Kajabi Review – Top All-In-One Choice for Courses and Memberships
While there are plenty of reviews of Kajabi as course, membership, and coaching platform, this Kajabi review is written from the perspective of someone with more than 20+ years of e-learning industry experience.
Just as importantly, it’s written from the view of someone who has been an entrepreneur in the business of learning for nearly all of those 20+ years and who understands the opportunities and challenges of selling online courses, memberships, and other digital offerings.
In this Kajabi review, I focus on the things I really like, the things I dislike, and some potential showstoppers – the things that help you to really understand where the platform stands in the Kajabi vs Teachable, Kajabi vs Thinkific, or Kajabi vs “X” battles.
First things first: there’s a decent chance anyone showing up to read this review has heard of Kajabi but may not be 100 percent sure what Kajabi is. Let’s start by answering a few questions.
What is Kajabi?
Basically, Kajabi is an “all-in-one” web-based software platform for creating, hosting, marketing, and selling digital products. It’s described as “all-in-one” because it provides the full set of features you need to:
- Easily create an attractive, professional looking website
- Create a range of digital products – from online courses to memberships to coaching programs
- Design sales pages and sales funnels to help you market and sell you products
- Send and manage e-mail campaigns to attract customers to your landing pages and sales funnels
- Accept online payments for selling your products at the prices you determine (including the ability to charge one-time, fees, break fees into multiple payments, or sell subscriptions)
Who uses Kajabi?
Kajabi is used primarily by people who have valuable information and/or educational content they want to package and sell via the Web and/or mobile devices. This tends to mean consultants, speakers, writers, coaches, and others who make their living off of their expertise and the intellectual property (IP) they create.
What is Kajabi used for?
Kajabi provides a way to “productize” intellectual property and turn it into an additional – usually much more scalable – form of income.
While there are other ways to productize IP, one of the goals that unites Kajabi users is that they don’t want to have to bolt together different software solutions for each of the capabilities bulleted above. They may have limited technical skills and/or they just may feel there are better ways to spend their time.
Kajabi is used for all of the capabilities already listed above, but another way to look at what it is used for is to think about what it can potentially replace by providing a full range of capabilities within a single platform.
Review of Kajabi Capabilities
|Kajabi Capability||Potentially Replaces|
|Subscriptions, courses, memberships||Teachable, Thinkific, Kartra|
|Website builder||WordPress, Wix, Squarespace|
|Shopping cart / e-commerce||WooCommerce, SamCart, Keap (InfusionSoft)|
|E-mails service provider||MailChimp, ConvertKit, AWeber|
|Landing pages and funnels||Leadpages, ClickFunnels|
|Communities||Facebook Groups, Mighty Networks|
Of course, that’s nowhere close to a comprehensive list. Kajabi has other capabilities, and the items in the right column are only examples – you can replace them with whatever you use for the capabilities they represent.
The bottom line is that Kajabi strives to be a true “all-in-one” platform and is continually adding and improving capabilities to achieve that goal. That’s why it ranks as the to all-in-one platform in our round-up of the best online course platforms.
Kajabi Review: Pricing
On the surface, Kajabi pricing can seem a bit on the high side compared to potential alternatives like Teachable, but you have to keep in mind the much fuller range of features Kajabi provides for managing your full Web presence and your e-mail needs – not just hosting online courses. As of the last time this post was updated, a review of Kajabi pricing starts at $149 a month for the Basic plan ($119 if billed annually). For that, you get:
- 3 Products
- 3 Pipelines
- Unlimited Landing Pages
- Unlimited Marketing Emails
- 10,000 Contacts
- 1,000 Active Members
- 1 Website
- 1 Admin User
I’ve written much more about Kajabi pricing here (and whether it’s worth it). Keep in mind that Kajabi pricing changes from time-to-time, so be sure to double check the company’s web site for the latest.
Now, here are some of the best things about Kajabi.
7 Things I Really Like About Kajabi
Narrowing this down to a list of seven for this Kajabi review was pretty hard, but here goes …
1. Built to Sell
Kajabi has very good tools for creating landing pages and sales funnels, and converting site visitors into customers. You can also manage all of your e-mail marketing within Kajabi – including automated follow-up sequences – so, no need for a third party platform (though it does integrate easily with Aweber, Mailchimp, and Active Campaign). This became even truer with the release of Kajabi Email, a full-featured e-mail platform that comes as part of every Kajabi subscription. Kajabi Email give you a visual e-mail editor that empowers you to build great-looking, high-converting e-mail campaigns fast.
Overall, Kajabi is head and shoulders above most other online course platforms in the native marketing and selling capabilities it offers.
2. Kajabi Looks Great Out of the Box
Kajabi provides several variations on a core Web site theme that look modern and professional and it also provides very attractive, functional templates for creating your landing pages and sales pipeline pages. There is also a market for custom, premium themes if you don’t want to go with what Kajabi provides.
3. Good Blogging Capabilities
While not at the level of WordPress, the blogging capabilities Kajabi provides are significantly better than those of most online course platforms. (And, remember, blogging is one of your best assets for attracting traffic to your site and products.)
Note: Kajabi significantly improved blogging capabilities with the October 2020 update of its website builder. It’s still not WordPress, but it is significantly better than before and can now be taken much more seriously as a blogging platform.
4. Strong Video Streaming Capabilities
Kajabi has Wistia – one of the all-around best video hosting platforms – full integrated for uploading and streaming your videos. Because of this you can trust that your videos will deliver as well as possible for whatever screen or bandwidth any individual learner is using – and that they will be as secure as possible.
Best of all, this does not require a separate Wistia license – it’s just baked in. Keep in mind that Wistia pricing starts at $99 per month for a Pro license (what most course sellers will need) – so, considering that entry-level Kajabi pricing starts at $149 per month ($119 is paid annually), this is a pretty big bargain.
5. Kajabi Jumpstarts Product Creation
Kajabi courses are probably what most readers here care about, and Kajabi definitely provides very good templates for mini courses, full online courses, and drip courses that automatically open up access to new parts of the course over time.
But there’s a lot more to Kajabi products than Kajabi courses. You can also create memberships, communities, and coaching programs. Kajabi provides easy-to-use templates for all of these options, with pre-loaded content that makes sense for the type of offering. You can easily modify the content and structure, remove anything you don’t need, and be off and running in no time.
6. Kajabi Makes Live Events Easy to Create and Promote
This kind of goes with product creation, but Kajabi is so strong in this area, it deserves to be mentioned separately.
You can easily set up a Zoom Webinar in Kajabi and – even better – build out a pipeline around it that includes your registration page, e-mails, a post-event offer page, and a checkout page. Kajabi provides templates for all of this, so all you have to do is modify the text and drop in your Zoom link. (You do have to have your own Zoom account.)
You can use this same approach to set up virtual summits/conferences or even place-based events. (These types of events use Legacy pipeline templates in Kajabi. I am assuming newer versions of these will come out at some point, but they work just fine right now.)
7. Kajabi Support Is Very Strong
Kajabi has been around for quite a while. It has a reputation for strong support and is clearly investing a lot in building out its global support team. It has also created Kajabi university – called Hero University – that provides extensive online training and community to support platform users.
Beyond these options for Kajabi support, there are plenty of companies out there that have created custom themes for it (as mentioned above) and that offer a range of services to support it. There are also plenty of blog posts and articles out there addressing just about anything you want to do with Kajabi. If you can’t find what you want through the company’s own support and training – which, again, are already very good – you will almost certainly be able to find it out on the Web.
So, there’s really quite a lot to like about Kajabi.
In general, Kajabi will give you much more power than most course platforms over creating a Web site where you can offer your courses but also manage the entire Web presence for your business. In other words, you don’t need to set up a separate Web site on WordPress or another platform – a Kajabi site can be your home base.
Big Bonus: The Kajabi Community
I added the community to this Kajabi review after attending Kajabi’s Impact Summit. This was a face-to-face customer event (back when that was possible!) and it attracted more than a thousand registrants. These were Kajabi users who paid to attend a Kajabi event and they were clearly fanatical about the platform. There was a ton of energy at the event, produced by people who were enthusiastic about getting the most out of Kajabi and helping each other succeed.
Kajabi has not taken things a step further by introducing Kajabi Meet-Ups, which the company describes as “a series of events dedicated to strengthening our community and supporting entrepreneurs, experts, and influencers as they grow their business online.” Basically, it’s a way for you to connect with other Kajabi users and experts face-to-face.
If you want to ensure that you are part of a vibrant community of course creators who are using the same platform you are using and who seem committed to helping each other, you probably need to look no further: jump on a Kajabi 30-day free trial today!
New Kajabi Feature: Coaching
Kajabi has recently come out with another feature that stands it out from most of its competition, so I want to be sure to highlight it here: Kajabi Coaching. These features empower you to run your coaching business through Kajabi and connect it with your other digital offerings like courses and memberships. This will be an increasingly important capability as prospective learners and clients seek out more personalized options to help them grow, develop, and get results.
Some Key Things I Don’t Like About Kajabi
A Kajabi review would not be complete – or accurate – without covering the down sides. As good as everything above sounds, it doesn’t come without a price. I don’t mean the dollar price, I mean the learning curve.
Editing your site can be a bit confusing…
I’ve seen some reviews that praise Kajabi as easier than WordPress. I don’t get that. Assuming you are using a good theme, I find editing in WordPress easier and more flexible.
That said, most of the issues in Kajabi result from the way things are named and where they are located. So, once you figure that out, things become much easier.
For example, “Page Builder,” which is located under website editing, seems like it would be the place to build pages to include in your site, but that’s clearly not what Kajabi intended. Pages built here are standalone sales pages or pipeline pages. You can get them into your navigation, but the process for doing this is not at all obvious. Kajabi seems to want pages that are included in the site navigation to be created under Settings > Static Pages to create pages that can be added to your site navigation.
With the aim of keeping things brief, I won’t go into other examples, but there are many. In general, you can expect to spend a fair amount of time figuring out how things work. To be fair, this is true of just about any all-in-one system, and Kajabi does provide very solid support through live chat, its online help center, and Hero University, where you can find extensive training on the platform.
Keep in mind, too, that Kajabi does a lot without you needing to know anything about coding. So, even though there is a bit of learning curve, I’ll stress that the learning is completely doable by someone without strong tech skills.
If, on the other hand, you find you get easily frustrated when you can’t figure out how to do something in a piece of software, I won’t discourage you from using Kajabi. I would just say that you might want to consider getting some help. As I already mentioned, Kajabi support and training is very good. And, a big upside of Kajabi is that there are plenty of freelancers and companies out there that support it. Just Google “Kajabi services.”
Comments, but no discussion forums…
I’ve also seen reviewers praise the community aspects of Kajabi. Probably because I spend a lot of time with full-fledge membership platforms and learning management systems with extensive community tools, I’m just not that impressed with what Kajabi has to offer in this area so far.
That said, Kajabi provides what is probably enough for most solo edupreneurs. You can allow comments on pretty much any page of a course and it is easy to track and manage comments under Products > Manage Comments.
Affiliate program not available at entry level…
Some course sellers may not care about this at all, but having high quality affiliates can be a great way to reach more learners. With Kajabi, you don’t get access to affiliate capabilities until you jump up to the Growth level (currently $199 a month/$159 if paid annually).
Out of these “cons,” the learning curve for editing and managing your site is the biggest, in my opinion, but you may give it a try and decide I’m complaining about nothing.
So, definitely do try it out if all of the pros sound like what you want – you can sign up for 14-days for free to kick the tires.
Potential Showstoppers with Kajabi
Most platforms are going to address everything I’ve covered above in one way or another. They will just vary greatly in how well they do it, so you’ll need to consider the trade-offs in light of your own business and instructional goals.
There are some capabilities education businesses need, though, that simply aren’t covered by Kajabi (or most other platforms in its same general class). If any of these – covered below – are critical to your business model, then Kajabi is not the platform for you. (And you should probably look for a learning management system for small business or here.)
No multi-tenancy option…
Multi-tenancy means that you can create and manage multiple instances of a platform under a single umbrella. It’s often essential for selling courses to businesses because most business buyers are going to want their own branded instance of the platform for serving and managing their users. (Or they are going to want to pull courses into their own LMS, which requires a platform like Course Container.)
Kajabi Growth and Pro licenses do enable you to create multiple sites, but this really isn’t the same thing as multi-tenancy. If you need true multi-tenancy, there are many better options (like most of the lms platforms on this page).
No continuing education credit capabilities…
While Kajabi does enable you to issue a completion certificate for a course, there is no way to indicate the amount of time associated with a course or the amount of continuing education credit that may be available.
While there may be work-arounds, if earning continuing education credit is important to your learners, Kajabi is not your best option.
Similarly, if “all-in-one” is not a big driver, have a look at the platforms reviewed on ReviewMyLMS. Most of these will handle continuing education credit.
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan…
Kajabi has no capabilities for importing or configuring courses created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate. By extension, it also does not support the use of the SCORM, xAPI/TinCan, or other e-learning standards for packaging courses. If you have a strong and valid reason for using one of the major e-learning standards, Kajabi would not be the way to go. (More on SCORM here.)
Kajabi Review: The Bottom Line
The real sweet spot for Kajabi, in my opinion, is solo experts – speakers, consultants, coaches, authors – who want a great looking website to market courses and other products that are based on their expertise.
If you want to convert your expertise into a business rapidly, look like a real pro, and know you’ve got the tools to help you market and sell effectively, Kajabi should definitely be one of the main platforms you consider.
Of course, I still recommend that you do the work to figure out your specific needs and priorities before making a platform decision. For doing that, I recommend downloading my free Course Platform Selection Guide – to understand your needs and make your own decision.
And, if you do end up going with Kajabi, I encourage you to share your own Kajabi reviews in the comments here.
Kajabi Review: Feature Updates
Every once in a while I do a full-on revision of this post, but in the meantime, I list important updates here.
- Kajabi Access (October 2020) – This is basically a new, add-on support option that offers brand new resources, services, and one-on-one guidance to help you maximize the Kajabi platform for your success. It’s currently $99 a month with any new or existing Kajabi plan.
- Kajabi website builder (October 2020) – Kajabi introduced a range of improvements to its already very comprehensive website builder. These include more templates, “library” pages that make it easier to cross-sell and upsell to current customers, a member directory, and improved blogging features.
- Kajabi Email (February 2020) – Features a new visual editor that makes it easy to add rich design to your emails, giving your audience a sophisticated, highly-branded experience – no designer or developer needed. The company has continued to expand and improve e-mail capabilities, releasing a major update in April 2020.
- Kajabi Analytics (March 2020) – Kajabi released a range of new reports inside of Kajabi Analytics, including product progress, offers sold, forecasting, and affiliate tracking.
- Customer Feedback Portal (October 2019) – Kajabi introduced a part of its site where customers can submit, upvote, and track feature requests. You can also see what’s being planned, what’s already being built, and what’s been released recently. Basically, a great customer service feature that gives you clear insight into what’s coming that maybe useful for you.
- Feature Roll-up (August 2019) – In August, Kajabi published a feature “roll-up” of multiple features that got released over the previous months. These included:
- Improved analytics
- Ability to clone events and assessments
- Easier to set up custom domains
- New theme: Momentum
- Improved e-mail customization and tracking
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