Create a Free Preview of your paid course to allow students to preview specific lessons in your course and later prompt them to buy!
In this article:
Free Preview From the Student Perspective
What is a Free Preview?
Free previews allow users to take selected lessons in a course for free, with no expiration date, no limit to the number of users, and users will be prompted to buy the rest of the course after taking the free preview! Students will be prompted to buy the course after the first time they complete the free preview or if they click on any of the lessons that are not part of the free preview.
Free Previews should only be created for paid courses. If your course is currently set to Free, you don't need to use this option!
How to Create a Free Preview
You can enable Free Preview for existing lessons in one of your paid courses!
- Go to Manage Learning Content
- Select Courses
- Click on a specific course in the Course Overview
- Select your desired lesson
- Check off the box to the left of Make this a free preview lesson
- Click Save
Should you wish you remove the Free Preview at any time all you need to do is make sure that the make this a free preview lesson checkbox is unchecked for each piece of content in your course.
View Your Free Preview
If your course has one or more lessons marked to be a part of the free preview, Thinkific will automatically add these two elements to your Course Landing Page:
- A free preview button:
- The free lessons highlighted in the curriculum:
Free Preview From the Student Perspective
New students sign up to create an account on your site and then enroll in a Free Preview of a course. Existing students can simply enroll in the Free Preview of a course from the course landing page or from any links to your Free Preview.
When your student is enrolled in a Free preview, they will only be able to access the Free Preview lessons. If they try to access a lesson that is not available, they will receive a prompt to buy the course!
Students will also see a prompt to buy the course once they have completed all available Free Preview lessons:
When a student clicks the buy button in the Free Preview prompt, they will automatically be directed to the course checkout page for your primary course price:
The "Buy now" button will direct students to the primary price set for your course. Learn more here.
Free Preview Link
If you want to link directly to the free preview, or add a CTA button on your site that links to the free preview checkout, see instructions on how to access this link here: What Is My Free Preview Link?
Be sure to test the new URL in a private/incognito window or in a browser where you are not logged in, to ensure that it navigates to the right course checkout:
Free Preview Button Text
By default when you publish your course, a Free Preview button will automatically appear in your Banner, which will look something like this:
If you prefer to customize this text to something different, like Free Trial, you can as follows:
- In your Admin Dashboard, select Settings
- Select Modify text: Site
- Click Product Pages
- Beside Free Preview, select Customize
- Input your desired text and click Save
Your landing page will now display your custom text!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why can't my student enroll into the Free Preview of a Private Course?
The private course setting was designed to completely block your course checkout - even if there are free preview lessons included in the course. If you have a private course and would like to offer some lessons for free, consider creating a Free mini course with these lessons included. You can always duplicate your existing course and remove any lessons that you don't want available in your Free mini course!
Which course price is used for the "Buy Now" upgrade prompt in my Free Preview?
The "Buy now" button will direct students to the primary price set for your course. We don't currently have the option to customize the checkout link for this prompt, but you can check out some other options here.
Can I use Free Preview with a pre-order course?
Free Preview cannot currently be used with our pre-order feature. This is because students cannot access the Course Player when a course is set to pre-order, so they will not be able to view any lessons.
If you would like to give students access to free lessons before they buy your pre-order course, we recommend creating a free mini-course and then linking to your pre-order course checkout in a text lesson.
How can I tell which students are enrolled in a Free Preview?
Click here for how to search for and view students enrolled in a Free Preview.
Do students have to sign up and create an account to access a Free Preview?
Yes, new students must sign up and create an account on your Thinkific site to access a Free Preview of a course. This is so The Thinkific Course Player can track and save student progress in the Free Preview. Existing student users can sign in to their account to enroll in a Free Preview.
Will students who enroll in a Free Preview get a Course Welcome email?
No, Course Welcome emails are only sent when a student enrolls in the full version of a course. If a student first enrolls into a Free Preview and later enrolls into the full course, they will then receive the Course Welcome email you've configured.
What happens for my already enrolled students if I change some lessons to Free Preview?
Adding or changing a Free Preview will not affect students enrolled in the full version of your course. Changing which lessons are part of a Free Preview will affect students already enrolled in the Free Preview of your course and new students who enroll in the Free Preview.
What if I have a Free Preview and a Drip Schedule for my course?
Setting a Drip Schedule for lessons in your Free Preview will affect when Free Preview lessons are released to students enrolled in the Free Preview and in the full version of your course. Click here to learn more.
Can I have a Free Preview and Prerequisite lessons in my course?
You can definitely use both our Free Preview and Prerequisite lessons in your course, however just make sure that you do not have any Prerequisite lessons in any Chapters preceding the Chapter that includes your Free Preview or students will not be able to access your free content!
More About Free Preview
Free Limited Time Trial on Subscription Courses