Today, I’m presenting you a very in-depth review on Podia.

Podia is one of the best all-in-one 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 with 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.

Podia review: Is it really the best?

What I like about Podia?

  • 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 checkout without leaving your site
  • Integrated email marketing
  • 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
  • Very refined UI, UX, and easy to use

What I don’t like about Podia?

  • Their email composer lacks personalization fields
  • The membership feature is only available in their Shaker plan
  • The lack of free plan like that of Thinkific and Teachable
  • There’s a lack of design flexibility (at least they could’ve added custom CSS options)

Akshay recommends: Podia Discount (July 2019): Get 2 Months FREE Access Worth $158

Interface

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.

Interface of Podia

It offers you to create:

  1. Memberships
  2. Online courses
  3. 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.

Getting started with 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 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.
Accessing Podia integrations

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.

Course creation

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.

Course creation

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.

creating course content

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.

arranging the course lectures

So, let’s create some sections for organizing the lectures.

 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.

unlocking 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.

adding multiple questions

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:

Course settings
  • 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.
Unlocking more options

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.

Memberships

Building membership portals to offer your customers regular access to premium 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.

Membership plans

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.

Creating new membership

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.

 Creating a post on the membership portal.
Restricting access to the post

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.

Podia membership portal

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.

Digital products

Apart from selling courses, and memberships, you can also sell digital products.

Digital products

After creating a digital product, you'll be taken to the product creation wizard.

Adding sections and files

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.

Email marketing

Once you have built a solid list, you can leverage the email marketing built inside Podia for marketing your products and courses.

Email marketing

There are two types of email marketing campaigns:

  1. Drip campaign
  2. 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.

email triggering

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.

Newsletters

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.

Design and Customization

Most of the design and customization options offered by Podia is present under the “Editor” section.

Design and Customization

When you go to the Editor, you can see the following screen.

Selecting the product

Here you need to select the product for which you need to change the appearance and customize.

 Customizing your product sales page

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.

Adding widgets

You can also add various widgets to your storefront like Text, Image with Text, Video with Text, Testimonials, and others.

Available widgets

As of writing this review, these were the widgets available.

Apart from this, you can apply a custom theme.

Applying 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.

Marketing

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.

There are several other features in Podia that makes effective marketing of products possible.

  1. Affiliates
  2. Upsell
  3. Embed
  4. Prelaunch
  5. Bundling

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.

Setting the commission rate

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..

inviting affiliates to sign up

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.

Embedding the code

You need to use the embed code in your website as custom HTML, and display it.

triggering a modal popup

When you click on the embed link, card, or the button, it’ll trigger a modal popup where your audience can check out for the offer.

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.

Bundling

In Podia, you can bundle up your products together and create an offer.

selecting the products to add to the bundle

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.

Pre Launching

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.

Integrations

Podia integrates with various tools in the market and also Zapier.

Integrations

As of writing this review, Podia had integrations with:

  1. ConvertKit
  2. Mailchimp
  3. Drip
  4. AWeber
  5. ActiveCampaign
  6. MailerLite
  7. Zapier

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.

PayPal and Stripe payments

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.

Custom codes

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.

Plans

Pricing plans

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 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.

Competitors of Podia

Podia has various competitors in the market like Kajabi, Teachable, and Thinkific.

Let me discuss about these and how they differ from Podia:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 10% transaction fee and even their $39/month comes with 5% fee.
  3. 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 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.

Akshay recommends:
1. Thinkific vs Teachable: 13 Crucial Differences You Need to Consider (July 2019)
2. Teachable vs Kajabi: Literally A No-Brainer Choice (Complete Showdown)
3. How to Find and Validate Online Course Ideas? (with Real-Life Examples)

Is Podia really for you?

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 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 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.

Akshay Hallur

About 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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