This could be the most important feature announcement of 2018 for people who want to host their premium online courses with WordPress.

Thrive just announced their official integration with Sendowl and launched a new Thrive University course describing the new features.

When it comes to online course creation, I have personally used:

  • Udemy
  • Teachable
  • Kartra
  • Learndash
  • Sensei
  • Thrive Apprentice

Want my first impressions of this new tool? Here we go:

Thrive Apprentice + Sendowl First Impressions

With only the first day of playing with these new features, I can already tell that Thrive is looking to make the most intuitive and streamlined online course experience for WordPress.

There is no messy membership plugin to create. No WooCommerce Products mapped to membership levels mapped to chicken eggs, mapped to your courses…

The set up couldn’t be simpler.

After an easy to follow quick start guide, you simply create a product in Sendowl (which takes about 3 clicks and maybe 45 seconds), and then POOF you can restrict content to that course to that specific SendOwl product.

Check out my full review of Apprentice here.

It’s great in theory, but still a work in progress

Maybe it’s my own fault, but I had one slight hiccup in my own setup process. It’s a brand new integration, and I am still on a trial with this current account with SendOwl, so I will give it some time work itself out.

Any fears integrating SendOwl with Thrive Apprentice?

A few Thrive users have been upset that Apprentice is not designed to do drip release of lessons with a course.

Drip release is useful to reduce refund rates because you can delay getting into the best material until after the refund period passes…

I’m not personally worried about that “missing feature.”

In fact, I prefer it. I have seen incredibly low refund request rates, and I have never implemented drip feeding.

Why don’t I drip feed content?

Everyone buying your course is starting from a different point in their journey.

Some are total beginners, and some may be 2/3 through the course with their experience.

Drip feeding can be as much of a burden to your more advanced students as it can be a benefit for the beginners.

But Thrive is a responsive company, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that feature is released eventually. They look to have an incredibly deep integration with SendOwl, so who knows what may still come?

What do you think about this SendOwl Integration?

Would you have preferred a Thrivecart integration? Boy would that be confusing!

Are you a fan of SendOwl? Planning on implementing this?

Leave a comment below, and be sure to check out the webinar on Thrive University! Shane never disappoints.

Video Transcript

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5 Comments

  1. Hi, I tested TA+SO for two weeks, then I abandoned it for these reasons:
    1) If you have old customers, you can’t import them and let them access the courses they purchased in the past
    2) You can’t activate manually courses for your users.
    3) You can’t see which courses a user bought in the past, and your users can’t either
    4) You can’t revoke access to a course. So if someone buy it and then asks for a refund the day after, you can’t revoke access. You give the money back, they still access the course.
    I had great expectations from this but at the moment the TA+SendOwl integration is almost unusable for most businesses.
    It can be ok if you only have one or two courses for sale, and for a new business. But these problems will become greater and greater as yout business grows.

    1. Hey Leo thanks so much for the comment – I had most of these questions like you as I was kicking the tires. I’m currently using WooCommerce and Learndash because of some of the same concerns.

      But to be fair on both sides:

      1) Can’t you export the customers and simply provide them a coupon code to get their access back? One of my previous business made an affiliate platform change, and it was also a debacle – but I’m not sure I blame Apprentice for that. It just receives orders from the checkout /membership solution.

      2) I think with Sendowl you can give access to individuals for free, but maybe you’ve looked at it deeper and found that it doesn’t make the changes in apprentice protection settings? That … would be a bummer and a basic thing I would expect.

      3) Yeah… I’m a big fan of WooCommerce for that very reason (and a million others…) – offsite checkouts sometimes make the user feel like their in a black hole.

      4) I’ve wondered this but didn’t get much help from Thrive to understand. That’s a big no-no, thanks for sharing! I’ll update the post with some of these details.

      So far the solution I’ve put together (WooCommerce + Cartflows + Learndash) is more complicated to set up, but I feel it is much more professional and scaleable.

      Thanks for the comment!

      1. Hello John, thanks for your answer. I really spent a lot of time in testing with TA+SendOwl, here is what I discovered:
        1) You can give a 100% discount coupon to your users, but this is a bit clumsy if your customers bought many courses. Imagine to send an email to your customer asking to buy again 5-10 courses, using coupons. You need to carefully set the correct coupons for each of them, and the worst thing is that you ask them to waste some time in the process. Not good in my opinion.
        2) No, after some testing the thrive themes guys agreed that at the moment the users need to buy the course themselves, with a 100% discount coupon, to get the free access.
        3) With my customers this is a real problem. I have course A (part1, 2 and 3) course B (3 parts as well). If customers can”t see exactly what they bought up to now, they may feel I am asking them to pay again for something they already bought. I can imagine receiving an email “Hey Leo, didn’t I buy course A part 2 some time ago?” Then I have to go looking in purchase history to answer, “no, you actually bought course B part 2…”. Not fair.
        A membership solution needs a control panel where users see immediately the courses they purchased. If they don’t remember, they sign in and look at their profile.
        Thanks for the nice chat, cheers

        1. Hey Leo thanks for the comment and sorry for the late reply. I’m glad you went into such depth investigating Apprentice! Given that it’s just launching I would expect it to be a bit… incomplete.

          I think there are 2 camps of folks: those who have existing customers, courses, and systems (you), and those who are just getting started. I think Apprentice is a good solution for camp 2, but it seems more work is needed to get to where experienced entrepreneurs like you would need. Thanks again for the comment!

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