Teachable vs Thinkific: The Ultimate (No Fluff) Review

Teachable vs Thinkific Comparison

There are a number of online platforms that allow you to create and sell online courses under your own brand, and Teachable and Thinkific are certainly two of the very best online course platforms out there. 

They are both robust solutions, offer all the essential course creation features, including unlimited video storage, are reasonably priced and overall, are very similar in terms of what they have to offer.

Since the two platforms are so similar, a number of course creators find it really difficult to answer the Teachable vs Thinkific question.

They end up spending a lot of time doing research online without getting a definitive answer to why they should sell courses on one platform rather than the other.

So, I decided to leverage my experience of working with hundreds of instructors on both the platforms and create a comprehensive Thinkific vs Teachable comparison guide. 

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Teachable vs Thinkific Summary

Teachable vs Thinkific Summary

Teachable and Thinkific are very similar in terms of their course creation features. The main difference between the two platforms is that Thinkific has better site design and customization tools  while Teachable has better sales and marketing features. Plus they also differ quite a bit in terms of their pricing structure.

Teachable Icon
Thinkific Icon

Ease of Use

Course Creation and Engagement

Site Design and Customization

Sales and Marketing

Customer Support and Training

Pricing

Teachable Icon
Thinkific Icon

Ease of Use

Course Creation and Engagement

Site Design and Customization

Sales and Marketing

Customer Support and Training

Pricing

What I like about Teachable vs Thinkific?

  • Easier to use and setup.
  • Course builder is more flexible as well as user friendly.
  • Has an iOS App.
  • Better course reporting and analytics tools.
  • Has a well-optimized 1-step checkout process.
  • Handles EU Digital Goods VAT tax.
  • Offers services like automated affiliate & author payouts, remittance of VAT, etc.

What I like about Thinkific vs Teachable?

  • Supports advanced quiz features like question banks and bulk import.
  • Inbuilt support for assignments and surveys.
  • Powerful site and page builder.
  • Ability to bulk sell courses and easily manage students in a cohort.
  • Zero transaction fees on all plans.

The battle of superiority between Teachable and Thinkific has been an interesting one to follow. Both have been upgrading their platforms and adding new features on a consistent basis.

So, I intend to keep this post updated for every important update from the two platforms. Now, let's look deeper to find whether Teachable or Thinkific is a better online course platform. 

(This is a super in-depth comparison and you can use this table of contents to navigate to different sections in the guide.)

What are Teachable and Thinkific?

Teachable and Thinkific are both hosted platforms that allow you to create and sell online courses from your own website. 

So, you can upload all types of content including videos and quizzes, structure your courses, protect course content, accept payment online, deliver content professionally and further engage your students.

What is Teachable?
What is Thinkific?

Most importantly, you don’t need any technical skills to do all of this. It is their team that takes care of the techy stuff like hosting, security, updates, and maintenance.

The basic idea behind both these solutions is to provide an easy to use platform that allows you to get started quickly and lets you focus on your core job of creating courses and selling them.

Thinkific vs Teachable Quote

Another important thing that you need to know about Teachable and Thinkific is that they aren’t course marketplaces like Udemy or SkillShare. So, you’ll have complete control over pricing, student data as well as your policies (e.g. refund, discount etc.).

While the two platforms are broadly similar in terms of their capabilities, they differ quite a bit in terms of specific features and that's what the focus of discussion is going to be in the subsequent sections.

Let's start with pricing first.

1. Thinkific vs Teachable Pricing

Both Teachable and Thinkific offer 4 main pricing tiers to their users. The first tier is the free plan while the second tier (Basic Plan) costs $39/month on Teachable and $49/month on Thinkific.

The most popular pricing tier is called Professional Plan on Teachable and PRO Plan on Thinkific and costs $99/month on both the platforms. The highest tier which is more suited for advanced customers costs $499/month on either platform.

Teachable Pricing

Teachable's Pricing Plans

Thinkific Pricing

Thinkific's Pricing Plans

You would notice that both Teachable and Thinkific are very similar in terms of the cost of their main tiers. However, they differ from each other significantly in terms of the transaction fees and the features offered on each of the plans.

While Thinkific doesn't charge any transaction fees on any of the pricing plans, Teachable charges ($1 + 10%) transaction fee on their Free Plan and 5% on the Basic Plan. In general, this makes Thinkific a less expensive option on the lower tiers.

Thinkific's free plan is better than that of Teachable as well. While Thinkific allows you to have unlimited number of students, Teachable limits it to 10 students only.

However, Thinkific will be more expensive than Teachable pricing as you grow or if you need more features. While I will get into the specifics of what feature is available on which plan later in this guide, let me give you some quick examples here.

For instance, bulk emailing, white-labeling, Zapier actions etc. are available on Thinkific as part of what is called the Growth Package.

The Growth Packages is an add-on for their PRO plan and costs $0.1 per active student per month (first 100 students are free).

So, if you have 2,100 active students on your Thinkific school, you'll be paying $299/mo (capped at $499/mo) for your subscription for the PRO Plan and the Growth Package in order to use these features.

Thinkific Growth Package

Thinkific's Growth Add-on

As far as Teachable is concerned, all these features are included in their Professional Plan which costs $99/mo flat irrespective of the number of students on your school.

Similarly, if you want to create a membership site, you'll need the ability to create bundles and charge recurring fees which you can do only on the PRO plan on Thinkific ($99/mo) while you can do it on the Free Plan itself on Teachable.

So, the pricing comparison between the two platforms isn't straightforward and you won't be able to choose between Thinkific and Teachable based on just pricing.

2. Course Creation and Student Engagement

One of the reasons why both Teachable and Thinkific have become so popular is because of how easy they have made it to create an online course.

There is a lot of similarity between the two platforms when it comes to course delivery and student engagement. 

Both platforms offer the ability to host unlimited videos via Wistia, create quizzes, organise your content into lessons and modules easily, drip feed your content, send certificates, track course and video analytics etc.

That being said, they also differ quite a bit in terms of specific course creation features and that is what we'll discuss in this chapter.

Content Uploading and Course Structuring

With both Teachable and Thinkific, you can add video, audio, pdf, text, quizzes and other multimedia content types to your courses. So, both platforms are very similar when it comes to supporting various content types. 

The only difference is that while Thinkific allows you to import Captivate and Storyline files into the platform, Teachable doesn't have this feature. While most course creators won't need Captivate/Storyline, it is still a handy feature.

When it comes to the actual process of course creation, both platforms allow you to quickly create your course structure and add content to your lessons.

You can bulk upload your content onto the platform and then you can reorganise the content by dragging and dropping.

That being said, Teachable's course builder is easier to use and is more user friendly.

For example, you can bulk select lessons and change the settings for preview, publishing, downloads etc. from the curriculum page itself without going into individual lessons.

Teachable Curriculum Area

Teachable Course Builder

With Thinkific, you'll need to go to individual lessons and then modify these settings which can be a pain if you manage a large number of courses on your platform.

Thinkific Course Builder

Thinkific's Course Builder

Another thing that I like about Teachable's course builder is that you can add multiple content types in the same lecture. For example, you can have videos + text + pdf + embedded comments + quizzes, all in the same lecture and in any order.

At the same time, Thinkific is not very flexible with adding multiple content types in a lesson. So, if you want to create a layout as I described above, it won't be possible with Thinkific.

Teachable Lesson Builder

Teachable Lesson Builder

Finally, Teachable lets you directly import content from Dropbox/Google Drive/OneDrive which is much faster than uploading from your computer.

The cloud import feature in Teachable works for all types of content and for both bulk uploading as well as adding content to individual lessons.

Content Upload Teachable

Teachable Content Upload

One thing that I like about course creation in Thinkific is their video library. You can upload your videos on the platform once and reuse them in different lessons and courses. ​

However, Thinkific doesn't let you import content into your course directly from Google Drive/Dropbox. The cloud import feature is available only while adding videos to the Video Library but then you can't use it either for bulk uploading in the curriculum area or for uploading other file types (e.g. audio, pdf etc.)

Thinkific Video Library

Thinkific Video Library

Teachable doesn't have a video library but the workaround is to store your videos in Google Drive/Dropbox and you can import them into Teachable in a matter of seconds.

Overall, Teachable's course builder is easier to use and offers more flexibility in terms of adding multiple content types to your lessons.

Content Delivery (Course Player)

One of the things that I like about course delivery in Teachable is its course player. The Teachable course player looks modern and professional and is very well designed from a user experience perspective.

The user can easily navigate between lessons and can see his/her progress on the left. If you turn on comments for your lessons, the comments area appears nicely below your content.

Teachable Comments Area

Teachable Course Player

The thing that I used to like the least about Thinkific was its course area/player. The look and feel of the course player was outdated and it was poorly designed from a user experience point of view.

Every time a student would complete a lesson, they would see a transition screen which for me was an unnecessary step.

thinkific interstitial

This is how Thinkific's transition screen looked like

They have improved the course player design in a big way now. It is much cleaner and they have also removed the transition screen that used to appear earlier.

Thinkific Course Player

Thinkific's Course Player

Another advantage of creating courses on Teachable is that it has a native iOS app that improves the course delivery experience for students on mobile even further.

It offers features like offline viewing which aren't available to students if they watch the course in a mobile browser and thus helps them learn on the go.

Overall, both Teachable and Thinkific do a good job at course delivery. The look and feel of the course players are professional and result in a . The only advantage that Teachable has is that it offers an iOS app while Thinkific doesn't.

Student Discussions

Both Teachable and Thinkific don't have the capability to build a community forum but they do support a native comments system on their platforms. 

The native comments feature allows students to discuss and ask questions. The instructor can then respond to the queries.

What I like about Teachable's commenting system is that comment blocks can be embedded in individual lectures, making it really easy for students to discuss and engage with others students and the instructor.

Also, the previous discussions motivate the students to engage with the community and start a discussion!

Teachable Comments Area

Students Discussions in Teachable

Thinkific also has a native commenting system for facilitating student discussions and it is similar to Teachable in terms of capability.

The thing that I don't like about Thinkific's discussion system is that it can't be embedded in individual lectures. So, to start a discussion, the user first needs to click on 'Discussion' in the course player and can then leave a comment. 

Thinkific Course Discussion

Student Discussions in Thinkific

It becomes even more difficult for students to leave a comment while taking the course on mobile as the discussion icon is really small.

Content Drip and Locking

Both platforms allow you to 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 Teachable allows you to send drip emails to your students automatically while Thinkific doesn't have the capability to send automated emails to announce the release of new content.

Teachable Drip Announcement

Teachable Drip Announcement

Another important feature for course delivery is content locking (or course compliance). With both Teachable and Thinkific, you can restrict your students' progress unless they complete the previous lesson or pass a graded quiz.

Thinkific pre-requisite lesson

Thinkific Pre-requisite Lessons

However, one additional course compliance feature that Teachable offers is video watching compliance. So, unless a student watches 90% of the video, the lecture won't be marked complete and the user can't progress to the next lesson.

Teachable Course Compliance

Course Compliance in Teachable

Now Thinkific also has a setting called Video Completion % but it doesn't require your students to actually watch the content.

For example, if you set video completion % to 90%, a student can simply skip to the 90% mark and he/she will be able to mark the lesson complete.

This is really handy if you want to ensure that your students actually consume the content and not just mark the lectures complete.

Quizzes and Assignments

While both platforms allow you to create quizzes, Thinkific offers advanced quiz features like randomized question banks, add explanation and ability to import questions ​which are currently not supported on Teachable.

Import Quiz Questions

Import quiz questions in Thinkific

Also, Thinkific allows you to add an image as well as a video to your questions and the answer choices which isn't possible if you create a quiz on Teachable.

On Teachable, you can add just plain text to your quiz which is a bit limiting.

Create Thinkific Quiz

Create a quiz question in Thinkific

Edit quiz questions in Teachable

Create a quiz question in Teachable

In addition, Thinkific has a native integration with a full-blown exam solution called Brillium. While you can integrate Teachable with an external exam solution like ProProfs as well but you'll need to get some coding done for that.

Another useful learning tool that Thinkific  offers is 'Assignments'. So, you can add an Assignment type lesson to your course and accept submissions from your students. Plus, you also have the ability to accept/reject their submissions.

Thinkific Assignments

Create a quiz question in Teachable

Teachable doesn't have inbuilt support for assignments at this point. The workaround in this case is to use Dropbox's "File Request" feature but then the user experience isn't as good.

Firstly, Thinkific allows you to create surveys natively which you can use to collect feedback from your students. If you want to collect feedback for your Teachable course, you will have to use a free solution like Google Forms. 

Overall, Thinkific has much better quizzing capability and it also offers the ability to create assignments and surveys which aren't available on Teachable.

Course Reporting and Analytics

Teachable has extensive course reporting capabilities that allow you to track your students' completion rates, their quiz scores as well as the performance of your videos.

There is a dedicated section for the reports under your course dashboard and you can see a particular report by using the dropdown.

For example, if you want to see the completion rates for your course, you can select the Lecture Completion report and it will show you average completion rates for different categories of students.

You can also see completion rates for individual students using the Leaderboards report.

Lecture Completions Report

Course reporting in Teachable

Similarly, if you want to see the performance of your videos, you can select the Video Stats report and you can see different metrics like engagement and play rate for all your videos.

Video Stats Report

Teachable video analytics

Thinkific also allows you to track your users' progress and the performance of your videos but the reporting capability isn't as powerful.

For example, you can see statistics for videos one-by-one only and there is no report that allows you to track statistics for all the course videos in once place.

Thinkific Video Stats

Thinkific analytics

Similarly, you can see the progress report only at the individual user level and there are no aggregated reports available for completion rates.

Overall, Thinkific's course reporting capabilities are limited compared to that of Teachable.

Groups

Thinkific has this cool feature called 'Groups' that allows you to easily sell your courses to cohorts or organizations.

With 'Groups', you can bulk sell your courses, enroll several students at once, better organize them, track their progress and generate reports. This feature is especially useful if you sell your courses to organizations.

Groups as a feature is available as part of the Growth Package only and is no longer available on the PRO Plan itself.

Thinkific Groups Feature

Now Teachable doesn't have a similar feature as 'Groups' in Thinkific. As a workaround, you can create a multiple use coupon to enroll several users in your course.

You can also filter your students by the coupon code to track their progress and generate reports. However, it is not as easy to sell and manage as using 'Groups' in Thinkific.

Note: There are some other important features like 'Certificates' that we haven't discussed. The reason is that both platforms allow you to create and issue certificates to your students on their PRO plans and there aren't any major differences.

Course Creation - The Bottom Line

In this section, I have discussed all the important course creation features and how the two platforms compare to each other based on them.

Overall, both Teachable and Thinkific do an excellent job when it comes to course creation and student engagement and frankly, speaking you can't go wrong with either of them.

Having said that, there are some important differences between the two platforms.

So, Teachable offers you a more flexible course builder, a native iOS app for your students, a better commenting system and more extensive course reporting tools.

On the other hand, Thinkific offers you advanced quizzing feature, the ability to create Assignments and Surveys, 'Groups' feature, etc. 

So, there is no clear winner between Teachable and Thinkific in terms of their course creation and delivery features and it will ultimately boil down to your requirements.

3. Site Design and Customization

Having a good looking website is an important aspect of selling courses online and both Teachable and Thinkific allow you to build a website on their platform. 

First, let's talk about things are that are common between the platforms when it comes to site design and customization.

Both platforms offer you free hosting and a SSL certificate as part of your subscription. Moreover, it is their team that takes care of things like security, backup, maintenance and updates, so you don't need to worry about any of that.

In addition, you get a free subdomain for your website (e.g. xxxx.teachable.com or xxxx.thinkific.com). You can also use a custom domain if you want.

Finally, you can completely customize the site text or change language which is another handy feature that both platforms offer.

Now, let's deep dive into the site building capabilities of the two platforms and see how they compare to each other.

Do keep in mind that if you already have a website or if you use a solution like ClickFunnels for building sales funnels/landing pages, site building capabilities of the two platforms won't be as important.

Website Themes

What I like the most about Thinkific's site design capabilities is their 'Site Themes' feature. Thinkific has a theme library and it currently has three beautiful site themes available in it.

Thinkific Site Themes

Thinkific themes library

Plus there are multiple styles available for each theme and as soon as you select a theme style, it is applied to your website instantly.

So, there are a number of theme presets that you can choose from and it allows you to get started quickly.

Thinkific Theme Styles

Thinkific theme styles

Teachable doesn't have any real 'Site Themes' feature. It has a default template and all the websites built on Teachable use that.

It does have a theme area where you can upload your logo and define font style and color for your website. However, the style of other elements like header, buttons etc. can't be changed from the theme settings which makes it pretty limited.

Teachable Theme

Teachable themes area

The default theme in Teachable is well designed and looks sleek and modern. The only problem is that there aren't enough choices in terms of site themes.

My First Supply Chain Course

My original course website on Teachable

Lack of site themes is certainly a weakness of the Teachable platform and Thinkific has a clear edge in this department. 

Page Builder

Teachable has a drag-and-drop page builder which can be used to create homepage, sales pages for your courses and bundles and even other custom pages.

You can add different types of elements to your pages and then you can drag and drop the elements where you want to place them.

The page builder is super easy to use, however there are limited options for customizing the style of the page elements. 

For example, you can't change the color of the enroll button at a page level with the page builder. It can only be set for your entire website under Theme settings. If you want to use a different color for a specific enroll button, you'll need to use some CSS code.

Teachable Page Builder

Teachable page builder

As far as Thinkific is concerned, it also has a drag-and-drop page builder which can be used on all the pages including course sales pages.

As compared to Teachable, Thinkific's page builder has more number of elements and you also have more customization options.

Thinkific Page Builder

Thinkific page builder

Plus Thinkific's page builder is a live editor where you'll see the change you make on your website in real time. With Teachable, you'll first need to save the changes and then you can preview the page in a new window.

So, Thinkific has overall better page building capabilities as well.

Blogging Capability

Teachable allows you to create a blog on the platform. It lets you create blog posts and add text and images to them and you can have a very basic blog up and running in a few minutes.

However, a blog built on Teachable is not fully functional and it is far from being as powerful or flexible as a WordPress or a Squarespace blog. You can't customize anything on your blog and it lacks some very essential features.

Most importantly, improving the blogging feature isn't Teachable's focus and they haven't released a single improvement or upgrade to it since it was first launched on the platform.

So, you should use Teachable for blogging only if you want to write just a few articles, maybe to support your course or serve as a knowledge base.

Teachable Blog

Thinkific at this point doesn't have any blogging capability and you will need to use a specialized blogging platform like WordPress.

White Labeling

An important aspect of building a website on hosted platforms is white labeling and both Teachable and Thinkific allow you to remove their branding.

White-labeling as a feature is available on the PRO plan on Teachable ($99/month) while it is available only as part of the Growth Package on Thinkific ($99/mo + $0.10/mo per student).

So, if you have say 2,600 students in your school, you'll be paying $339/month in order to get access to the white-label feature on Thinkfic which is much more expensive compared to Teachable.

However, there is one problem with white-labeling in Teachable as well. Even if you use a custom domain, the signup, the login and the checkout pages still use a Teachable sub-domain and there is no way to change that.

Teachable_White_Label

Checkout Page on Teachable subdomain

It is not a big deal for me personally but you should be aware of this limitation.

If you have any questions about the site building capabilities of the two platforms, leave a comment at the end of this post and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Website Creation - The Bottom Line

So, when it comes to site building and customization, Thinkific emerges as a clear winner over Teachable.

It has better site themes capability and a more powerful page builder that makes creating a unique website much easier and quicker.

You can build your sales pages and other pages on the Teachable platform as well but you don't have much control over the design of these pages.

4. Sales and Marketing Tools

An important aspect of build a successful online course business is sales and marketing. Both Teachable and Thinkific offer you some handy sales and marketing tools for growing your business.

They both allow you to sell one-time or recurring products, create coupons, sell course bundles, offer upsells, add an affiliate program etc.

However, Teachable has gradually built a big lead over Thinkific when it comes to offering sales and marketing capabilities within the platform and the biggest differentiator between the two platforms is their checkout process.

Checkout Process and Upsells

Teachable has a highly optimized 1-step checkout process where a user enters his or her personal information and makes the payment on the same page.

Once the payment is successful, the user is then asked to create an account. So, there is minimal friction in the process and this is much better from a conversion point of view.

Plus you can add custom elements like Testimonials, Money Back Guarantee etc. on your checkout page which helps further boost conversions.

Teachable Checkout Page

A checkout page created on Teachable

Now, Thinkific has a 2-step checkout process where a user first needs to create an account and then make the payment on the next page.

A 2-step checkout process like this is outdated and a significant % of users drop in the process without making a payment.

Now Thinkific also allows you to add custom conversion elements to your checkout pages. However, it looks a little clumsy and isn't that good design-wise.

Thinkific Account Creation Page

Thinkific Payment Page

Thinkific Checkout Process

Another important component of the checkout process is 1-click upsells. 1-Click Upsells is one of the most effective ways to maximise average transaction per customer.

Both Teachable and Thinkific allow you to add a 1-click upsell to your Thank You page. However Teachable does it much more effectively.

On Teachable, you can customise the Thank You Page and add various conversions elements like a Video, text and coupons etc. and the result is a high converting up-sell page.

Teachable Thank You Page

1-Click Upsell on Teachable

With Thinkific, it is pretty basic. They allow you to just add a call to action to enroll in the course. You can't customise the upsell page easily plus you can't apply a coupon to the upsell offer automatically.

Moreover, you can't have a different upsell offer for different course thank you pages in Thinkific which is quite easy to do in Teachable.

I don't have hard data to support it but Teachable's checkout conversion rate should be significantly higher compared to that of Thinkific. 

To put it simply, Teachable's checkout process is one generation ahead of Thinkific's checkout process. 

Course Pricing Options (and Subscriptions)

As discussed previously, both Teachable and Thinkific allow you create a one-time price, a recurring subscription or even a payment plan. You also have the ability to bundle your courses together and sell them together.

Additionally, you can have multiple pricing options for your courses and bundles. For example, you can sell the same course for a one-time price as well as charge a recurring subscription.

While everything might seem pretty straightforward till now, it really isn't and there are a few major differences between Teachable and Thinkific when it comes to course pricing options.

Firstly, the ability to create a subscription or a payment plan as well as offer multiple pricing options for a course is only available on the PRO plan on Thinkific which costs $99/month while all these features are available on all the plans including the free plan on Teachable.

Secondly, you can price your course in multiple currencies on Teachable while on Thinkific, you can have only one currency for all your courses.

For example, one of my Teachable clients offers 4 pricing options for her courses. So, her students can either pay in USD or NZD and they can either make a one-time payment or pay in instalments.

Teachable Multiple Pricing

Course Pricing in Teachable

Thirdly and something where Thinkific does a better job, Thinkific allows you to create not just monthly and annual subscriptions but also subscriptions of custom length.

Plus you can charge a setup fee upfront for your subscription which is really handy if you're creating a membership site.

While Teachable does let you create a monthly or an annual subscription, you can't create for example a quarterly subscription or charge an initial setup fee.

Thinkific Subscription Pricing

Subscription Pricing on Thinkific

Finally, Thinkific allows you to set an expiry date for courses with a one-time pricing while Teachable doesn't have this capability and you'll need to use Zapier to achieve something like this.

Payment Processing and Payouts

Another important feature that needs to be discussed is payment gateways and payouts. Both platforms allow you to offer credit cards (via Stripe) and PayPal as payment options for your students.

With Thinkific, it is all straightforward. You get instant payouts on all their plans. When a student buys your course, the money goes straight into your Stripe/Paypal account.

Thinkific Payment Gateways

Thinkific Payment Gateways

It is you who is responsible for paying out to other authors and affiliates and you'll need to process that manually from your end.

Teachable's approach is slightly different in this case and it offers much more flexibility. To be honest, it can be a little confusing as well.

You can either use a custom payment gateway or you can use their payment gateway. On the custom gateway, you can use your own Stripe/Paypal account to collect payment from students. 

The money goes directly into your account and there is no delay. Teachable allows you to use custom gateway only on Professional and Business Plans ($99/month and above).

When you use Teachable's gateway, the money is processed through Teachable's account but you'll be eligible for an instant payout if you're in United States or Canada.

Otherwise, the money goes into their account first and they then make a payout to the instructors on the first business day in a month for transactions that happened at least 30 days prior to the first day. Basically you get payouts after a delay of 30-60 days.

To summarize, you get instant payouts on all plans in Thinkific. While on Teachable, you you get instant payouts on all plans only if you're in the US or Canada. Otherwise you'll get instant payouts only on $99/month and above plans.

A major advantage of using Teachable's gateway is that you can accept credit card (or PayPal) payments even if Stripe (or Paypal) isn't supported in your country. Something like this won't be possible if you were using Thinkific.

You can also accept payments via Apple Pay and Google Pay which is great for improving the mobile checkout experience.

Another advantage of using their gateway is that they offer a suite of services called BackOffice.

With BackOffice, Teachable can pay out the collected EU VAT to the respective authorities as well as automatically payout to your affiliates and authors.

Enable BackOffice

Teachable BackOffice

They do charge an additional 2% fee for BackOffice but since it reduces a lot of admin work, it is worth it. This is a really handy feature if you collect EU VAT or you have a lot of affiliates or authors on your online school.

EU VAT Handling

Teachable is one of the few online course platforms that has inbuilt capability to handle EU VAT and this is one of the things that I like the most about the platform.

If you use Teachable, it allows you to charge EU VAT on top of your course price. It automatically adds the right VAT rate depending on the location of the students and also sends them an invoice with VAT details automatically.

You can also choose to display VAT included price on your course sales page which is important from a compliance point of view. 

And if you use Teachable's gateway instead of your own Stripe/Paypal accounts, they will even pay the tax to the respective authorities on your behalf.

Teachable EU VAT

With Thinkific, there is no way to collect EU VAT from your students within the platform. For VAT reporting, you can use an external solution like Quaderno but in that case, you'll be paying taxes from your revenue which is far from ideal.

Another option for handling EU VAT on Thinkific is to use a specialized checkout page solution like ThriveCart.

Handling EU VAT is a complex process and Teachable does an excellent job at it. This can be a deal breaker in choosing between Teachable vs Thinkific if you're from Europe or if a significant % of your students live in Europe.

Affiliate Marketing Capabilities

While both platforms allow you to setup affiliates on your school so that they can promote your courses, Teachable's affiliate marketing features are more powerful and customizable.

Teachable Affiliate Dashboard

Affiliates' dashboard in Teachable

Unlike Thinkific, you can set custom cookie periods for your affiliates on Teachable which is can be really useful.

Modify Affiliate Cookie Duration in Teachable

Another thing that's really great about Teachable's affiliate system is that you can use their affiliate features even if your landing pages aren't on Teachable. To do this on Thinkific, you will have to do some Javascript coding.

The best part about the affiliate system in Teachable though is that it can automatically pay out to your affiliates if you use their gateway. This can be a life saver if you have a large number of affiliates on your school.

Finally, the dashboard for affiliates in Teachable looks much cleaner and has better reporting capabilities.

Third Party Integrations

Another important aspect of choosing an online course platform is how well it plays with other marketing tools.

Both platforms integrate with analytics and tracking tools like Google Analtyics, Facebook Pixel, Segment etc. You can also integrate other marketing tools like Convertbox, Deadline Funnel etc.

They also have a powerful Zapier integration that allows you to integrate with 1,000s of third party apps. For example, if you sell using a platform like ClickFunnels, you can add users to Teachable/Thinkific automatically via Zapier.

As far as email marketing integrations are concerned, Teachable has a direct integration with two email marketing solutions - ConvertKit and MailChimp while Thinkific integrates directly with MailChimp, ConvertKit, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact and Infusionsoft.

Thinkific integrations copy

Thinkific email marketing integrations

If you want to integrate with any other email marketing tool, you'll need to use Zapier.

Sales & Marketing - The Bottom Line

We have discussed all the important sales and marketing features in this section and the most important difference between the two platforms is in terms of their checkout process.

While Teachable has a well-optimized 1-step checkout process, Thinkific has a 2-step checkout process where users first need to create an account before they can complete the payment which isn't good for conversions.

In addition, Teachable allows you to enable Apple Pay/Google Pay option, collect EU VAT, has better affiliate marketing tools and offers a suite of admin/financial services (BackOffice).​​

Overall, Teachable is a much better platform compared to Thinkific when it comest to sales and marketing.

5. Customer Support and Training

Based on my interaction with their customer support on behalf of 100s of my clients, I can tell you that both Thinkific and Teachable offer good customer service.

In general, I find Thinkific's support to be a bit more friendly and their email support to be more responsive than Teachable's email support on the lower tiers.

However, Thinkific doesn't offer any real time support channels and your only option is to reach out via email.

Thinkific Email support

Thinkific's Email Support

On the other hand, Teachable offers email support on all its plans and live chat support on the Professional Plan and above.

Nothing beats live chat support and you'll find Teachable's customer support to be better than Thinkific on the higher plans.

Teachable Help

Teachable Support

Both platforms have an extensive knowledge base as well where you can find how-to articles about doing various things on the platforms.

Moreover, both these platforms have very active Facebook groups where you can engage with the community, ask your questions and get advice on anything related to selling online courses.

Both platforms also invest heavily in training their customers. Teachable has an online training school called Teachable U where it offers courses for helping you at every stage of your course creation journey.

Teachable U

Thinkific also has offers a premium training called the Online Business Masterclass which is available to its paid subscribers for free.

Online Business Masterclass

Both Teachable U and the Online Business Masterclass are available to the paid subscribers.

Teachable vs Thinkific - Final Verdict

So after having a look at some of the most important features of the two platforms, it is clear that they both have a lot to offer. They both allow you to create courses, sell them, deliver content and engage students. 

As far as the Thinkific vs Teachable question is concerned, there is no one answer to which is better and both platforms have their own strengths.

Teachable has a more intuitive and flexible course course builder, native iOS app, a better student discussion system and more powerful course reporting tools.

Similarly, Teachable has much more to offer than Thinkific when it comes to sales and marketing features. Their checkout process is highly optimized, offers powerful 1-click upsells, support for Apple Pay and Google Pay, EU VAT etc.

On the other hand, Thinkific offers more powerful quizzing capability, inbuilt support for assignments and allows you to bulk sell your courses and manage students in a cohort more easily than Teachable.

Thinkific also has much better site building features than Teachable which can be handy if you don't have an existing website.

I hope this guide helped you get a good insight into the two platforms and their features. If you have any questions or you're still not sure about the right solution, please leave a comment below, so I can get back to it as soon as possible!

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Disclaimer: I am using affiliate links within this post, so if you do want to go purchase either of these two solutions, clicking a link will pass me off a little commission (without costing you anything extra)!