If you are looking for a platform to build your online course or membership site, there are some promising ones to choose from.
However, two of the leading online course platforms in the market right now would have to be Kajabi and Thinkific and no wonder — they are compared with each other quite often.
You can find many Kajabi vs Thinkific articles on the internet but most of them just scratch the surface and fail to provide you the level of detail about various features that you need in order to make a decision.
So, I decided to create a comprehensive Thinkific vs Kajabi guide and evaluate the two systems based on various course creation and marketing features so that you get a clear idea of what they have to offer along with their key differences.
I’ll also share my insights about using the software which I’ve gained while working with dozens of clients on these platforms and hopefully, it will make it easier for you to choose the right platform.
Kajabi vs Thinkific Summary
The main difference between the two platforms is that while Kajabi is an all-in-one system that offers you everything including the marketing tools to build an online course business, Thinkific is focused more on offering the core features—things that are considered “must-haves” for course creation and delivery.
What I like about Kajabi vs Thinkific?
- Offers 10+ well-designed themes and a lot of customization options for the course player.
- Offers an iOS/Android mobile app.
- More powerful community feature.
- Inbuilt blogging capability.
- Ability to offer PayPal option for recurring / non USD pricing.
- Has inbuilt sales pipeline builder and marketing automation tools.
- Offers 24/7 Live Chat Support.
What I like about Thinkific vs Kajabi?
- Supports advanced quiz features like question bank and bulk import.
- Better course compliance features.
- Ability to bulk sell courses and easily manage students in a cohort.
- Flexible and beginner friendly pricing.
- Unlimited courses and students on all paid plans.
I will continually keep an eye on the new functionalities and releases, and I will post updates to this article as they are released. Now, let’s take a closer look at the two platforms and their strengths and weaknesses.
(Reading through the whole article at once will give you a great overview, but will also take some time. If you just want to read about a specific feature, use the links below to navigate to the relevant section.)
What are Kajabi and Thinkific?
Kajabi and Thinkific are both cloud based platforms that allow you to create, market and sell online courses and membership sites.
Both are set up so that you can deliver all the content students will need to take your course, including videos, quizzes, pdfs etc.
Everything from hosting your course content and engaging your students to building a website and accepting payments online is possible.
A big part of their appeal is that they look after all the technical aspects like hosting, maintenance, security and updates, giving you more time to focus on creating new courses and getting more students.
Plus both these systems are designed to be super intuitive and easy to use so that even an average “non-techy” can set up their courses and do other stuff on his own.
Another important benefit that both of them offer is the power to retain complete control over things like course policies (i.e. refunds), pricing, and managing student data, in contrast to marketplaces like Udemy and SkillShare which exercise a lot of control over the courses on their platform.
But although they share many similarities, there are also major differences between the two.
While Thinkific has been purposely designed with a focus on the core features—those things that are considered “must-haves” to create and sell online courses, Kajabi on the other hand, is more of an all-in-one platform that offers everything you need to build your online course business.
For example, Kajabi lets you run a blog, create marketing funnels as well as automate email marketing, all of which are not offered by the majority of the online course platforms including Thinkific.
The idea behind a platform like Kajabi is that you have everything under one roof so that you don’t need to patch different systems together or learn to use them which makes it much easier and quicker for you to get started.
Keeping this broad overview in mind, the rest of this article will investigate the specific functionality and features of Kajabi vs Thinkific in much greater detail. Let’s dig in.
1. Course Creation and Engagement
In order for an online course to be successful, you need to be able to deliver the course content professionally to your audience while keeping them fully engaged from start to finish.
This is the primary job of an online course platform and in this section, we’ll take a deeper look at how the two platforms perform when it comes to creating courses and engaging your students.
Let’s start with content uploading and course structuring.
Content Uploading and Course Structuring
When it comes to the actual process of course creation, both Kajabi and Thinkific allow you to quickly create your course structure and add content to your lessons, as you’d expect.
Both rely on a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy and even fun to add content to your course, including video, audio, pdf, text, quizzes, assignments etc.
They also offer unlimited video hosting via Wistia as part of your subscription and so, you don’t need to get video hosting separately.
When you create a course on Kajabi, it first asks you to select a Product Blueprint. Once you select one, Kajabi will create a sample structure for your product. If you prefer working with a blank canvas (as I do), you can choose the Blank Blueprint.
The Kajabi course builder makes it easy to add lessons (Posts) and modules (Categories) to your online course (Product). Again these can be easily reordered by simply dragging and dropping.
You can also add a third level—Subcategories, for even more flexibility in structuring your course.
Once you click on a lesson title on the curriculum page, you’ll be taken to the individual lesson page where you can add videos/assessments/downloadable files to that lesson, enable/disable the comments area and modify other settings
When it comes to uploading content, you can either do it one by one on the individual lesson page or you can also bulk upload your content onto the platform and Kajabi will automatically turn them into lessons.
Moreover, you can upload the content either from your computer or from cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Like Kajabi, creating a course on Thinkific is straightforward. It too has pre-made course templates which help you get started quickly. You can also choose the blank template if you want to start from scratch.
However, Thinkific allows you to add only two levels to your course—Lessons and Chapters (modules). There is no option to add a third level (Subcategories) as you can do in Kajabi.
That being said, adding lessons and modules is easy and you can reorder them by simply dragging and dropping. Again, you can add content to your lessons one by one or you can bulk upload them all at once.
A very handy feature for uploading content in Thinkific is the Video Library. With the Video Library, you need to upload your videos on the platform once and you can use them in different lessons and courses.
However, Thinkific doesn’t let you import content into your course directly from Google Drive/Dropbox.
Cloud import is available only while adding videos to the Video Library but then you can’t use it either for bulk uploading in the curriculum section or for uploading other file types (e.g. audio, pdf etc.)
One thing that I like about course creation in Thinkific though is that it allows you to host Captivate and Storyline files and use them in your course. Although most course creators won’t need this feature, it can be useful for those who already use these advanced course authoring tools.
Overall, both platforms do an excellent job at content uploading and course structuring and there are only minor differences between Thinkific vs Kajabi in terms of their course builders’ capabilities or ease of use.
Content Delivery (Course Player)
The Course Player is where your students will spend the most time, watching your videos and engaging with your content.
The course player design influences your students’ experience a great deal and so, it is one of the most important features for any online course platform.
On Kajabi, you can choose from a library of 10+ course player themes, making it easy to find the look that best represents your program(s) or your brand regardless of the type of content you are offering.
So, whether you’re offering an online course, a membership site or an online coaching program, you can find a course player theme that will meet your content delivery requirements.
While all the course player themes are well designed, I like Kajabi’s Premier Theme the most and it has the best course player design of all the platforms that I have worked with and used.
The sleek aesthetic of this theme gives a premium feel and looks highly professional, and it’s been designed to make it easy for users to find their way around between modules and lessons.
Another theme that I like a lot is the Momentum theme which has a more traditional design with the course navigation in the left sidebar and the content area on the right.
Finally, Kajabi offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing various elements in the course player without any coding.
For example, you can choose to hide or display things like course progress bar or instructor bio, show custom elements for cross-selling etc. in the sidebar and you can even do away with the sidebar completely if you want to.
In Thinkific’s case, the course player used to be one of its weaknesses. It would show a transition screen to the students every time they completed a lesson and the design wasn’t very attractive.
However, Thinkific has made a lot of improvements to their course player design to make it look better visually and be more user-friendly than it used to. The new course player design is cleaner, looks modern and the transition screen can now be disabled.
Overall, Thinkific’s new course player is well designed as well and it’s somewhat similar to the Momentum theme in Kajabi.
However, Thinkific has just one course player theme and all your products will use the same default theme. Now, the design might work well for delivering an online course, it doesn’t work that well for a membership site or a coaching program.
Moreover, you have very limited customization options for the course player which includes just the ability to show your logo, and modify color and fonts.
So, when it comes to course player design, Kajabi does a much better job than Thinkific which can’t match it in terms of choice or actual design or user experience.
Finally, while the course players for both platforms are mobile responsive and your students can access the content in any browser on their mobile, Kajabi also offers a mobile app (iOS and Android) which allows leaners to watch your course content on the go.
In addition, the mobile app gives you the ability to send push notifications for new content release, course discussions, etc., resulting in higher student engagement.
Community and Student Discussions
When it comes to student discussions, Kajabi offers you a couple of options.
First, you can include a comments area at the bottom of the course player for students to ask questions and discuss the lesson content.
This works great if you have an evergreen course and you just want your students to be able to ask questions and get feedback.
But if you want to create an engaged community around your product, Kajabi offers another feature called Community that allows you to create a standalone forum within your website.
Now, you can either club a Community with your online course / membership or, you can sell it as a separate offering as well.
Students can easily access the Community from their dashboard, at which point they can join in an existing thread or start a new discussion topic. In addition they can send messages to other members and/or to you, the admin.
From your dashboard in Kajabi, you can organize the discussions into topics you create and choose whether you want to list the topics or the feed itself on the Community home page.
You can also pin a specific post to the top of your feed and send information to your members at any time.
The Community feature in Kajabi is a great alternative to using Facebook Groups as you have complete control over the content your members see, you can notify users about community discussions via the mobile app and users can be automatically added to (or removed from) a Community reducing admin work.
Now, it is possible to create a community forum with Thinkific as well and it works in a similar way as it does with Kajabi.
However, ‘Communities’ in Thinkific is still in its early stages and it does lack some essential functionality. For example, you don’t have the ability to create topics to organize discussions.
Most importantly, Thinkific doesn’t offer a mobile app and thus it doesn’t have the ability to send push notifications to your students, making it very difficult to bring them back into the community and engage them.
Apart from Communities, you can also enable in-lesson discussions. However, it isn’t as user friendly as the commenting system in Kajabi.
So, a user needs to take the initiative to start a discussion by selecting the “Discussion” button in the course player itself before they can leave a comment.
Further, this feature is hard to use on the go because the icon to start a discussion is really small and hard to see on mobile devices.
So, when it comes to facilitating student discussions and building a community, Kajabi vs Thinkific has a slight edge.
Quizzes and Assignments
Kajabi has what it calls “Assessments” that allow you to create quizzes, assignments and even surveys for your online course.
Within an Assessment, you can add multiple-choice, multiple-options as well as paragraph style questions, complete with images or illustrations if you wish.
You can also add a “File Upload” question type which is useful if you want to enable your students to submit assignments.
Finally, you can set a passing score for your quizzes and Kajabi will automatically grade your users based on their responses.
Now, it works very differently in Thinkific as you have separate elements for creating quizzes, assignments and surveys.
Let’s start with quizzes first. The quizzing capability in Thinkific is quite powerful and it includes some advanced features like randomized questions banks, ability to add explanations, import quiz questions etc. which currently not available on the Kajabi platform.
Plus Thinkific also has a native integration with Brillium, a popular exam solution which can be super useful if you want to create an advanced exam environment within your course.
As far as creating an assignment in Thinkific is concerned, you need to use the Assignment lesson type in your course.
What I like about the Assignment feature in Thinkific is that you, the instructor has the ability to accept/reject the submission. An Assignment lesson is marked complete only when you accept the submission, otherwise a student will need to resubmit the assignment.
It works similarly on Kajabi except that you don’t have the ability to accept/reject a submission and so, you can’t restrict a user’s progress based on whether he/she has actually completed the assignment or not.
Overall, Thinkific vs Kajabi has more powerful quizzing and assignments capability which can be a deal breaker if your course requires you to test your students more extensively.
One last thing, Kajabi Assessments can also be used to create marketing quizzes for generating new leads and segmenting website visitors which can’t be done within Thinkific.
But this is more of a marketing feature and so, I won’t discuss it any further in this section.
Certificates of Completion
While Thinkific doesn’t have inbuilt support for certificates of completion on the platform, it does have a direct integration with Accredible which is one of the most popular solutions for offering certificates.
This integration is only available if you’re either on the Pro or the Business Plan on Thinkific but you won’t have to pay separately for Accredible. It’s available for free as part of your Thinkific subscription.
Accredible is a super powerful tool and in addition to creating certificates, it allows you to automate the process of issuing, your students can download the certificates in pdf format or share them on LinkedIn or other social sites, you can set your certificates to expire on a future date etc.
The Thinkific – Accredible integration is as good as having native support for creating certificates of completion. The only drawback of this setup is that you’ll have to pay extra if you want to issue certificates manually to your students and not automatically based on course completion in Thinkific.
Kajabi does not currently allow for native creation and distribution of course completion certificates for students as well. So, the only way you can offer them is through an external solution like Accredible (or Google Slides).
The difference in this case though is that you’ll need to pay separately for Accredible and since there is no direct integration with Kajabi, you’ll need to use Zapier to automate the process.
Content Dripping and Locking
With both Kajabi and Thinkific, you can drip your content either based on student enrollment or by course start date and dripping works pretty similarly on both the platforms.
The only difference between the two platforms when it comes to dripping is that Kajabi allows you to send automated drip emails to announce the release of new content while Thinkific doesn’t have the capability to send drip emails to your students automatically.
As a course creator, you can also require sometimes to make sure that your students are actually completing the assignments and lessons included in your course.
So, both Kajabi and Thinkific make it possible to lock new content until certain lessons have been completed.
With Kajabi, you can specify a certain lesson as a pre-requisite for a specific course module. So, unless a user completes the pre-requisite lesson, he/she can’t access that particular module but can access all other modules which aren’t locked.
If that lesson has an assessment, the student will have to get a passing score before being allowed to access the module.
Thinkific also lets you mark course lessons as pre-requisite but it works a little differently compared to Kajabi.
So, you can specify a lesson as a pre-requisite but you can’t lock just a specific module. Rather all the modules in the course after the pre-requisite lesson will be locked automatically.
Like Kajabi, if the lesson has a quiz, the user will need to successfully pass it in order to mark the lesson complete.
In addition, Thinkific lets you set a “video completion (%) required” at the course level so that the lessons can be marked complete only when a student reaches your desired completion percentage.
This can be a handy feature if you want to offer Continuing Education credits.
Course Reporting and Analytics
Both Kajabi and Thinkific allow you to track metrics related to the progress of your students as well as analyze the performance of the course videos you’ve included.
So, you can access reports about course completion rates, quiz scores, video engagement etc. and you can also export all the data in .CSV format.
The Course Progress report on Kajabi is available in the Product Area in your dashboard where you can track completion rates either at the student level or at the lesson level.
When it comes to video analytics, you can track different metrics like average engagement, play rate etc. You can also analyze how students engage with your videos and where they drop etc. using the Visual Engagement Viewer and Video heatmaps.
With Thinkific, you can track course progress at the individual student level but it’s not possible to view the completion rates at the lesson level or course level.
Video related analytics in Thinkific can be accessed by clicking on individual videos in the Video Library. While you can see engagement rate and play rate metrics for the videos, there are no heatmaps or visual engagement viewer available.
One handy feature in Thinkific is “Groups” which allows you to create cohorts, and track progress and generate reports specifically for them which can be really useful if you sell to organizations.
Finally, both Thinkific and Kajabi allow you to track quiz results where you can see individual students’ scores as well as analyze their responses.
Overall, the course reporting capabilities of both platforms are decent, except the fact that there is no single area within the admin dashboard where you could access all the reports. You need to go to different sections in order to access the data which can be a little painful.
This very handy tool is native to Kajabi, and at this point Thinkific really has nothing similar. As the name suggests, Automations allows you to automate certain tasks on your site by setting specific When/Then rules to trigger specific actions.
There are so many ways in which you can use Automations to engage your members and gamify your membership site.
For example, when a few days have passed by with no activity logged by a student in the membership area, an automatic email can go out to check if they might need any help or information in order to move forward.
If you run a membership site and charge your customers on a recurring basis, this type of automated follow ups can make a huge difference.
You can also use Automations to motivate your members by sending congratulatory emails after they complete certain lessons or pass an assessment.
Similarly when a student fails an assessment, based on his/her responses, Automations can send out a personalized email highlighting any specific content they should go through before attempting to take the quiz again.
Automations is a really handy sales and marketing tool as well and we’ll discuss that part later in this guide.
Course Creation – The Bottom Line
In this chapter, we’ve discussed all the important course creation and delivery features and based on that Kajabi has a clear edge over Thinkific.
One area where Kajabi simply blows away Thinkific (and for that matter any course platform) is its course delivery. There are several well designed plus highly customizable course player themes which give a premium look and feel to your digital products.
Moreover, it offers a mobile app for both iPhone and Android users which allows creators to deliver a great learning experience on mobile. Plus the mobile apps compliment the ‘Community’ feature in Kajabi very well.
Finally, Kajabi has this game-changing feature—Automations that can help you take your member engagement to the next level.
On the other hand, there are certain areas in which Thinkific does a better job. For example, Thinkific has better capabilities for quizzing and certificates and you need to keep that in mind while making a choice between Thinkific vs Kajabi.
2. Site Design and Customization
If you’re serious about building your online business, you must have a front-end website. Fortunately, both Kajabi and Thinkific make it easy to design and build a fully-fledged website for your brand.
The basics included in each platform are pretty much the same. Both platforms offer free hosting and SSL certificates, and they also look after the technical aspects of running a website like security, updates, maintenance etc.
With either platform, you also get a free subdomain (e.g. xxx.mykajabi.com or xxx.thinkific.com), and both allow you to use a custom domain as well if you prefer that.
Finally, both platforms allow you to remove all visible branding from both your website front-end as well as course areas which is awesome.
With the similarities noted, the rest of this chapter will focus on comparing and evaluating the site design and customization capabilities of the two platforms.
Both Kajabi and Thinkific have pre-built site themes that you can use to build your website quickly. Let’s start with Kajabi first.
Until not so long ago, Kajabi had more than ten themes to choose from, but they have now moved all the other themes except the Premier theme to “Legacy Themes” archive.
You can still choose from the Legacy Themes, but since they are no longer being improved or updated by Kajabi, your best bet is to stick with the Premier Theme. It is hands down the best one anyway in my opinion.
Kajabi has invested a lot of time and effort into developing it and the result is this super flexible theme which can be used to build all types of websites.
The good thing is that there are six “Premier Presets” (or what I like to think of as “child themes) which can be installed on your website in a single click. All the “Presets” have a clean and modern design and they look elegant out of the box.
Now, Thinkific also has pre-built site themes that you can choose from. Their library currently includes three really nice themes — Empire, Vogue, and Vision — each with multiple sub-styles to choose from.
Again, theme styles can be applied to your site with a single click, and the whole process of choosing from these Presets to get up and running can be done very quickly.
In addition, both Kajabi and Thinkific allow you to customize the themes by editing the theme code. You can also create custom themes from scratch and import them into your website.
So, Thinkific vs Kajabi have very similar site themes capability and now let’s talk about their page builders.
Both Kajabi and Thinkific have a visual, drag-and-drop page builder that makes it easy to build pages and customize your website.
There are several pre-built page sections including a hero background image/video, course list, pricing tables, countdown timers, and plenty more that you can add to your page with a single click.
Moreover, you can specify colors, spacing, and other aspects of your pages, right down to the header and footer.
However, Kajabi’s page builder is more powerful and gives you more design options. It has more number of page elements available and there are more customization options for these elements as well.
For example, you can add animations, change padding, control which elements are visible on mobile vs desktop, etc. in Kajabi, all of which isn’t possible with Thinkific.
Also, Kajabi’s page builder is more flexible in terms of creating different layouts. For example, you can create a two, three or four column layout on your page in Kajabi which isn’t possible on Thinkific.
So, whether you use Kajabi or Thinkific, you can combine the site themes feature with their page builders to create a beautiful website.
Thinkific doesn’t offer any sort of blogging capability, so its users will have to resort to WordPress or another blogging platform like Squarespace.
On the other hand, Kajabi has built-in blogging feature on the platform. You can create blog posts, add content to them using the native text editor, configure SEO settings, organize your blog posts by “tags”, customize blog sidebar , show opt-in forms, and more.
While the blogging feature of Kajabi still can’t match WordPress in terms of design options, flexibility or SEO control, it is robust and offers everything an average blogger would need.
In fact, there are quite a few top course creators who, I know, use Kajabi to run their blog. One such influencer is James Wedmore whose blog and in fact his entire business is built on Kajabi.
So, if you envision a blog as a key component for drawing interest to your website (and by extension to your course), Kajabi vs Thinkific is the way to go.
Website Creation – The Bottom Line
Thinkific and Kajabi have very similar site building capabilities.
Apart from all the essentials (e.g. hosting, SSL certificate), both platforms offer pre-built site themes as well as a drag-and-drop page builder which make it possible for you to create a beautiful, personalized website with ease.
The most important difference between the two platforms is in terms of support for creating a blog natively. So, Kajabi has inbuilt blogging capability which allows you to have your website and blog in a single place.
Thinkific, on the other hand, doesn’t let you build a blog and you’ll need to use another platform like WordPress or Squarespace for the same.
3. Sales and Marketing Tools
Building a successful online course business is much more than just creating a product and getting it online. Rather you also need to build an audience and market your courses effectively in order to get more students.
When it comes to sales and marketing, most course platforms including Thinkific are limited to offering the ability to process payments and other basic marketing tools like coupons and bundles.
Kajabi, on the other hand, allows you to not just accept payments easily but also handle your entire marketing on the platform and this is where it differs from Thinkific in a big way.
So, let’s see what specific features and tools these two platforms have to offer for handling sales and marketing for your online business.
Course Pricing Options
With both Kajabi and Thinkific, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to pricing your online course. So, you can charge a one-time price, a recurring fee, or even specify a payment plan for your digital product.
As far as subscription pricing is concerned, both platforms allow you to charge your customers monthly, yearly or anywhere in between. In addition, you can offer a free trial or charge a custom payment (set up fee) upfront as well.
One difference in this case is that Kajabi lets you create a weekly (or even a bi-weekly) subscription which is currently not possible on Thinkific.
Moreover, you can create multiple pricing options for your courses and bundles which makes it possible for you to offer, say a one-time price and a payment plan for the same course, or multiple pricing tiers for your coaching program or membership site.
Another important pricing feature is the ability to choose your currency. With Kajabi, your course can be priced in any of the major currencies. Plus you can price the same course in multiple currencies as well.
On the other hand, Thinkific lets you select the currency only at the site level. So, you can’t have the same course priced in multiple currencies, or different courses priced in different currencies which can be a limitation if you have a significant international audience.
Finally, you can add a “Gift This Course” pricing option to your course using Kajabi Automations which is currently not possible on Thinkific.
Payment Processing and Payouts
Now, let’s talk about payment processing on Kajabi vs Thinkific.
Both platforms have a direct integration with Stripe and PayPal, so your customers can pay either via credit card or via their PayPal account and the money goes directly into your account.
However, one major difference between the two platforms is that Thinkific lets you offer the PayPal option only for courses with a one-time price (i.e. no PayPal access for monthly subscriptions or payment plans). Moreover, it is available only when your courses are priced in USD.
Kajabi, on the other hand, lets you offer the PayPal payment option for all pricing types including recurring subscriptions and payment plans as well as for all the available currencies.
This can be a serious limitation if you’re building a subscription based membership site or if you’ve a large international audience.
Finally, when it comes to handling EU VAT or other sales taxes, neither Kajabi nor Thinkific has this capability currently, so your only option here would be to use an external solution like Quaderno to handle taxes.
Checkout Process and Upsells
The checkout page design can be the most crucial part of your membership website, either converting a visitor into a paying customer or pushing them away.
Let’s talk about the checkout process in Kajabi first. Kajabi has a highly optimized, one-step checkout process, meaning that the user enters his/her personal information and completes the payment process, all on a single page.
The checkout page is very well designed and you can completely customize it as well, so you can add elements like your logo, a promo video, offer details, customer testimonials, a money-back guarantee badge etc.
The result is a checkout page that doesn’t just look beautiful but also converts really well.
Another thing that I like about Kajabi’s checkout page is that it gives you control over what information to collect from your customers.
For example, you can request a shipping address on the checkout page, you will then have the capability to sell physical products (e.g. books) as well.
On the other hand, Thinkific has an outdated 2-step checkout process where a user is first required to create an account on your school and then makes the payment on the next page.
This type of checkout process is not good for conversions at all as it can result in a significant percentage of users leaving your site without ever making a payment.
Apart from the ability to create checkout pages, Kajabi also offers some other powerful conversion tools. For example, you can add an order bump to your offer on the checkout page, or include a 1-click upsell offer on the thank you page.
Finally, its abandoned cart feature lets you automatically track customers who leave your site without completing their purchase and send them an automated follow-up email — definitely a useful tool for boosting conversions.
As far as Thinkific is concerned, it doesn’t let you add an order bump, or track abandoned carts.
It does let you add an upsell offer to your thank you page but the limitation is that the same offer is activated for all the courses and there is no way to show different upsell offers for different courses.
Overall, the checkout and the conversion process on Kajabi vs Thinkific is much better and this is definitely a big weakness of the Thinkific platform.
Sales Pipeline Builder (and Landing Pages)
Kajabi has what it calls the Sales Pipeline Builder that lets you create and automate marketing funnels pretty easily. It’s a really powerful feature to have for running marketing campaigns and Thinkific has nothing like it at this point.
The pipeline builder has pre-made blueprints that you can choose from and it will automatically create all the steps in that funnel including landing pages and email campaigns.
For example, if you want to do a product launch, you can use the Product Launch pipeline and Kajabi will create the optin page, the follow up email sequence, the video pages as well as the offer page.
Similarly, if your goal is to market your courses using webinars, you can select the Zoom Webinar blueprint and Kajabi will setup the webinar for you, create the registration and confirmation pages and will even look after sending reminder emails etc. to your registrants.
Now, you can further customize any of the steps in your pipeline. You can completely change your landing page(s), modify the email sequence(s) or even add new steps to your funnel.
But the best part is that you can do all this without ever leaving the pipeline builder and so, the user experience is just amazing.
The Sales Pipeline Builder is simply a game-changer and no other course platform including Thinkific has anything close to it in terms of features or ease of use.
In addition to entire pipelines, you can also create stand-alone landing pages for lead generation, course marketing etc. Kajabi’s library has more than 20 nicely-designed landing page templates which can be further customized using the page builder.
Finally, you also have the ability to create optin forms for your website or your blog and you use them either as embedded forms or as popups. This is a really useful feature if you run your blog on the Kajabi platform.
Email Marketing Tools
Thinkific has very basic email marketing capabilities as it just allows you to send broadcast emails to your students and doesn’t support autoresponders.
Plus, you can’t have your email list on Thinkific and so, you’ll need an external email marketing solution like ConvertKit or Drip.
Kajabi, on the other hand, has a full-blown email marketing suite which lets you do much more than just sending one-off emails. You can create automated email sequences which you can use to welcome your students or do a product launch.
You can also define a schedule for your automated emails. For example, you can set your first email to go out immediately, second email on Day 2, third email on Day 4 and so on.
Moreover, Kajabi is a tag-based system which is a very efficient way to manage your subscribers and run automations.
But perhaps best of all, you can use Kajabi Automations rules to trigger actions like adding/removing tags, triggering a new email sequence, sending your users a unique offer etc.
For example, you can send a nurture campaign to someone when he subscribes, then you can add them to a sales campaign, and as soon as a purchase is made, they’ll be automatically removed from the sales campaign.
Similarly, if you use a Quiz as a lead magnet, you can tag your users based on their answers and then you can send them a personalized email campaign to engage them.
As you can see, this combination of tagging and automation makes it possible to completely automate your email marketing efforts.
Overall, Kajabi’s email marketing tools are robust, easy to use and have everything a majority of the creators would need for email marketing.
That being said, there are still many Kajabi users who prefer to use an external email service provider like ConvertKit and you can do that as well if you prefer using a specialized solution for email marketing.
Affiliate Marketing Capabilities
Both Thinkific and Kajabi allow you to create and manage your own affiliate program on their platforms. So, you can add affiliates, track sales, calculate commissions and the affiliates also get a personalized dashboard.
However, there are some important differences between the affiliate capabilities of the two systems.
Firstly, Kajabi lets you create a separate registration page for your affiliates which can have custom text as well as a logo for your affiliate program and then they can get approved automatically. You also have the ability to hide hide the registration page and set it to manual approval.
With Thinkific, the affiliates first need to sign up on your school as a regular user and then you can manually approve them. It doesn’t let you create a separate registration page or automatically approve your affiliates.
Another thing that I like about Kajabi’s affiliate features is that you can create share links that can point to any website. With Thinkific, affiliates can only point users to pages on your Thinkific website.
While the affiliate marketing capabilities of both the platforms are decent, I find Kajabi to have a slight edge in terms of features and flexibility.
Third Party Integrations
Before we conclude this section, let’s take a brief look at how Thinkific vs Kajabi perform as far as their ability to integrate with other marketing solutions is concerned.
Both platforms allow you to easily integrate with analytics and tracking solutions like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Segment etc. You can also integrate with other marketing tools (e.g. Convertbox, Deadline Funnel etc.) which just require a script to be placed in your website.
When it comes to third party email marketing tools, Kajabi integrates natively with quite a few, including ConvertKit, MailChimp, Aweber, Active Campaign and Drip.
Thinkific also has quite a few email marketing integrations which includes MailChimp, ConvertKit, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact and Infusionsoft.
The best thing, though, is that both platforms integrate with Zapier, which in turn allows you to connect with thousands of third party apps which don’t have a direct integration with these platforms.
Sales and Marketing – The Bottom Line
Unlike Thinkific, Kajabi’s sales and marketing capabilities aren’t just limited to accepting payments and selling your courses but it also provides you tools to grow your audience and engage them.
So, Kajabi offers some really powerful tools like the Sales Pipeline Builder, a landing page builder, email marketing tools and Automations, all of which aren’t available on Thinkific.
So, if you want to not just host and deliver your courses but also run entire marketing on a single platform, Kajabi is definitely a better option than Thinkific.
Having said that, even for the essential sales and marketing tools like payment processing, checkout pages, abandoned cart tracking etc., Kajabi has much better capabilities than Thinkific.
4. Customer Support and Training
Another important factor for evaluating Thinkific vs Kajabi is their customer support and my experience interacting with the support team (on behalf of my clients) on both the platforms has been nothing but good.
Both customers support teams go above and beyond to help you if you’re facing some issues or are stuck with something.
Having said that, Thinkific has one significant drawback in its lack of any kind of chat support. By contrast, Kajabi offers 24×7 live chat support, and trust me, this is an invaluable feature to have.
There have been many instances when we were in the middle of a product launch and needed help with something. We could immediately reach out to Kajabi’s customer support and it was a life saver for us.
The only support channel with Thinkific is email support which is available Monday – Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM PST. So, if you need help over the weekend or you’re in a different time zone, there can be significant delay in getting support.
Plus I am not a big fan of going back and forth over emails.
For those of you who prefer to find answers on their own, both platforms have a very comprehensive knowledge base, including plenty of how-to info (articles and videos) covering every functionality on their platform.
Kajabi also invests heavily in customer training through its Hero University, where users can take courses and trainings to learn about various aspects of course creation and marketing using the platform.
Kajabi also does broadcast webinars and other live events from time to time, which are all very helpful.
Now, Thinkific also offers a premium online training for its paid plan customers, and does weekly live training or other occasional events to educate and train users.
Another thing that I like about these platforms is that they both have a highly engaged Facebook Community for their users.
The Facebook Groups are excellent for engaging with other course creators, asking questions, and soliciting feedback or advice about anything to do with online course creation or using these platforms.
Finally, Kajabi has this rewards program called Kajabi Hero. The Kajabi Hero program is designed to motivate course creators along their journey. So, they get access to goodies and exclusive perks when they achieve certain revenue goals on the platform.
5. Thinkific vs Kajabi Pricing
Although we have covered a lot in this review, we haven’t yet touched on one of the most important factors for making a decision: pricing. Let’s start with Thinkific pricing first.
The first tier on Thinkific is their free plan. The next tier is called BASIC plan (costs $49/month) while their most popular plan is called PRO plan and it costs $99/month. The highest tier is called PREMIER plan and it costs $499/month.
Apart from the 4 main tiers, Thinkific also offers an add-on for their PRO plan—Growth Package which gives you access to some of the features that are only available on the PREMIER plan otherwise.
The Growth Package costs additional $0.01 for every student (first 100 are free) who has an active enrollment.
There is no transaction fees on any of their plans including the free plan and you can have unlimited courses and students on all the paid plans. So, Thinkific is pretty reasonably priced.
Now, Kajabi pricing works very differently. It offers three pricing plans and like Thinkific, it charges you 0% transaction fees on all plans.
The lowest tier is called Basic Plan and it costs $149/month. The Basic Plan allows for up to 1,000 active members, plus you can create up to 3 products and 3 sales pipelines.
Their Growth Plan is the most popular plan. For $199/month, you can have up to 15 products, 15 pipelines, and up to 10,000 active members.
The highest tier is called the Pro Plan ($399/month), and for that price you can have up to three different websites and increase the product and pipeline limits even further.
Kajabi doesn’t offer a free plan but they do offer a 14-day free trial. However, you can also double your free trial as part of their 28-day “Kajabi Hero” Challenge.
If you just compare the price of different tiers, you can say that Thinkific is much less expensive than Kajabi. However, you need to consider a couple of things.
Firstly, Thinkific’s pricing plans differ a lot in terms of the features offered and how much it costs really depends on what features you need.
For example, if you want to build a membership site (or charge a recurring price), you’ll need to be on their PRO plan that costs $99/mo.
Similarly, if you want to white-label your online school or want email broadcast feature, you’ll need to get the PRO Plan + Growth Add-on that will cost you $299/mo (for 2,100 students).
Secondly, you should remember that Kajabi is actually multiple tools combined in a single platform and so, Kajabi vs Thinkific pricing isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison.
Kajabi offers inbuilt blogging capability, sales funnel builder, landing page builder as well as email marketing tools for all of which, you’ll require third party tools on Thinkific.
In fact, I know quite a few people who have actually saved money (and a lot of time) by moving everything over to Kajabi. So, it ultimately boils down to what features you want in your online course platform.
That being said, Kajabi’s starting price is steep and Thinkific vs Kajabi has a more beginner friendly pricing.
Kajabi vs Thinkific – Final Verdict
I hope this article has given you a good overview of these two online course platforms and you should now be in a better position to make a decision regarding the right platform for your business.
However, if you still can’t decide between Kajabi vs Thinkific, let me make my recommendation about various scenarios and which platform is better equipped to handle these.
So, Kajabi will be a better choice for you if:
#1: You want to have everything in one place
Kajabi is all-in-one solution that gives you all the tools you need to your entire online course business. You can handle everything here—from creating and delivering your course to building a professional website, blogging, and it even includes marketing capabilities like sales funnels and email marketing.
#2: Your goal is to build a subscription based membership site
Kajabi’s product themes are better suited for membership sites, it offers you the ability to build an interactive community, better analytics, you can receive payments through PayPal (even for recurring subscriptions), plus you can re-engage your inactive members.
#3: Cost is not a barrier
Based on features alone, Kajabi has a clear edge over Thinkific in every respect, be it course creation and delivery, sales and marketing, and even website creation. So, if Kajabi’s pricing plans work for you, it should be a fairly straightforward decision.
On the other hand, Thinkific will be a better choice for you if:
#1: Your website and funnels are already in place
If all you really need in a platform is support for hosting and delivering your courses, Thinkific will work well for you. It has all the features you’ll need to deliver an engaging online course.
#2: You’re creating a more “traditional” elearning program
Thinkific offers powerful quizzing and assignments capability, better course compliance features as well as the ability to create certificates, all of which will be handy if you are creating a more “traditional” style elearning course.
#3: You’re just getting started with online business or you’re on a tight budget
Thinkific’s pricing is pretty flexible and affordable. So, Thinkific might work better for you if you are just beginning your journey as an online course creator.
I hope you found this Thinkific vs Kajabi guide useful. Which of these two platforms do you think will work better for you and why? Please let us know in the comments below.
If you have any questions or feedback, let us know that as well and I will respond to it as soon as possible.
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