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Psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Rick Hanson is on a mission to help people find lasting well-being amidst life’s challenges. Since 2014, he’s done so by offering online courses to people around the world.

He was curious about online learning because he wanted to help as many people as he could. Rather than speaking to a few hundred people in an in-person workshop, he wanted the ability to reach thousands online. 

When he launched his first course, the mindfulness and personal growth space wasn’t as popular online as it is today. But he had a vision to create evergreen courses so that people could get the support they needed anytime, anywhere. 

Once he opened registration for his first course, he expected only 200 or so people to register initially and was floored when over 2,000 enrolled in the first weekend. “He wasn’t expecting that,” laughs Stephanie Veillon, CEO of Being Well, Inc., who helps to run Hanson’s business, “and he realized then that he needed help creating his course content to deliver the best quality possible.”

Within two months, Veillon built him a custom LMS and content plan. A couple of years later, they switched to MemberPress, which Veillon describes as being too difficult to maintain. When she found Thinkific in 2018, it was like a sigh of relief.

“Before moving to Thinkific, we had a bespoke platform that we had to pay developers to maintain regularly. It was such a headache, and we had to constantly keep an eye out for bugs. We no longer have any issues,” continues Veillon. “Using Thinkific has been a huge weight off us financially and administratively.”

Since switching to Thinkific, she says that users have found the learning process much easier to navigate. Further, since applying several TCommerce features to their business, the platform has allowed them to enroll nearly 46,000 learners in over 13 courses

Here’s how:

  1. They leveraged TCommerce

Before transitioning to Thinkific Payments, the company used Stripe and PayPal to collect payments. 

According to Veillon, TCommerce has helped the team sell more courses. “Any time a new feature is added, we see how we can apply it to our courses,” says Veillon. “It’s fun, because we get to go back to existing users and introduce new features—which gives them reasons to go back and revisit the course.”

While the team still gives learners the option to purchase with PayPal, Veillon says that they’re grateful for how Thinkific Payments helps to streamline bookkeeping—especially with the ease of refunds and clear reporting information. 

Further, TCommerce’s ability to automatically collect and pay sales tax has felt like a huge weight off Veillon’s shoulders. This is the result of a new US law where online courses are now taxed—and the tax amount differs from state to state. For many creators, Thinkific’s ability to collect and file these taxes for creators has been essential in lessening their administrative burden—and worries.

“I was stressing about the new tax law and how we would calculate, collect, and pay all of the right taxes to the right places,” explains Veillon. “When this feature came out, I was so relieved.”

  1. They made the checkout process easier with order bumps

One of Veillon’s favorite TCommerce features is order bumps. This feature, which helps creators offer additional products to their students during their checkout experience—without slowing down the checkout process—has helped the company earn extra income. 

Plus, it’s helped make the checkout process easier; especially since Hanson offers continuing education credits for psychologists. Before using order bumps, learners had to buy the credits separately, after purchasing the course — which resulted in two transactions.

With order bumps, psychologists can just check a box to add the CE credits when they’re purchasing the course — streamlining the payment process and saving time. In fact, since moving to Thinkific, the entire continuing credit process has become much simpler, according to Veillon. “Everything is automated now,” she shares. “Users sign up for the course, can take the continuing education test, retake it if they don’t get 80%, and then get automatically issued a certificate.”

  1. They used Buy Now Pay Later services

While each course has a one-time payment option, Hanson’s team also leverages Buy Now Pay Later services like Affirm, Afterpay, Clearpay, and Klarna—all of which integrate with Thinkific Payments.

Before offering these payment methods, Veillon’s team was manually setting up payment plans for students—which she says became complicated to keep track of. “It was a hassle, because people would pause or cancel their payments,” she says. 

“By using the Buy Now Pay Later integrations, we no longer have to track payments—they do it for us.”

  1. They focused on course completion rates

Veillon says that one of the things that made Dr. Rick Hanson was so successful in the online course space is that he didn’t only focus on getting people to buy a course, he focussed on getting them to engage with the material—and complete it. With the use of TCommerce’s subscription dashboard, creators are able to identify trends that allow them to grow more sustainably, improve their marketing, and save time and energy. 

Upon staying up-to-date with student enrollments, the Hanson team constantly reevaluates course content to improve engagement. By asking the audience for feedback, they’re able to better cater content toward their learners and improve their course completion rates. 

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