course settings

The two online education platforms also offer Question Banks, where you can deposit dozens of questions.

Thinkific Question Banks

Here’s how it looks inside LearnWorlds:

LearnWorlds question banks

The respective engines will then randomize tests based on the questions you uploaded.

Neat!

Bottomline: Thinkific and LearnWorlds offer the best questionnaires, exams, and assessment engines in the industry. Again, use their free trials to decide which platform offers better assessment tools for your specific needs.

Issuing course certificates

You won’t need to use any technical tricks to create beautiful course certificates here.

Both platforms offer several certificate templates to choose from.

Find and customize the seven Thinkific certificate templates under Support Your Students>>Certificates.

Issuing course certificates with Thinkific

Click Reports Center>>Certifications to create LearnWorlds certificates.

There are two types: Certificate of Knowledge and Certificate of Completion.

Issuing course certificates LearnWorlds

What’s the difference?

The first is an overall certificate, complete with a final exam to earn it. The other is similar to the kind Thinkific offers. Learners need to complete every requirement to get it, including getting passing grades in all exams.

You have to create PDF certificate templates in LearnWorlds–from scratch, no less. Then you have to edit them on a separate site, as you can see here:

LearnWorlds PDF certificate templates

Bottomline: Unlike Kajabi and Podia, these two let you award sharable certificates of course completion. But only Thinkific provides templates.

Analytics and Reporting Capabilities

Teachable and Kajabi may be champions in this area, allowing you to go as deep as analyzing individual student metrics. But you’ll still have plenty of data to sift through in LearnWorlds and Thinkific.

Here are LearnWorlds’ Reporting Center subcategories:

LearnWorlds report log

Now here are Thinkific’s Analytics and Reporting tools:

Thinkific student engagement analytics

That includes individual-based insight such as course progress, video lesson completion rate, exams taken, and affiliates enrolled.

Thinkific includes interesting course insights such as:

  • Student engagement, enrollments, revenue, and orders (course sales).
  • The average time it takes a student to complete the course
  • Attempted quizzes
  • Bounce rates
  • Views by content types
Thinkific advanced reporting

On the other hand, LearnWorlds now supports Course Insights.

From there, you can see your most popular, dropped out, engaging, and most challenging course. That way, you can tell what works and what to avoid to create online courses that sell.

LearnWorlds exporting the data

You can also schedule reports for stakeholders. That’s also handy if you have co-creators or instructors you work with.

Thinkific offers something similar in Manage Learning Content>>Share revenue, where you can share proceeds with other collaborators.

Thinkific share revenue

The data appears well-organized on both platforms, too. That means finding the right metric will be straightforward.

Bottomline: Both platforms have pretty similar analytics and reporting capabilities with slight differences. So, this will be your call to make.

Memberships

Memberships are great ways to offer exclusive content to specific learners on an ongoing basis. They also help when you want to create subscription-based training. And that would earn you recurring revenue, too.

Creating a course bundle is the first step to building a membership site on Thinkific.

Do that by going to Manage Learning Content>>Courses>>Memberships & Bundles>>+New Bundle>>name the bundle>>Create.

Then follow subsequent steps to add subscription tiers and pricing.

Thinkific memberships

It’ll also let you use a custom domain and customize the bundle landing page’s look and feel. Then you can give different levels of access and drip content to your membership-only students hassle-free.

LearnWorlds offers several membership site models to work with under Settings>>Financial>>Payment Gateways.

You’ll need to set up Stripe if you are to be receiving recurring payments. Then save.

LearnWorlds payment gateways

We like that you can offer free trials with credit cards, too.

Bottomline: Both platforms will let you create subscription-based training. It could be monthly or yearly—your choice.

Community-building features

Let’s start by going back to the course player capabilities for a moment.

Thinkific supports student discussions. The link is right at the top-right corner of the course player.

Thinkific student discussions

When students click it, they’ll be able to ask questions and discuss the course materials on another page.

On LearnWorlds, discussions happen right on the page, which adds to its interactive aspect.

Yet, Thinkific also supports live Q&A sessions, which is excellent for helping students tackle difficult areas. You can do that inside LearnWorlds, too.

You can create posts, allow comments, and host discussions/forums on both platforms. But only LearnWorlds will let you create full-blown, social-media-like communities.

That means your LearnWorlds students can interact with each other as they would on Facebook or Twitter. They can comment on each other’s posts, have mini-profiles, and send/receive direct messages.

Again, while Thinkific students can’t leave comments on individual lectures, your LearnWorlds learners can do so with plenty of ease and convenience.

Still with us?

Both will let you set up multiple instructor profiles, too.

You can also moderate who can chat with other students and learners’ groups.

LearnWorlds community discussions

Here’s how the permissions look like inside Thinkific:

Creating new community with Thinkific

Then you can create communities of students based on mutual interests in both course platforms.

Bottomline: While both offer decent community-building tools, LearnWorlds pulls ahead thanks to its social-media-like benefits, which increase student engagement.

Selling digital products

Ebooks. Downloadable podcasts. Files. Templates. Training videos. PDFs. You can sell them all online to backup your course content.

So, can you sell downloadable content on LearnWorlds?

Yes, you can. Add the downloadable files as attachments like this:

Downloadable files as attachments in LearnWorlds

Follow up by adding the files, payment method to sell them online.

Adding the digital downloads with LearnWorlds

Creating and selling digital downloads on Thinkific is even more straightforward. You’d need to create a Downloads Lesson. Then you can make the downloads in several different file formats.

Course content options

There’s more.

You can choose to make the digital downloads part of a free trial, a must-do lesson, or part of your course.

Thinkific downloads

Bottomline: Both are different in how they choose to let course creators sell digital downloads. So, again, your pick will depend on your personal preference.

Design and customization

So, how do Thinkific and LearnWorlds compare in terms of branding, user engagement, and personalization capabilities?

Well, expect plenty of tools.

First, you’ll get a visual, drag-and-drop course builder to work with. The drag-and-drop function means you can live-preview changes you make. No need to load or reload the page to see those changes.

And then these are all the design and customization tools you’ll get on both platforms:

  1. Fully customize almost all aspects of your online course to match your specific branding–from welcome pages, membership sites, and emails to curriculum layouts, course player preferences, and checkout pages.
  2. Remove the platform’s branding signs and replace them with a custom domain (URL), logo, colors, typography, and system text.
  3. Unlimited hosting coupled with a free SSL certificate to start you off on an independent adventure.
  4. Advanced site-wide and page-level custom CSS and HTML options if you want to DIY the designs and functionalities
  5. White label/API/Webhooks/Zapier options if you want to further improve your courses’ looks, engagement, and functionality
  6. Both platforms are mobile-friendly. So, your online course design and content won’t appear awkward on different screens–only how you meant it.

We noticed that you might not have the most robust email design features in both, compared to, say, what we’ve seen on Kajabi. But you can integrate a more robust email marketing tool for that later.

Still, we honestly feel these two are pretty sufficient for most course creators.

But if you prefer to use templates and experiment with different themes, templates, and layouts, LearnWorlds offers more options.

LearnWorlds templates

If you have the Learning Center plan, you can also customize multiple versions of your online school with live previews in Site Flavors.

Plus, LearnWorlds’ online course theme and site builder is pretty darn powerful, with tons of customization tools to back you up.

LearnWorlds site design

Not that Thinkific is anywhere near shoddy. You can edit a bunch of areas in it:

Thinkific site builder

You’ll have a few modern course themes to experiment with, too:

Thinkific theme library

But what excites us most is its consistent drive to help course owners create the most engaging courses possible.

Bottomline: If you plan on creating and selling a bunch of online courses, LearnWorlds offers more templates to diversify them. Otherwise, Thinkific’s options will still be sufficient for the job.

Sales and Marketing Features

Picture all the ways you market your courses online.

Email marketing. Affiliate marketing. Blogging. Social media exposure.

How do the marketing tools of these two compare?

Email Marketing

You may feel a bit limited if you are switching e-learning platforms from Kajabi to Thinkific or LearnWorlds.

The most significant difference: creating pipelines and advanced email marketing automation is missing in the Kajabi alternatives.

Instead, you’ll get integrated email systems that are ideal for sending course updates. Engaging different student segments can feel a little limited. But to be fair, you likely won’t be needing Kajabi’s advanced email benefits, especially if you:

  • Have a few courses that aren’t too different
  • Do not plan to use multiple email lists
  • Do not need to integrate your other businesses into your course business
  • Won’t be building sophisticated pipelines and automation.

Otherwise, use dedicated email marketing software such as ConvertKit, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, or Kajabi.

Yet, LearnWorlds will let you create decent email sequences, autoresponder emails, and one-click sales emails.

Thinkific email sequence

You can still send course updates and other communication emails with Thinkific.

Affiliate Marketing

Both platforms show up well here — if you have their paid plans.

Both platforms include potent ways to collaborate with affiliates to sell online courses profitably, around the clock, and passively.

You can:

  • Choose which course and bundles to enroll
  • Activate, deactivate, or update details about your sales affiliates
  • Allow affiliates to self-register
  • Let affiliates see info about the customers they referred
  • Allow students to become affiliates
  • Set and track cookie expiration
  • Set and change affiliate commission rates, including offering them in fixed dollar amounts or percentages
  • Manage affiliate payouts, including payment method and schedule

There are some differences, too:

While LearnWorlds will let you set how long to track cookies before they expire, Thinkific has a 30-days limit.

Thinkific affiliate settings

But Thinkific allows creators to set commission rates in both dollar amounts and percentages.

LearnWorlds only provides the percentages option.

You can also bulk-add current affiliates to another course’s list in Thinkific, an awesome time-saver.

Managing the affiliate settings in Thinkific

However, LearnWorlds will let you make affiliate payouts through PayPal, Wire transfer, or other options. Then you’ll have a well-organized way to see payment statuses on one page.

Exporting the affiliate stats

Thinkific doesn’t make actual affiliate payouts. You’d need to take them outside the platform.

Thinkific affiliate payout

You can then see your affiliates’ stats inside Marketing>>Affiliate Management (LearnWorlds)…

LearnWorlds payment method

…and Support Your Students>>Users (Thinkific):

Thinkific affiliate setup

You’ll need to access a specific user’s profile, edit it, and assign affiliate roles in Thinkific.

Now.

What if you want to leverage content marketing to sell more courses?

Blogging

Thinkific doesn’t provide a blogging platform at the moment. But you can create and publish posts within your course communities.

Thinkific communities

Your students can see, comment, and discuss what you post.

Like Kajabi and Teachable, LearnWorlds provides a built-in blogging platform. It is not as robust as a WordPress blog typically is, but it is pretty solid for how-to blogs and course update news.

LearnWorlds blog setup

You can also customize all LearnWorlds’ blog pages.

Craeting blog posts in LearnWorlds

That is nice for branding and maintaining look and feel consistency across your online school.

Then, you can share your posts, user-generated content, and students’ course certificates to your Thinkific/LearnWorlds community, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

We haven’t tried more options such as Reddit, Pinterest, and Quora.

Bottomline: You’ll see some slight differences here, except for the conspicuous blogging tool missing in Thinkific.

Integrations

Thinkific provides several native-level connections such as Brillium (exams integration), PayPal, Stripe, and Quaderno integration.

Thinkific has direct integration with Shopify, too.

That means you can sell Thinkific online courses directly in your Shopify store without spending extra money on another subscription. It also means you can support 1-click sales for one of the world’s leading e-commerce solutions.

Thinkific payment methods

Payment options are rather basic integrations for online course platforms, so Thinkific offers even more premium integrations in the form of third-party solutions:

Thinkific integrations

LearnWorlds integrates with Shopify seamlessly, too.

LearnWorlds payment integrations

Like Thinkific, LearnWorlds also offers tons of additional integrations by allowing course creators to use third-party solutions.

Advanced integrations here range from e-commerce to affiliate marketing to email integrations.

word image 2

In both, you can use an API, Zapier, or Webhook integration to automate things and customize your online school further.

Bottomline: Thinkific offers direct integrations with more solutions than LearnWorlds does. That’s awesome if you do not want to keep logging into separate dashboards to make things work together.

Sales and conversion optimization tools

Both platforms offer several similar ways to sell courses online, such as the following:

  • Bundle courses and sell them together for a discount.
  • Provide various payment options, including one-time purchases, installments, and subscriptions.
  • You can also use one-time offers, coupon codes, and discounts to make more course sales.

But the two have different checkout processes, and each affects conversion optimization differently.

How?

LearnWorlds will let you accept course sales in several different payment gateways and currencies.

LearnWorlds payment gateway integrations

Yet you can’t provide two payment methods at the same time.

For instance, you won’t be accepting credit card and PayPal payments for the same course. That’s odd.

Thinkific may accept fewer payment methods, but you can simultaneously provide two payment options: credit card and Stripe.

Yet LearnWorlds makes it easy to customize your payments page fully.

Customizing the payment page with LearnWorlds

You can add everything from testimonials to pricing tables and course ratings to encourage conversions.

Adding testimonials to increase the conversions

Plus, you can include further discounts at the bottom to promote upsells.

Include the discounts at the bottom to promote upsells

Thinkific now lets course buyers register their billing details and account on a single checkout page–unlike before.

Single checkout page Thinkific

That may help reduce cart abandonment.

Keep in mind LearnWorlds, and Thinkific does not offer cart abandonment tools. You have to check under Users and filter out whoever hasn’t completed a purchase before sending them a follow-up email manually.

Thinkific does two more things right:

  • It’ll let you create Sales Widgets that you can publish on any website, blog, or landing page. Whoever sees it can click it and go straight to purchasing the course seamlessly.
Thinkific sales widgets
  • You can also enable Social Selling. The tool lets course creators encourage students to share their landing pages with family, friends, and colleagues on social media.
Thinkific labs

Both ways are great to boost your course’s exposure online, which can increase course sales. Thinkific doesn’t include testimonials or guarantee badges on the checkout page.

You can thank your new or return customers for buying the course on the next page in both cases. You can use video, text, and images.

Also, you can show other discounted or related courses as an upsell tactic. Upselling is a one-click event on both platforms.

Bottomline: If you want to fully customize your checkout page, including using testimonials, one-click sales funnels, and displaying course ratings, go for LearnWorlds. If you prefer to streamline checkout on a single page, use sales widgets, and social selling, choose Thinkific.

Pricing and Plans

Something pops up quickly when comparing LearnWorlds vs. Thinkific prices.

They both aim to be affordable course creation platforms. You can see that in their pricing plans. It is also evident in the number of price tiers they both offer.

We recommend comparing the plans of each online teaching solution separately. Do that here for Thinkific and here for LearnWorlds.

Then, compare your chosen LearnWorlds tier with the Thinkific plan you find most appealing for your online course business needs.

You’ll notice monthly plans are $10 (Basic plan), $20 (Pro), and $100 (Premier) pricier than annual plans (shown below) on Thinkific.

Thinkific pricing

The pricing options are $5 (Starter Plan), $20 (Pro Trainer Plan), and $50 (Learning Center) costlier on LearnWorlds, too.

LearnWorlds pricing

Notice that LearnWorlds charges a flat $5 per sale transaction fee if you get its Starter plan.

But while the typical learning platform will offer only basic features, the Starter plan provides unique offerings. Those include community setup, multiple payment gateways, and free SSL certificates.

Both learning platforms also offer 30-day satisfaction guarantees and customizable options to high-volume customers.

You can access all of LearnWorlds’ Pro features when you sign up for their 30-days free trial.

If you choose not to upgrade, your account will be limited back to bare minimums. And it could be deleted if you remain inactive for several weeks after that.

Instead, Thinkific provides a free plan you can use to onboard unlimited student numbers to join up to three separate courses.

Bottomline: Consider your budget, free trial vs. free plan preference, and other factors. Or give both online course platforms a try for an even fairer comparison if you have the time.

Customer support

Online course platforms can be technical journeys for both new course creators and professional trainers. So getting superb customer service is a critical part of building a successful online business.

It would mean getting the technical help you need to get unstuck instead of losing hours and course sales each hour by struggling somewhere on the platform.

Thinkific’s support includes a packed Help Library, email, demo, YouTube channel, and ticketing solution.

Browse help library

There’s no live chat. But you can engage Thinkific support and other users on their Facebook and Twitter communities.

If you need help to set things up, Thinkific offers the following premium services for a fee:

  • 30 to 60 minutes onboarding call depending on your plan
  • Launch preparedness coaching
  • Advanced course creator training on a dedicated site

LearnWorlds provides 24/7 email support (24/5 on Starter Plan) and a help center on all plans.

LearnWorlds support

There’s no live support here, either.

But you can hit them up on Skype, Twitter, and Facebook.

Phone support is available for 12 hours between 8 am and 8 pm GMT every weekday.

If you have a Learning Center and above subscription, you can get a 60-minute onboarding call. Only Corporate High Volume subscribers get a dedicated account manager.

Bottomline: Expect responsive customer reps and 24-hour turnaround times from both platform’s customer experience ninjas.

LearnWorlds vs. Thinkific: Verdict

Features aside, you may still prefer to use either platform for deeply personal reasons.

For instance, you might feel LearnWorlds themes and site flavors more modern. Maybe. Or you may feel Thinkific is the less overwhelming platform here.

It could be something. Here’s a quick recap.

LearnWorlds may be your best pick if you want to:

  • Maximize student engagement in videos and forums
  • Create blog posts
  • Use simple email sequences as sales pipelines to engage and monetize your email list
  • Choose colorful and diverse themes, templates, and layout in various areas of your knowledge business
  • Use testimonials, upsell discounts, and guarantee badges on checkout pages
  • Use a free trial to explore a course platform’s benefits quickly instead of a limited free plan for a longer time

Or, get Thinkific course creation tools if you want to:

  • Have a less uphill time learning how online course creation software works
  • Have a cleaner user interface even after you’ve been using the platform for a while
  • create more sophisticated exams to help students take the course more seriously
  • begin teaching up to three online course and unlimited students for free
  • create downloadable lessons instead of adding downloadable files to your course units as in LearnWorlds.

Over to you.

What’s your favorite course platform between LearnWorlds and Thinkific now?

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.

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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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