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I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!
Important Affiliate Disclaimer: I’m a ThriveCart affiliate, which means if you purchase or sign up through my link, I’ll receive a commission on the sale – at no extra cost to you! This post reflects my honest opinion based on my experience as a small business owner and online course designer & strategist.
I’m always on the lookout for new online course platforms, learning what they have to offer, and figuring out which clients I think they would be best for. In the last year, I’ve had more and more clients moving over to ThriveCart Learn because they have great features at an unbeatable price. Have you heard the buzz around ThriveCart Learn and wondered if it’s suitable for building your course? Read on for my full review of ThriveCart Learn!
As an instructional designer and online course strategist, it’s part of my job to evaluate which online course platforms would be the best for all different kinds of clients and the audiences they serve. So, I have *a little bit* of experience helping people figure out the answer to this question.
And I have to say, the more I’ve gotten to know ThriveCart Learn, the more I find myself recommending it to clients. I’ve even started making some templates for DIY course creators! Overall, it’s such an excellent value for most people. Of course, I ALWAYS tell people that there is no ONE “right” online course platform (and if there ever is, you better believe I would shout it from the rooftops!) The best choice for you all comes down to your unique business, goals, and needs. ThriveCart Learn really does have some great features for a great price. So, is it right for you? I’m here to help and give you allll the details on ThriveCart Learn’s features and benefits. Let’s start from the top!
Basically, ThriveCart is an online shopping cart and checkout platform, and they’ve done a fantastic job at offering that service. You can use it to build an online storefront, set up sales funnels, and accept payments. ThriveCart goes above and beyond the shopping cart programs that are usually built into websites, making it possible to completely customize payment options, checkout experiences, and online storefronts that you can either embed into an existing site or host exclusively on ThriveCart.Of course, all of that is wonderful, but what does it have to do with online courses?
In 2021, ThriveCart launched a Learning Management System called ThriveCart Learn. Everyone who pays for a ThriveCart account automatically gets access to a ThriveCart Learn account!
ThriveCart Learn is a course building platform built into the existing ThriveCart service. You can use it to make, host, and sell online courses. In other words, it has all the essential elements you need to create an online course! The remarkable thing about ThriveCart Learn is that it’s a comprehensive course-building platform that costs a lifetime flat membership fee. In other words, you pay once and can use ThriveCart and ThriveCart Learn…forever. Considering most of the other online course platforms charge users a recurring payment each month (and get even more expensive the more students you add), that could mean massive savings for your business!
If you’ve already paid for ThriveCart, then building a course on ThriveCart Learn+ isn’t going to cost you any additional money, which makes it an incredible deal.
If you’re new to ThriveCart, you’ll pay a one-time fee of $495. Compared to recurring monthly plans with another online course platform, that could save you a LOT of money. How much money? It depends on which platform you’re using now, but some of my clients have saved thousands of dollars.
Most people will be good to go with the basic plan! Once you’ve launched multiple courses, added team members, or enrolled larger numbers of students, you might want some of the additional features that come with ThriveCart Learn+, which cost an additional $195. Either way, this is a cost-effective option since you only pay for it one time! Most other platforms charge by the month…and the cost increases with the more students you have.
Overall, it’s pretty great! ThriveCart Learn has all the features most people will need to create a course, it’s easy to use, and the price point is super cost-effective. It’s an outstanding value, especially for beginners and course creators with a medium-sized client base. You can create and put up courses without paying out a recurring cost every month.
If you’re more experienced and already know you want to be able to create bundles, import existing students, and use more advanced features, then you might want to start with ThriveCart Learn+ out of the gate.
Even though ThriveCart Learn is an amazing deal that could save you a lot of money in the long run, it’s only worth signing up if it’s the best service for your needs. To help you decide, let’s talk more about the main features of ThriveCart Learn.
Before I dive in, it’s helpful to know that there are two versions of ThriveCart Learn available. The first is the basic service available to anyone who subscribes to ThriveCart. The second is an expanded version with a few extra bells and whistles, called ThriveCart Learn+. To get it, you’ll have to pay an additional one-time fee on top of the ThriveCart membership price. I’ve noted which features come with each version below. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be able to create unlimited courses, modules, and lessons and sign on an unlimited number of students.
So, let’s get going! If you’ve been thinking of starting an online course and want a solid online course platform value with all the basic features you’ll need, keep reading! If you’re just curious about ThriveCart Learn and wondering if it’s the best service for you, also keep reading 😉 Below, you’ll find all the nitty-gritty details on the features, pricing, and pros & cons of ThriveCart Learn.
If you’ve read any of my other software reviews, you already know that I love a good drag-and-drop builder. Building an online course is hard work, and the last thing you want to do when you’re in the middle of the creation process is to spend a ton of time fiddling with code or figuring out a complicated system just to upload course videos and materials.
Drag-and-drop builders are user-friendly and easy to work with, so you can focus on creating course content plans, filming, and uploading!
Once you get into building a course with ThriveCart Learn, you’ll find that you can add plenty of videos, text, images, and downloadable files. So far, you can’t add quizzes to gamify learning, but I’ve read that feature is coming soon!
You can also arrange this content however you’d like, with whatever text, headings, and content dividers strike your fancy.
While you can’t fully customize every color or layout detail of your ThriveCart Learn course, there’s still quite a bit that you can adjust. You can choose colors and fonts that coordinate with your brand and upload your logo onto the login and membership pages.
With ThriveCart learn, there are three basic layouts for your course content: sidebar, top menu, or grid. You can choose whichever one you prefer!
The sidebar displays the course content menu on the left, with active content visible in the right-middle. The top menu layout is similar to the sidebar, except the menu is located at the top, and active content is at the bottom. If you choose the grid layout, your lessons will display as thumbnails laid out in columns and rows on the page.
It’s totally up to you to decide how students will receive course content! You can deliver everything instantly or choose from a handful of drip feed methods:
You can also mix and match methods throughout the course. For example, if you wanted to, you could deliver some of the content immediately and then the rest after a trial period.
Once students enroll in your course, you can easily filter them by course or date of enrollment, access their information, and download data. You can also control each student’s course access by restricting content, pausing access, or unenrolling them from courses as needed.
I definitely recommend starting out with the basic version of ThriveCart Learn and seeing how it feels as your business grows. When you’re ready e to upgrade to ThriveCart Learn+, you’ll have access to all of the basic ThriveCart Learn features, plus a few extras. Most of the additional features are for established course creators who have larger teams, multiple courses, and more established student bases, so it makes the most sense to add it once you’ve reached that point in your business
While some people don’t mind if their course exists on a subdomain with their online course platform, this is a deal-breaker branding issue for others. If you want to extend your custom branding to a unique domain, that’s only available with ThriveCart Learn+.
If you have additional people working with you (like staff or assistants), it can be beneficial to have the ability to create a dedicated login for each person. With ThriveCart Learn, you can assign specific permissions to each individual and allow access to different parts of the course creation and student management processes.
Tags are a handy way to sort students and manage their access to different content levels. For example, you might offer early release bonuses to students who purchase before launch or additional resources to students who pay for their course in full. In ThriveCart Learn+, that is managed with tags.
Though there’s no dedicated student progress tracker in ThriveCart Learn, many course creators work around this with tags. You can assign tags upon completion of certain course milestones, which can then be used to track student progress.
Bundles are a smart way to upsell students and offer incentives for buying more than one course at a time. You could group several courses into an all-in-one business solution or bundle mini-courses into one master course on a topic. This isn’t a must for first-time creators, but it could be a helpful selling tool as your business grows!
If you upgrade to ThriveCart Learn+, you’ll have more options for drip-feeding content to students based on their payment preferences and how many installments they’ve paid toward their course. Plus, you can set course access to close after a limited period of time rather than giving students unlimited access.
This feature is mainly appealing to creators who are migrating from another online course platform, but if that’s you, being able to import all of your students at one time is a HUGE time-saver!
With ThriveCart Learn+, you can choose to highlight targeted course content as a feature and promote additional courses with cross-selling tools. For instance, other courses you’ve created will automatically show up in students’ dashboards with an option to purchase. This add-on makes upselling an automatic process that’s fairly hands-off for course creators.
These automations are particularly useful if you want to simultaneously use several specific triggers and actions. You’ll gain access to triggers based on qualifiers like purchasing with coupons and affiliate links, selling to returning students, students’ geographic locations, or completing a certain number of lessons. You can also choose the action after the trigger, like unlocking or removing content or tagging students.
If you’ve ever used Kartra or Kajabi, you’ll notice some features they include that ThriveCart Learn doesn’t. I’ve listed the significant points of difference, so you can better understand the potential downsides of making courses with ThriveCart Learn.
That’s a wrap on the ins and outs of all that ThriveCart Learn and Learn+ have to offer. Paying almost $500 at one time can feel like quite a bit of money at once, but compared to paying around $100 – $200+ per month for another online course platform, it only takes a few months for ThriveCart Learn to pay for itself. By comparison, if you went with a service like Kartra or Kajabi, you’d be spending around $100-$200 every single month!
While Kartra and Kajabi are absolutely amazing services that bring so much to the table, not every service provider needs all of the features you get with those services. If you’re looking for something simpler to get you started and grow with your needs, ThriveCart Learn is a solid option, especially if you hate the idea of one more membership fee taking away from your bottom line. You’ll pay one flat fee and get unlimited access to all the features you need to build online courses for years to come.
Not to mention, if you’re already a ThriveCart customer, this service is a no-brainer! It’s already included with the cost of your ThriveCart lifetime membership fee.
Ready to get started with ThriveCart Learn for your business? Use my link to get the lifetime deal pricing on ThriveCart, including ThriveCart Learn! If you’re still on the fence about which online course platform is best for you, take my course creation quiz! In just a few minutes, you can find out the best online course platform for your needs.