Maybe you are considering starting a course creation business or are currently dissatisfied with your course hosting platform.
Whatever it is, I’m here to help you test new waters and navigate your way around as you find a course creation platform that matches your needs and pockets.
MemberVault vs Thinkific In A Nutshell
If you’re looking to sell straightforward or Do It Yourself (DIY) courses with ease and zero technical skill, MemberVault is the best option for you.
It has a single pricing plan, and when you sign up, you get access to the demo version that allows you to play around with features and decide if it’s the right fit for you.
Checkout MemberVault Now
Thinkific, on the other hand, is the complete package with everything you could hope for to create a full-blown online school. The platform’s features make the student experience much similar to a natural classroom environment.
Thinkific is very easy to set up. Also, it has flexible pricing plans to match your pockets.
Thinkific’s Professional plan is dollars cheaper when billed annually compared to what MemberVault is charging, even though Thinkific is the one offering advanced features.
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But as I said, the best option for you can not be the best option for everyone. Let’s walk through these two great platforms and see which suits you best.
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MemberVault is one of the most popular content-selling platforms on the market today.
The platform helps entrepreneurs and content creators to sell their expertise and knowledge online. You can sell courses about almost everything, a one-on-one live coaching session, memberships, and what have you.
So, what makes MemberVault unique or different from similar platforms like Thinkific?
Well, the most notable difference and perhaps the most significant selling point MemberVault has is the freedom it promises.
MemberVault has only one pricing plan. For $99/month, you can host unlimited products, have unlimited students, and unlimited storage.
All the features are accessible in a single plan. There’s no such thing as upgrading to a top-tier pricing plan or paying extra money for an add-on to access additional features.
No money is deducted from your sales. Or in other words, MemberVault does not charge any transaction fees.
You also get priority support via chat or email whenever you encounter problems along the way.
In short, MemberVault is the platform you need when you want to teach the world, make money, and have the ultimate peace of mind.
Checkout MemberVault Now
It allows educators, entrepreneurs, and businesses to offer and sell online content in multiple ways, including online courses, memberships, coaching sessions, digital downloads, and the like.
You don’t need to be a programmer or hire one to create and host a course or product on Thinkific.
The course builder has an intuitive drag-and-drop dashboard with a fast learning curve. You can customize the look and feel of your course player to match your brand.
The same is true about the site builder. It allows you to create sales pages, home pages, thank-you pages, and so on. It is also an easy-to-master drag-and-drop builder with beautiful templates designed and optimized for an online school.
Thinkific also has multiple pricing plans to give you the flexibility to choose one that matches the current needs of your business. This is in terms of features and the depth of your pocket.
In short, Thinkific is the platform you run to when you want to create a serious online school with features that will help you scale up your business and provide your students with an excellent online learning experience.
MemberVault vs Thinkific: Pricing
MemberVault and Thinkific have very specific pricing plans.
MemberVault has only a single plan that provides everything unlimitedly and does not require upgrades or add-ons. The features included in this plan are pretty decent and usually enough for you to run a successful business. The downside is that compared to Thinkific, Membervaul does not stack up.
Thinkific has four pricing plans, all based on the features offered. It has a free plan which MemberVault does not currently have. As I said, it offers pretty advanced features that will allow you to build a robust and complete online school.
‘Pro’ is the most popular Thinkific plan. It is similar to the MemberVault solo plan because it also comes with almost unlimited everything, i.e., unlimited students, content, and courses.
And it is cheaper compared to MemberVault’s pricing plan.
The only hurdle is that you still need to upgrade to a higher plan to access everything Thinkific offers, which means paying more dollars.
Let’s look at each pricing plan from both platforms in detail and see if we can find a clear winner.
MemberVault has only one unlimited pricing plan at $99/month with all the features available on the platform.
Checkout MemberVault Updated Pricing and Discounts
It does not offer a free plan or free trial as Thinkific does. Instead, it offers a free and clickable demo version of the whole platform. You can move around, tweak the platform, and familiarize yourself with the dashboard.
If you find it satisfactory, then you can go ahead and upgrade to the paid version and start the process of creating your first course on MemberVault!
But why should you even upgrade to the paid plan? Here are the features your money can buy when using MemberVault.
- · Unlimited products
Forget about paying your hard-earned money to a course hosting platform only to be told that you can only publish and host a certain amount of products.
MemberVault allows you to create and sell as many products as possible. It can be courses, coaches, ebooks, et cetera, et cetera.
- · Unlimited number of students
I understand that some platforms charge course creators according to the number of students they have.
MemberVault doesn’t subscribe to that exploitive and punitive model of milking you dry. Pay your $99 per month fee, and you can have a gazillion students enrolled in your courses.
You will not be asked to pay extra money just because your business has started to grow and the number of your students has begun to increase.
- · Unlimited storage
If you’re going to host unlimited courses and sell as many products as you like, having a cap on the storage amount is something you don’t need.
The unlimited plan allows you to upload as much material as you want as long as each file is below 2Gb.
- · No transactional fees
The only money Thinkific gets from you is the $99 you pay each month. Other than that, Thinkific does not touch your revenue.
Everything you earn through sales is all yours.
- · Chat/email support
When you’re just starting out in the course creation business it can be overwhelming and you might stumble upon a few hurdles.
MemberVault understands that, which is why it has a team of professionals on standby to help you whenever you encounter a challenge on the platform.
- · Payment integration with Stripe and PayPal
The main reason why anyone would spend hours curating content and deciding to host it on a platform like MemberVault is to get paid.
This is why MemberVault allows you to integrate with either Stripe or PayPal to manage your online transactions. You can use either of these tools as a student checkout gateway and a means to withdraw your earnings.
- · Option to offer various payment plans
Depending on the length of your curriculum and type of content and consumers, you might want to offer various payment plans based on that.
For example, if your curriculum could take a student three months to complete, you might wanna consider offering it on a subscription basis.
If it is a short course that could take an average student only a few days to finish then a once-off payment plan is more suitable.
If you’re covering a complex topic that could require live interactions with students, such as mastering a musical instrument, then a one-on-one is preferable.
All in all, MemberVault allows you to do that.
- · You can offer coupons and free trials
Let’s be frank here, selling online courses is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It is not as passive as some might led you to believe. There’s so much effort, resources, and sometimes luck involved to become successful.
From creating high-quality lectures to choosing the right platform, and then marketing the course effectively to make sales.
To help you out in your marketing efforts, MemberVault allows you to offer discount coupons and free trials to entice new customers.
- · Supports multiple currencies
Not all your students will be from the U.S or Europe, MemberVault is a global platform with a reach beyond the corners of the world. You might also not be from the US either, anyone can create and host a course on MemberVault.
This is why MemberVault supports multiple currencies to help bridge the gap between countries and regions. You can teach anyone in the world and make an impact in their life.
- · Email integrations
As I said earlier, to have a successful course creation business you need to invest a lot of time, effort, and resources in marketing.
One popular or most effective medium of marketing is email.
MemberVault allows you to integrate with your favorite email marketing tools like MailChimp to carry email marketing campaigns right from your dashboard.
- · Immediate access to products after purchase
Convenience is in the middle of the millennial business. People of this generation want everything done now; if you fail to provide them with that, you lose business.
For this reason, when a student purchases your course, he/she will instantly be given access to the course, and they can start learning on the spot.
- · Engagement and progress tracking
As much as you’re creating courses to make money and improve your situation, don’t forget that you’re teaching someone out there who also want to improve their circumstances and are willing to pay you to help them.
With that in mind, you can check how your students are doing and help them out if you see that they’re struggling.
- · Dripped products
Some students have a bad habit of skimming through the material in a breeze without slowing down and taking time to understand whatever they are learning.
To counter that, you can drip schedule your course and make it so that a student access a certain portion of the course curriculum at a certain time.
- · Quiz questions
The best way to ensure that the concepts you’re teaching your students are understood is to test them.
With MemberVault you can include quizzes into your curriculum. If a student finishes a certain section, the whole course can be subjected to multiple-choice or essay questions to test their understanding.
- · Public pages
The page’s feature is different from the product page where you put your courses, summits, one-on-ones, and other digital products.
This feature allows you to create website pages like a landing page, a sales page, a thank-you page, an about page, etc.
- · The Blog feature
Recently MemberVault has added an in-house blog to their platform.
Now you can write and post blogs from your MemberVault account. It is easy to update your students via announcements and even win more students by sharing free snippets of your courses.
Honestly, there’s no limit to what you can do and achieve with your Membervaul blog.
- · Link shortening and redirects
Usually, when you have a long and ugly link that you want to share, you must go to a link shortener platform like Bitly.
MemberVault has a better solution. It now has the feature that allows you to take your third-party links connected to your products or your own long product page links and shorten them right inside the dashboard.
The shortened links, instead of having third-party domain names, like Bitly for example, have a MemberVault domain name that redirects users wherever your links go.
- · Affiliate tracking
Instead of doing everything yourself, you can recruit an army of affiliates to market and sell your products on your behalf. These people earn a commission every time someone purchases your product via their link and effort.
It is a win-win situation; you win more customers and earn more revenue. They earn something by only sharing your links.
MemberVault allows you to create affiliate marketers right from your account. Anyone can become an affiliate marketer for your products if they have an account with you.
- · CSS customization
What do you do when you don’t like what you see after creating a page or something? CSS customization is the answer.
CSS stands for Cascading Styling Sheets. In other words, it is a markup language that is used to enhance web pages and make them beautiful.
So, you can hire a website designing website to customize the look of your school using this technology. It is a good branding opportunity for your businesses.
- · Pixel tracking
What the heck is a pixel?
Simple, a pixel is a piece of code that you add to your website that collects data and helps you make conversions from ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future campaigns, etc.
Facebook Pixel is one good example of this.
- · A custom domain
A custom domain for your online school will look highly professional and increase your site’s chances of popping up in search engine search results.
If you own a domain name, you can easily set it up and connect it with your school.
MemberVault has article and video guides to help connect a custom domain with your site.
- · Remove branding
Remember that this is your business and, as a result, should always reflect your business image. Course hosting platforms are just tools to aid you in your business and should never be allowed to take center stage.
The MemberVault paid plan allows you to stripe off the MemberVault branding, such as the “Powered by MemberVault” banner under your site.
Checkout MemberVault’s Updated Pricing and Discounts
Thinkific has four pricing plans. You can opt for the free plan that comes with limited features and check if Thinkific is the right platform for you and your business.
The three paid plans come with varying degrees of the number of included features and the pricing range.
The most popular plan, the Pro plan, costs exactly like MemberVault’s solo unlimited plan at $99 per month.
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This free plan makes Thinkific much more appealing compared to MemberVault, which only allows you to play around with a demo version.
While I do not advise anyone to sign up and settle for the free plan to run their business, it is a risk-free way to test out Thinkific and still make a lot of dollars.
Let’s look at the core features of this generous plan.
- Limited courses
Unfortunately, with the free plan, you’re not at liberty to create as many courses.
But still, a single test course is enough to test the platform and gauge its strengths and weaknesses.
- Unlimited Students
Isn’t that amazing? Thinkific allows you to create a course with as many students as you can without a cap.
Compared to MemberVault, Thinkific takes a point for this.
- A drag-and-drop course builder
You can access the Thinkific’s intuitive course builder with zero limitations without paying a cent.
You can also import your files and course material and create a beautiful course for free.
What can beat free?
- Free website templates
Here we’re talking about getting free access to something that normally costs hundreds of dollars.
You don’t need to hire a programmer to create a template for you or go to a template marketplace.
Thinkific provides you with professional educational website templates for absolutely free.
- An admin account
You’re the sole administrator of your school and website.
You can carry out administrative duties in your school, including but not limited to managing the site, carrying out marketing campaigns, managing content, etc.
- Email and phone support
Even though you’re not paying anything, Thinkific is still a mile further to provide you with technical support whenever you need it.
You can contact the support team via email or phone, and the professional and the friendly team from Thinkific will ensure that your issue is resolved.
- Thinkific app store
The best way to make your school robust is by integrating your course creation platform with other productivity tools.
Thinkific has an app store with over 80 apps that you can integrate with your school. Examples of these apps include Promos Kit, Facebook Pixel, Zoom, and more.
The Basic plan comes with all the basic features you need when you’re just starting out in the course creation business. It is the first paid pricing plan from Thinkific.
For only $49 per month or $39 per month, when you choose to be billed annually you can kickstart your course creation business and switch to top-tier plans with advanced features when the time comes to scale up.
According to Thinkific, these are the basic features you’ll need to run a small course creation business. Remember that all features in the free plan are by default also included when you pay for this package.
- Your own custom domain
A domain name is like a physical address that customers use to locate your business. Having a memorable domain name can increase the chances of your site popping up on search engine results resulting in more business for you.
The basic plan buys you the right to connect your website with an old domain name you own or a new one. A domain name is also considered a fundamental and vital step in branding.
- Live chat support
Get the help you need when you need it. Whenever you run into technical problems you have a technical support team at your disposal to help you smoothly run your business.
It can be during the course creation stage and you end up getting stuck or it can be after you’ve launched your product.
There are always professional employees from Thinkific on standby waiting to help you.
- Coupons and promotions
After you create and launch a killer course it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically become successful and have hundreds if not thousands of students.
You will still need to market your product(s) to make people aware of your great course and convince them to actually pay for it.
Offering coupon discounts is one of the best ways to entice and gain new customers in the course creation business world. The basic plan allows you to offer coupons and sell your products at a discount.
- Drip (scheduled) content
Depending on your curriculum you might decide to deliver the course material in small doses at certain given times.
This will make sure that no student skims the whole course material in a single seating and grabs a certificate of completion or whatever the case may be. The basic also allows you to do that.
- Send one-on-one emails to your students
Sometimes in certain circumstances, you might want to email a certain student directly.
It can help them understand certain concepts after you’ve seen their progress or report. It can even be to market them a particular course or product that you believe is very relevant to their situation.
This is a very important feature that you’ll definitely need in your course hosting experience.
- Thinkific Academy basic courses
Creating an online course and actually making money from it is a long process and sometimes you might need someone to navigate you around.
This is why Thinkific has an academy filled with super important courses to help creators reach their goals.
But access to this academy is not open to everyone. If you’re on the basic plan you only get access to the basic courses at the academy. Nevertheless, the basic courses are enough to help you launch your course selling business.
The professional plan is the most popular one from Thinkific and is for a good reason. It has all the features you need to run and support a scaled-up business.
Interestingly, it costs precisely like MemberVault’s solo pricing plan. For this plan, you’ll pay $99 per month. If you choose to be billed annually, you’ll pay $79 per month.
If you feel or think that the professional plan is still not enough, you can add the Growth add-on which comes with an extra cost of $50 per month.
Since the pricing is equal to MemberVault’s, let’s look at the features under this plan and see which platform deserves your hard-earned money.
- You can have up to 2 site admin accounts
As your course creation business grows the demands and responsibilities grow as well. You might that you’re unable to do everything on your own or even wasting a lot of time on simple things.
This is why when you subscribe to the professional pricing plan Thinkific gives you the opportunity to add another user as an administrator.
Both you and the other person can handle the administrative duties equally and share tasks among yourselves.
- You can add private and hidden courses
Sometimes you can create an exclusive course and want it to only be accessible to a few people. In other words, you might not want site visitors to access the course via the sales page of your site and enroll in the course.
Thinkific has the answer to your dilemma. When you pay for the Pro plan you are given a feature or an option to host a private course and only grant access to the selected a few.
If you want, you can also hide the course from anyone for reasons best known to yourself.
- Offer subscriptions and flexible pricing
Thinkific gives you more innovative ways to sell your courses other than one-time payoffs.
Students can pay on a subscription basis meaning that they’ll have to pay every month to access the course material, if they don’t, they will not be able to access the course. You can also offer your content on a membership basis as well as in bundles.
- Certificates of completion
Investing time and resources to learn something new and actually having the discipline to see the course through is not a simple achievement.
You can award students who have finished your course with a certificate of completion to boost their morale and even impress employers or collaborators or peers.
You can have them take a test and get the certificate when they pass or just let Thinkific automatically hand in certificates to those who have persevered and reached the finishing line.
- Live lessons
Watching pre-recorded videos and reading text for hours and hours sometimes can be boring and tiring.
That is why Thinkific allows you to connect with Zoom from the Thinkific app store and deliver live classes via video conferencing.
Live classes can increase the level of engagement from your students, help you answer questions from your students in real-time, and even carry out live classroom debates or quizzes.
- Advanced course building
You can indeed build a course with MemberVault but Thinkific takes it up a notch with a suite of its advanced features.
I mean, you can add assignments to your courses, Prerequisite lessons, randomized quiz banks, and member-only web pages on your site.
- Thinkific Academy Pro Courses
To know how to do something effectively and efficiently you have to learn how to do it from somewhere or someone.
This is why Thinkific introduced the Thinkific Academy to train course creators and entrepreneurs to take their ventures from zero to hero.
When you subscribe to the Thinkific’s Pro plan, you instantly gain access to the Thinkific Academy and all its advanced courses from elite trainers. There’s no reason to guess around your way to success, Thinkific has got you covered.
- The Growth Add-on
Is the Pro plan not enough for you? Are you looking for extra features to give you ultra freedom in your business? Enters the Pro plan Growth add-on.
It is a complementary plan to the professional plan that comes at an extra $50 per month but with all the features you could possibly need in your course creation business.
On top of features from the Pro plan and other lower plans, the Growth add-on also gives you access to these features.
- The freedom to remove Thinkific branding
It is your business and you have all the reasons in the world to want your venture to carry and promote your image or branding.
Here we are talking about having your own logo on the site, brand colors on the site, and course player, and removing the Thinkific trademark from your site and elsewhere.
While this feature obviously comes at a higher price compared to MemberVault, it is still a necessary thing to consider if you want to have a professional-looking business.
- Create groups right on your website
Human beings are social beings and we really love interacting, especially with people who we share common interests with.
So, you can create groups similar to those on Facebook or elsewhere right on your website. It is a great way to have your students know each other and ask and answer questions of their peers and further their education.
You can also sell your courses to cohorts or organizations and assign analysts through these groups.
- Public API
Sometimes you might want to customize your school on a deeper level or do something that involves accessing the API of a platform.
Thinkific acknowledges that and when you include the Growth add-on to your regular Pro plan you automatically get access to the Thinkific’s API.
If you are a programmer and gifted with code you can then roll up your sleeve and make all the necessary changes and improvements you desire. If you’re like the rest of us who can’t code then you can just go ahead and hire a programmer to help you out.
- Advanced segmentation
Thinkific allows you to connect with a tool known as Segment which helps you capture user activity within your website.
It utilizes search filters and bookmarks to organize student communications, reporting, and progress tracking.
Do you want to build an app that utilizes near real-time events as they happen on your Thinkific site?
Webhooks allow programmers to connect their apps or other web apps to the Thinkific API and receive events as they happen from your site. For example, when a user purchases a course or product on your site Webhooks sends the data to wherever you want.
- Create communities around your courses
You can create a space outside of your course content to harbor conversations and interactions among your students and even you.
Participants can create posts and others can add comments. Every community has a separate page on your Thinkific site.
This is an opportunity to transform your audience and students into a vibrant community and hopefully a bunch of loyal customers.
- Infusionsoft integration
Infusionsoft is important to have in your course creation business. If you have an Infusionsoft subscription Thinkific lets you connect the tool to your Thinkific school.
You can use Infusionsoft to either add a user to your emailing list once they signup on to your site.
You can also use the app as your external checkout gateway instead of using Thinkific’s checkout flow. Just remember that external purchases with apps like Infusionsoft are not displayed on your Thinkific order page.
You can also use this app to redirect traffic to your site.
And finally and most importantly, you can use infusion soft to import students from another platform to your Thinkific school. After the import, you can set up the express sign-in for your students so that they should be able to create their passwords on the first sign-in.
- Zapier Actions
Zappier is a very important tool that lets you connect over 1500 apps with each other. Zappier helps in automating tedious tasks that would otherwise take up too much of your time.
But, Zappier is a third-party application and requires a sign-in and subscription separate from Thinkific.
If the app you looking to integrate with is not available on the Thinkific app store, Zappier is your go-to solution.
- Brillium exams integration
When you decide to subscribe to the Pro plan Growth add-on, you instantly get the chance to create advanced examinations for higher-level testing.
The Brillium app allows you to create advanced surveys and exams with time constraints. Then you can automatically send the results via email. You also get in-depth data on the students’ performance.
- ActiveCampaign integration
If you have the ActiveCampaign subscription the Growth package allows you to integrate this email marketing and CRM tool with your school and manage your contacts for sales and marketing purposes.
- Import students
When you decide to add the Growth package to your Pro plan you can import your old students from another platform or database into your new Thinkific school using XLSX or CSV files.
Switching from another platform should be complicated and frustrating. Thinkific has all the tools you need for a smooth transition.
- Bulk enroll students
Reduce the workload by enrolling or removing students from your school all at once. You can enroll hundreds of students into your course at once and effortlessly with Thinkific tools.
If you have the list of the students in a suitable file format bulk enrollment is possible.
- Bulk emails
Writing one-to-one emails to students to make announcements or make promotions is unfeasible and unsustainable.
The Growth add-on lets you send emails to all of your students at once. This saves you a lot of time and energy and genuinely makes your life better.
This is the final and ultimate pricing plan from Thinkific. It is designed for big organizations and schools with a very large student base.
Compared to MemberVault, the cost of this plan is too much. It will cost you $499 per month and $399 if you choose to be billed annually.
The features are designed for big organizations and very high-volume creators. Otherwise, I doubt that you’ll ever need to pay hundreds of dollars as is the case with this plan. Let’s look at some of these advanced features.
- 5 Site Admin accounts
The assumption is that if you’re paying hundreds of dollars to host a course then you have a lot of customers or you are really a big organization carrying out employee training.
That means there are a lot of administrative duties that can not probably be effectively handled by one person. This is why I suppose Thinkific allows you to open up to 5 admin accounts.
- Onboarding package
A subscription to the Premier plan comes with VIP treatment.
Once you pay for the premier plan, a member of the Thinkific sales team will give you a 30-minute call to walk you through the Thinkific platform. You’ll be at liberty to ask him any questions and he’ll answer them.
You will also get another 30 minutes during which someone will review your launch preparedness.
- 15 Group Analysts
Remember those groups you can create when you add the Growth package to your Pro plan?
The Premier plan gives you the supper power to create 15 analysts from each group and have them report directly to you all the group proceedings.
- White Labeling
The Premier plan buys you the rights to remove the Thinkific branding from email, website, and course player.
Check Thinkific Pricing Plans and Discounts
A quick final take, Thinkific is the absolute best platform to create a full-fledged online school or courses. It has more advanced features that will enable you to create an advanced school with a superb learner experience.
Thinkific has a free plan which MemberVault doesn’t. The other three paid plans come with varying price tags and features to give creators the chance to pay according to their pockets and needs.
On the other hand, MemberVault with its unlimited everything policy has proven a formidable opponent to Thinkific. The one plan that comes with all features strategy is revolutionary and amazing on different levels.
Also, MemberVault has a straightforward design and does not require any expert knowledge to set everything up and start running.
For that reason, I highly recommend anyone or any company that is looking for an advanced learning platform or simply a free plan to check out Thinkific.
For those independent creators looking for straightforward pricing with unlimited everything and no annoying add-ons or upgrading to access more features, MemberVault is the right platform for you.
Hopefully, this article has been of help in your decision-making process.
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