Alternative to Kajabi
Selling online courses is fantastic — until you start getting refund requests.
Keep more cash by switching from Kajabi to a delivery platform that brings in sales, simplifies support and keeps students happily engaged...
Selling your course online is the foundation of any information-product business -- and having a sophisticated and powerful content delivery platform is essential to growing your business in the short and long term. For downloadable products like eBooks, services like eJunkie or Gumroad are the easiest ways to distribute your content -- but what about higher-value online courses?
Choosing a capable platform to host your content is key to your business -- as a bad solution can lock you and your customers into a system that's hard to maintain and painful to use -- costing you both time and revenue.
What makes a good online course platform?
A good content delivery system should ease all of the technical hurdles of distributing your content, like collecting payments, delivering the courses to your customers in a timely manner, letting you email and contact customers through automated campaigns, etc.
Why do course creators choose Kajabi?
Course developers like you choose Kajabi to host their content because of its clean interface, and the fact that it helps content creators not only distribute their course, but also create sales pages and content for your sales funnel.
During Kajabi's beta launch, they also partnered with some of the best direct marketers in the industry, like Jeff Walker, Mike Filsaime and Brendon Burchard -- huge names in the marketing space..
Limitations of Kajabi
Since 2010, we've been consultants for some of the largest names in the industry, helping our clients build sales funnels, marketing strategies and integrating course delivery platforms. We've worked with the Kajabi system for a number of our clients, and found while Kajabi can get you running immediately, the lack of customization and after-purchase support makes it hard to build a sustainable business around it.
Kajabi Lacks Customization
While Kajabi does offer theme support, their templates are all based around a single layout, with little to no customization of the underlying code. That means that the "Kajabi Layout" becomes so ubiquitous that eventually its widespread use can hurt your product's image.
Would you want your product to be "just another Kajabi Product?"
Kajabi may help you sell courses -- but won't help you keep the money
Kajabi is built to be a sales-first, support-last platform. 90% of their features are geared towards selling the product, not for long-term growth and sustainability. Many students of Kajabi courses feel that they've been dropped once they purchase.
Sales pages are important, but they're easy to stand up in systems like WordPress, LeadPages, Unbounce, or hundreds of other systems. And they perform better than Kajabi ones do. In a market where sales tactics change rapidly, it's important to have a sales system that concentrates on a being a great sales system, and a content delivery platform that focuses on delivering an amazing customer experience.
Kajabi forces users to release videos in a series
One drawback for me is it's built around sales funnels and if you want to release a series of videos that's great. But I personally think the sales funnels that consists of a series of videos before an early bird special and launch is fading. One associate of mine just threw her hands up in the air and dropped her subscription because starting with a sales funnel was just too foreign to her.Al Remetch, SEO and G+ Consultant
Kajabi's focus on sales increases support & headaches - for you and your customers
Some features of the site are unwieldy, requiring you to switch from one section of the site to another. Additionally, it can be a cumbersome task to acquire site membership.Info Product Secrets.Net
When it's difficult for customers to purchase your course, no sales funnel in the world will save you. Unsavvy students are always a problem, but it should be Kajabi's number one job to make that the purchase to login process is as butter-smooth as possible.
Your course delivery system should be removing headaches from you and your support team, not adding to them. Because Kajabi is a sales-focused platform, many of the membership functionality and user support features are hard to use, and require additional training.
Kajabi Has Limited Integrations
As with many hosted solutions, Kajabi doesn't allow direct access to the code that the platform runs on. That means that you're limited by the choices that Kajabi has made, and are not able to do any custom workflows, like having students added to InfusionSoft with multiple tags, or to multiple emails lists.
Their limited number of payment processors and affiliate programs can also be severely limiting if you have billing or lead lists in 3rd party systems that they don't support.
Kajabi's Drip Content is their way, or the highway
With Kajabi, you have to decide if your course is always open, "dripped," or if you're doing a "timed" launch. That means if you want to drip out your content, and you're not set up in evergreen mode, there's no way to combine the two. Manually dripping out the content means setting correct permissions for all categories and individual pages — a time-consuming task that is prone to errors.
What ever happened to set it and forget it?
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What should your content system do?
We've been helping our clients build their content platforms for the last 7 years -- so we know what features are important to growing your business long-term. In our experience, marketers only see the front-sales funnel, support only sees the the customer lifetime value, and developers only see how powerful the backend management system is.
A successful business needs all three to succeed. An initial sales funnel is important, but it's only part of the story -- and focusing only on your sales funnel, with a sub-par delivery system, will get you one thing: refunds.
Working with our clients, we've identified features that any competent content delivery system should have.
Support for multiple products - with a single login
Important, and completely overlooked -- this is one that we've never seen in ANY content-delivery system other than Summit Evergreen. While most systems support tiered pricing, a strategy shown to drastically increase initial sales, supporting multiple products allows your users to remember a single login to access all of their products -- which can all have different themes, visuals and content.
Why should you support multiple products?
As a content creator, easily focusing on your best customers is the most effective way to increase your overall product revenue. In fact, successful online content creators know that building relationships with their customers, and increasing customer retention is the easiest way to grow their business. So start thinking about a product portfolio — it's a whole family of products, not just a one-time purchase.
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 ∼ 70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is just 5 ∼ 20%Market Metrics
Advanced theming and customization
Themes and customization is one of the most important parts of your online course. Students are visually focused -- and without a unique, compelling design that suits your content, you won't be able to make an impact on anyone. Themes that are two generic, or themes that are not conductive to your brand are two ways that design can get in your way. And if it's too hard to customize your look and feel, it's one of those things that never gets done. You shouldn't have to hire a designer every time you want a color changed.
A good content delivery system should provide a number of well-designed course themes, with a variety of styles. Being able to customize those themes, either through a simple color-selector or through full template customization is also a must -- to make sure that you have the best design and content available to your students.
Also -- and this goes without saying -- themes should be mobile responsive. It's not 2004 any more.
No platform branding
When trying to build a product and a brand, the last thing you want is your hosting platform getting all the credit. You didn't work hard to be "That guy on Udemy." Your greatest asset is your individuality -- which is why a good distribution system should stay out of the way. Emails are sent from your address, the shopping cart has your logo on it, and your content shouldn't be plastered with "Powered by" links.
Powerful Quizzes, Customer Feedback and Progress Analysis
Engagement. It's not just for your sales funnel. Students who reply, fill out content, and participate in your course learn faster and refund at a significantly lower level than those who don't. This feedback also allows you to deeply understand your students, do customer research and analysis on your students.
Good courseware will not only have survey features, but also lesson followups, so that students feel more engaged with your course, creating greater value, and higher satisfaction. As a bonus option, require users to complete lesson followup, or require a certain score before they can continue -- to ensure your students are getting the most out of the program, and identifying students who get stuck early on.
Integrated Email & 3rd Party CRM support
This is a huge support issue that many people (not even major players in the industry) don't realize. Integrated email drips that are timed directly with your content is a must for courseware systems. Most people think it's ok to JUST have 3rd party email automation to drip out notifications -- but what happens when someone quits? or starts in the middle? or needs to pause the course? or start early, or any of the other 100 reasons we've heard from students that can mess up your drip. It's a support and technical nightmare.
The truth is that a good system will not only integrate with your existing CRM for tracking and sales funnels, but also have a robust internal emailing system -- that makes sure that users get their course email sequence right when they're supposed to -- and you don't have a bunch of support tickets saying "I got an email that the new lesson is available, but I can't access it."
Laser-focused support, not a shotgun jack-of-all-trades
We all know what monolithic software platforms look like -- can do everything under the sun, but do all of them in a mediocre fashion. It's one of the reasons that Apple has become so successful -- opinionated, single-purpose, software. Look at the software in the tech world that is making it big - LeadPages, Twilio, Stripe, Dropbox, Wistia, etc. They're all companies that are focusing on their core competency, and doing that the best that they can -- not spreading out their effort over multiple ideas and implementations.
Your online membership system should be the same. It should focus on providing a beautiful, engaging way for students to interact with your content, while allowing you to effectively manage and support your users through a powerful, and easy to use backend. For your sales funnel? Use something like LeadPages, which is dedicated to providing the best optin system on the internet. Need great video that works on ALL platforms with no problems? Use Wistia -- who has dedicated their entire business to helping video creators produce and distribute great video.
When you focus on too many features, all of them suffer.
That's why we built Summit Evergreen
Summit Evergreen is an online course delivery platform that's a little bit different
We built Summit Evergreen as a response to many of the issues our clients were having with existing courseware systems -- systems like Kajabi, Wishlist Member and aMember. It was built not from the eye of a marketer, nor a developer, nor even support staff. It was created by consultants who are behind some of the largest launches in the industry, as a way of solving the pain points that we see plague all content creators.
So, how is Summit Evergreen
different from Kajabi?
Build a generic sales funnel, produce a generic site. Big hat, no cattle:
Grow your business by focusing on the metrics that matter:
The Kajabi Look
Kajabi lets you customize colors and your header image, but all other content & layout looks essentially the same -- leading to a look that's very Kajabi, and not very you.
Summit Evergreen has a number of premium-designed themes, with a one-click editor, and the ability to create your own themes, using the twig templating language.
Drip or Launch Content
In Kajabi, you have to decide if you're doing an evergreen "drip" course, or a one-time "launch" course -- and can't mix and match the content.
Your Content, Your Way
Summit Evergreen lets you mix and match your content to be always available, dripped out, or even public without a login. We make it easy to know what content is available to who, and when.
Focus on One-Time Sales
Kajabi is built to be a sales-first platform. 90% of their features are geared towards selling the product, not for long-term growth and sustainability. Many students of Kajabi courses feel that they've been dropped once they purchase.
Focus on Lifetime Value
At Summit Evergreen, we believe that focusing on creating a great customer experience is more valuable in the long run than a quick buck in the bag. That's why we focus on creating a smooth and amazing customer experience for your students, to make sure they find value in your courses — which means they recommend them to their friends, and purchase future products.
No Student Feedback
Just that. Kajabi has no way for you to get student feedback, either as a survey or at the end of a lesson.
Feedback and Analytics
Learn what makes your students tick with surveys. Find out how they're progressing through the course with lesson feedback. Reduce refunds by showing students how much they've progressed through a lesson journal that THEY created.
Too many "bells and whistles"
Bells and whistles are a nice bullet point -- things like KRUNCH video encoding, social media integrations and a library of sales button images that you can slap onto a page. But 90% of users don't use them -- or are already using a better solution. And the focus on these "non-features" takes away from the core product.
Laser-focused on Content
Instead of trying to tie everything into one bundle, we focus on making it easy for you to create your course, and even easier for your students to purchase and access it. Everything else is handled by our API and integrations system, which allows you to use your existing platforms like Wistia, InfusionSoft, 1ShoppingCart and much more.
A View From the Outside
Kajabi was built by two friends who wanted a marketing platform to sell their ebooks to parents online.
Built by Experts
Created by the behind-the-scenes consultants that have run some of the biggest information product launches in the industry — who work with technology and online marketing every day, and have over 25 years of combined experience in the industry.
And of course, all the features that come standard with Kajabi:
- Nothing to Install
- No complicated setup
- Constant updates and features for free
- Student comments and feedback
- Protected links and downloads to prevent piracy
- Load tested for any amount of traffic
- Security as a priority
- No long-term contracts