Kajabi Review (2020) – Should You Use It To Sell Online Courses?

by | Apr 3, 2020 | Software Reviews | 83 comments

Kajabi Review Summary

kajabi online courses(Updated July 6th, 2020) Welcome to this in-depth Kajabi review, where we’ll take a deep dive into a popular “all-in-one” app made for experts, coaches, thought leaders, and course creators to sell online courses.

If you’re looking for the best “one stop shop” software to sell online courses, look no further. 

For the vast majority of people I’ve helped over the past 12 years (thousands of people like you and me who want to sell knowledge that can help other people in some way), Kajabi is an ideal solution to the challenge of building the tech system that will allow you to make money online from teaching.

Now, because I like this app and because this is a Kajabi review, you’re probably wondering if I use affiliate links in these reviews. Let me answer that briefly so we can get on with the review and help you decide if you should use this software.

Here’s the deal: the links in this post are indeed affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link to go check out the app, and if you eventually sign up for a paid account, I make a small commission.

But here’s the cool part about my links: some of the links to Kajabi’s site in this review have a special extended 28-day free trial (like that one) which is twice as long as the free trial period that you’ll see available on their site. (You just discovered an Easter egg on the interwebs.)

Okay. We good on that? Awesome.

Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of Kajabi:

Kajabi Review Highlights
Kajabi all-in-one software

Name: Kajabi

Description: Kajabi is an easy-to-use, all-in-one website platform that allows you to build a business selling online courses. It gives you a marketing/blog website, email marketing features, payment checkout pages, online course area, member community area, quizzes, and affiliate marketing features...all in one app.

  • Ease-of-use
  • Online Course Features
  • Built-in Community Space
  • Ease of Learning The App
  • Customer Support
  • Website Design Tools
  • Pre-designed Themes
  • Email Marketing Features
  • Blogging Features
  • Dedicated Mobile App
  • Pricing
Overall
4.9

Pros

  • Extremely easy-to-use.
  • Almost everything you need in one platform. 
  • No webhost needed.
  • No worrying about keeping plugins up-to-date. 
  • Cheaper than duct-taping 12 separate apps to a Wordpress site. 
  • Have your own private social network/community space. 
  • Email marketing platform is right inside of Kajabi. 
  • Your members get a dedicated mobile app.
  • Affiliate marketing tools are built right in.
  • Code-free website appearance editor is powerful. 

Cons

  • Blogging features could be fleshed out more.
  • Updating a logo doesn’t update it on all pages of your site.
  • Encore appearance editor for pages not available in the blog area. 
  • There’s no “import site content from Wordpress” feature yet.

Since this review is on the longer side, here’s an easy-to-use table of contents for you:

What is Kajabi?

Kajabi is a web-based, “all-in-one” software that gives you almost all of the tools needed to make money from selling your knowledge all within one app.

This all-in-one software platform includes:

  • Website building tools
  • Marketing tools
  • Blogging features
  • Membership site/online course software
  • Built in video streaming
  • Private community social area
  • Payment processing right on the site
  • Email marketing tools
  • Automated marketing funnels for list building
  • Landing page tools
  • A suite of features for affiliate marketing

The Bottom Line (at the top)

Before I fully dive into the Kajabi review, I’ll start with my bottom line opinion of it.

Kajabi is the absolute best all-in-one software for selling online courses. This category of “all-in-one” apps means that you can get your entire website, email marketing, online courses, payment processing, online community space, and other necessary features taken care of all with ONE FREAKING APP. (Which means no more crazy tech overwhelm from having to manage a WordPress site with 32 plugins and 8 other third-party web apps duct taped to it.)

And the thing is, I’m not alone in my opinion here. Want to guess how many people use Kajabi? I don’t have an exact number, but the official count from Kajabi is now over 20,000 people.

And those business owners combined have made more than…wait for it…$1,000,000,000. That’s more than one billion in sales that have been processed on Kajabi sites from selling information products. (Insane, eh?)

This is what it comes down to for most people who want to make money online by selling knowledge: if you want to do what you’re passionate about, which is most likely helping people make some kind of positive change in their life, you do not want to mess around with a complicated tech system.

You want to do what you love doing, which does not involve high levels of tech stress and overwhelm because some part of your website system isn’t working…again.

Kajabi is by far the best solution if you’re in the camp of people who don’t enjoy getting caught up in tech tangles (and really, what other camp is there to be in?), but who also need a full, powerful platform to build a business around selling your knowledge.

If you already have a great website for your marketing site, blog, list building, and content marketing efforts, and if you want to sell online courses in a separate space from your main website, Kajabi can definitely be used for this. You might be wondering, “does Kajabi integrate with WordPress?”, and the answer is yes.

You can easily tie it into an existing WordPress, Squarespace, or any other kind of website so that you can use it to process payments for your courses and deliver your online course content inside of Kajabi. It performs exceedingly well at allowing you to create and sell courses online.

However, if all you need is an app to sell online courses, and you don’t need software to create your main website, or handle your email marketing, you may want to check out Teachable. You can catch our full Teachable review right here.

In a nutshell, Kajabi is the best option to consider if you want everything in one platform: a marketing website, email marketing tools, online courses, payment processing, community space for members, landing pages, and affiliate marketing features.

Teachable, on the other hand, is the best lower cost option if all you need is software to sell your courses and give members a place to access your content online.

This would mean you already have a marketing site, an email marketing app, and anything else currently in your tech stack, and the only thing you’re missing is the online course features.

Teachable is great for that, and although you can just use the online course features of Kajabi with, for example, an existing WordPress site, you’d be paying for a lot of features that you wouldn’t be using.

I do know quite a few people, my wife included, who just use the online course and community features of Kajabi and no other part of it, but if all you need is online course software and nothing else, you might want to check out Teachable.

Alright, back to the topic at hand. I’ve used so many different platforms and plugins that create membership websites to sell online courses, and so far, I haven’t come across an easier-to-use, better platform than Kajabi.

Thinkific, ZippyCourses, Ruzuku, WP Courseware, LearnDash, MemberMouse…those are all of the typical options folks tend to consider for creating and selling online courses, and I can tell you that none of them comes close to how good Kajabi is in terms of giving you a full, “all-in-one” platform to sell and deliver online courses. (Again, Teachable is great if all you need is software to sell and run online courses, rather than an all-in-one platform like Kajabi.)

Kajabi Membership Site Demo

There’s a great deal of detail in the written part of this review, but if you’d like to get a live action feel for what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat of this app, watch my video tour below.

It’s about 20 minutes and I show you every part of the platform, including what it looks like to your prospects and customers on the front of the site, inside the member’s only area of a course, and also how you’d use it to design your site and manage your business on the backend.


Why you should trust me

Let’s be honest…we don’t know each other, and you’re probably not totally sure if, or why, you should trust my opinions about software. That’s perfectly understandable, so let me address it.

For this particular review, you’re in good hands because I’ve used Kajabi in my own business over the last 13 years.

When I first started out, I had an online course about technology for building online course platforms (I know, I know…that’s so meta), and like you, I went through a long research process, wondering what online course software would be best to use. I ended up choosing Kajabi for my course, and I am so thankful I did.

This is just to say that I’ve had a chance to test it over multiple years with real customers in actual business environments, as opposed to me just testing it without having real customers using it.

And that? Means that I’m in a good position to give you a thorough Kajabi review…one that will hopefully help make your own research process much faster and easier than mine was.

Also, I’ve built and run three online businesses over the last 13 years, and in each case, I did all the research, testing, and assembly of the tech systems.

Each of those businesses became six-figure businesses, and two of them became multi-six figure businesses. The software platforms that powered each of those businesses were the tech engines that made that kind of revenue possible.

Alright, enough about me.

Let’s dive into the review.

Get 12 Hours of Free, Easy-To-Follow Video Tutorials + An Extended 28-Day Free Trial

Step 1: Sign up for an extended free trial of Kajabi that’s twice as long as the free trial available on their site by clicking on this link

Step 2: You’ll get an email from me telling you how to get instant access to my Kajabi Made Easy course.

Step 3: Start learning Kajabi the easy way and get your new site up quickly. You’ll save about 42.7 hours of learning time and walk away with a new superpower. 🙂

The Kajabi interface

kajabi dashboard

I’ve always found Kajabi to be quite easy to use. It’s FAR easier to use than a WordPress (and WordPress plugin) based tech system.

The dashboard on the homepage of the admin area has some great stats and the latest blog posts from the team.

Having built many Kajabi sites for clients over the past few years, I can also tell you that every client of mine has always said that it’s easy to use.

Kajabi Themes and Site Design Tools

There’s a lot to love about Kajabi (a lot), but it falls a tiny bit short in the available theme options for the non-member, marketing/blog website.

By default, the homepage and blog area currently use one of their two available theme options, which is called the Premier theme.

It’s a classy, clean, modern theme with a lot of flexibility in terms of what you can design with it, but some folks may feel a bit limited by the design options of the Premier theme.

There’s another section of the app, however, called the Pages section, which has a new theme platform and design tools called Encore.

The Encore theme is pretty amazing with the amount of design options it gives you. If you’re familiar with the Divi WordPress theme, Encore gives you a lot of similar design options that the Divi theme platform does, all without having to touch any code.

It’s important to note, however, that the new Encore theme is only currently available for internal pages you create, like your About page or sales pages for your course.

You can set the homepage to use an Encore designed page for the homepage of your site, but the Blog area of your site, and a couple other pages, like the “my library” page that customers will see when logged into the member area, will still have the Premier theme.

That’s supposed to change sometime in 2020, as the Encore theme tools will continue to show up as an option in other areas of the app.

Sorry if this is a bit hard to follow. It’s easier if I can show you around the app live to explain this. It basically comes down to this: some parts of a Kajabi site use the Premier theme only, and other parts can use the new Encore theme…and though they look similar, there are a few noticeable differences.

The Pages area of the app comes with about 30 pre-designed “theme packs” that all use the Encore theme platform, and they’re all quite gorgeous.

Here’s a look at the theme selection page showing different versions, or “layout presets” of the Encore theme:

kajabi pages

And here’s a closer look at one of the Encore themes, which gives you better sense of what a page can look like when it’s built with the Pages editor.

Kajabi pages theme

The things you can do with the Encore theme editor are, to be honest, fantastic looking, and there’s actually a lot of flexibility in terms of how you can make a page look and feel without having to touch a line of code.

You can make this theme feel like a conservative, corporate site by having corporate, business focused images and a traditional corporate blue color palette.

Or, you can make it look like a more feminine, warm and friendly site for a yoga teaching business by using photos from that industry paired with a more feminine color palette.

So, don’t be too concerned about there only being a couple of themes available, because both the Encore theme and the Premier theme are very flexible.

Kajabi Theme Design and Editing

Here are the things I love about the theme design and editing features built into the website builder toolset:

1. The theme editing tools are a joy to use. They make editing the design of your site incredibly easy.

2. I love that editing the content of areas of the homepage is a process of clicking on the element or content area that you want to edit, and then just editing content directly in the editing area in the left sidebar of the appearance editor.

In the screenshot below, you can see an example of this in the dotted blue box on top of the photo background. That’s a section of text on the homepage of a demo site.

To edit that chunk of text, you just click on the blue Edit button in the middle, and an editing area opens up in the left column for you to make changes that you’ll see show up in the preview of the site on the right.

The whole process feels intuitive and easy compared to the conventional design and editing process involved with a self-hosted WordPress site, or even many other membership website options on the market.

kajabi-software-2

4. There’s a great selection of about 70 different fonts to choose from in the typography editor, which is really nice. These are non-standard fonts that give you many more options for the look and feel of the typography of your site compared to the normally very small selection of web-safe fonts common in most website builders.

To get a larger font selection than the 8 or so web-safe fonts on other platforms, like a self-hosted WordPress site, you need to use something like TypeKit or Google Font Replacer, which requires a bit of work with copying and pasting snippets of code into the proper places within specific code files of your site.

With Kajabi’s website builder tools, you don’t need to worry about that, as long as you like one of the available fonts they’ve built in for you to choose from. In the screenshot below, you’ll see a few of the 70 available fonts.

kajabi-pricing
5. It’s easy to turn off whole sections on the homepage if you don’t want to use them. Just hover over three dots next to any section name, then click on Hide, and entire sections of the design will disappear.

kajabi-pricing-2

6. There’s an easy to use color picker to insert your brand’s color palette into the theme:

7. Inside the website builder area, there are options to preview the site on different mobile sized screens and desktop/laptop screen sizes as well.

You just click on the screen size you’d like to preview the site in, and the preview area resizes to that screen size, showing you how your design and content will reorganize itself based on that particular screen size.

What all of this means is that a) all themes in Kajabi are mobile responsive, and b) it’s incredibly easy to see what your site will look like on various screen sizes.

responsive-preview

8. For those of you who want full access to edit the HTML and CSS of the themes, you can do that if you have the Pro level plan, which gives you access to the code of your site.

You’ll need to be familiar with HTML, the Liquid programming language, and CSS to accomplish this level of editing, but if you want full control over the code for your site, you can have it.

Here’s what their code editor looks like. And don’t worry, this will look like a foreign language if you don’t know the Liquid programming language:

code-editor-1

9. As I mentioned above, the Premier and Encore themes are AMAZING. You can do a ton of things with them, and they both have exit intent pop ups and two-step opt-in workflows, which are two ways to offer free things to your site visitors while allowing you to grow your email list.

The “Hop on the phone with me” Purple Box Interlude

Not sure if Kajabi is a good fit?

Get one-on-one decision help with me on the phone.

Book a FREE 30-minute Kajabi consult call with me:

Book your call here

Opt-in Form Builder

The opt-in forms built into the themes look fantastic without touching any code to customize them. That’s just awesome. Seriously. Getting good looking opt in forms that are connected to your email marketing tools can be a major pain in the ass when using other website builders, like WordPress.

The Kajabi team has done an outstanding job of making their opt-in forms easy to set up, tie to your email marketing platform, and have the forms appear on pages of your website.

The screenshot below shows what the default opt-in form looks like in the theme I chose for the demo site I built for this review. The form is the section below the “Get the Ebook Here” heading in the lower right of the screenshot. Total time to create that opt-in form? 35.4 seconds.

opt-in-form

Downsides

There aren’t really any downsides with Kajabi’s opt-in forms. They look great, they’re fast and easy to set up, and it takes less than a minute to put one a page of your site.

Blog post creation

Blogging in Kajabi is currently the weakest part of its feature set, but it’s not that bad. The blogging features just aren’t as fully fleshed out as what you’d see in a self-hosted WordPress site.

But, keep in mind that WordPress started out many years ago as a blogging platform, so the WordPress community has had a long time to develop its blogging features.

With Kajabi’s blogging features, you can do everything you need to do in order to create a solid content marketing strategy using blogging as your main form of published content.

You can also do everything you need to do for search engine optimization on Kajabi.

When I create new blog posts, like the one you’re reading, I have checklist I go through with about 70 things that need to be done on my post to ensure that I’m doing everything I can for onsite SEO work, and you can do every single one of those things in this app.

It’s just that a handful of those things are slightly easier to do when blogging on WordPress and using an SEO plugin like Yoast.

Here are the things that stand out to me with the blogging functionality:

The good

1. The blog creation/editing area is clean and super easy to use. Here’s a look at what it looks like:

Can you blog with Kajabi

2. It’s super easy to upload a video into any blog post with the built in Wistia powered video player. You can see where you can upload a video to a blog post in the screenshot above.

3. Blog posts look clean and are easy to read on the front of your site. Here’s a look:

Blogging with Kajabi

The Not So Good

1. There isn’t a media area with all the images you’ve uploaded for other pages and blog posts in the past. There is, however, a “recently uploaded” section that shows you the last 10 or so images you’ve uploaded.

If you’re familiar with using WordPress for your website and blog, this might come as a surprise to you, because in WordPress you have easy access to a Media section, where all of the images and other media, like audio files, are displayed in a large library.

That comes in handy because often you’ll want to re-use certain photos or media files in different areas of your site.

2. When you create more posts and want to put tags on a given post (which will allow readers to click on a link for a tag and read all the posts with that same tag), you can’t see a list of previous tags you’ve used, so you have to memorize all the tags you’ve used in the past.

I have a hard enough time remembering the names of people I meet, much less the names of the tags I’ve used for other posts in the past. Some kind of menu of available tags would be great.

3. I would love to have more options to change the layout and design of the blog index page (where all your blog posts are displayed) as well as for individual blog posts.

That is supposedly coming sometime in 2020, though, once the Encore theme design tools show up as an option to edit the blog area of the app.

Get 12 Hours of Free, Easy-To-Follow Video Tutorials + An Extended 28-Day Free Trial

Step 1: Sign up for an extended free trial of Kajabi that’s twice as long as the free trial available on their site by clicking on this link

Step 2: You’ll get an email from me telling you how to get instant access to my Kajabi Made Easy course.

Step 3: Start learning Kajabi the easy way and get your new site up quickly. You’ll save about 42.7 hours of learning time and walk away with a new superpower. 🙂

Kajabi Online Course Features

This is where this app shines: creating a great experience for your members or students to go through your multimedia course content, and a streamlined experience for you and your team, as managers of the membership site.

I know of many people, myself included, who have used Kajabi just because this part of its feature set is so good.

Creating an area for the content of your online course, or courses, is incredibly fast and easy.

Here’s a screenshot of the homepage of a demo course I built in my Kajabi site:

software for selling online courses

Below are the stand out aspects of the online course features.

1. Wistia video streaming is built right into the platform, and you get it for free. Wistia is, by far, my favorite video streaming service. I’ve been using it for multiple businesses and online courses for the last 8 years, and I’ve rarely had any problems with their service, ever.

Wistia video streaming, as a stand-alone service, starts at $99/mo. And that’s exactly how much my wife and I have been paying them, every month, for the last 8 years for our other tech systems.

It’s been money well spent, but my point is that the Basic plan for Kajabi costs $119/mo. Wistia alone costs $99/mo. For $19 more, you get an ENTIRE website and online course selling platform, and Wistia is rolled in, which pretty much makes Wistia free.

Here’s a screenshot of what the Wistia video player looks like inside an online course. (Apparently, the first lesson in my course about how to build an online technology platform has to do with…um…taking a day off and going skiing.)

kajabi membership site demo

2. You can use the Wistia video player not only inside your member’s only course content, but also on your marketing/blog site (the non-member’s only area of your website.)

3. Some basic Wistia stats are built right into lesson pages so you can see viewer engagement, number of plays, and the play rate.

The image below shows the Wistia engagement stats for a video inside my wife’s online course. The graph on top of the video thumbnail shows the aggregate data of how far people make it through the video and the colored bars below show individual viewers. This allows you to see how much of the video individuals watch and which sections they skip or watch multiple times.

Kajabi wistia

4. You can set whether or not members can cancel their subscription by themselves or not. If you select “no” for this, people will have to contact your support team to cancel their subscription. It’s nice to have that option.

5. When members of your courses leave comments on lesson pages, they will be notified via email when you, someone from your team, or another course member responds to their comment.

This may seem like a simple thing, but it’s a huge win. You want it to be easy to build your community and let people actually have conversations with each other, or with you, as a teacher.

6. You can set up content drip schedules for your course modules and lesson pages so that people will get access to a given module or lesson pages on a set number of days after they join the program.

And it’s also easy to set things up where the content of your course is dripped out based on when your students complete certain lessons. So, for example, if they finish the last lesson in module 1 of your course, then the module 2 content is unlocked. (I’ve tried to set up Kajabi so that it unlocks our freezer and ice cream drawer only if our son finishes his dinner, but so far I’ve been unsuccessful.)

Being able to drip content out slowly can help reduce the overwhelm that some online learners feel if they see a giant curriculum with tons of modules and lessons to get through all at once when they login to your course area.

kajabi membership site demo

7. You can easily upload content directly from your Dropbox or Google Drive account, in addition to uploading content from your computer. I’ve not seen this feature in other membership site software before, and it’s great to see.

8. It’s easy to import a list of course members if you’re migrating from another membership site platform to Kajabi. You can simply import a .csv file with the names and email addresses of your members.

One caveat though: you can’t bring over your current member’s passwords from your previous membership site software. That’s unfortunate because if you migrate to Kajabi, it will mean that all of your existing members will need to reset their password to be able to login to your new course area.

This isn’t a huge downside. I’ve been a member of many online courses that switch course software midway through the life of the course, and all you have to do is go to the new login page and reset your password to create a new password. Easy peezy.

9. There’s a seemingly small, but very cool thing about the learner experience on lesson pages: if you have a video on a lesson page, when a member of your course watches the video all the way to the end, the app will automatically mark the lesson as complete for them.

10. Category and lesson creation is straightforward. You just need to create the categories first, then create lessons that go in each category. I think of categories as modules, and within each module is a collection of lessons on different topics.

You can even create sub-categories under the top level categories, and put lessons in the sub-categories. That makes organizing your learning materials even more flexible.

11. It’s easy to upload files to make available for download on any lesson page. When you do this, you’ll see download buttons or links created automatically for the files you uploaded. That’s awesome.

Accomplishing that with a self-hosted WordPress site using a membership site plugin takes several steps and several minutes of time per file. With Kajabi, it takes a few seconds.

kajabi features

12. There is a comment section on the lesson pages by default. You can see how comment threads look on a lesson page below. This is where your community of members can have discussions related to a given lesson page, or ask you direct questions about a given lesson. (Note that this is a different place to have discussions than the Kajabi Community area, which is like a private Facebook group right inside your Kajabi member area, except it’s not Facebook. More on that in a bit.)

comments-in-a-lesson

13. There are about a dozen different options for themes you can use to display your course content, and they’re all mobile responsive. (These are different themes than the Premier or Encore themes I mentioned above.)

14. The previous and next navigation buttons automatically appear on each lesson page. That’s really nice to have.

Again, that saves a good bit of time. There’s a lot of these seemingly small things that this app does automatically that create the feeling of it being very fast for you to create a members area for your course content.

15. In the Momentum course theme, which is my favorite theme because of how it makes navigating through course content so easy for people, there’s a progress indicator and checkmarks to show learners how far into the course they’ve gone, based on what lessons they’ve completed.

kajabi online course dashboard progress

16. On your side, as a course manager, there’s a progress area where you can see how far people are making it through the modules and lessons. It’s amazing to have that information.

It can give you insight into where people are stalling in your course, or where they may need more support, or different content, to help them make it through the rest of the course.

In the image below, the individual member names on the left are blurred out, and the blue progress bars show you how much of the course each person has completed. The numbers in the right column are how many times an individual has logged in to the member area.

Kajabi online course member progress

17. If you have multiple courses, it’s incredibly easy to display a course catalog, or menu page, of all of your courses that people can buy. This is surprisingly difficult with other membership site software options on the market.

In Kajabi, each course will have a tile with the main image you’ve set for the course, the title of the course, and a short description.

In the screenshot below, the Featured Offers section of this Kajabi site is an example of what it looks like when Kajabi displays multiple courses you’re offering for sale.

kajabi course examples

19. The Kajabi Mobile App: this platform now gives its owners the ability to give their course members a dedicated mobile app they can download on their phone to access course content and the community area of any Kajabi site. (This means they don’t have to access your course content through a mobile browser.)

The mobile app is easy to find in the Apple app store or Android app store, and it gives people a great experience of accessing your course content or community from their mobile devices.

Currently, this is not a branded app, meaning, it’s a Kajabi app you download and the app icon that people see on their phones has the Kajabi logo on it. Hopefully in the future they’ll offer a version of the mobile app that will allow you to show your logo on it.

The way the mobile app works is that when you login to it, you, as a member of a course or community that’s on Kajabi, will be able to access any Kajabi site that you’re a member of through the same app.

So, if your course members buy a course from you and a course from me, and we both have our courses on Kajabi, when your members login to the mobile app, they’ll be able to access both your course and community area, as well as mine, through the same mobile app. (Our courses would be in different areas of the mobile though.)

Aside from that, having the ability to give your members a dedicated mobile app to use, instead of having to access your course content and community via a web browser, is fantastic.

It’s also great to have the option of your members getting notifications on their phones via the mobile app when things happen inside your online community in Kajabi.

I don’t know of any other all-in-one online course software that offers a mobile app like this.

Here’s what the inside of a Kajabi community looks like in the Kajabi mobile app:

Kajabi mobile app

Downsides of the course creation features

1. Importing large amounts of customers from another system, like Infusionsoft, when you have multiple products or online courses that all of your customers own, and need to get access to within Kajabi, is currently a very time-consuming, difficult process.

Hopefully this will change in the near future.

Get 12 Hours of Free, Easy-To-Follow Video Tutorials + An Extended 28-Day Free Trial

Step 1: Sign up for a free trial of Kajabi by clicking on this link

Step 2: You’ll get an email from me telling you how to get instant access to my Kajabi Made Easy course.

Step 3: Start learning Kajabi the easy way and get your new site up quickly. You’ll save about 42.7 hours of learning time and walk away with a new superpower. 🙂

Kajabi Community Forum

As Kajabi continues to develop their platform, it’s becoming even more of a true all-in-one app.

They took a big leap forward in that regard when they added a built in, private Facebook group-like community discussion area last year.

It’s got all the basic features you’d need to offer an engaging community space for members of your online courses, or, you could even sell access to just the community space as a stand-alone product.

With all of the negative news stories about Facebook over the past couple of years, more and more online course owners want to stop using private Facebook groups for their community discussion and socializing space.

I know this because I talk to hundreds of online course owners every year, and this one theme keeps coming up over and over: Course owners want their own community space that is NOT on Facebook.

With Kajabi’s built in community features, you’ve got that, and it’s right in your own website. And the best part? There’s no freaking ads to bother you or your members, and your member’s personal, private data isn’t being stolen and sold to large companies. (Can you tell I’m not a fan of Facebook?)

Here’s a look at what the community space looks like:

kajabi-course-examples

You can post videos by dropping a link to a video that’s on a platform like Youtube or Vimeo.

Folks can like posts, leave comments, and post GIF images in their replies. And when you hover over someone’s profile photo, you can see their short bio and click a link to send them a private message.

As a Community moderator, any of your site admins can cause a post to be stuck at the top as a sticky post, and any member of your community can follow any thread even if they haven’t participated. That will cause them to get email notifications when people post new comments in that thread.

Speaking of which, yes, your members will get email notifications when people reply to a thread they’ve either started or have participated in (and those can be turned off as well.)

They’ve even taken a page from old school discussion forum boards and have created a tab folks can click to see discussions sorted by topics. This makes finding threads on a given topic MUCH easier for your members.

Here’s what it looks like:

what-does-kajabi-cost

Having all of these community features built right into your own online course area is flat out incredible. It means that you don’t have to use Facebook groups anymore, nor do you have to create a community space on a platform like Mighty Networks and then deal with a clunky integration which makes people login to your online course are and then have to go to another website and login again just to access the community space for your online course.

I love, love, love the community features of this app.

Email Marketing Tools

Having your email marketing platform right inside of your website creation/editing platform, as well as your membership site platform, is a big plus when using an “all-in-one” solution.

This kind of integration is one of the big appeals for all-in-one solutions because it means that you don’t have to tie together, and login to, multiple different tech tools to accomplish the kinds of things you need to do in your business.

Here are the things that stand out to me about Kajabi’s email marketing tools:

1. Its email marketing features are amazing. You’ll find everything you need to accomplish all of the basic and advanced tactics of list building and email marketing.

The email marketing features allow you to do almost everything that the top of the line, dedicated email marketing apps, like Convert Kit, allow you to do.

You’ll find tools for creating opt-in forms for things like free offers, broadcast emails, webinar registration, and autoresponder emails.

Here’s what an autoresponder sequence looks like in the email marketing area:

best software for selling online courses 2019

In addition, there are about 45 different ways to segment your email list based on actions that people take, tags they’ve been given by your automations, things they’ve opted in for, or products they’ve purchased. The list segmenting in this app is powerful and very flexible.

Here’s a look at some of the ways you can create filters for who to send an email to. This is from the drop down menu during the first step of creating an email or email sequence, where you choose who, from your list, will get this email.

best software for online courses

2. The email builder is just like using the webpage editor. In fact, this is one part of the platform where the Encore theme exists outside of the Pages section. Here’s a look at the email editor when creating a simple plain text email:

Kajabi also has rich, colorful HTML email capabilities if you want to match the look and feel of your emails to the look and feel of your website.

Here’s a look at a more designed, colorful email in the email builder. Again, notice that building emails is just like building a page.

Also, keep in mind that you would be hard pressed to find other email marketing apps out there that make it so easy for you to build beautiful looking emails like this. Another win for this platform.

3. Creating an automated follow-up campaign, or series of emails, is easy and straightforward.

4. Building an opt-in form and tying it to an automated email campaign is also super easy. What that means is that creating a sign-up form for something like a free email course on your homepage is simple and quick. It takes just a few minutes.

If, for example, you’re offering a free 7-day email course, when people sign up to get that course, they’re added to your email list, they’re tagged, and they get the first lesson immediately (the lessons of your email course would be set up as individual emails in an autoresponder.)

Before I move on, it’s important to really grasp what it means to have your email marketing and list building tools integrated right in to the same software system that your marketing site is built on.

The bottom line is this: it makes your life around your tech platform greatly simplified.

When all of these things are tightly integrated within one platform, it means that it becomes incredibly easy for you to create full workflows for doing things like offering free things on your site as lead generators that grow your email list.

Creating the free offer content, like a multi-media mini course, then creating a web page, an opt-in form, a thank you page, and having emails sent out automatically when someone signs up…that whole process is WAY easier to accomplish on Kajabi than it is when you’re using WordPress, 15 plugins, and 4 different stand-alone apps that are tied to the WordPress site.

Alright, now that that’s clear, here’s a view of the web form, or opt-in form, editing area, which, like everything else in Kajabi, is super easy to use:

best software to use to sell online courses 2019
5. You can easily create a customizable thank you page that people will see after they click “sign up” on an opt-in form.

6. You can easily duplicate an autoresponder series to create a similar one without having to start from scratch.

7. The broadcast email stat reports show the open rate, click rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribe rate for each email you send.

Automated Email templates

There’s an entire section of Kajabi’s website builder area that’s devoted to editing an assortment of email templates for automated emails like a welcome email that goes out to new members who have just purchased a course from you.

That’s something I haven’t seen in other platforms with similar feature sets, and it’s great that this functionality is there.

These emails make it very easy to get your prospects and customers the information they need to see after they sign up for either free products you’re offering, or paid courses.

There are merge codes that dynamically insert information right into the emails, like the customer’s name, their login email, password, and a link to login to access their free or paid course.

For example, below is a preview of the Member Welcome Email that will go out to any members that buy a course from you:

email-template

Downside

The email templates use merge codes that are in the Liquid language. That may take some getting used to if you’ve not worked with the Liquid language before. It’s not complicated to insert merge codes though, so this isn’t a huge downside.

To edit the templates, you’ll have to avoid messing with the Liquid merge codes that insert information into the email.

Or, conversely, if you want to have certain information appear in an email that’s currently not appearing (meaning, dynamically generated content), you’ll need to do a bit of copying and pasting to get the Liquid merge code in the right spot of the email template.

It’s not difficult, but from my experience of consulting with people who are using website builders that use merge codes, or “shortcodes,” most people don’t like having to copy and paste codes in different places to get their tech tools to do things they want to do.

The screenshot below shows a view of the editing view of the Welcome Email I showed in the previous screenshot. See? The merge codes aren’t that scary. Just text with some double curly brackets.

email-editing-in-liquid

Integration

Out of the box, Kajabi integrates with these email marketing platforms:

  • Convert Kit
  • Mailchimp
  • Active Campaign
  • Drip
  • Aweber

That means that if you’re already using something like Convert Kit for your email marketing platform, if you like it and want to keep using it, you can.

You just turn on the Convert Kit integration and paste in your API key from Convert Kit and then any opt-in forms you have on your Kajabi site will be connected to your Convert Kit account, sending folks over there so you can manage your email marketing needs from Convert Kit.

In terms of payment integrations, Kajabi works with Stripe and Paypal. Integrating either of those takes less than 5 minutes. Are you seeing the pattern here? Soooo many things are way easier and simplified when you use Kajabi.

It also integrates with Google Analytics, Click Funnels (for landing pages), and you can add the Facebook Ad tracking pixel as well for running Facebook ads that send people to your site.

Dozens and dozens of integrations with other apps are available by connections made through Zapier and Segment, which are services that creates connections between apps that don’t natively integrate with each other.

Kajabi Pipelines: A Marketing Funnel Builder

This set of features allows you to easily build complete workflows for things like offering a free webinar to build your list, or, to build out the entire workflow and content pages for a product launch.

I have to say, this is one of my favorite parts of the new Kajabi. The creation process for building out a marketing funnel workflow like this is, in every other platform, quite a task. And it’s a task that requires you to do A LOT of visualization of where in the app to create the many different pieces of content, and where to upload, for example, your pdf for your free report, or where to go to compose the welcome email that delivers the free report.

In every other platform I’ve ever used or tested, the marketing funnel creation process takes you into at least 5 or 6 different areas of the app you’re using. But in Kajabi? It’s all in one place, and the set up process is entirely automated. It’s a bit mind blowing.

When you see this Pipeline tool in action, you’ll likely feel as I did: “Why the hell didn’t someone create a marketing funnel creation tool like this before?”

Here’s what it looks like when I chose to create a Zoom webinar funnel. I simply clicked on that type of funnel, and this is the very next thing I see: an easy-to-understand flowchart of the marketing funnel laid out clearly down the page, and I can edit the placeholder content that it set up for me:

what software to use to sell online courses

And it creates an automated series of emails that go out before the webinar as reminders, and another series of emails that go out after the webinar to help sell webinar attendees whatever it was you worked so elegantly (and non-aggressively 🙂 to sell them at the end of your webinar:

can you do webinars with kajabi

After it sets all this up for you in a matter of seconds, you just go in and edit the email copy, the copy on each page of the funnel, and the design of each landing page in the funnel. It’s insanely easy to use.

Years ago, when I used to create funnels like this in the first version of Kajabi, it would literally take me 4 hours to build a funnel like this. Now? It takes 28.7 seconds. I’m not kidding. It’s In. Sane.

From now on, until I see something better out there on the interweb, this pipeline marketing funnel builder is the best, easiest way to build marketing funnels. Period.

Downsides

Nope. None. This part of of the app is amazing.

Contact Records and Management

There is a simple person record for each contact on your email list and member list inside the app. This is not a full blow customer relationship management set of features, but you can do many things you’d do in a larger CRM.

Here’s what a contact record looks like:

person-record

The page lists out a person’s name, email, what they opted in for, what they’ve purchased, emails they’ve received, and notes you can write about that person.

It’s great to have all of this in there, but if you’re looking for a full CRM suite of features, as you’d get with something like PipeDrive or Salesforce, you won’t find those features here.

The contact records in this app are a clear record of vital information for each contact in your system, and nothing more.

Most small business owners selling online programs don’t need a full CRM, so the information you have access to in the person record for each member is perfect.

Here are a few other things you can do on the person record pages:

1. You can remove access to a program for someone if they’ve bought a course from you.

2. You can also send them a temporary password, which is handy because often people will lose their password and ask for help in logging into the site, which happens when folks don’t notice the “lost password” link on the login page.

3. You can see what opt-in forms a person has filled out.

4. If someone has purchased one of your courses and they’re being a bit cantankerous, you can mute them.

For example, if someone is saying things in comments inside your course that you don’t want them to say, or if they’re upsetting other members, or breaking your community guidelines in any way, you can mute them. You would then reach out to them privately to clear things up.

Muting them prevents them from being able to comment in your course area. My wife sometimes wishes she had a mute button for me. :/

Get 12 Hours of Free, Easy-To-Follow Video Tutorials + An Extended 28-Day Free Trial

Step 1: Sign up for a free trial of Kajabi by clicking on this link

Step 2: You’ll get an email from me telling you how to get instant access to my Kajabi Made Easy course.

Step 3: Start learning Kajabi the easy way and get your new site up quickly. You’ll save about 42.7 hours of learning time and walk away with a new superpower. 🙂

Payment Processing

Here’s another big chunk of functionality that draws people to want to use an all-in-one app: being able to process credit card payments right on your site, and having all of that integrated into the main tech platform for your business.

Here are the stand out points of the payment processing features:

1. At the time of writing this review, Kajabi integrates with Stripe and Paypal for payment processing, which is great.

I love Stripe (Paypal, not so much), but, here’s the thing: you can ONLY use Stripe and Paypal currently. That means that if you’d like to use something like Authorize.net for your payment processing, you won’t be able to do that.

2. You can set the currency for your courses to be in whatever currency you’d like. (The currency you get paid in will be set to whatever currency your bank uses…the bank account you’d connect to your Stripe account.)

3. The checkout page when buying a course is really nice looking.

There’s also space on the checkout page where you can show your course graphic plus some bullet points to remind people the big benefits they get when they sign up. You can even add a few testimonials with customer photos to the checkout page.

Those things can help a lot with cart abandonment, which is a good thing, because you’d be surprised to know how many people bail on making a purchase of your products right when they’re on the checkout page.

4. The checkout process is streamlined to reduce the percentage of people who bail on a purchase during checkout. All they see at first is just a simple step of entering their email address and credit card info.

When that’s done, they’re taken to a second page where they enter their name and create a password.

Here’s what the first page of the checkout process looks like on Kajabi:

webinars on kajabi

4. You can add people automatically to an automated follow-up sequence of emails after they buy a course from you. It’s super helpful to be able to automatically send new members a series of emails to get them familiar with how to use your course.

5. You can easily present customers with a terms and conditions page that they have to click to agree with before they finish the purchase process.

This is a nice option if you’ve ever run into problems with people not reading things like your refund or opt-out policy of your program in the past.

Turning this feature on ensures that customers have to read your program policies (or at least skim them) and sign off on them before they can join the program. That can cut down on problematic customers doing things like coming to you later asking for a refund beyond your money-back guarantee period.

6. It’s easy to set affiliate sale commissions per offer for a given course, so you could, for example, set the one-time payment commission to one percentage, and the payment plan payments to a different level of commission for your affiliates.

If you’re not familiar with what an affiliate program is, it’s when you pay other people a percentage of each sale for folks that they send to your site from their community.

I’ll say more about Kajabi’s affiliate program features in the next section.

7. If you want to use upsells, which is when you present customers with another course or product right after they purchase something, that option is available in the Kajabi checkout process. Kajabi calls them “order bumps.” (I always thought an order bump was when you’re ordering a mocha on your phone and you accidentally bump the “add 2 doughnuts to your order” button.)

8. It’s easy to create coupon codes if you want to offer special discounts on your courses at some point.

9. After someone buys a course from you, you can send them to the course library page, listing all of the courses or products they’ve purchased from you.

They’ll see the course they just bought, plus, via a link in the main menu, they can see all the other courses you’re selling on a course catalog page.

This is a great feature of Kajabi that’s very challenging to replicate on other membership site platforms.

A workflow process like this can help you sell other courses because when a person buys one course, they’ll see all the other courses you offer.

From there, they can click on the ones they don’t own to learn more and purchase them.

10. Kajabi integrates with Quaderno to fully automate and handle the hassles around taxes like the VAT tax for European buyers, or the GST tax for Australian customers of your courses. That’s a huge time/hassle saver if you need to comply with the VAT or GST tax laws.

11. You can process refunds right within Kajabi, meaning, you don’t need to go into Stripe or Paypal to process refunds (which can be a pain.)

Affiliate Marketing Features

There’s a built-in affiliate program in Kajabi if you have the Pro or Premium plan.

This allows you to manage your affiliate marketing program, while also giving your affiliates a dashboard where they can get their click and sales stats.

1. Here’s what your affiliates would see when they login to your dashboard to check their click and sales stats.
kajabi course examples

2. All the basics of an affiliate management program are in Kajabi’s affiliate program features, including your own dashboard, as an admin of the site, where you can track the clicks and conversions of your affiliates.

affiliate-stats-admin-side

3. You can create affiliate links for your affiliates, set default commissions, override the defaults and create custom commissions for individual affiliates, and send out links for affiliates to go to a page to sign up to become one of your affiliates.

4. You can send out emails to all of your affiliates from inside the app, using the same built in email marketing features you’d use to send out broadcast emails to your regular email list, but these emails will only go to your affiliates.

5. You can export the full list of affiliate sales for each month and then use that exported file to do a Paypal Mass Pay to pay your affiliates. That makes the process of paying your affiliates much, much faster than paying them manually in Paypal one at a time.

Downside

You can’t upload swipe copy or advertising banners for your courses into the affiliate area where your affiliates can login.

You can, however, create a page just for this purpose in the Pages section of the app, where you’d give your affiliates different sections of a page where they could download banner images or email swipe copy for them to use when telling their audience about your course.

It’s a relatively easy work around.

Customer Support

Kajabi has always had great support. Whenever I’ve needed to contact them over the years, the support folks have always been timely, helpful, and smart. Their support team actually stands out as one of the stellar examples of how to do customer support if you own a software company.

All of their plans offer live chat, but at the Pro plan level and above you can get 24/7 live chat support, and I can tell you from experience, being able to get instant help when you’re in the middle of launching an online course is a life saver. I can’t tell you how many times Kajabi support folks saved my ass during launches.

Tutorials and documentation

Kajabi has a solid set of written and video tutorials that show you how to use every section of it.

There’s no need to worry about having trouble learning how to use it from their tutorials, which can sometimes be an issue with apps like this.

That said, if you’re looking for the easiest, fastest way to learn how to use Kajabi, I’ve created a step-by-step guided video tutorial course called Kajabi Made Easy. It’s got over 12 hours of short, easy-to-follow video lessons where you see my screen and me as I guide you through every step of setting up and using this tech system.

And the best part is that you can get this course for free if you sign up for a free trial of Kajabi via this link, which will also give you an extended 28-day free trial. That would be a win-win for you right there.

How easy is it to find people to hire who know how to use Kajabi?

Kajabi has been around since 2007. It’s very popular in the information marketing and online course spaces, which means that there’s a good chance that you won’t have a hard time finding someone, like a virtual assistant, who’s familiar enough with it to manage it, or even set it up, for you.

Also, for a talented virtual assistant who’s already familiar with how to use other similar apps, or even just WordPress, Kajabi would not take them long to learn.

How much does Kajabi cost per month?

Kajabi’s changes periodically, so to make sure you get the latest pricing, and an up-to-date list of which features come with which plans, click on the button below to check their current pricing.

As you’re considering Kajabi’s cost, remember to keep this in mind: The monthly cost of getting all the features this platform has in one place by using other apps is quite high. Here’s a list of other apps you’d need to pay for each month to get the full set of features that Kajabi has all in one place:

  • a website builder such as Squarespace, which costs $18/mo
  • a dedicated online course platform like Teachable, which costs $99/mo
  • a landing page builder like Lead Pages, which costs $59/mo
  • an app that gives you a private social network/community discussion space, like Mighty Networks, which costs $81/mo
  • a video streaming service like Wistia, which costs $99/mo
  • an email marketing app like Convert Kit, which costs $29/mo
  • an app that allows you to run affiliate marketing programs, like Post Affiliate Pro, which costs $97/mo
  • a checkout cart app that connects with Stripe or Paypal so you can take payments on your site, like SamCart, which costs $39/mo
  • an app for financial reporting, key performance metrics, and customer progress tracking, like Baremetrics, which starts at $50/mo

So, let me do the math for you here. The total for all those separate apps listed above, apps that you’d need to get the functionality that Kajabi has, is $571/mo.

And the starting cost of Kajabi? $149/mo. 

See? That kind of puts things in perspective, eh? I don’t know about you, but this puts Kajabi in the “well that’s a no-brainer” category.

Kajabi Membership Site Examples

If you’re curious to see Kajabi being used out in the wild, here’s some great examples of entrepreneurs who are using it:

Brendon Burchard. His main site is not running on Kajabi, but all of his courses are.

James WedmoreThis whole site is running on Kajabi, including his online courses.

Chalene Johnson. She’s using a similar set up as Brendon is, with her main site running on a self-hosted WordPress site, likely with a custom WordPress theme, and many of her courses are using Kajabi.

Modern Soul Society. Their whole site is running on Kajabi.

Healthy Habits Happy Moms. They are running their marketing site on WordPress and their courses are using Kajabi.

Balanced Cents. His whole site is on Kajabi.

Financial Recovery Institute. This whole site and it’s large online course is running on Kajabi. (This is a site I built for a client.)

Jen Rene. Her whole site about yoga is running on Kajabi.

Should You Use Kajabi?

If you don’t classify yourself as a “techy” person, and you know, without a doubt, that you don’t want to mess with any frustrating, overwhelming tech stuff, Kajabi should be at the top of your list for consideration.

If you feel like you need a highly customized, uniquely branded website, Kajabi may not be the best fit for you in terms of using it as an all-in-one app. But even if you have something like a custom WordPress site for your marketing site, Kajabi would still be my top choice for selling your online courses and other digital knowledge products.

Alrightee then. That’s it for this review. If you’re still reading and made it all the way down here, holy moly! You’re amazing! I hope this has helped you in your quest to find the best solution for your businesses tech platform. 🙂

If Kajabi sounds interesting to you, I highly recommend taking it for a free trial spin while also getting my Kajabi Made Easy video course for free, and seeing for yourself whether or not it would work for you and your business.

If you have any questions about this app, or if you want to share anything about your own experience of using it, let me know in the comments below.

Cheers!

~Forest Linden

Get 12 Hours of Free, Easy-To-Follow Video Tutorials + An Extended 28-Day Free Trial

Step 1: Sign up for a free trial of Kajabi by clicking on this link

Step 2: You’ll get an email from me telling you how to get instant access to my Kajabi Made Easy course.

Step 3: Start learning Kajabi the easy way and get your new site up quickly. You’ll save about 42.7 hours of learning time and walk away with a new superpower. 🙂