There are a LOT of course creation platforms around the Internet: some like Teachable & Thinkific are specifically for courses, others like Kartra & Kajabi are all-in-one solutions that also include landing pages & email marketing; some like LearnDash or Wishlist are self-hosted on a WordPress site.
There are obvious pros and cons to each of these, and most of them can integrate with other tools and scale along with your business as it grows.
But sometimes the Big Names offer TOO many bells & whistles, and those name brands cost more than some less-well-known alternatives that can be a better fit for solopreneurs & small online businesses.
So today I’ll share an affordable online course creation options that might work better for your small business: MemberVault.
Introducing MemberVault: an online home for all your free & paid offers
Most of the options I listed above are meant only for paid courses, or occasionally a free training, and then requires a separate email sequence or funnel to sell each of them separately.
What makes MemberVault is that it’s built as a “binge and buy marketplace” — instead of each product living in a vacuum, MemberVault encourages you to include all your paid AND free offers, then to drive traffic in to get your freebies and look around at the other opportunities you offer.
Notice I said “paid offers,” not “courses.” I’ve seen people use MemberVault for 1:1 coaching, group masterminds, online summits, etc. I even run two versions of my 30-day live challenge in MemberVault!
The platform is so versatile that you can put anything in there! Right now I have a consulting package, a group coaching program, self-paced courses, PDF workbooks, and a bunch of freebies (video & PDF). SO much better than having a PDF get delivered via your email marketing, then another log-in for a spreadsheet, and another log-in for a course. MemberVault is a great centralized hub for everything people can learn from you.
MemberVault is crazy affordable.
MemberVault’s price is based on the number of users you have in your account, and nothing else. If you have less than 100 users, it’s free forever. Up to 1000 users is $19/mo, 10K users is $39/mo. Every account gets ALL THE FEATURES … so there’s no needing to upgrade for more functionality.
And there’s no additional fees. One of my biggest issues with platforms like Teachable or Thinkific is that they charge an additional fee on top of Paypal & Stripe’s processing fees, usually about 2% more … so you’re being penalized for making more sales! 😠
MV offers a wide variety of payment solutions — you can set up payment plans and subscriptions from right within the product settings — and includes affiliate tracking functionality too.
And depending on how you build your site, you can even use MemberVault as a landing page tool, driving people directly to sign up for the product they’re looking for.
(Personally I’m a design nerd so I still like to build my sales & landing pages on WordPress then drive all payment processing through ThriveCart, but that’s a more advanced option … MemberVault can do all that for you indefinitely if you’re not as picky as I am about the exactly layout of every page!)
What makes MemberVault different?
One of my favorite ways to use MemberVault is to run live challenges, and to set the training up to automatically unlock bonuses at specific milestones. Finish a lesson? Press the Celebrate button! Finish a module? Automatically unlock a bonus course! Finish a course? Dammmmmn, well done, book a call with me! I’ve run challenges with thousands of participants, and needing to manually hand out prizes would be a nightmare. But MemberVault lets me automate it and delight my students.
The best part about MemberVault’s binge-and-buy approach is that it tracks every time a user looks at a product they don’t own, and tags that person as a “warm lead” or “hot lead” depending on how often they view the sales info. You can set up automations to email you when people get warm or hot (so you can reach out personally), or once you grow bigger, connect those notifications to a sequence in your email provider of choice to automatically offer that person extra info about the product they’re curious about.
Team & community
MemberVault was started by a couple, Erin & Mike Kelly, while they were traveling around the country in an RV, and it remains family-run, even as the team grows to include customer & development support.
The team has also trained MV certified specialists, who have gone through extensive training to be able to offer implementation and strategic support as part of their services.
That family feeling also shows up in their Facebook group, where people are kind, supportive, and willing to help with any questions that pop up, from the easiest “how do I sign up” questions to more complex “how can I string together these automations” or “what’s the CSS code for this design” queries.
Lots of companies preach about what they think is important; MemberVault lives it.
- They believe that nurturing is a better sales tool than urgency, which is why they have a forever free plan instead of a free trial.
- They’re funded by the community instead of investors — instead of going for angel funding, they’ve offered the opportunity for lifetime memberships to users when they need a cash injection for a big project (like hiring another developer or re-vamping the site structure)
- They value inclusion & diversity, which is why they offer free or deeply discounted licenses to nonprofits and diversity training companies.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of my love for MemberVault. Get started with a forever free account today at MemberVault.co!