One of the best ways to monetize an authority website is to provide valuable online courses to your audience.
But it’s not an easy task.
You need to really think it through.
Build something helpful.
And that’s only the first step.
Up next, you need hosting and a means to start selling online courses.
Most learning management systems provide you with tools to create a curriculum and distribute it.
Kajabi wants to take it a step further.
The tools and functionalities for marketing and sales are much more developed when compared to other learning management systems.
But an all-in-one LMS doesn’t come for free.
Kajabi is a bit more pricey than other course builders.
And there are voices that claim Kajabi is more bark than bite.
So let’s dive into the tool in this Kajabi review and see if it’s worth it.
When you start using Kajabi, you have a lot to unpack.
The Kajabi dashboard is filled with everything from email marketing tools to training content, access to Kajabi’s support team and a good site builder.
There’s no flash tutorial when you begin, but it’s probably for the better. You wouldn’t be able to remember everything this tool can do in under 10 minutes.
But you’re not left wondering.
The first thing you’ll see when you get started is an offer to get 1-on-1 help from a customer support agent.
That’s part of their 90 days unlimited calls trial.
You get the best customer support to get started, so it’s clear that Kajabi wants you to make the best out of its features.
However, the 1-on-1 call is a bigger time investment than your regular tutorial. You have to schedule it and put a window in your calendar for it.
So it’s great that they offer it, but they shouldn’t lead with that.
They should, however, flash the Kajabi boot camp a bit more. It’s a course part of the Kajabi University and it takes you through the ropes of this all-in-one LMS.
If you access the University, you’ll find tutorials on getting started, using different tools and everything you need to know to succeed with Kajabi.
The problem is, these courses are not straightforward.
Let’s look at an example to hammer the point home.
The Kajabi Basics tutorial is not a basics tutorial per se – it just covers the basics of configuring your website, not the platform overall.
This is expected from a platform that’s more complex than your average course creation tool.
But it can get a bit confusing for someone with little experience using online tools.
Other than that, the interface is pretty intuitive.
Labels and navigation are clear. Couple that with the University and you can easily get started if you know your way around online software.
But it can leave some people wondering.
Moreover, even if you don’t run around the tool aimlessly, you can forget all about certain features.
For example, I didn’t sit through the whole getting started tutorial.
I just got an overview and started playing around with Kajabi.
It took me about 5 hours to realize they have an automation tool.
And that it can work wonders for your online marketing efforts.
So it’d help all Kajabi users getting started if they had access to a short, comprehensive tutorial that would highlight all the tools and how you can use them.
But it’s not a minus per se. It’s just something to accommodate all Kajabi users.
9 cases out of 10, you should have an easy time learning how to use Kajabi.
The products tab is where you’ll be creating your courses.
As you can see, it’s not your average course builder.
Kajabi offers an all-in-one solution for developing informational products.
Besides the mini and the online course, you can create an evergreen training, a membership platform, a community or a coaching program.
These are templates for products, but you can ditch them and start from scratch with a blank canvas, creating your own educational product.
If you choose to start from scratch it may be discouraging if you’re new.
No dummy structure, no dummy content.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it if you know you have an unorthodox teaching method.
This is the first difference between Kajabi other online course management systems.
But is it that big of a plus?
If you just have an idea for a course and want to play around with a tool, see if you can get something running, this Kajabi review is not for you.
However, for someone that has a complex online business (even if it’s not earning you crazy money yet) Kajabi could fare better.
Product management is more flexible.
So you have a better chance of tailoring your educational products to your audience’s needs.
When you take the leap to create a course, it’s pretty easy.
Choose a product template (let’s go with an online course for this example), name it and you get a curriculum laid out for you.
From the main dashboard, you can edit general details, preview your course as students would see it, make announcements, manage comments and customize the theme of your course.
We highly recommend giving customization a shot.
That’s where you’ll find a lot of product themes for displaying your course.
The default theme is Premier, which features a top to bottom layout.
Generally, online courses are structured like this – lesson content on the right, course overview on the left.
If you want to go for that look, the Classic template will give you that, although the design is pretty outdated.
Just open the screen and play around with the templates. You’ll definitely find something that fits.
Now for the real doozie: you can edit elements on your course as you would in a regular site builder.
Add, remove, edit blocks, resize buttons and add multimedia.
It’s not surface level either.
You have access to a large variety of blocks, and you can do complex edits. For example, you can make text truncate at your choice of characters.
The developers really put a lot of thought into this course builder and it empowers you to create what you want
All the blocks are course-specific, and they’re all optimized for mobile too.
The Kajabi platform also has an app for your students, so you can reach people at more convenient times.
For a fair Kajabi review, we have to admit that this versatile builder cuts some time you’d spend working with a different visual editor.
Besides the design, working on your content is also easy.
When you choose to add or edit a lesson, you can work on the general details and add text or video content.
You can also add posters for your course and make the lesson downloadable.
At a glance, it’s not very complex. You can only add a video, text, or turn the lesson into an assessment.
It would be better customizable with more lesson types, like PDFs or presentations.
And you’re definitely a bit limited.
Especially since you can’t add more than one video to a lesson, or a video and an assessment.
But you can work around this by creating more lessons.
And for most people, video, text, and assessment is all they need.
However, don’t take it in stride.
Think about how you’d create your courses, or how you have them set-up already.
If you need more complex file types, or if you’d like to make chapters more compact, you could be better off using something else.
Another thing you can do in course creation is set up automation.
We’ll talk about the whole automation system at length, but it’s great that they have quick access to it over here.
Clicking on automation will generate an if-then rule based on the lesson you have opened at the moment.
So for example, you could send an email to everyone that finishes a lesson, congratulating them on their progress.
All in all, the course builder is powerful.
It could be better with some improvements – more lesson types, some extra templates to keep everyone happy and the ability to add more than one video on a lesson.
But it’s certainly not bad.
Flexible design with a touch of easy curriculum management and a dash of automation – these make for a well-rounded builder.
Speaking of builders: Kajabi offers an enticing site builder.
Ok, got a little off track with the food references there.
But you won’t be off track when using Kajabi’s site builder.
It gives you much more control when compared to other LMS site builders.
Not only can you edit a lot of backend stuff, get your own domain, and have free hosting for any paid plan.
But the editor itself lets is more versatile.
Most online course platforms will have an in-house builder that they’ll push down your throat, but they don’t measure up when compared to fully-fleshed site builders.
It’s still not perfect, and if you plan on conquering the web you should have a main site set up with something like WordPress.
But it’s more than enough for a landing page.
And you’ll definitely have enough to create a decent website for your business.
Decent – not great.
But still worth it if you don’t have the resources to use something bigger.
Now for why that’s so.
A lot of your site’s details will be edited from the settings tab, not the Website tab.
In fact, most of the settings are “site settings”.
These include details about your branding, homepage SEO, static pages and many more.
These intertwine with the course creation options.
For example, this is where you’ll set a drip up.
But you can still do a lot.
You can manage details about your blog for example.
And yes, you can blog with Kajabi, and it’s actually decent – more about that in a bit.
Besides these options, you can also manage domain details from this screen.
Don’t expect a full website hosting experience – you can’t search for domains and purchase them in-app, as you would with Bluehost or Godaddy.
But you can still add your own if you’re not happy with the .kajabi domain (and you shouldn’t be if you want to rank).
It’s also great that you can edit static pages like privacy policies from here.
That way, you set up all the backend stuff from the beginning and you can sprinkle them at will when editing specific pages.
Now for the builder itself.
Editing your website with Kajabi is easy, but not quick.
With the design tab, you can expectedly modify colors, typography and general branding stuff.
It’s great that you get a preview of the page you’re working on in the right screen, so you know if your changes look good.
It’s not different from your regular site builder design screen.
But it’s got more options and a better interface than site builder design tabs of other LMSs
If you want to set up a blog, you have to give it a name and create a new blog post
Don’t get hyped, this is not a full-on content management system.
If you’re planning on being a blogger by day and course creator by night, you’d be better of using WordPress and another learning management system.
However, if course creation is your main thing and you just want to update your students, or try out blogging, see how you’d fare, Kajabi can make it work.
When editing a blog post, you can format them however you want, add multimedia, edit metadata, tags, and the URL.
This is pretty much everything an average user needs.
Aside from looks, there’s not a lot of differences between this editor and the vanilla WordPress one.
So can you rank with Kajabi?
Well, what this lacks is the plugins and integrations that help you do keyword research, measure results, analyze pages and so on.
And that’s still unbeatable.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work with Kajabi.
As long as you have your own domain and know your SEO, it should work.
Unfortunately, chances are we won’t see that in the future.
While great for a beginner to get accustomed, experienced users are not likely to use Kajabi for blogging.
It’s not the tool itself.
It’s just that things like WordPress don’t offer just the tool.
They also offer ecosystems of add-ons and users that help you rank better.
Speaking of add-ons and helpful tools: Kajabi offers qualitative analytics.
As soon as you open the analytics screen, you’ll be met with an overview of the metrics you can check in on, like net revenue, page views, opt-ins, and your affiliate program.
You can check in on revenue, page views and even subscription metrics.
But it’s not as complex as Google Analytics, so you’ll still need an extra tool for complex tracking.
For example, you can’t measure custom goals, so that’s already a bummer for any paid marketing campaign you’d like to run.
But don’t take that as a drawback of Kajabi.
The analytics are enough for the basic user that just wants to see how they’re doing.
And when compared to other online course platforms, it’s much better.
Now for the creme de la creme: the page editor.
Ok, I may have overhyped it, it’s not surprisingly good.
It just does its job right.
You go through the same set-up flow as you did for the blog.
You’ve got great templates for each page, and the editing process is the same as the course building one.
What’s really great is the block variety.
You have a lot of pre-made elements that you can insert into your pages.
Really, it’s on par with regular site builders. You can choose from CTAs, images, buttons and countdown timers.
There’s nothing unheard of here.
And a lot of these premade elements could be coded in a few minutes by an experienced web developer.
But for the beginner online entrepreneur, it lets you be versatile and change the page to your liking.
Now the editor is not without fault, and it has a big one.
You can’t drag and drop items and you have to follow a predefined structure.
That’s a problem because you only have one column to work with, so don’t expect to create complex pages.
It will all be a top to bottom rope of beautiful elements.
You also can’t resize elements just how you want it, so for any beginner, a tool like Wix could be easier to use.
But you can make it work somehow if you know your way around HTML and CSS.
If you go to settings, besides editing your pop-ups, opt-ins, and favicon, you can also add code snippets.
They’re not a coder’s paradise.
It’s actually pretty thin since you don’t have access to the source code.
So you’re limited to minor changes in snippets.
But it’s enough to counter some of the problems we talked about with editing on-page elements.
All in all, the site builder fares well.
It’s great for creating a landing page for your educational products, even if you already have a strong online presence elsewhere.
They just have a lot of pre-made resources to make the editing process lightning fast.
And you get decent control over how your page looks like, as long as you can make it work with one column.
It’s not perfect – if you want to create an authority website and then start selling online courses, put it on hold.
For everyone else, if you either:
- Need something suited for a beginner
- Need a website up fast
- Need a good landing page
- Want to create an academy website for your business
Kajabi will work, and it wouldn’t be a fair Kajabi review if we didn’t praise the site builder.
Kajabi offers more marketing features when compared to other digital products.
You can create complex customer flows, email marketing campaigns, forms and even automate some tasks.
Ok, it does a lot, but does it do them well?
Let’s take each one in part.
Pipelines are customer flows, and they’ve got a few templates for them,
You can create freebies to gather emails, a sales page, a free book or even a coaching campaign.
Most of these follow the OVO (Opt-in, Value, Offer) template, which is an email marketing strategy that goes like this:
- People opt-in to an email list or other types of marketing list after you give them resources to establish trust
- You add value to those people. Be it blog posts, free resources – it doesn’t matter. You just need to actually help them
- You make an offer to the people you’ve established trust with
It’s not the only customer flow template, but it’s pretty basic and you can get started with it in no time.
Before we continue, notice how easy content marketing becomes with these templates.
Just with this feature, Kajabi helps you sell online courses more than a lot of other digital products.
The templates themselves are well made.
For example, let’s take the Sales Page OVO Pipeline.
After customers opt-in, you’ll send 8 automated emails to entice them to your benefits.
You’ll then get them on a sales page and, if you’ve provided good content to the right people, they should proceed to checkout.
Don’t take these templates for granted. Email marketing is hard.
They make it easier to structure a campaign, but they’re not everything you need.
You need to think through the email marketing campaign and optimize a valuable sales page, so make sure you put some work into developing the template.
But that’s not to say the pipelines aren’t a great addition.
They make your work easier. You’ve got a starting place.
Especially since every template has a video going you through the purpose and use of it. If you want to sell online courses in general, build an email list, offer a free resource or create a product launch, Kajabi’s marketing features are a great addition.
If nothing seems to work for you, you can always create a blank pipeline and edit it yourself however you want.
If you do have marketing efforts following a pipeline, you can track where people don’t convert.
If it’s not populated by a lot of users, change the opt-in proposition.
If they love your emails but don’t proceed to checkout, work on the sales page.
Moreover, editing a pipeline template is extremely easy.
As soon as you decide on a template, Kajabi will automatically generate everything you need, from an opt-in form to a thank-you page.
They’re filled with dummy content, so you’ll need to do some editing.
But the fact that you have them set-up like that makes your life easier.
And it’s easy to visualize how you’re marketing your product.
Considering that there’s quite some screen left, some quick analytics would be great. Maybe something similar to Google Analytics’ goals.
It’d also be great to be able to branch a pipeline based on how a user responds.
But it’s not like they don’t already give you a lot.
Email marketing campaigns are also easy to manage.
As soon as you set up all of your details, you can easily set up marketing campaigns.
Just know there’s a lot of work to make an email marketing campaign profitable.
You can either create broadcasts, which is basically a single email distributed to a certain list.
Or, you can create a sequence and send multiple targeted emails.
This can either be a welcome sequence, part of a sales pipeline or anything you think requires multiple emails.
You can even set-up newsletters in advance with that template.
After you set-up an email, you’ll be taken to a dashboard where you can quickly add subscribers and see reports about your list.
The reports will show everything you need to know, like open rates, bounces, and actions.
It’s great that you can also see unsubscribers, so you know if you’re doing something bad.
Moreover, you can use automation to add tags to users based on how they respond to your email, so that allows for some segmentation.
Speaking of automation – that’s also something you can do in Kajabi.
Automations work with a simple rule.
There are a lot of triggers you can choose from.
If those happen, you can create a response event.
It’s simple if-then logic, but you won’t be able to create complex workflows as you would in Zapier. It’s much more basic since you can’t integrate with thousands of apps.
However, you can get a lot out of it.
You can automatically congratulate students that make it past a milestone.
You can send reminders to inactive users.
But you can also automate the basic stuff, like sending a thank-you email to people that submitted a form.
You can also spice it up by creating events, like a submission, or an opt-in, and then use it to create automation rules if you need them, or just send the basic email.
You’ve also got forms to edit and put them on your site.
So it really is an all-in-one tool.
For most businesses, Kajabi marketing can get you through a thousand true fans.
And probably well beyond that.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be content with their tools.
You can also integrate with third-party apps.
You can use Google Analytics and Segment for better reports and more complex data segmentation.
You can use Zapier to automate processes using other software as well.
You can use Mailchimp for more templates and email marketing options if you don’t like what’s available in-app.
And you can even integrate with popular payment processing systems, like Paypal and Stripe.
It’s not the largest variety of third parties.
But it’s more than enough to compensate for the few drawbacks of marketing with Kajabi.
Just know that you’ll probably only need them if you want to try out something special.
Or if you’re already used to them and don’t really want to learn a new platform when you’ve spent a lot of time mastering Google Analytics.
Now for the main drawback of Kajabi – it’s pricey.
They don’t have a free plan and the cheapest you’ll get this tool is $119/month, but that’s only if you pay for a full year.
So is Kajabi’s price worth it?
Will the investment be worth it?
You don’t get any free plan, so you can’t count on Kajabi if you’re not ready to spend some money.
But that doesn’t mean you need to pay upwards of $100 just to try it.
Kajabi offers a 14-day free trial for all of the plans, so you can always play around it to see if it’ll work for your business.
Other than that, be ready to spend some money.
The Basic plan costs $149/month, or $1428 if you want to pay for a whole year.
You only get 3 products, 3 pipelines, and 1 website. On the other hand, you have unlimited landing pages and unlimited marketing emails that you can send to up to 10.000 contacts.
That’s a lot.
If you already have 3 products, that’s more than enough.
Moreover, if you already have 3 products that are selling well, the cost should be easy to cover for the Basic plan.
If you really like the tool though, you might feel limited by the cap on 3 pipelines.
There’s only one pipeline for each product in every plan, but since this cap is so low you might have a harder time experimenting with the system and finding out what works for you.
The problem is that you don’t have access to the affiliate program with the Basic plan, so your marketing is hindered.
At least if an affiliate program is fundamental to you.
Really, you should only purchase this plan if you’re a solopreneur with some online success and you’re sure you can market your own course.
Other than that…
The Growth plan is $199/month, or $1908/year.
You get 24/7 chat support, access to the affiliate program and the ability to remove all Kajabi branding.
But that’s fluff.
The plan is really great because you get 15 products and pipelines, so you now have room to experiment.
You can also add up to 10 admins on your account, and market to up to 25.000 contacts.
If you’re an organization that employs different people in different positions, this is the plan to choose.
All of the problems from earlier are solved, so you’re also empowered to market and deliver information any way you want to.
The Pro plan is considerably more expensive.
It will set you back $399 each month, or $3828 if you pay for a whole year in advance.
Is that really worth it?
Feature-wise, it’s hard to tell. You’ll need more than a Kajabi review to answer that, so make sure you do your own research.
You do get a code editor and advanced automation.
But not much else in terms of extra functionalities.
What you do get is a much higher cap on websites (you can have 3 now), admins, contacts and access to the Experts Academy of Kajabi University.
If you do feel you need a fully fleshed code editor and advanced automation, consider upgrading.
Provided you’ve already been using Kajabi and know that it works for you.
Other than that, you should only upgrade to this plan if your organizational needs dictate it. If you need more than 15 products and 1 website, give it a shot.
Besides these differences, whatever you pay for you’ll also have:
- Access to Kajabi University
- Live chat
- No transaction fees
- Access to webinars and events
This shows that Kajabi is also determined to create an ecosystem for course creation. They set you up with a good tool and a community to help you if you get in trouble.
It’s not the same as WordPress.
But it’s a worthy tool.
In all fairness, Kajabi is pricey, but not unfairly so.
You get a lot for what you pay, and not just in terms of course creation and customization.
You also get a good site builder and helpful marketing tools.
Moreover, when you pit it against market competitors, it’s only pricey in the starter set. As you go higher, it’s more affordable.
The Pro plan is actually cheap when you compare it with Kajabi’s competition.
So pricing will only be an issue if you want to get a complete headstart with Kajabi. I mean little prior experience, and you’re counting on Kajabi to start selling online courses.
Other than that, if you’ve already had success online if you already have a following and you’re sure about your products…
Kajabi pricing won’t be an issue.
As stated, Kajabi helps you get started with the tool.
They could do better, but it’s helpful in its current form.
Moreover, they have a training center that gets you up to speed on Kajabi and course creation principles, with (mostly) qualitative and easy to follow structure.
But that’s not the only customer support you get.
You can browse their help center, chat with a representative or give feedback if you think something needs improvement.
On top, you’ve got the Kajabi assistant on top of every page. This will let you quickly browse support guides.
The help center is not perfect.
It doesn’t let you browse too much, but that’s not a big problem since you can use the search engine to find what you’re looking for.
If you find a guide on what you’re looking for, you’ve got detailed explanations on what to do, easy to read and filled with suggestive images.
If that doesn’t work, you can get in touch with a customer support agent.
With the basic plan, you’ll need to contact them in a certain time slot.
But from the Growth plan upwards, you can get in touch at any time and you’ll get a lightning-fast response.
When I tried to talk with a customer support agent, I actually got a human in touch with me in less than a few seconds.
But their response was also lightning fast.
Which isn’t necessarily praise of the live chat system in this case.
They didn’t answer my question directly.
I asked about refunds and they said they’re not trained for coding issues.
And it took some explaining to get on the same page.
Which is either an honest mistake, in which case no worries. The agent was helpful when I further explained the issue.
But he clearly sent a copy pasted response the first time around, so there is a chance they’re under a lot of pressure to plow through inquiries.
This can prove less helpful than taking longer to respond and actually providing value the first time around.
And that’s not to throw the blame on anyone – the agent could’ve been subpar, or the whole structure could be problematic.
But it’s something to take into account about Kajabi.
If your problem is not urgent, you can make sure and send an email to one of their product specialists.
Kajabi can be worth the price.
Course creation is on par with other learning management systems.
The site builder is much better. When pitted against other similar software, you can actually create something good looking and flexible with Kajabi’s site builder.
The marketing features are also great. You can easily manage funnels, do top-notch email marketing, automate your tasks, sell online courses, build an email list.
All in all, it’s easy to grow your platform and business with Kajabi’s features.
If you’re looking for advanced reports or better email templates, you can always integrate with their third-party partners, so you’re covered even if there’s no help in-house.
So yeah, it’s an all-in-one solution.
But it’s not necessarily good for everyone.
It’s not easy to pay for the Basic plan if you’re just starting out and aren’t sure about your course creation and marketing abilities.
But even if you can afford it, you might not need Kajabi.
If you’re already set-up somewhere else for your website and blog.
If you’re already successfully using other marketing tools, like Mailchimp for email marketing.
Then you might not need an all-in-one solution like Kajabi.
This platform only works if you need an integrated solution for your course creation.
If that’s not you, don’t proceed to checkout. Use your time and money to search for and buy a different learning management system.