I tried both Kajabi and Systeme.io for course creation and digital sales. Below are some things I found that will help you decide which is the best online business platform for you.
When it comes to running a business online, I have a mantra: fewer tools, less stress, more success! Systeme and Kajabi claim to be one-stop shops for managing your knowledge business.
But which all-in-one platform is better?
In this Systeme.io vs. Kajabi comparison, we’ll compare two of the most popular online business platforms today.
No worries. We’ll only share the details that’ll help you decide which platform, between Kajabi and Systeme, is the best for your needs.
Both platforms offer similar tools and features for turning your knowledge and passion into profits. Yet, each has unique strengths and quacks that could make all the difference for you.
Kajabi has built a name for itself as a robust, all-in-one platform for launching, running, and thriving online businesses.
Kajabi offers a single platform to create and sell online courses, manage marketing emails, build websites, and run marketing automation. It also provides the tools to start and grow your coaching business, build online communities, and manage memberships.
Yet, Kajabi has its limitations.
The platform is designed for more advanced users and provides a ton of features, but at a higher cost. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – we’ll find out more below.
Systeme.io is an all-in-one knowledge business platform designed for small and medium digital businesses. The platform aims to help course creators, freelancers, consultants, and small business owners to set up, run, and grow their businesses online.
Systeme strives to be more flexible, more comprehensive, and user-friendly than Kajabi. It even markets itself as THE top Kajabi alternative today.
Yet, Systeme.io claims to offer a whole lot of the features Kajabi offers, but for free. Is that the whole truth or is there something you are not being told here?
- Loads of value for free: From unlimited emails, blog posts, and community members to a feature-rich affiliates program, Systeme includes a ton of capabilities for free that cost hundreds of dollars a month elsewhere.
- Useful features for a fraction of the cost: Systeme offers the essentials you need to launch and grow your digital business from $27/month compared to $149/month with Kajabi’s Basic Plan.
- Simple does it with Systeme: This is a user-friendly platform that doesn’t require coding knowledge or years of course creation experience.
- Excellent customer support: I love knowing a real person is on the other end of the line helping me out. It also saves so much time compared to email correspondence or chatting live.
- It’s for you, power user: Kajabi enables you to customize the look and feel of your content across all channels, from websites to emails and podcasts. It’s website builder is feature-rich!
- You get quizzes and assessments: This is a good tool for gauging how well your learners understand your concepts and determining what you can improve.
- Get tons of conversion optimization resources: Kajabi offers a number of checkout page tools that increase conversions, upsells, and crosssells.
- Advanced analytics support continuous improvement: Kajabi’s course-level analytics, heatmaps, and video retention graphs reveal details about how you can improve subscribers’ experiences to boost engagement, retention, and referrals.
- Includes a mobile app: Your students, members, and communities can access your content wherever they are. You can also send push notifications, which have a much higher open rate than emails.
- Premium templates make work easier: You’ll get all the bells and whistles that make your content business look, feel, and run more smoothly. In turn, that can help you attract more high-value clients and sell more high-ticket digital assets.
No one wants to spend hours onboarding a platform only to leave soon after when you realize it isn’t serving you as you’d hoped. In this section, we’ll compare Kajabi with Systeme.io in more detail so you can understand the trade-offs you may need to make before you commit.
Both Kajabi and Systeme provide hosting for your website, blog, landing pages, and courses. You are also free to use a subdomain (such as bloggingxpro.mykajabi.com) or a custom domain (such as bloggingxpro.com) with either.
Systeme’s free plan offers a custom domain, blog, and unlimited blog posts. But if you need an unlimited number for each, you can get it with the $97/month plan.
If you are just starting out, you may not need advanced landing pages, templates, or custom code.
But if you do, consider Kajabi. The trade-off here is you’ll have to pay $149/month for the Basic Plan to get a website and unlimited landing pages. But you’ll have more customizability options than on Systeme.
In my experience, Kajabi offers more advanced, customizable, and elegant templates than Systeme.io. So you can skip using WordPress altogether (perhaps a reprieve from Kajabi’s steep pricing).
If you need more than one website, you’ll need to upgrade to the $199/month Kajabi plan for three websites, unlimited landing pages, and unlimited emails. You can also get up to five websites for $399/month.
It is easy to build high-converting sales funnels with Systeme.io. It literally took me minutes, and I’m convinced you don’t need years of experience to do it too…
You don’t need any coding experience either. I built these six funnels in no time:
In any case, you don’t need anything complicated for your squeeze page. And, with just a few clicks, Systeme enables you to access everything you need to create your funnels.
Also, Systeme‘s funnels include A/B testing and deadlines. Using A/B tests, you can analyze which lead generation steps are most effective for your specific goals, so you can use only what works in the future.
A deadline page allows you to encourage prospects to take advantage of an offer by a certain date (on an Order Form or Sales Page).
You can also create up to three funnels and 15 sales funnel steps for free. Or, you can get unlimited funnels and steps for $97/month.
Across the ring to Kajabi, you’ll get up to seven purpose-built sales funnel templates. You are also free to create one from scratch.
Another thing. Both Kajabi and Systeme integrate your email marketing, landing pages, and courses with the sales funnels, so you don’t have to kill time doing the integrations yourself. It saves a lot of time.
You can build, manage, and market your email list using Systeme.io or Kajabi. Both enable you to create quick-loading, mobile-responsive emails in a few clicks. Here’s the difference, though.
To add a personalized touch to your emails, Systeme only offers a few merge fields. It can feel limited or nicely simple; depending on how you prefer your email functionality (campaign emails and newsletters).
Or, if you prefer the visual, drag-n-drop email editor, you can switch to it in a single click (click the blue link just above the email formatting bar).
Then again, Systeme’s email builder is free for up to 2,000 contacts (with UNLIMITED emails and unlimited students!). This makes it a steal compared to paying at least $149/month to use Kajabi.
But, not so fast. In addition to intelligent list segmentation and email testing, Kajabi offers a drag-and-drop email editor, as well as more branding options to help you create memorable campaign emails and newsletters.
Also included are templates that will help you create emails that match your website, blogs, landing pages, and courses.
Email Sequence lets you create a series of emails that are triggered by automation. If you only need to share one email at a time, like making an announcement, Email Broadcasts are the best option.
Kajabi also offers advanced functionality, including fully automated list management and CRM integration. You can use these to migrate followers from YouTube or Twitter threads to your own database in Kajabi.
Thus, if you need more advanced email capabilities right away, Kajabi may be your best option. But if you are starting out and need not complicate things, Systeme will be capable of handling your email marketing needs.
With Systeme.io’s simplicity, you don’t need to spend hours creating an online course.
Also, Systeme does offer more font options here than in its email editor, but course creation is still easy. Just name your course. Add your modules. Set up individual pages for each lesson (with your key takeaways and a video).
And you are ready to go live.
If you have the course content all ready to go, you’ll be done in minutes like I was.
Systeme.io will also let you build a fully-functioning membership site in minutes, and get this, for FREE.
Also, you’ll be able to drip-feed the course content to your members/subscribers, earning a recurring monthly income. This alone costs quite a bit of money on other course platforms, including Kajabi.
In addition, Systeme enables you to sell physical products alongside digital assets, a feature we’ve only seen partially offered by Thinkific.
But while Systeme supports just course and community creation, Kajabi enables you to create and sell podcasts, coaching, courses, and communities.
You can use these templates to begin styling your Kajabi product ASAP. And there’s more. Kajabi lets you further customize the templates to reflect the look and feel you are going for.
For courses, Kajabi enables you to organize your content into modules, sub-modules, lessons, and quizzes.
I also like that Kajabi lets you bulk-upload course content (up to 20 videos at a go!). A true time saver. Plus, you can upload them from multiple sources, from Google Drive to Wistia.
You can even bring your content to life faster with the Kajabi AI course generator. You can try it to see what ideas pop into your head, which can also be helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed or procrastinating.
Another thing. Kajabi packs a bunch of tools to help you engage and enchant your learners. For instance, the course player offers the usual options; fullscreen, playback speed control, discussions/comments, etc.
Even better, Kajabi offers actionable video stats, heatmaps, and retention graphs so you can track each student’s progress and engagement level, and see if there is something you can do to help.
You can then follow up with individuals or groups to find out what’s keeping them from completing the course or other expected steps.
Something else. With Kajabi, you can only sell digital products directly, not physical ones like you can with Systeme. So, the analytics here do not apply to those. But Kajabi integrates with Shopify if you want to sell physical products.
You can also drip your content over several weeks to your students/members. This can help them digest your content without overindulging so they can reap value from it.
You can also create quizzes and assessments with Kajabi to assess how well learners understand your material. And you can even award course completion certificates.
Systeme.io doesn’t currently offer course completion certificates but may soon do, according to its suggested features page. For now, only Kajabi lets you reward certificates to a learner once they complete a course 100%.
However, like Systeme, Kajabi isn’t SCORM compliant, so I recommend using it for outward-facing courses, not internal training in a corporate setting. For that, I recommend you check out the likes of TalentLMS, Moodle, and Adobe Learning Manager (formerly Captivate Prime).
With an average conversion rate of 46%, webinars are good for selling courses. But podcasts may be the bigger deal.
In the 2022 Smart Speaker Audio Report, 18% of respondents said they use smart speakers to listen to podcasts. Half of all respondents said they pay more attention to ads they hear in podcasts, take action, and want more information about them – than via other media.
In that regard, Systeme does not support podcasts, but they do support Evergreen Webinars, complete with automation rules and A/B testing.
You can create either automated or on-demand webinars on Systeme.io.
To attract, engage, and convert participants into customers, you create a webinar funnel that starts from a sign-up page or web page. It is an effective method for attracting high-value customers, even though it requires a few steps.
It is the same over at Kajabi. You create a Kajabi Events pipeline to get started.
But Kajabi also supports podcasting.
Creating a podcast on Kajabi is as simple as adding your RSS feed URL and Kajabi will import your podcast. Or, you can create one from scratch.
You’ll be able to distribute your podcasts through Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Apple Podcasts.
You can publish new episodes with show notes, transcripts, and thumbnails to your preferred listening apps. You can also include additional content, or choose to keep your main podcast private, and yes, all from within Kajabi.
To monetize your Kajabi podcasts, you can sell memberships to private audio blogs using Kajabi’s payment system. You keep 100% of the revenue you generate.
Overall, Kajabi lets you choose whether to use webinars (Kajabi Events) or podcasts for $149/month. Systeme locks you down to webinars but at $0/month.
You can onboard affiliates to help you sell knowledge products with Kajabi and Systeme, for a share of the sale, of course. The dashboards on both platforms are full-featured, so managing affiliates won’t be a problem.
Affiliates can self-register on Kajabi and use affiliate coupon codes. You decide the commission window, that is within what time window a customer must use an affiliate link (up to 90 days) for it to earn commissions. Systeme doesn’t support this.
You can also do the other needfuls with Kajabi; configure commissions, payouts, affiliate management, analytics, etc. – all in one place. Neat.
Systeme’s affiliate program is also simple and clean. Consider this:
But unlike Kajabi’s, you can publish your affiliates to Systeme.io’s marketplace to promote your program and set a minimum payout amount.
The affiliates program also seamlessly integrates with your memberships, email list, and payments system – and speaking of payments.
For affiliate payouts, Systeme.io supports PayPal and wire transfers. However, you can automate commission payments by connecting your Wise account.
There are also more payment gateway options available with Systeme, including Stripe, PayPal, Mercado Pago, RazorPay (Indian gateway!), FluterWave, GoCardless, and Mollie.
If you use Kajabi, you can choose any payment method for affiliate payments. But you’ll have to manage the payouts manually.
You’ll also have fewer payment gateways to offer; Kajabi Payments, PayPal, and Stripe. However, Kajabi Payments lets you accept debit/credit cards, along with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Here’s a bummer for international creators, though; you can’t use Kajabi Payments if your business is based outside the US. But if your business is based in the States, Kajabi Payments helps you handle everything; from managing refunds and overseeing payments to initiating affiliate payouts and more — all in one place.
The checkout process in Kajabi, however, is increasingly intriguing. For example, you can now use Pay What You Want. With this option, your customers can choose their own price, either higher or at the price you set.
Kajabi also supports one-time and recurring payments (subscriptions). And, to appeal to a broader segment of customers, you can offer payment plans and trials, too. There’s more.
Kajabi’s checkout page also supports upsells, multiple offers (bundles), order bumps, downsells, % or $ discounts, urgency with expiration dates, single or multiple coupons, and more.
Kajabi also supports popup checkouts, where your customers can make a purchase from any page of your website.
It also supports optional login, where returning customers can complete an order/purchase, a great way to reduce cart abandonment.
Systeme.io’s checkout process also feels smooth but with a bit of limited conversion optimization options.
Like Kajabi, there are 0% transaction fees. But Systeme only includes coupon codes, $ or % discounts, course bundling, order bumps, split testing, automated 1-click upselling, and cross-selling.
You can also support subscriptions, one-time charges, and payment plans — all for free, which is pretty handy.
Systeme.io offers four ways to get support; video tutorials, Facebook groups, knowledge bases, and contacting their team. I can confirm that Systeme’s email responses are pretty fast (their claim that they respond within two hours makes sense).
The support team is available for 1-hour technical assistance phone calls if you need more direct interaction. That’s only if you’re on the $97/month plan. If you prefer, you can schedule a 2-hour call for $57.
Otherwise, Systeme.io offers email support 24/7, including weekends and holidays (9am to 7pm GMT+1).
Kajabi does not offer phone support. You’ll instead get live chat, which isn’t half bad. Kajabi Live Chat is available from 6am to 5pm Pacific Time if you have the basic plan at $149/month.
You’ll need to be on the $199/month or $399/month plan if you want live chat 24/7.
As with other systems, Kajabi offers a knowledge base (Kajabi University), a ticketing system, video tutorials (On-Demand Webinars), and peer support through its Facebook community.
There’s also this:
Kajabi charges $99 for a 1-on-1 session (Kajabi Access). But unlike Systeme, you can tune in to live training Webinars (or replay them 3 hours post-event) for Q&As, expert takes, and tips Monday through Friday. Not bad
Systeme and Kajabi both offer multiple pricing tiers to accommodate different customer needs.
Kajabi pricing is ideal for advanced users who’ve built an active following. That’s because you can manage up to 10,000 contacts and 1,000 active customers with Kajabi’s Basic plan at $149.month.
For up to 25,000 contacts and 10,000 active customers, you can upgrade to the Growth Plan for $199/month. To remove all limits, you’ll need the pro plan, which costs $399 per month.
If you’re just starting out, you won’t have a large following. And if you are like me, and prefer to pay for only what you use, Systeme’s pricing could be just what you need.
With Systeme, you pay based on your current needs. The free plan includes unlimited emails, students, community members, and blog posts, as well as 2,000 contacts.
The unlimited-everything plan, Unlimited, costs $97/month, which in my experience with other platforms, is a legit steal. In addition, as your business evolves, you can upgrade or downgrade tiers whenever you want.
Now, all that said, which is better; Kajabi or Systeme.io?
Here’s the deal:
If you need advanced features, choose Kajabi. I’m referring to features such as advanced course functionalities (similar to those provided by Teachable), tagging for email marketing, in-built CRM, and elaborate website-building tools. It may also help if your business is already established and you don’t mind the higher monthly charge.
All their features feel complete, I wouldn’t be surprised if you ended up ditching your specialist tools like WordPress and ConvertKit for Kajabi’s website builder and email functionality.
Systeme.io is a powerful Kajabi alternative. You get a lot of value with the free plan (instead of paying $149/month). With Systeme, you can test your idea with the free plan, then grow your business at your own pace with the next two plans, and finally upgrade to the Unlimited plan when you are established enough to utilize all of the plan’s features.
Systeme’s Unlimited plan is still $52/month and over $300/month cheaper than Kajabi’s Basic and Pro plans, respectively.
And there you go. I’d love to know your thoughts about Systeme vs. Kajabi. I invite you to comment below about how you plan to use either. Or, share your tips, and tricks, or just let others know about your experience using Kajabi or Systeme, or both, so we can help each other.