Kartra Vs. Thinkific: Which One Should You Choose?

Kartra and Thinkific are both great platforms for online entrepreneurs focusing on monetizing their knowledge and skills. However, with so many similar features and a similar goal, it can be quite difficult to decide which one is better for your business.

Today, we’re going to solve that doubt. All platforms have differences, and Kartra is definitely not the same as Thinkific. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and picking one isn’t about the best option, but the best option for your goals and needs.

About Kartra

Kartra is a comprehensive marketing and hosting platform. It combines different tools into a single package, which will help your business from start to finish: from building to marketing.

Its main goal is to let you save time and money by combining features from different types of platforms into a single suite. Whether you’re want to create an online course, build a business, or market products, Kartra is great for you.

Its features span funnel building, email and marketing automation, video and course hosting, course building, affiliate programs, and even additional features like help desks and scheduling apps.

It was released a couple years ago by Mike Filsaime and Andy Jenkins. Despite it’s relatively young age, it has quickly grown to be one of the main marketing platforms on the internet, and countless marketers and entrepreneurs have used it to great success.

About Thinkific

Thinkific is what’s known as an LMS: learning management system. In other words, it’s a platform where you can create, promote, and sell online courses without being a professional programmer.

Over 30,000 different authors currently use Thinkific to host and sell their courses. They have access to a suite of features like unlimited courses and students, direct hosting for different course formats, customizable pages with templates, integrations, and educational features such as quizzes, certificates, and community forums.

Thinkific sheds some of the marketing power from Kartra to provide an extremely powerful course platform. You can use it to build a brand, create and sell professional-looking content, and even grow your business.

What do you get with Kartra?

Membership sites

Kartra lets you build membership portals for all courses you build and host on the platform. You can use it to determine how you want to deliver the content you’ve created. It works with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor for all pages, so you don’t have to touch a line of code.

Besides, you can also brand your site regardless of which plan you’re using. Other features include including different membership tiers, content access depending on member level, and even downloadable bonuses.

You can implement multiple help desk depending on how many sites you have (more on that later) and even customize your pages depending on your customers’ interests and behavior.

Marketing funnels

You have access to premade campaigns, and they’re categorized depending on which goal you want to achieve. You have campaigns for building lists, books and products release, VSL, daily offers, and more.

Each campaign in this section has been created by marketing experts, so they’re already optimized and look professional. You just need to import one, customize it until it suits your brand and style, and launch it.

There’s even a marketplace available where users can post their own campaigns for others to access, so you have even more options.

Page templates

Besides the premade funnel campaigns, you also have fully-functional and editable templates for every page you might need for your website. Similar to the funnel campaigns, they’re divided into different categories.

You can import templates for your squeeze pages, legal sections, contact and about us pages, checkouts, webinars, upsells, and more. You can even create a simple but fully functional blog with these templates; it’s not as fleshed-out as WordPress, but you have access to fundamental SEO features.

Kartra also comes with its own shopping cart system, so you don’t need an external app for this. You can take payments through different processors like PayPal and even regular credit cards.

Email marketing

Kartra also has a very robust email marketing automation system, and it’s one of its main selling points. It rivals even dedicated mail services like MailChimp, especially since it integrates with Kartra’s behavioural adaptive marketing system.

It’s basically an AI that uses customer profiles and behaviour to tailor how the website is presented to them. Your email marketing works with this feature to give your customers an even more unique experience.

You have tons of triggers to set up with an intuitive workflow interface. These include tags, list subscription, URLs clicked, emails opened, purchases, and viewing pages and videos.

Video hosting

Speaking of videos, you don’t need an external platform to host your videos if you’re using Kartra. Other apps require you to embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and similar platforms. However, Kartra gives you plenty of bandwidth to host your own videos for comfort and speed—as well as the ability to host them externally if you want’ to save bandwidth.

However, the Kartra player is where things really shine. Videos hosted with Kartra come with their own player, and you can play around with it. It supports messages, forms, CTAs and more while playing, so you can capture leads from webinars and free lessons.

Calendar app

Kartra has a nice calendar tool that’s perfect if you’re a coach or consultant; it’s perfect for live events.

The best part about this app is that students have access to a straightforward method to schedule their own sessions and appointments with you. It integrates with Kartra’s checkout system, so they can pay as they schedule.

It has its own reminder system, so there’s no need to manually check when your next appointment or event is coming up.

Help desk

First off, Kartra understands how it might be difficult for newcomers to start using all its features. They have an excellent help desk available, and you can reach out to them via live chat, support tickets, and calls via either phone or Skype.

There’s also a wiki where you can find resources like guides and FAQs in case you want to figure things out by yourself.

The best thing about this help desk is that you can implement all of those features into your courses. The same channels and hub is available for Kartra users, and you can create multiple help desks if you own different products.

Affiliate programs

Finally, the last main feature in Kartra is the ability to create affiliate programs for your own products. You can manage your affiliates from this center as well as set up commissions using percentages and currencies.

You can also enable special discounts for your affiliate links, and each affiliate can embed their own digital bonuses (like eBooks) to promote your product in their own way. When it’s time for payments, Kartra takes care of everything automatically.

Then, there’s the marketplace. Kartra offers a marketplace section, where people can post and sign-up as an affiliate for different products.

What do you get with Thinkific?

Intuitive editor

Thinkific also has its own drag-and-drop editor for online courses, and it’s as good as you can get. Just like with Kartra, you don’t need to know a thing about programming.

It’s an intuitive and smooth builder that lets you customize all your sections and elements as you want. You can also include elements like text, video, audio, downloads, quizzes, surveys forms, and lots more.

Thinkific hosts everything you upload to the platform, and with zero restrictions on how many courses you can create, you have a lot of ground to play with.

Website building

You can build your website with the same intuitive tools, and you can get a free subdomain if you’re starting out. You can also build your website on sites like WordPress and use Thinkific for the educational sections.


These are like Kartra’s premade pages. You can use themes to import layouts and styles for you to customize to match your brand. You can find themes for reviews, curriculum, and more.

You can add, remove, or edit the existing sections, change layouts, text, colors, etc. You can also edit Thinkific’s HTML and CSS code if you know how to do it.

Payment structures

You can set up several payment models and processors for your courses.

Firstly, you can choose whether you want to offer monthly subscriptions or single payments. You can also offer courses for free.

When it comes to processing payments, Thinkific integrates with gateways like PayPal and Strype.

Course marketing

The marketing tools aren’t nearly as sophisticated as Kartra’s, but they’re still here. If you understand their principles, you can build sales funnels by yourself as well as arrange courses so that they catch your customers’ attention.

You can use discount coupons to promote your courses with separate platforms, and there’s a nice affiliate marketing system. In a way, it lets you free yourself from Thinkific’s limitations, as others will take care of marketing your products.


Finally, Thinkific has a robust analytics and tracking system. You can use it to monitor both your course and your students to see how each one is performing.

You get to analyze when your students signed up, when they started it, when they finished, and even how far they’ve progressed.

The reports themselves are easy to understand, so you don’t have to learn how to read complex graphs or anything like that.

How are they different?

Email automation

Kartra offer a sophisticated email automation system that’s also easy to use. You can’t find that feature in Thinkific.

Student management

Thinkific has plenty features to manage you students and keep them engaged. You have quizzes, feedback forms, assessments, and even badges and certificates for your students.


Kartra’s in-built calendar app lets your students schedule their appointments with you. This feature isn’t available in Thinkific.

Free subscription

Finally, Thinkific offers a completely free plan, where you can test all of its features. It lasts forever, whereas Kartra’s closest offer is the 14-day trial for $1.



Kartra has 4 different pricing options: from starter to platinum. They start at $99 and grow up to $499. There’s the aforementioned $1 trial, as well as a 25% discount if you purchase the full year.

A nice feature about Kartra is that you get all features from the most basic plan. You’re only limited in how many membership sites you can create. The silver plan (second-lowest tier) removes this cap, and you only have to upgrade if you want to host more products, emails, leads, and domains, as well as increasing your bandwidth.


Thinkific also has 4 price tiers: from the free plan to $399. All of them offer zero transaction fees—and this includes the free subscription—except for the starting plan, which charges 10% of your profits. You also get discounts for paying annually.

However, you do have limits depending on which plan you’re using, unlike Kartra. Upgrading lets you add more administrators for either courses or your entire site, but you’ll have to upgrade if you want access to the most advanced features.

For instance, you’ll have to upgrade to the $99 plan if you want to offer course certificates, yet this seems to be the best value, and it’s less expensive than Kartra’s silver plan if you’re willing to sacrifice marketing features.

Each plan upgrade offers the same features as the previous tier while adding more. There’s also a custom plan for enterprises that can be negotiated with the developers and a “Growth” package, which is basically the $99 plan with extra features and scaling pricing depending on how many students you have.


If you only want to build and sell online courses, then Thinkific is your best bet. It has way more customization features than Kartra. However, you must remember that you’ll need to integrate more tools, which will drastically increase your costs.

On the other hand, Kartra sacrifices some course-creation features to offer a complete platform with way more variety in features. If you want more than just building courses, then Kartra is easily the way to go.

Click Here Try out The Kartra Trial!

Click Here Try out Thinkific!

I hope you found this comparison useful and if you have any questions, please comment down below. I’ll be more than happy to assist you.

Once again, thanks for reading my Kartra Vs Thinkific and I wish you the best of luck.


Hey, I am Mike and I am a full-time affiliate marketer! Nowadays there’s a lot of people promoting guru courses and overall bad software products. I am absolutely tired of people pushing their overpriced and crappy products and courses out to everyone to take advantage of you. My mission is to review and call out bad products, software, and courses whilst recommending only the best there is! You can read a little more about my journey  here!

Leave a Comment