In this post we’ll dive into some of the best online teaching platforms for coaches and highlight their most important features so you can make a well informed choice about which platform to use. So, if you want to know which learning management system (LMS) is best for you as a coach, find your answers here!
Teaching online courses is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to utilize your skills in making an income. Whether you train people in graphic design, health improvement, business skills, motivational talks, or anything in between, many enthousiast and professionals are looking forward to you sharing a bit from your well of experience.
But here’s the thing… If you’re starting to build your coaching practice online, you are probably wondering which LMS software are best to engage with your students. There are so many online course platforms on the internet today… and sifting through each of them can keep you busy for days. So we’ve decided to do the work for you and make an overview for you.
So let us discuss these online teaching platforms, highlighting their respective pros and cons. After going through this guide, you will know the characteristics such as the benefits, drawbacks, and pricing structure of these platforms.
We will cover the following online learning platforms:
- New Zenler
- WishlistMember + WordPress
Thinkific is an all-in-one learning management system for online trainers and students. It includes an email marketing tool, and membership site integration for your courses, and with round-the-clock customer care service support. It is one of the largest online course platforms out there, so there’s little wonder why we decided to include it here.
Talking about user-friendliness, Thinkific snuffs out the guesswork typical of first-time course creators. When putting together your first online course, you are likely undecided about how many lessons to include, where you should add assignments, and what file types you should include in the course. However, Thinkific’s easy-to-use templates drain those guesses down the drain. You can pick from any of the already prepared templates. These templates include membership bundle, mini-course, webinar replay, and flagship courses. These templates do not only contain explanatory videos but are filled with helpful surveys and sample quizzes you can make use of.
Using site builder, an integral part of the admin panel, you can create as many custom pages as you want, a home page inclusive. However, as customizable as this platform is thought to be, you cannot include your style sheets. Still, you have control over elements like font and color.
Are you concerned about the security of your course content? Thinkific gives you minimal reasons to be. You are, in fact, in full control of your courses when using this platform. You can disable copy and pasting notes from your course to limit students ripping off pieces of your note to use somewhere else. Also, you can easily disable downloading in PDF format with a toggle click since it is allowed by default.
With Thinkific, online teaching is just as affordable as it gets. There are no transaction fees, and it is free for three courses. The best bargain? With a basic plan of $49/month, you get coupons and promotions, email, and marketing integrations with Zapier and other plug-ins. You can also automatically include your students as a part of your marketing campaign.
With Thinkific, you can easily market and sell your online courses. Marketing is an integral part of the platform. Through this online learning platform, you can make one-time sales or sell recurring products. There are check-out processes, ability to create upsell for each course, and affiliate marketing capabilities, among others to make it easy for you to sell your products. It must however be said others like Teachable edges it when it comes to marketing
- Great value for money
- Easy to use
- Has great security features
- The layout isn’t as modern as those of its direct competitors
Teachable, a platform that helps you create online courses to teach your students, is spiced with a lot of features. The e-learning platform, like most others on this list, affords you the opportunity of customizing your course page looks.
From building a website to creating a sales page, there is no limit to what you can do on this platform—feeling a bit techie? You can toy with the back-end codes to make your pages more attractive and responsive. If you’re not great at scribbling lines of code, there are available templates you can easily edit to taste. It is recommended for creatives, entrepreneurs, and bloggers who are looking to create and sell their courses online to their delectable followers.
Its integrated marketing tool allows you to message students who enroll in your course. Through the versatile tool, you can also send bulk messages to them when they complete a course or redeem a coupon. With Google forms and surveys integration, you can collect feedback from your students. Is a student not pleased with your method of teaching? You get the feedback you can prove upon. Perhaps, most importantly, this marketing tool allows you to add students to your email list even after you draw the curtains on your course. Money is in the list, isn’t it? It is generally a better option than Thinkific in terms of marketing. It comes with EU VAT handling capabilities, offers more payment options, direct integration with two email marketing solutions, features missing with Thinkific.
Drag and drop is a feature existent on many platforms. However, it isn’t as smooth on many others as it is on Teachable. The fact that you do not need to have any idea of coding to organize your courses, pricing package drop text, upload images and pdfs to the cloud makes this platform appealing to a lot of folks. Is that enticing to you as well?
Teachable is very easy to use even for a first-time user. You can easily customize your sales pages, bundle courses together to sell in a single transaction, among other things. You can edit the theme of your landing page using any of the available theme templates or add custom texts without any prior knowledge of coding.
You get a free trial for the first month. However, when it comes to paid courses, you have to pay a small fee of $1 and a 10% transaction fee.
Otherwise, its plans cost between $25 and $300. The plans are divided into basic, professional, and business plans. In the basic plan, you get two admin users and integration with third-party marketing apps. With the business plan, you get all the benefits of the basic plan and even more. Take, for example, you have access to 100 admin users on the business plan compared to the basic’s meager two.
- You can easily bundle courses and products together on Teachable
- It can automatically pay your affiliates
- Great customizability
- The online class platform is very responsive
- Your content remains yours
- It takes a lot of time to setup. This is especially true if you intend taking several courses or uploading a large volume of course materials
- No support for importing courses
- It is not recommended for selling memberships.
- Has cache issues
Many argue that it is a better teaching platform than others like Udemy, and they might not be so afar off the truth. Unlike the latter, instructors have complete control over branding and the pricing of courses. It is the best platform for course creation.
Let’s touchdown on this teaching platform that has attracted a lot of raves from admirers and critics alike – Kajabi. This online teaching platform is probably the best high-end learning management platform on the internet. Designed especially for professionals who want to take more in-depth courses, it costs quite a lot! With a basic plan costing in excess of $100, it is pricier than all others like Teachable or Thinkific. Yet, it attracts a lot of users. Why is that? Check this out.
Email marketing with personalization
The native email marketing on Kajabi is one of the best out there, arguably better than that of Teachable. You do not need to sign up on any third-party platform to create or manage your email marketing campaign. If that isn’t interesting enough, what else is? If you already have a prepared email list, it might interest you to know that you can seamlessly integrate it with other solutions like MailChip or Active Campaign. Using this tool, you can send out email broadcasts to all your students or make more personalized mails to students who need help in understanding your course.
Kajabi comes with site themes, and an impressive page builder. Using its preset themes known as layout presets, users can give their sales pages, a clean and modern design. You can further edit these pages using the in-built page builder. The page builder looks very much like that available in Teachable. You can edit your pages to taste using the drag-and-drop editor available in its page builder.
It is very easy to customize and embed forms on your pages. You can also easily organize marketing campaigns to turn your convert your leads into sales. With the online learning software, you can easily organize and structure content better.
When it comes to secure hosting, data ownership, and data exports, Kajabi is streets ahead of Thinkific and slightly edges Teachable.
Thinkific has a secure cloud hosting, includes daily back-ups and SSL certificates that keep your site up and running 24/7. However, Kajabi gives you a lot more. Asides security hosting, you get access to data ownership, full scalability, instant upgrades and data exports, among others. This saves you extra cost of outsourcing your security to a separate security team. Teachable offers these same services but is only few points adrift of Kajabi in terms of reputation.I
Unlike Thinkific, Teachable and several online teaching platforms, Kajabi isn’t cheap. In fact, even its basic plan surpasses the $100 mark. At first glance, this might seem rather too expensive. However, it’s just about the right price for their target audience.
Their plans consisting of basic, pro, and premium options ranges from about $100 to something in the neighbourhood of $720 a month. Its basic plan supports only five products, one admin user, 25 pipelines and 1,000 active members. The Premium plan, on the other hand, fetches you a whole lot more. Here, you get unlimited active members, 25 admin users, a gargantuan 150,000 marketing emails a month and the option of removing the Kajabi branding.
- Has a high customer satisfaction rating
- Very efficient for marketing purposes
- Good integration with several payment platforms including PayPal and Stripe
- Unlimited video hosting using Wistia
- Clean user interface
- It is pricier than most other online platforms
- You cannot create certificates
- Limited assessment customization.
- No free plan.
It is the best bet for you if you are mostly busy and need help marketing your courses while you are away. With Kajabi, you can place your course on autopilot marketing. It is the recommended teaching platform for coaches, authors, speakers and solopreneurs who want are more interested in marketing their courses online.
This innovative program, like all others on this list, gives you a great deal of control over all aspects of your course. In essence, you are in control of lead management, custom pricing for each course, and integration with email marketing tools. There’s no gainsaying that the greatest asset of an online course creator is his/her course buyers. Zenler is well aware of this and gives you full control over the details of your course buyers. It is based on sales and marketing that the vision for New Zenler came about. NewZenler, as distinct from Zenler, focuses on helping course creators gain a steady increase in their audience. The following are some of the features and perks of New Zenler.
Landing pages are key to recording large sales for digital products. Most online course platforms are more concerned with hosting and managing courses. However, with this innovative platform, you get an easy-to-use page builder that produces results. With this feature, you can create attractive and responsive landing pages. You can also fit in a countdown timer into your landing pages.
Finally, you can create and publish multiple landing pages for different target audiences or run different landing pages for split testing.
Not many platforms provide you with a marketing funnel like Product Launch Formula. Even those that do, do so through third-party marketing tools like Clickfunnels. To make the best of these third-party apps, you need to subscribe to their plans, which attracts extra costs. With NewZenler, you do not need to worry too much about incurring additional costs. The platform is obsessed with providing all you need in one place. Using the platform’s marketing funnel tools, you can create two types of funnels, namely a lead magnet or a video series. With lead magnet, you are attracting leads by giving away a lead magnet, which can include a free course, pdf, and everything in between. For video series funnels, you exchange videos for emails.
It is very easy to use, manage and organize. Indeed, there are no complicated rules or instructions to follow when using it. It is especially simple for anyone conversant with using PowerPoint or Keynote. You can easily customize your landing page and create coupons for different courses.
First things first, you have to request an invite before you are allowed to use this tool. But once you get in, you are spoilt for choice with options you didn’t even think possible. The basic plan costs about $300-$350 a year while you would have to splurge an additional $500 thereabout to get into the premium plan.
- All-in-one online course platform
- Built-in integration with Zoom for live classes
- Fast customer support
- Currently in Beta, and you need an invite to join. Get your invite and join New Zenler here.
- Too many functions that sometimes make it difficult to use
This innovative program, based on tutoring through screen recording and interactive design modules, is one of the best options available to small and medium-sized enterprises. Embedded in it are all the features you need for course creation and marketing of your products.
Wishlist Member + WordPress
WordPress is known for its versatility and ease of use. One of its several plug-ins called Wishlist Members rubs shoulders with some of the best online teaching platforms. What WishList Member does is protect specific pages of a website such that only those who subscribed to the course you house can access it. You can protect any page, which means that you have full control over the layout of the pages within your course.
It is extra easy to use if you’re already familiar with WordPress. If you’re already on WordPress, you’ll have no problem using Wishlist Member.
You do not need to redirect course buyers to your platform using organized sales funnel or some form of complicated marketing strategy. You can maintain all of your product-promoting contents and courses on one website. This plug-in has seamless integration with most payment platforms, including PayPal and Stripe. Wishlist Member offers the possibility to make one-time or recurring payments within minutes.
Design and customization
There is a great deal of flexibility in design with Wishlist Member. You can create stand-out pages with brilliant functionality.
Its security system might not be as effective as Teachable or Kajabi but it is pretty decent. You can protect your contents in one click. All you need do is set the membership levels that should have access.
For a single payment of about $250-$300, you get a license for a plug-in on unlimited domains. You also have to pay an additional $77/year for upgrades and customer support.
Wishlist Member Pros
- Seamless integration with many payment platforms
- Easy to use
- Flexible in design
- Perfect for managing content and website in one space.
Wishlist Member Cons
- Limited design functionality
Wishlist Member plug-in has affordability as one of its most excellent perks. Otherwise, it cannot match the powers of Thinkific, Teachable, Kajabi, or NewZenler. Still, it is an effective solution for anyone who hosts his/her platform on WordPress or who is familiar with the WordPress platform.
It is important you know that this LMS is more than a course creation tool. It is a complete marketing tool, armed with all the features that can help you successfully convert your leads into sales.
Adding and editing elements on your funnel just got easier with Kartra. Indeed, you can have your marketing funnels up and running in no time at all.
Even without any prior coding or web experience, you can create not only attractive landing pages but some very responsive ones. There is simply no limit to the amount of customization it allows you. Also, since all your pages are in one place, you can easily link them together.
Although the site has a round-the-clock support service available to help each time you have issues, it is not totally easy to understand. It doesn’t match Thinkific or Teachable when it comes to user friendliness.
Its pricing consists of five major plans, namely starter, silver, gold, platinum, and diamond plans. The first two were designed with small businesses in mind while the fifth one (diamond plan) was specially designed for large scale ventures. Kartra offers pricing all the way up from about $99 to $700. For the starter plan, you can connect only one custom domain, additional team member, and help desk. In contrast, the platinum plan affords you a connection to 10 custom domains with all other things unlimited.
- Email automation
- Tracking abilities to help you better understand buyer’s journey
- Impressive customizability
- The platform isn’t so easy to understand
Kartra is a useful platform for creating courses, delivering them, and monitoring the progress of your students. However, they aren’t as effective and organized for this purpose compared to others like Kajabi. Where they excel the most is in marketing. The platform gives you full control over the entire buying journey with its superb tracking capabilities. Here, it gives Kajabi a good run for their money.
Online teaching platform widens your horizon and reach as an online tutor. Asides helping you reach many students at once through your course outline, it also provides a responsive interface for building your website or marketing courses/resources/book materials. Do you agree with our verdicts on each of these platforms, or have counter arguments? Feel free to send in your comments via the comment section below