Today, I’m presenting you a very in-depth review on Podia.
Podia is one of the best all-in-one digital content selling platforms, which allows you to sell online courses, memberships, and also digital products. Unlike other platforms like Thinkific or Teachable, Podia allows you to accomplish far more things for a much cheaper price.
Whom Podia is for?
If you are someone who is looking for an all-in-one selling platform and don’t wanna go with platforms like Kajabi (premium price), then Podia is for you. If you want to sell memberships and digital products, along with courses then Podia is for you too.
I’ve been testing out the Podia platform for quite a while, and now let me present you my review on Podia.
|Type||Learning management system|
|Features||Courses, memberships, digital product selling, and email marketing|
|Competitors||Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi, LearnWorlds|
- Very refined UI, UX, and easy to use
- Comes with unlimited courses and products unlike Kajabi which puts a cap on products you can create.
- It gives you storage and bandwidth to host your own videos so that you don’t need to use Vimeo or Wistia
- With Podia you get access to creation of courses, memberships, and also digital products all inside one platform
- Podia is priced really well for the features
- Ability to setup your own affiliate platform for your fans to earn by promoting your products
- It gives you storage and bandwidth to host your own videos so that you don’t need to use Vimeo or Wistia
- Embedded checkout options that allow people to do the checkout process without leaving your site
- Integrated email marketing with also drip functionality (even not present in Teachable or Thinkific)
- Zapier integration with plenty of triggers and actions
- Pre Launch mode that allows you to build your buzz
- With Podia you have 0% transaction fee on sales, whereas Teachable charges you 5% even in their premium plan. They are creator-centric.
- Their email composer lacks personalization fields
- Lack of some advanced course-compliance features you find on Teachable
- It doesn’t come with certification feature like Teachable or even native integrations with services like Accredible that you have in case of Thinkific.
- There’s a lack of design flexibility (at least they could’ve added custom CSS options). They atleast couple have provided multiple themes.
- Doesn’t come with landing page builders or funnels to consider as a full alternative to Kajabi or Kartra. You may need to make use of WordPress or ClickFunnels to create your sales funnel.
- The membership and one page checkout features are only available in their Shaker plan
- The lack of free plan like that of Thinkific and Teachable
Once you create an account with Podia and login to their platform, you can see a screen where it asks what you want to create.
It offers you to create:
- Online courses
- Digital downloads
Added to this, Podia also allows you to manage email marketing right inside their platform.
I’ll discuss each of these later in the review.
For now, let me dive a little deeper into reviewing the interface of Podia.
The interface is very straightforward and very easy-to-use, on any screen you have access to the options as I’ve presented in the screenshot.
- Editor: In the editor section, you can edit the appearance of your digital storefront. You can add various sections, widgets, and totally customize the appearance (discussed in the customization section).
- Products: Here, you can create new digital products, tweak the settings and start selling your info-products.
- Memberships: Here you can create your own membership portals and start charging a subscription fee to get people to it.
- Emails: In this section, you can manage your email marketing, to keep your audience engaged.
- Customers: Here you can see all your customers and also newsletter subscribers categorized properly
- Sales: In here, you can setup your payment methods. The customer payments and invoices appear in this section.
- Settings: You can access your storefront settings and also integrations of Podia with other services (discussed later). You can choose your language, storefront URL, currency, tax information, Google Analytics integration and others.
When you click on the drop-down next to your name, you have access to integrations, changing the password, billing, and also access to your affiliate portal where you can promoter Podia to your audience and get paid for it.
Bottomline: The user-interface of Podia is very straightforward. All the features offered by Podia are easily accessible without any long-clicks. The interface is very refined and not barebones like that of other apps.
In this section, let’s discuss the course creation functionality offered by Podia.
In order to create a course, you need to head over to the “Products” section and create a new online course.
You need to just add a new product, and create an “online course”. Now just give it a name, and click enter.
Your recently created course should be visible under the products section.
Let’s just edit it.
As you can see here, by default the course is set as free (as we still need to set a price for it).
You need to arrange the course lectures, files, links, text, and quizzes under the relevant sections.
So, let’s create some sections for organizing the lectures.
Here as you can see in the screenshot, in every section you can add contents like files, links, text, and quizzes.
With Podia, you don’t need to get Vimeo or Wistia. Because Podia supports good unlimited bandwidth for hosting your own video files.
In each of these sections, you can have multiple content formats stacked below each other.
Along with that, you can also have drip access setup for each of the sections.
Here in this example, if I want to drip/unlock the 2nd section only after 1 day of a person purchasing it, I can do it.
This is very helpful in forcing people to regularly login to their course portal expecting new content. Depending upon your marketing strategies, if you don’t want your students to binge-watch the lectures, this feature is very handy.
You also have the ability to send your students an email when a new section is unlocked to ensure that they comply.
The quiz feature also comes in very handy.
You can add multiple questions inside a single quiz lecture. Adding the quizzes like this, ensure that your students stay engaged.
There are also other settings available for your course:
- Settings: In here, you can change your course title, category, enrollment date, close enrollment, and also setup integrations (incl Zapier)
- Pricing: In here, first you need to set up for payment methods and setup pricing plans for your course. If you want to have an ability for your customers to pay installments, then Stripe integration is necessary. As of writing this review, they have PayPal and Stripe integration in place.
- Promotion: Here you can find different options to promote your course once it’s published. There are options for you to set the sales page URLs, share it on social media, embed feature and also an option for you to use affiliates feature to promote your course.
- Customers: In the customers section, you can find the details of the students who’ve enrolled in your course.
- Comments: You can moderate and also reply to the comments posted by students on your course. You can also turn on/off/ lock the comment posting functionality of your course.
Once you have your course published, you’ll unlock some more options. If you want to enroll in a certain customer manually to your course you can do so using the option as shown above.
Bottomline: Podia has a great course creation functionality. The features like drip content opens a new level of opportunities.
However, as Podia is not a fully-fledged course platform like Teachable or Thinkific, you don’t have some features like forced completions, course certificates, assignments and badges.
However, with their Zapier integration in place, you can surely find some hacks for these features.
Building membership portals to offer your customers regular access to premium digital content is a great way to earn recurring revenue.
With Podia, you can create membership portals for opening additional revenue streams. However, you need to remember that this membership feature is only available with their Shaker plan, not the Mover plan.
After you create your first membership, Podia will ask you to create plans for your membership.
If you want to offer paid membership plans, you need to authenticate with Stripe. If you create paid plans, you can create coupons as well.
While creating a plan for your membership you can also create a free membership.
Along with the membership, you can also give your students free access to any of your courses along with the membership.
Once you publish your plan, you can add content or publish additional plans.
Let me create a post on the membership portal.
While creating the posts, you can restrict access to the post for specific plan holders or make the post public. Restricting very valuable posts only to premium plan holders, encourages them to go for higher plans and thus boosts your revenue.
Apart from the posts, the membership portal has many more features. Let me discuss them one-by-one, including all the features.
- Posts: As discussed above, this is where you create content and restrict access to only people holding certain plans.
- Comments: Here you can view, moderate and reply to all the comments that people have made on your membership posts.
- Plans: Here you can add multiple plans for your membership site, and add different pricing to them. You can also create coupons in this section.
- Settings: You can change the membership name, add a Slack channel URL, and also your Facebook URL.
- Promote: This section is unlocked once you publish your membership and it gives you plenty of promotional features like social shares, embed code, and also the option to turn on the affiliate feature.
- Sales: Here you can access all the sales that you’ve got for your membership along with access to invoices.
Apart from selling courses, and memberships, you can also sell digital products.
After creating a digital product, you’ll be taken to the product creation wizard.
Here, similar to what you do while creating courses (except for drip feed feature), you can add sections and add files inside each of these sections.
It’s great that Podia has managed to offer highly versatile full-featured product delivery mechanism instead of just offering us to upload a file.
The other features are settings, pricing, promotion and customers. These features I’ve already explained.
Except these, the upsells feature is present for selling digital products (will discuss later). For this feature to work, you need to have multiple digital products in your storefront.
Bottomline: Podia is perfect for selling digital products with very comprehensive product creation interface.
Once you have built a solid list, you can leverage the email marketing built inside Podia for marketing your products and courses.
There are two types of email marketing campaigns:
- Drip campaign
- One-off newsletter
Drip campaigns can be treated as a sequence of emails (kind of autoresponders) that will drip feed the emails to customers’ inbox. You can offer a free mini-course of a main course as a drip campaign.
Here I’ve set the 7-day blogging course series of emails to send whenever people sign up for my pre-launch offer of 30-days blogging course.
Once your campaign starts sending, you can analyze the statistics to determine whether the recipients are reading your emails.
You also have one-off newsletters that are basically broadcasts that you send on-demand.
First you need to select the recipients, compose the email, then review and send it.
One downside is the lack of personalization fields. I hope Podia will soon add the personalization tags.
Bottomline: Although Podia can’t fully replace your email marketing, it offers a great set of features for nurturing your customers and upsell them.
The drip marketing campaigns are very effective in promoting your products to audience who are warmed up (for example signed up for your pre-launch offer)
However, their email composer lacks personalization fields which may be a great deal if you are an avid copywriter.
Most of the design and customization options offered by Podia is present under the “Editor” section.
When you go to the Editor, you can see the following screen.
Here you need to select the product for which you need to change the appearance and customize.
Here you can start customizing your product sales page by adding text, product image, background image, sales video and also select your favorite theme or add colors manually.
Other than the product pages, you can customize the design of the storefront page.
You can also add various widgets to your storefront like Text, Image with Text, Video with Text, Testimonials, and others.
As of writing this review, these were the widgets available.
Apart from this, you can apply a custom theme.
You can paste in your brand color HEX codes and fully customize the colors of your pages to match your brand.
Bottomline: Podia comes in with great customization and design features, but the number of widgets are quite limited. Customizer is quite lacking in versatility.
You need to remember that with Podia you’ll not be getting the versatility offered by other WordPress page builders.
What’s the use of creating courses, if you don’t have a marketing strategy in place?
The main feature is email marketing offered by Podia where you can create drip as well as regular campaigns for marketing to your audience.
I’ve discussed it already.
With Podia, it’s not possible for you to create sales funnels as Podia is not an all-in-one marketing platform like Kajabi(review), Kartra(review), or ClickFunnels. You need to have your own sales funnel in place before you use Podia. For this, you can make use of any of these tools.
There are several other features in Podia that makes effective marketing of products possible.
Affiliates: With Podia, you can set up your own affiliate platform for your raving fans to promote your products and drive you sales. You can set affiliate programs for courses, memberships, and also for digital products.
Here you need to set the commission rate, and turn on the affiliates feature. However, the above settings is default affiliate commission.
You can set different commission rates for different products. If you want the specific product to be promoted more effectively by your affiliates, you can set it a higher commission..
After that you need to start inviting affiliates to sign up and start promoting your products. He will be sent an affiliate sign up link.
As more and more affiliates start to join, you can see what clicks and sales they drove. Also you have the option to selectively disable affiliates.
Upsell: This option is available for courses and digital products. If you have multiple products in your storefront, you can encourage buyers of one product to buy other products immediately upon purchasing the previous products.
For the upsells, you can offer multiple products and also an OTO discount to encourage an immediate sale.
However, the upsells can’t be added to free or 100% discounted products.
Embed: You can embed the products you created in Podia on your own website. You just need to head over the product’s promote tab and copy the embed code.
You need to use the embed code in your website as custom HTML, and display it.
When you click on the embed link, card, or button, it’ll trigger a modal popup where your audience can checkout.
Bundling: Bundling is one of the most effective ways to make people spend more buying your products. It also works great if you are offering various bonus products along with the core product purchase.
In Podia, you can bundle up your products together and create an offer.
Here you need to select the products you want to add to the bundle, set the pricing and promote like you do with any other product.
Pre Launching: Podia enables you to prelaunch your offer even before you create your core content.
Pre Launching is a great strategy to test out of the market or build up the hype around the product even before the product is created.
When in the pre-launch mode, you’ll be able to collect the emails of the prospective buyers and send them emails regularly to keep them warmed using the drip emails feature present in Podia emails.
Bottomline: Podia has good features to boost the effectiveness of your marketing. Additionally it also integrates with Zapier so that you can plug new things in.
Before selling any digital products from Podia, you need to first connect your bank account or PayPal account to these payment processors.
Podia integrates with Stripe and PayPal for collecting payments from your students.
You need to also note that Podia doesn’t support PayPal for membership plans. Because there are some API complications on PayPal’s end especially when processing recurring payments. So, as of now for memberships, only Stripe is supported.
The customers can make use of their credit cards to do the checkout. Typically, payments get processed within 2 days and credited to your bank or PayPal account. This is pretty quick.
Podia integrates with various tools in the market and also Zapier.
As of writing this review, Podia had integrations with:
Apart from native integrations with email marketing software, there are no other native integrations.
But it has Zapier integration which opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. It has 3 triggers and 2 actions for you to play with.
When it comes to sending and receiving payments it has integrations with PayPal and Stripe. Accepting and making payments in installments is only possible with Stripe.
You can also integrate Podia with Google Analytics, for tracking conversions and visits to the storefront.
You can also paste custom and conversion codes inside your Podia for tracking conversions and also for running retargeting advertisements.
Bottomline: They are adding integrations rapidly. As of now they have integrations with a couple of major email marketing providers and also Zapier. I hope they’ll soon have the integration with other tools as well.
There are two plans with Podia called Mover and Shaker.
The downside is that the Podia has no free plans like that of Thinkific and Teachable.
Their basic plan i.e. Mover plan doesn’t come with features like memberships, affiliate management, and embedded checkout, etc.
Their Shaker plan comes with all the features, and also additional features like memberships, embedded checkouts, affiliate marketing, third-party migration and also FREE migration.
However if you are only looking for online courses and digital downloads, the Mover plan is enough for you.
Both of these plans allow you to host unlimited courses and also unlimited digital products. without any transaction fees (thus affirming their creator-centric approach). This is really great because some competitors of Podia like Teachable, do charge a transaction fee even in their beginner paid plan.
Unlike Teachable, Podia doesn’t hold back live chat support only for the higher plan holders. You get live chat support on all the plans of Podia.
Let me discuss about these and how they differ from Podia:
- Kajabi: Kajabi is a great all-in-one alternative platform to Podia. Similar to that of Podia, it also comes with courses, memberships, digital products, and also email marketing. I would anyday go with Podia instead of Kajabi due to affordable pricing. In Kajabi you have severe limitations even in the premium plan where you pay hundreds of dollars. For example, you can create only upto 3 products even in their $119/m plan.
- Teachable: This is a solid alternative to Podia if you are looking to create only online courses. You need to remember that Teachable does not come as an all-in-one platform. It excels in one thing – i.e online courses. It has great features when it comes to courses like course completion certificates, forced completions, forms, surveys, assignments, and much more. They also have a free plan with a 10% transaction fee and even their $39/month comes with a 5% fee.
- Thinkific: If you are looking to only create courses, and don’t want to go for Teachable for its high fee then give Thinkific a try. Thinkific has a very generous free plan with no transaction fee, unlike Teachable. It has similar features to Teachable except for the course compliance feature. But you need to remember that Thinkific is not an all-in-one platform like that of Podia or Kajabi.
However, as per my view having all the tools under one platform is definitely a way to go. It prevents you from worrying about the technicalities and only focus on your business and marketing efforts.
If you are looking for a solid Kajabi all-in-one alternative, you need to give Podia a try.
However, if you’re destined to only create a training course, you need to consider Teachable or Thinkific instead of Podia as they have a couple of more powerful features when it comes to course creation.
Although they are not quite popular yet like the names of Teachable and Kajabi, the product is really refined, with a creator-centric approach.
For the price, the features offered by Podia are astounding. It’s definitely a great value for money.
Hope you loved my Podia review.