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What is Hotmart?

For the sake of effective comparison, I’ve categorized Hotmart as a standalone course platform but it would deserve its own category!

To sum it up it’s something like a Udemy meets Teachable meets ClickBank…

Hotmart is not an all-in-one platform like Kajabi or Kartra but it has a lot more to offer than just hosting your courses.

The company actually acquired Teachable in 2020 for $250M in an effort to break into the international market and out of the south american market where it’s an undisputed leader.

A main difference between Hotmart and pretty much any other popular platform out there is its business model: it’s a revenue share platform.

Meaning that you won’t be paying a fixed monthly fee to use it but you will pay for each sale you make - they get paid only when you do!

More on that later, but let’s get into the feature breakdown and how it compares to other competitors.

Feature: What Can You Do With Hotmart?

The Hotmart ecosystem has a lot to offer beyond just hosting your online course. Indeed the main difference with other LMS platforms is that Hotmart also supports the distribution of your programs and helps you make some sales as soon as possible.

But in order for you to see how the features compare with other popular platforms, here is a highlight:

  • Course hosting
  • Light sales page builder

  • Advanced Checkout and builder

  • Advanced Affiliate system

  • Affiliate Marketplace

  • Webinar management

  • Satisfaction survey

It’s good to note here that for the time being, Hotmart isn’t an all-in-one platform of the likes of Kajabi, and as a course creator you will probably need at least to also integrate an email marketing tool (which can be done natively).

So you can’t send and manage email campaigns but you can still send internal messages to your students.

Also, if you need a website with blogs and other static pages, you might want to have a seperate CMS like WordPress to work alongside Hotmart, which you’d keep as your course portal.

It is possible to create sales page however with Hotmart and this is the first feature we’ll review:

Pages Building

So as mentioned, you can’t really create a standalone page with Hotmart. But you can have a sales page generated for you, build a checkout and some other components of an effective sales funnel!

To generate your sales page, you’ll input some information that will appear on there such as: a sales video, main benefits, price options, modules, etc.

Not much you can edit on the design end and that’s why you’ll also be able to simply use an external page to do the marketing job and then send people to the Hotmart checkout.

Hotmart Checkout & Payment

On the other hand, the capabilities for checkout building and payment processing by Hotmart are impressive!

You’ll get into the dedicated checkout builder with the choice of a range of templates:

These are pre-populated to show you what’s possible but of course you can customize them to a large degree.

All of the optimization you can think of for checkout are there: bump order, testimonials, badges, benefit lists,...

The actual checkout form and fields are set up through the Checkout settings for that particular product with again a lot of options.

You can set up any kind of pricing you’d like: flexible subscription, free trials, installments, one-off.

And this doesn’t have to be a digital course but could be anything digital and even offline!

Hotmart also has a very handy subscription management system which allows you to create segments, setup renewal alerts and what kind of charge retries process you’d like when credit cards don’t go through etc.

The important thing to understand here is that you won’t have to connect your payment gateway as Hotmart takes care of processing the payment.

This means that you won’t get the sales payout directly: Hotmart will process the payment through any of the methods you choose (see below), take its fees and then allow you to withdraw your funds.

The cool thing with these checkouts is that you can easily embed them on an external page or website as you wish!

You’ll find other fundamentals tools here such as coupons, tracking and extensive analytics for any ads platform or internal analytics.

After setting up the main product and offer of your funnel, you can then create upsell and downsells!

You’ll simple create what Hotmart calls Stages (read: funnel steps) for that sales funnel and decide what will happen each step of the way:

The upsells can then be embedded into a sales page.

Affiliate System and Affiliate Marketplace

One of the biggest appeals of Hotmart for course creators is its support to help you make some sales!

And that is through an international network of affiliate marketers and other creators you can interest in your product or even be a promoter of to make a commission.

That’s when the affiliate marketplace comes in:

In just a few clicks, your product can be available in the affiliate marketplace and get picked up for other course creators to promote and get a commission.

When setting that up you’ll have a lot of flexibility in how this works!

Set the commission rate, attribution model, cookie expiry,... And also any promotional content and assets to help your affiliate as best as possible:

Promotional media you’ll make available can include banners, email swipes, social media post templates, etc.

They will also be able to promote on their own sales page and add affiliate bonuses for people signing up through their links!

There is a lot more you can do to easily manage your affiliates within the platform and this is clearly at the center of the capabilities of Hotmart you can use to make the most of the platform.

Hotmart Online Course And Membership Delivery

Hotmart is of course, before anything, an online course hosting platform. You’ll get a seperate dashboard called Hotmart Club to manage your Product’s content and your member’s area.

From there: create and organize your course’s content, manage your students and communications with them, see reports,...

As a “Producer” you have control over everything that happens within your course!

On the content side, you’ll get started by creating modules that can be broken down into any pieces of content you’d like: video, image, downloadables, audio, quizzes,etc. that you can bulk upload.

Something I really like about managing your content in Hotmart is the ability to create tags for each piece which can then later on be filtered and searchable for students. 

This is very useful if you have a large library of resources available in a membership for example!

You can create simple multiple-choice quizzes with one correct answer for each question to grade your students.

Courses and modules can be dripped out by day or by date - allowing for you to schedule content to go out later and not having to push everything manually.

Overall, there are a lot more features and details that Hotmart has made available for course creators inside their program and better the student’s experience.

Things like automatic subtitles generation, eBook/PDF piracy protection or the ability for student’s to leave a review for your program directly within the course!

You also have flexibility for most parts of these, including creating and customizing a certificate of completion for your students:

Hotmart is showing some innovative tools too, like for example Hotmart Ask which allows you to create satisfaction surveys to collect feedback from your students with a user friendly corner-of-the-screen bubble:

And the cooler part is that these can be implemented anywhere with the provided embed code!

Courses and products can be watched on any device or via the mobile app and Hotmart Sparkle.

All of that to say that Hotmart, unlike a lot of other popular platforms, actually puts a great emphasis on providing course creators with a lot of tools to create a great learning experience and deliver a world class program if you choose to host it there.

That being said if you want to use a lot of these features but manage the actual course delivery elsewhere, you can also hook up Hotmart to an external member’s area - with a native integration with Kajabi for example.

Hotmart Webinar

If you have a live component to your program or just want to create free webinars for your audience to join, then this feature might be interesting!

Hotmart doesn’t provide an equivalent of Zoom or other live broadcast softwares (WebinarJam, Demio, EasyWebinar,etc.) but it will allow you to create a webinar people can attend through the platform, using a YouTube or Vimeo link.

Attendants can register - which allows you to capture their email addresses - and then chat during the webinar too!

Each session can run up to 2 hours in length and welcome 200 participants at the same time.

Hotmart Coproducers: add partners and other instructors

There are 4 categories of users in Hotmart: Producer (course creators), Affiliate, students and Co-Producers.

Co-Producers can be added to a course to manage parts of the content and students, but also share a fraction of the revenues with the Producers.

This can be very useful for making online programs that are the fruit of combined efforts or simply when you have partners and multiple instructors in your team!

User Experience: Is Hotmart Easy To Use?

We’ve described the different ways Hotmart can and cannot support course creators that choose to use the platform for their program.

It is a comprehensive set of tools but the platform still has a relatively important learning curve as an admin managing everything.  

The back-end itself is well designed and we notice particular care to the User Interface

That being said, each of the different parts and tools such as the member’s area (Hotmart Club), the webinar (Hotmart Webinar) or the checkout builder has its own separate dashboard and “mini-platform”.

Which can make for a bit of confusion and overwhelm for new users that may have benefited for a more cohesive experience.

But again as always, this is a dilemma between providing all the necessary tools and flexibility for course creators and ease-of-use.

Hotmart chose to err on the side of versatility rather than putting any cap of what’s possible for its users.

On the front-end side of things and what the end user (the students) will experience, things are relatively well thought out and user friendly

You also have significant enough influence on the user flow and journey to make it your own!

Price: How much is Hotmart?

And this is where Hotmart definitely stands out from pretty much any other platforms out there to sell and deliver online programs.

Hotmart doesn’t charge a fixed monthly subscription fee to use it’s services.

It’s based on a revenue shared model and you will get charged only when you make a sale.

The standard rate is the following:

So for anything over $10 Hotmart will take a 9.90% fee plus a fixed 0.5 USD.

Example: if you sell a $500 course, you’ll get charged a total of $50 ($49.9 + $0.5)

For low-ticket products (under $10), the fee will be a flat 20% with no other fixed amount.

Lastly, note that if you want to allow for your videos to be hosted on Hotmart as well as using the mobile app, you will need to upgrade and increase the fixed fee to $1.49 per sale.

This can be interesting for course creators that are just getting started and want to keep cost to a minimum and of course ideally only pay something after they’ve made some money at all!

Which is what a revenue share model allows for.

Something to keep in mind is that Hotmart handles the payment for you - meaning that you won’t need to integrate the likes of Stripe and Paypal and pay these fees.

Hotmart is effectively holding on to your sales money until you decide to withdraw from that balance. (think of it as Paypal)

You will however also have to pay a fee for withdrawal as follows:

Again this model of fees can be a great opportunity for some course creators or not, which is for you to run the numbers and decide!

How is the Support & Community for Hotmart?

Hotmart doesn’t really have a community hub or Facebook group for fellow users to meet and connect.

On the support side however, you should find everything you need to get help and understand how to use the platform better!

You can browse through the many articles to know how to use each feature or submit a ticket for customer support.

Support is available everyday during standard office hours.

Our Overall Rate:  8/10

Features

User Experience

Affordability

Community & Support Rating:

Pros:

  • Affiliates Marketplace and Marketing Support: Hotmart is clearly rooting for you and actually helping to get some sales going! Particularly with the ease of setting up your product to be promoted through their internal network of affiliates and other creators.
  • Revenue share: you only pay when you get paid. This truly different aspect of Hotmart makes it appealing for a lot of people that want to get rid of fixed subscriptions and startup cost.
  • Course delivery: there is a clear effort from Hotmart to put the student’s experience at the forefront of the platforms and provide a world-class experience and all the tools needed for you and your programs

Cons:

  • Revenue share for big revenue: This model can also be a double edged sword for people with significant sales volume and the 9.90% commision amounting to a sizable number.
  • No Email Marketing: as a course creator you’ll also need to integrate at least an external email marketing platform which will add to your expenses. 
  • Convoluted UX: there is a significant learning curve to learn how to navigate your way into the back-end and use all the tools needed to make the best of Hotmart - which can be a lot to take on for beginners.

Conclusion:

Hotmart has taken the south american online course market by storm and has decided to do the same with the international and english-speaking one.

Its revenue share model and its emphasis on helping course creators make some sales with a network of affiliates and promotional means, is a real market disruptor. 

There are still a few things to iron out and progress to be made for the platform to be on top of mind alongside other popular platforms, but the company has the means and will to do so in the next few years.

The good news is that since the platform is free to use, you can make up your own mind at no cost by starting to play around with it!

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