Circle.so vs Kajabi: Analysis by a Community-Centric Course Creator

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This post will be all about Circle.so vs Kajabi.

Circle.so is one of the leading 🤞 online community platforms available today. Whereas Kajabi is one of the top online course creation 📚 platforms best suited for course creators with advanced marketing automation needs.

Keep in mind that –

  • Circle.so recently introduced the “Courses” feature. But it’s quite limited in features compared to Kajabi especially when it comes to marketing automation and reports.
  • Kajabi recently introduced the communities feature, it’s still pretty basic compared to other online community platforms.

If you are looking to use Circle.so, as of now you can use it only for managing your communities 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦. You can use tools like Teachable or Thinkific for LMS and create and sell your online courses. With this, you get the best of both worlds.

If you consider Kajabi, it excels in course creation (to know more read my Kajabi review post) (its recent community features are too basic – topics and posts, that’s it). So to create an engaging, feature-rich community, you need to again use tools like Circle.so or Tribe.so.

If you’re a community-first course creator, go with Circle.so 🤞.

If you feel that Kajabi’s advanced marketing features are too good to miss out on and trust their roadmap for good community features, go with Kajabi.

If unclear, keep reading 👇!

FeaturesCircle.soKajabi
Pricing starts at 💲$39/mo$149/mo
Transaction fees 💸0%0%
TrialSign up for 14 days free trialSign up for 30 days free trial
Any discounts available? 💰NA20% OFF on annual pricing

Save $960/year
Mobile apps 📱Has only iOS app (But not truly white labeled)

See all the app features
Has both iOS and Android apps (But not truly white labeled)

See all the app features
Courses 📚It is in beta testing now and will be live soon.

See all the course updates
Kajabi has advanced courses. You can create mini-courses, drip courses, and online courses.

It also offers course blueprints to get started.

See all Kajabi course features
CommunitiesCircle’s community is highly powerful.

It supports –
▶ Spaces
▶ Groups
▶ Private messaging
▶ Member directories
▶ Weekly digests
▶ Member tags
▶ Paywalls
Etc.

Explore more on Circle’s community features
Kajabi’s communities are pretty basic.

It just has – ▶ Community feed
▶ Posts
▶ Topics

That’s it.


Explore more on Kajabi’s community features
Supports custom domain?YesYes
Custom Single Sign-on available?YesNo
Has native live streaming? 📷YesYes
Upsells, coupons, discountsYesYes
Is white-labeled?You can just remove Circle’s brandingYou can just remove Kajabi’s branding
Explore Explore all Circle’s featuresExplore all Kajabi’s features

What do we like about Circle.so over Kajabi 👍?

  • Circle.so excels in communities. It has features like a personalized feed, discovery page, weekly digests, group chat rooms, member directories, spaces, events, live streaming, private messaging, etc. On the other hand, Kajabi’s community just has topics and posts. That’s it!
  • Circle.so has an embed widget to embed its spaces or groups on other platforms. For example – If you are using Teachable to host your courses, you can embed Circle’s spaces within the courses using this widget. This way you can promote and motivate students to join the spaces.
  • Circle.so offers weekly digests feature. This allows you to send a brief summary report of all the things happening in the community over a week. This helps inactive members to be aware of community activities without you spamming their inboxes.
  • Circle.so has the native live-streaming feature. In the recent update, Circle.so has released features to schedule the live streams and run multiple events at the same time with different hosts (just create recurring evnets), making it more flexible. In the case of Kajabi, as of now, the live-streaming feature is available only for coaching programs, not for the courses.
  • Circle.so provides single sign-on integration with top platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Outseta, Teachable, Memberstack, Memberful, etc. This feature provides flexibility in logging in to various tools with the same credentials.

What do we like about Kajabi over Circle.so👍?

  • Kajabi’s main forte is its courses. You can build highly advanced courses using its product blueprints (templates). You can create various courses like mini-courses, drip courses, and online courses.
  • Kajabi excels over its LMS competitors like Thinkific and Podia with its sales and marketing features. To increase sales, Kajabi has built-in funnels (calls as pipelines), automation rules, a blogging platform, etc. In the case of Circle.so, if you want to build funnels, you can use tools like ClickFunnels, at an additional cost.
  • Kajabi has built-in assessments. With this, you can create standardized tests, surveys, polls, and quizzes. You can even automate the assessment completion tasks. After the assessment completion, you can send a congrats email, subscribe to an email sequence, send a feed form, send a coupon, etc. In the case of Circle, you can make use of Google forms (which is free) or use any paid tools like Paperform or Typeform.
  • For lead generation, Kajabi offers opt-ins 📰. You can design and customize these using its drag-and-drop page builder. To collect leads, you can embed the forms on landing pages, sales pages, or any other custom pages.
  • Kajabi’s events 📸 feature is more advanced than Circle’s live streaming. With Kajabi, you can automate the event tasks and increase engagement among the users. For those who have completed all of your courses, you might consider providing free access to your webinars, or you might consider offering 50% off for your top fans.
  • Along with courses, Kajabi also has coaching and podcasts 🎤. You can provide one-off sessions and coaching packages at a premium price. Kajabi has a live video feature for this, eliminating the need for integrations like Zoom.
  • You can also create private and public podcasts 🎙. Do note that Kajabi podcasts don’t replace dedicated podcasting hosting tools like Buzzsprout or Spreaker, as it lacks podcast monetization features, built-in audio editing, transcription services, and much more.
  • Kajabi has both iOS and Android apps for its users. On the other side, Circle.so just has an iOS app but they are working on releasing an Android app as well. Unlike Mighty Networks, these apps are not truly white-labeled and you don’t have ownership of them.

Common downsides 👎

  • Unlike tools like Tribe.so, Circle.so and Kajabi both don’t offer security features like keyword blockers and profanity checker. If you have large communities, these features are very much essential to avoid spam. But indeed, you can counter this easily by dedicating your community only to paid members.
  • Both these tools lack gamification features like points, rankings, and leaderboard systems, which are essential to motivate the students to engage more in community activities. If you need gamification features, you need to go with Tribe.so.
  • The apps provided by both of these are not completely white-labeled and are not owned by you. If you consider tools like Mighty Networks or Passion.io, they allow you to create your own custom-branded apps which you can publish on app stores. And, you own 100% ownership of the apps.

Latest product updates 🎈

Circle product updates

Circle.so is fastly releasing updates to provide more value to its audience. It is releasing the most awaited feature 🔥 i.e. courses. This is still in beta testing and will be live soon.

With the release of courses, you will get –

  • Course spaces.
  • Drag and drop curriculum builder.
  • Interactive lesson editor.
  • Native video hosting and attachments.
  • Embedded comments with image and file attachments, GIFs, and notifications.
  • Student dashboard and progress tracking.
  • (Coming soon) Customizable sales page editor for your course.
  • (Coming soon) Advanced video analytics.

In the future, you can expect these features –

  • Multi-currency paywalls.
  • Scheduled posts.
  • Android app (It already has an iOS app)
Kajabi product updates

Kajabi has recently introduced –

  • A calendar scheduler eliminating the need for tools like Calendly.
  • Also, it allows you to record & upload live video, send them in emails.
  • Kajabi has also released quizzes and course-specific exams, to encourage proactive learning.
  • Affiliate coupons – You can offer affiliate-specific coupon codes to maximize referral conversions.

Circle.so vs Kajabi: Pricing

Circle pricing

Circle.so’s pricing starts at $39/mo, but this lacks features like live streaming, advanced analytics, and CSS customization. If you need the ability to remove Circle.so’s branding, go with the Professional plan at $99/mo.

If you have a large business and you need features like custom single sign on, API access, and email white labeling, you can go with its Enterprise solution at $399/mo.

Kajabi pricing

Kajabi’s lowest pricing starts at $149/mo. This plan allows you to create 3 products and 3 funnels. Go with higher plans, if you want to create more products.

Both Circle.so and Kajabi don’t charge any transaction fees.

Kajabi discount:

Kajabi discount
PlansAnnual
price
DiscountSavings
Basic$119/mo20%$360/year
Growth$159/mo20%$480/year
Pro$319/mo20%$960/year

As of now, Circle.so is not offering any discount on its plans. While Kajabi is offering a 20% OFF on its annual subscriptions.

Circle.so vs Kajabi: Winner? 🏆

Circle.so is for you if you are looking to build a thriving community for your online business. It is a big plus 👍 that Circle.so has introduced an LMS feature. Although their LMS feature as of now is pretty basic, it serves the needs and their changelog is impressive 😋.

However, with Circle.so you’re more reliant on third-party integrations for email marketing, funnels, and automations (which isn’t the case with Kajabi).

However, if you plan to focus on courses and need excellent marketing tools, Kajabi is perfect for you ✌. Its community component is quite weak. Kajabi can be used to host courses and Mighty Networks or Circle.so can be used to host communities to get the best of both worlds. The final choice depends on your business needs.

Akshay HallurAbout me

Hi, I’m Akshay Hallur. The founder of this blog BloggingX and many other online ventures.

I’m a professional full-time blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I’m here to help bloggers like you to create an outstanding blog and earn money from it.

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