If you’ve used Thinkific to sell online courses, coaching programs, and memberships, you’ll know why it’s one of our favorite e-learning and digital product-selling platforms.
Thinkific handles all the technical aspects of setting up an online school and provides you with the features and technology to transform your expertise into best-selling online courses.
However, you need more than an online course to grow an e-learning business.
This is where Zapier comes in.
Zapier is the bridge that connects Thinkific with hundreds of other software platforms, giving you easy access to all the tools and functions you need to scale your business.
In this article, we’ll show you why Zapier and Thinkific are a killer combination and how you can use it to add any feature to your online education business.
Let’s dive in.
Thinkific directly integrates with dozens of marketing, sales, and business software through its apps. Thinkific Apps are extensions that allow you to connect other tools with Thinkific to grow your business.
You can access these apps from the Thinkific App Store.
The App Store has dozens of free and paid apps that directly connect with your Thinkific school to enhance its features.
For example, Thinkific doesn’t have native email marketing features.
However, it has a MailChimp app that connects with your MailChimp account, allowing you to collect leads and subscribers and use other email marketing features on your site.
You can install and uninstall these apps depending on the features you need for your eLearning business. All apps operate as independent tools and do not alter the core online learning features of your Thinkific account.
Before showing you how Zapier can help you integrate Thinkific with other software, let us answer the bigger question.
Why should you integrate Thinkific with other tools? It’s among the best online course platforms in the world and should have all the features you need to grow a successful eLearning business, right?
Here’s the short answer: Thinkific has excellent online teaching features but lacks many marketing, sales, lead management, and administrative capabilities you can add using third-party software integrations.
Read more for the long answer: Here are some reasons you must use Thinkific integrations to grow your business faster.
Thinkific apps allow business owners to generate a secondary revenue stream by sharing their expertise and monetizing their knowledge.
For example, if you run a Shopify eCommerce store selling fitness and weight loss equipment, you can develop a parallel income stream by offering premium online courses or coaching programs to your customers.
You can do that by creating a Thinkific school and using its Shopify App to connect it with your online store.
Apps and integrations help you automate different aspects of your online learning business, freeing up your time and letting you focus on growing your audience.
For example, you can use a CRM app from the Thinkific App Store to manage your leads, subscribers, and customers. You can automate email follow-ups, send reminders, create segments, and organize contacts based on their engagement with your content.
Thinkific allows you to create a world-class learning environment for your students. But you’ll need to generate subscribers and leads to grow your business. You can do that by using different marketing, lead generation, and email management apps in the Thinkific App Store that give you the tools to offer lead magnets, display pop-ups, and capture leads.
Thinkific Apps can drastically increase your productivity and help you achieve more in less time. For example, by integrating Thinkific with Twitter, you can automatically Tweet your course announcements and updates.
Apps and software integrations allow Thinkific users to collaborate with their peers to create better courses, seek feedback, and enhance content quality. You can use app integrations like Google Docs, Sheets, Trello, and other tools to involve your mentors or team members in the course creation process.
Growing a community of avid learners and fans around your brand has numerous business benefits. Integrating your Thinkific App with blogging, email marketing, and social media platforms lets you turn your simple online course business into an influential brand with thousands of loyal followers.
These are just some of the benefits of using third-party integration with Thinkific. However, not every software has a Thinkific App.
This is where Zapier comes in.
Zapier is an automation tool that allows you to connect different software applications, enhancing their utility and drastically improving your productivity.
It acts as a bridge between 5000+ programs and applications that do not integrate directly. For example, if two applications do not offer direct integration, Zapier connects with both, allowing you to combine their features.
But it doesn’t stop there.
With Zapier, you can fully automate your workflows to free up time for more creative tasks. Some common examples of Zapier workflows are.
- Automatically create Trello cards from Google Calendar Events.
- Add Gmail attachments to specific Google Drive folders.
- Send an email via Gmail when you add a file to a specific Drive folder.
- Automatically set up Zoom calls from Typeform entries.
In short, Zapier offers unlimited opportunities to connect different online tools and skyrocket productivity.
For online course creators, coaches, and eLearning professionals, Thinkific and Zapier are a match made in heaven.
I’ll explain how it makes your life easier as a content creator in just a moment. But first, let’s understand how Zapier works and how you can use it with Thinkific.
Zapier’s three main components are
Zaps are the integrations or automation recipes between different applications. For example, automatically saving every Gmail email with a specific label to your Google Drive account is a Zap.
Triggers are factors that kick off a Zap. So, in this case, labeling an email is a trigger.
Actions are the functions you want an app to perform due to a Trigger. Here, creating a Drive folder for every email with a specific label is an Action.
Here’s what a Zap looks like.
You can also automate complex tasks using multi-step Zaps that connect more than two apps in a workflow.
For example, you can create a Zap to:
Step 1: Send a pre-written email when you add an email address to the Email field of a specific Google Sheet.
Step 2: Then grant that user access to a Google Drive file.
Step 3: Add them to a Slack Channel
Step 4: Create a Trello card with their contact details and next action items.
To make creating multi-step Zaps easier, Zapier has a visual drag-and-drop builder where you can easily configure any automation workflows.
You can click on each workflow step to choose an app and configure its settings. Plus, since it’s a drag-and-drop builder, you can quickly move the steps around as needed.
Once you create a Zap, it works silently in the background, freeing up and executing the assigned workflow without fail.
There are several reasons why using Zapier to integrate Thinkific with different third-party software (even the ones with Thinkific apps).
Thinkific officially endorses Zapier integrations and encourages its customers to use the tool to automate their online course business. The Thinkific App Store has a Zapier App that seamlessly integrates with your online school and allows you to use different automation features.
Thinkific has several dozen apps in its App Store, directly integrating with different software. But with Zapier, you can connect Thinkific with thousands of other tools and software. In fact, if you’re an advanced user, it’s better to use Zapier for all Thinkific integrations (even for tools with Thinkific Apps).
Why? Zapier not only integrates Thinkific with other tools but also allows you to create complex Zaps involving multiple software. This isn’t possible with Thinkific’s direct integrations.
Zapier isn’t limited to app integrations. Its real utility is in process and workflow automation. So, once you connect Thinkific with another tool via Zapier, you can automate numerous routine tasks that collectively take hours of your time every week.
If you’ve never used Zapier and are not sure how to make it work with Thinkific, stop guessing. Thinkific has a ready-to-use list of Zaps that you can simply replicate in your Zapier account to start your automation journey. Thinkific has compiled this list based on its users’ most frequent actions with Zapier and other third-party software.
Using these Zaps, you not only save time but also get insights into how other creators use Thinkific automation to grow their businesses and increase productivity.
To experience all the possibilities of third-party software integrations, you need paid accounts for Thinkific and Zapier.
You can also use Zapier for free, but it offers limited features, insufficient for automation.
So, we’re moving forward assuming you have the paid accounts for both these platforms.
Zapier is already quite user-friendly with its drag-and-drop Zap builder and detailed instructions on creating automation workflows.
But using it with Thinkific is even easier because of Zapier’s Thinkific App.
So, let’s dive into the process of using Zapier with Thinkific, and let us show you how you can use this platform to connect with thousands of third-party tools.
Step 1: Sign up for a Zapier account on its website.
Step 2: During onboarding, Zapier asks your business model and most frequently used apps to suggest ready-to-use Zaps.
Step 3: Once you complete the signup process, you’ll land on your Zapier dashboard, where you can create new Zaps.
Step 4: Now go to Thinkific’s website and set up an account if you don’t already have one (Read our detailed guide)
Step 5: After setting up a Thinkific account, go to the Thinkific App Store.
Step 6: Search for the Zapier App.
Step 7: Install the Zapier App to your Thinkific account.
Step 8: Grant the necessary permissions and click Install.
You’re now ready to use Zapier with your Thinkific account.
If the Zapier App doesn’t work, you can use Zapier’s website to integrate with Thinkific.
Step 1: Sign up for a Zapier account on its website
Step 2: Once you’ve set up your account, click Create Zap
Step 3: In the visual Zap builder, click Trigger.
Step 4: Select Thinkific from the app list.
Now Thinkific is your Zap’s Trigger. But to activate it, you must connect your Thinkific account with Zapier.
Step 5: Click on Trigger (Thinkific) to open its settings panel.
Step 6: Now, sign in to your Thinkific account.
Step 7: From your account dashboard, click Settings → Code & Analytics → API
Step 8: Copy your Thinkific subdomain and API key.
Step 9: Return to the Zap builder and click Trigger (Thinkific).
Step 10: Click Sign In under the Account tab to connect your Thinkific account with Zapier.
Step 11: Paste the subdomain and API key you copied in Step 8 into your Zapier account.
Step 12: Click Continue.
You have now successfully connected your Zapier account with Thinkific.
Now that you’ve connected your Thinkific and Zapier accounts, you can automate your online course business using more than 5,000 sales, marketing, and business applications.
Thinkific currently supports seven different Triggers in Zapier.
- Course Completed
- Lesson Completed
- New Free Preview Enrollment
- New Full Enrollment
- New Order
- New User
- Subscription Canceled
For example, you can trigger a Zap when a user cancels their subscription or a student completes a lesson.
Similarly, Thinkific supports the following Actions in Zapier.
- API Request
- App Extensions
- Enroll User
- Search Users
- Unenroll Users
Using a combination of different Triggers and Actions, you can create numerous automated workflows in Zapier.
Here are a few examples of Thinkific-Zapier integrations to show you what’s possible.
Live streaming platforms allow you to host free and paid webinars, Q&A sessions, and online classes. Interacting with your audience live and answering their questions on the go is among the best ways to establish your authority and generate leads for your business.
Integrating different live streaming platforms with Thinkific lets you include live sessions in your online courses.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you want to increase your course completion rates and, as an incentive, offer a free 15-minute live Zoom call to every student who completes your course.
Instead of finding such students manually and creating their Zoom meetings, automate this process with Zapier.
To integrate any software with Thinkific, you’ll need to grant Zapier the necessary permissions. In this case, Zapier will need access to your Zoom and Thinkific accounts.
Once you grant these permissions, Zapier will automatically schedule a Zoom meeting for every customer who completes your course in Thinkific.
Thinkific is an excellent online course platform. But it doesn’t have email marketing features to help you grow your list and build a relationship with your audience.
But with Zapier, you can integrate Thinkific with GetResponse, Drip, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and many other email marketing platforms.
Let’s use MailChimp as an example.
In this Zap, when one of your Mailchimp subscribers clicks a specific link in your email, they’ll automatically be added to your Thinkific course.
This is an excellent automation workflow to increase your subscriber-to-customer conversion rate.
Here’s another useful Zap that connects Thinkific with Drip.
When users subscribe to your free course preview, they’ll automatically be added to an email campaign in Drip.
It can be a nurturing campaign that educates the new subscribers about your course and ultimately persuades them to purchase your paid course.
The best eCommerce companies in the world invest heavily in customer education and learning programs. This not only strengthens their brand authority but also helps their customers use their products more effectively.
Integrating Thinkific with your online store or eCommerce website can automate your customer education programs and drastically increase customer loyalty.
Let’s use Shopify for his example.
You can create a Zap automatically enrolling every new customer in your Thinkific course. You can use this automation in two ways.
- Offer a premium course bundled with your online store products.
- Create a free course educating your customers about your products.
Similarly, you can use free or discounted products as incentives for your course participants using the Thinkific-Shopify integration.
Every time a user completes your course, Shopify automatically creates an order to deliver them a free product from your store.
To grow your online course and digital product business, you must use tools to convert traffic from different sources into leads.
Thinkific doesn’t have native lead generation features.
But you can integrate it with OptinMonster, LeadPages, InstaPage, and many other landing page platforms to turn the traffic from your blog or social media platforms into course enrollments.
Here’s an example
So, whenever users sign up using your OptinMonster form, they’ll be enrolled in a course (free or paid).
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools help you organize customer information, simplify follow-ups, and ensure customers get the same service levels with different agents.
If you’re an enterprise Thinkific user running multiple schools and helping thousands of customers, you need a CRM system (because Thinkific doesn’t have one).
But using Zapier, you can integrate Thinkific with any CRM you want.
Let’s take Help Scout, a leading CRM and help desk platform, as an example.
With Zapier, you can immediately start a conversation when a student completes a lesson in your course. You can get their feedback or ask if they have any questions about the lesson.
This way, you’ll keep them engaged and show that you care about their progress.
Project management tools like Trello and Monday can help you in various aspects of your Thinkific course creation, student management, and service delivery.
For example, you can create a Zap that triggers when a student completes your course. As a result, a new card is created in Trello with a checklist for your support team. It could be a list of actions they must perform to reward the student and ensure they stay engaged.
Similarly, you can create a new board for every Thinkific course and track content creation using different cards.
Using Zapier to integrate Thinkific with other software takes just a few clicks. But the real magic happens when you start thinking about different business scenarios and possibilities to automate with these tools.
Your productivity and growth with these tools depend on your imagination. The more you use them and apply them to your business, the more possibilities you’ll see.
Let us know if you have any questions or comments about using Zapier with Thinkific below.
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