Thinkific vs Kartra; Which tool is best for your lifestyle business?

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Thinkific vs Kartra are two popular platforms to help build your online business.

However, while Thinkific is focused on selling online courses only, Kartra will allow you to run an entire e-commerce business and sell both physical and digital products.

As a solopreneur, if you are trying to venture into edupreneurship, which platform should you choose?

This decision will entirely depend on your business goals. If advanced marketing is what you need, Kartra is a perfect choice. If you want to build and sell online courses through a platform with more advanced course creation features, Thinkific will be a better choice.

In this Thinkific vs Kartra review, let’s learn the core differences between the two platforms.

Kartra vs Thinkific: Comparison Summary

Best for Simple Online Course Creation & Delivery
  • Best for: Educators focusing on course creation and delivery
  • Supported products: Online courses
  • Page builder & editor: Simple, intuitive, and beginner-friendly
  • Helpdesk: Does not offer any helpdesk solution
  • Marketing tools: Basic email marketing, upselling, and retargeting pixel support
  • Video features: In-video marketing features are absent
  • Video hosting: Offers unlimited video hosting through Wistia
  • Course features: Advanced quizzes and assignments
  • Drip content: Offers drip features
  • Course completion certificate: Offers Accredible integration for course completion certificates
  • Free Trial: Try free for 14 days
  • Pricing: Offers a forever free plan along with paid plans starting at $49 month
Best for Advanced Marketing & Sales Funnels
  • Best for: Those who need advanced marketing and sales funnels
  • Supported products: Digital products (including online courses) and physical products
  • Page builder & editor: A little less intuitive but powerful
  • Helpdesk: There is a separate helpdesk solution
  • Marketing tools: Offers behavioural adaptive marketing, advanced DFY sales funnels, and advanced email marketing with sequence builder
  • Video features: Offers advanced interactive in-video features such as CTAs, in-video tags, recommended videos, etc.
  • Video hosting: Has its own video hosting and allows unlimited videos
  • Course features: No such in-course features available
  • Drip content: Also offers drip features
  • Course completion certificate: Does not offer course certificates
  • Free Trial: Try for 14 days for $1
  • Pricing: No free plan. Paid plans start at $99 a month

Pros of Thinkific

  • Thinkific has a free plan with limited capabilities, which is perfect for online entrepreneurs who don’t need full unlimited features.
  • Offers advanced course-building tools such as quizzes, assessments, and drip content.
  • Provides native Accredible integration to issue completion certificates.
  • Offers detailed analytics and reporting features.
  • Provides an app store to install third-party software.
  • Offers powerful membership features for selling courses online.

Pros of Kartra

  • It is an all-in-one platform with a complete e-commerce solution to sell digital products and physical products.
  • Offers advanced marketing features complete with Behavioural Adaptive Marketing, sales funnels builders, A/B split testing, email sequence builder, etc. that help with digital marketing.
  • There are in-video marketing tools like CTA, recommended videos, video tags, etc.
  • Offers a complete helpdesk solution.
  • The platform offers highly advanced analytics and reporting features that are missing in Thinkific.
  • Offers powerful lead collection features.

Thinkific vs Kartra: Detailed Comparison

Thinkific vs Kartra comparison breakdown by features:

  • Ease of use and course creation
  • Page builder
  • Student engagement features
  • Marketing features and analytics
  • Pricing

Kartra vs Thinkific: Ease of Use and Course Creation

An online course platform should be easy to use without compromising on the features offered.



Thinkific has a simple and intuitive interface. There is a left navigation menu from where you can access all features. The menu options are logically arranged and nested, making navigation easy.

The platform offers a smooth drag-and-drop builder that you can use to build membership sites, online courses, sales pages, checkout pages, and landing pages.

Thinkific does not offer advanced marketing features, and hence, the learning curve is simpler than Kartra.


Thinkific makes online course creation very simple. There are pre-made templates, but you can start from scratch. Adding lessons and modules is as easy as dragging and dropping the features you need.


You can also upload a variety of content types including videos. Thinkific doesn’t offer native video hosting. All videos are hosted with Wistia. But Thinkific will give you a nice video library somewhat similar to Kartra where you can manage your videos.

Thinkific is a learning management system and hence, you will get advanced features like quizzes, assessments, and surveys for every lesson along with drip content, content locking, etc., that will help you to run a successful online course business with ease.



Kartra offers a simple design with a left navigation pane. All features are available from the neatly arranged menu on the left.

Whether you want to build a course or a membership site, or whether you want to build complex funnels and email sequences, the logically nested left menu will give you access to everything you need.

To build membership sites and courses, there is a drag-and-drop builder that doesn’t require any coding knowledge.

Since Karta has various advanced marketing features, you will need some time to master them.

The course builder is relatively simple but not a very intuitive one. However, there are various course templates and 15 elements that will get the job done.

The online courses you create with Kartra are all mobile optimized.


You can also build complete membership sites with advanced membership levels that can help you lock content. The content drip feature is also available.


Kartra also has video hosting available with centralized management. You can use those videos in your online course.

However, you do have the option of embedding videos from other platforms like Wistia, YouTube, and Vimeo.

Since Kartra is not a dedicated learning management system, you will not get all the features that dedicated course platforms offers. For instance, you cannot add quizzes, assessments, and surveys for each lesson.

Winner: Thinkific because it has a relatively simpler interface with advanced course-building modules.

Kartra vs Thinkific: Page Builder

Membership sites are essential for course creators. To sell online courses, capture leads, and even segment users, you must build a robust membership site. Both Kartra and Thinkific eliminate coding with their drag-and-drop page builder but which one is better?



Thinkific’s page builder is simple, intuitive, and extremely easy to use. However, you can get premade website theme (only three). Each of these themes comes with multiple preset designs. Plus, you can also edit the themes if you have the necessary coding skills.


You can use Thinkific’s drag-and-drop builder to build course pages, landing pages, sales pages, pricing pages, checkout pages, etc.

However, there are no separate templates for different elements on a page. It simply means that the design customization options are limited.

Furthermore, you cannot create multiple versions of the same page for A/B split testing. This means that if you don’t get good results, you must start designing from scratch and test the new design.



Karta offers a powerful page builder that you can use to build entire membership sites and own online courses.

Unlike most other competitors, there are no website themes. You will start with the page builder and then use page templates.

There are over 200 templates to work with and different elements on those page templates have multiple templates.

You can experiment with different designs for each element by dragging and dropping a different template for each.


What is interesting is that Kartra will offer A/B split testing for pages. You can build multiple versions of a landing page or a sales page and split the traffic between them to find which design works best.

Since Kartra does not have blogging support, you cannot use the page builder to build a blog. You will need a different blogging platform like WordPress or Ghost to run a blog.

Winner: Kartra because it has more templates and design flexibility along with A/B split testing feature.

Kartra vs Thinkific: Student Engagement Features

Creating online courses is not enough. There should be ways to engage your students and give them a good learning experience. Who does a better job here?



Thinkific offers powerful student engagement features that improve the learning experience. For instance, to assess a student’s understanding of a lesson, you can add quizzes, assessments, and surveys after each lesson.

You can even make a quiz a pre-requisite for the next lesson. Thus, unless a student completes the quiz, he or she cannot progress to the next lesson of the online course.

You can reward your students with an online course completion certificate. Thinkific makes this feature available through native Accredible integration.



Kartra also has quizzes and surveys, but you cannot integrate them with every lesson of an online course.

You can create separate quizzes and provide quiz completion certificates. Remember, it is not a course completion certificate. Kartra lacks that feature.

There are surveys that you can use to capture leads.

What is interesting is that there are many templates for quizzes and surveys that you can use.

If you don’t want to use the templates, you can build your surveys and quizzes from scratch.

Winner: Thinkific because it will allow you to engage students after every lesson.

Kartra vs Thinkific: Marketing Features & Analytics

Your entire online business will be a flop if you cannot market and sell courses effectively. But do Karta and Thinkific have all the tools you will need for effective marketing?



Thinkific’s marketing features are basic. The platform will allow you to sell memberships and subscriptions, run promos, and offer free trials through your membership site.


You will also get a customizable sales widget that you can install on other blogs and sites.

Email marketing capabilities are minimal and you can send only broadcast emails using the platform. You can integrate third-party software through the app store to improve email marketing.

Product bundling, upselling, javascript tracking, and pixel retargeting are other marketing features you get.


Thinkific’s analytics are quite robust and you can measure & track various metrics like student engagement, enrolment, revenue, etc. There are filters available to find exactly what you need.



Kartra is an all-in-one solution for your marketing needs. It offers a suite of advanced marketing tools that Thinkific lacks.

The platform has a powerful sales funnel builder along with 26 “Done For You” funnels that you can use with a single click.

Its native email marketing is very powerful that will allow you to build complete email workflows using a visual sequence builder. You can add automation with ‘IF and THEN’ rules.

You can also perform A/B split testing and use Behavioral Adaptive Marketing, offer product bundles, downsell and upsell, etc. based on user behavior.

There is a ‘campaign marketplace’ where you can buy sales funnels from other Kartra users, or you can sell the ones that you create.


Kartra’s analytics is powerful, too. You can find data on your email marketing campaigns, video views, visitor count, lead history, split testing results, tracked links, and goal conversion rate/time.

Winner: Kartra because both its marketing tools and analytics are more powerful.

Kartra vs Thinkfic: Pricing

Thinkific Pricing


Thinkific offers a free plan with limited courses and unlimited students, making it an attractive choice.

To get unlimited courses, you will need the Basic plan or above, all of which are paid plans and support adding a custom domain. There are no transaction fees for any plan including the Thinkific free plan.

The different pricing tiers of Thinkific include:

Free Plan: $0 (forever free)

  • 3 courses, unlimited students, quizzes, and surveys
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Full e-commerce functionalities
  • Website templates
  • Email and phone support

Basic Plan: $49 a month

  • Unlimited courses and students
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Full e-commerce functionalities
  • Website templates
  • Email and phone support
  • Drip content
  • Live chat support
  • Thinkific Academy basic courses

Pro Plan: $99 a month

  • Unlimited courses and students
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Full e-commerce functionalities
  • Website templates
  • Email and phone support
  • Private & hidden courses
  • Completion certificates
  • Drip content
  • Live chat support
  • Thinkific Academy pro courses

Premier Plan: $499 a month

  • Unlimited courses and students
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Full e-commerce functionalities
  • Website templates
  • Email and phone support
  • Private & hidden courses
  • Completion certificates
  • Drip content
  • Live chat support
  • Thinkific Academy pro courses
  • White labeling
  • Brillium integration
  • API access

Kartra Pricing


Kartra offers four pricing plans, all of which support custom domains. From the Silver plan onwards, Kartra offers unlimited features such as unlimited landing pages and membership sites, unlimited products, videos & bandwidth, unlimited emails, and unlimited team members & helpdesks.

Also, the Silver plan and above will give you agency features.

Starter Plan: $99 a month

  • 2,500 leads
  • 1 custom domain
  • 15,000 emails per month
  • 50 videos & 50GB bandwidth
  • Two membership sites, 100 pages, 20 products, 1 helpdesk

Silver Plan: $199 a month

  • 12,500 leads
  • 3 custom domains
  • Everything else unlimited

Gold Plan: $299 a month

  • 25,000 leads
  • 3 custom domains
  • Everything else unlimited

Platinum Plan: $499 a month

  • 50,000 leads
  • 10 custom domains
  • Everything else unlimited

Winner: Thinkific because it offers a forever free plan.

Do Kartra and Thinkific offer affiliate programs?

Yes, both Thinkific and Kartra offer affiliate programs that you can integrate with your online school and ask your students to promote the courses.

Both platforms offer advanced affiliate management features with detailed analytics and easy commission payouts.

The affiliate management center on both platforms will allow you to set affiliate commissions and manage your affiliates.

Is WordPress better than Kartra?

No! Kartra is designed to help you run your online business with all the features you need for e-commerce, marketing, and selling. The platform offers lead collection, video hosting, membership site creation, and helpdesk features.

WordPress, on the other hand, is a blogging platform. You can use it to run your online business but you will not get all the tools natively. You will need separate plugins and integrations to build an e-commerce site or a membership site.

What does the calendar app in Kartra do?

Kartra offers a calendar tool that becomes handy if you are offering consultation or business coaching services. With this feature, you can let your clients or students schedule their appointments and sessions.

You only need to approve the appointments. The tool integrates with Kartra’s checkout system.

Kartra vs Thinkific: Summary

So, which platform is suitable for solopreneurs and digital nomads? That depends on your needs.

If you need a platform to sell just your online courses with basic marketing and decent analytics, Thinkific is a steal! Not only do you get a free plan, but you can also upgrade to the Thinkific Basic plan or a higher plan at a very affordable price.

However, if you need a platform that offers advanced marketing tools that you can use to promote your membership site and sell courses, services, or even physical goods, Kartra is the obvious choice.

Despite providing insanely powerful marketing and email tools, Kartra’s plans are reasonably priced, making the platform suitable for course creators.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊

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