End of year product update: New features and improvements from 2020

Frances Wong

| Dec 16, 2020

Given all that’s been going on in the world throughout 2020, we at Teachable have never been so motivated and excited to work on a product that can help make a positive impact on your life and business during this time.

Many of you were forced to move your businesses online overnight. You may have had to shift business strategy. You might have accelerated your timeline to create your first online course. Whatever the unexpected shift was for you, we’re glad we were able to support your transition and growth with our platform and provide you with new features, updates, and improvements along the way.

Let’s take a moment and look back on what we’ve rolled out this year that you may have missed. And more importantly, what you can look forward to in 2021.

Teachable updates from 2020

Earlier this year, Teachable was acquired by Hotmart, one of the leaders in the digital product distribution market in Latin America and Europe. While we continue to maintain our brand and product, our partnership with Hotmart has helped us accelerate product development to achieve our shared mission of empowering creators to transform their knowledge into income. Here are the improvements we made and the impact it has had on our creators:

Coaching: provide support, validate ideas

This year, we moved beyond the static curriculum of a course and expanded our offerings into one-on-one coaching services. We developed a new feature set that saves you time and helps you hit your revenue goals. Here a few statistics on how some of you have utilized this feature since its launch in June:

Teachable statistics on coaching product

Teachable coaching product statistics

With Teachable’s coaching product, you can offer or upsell a one-on-one session with your students directly within a course. You can also create eight-week coaching bootcamps. Looking to offer new courses instead? You can validate your topic with one-on-one coaching. That’s what we’ve seen Successful Freelance Mom, Fitness Career Mastery, and Best 3 Minutes do.

Online courses have come leaps and bounds, and they’re no longer bound to a written curriculum. More often than not, they are accompanied by a coaching session or followed up with feedback sessions. This type of collaborative learning is a new direction we’ve seen many of you take, and we can’t wait to see more of you explore how coaching can fit into your course and business.

Better launch strategy with course access duration

“What does lifetime access mean?” Ever wondered that out loud while looking at an online course description? You might have even come across this in comments about your offer. Lifetime access has always been a punchy and effective marketing tactic, but more and more creators have been opting to use our new limited course access duration feature instead.

You can set your course access to any specific number of days or set it to expire on a specific date. This gives you flexibility with how you launch, market, and sell your courses. Plus, it can increase revenue on repeat purchases for students who lose and want to regain access.

Teachable insights: course duration length

Common course duration length

Free trials and new subscription intervals

To give you further flexibility on how you launch and structure your courses, we also rolled out the option to offer free trials on subscription-based courses and introduced new subscription intervals.

When you create a subscription pricing plan, you can choose to set them to weekly, bi-weekly, quarterly, or bi-annual intervals, on top of the monthly and annual subscription intervals we already offered. For any of these subscription intervals, you can also set your own free trial duration, so you can give your audience a sneak peek into all the content you have to offer before the trial expires.

Since the introduction of new subscription intervals, we’ve seen an increase in subscription offerings with content ranging from monthly watercoloring courses to annual coding academies. In fact, you can see the breakdown of how popular each subscription interval is with monthly subscription being the most popular.

Free trial and subscription data from Teachable

Data on free trials and subscriptions

Creators on our platform have a 27.2% subscription rate from offering free trials. We continue to work towards giving you the information and tools to improve this conversion rate for your subscription products.

To give you information on how to analyze conversion rates, we added in new user filters: Currently in Free Trial, Converted from Free Trial, Did Not Convert from Free Trial. To make sure you stay compliant, we implemented Visa requirements so any student you have in a free trial gets reminder emails seven days before their subscription renewal. To reduce chargeback rates, we added in subscription reminders you can enable and customize.

As we continue to learn more about how you use these features, we’ll roll out new features to support your growth.

Expanded Teachable Payments eligibility

You invest time to create and iterate your online course to share your knowledge, help others, and to generate additional income. That’s why we continue to invest in Teachable Payments—our new payment gateway that expedites payouts so you can reinvest in your business.

This year, we’ve expanded eligibility from creators based in the United States and Canada to those based in the United Kingdom and Germany as well. No more waiting 30 days for your payouts. You can now schedule your payouts at the frequency of your choice—daily, weekly, monthly. In addition, Teachable Payments continue to provide the benefits our other native payment gateway, Monthly Payment Gateway, offers:

  • Collect and remit EU VAT on your behalf for all transactions
  • Automatically dispute any chargebacks by collecting information and submitting it on your behalf
  • Allow your students to use Apple Pay and Google Pay on checkout
  • Option to enable BackOffice for us to manage author and affiliate payouts and taxes

Keep an eye out for our updates as we continue to expand our Teachable Payments eligibility.

Filing EU VAT

At the beginning of this year, we rolled out another improvement to our payment gateways: to file and remit the EU value-added tax—or VAT for short—for all transactions on Teachable Payments and Monthly Payment Gateway.

Checkout improvements

Throughout the year, we made a lot of small but impactful changes to our checkout page. To reduce friction and make all payment options clear to your audience, we changed the payment option design from a hidden dropdown list to an exposed list of radio buttons. We refined the page with design improvements to the coupon code field, subscription frequency, country dropdown, and the terms and conditions field.

Teachable checkout designs

Checkout designs

Additionally, we added billing and shipping address collection to the checkout page and made it easy for you to export them directly from admin.

All these changes went through a lot of research and experimentation so that we’d be confident about our roll out. Since we rolled the new payment method designs and made small improvements to the page, we’ve seen an overall 7% increase in conversion

Improved checkout conversions

Teachable checkout improvements

Page editor improvements

How you represent your brand and product is always top of mind. It’s the same for us at Teachable. Since the release of our page editor 2.0, we’ve been adding functionality and making updates throughout the year. Here are some highlights:

  • Multiple sales pages: to give you the flexibility to create different sales pages for different audiences.
  • Usability improvements: to simplify the onboarding experience with more intuitive UX.
  • New default templates: to show you how a sales page can look and what blocks you can use.
  • New customizations: to allow you to adjust content width, padding, gutter width so your sales page designs are pixel perfect.

Teach:able and :hq

Last but certainly not least, we went through a rebrand. The new logo and colors aren’t just a refresh on our look and feel, but also a concerted decision to renew our mission: To enable the transformative power of knowledge in our world.

With the launch of the In the Know newsletter, updated webinars, and action-packed Share What You Know summit, we are proud to bring you more relevant and actionable content that supports you in every step of your journey on Teachable. We know that journey is tough and often lonely, which is why we also brought you :hq—a virtual coworking community space by Teachable.

Teachable:hq is our reimagined community space that grows with you. We’ve created a private, tiered experience that automatically groups you with other members in a similar business phase. Now, you can engage in conversations most relevant to you, get introduced to potential partners, learn from peer workshops and get additional swag.

We believe in our mission. We believe all the product updates we’ve made this year further empowers you to share and monetize your knowledge. Next year, we’ll continue to do the same.

What you can look forward to in 2021

We are still reviewing the feature requests you’ve submitted, evaluating the marketing, and observing how you are all using our platform today. This means we still have a lot of research and user research to conduct before we decide all the features and improvements we’ll bring you in 2021.

Don’t worry just yet—this doesn’t mean we don’t have a few things up our sleeves already. Here are a few features you can expect from Teachable in 2021:

  • Teachable Payments eligibility expansion
  • Course dashboard design templates
  • Native lead capture forms
  • Integration with community platform(s)
  • Sell courses and coaching together
  • Checkout order bumps
  • PayPal and mobile pay for subscriptions

You know the drill. Got suggestions and comments? Leave them below. We look forward to how we can support you in the new year.

Frances Wong is a Product Marketer at Teachable. Outside of Teachable, Frances is an avid sports fan and dedicates her weekends to Manchester United and Georgetown Hoyas games.