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Aug 25, 2016

Today I'm talking about a membership platform called Thinkific. I heard about it via the Membership Guys who run the Membership academy (not to be confused by Marcus Couch Membership Coach ) .

Here is my problem. I'm using Value Add On. I really like it. One of the reasons I purchased is was the price $37 a month. Their support is good. The bad news is you have to use JVZoo to accept paypal through them. JVZoo takes 5% in  addition to the paypal fees. This is not surprising as Thinkific does the same thing and they cost $49  If you want no transaction fees you have to upgrade to the $99 a month, which means you would have to sell over $1980 for that to make sense. So I plan on doing the $49 a month. So it sounds like a dead heat, but its no

JVZoo does something I don't see anyone else doing and that is when you setup a product that is recurring, you have to put in the total number of payments. For example if you purchase a three month subscription to the school of podcasting it says on the checkout page "Includes 3 months of service. Future Payments: $483.00 will be billed every  3 months for 18 payments or until cancelled." But when someone sees they might make 18 payments of $483 they cold feet. This is a deal breaker. 

So I've been trying out Thinkific for a few days, and here is what I like so far. I'm using their free service. It is super easy to make a course. I mean watch 20 minutes of videos and you are off to the races.

I like that they have a built in affiliate program. They also have built in reminder emails for members. It integrates with all sorts of email, zappier, google analytics, etc. 

You can sell individual courses or bundle them together. You can have one set fee, or a subscription. 

The dripping feature is super easy, and choose what is protected and what is not is super easy. It works with Paypal, and Stripe which is awesome. 

I love the student experience as when you get done with modules it takes you to the next, and always shows you where you are in the course. You can even put in quizzed and certificates if you want. 

Here is what I don't like. When you upload a video, there is no text on the page. Just the video. There is no player speed, and I want to put links to the things I mentioned in the video. I'm also a little worried about how much you can customize the look of things, but I'm in the free version so when you upgrade you get more tools. 

Their discussion board for each course is pretty ugly. No other way to put it. Functional yes. Pretty? No. 

The key when dealing with a membership site or plugin is knowing the features to want for me it was.

Work with paypal and stripe

Make it easy to sign up and cancel (no need to email me)

I want to be able to sell courses one by one, or bundled. 

I wanted an easy to use affiliate program. (JVZoo makes people send messages to their phone to confirm them. I like the security, but giving a phone number to be an affiliate seems a bit over the top). 

So for now I'm moving ahead with Thinkific. If it turns out that the JVZoo affiliate will still get credit if I use Stripe, then I may stay there. Like I said the problem with Value Add On has nothing to do with the platform (I actually like it alot) but it has to do with having to use JVZoo. Here is a quick video


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