"Kajabi is Too Expensive": How It Actually Saves You Money Over Cheaper Systems

blogging with kajabi featured kajabi kajabi deal online course review Dec 01, 2018


What is Kajabi? It's a platform for business owners and course creators to easily sell their digital products - online courses, e-books, membership site, coaching groups, services, etc. It's not meant for selling physical products, but you can.


Kajabi is an all-in-one solution that has everything under one roof: website builder, full-featured blog, landing and sales pages, checkout pages/cart, email marketing tools, sales funnels, webinars, and more. It's pretty amazing, actually. There's even a mobile app and the ability to use your own custom domain for your Kajabi website!


On the Growth and Pro pricing tiers, you also receive advanced automations and an affiliate marketing feature; with Pro (or if you add Access to Basic or Growth), you can access the code editor. As you can see already, with any Kajabi plan, you get much more than just an online course platform. More good news: With any plan, you get unlimited marketing emails and unlimited landing pages.


Note: This post was originally written in 11/2017 and has been updated in 03/2018, 10/2018, 12/2018, and 09/2022.


I'm a Kajabi Konvert


And proud of it! Heh. That was kind of obnoxious, right? But I'm totally serial. I discovered New Kajabi in December 2016 and, after taking a walk-through with a free trial, decided pretty quickly that THIS was my new best friend.

Note: The company was founded in 2010 and has gone through different brand names. It was "New Kajabi" when I joined in 2016 and is now just "Kajabi." But you may see those names used interchangeably from long-time customers like me :)


As a member of Kajabi's affiliate program, I may receive commissions for purchases made through links on my site. Please see my full disclosure for further information.


Analyzing All the Options


When I found Kajabi, I was trying to decide where to build my new website (yes, this one! ErikaFriday.com) and, being the The Over-Analyzer that I am, I had to personally check out a bunch of the options before making a decision (doing a total eyeroll at myself).


I'd been a self-hosted WordPress blogger since 2007. So I knew there were various course and membership plugin options available but I didn't know if I wanted to mess with the tech logistics one of those would entail. (I'd heard some nightmare stories and ain't nobody got time for that, y'all). I also considered starting with a WordPress site, my cute paid theme, and paid/free courses delivered via Mailchimp. Just keep is super simple, ya' know?


But I knew that long-term I'd want a lot more functionality. Since I always believe in "starting with the end in mind" - and with the fear of potential tech nightmares getting all the themes, plugins, and integrations working together - I decided against using WordPress for this new project.


I already knew and loved Simplero, an all-in-one online biz platform, and had clients who used it. However, a few of its features were holding me back (e.g., you had to make landing pages from scratch and I'm not a designer). Also, Simplero had raised its prices since I started working with it in 2015 and were higher than Kajabi prices (see more on this below).


I also checked out the Rainmaker platform, Course Cats, CourseCraft*, TeachableThinkificOntraport, and more. I took notes and analyzed the pros and cons (the former program analyst in me has never died). I compared features and narrowed down which ones were really important to me, based on my plans for ErikaFriday.com. I decided that an all-in-one-solution was the way to go. *All 3 of these don't appear to exist anymore - while Kajabi continues to grow at a fast pace. Look like I made the right choice!


That Time I Chose Kajabi


Just as I was about to settle on using the all-in-one Simplero for this new site, I was discussing platform options with someone in the B-School group and she asked about Kajabi. Well, honestly, I had avoided looking at Kajabi (aka New Kajabi or NK) since first hearing about it a couple of years prior.


Not only was I trying to avoid another "shiny object" but I assumed it was similar to Rainmaker, very corporate-y looking with a "male entrepreneur" vibe to it and I wanted something simple and clean but with some flair. But, oh well, sure I'll check it out for my fellow B-Schooler and give her my thoughts. {I heart talking about course platforms}.


Um, oops! I fell right down the Kajabi rabbit hole and spent the next 2 hours reading everything I could about Kajabi, watching YouTube videos, and started a free trial. There were so many great things that it was love at first site 💙 (< see what I did there? Eh? Eh?). I found Kajabi to be the perfect all-in-one solution for my needs and was SO excited! And it didn't look corporate-y or male-centric at all. I was like, "Here, take my credit card!"


"But It's Too Expensive for Someone Like Me"


However, like many people checking out Kajabi, I sucked wind at the prices. Yikes! "So, if I want to get started with Kajabi, we're talking $103/month* (paid annually) or $129/month (paid monthly) to get started on the Basic Plan?" Ouch. Given that most people can't cough up $1,200 at once for an annual paid plan, even to save 20% for the year, the reality for most of us is paying $129/month getting started.


*Note: For the first time in 3 years and after adding many, many new features, Kajabi pricing plans changed on 12-03-18, as below. However, it doesn't change the outcome because 1. Kajabi was already well below the other option bundles; 2. other platforms have also since raised their prices, e.g., Thinkific and Simplero; and 3. Kajabi's new plans raised limits on things like number of landing pages and emails and now have much higher limits on things than others' introductory plans, e.g., ConvertKit.


Basic Plan $149/mo or $119 if paid annually

Growth Plan $199/mo or $159 if paid annually

Pro Plan $399/mo or $319 if paid annually

*See Kajabi's current pricing chart HERE.


At first, that price tag seemed a pretty harsh reality for someone like me who, although I was making a living as a virtual assistant, didn't have much left over after bills. This is coupled with the fact that I was just starting out with the idea of earning residual income with courses or products, etc. Like, starting from scratch, yo.


I had to ask myself, "How can I justify spending $129 or $149 [now $149/$199] per month on an online platform that won't be earning me any money until I get it all set up and launched?" Is that what you're thinking too? I kinda' figured. (Picture me making the peace sign with my fingers and pointing from your eyes to mine, back and forth).


That's why I'm doing this post - because I want to share how I was able to become comfortable with the cost and therefore choose my digital soulmate, Kajabi, to build my site. If Kajabi is your first and best choice, I want you to be able to purchase this "expensive" but superior option instead of being stuck with something that's "cheaper" but not as good.


Note that I use the quotation marks because Kajabi, when comparing apples to apples, is actually cheaper than other options. Okay, now I'm going to break it all down for ya'.



How Kajabi Actually SAVES You Money Over the Other Options


Here's the buried headline: If you add up the cost of individual programs that do all the things Kajabi does in one program, your final cost will likely be lower with Kajabi. Yep!


Every one of us uses different software options to run our online businesses. But here's a scenario someone might follow to run their online coaching, consulting, or digital product business:


WordPress. org (free)

Divi Theme ($89/year or $7/month)

Bigscoots managed website hosting ($35/month)

LeadPages ($49-99/month)

ConvertKit ($119/month) wowza! for 10K subscribers as in Kajabi Basic

Teachable ($119/month) or Thinkific ($199/month); a plugin may cost less but you'll probably need to pay more for your hosting, tech setup/ongoing help, etc

Stripe or Paypal (free to use other than transaction fees)

TOTAL $210/month (or $310 total if you use Thinkific not Teachable)


Well, lookie there, we're at $61 to $162 more than Kajabi's Basic plan at $149*/month, which will do all the things that combo of programs will - website, blog, online course creation, memberships, and e-products, lead/sales/checkout pages, e-mail marketing, video hosting, and process payments. *Or only $119/month if you can pay annually.

And Kajabi has additional features the above tech stack doesn't - see below.


[Note: Since I wrote this article in 11/2017, Kajabi has added webinars, pipelines aka funnels, events, a community feature, and more - which is why they raised their prices in 12/2018; then they added podcasts and coaching features as well ... same price].


Please note that the above sample scenario includes the lowest-priced option for each software, most of which with lesser features than Basic Kajabi, paid monthly vs. annually (since I assume most of us can't afford huge annual payments). So I didn't purposely try to find the most expensive option, lol. This is a pretty reasonable scenario.


You can add or subtract different components but, as you can see, it's probably going to remain more expensive than the cost of Kajabi once you add everything up. For instance, a paid webinar service is going to run you an additional $40+/month yet webinars are included in the Kajabi Basic plan.

Video hosting can be very expensive yet one of Kajabi's key features is unlimited Wistia hosting - quite a value and it's often overlooked. To compare just the video hosting feature, note that Wistia does not have any unlimited plan pricing listed but the closest is their $399/mo Advanced plan. Similarly, to get unlimited videos with Vimeo requires Enterprise pricing (unknown). For $55/month, you're limited to 20 videos. 

Am I proving it to you now? That $210 to $310 price I quoted above for that tech stack that comes anywhere close to what Kajabi includes? It doesn't even count the video hosting you'd potentially pay another $400 a month for! Eesh.

Also, keep in mind something else that might cost you even more if you DON'T use Kajabi: Paying for tech help when all the various parts and pieces need to be successfully hooked up together, and addressing problems when they go haywire (not to mention possible lost income if your site or funnel is down for any length of time). Kajabi has 99.9% overall uptime 📊


All Kajabi plans include live chat support and the Kajabi Assistant in-app, e-mail support, and a ton of free courses in Kajabi University.


In addition to Kajabi's excellent support team, they have a Facebook group with 11K and counting active members [omg, it's now up to 36K as of 9/2022!] who love to help each other succeed. I'm very active in the group myself as a Kajabi Ambassador; we're 7 expert Kajabi members from around the world here to support you, give tips, and answer questions about Kajabi features.


Simplero and Ontraport are all-in-one systems similar to Kajabi and they cost $268/mo and $399/mo, respectively, for the closest features match I could find (but neither is as all-encompassing as Kajabi). So they're clearly more expensive with fewer features. Personally, I wouldn't even consider them at this point. 

I hope I've convinced you that if you can afford the other "cheaper" options, you can indeed afford Kajabi :)

And guess what? It's about to get even better because I'm going to tell you how to sign up so you receive double the free trial period - available only through Kajabi Partners like me.


How to Sign-Up For a Kajabi Free Trial 

I suspect now you're seeing the true value of Kajabi and that it's certainly not "too expensive." Are you ready to do a free trial? If you sign up through any of my Partner links in this post (not available through their main website), you'll receive*:


  • A 30-day free plan when you'll have full use of Kajabi and can start building your empire 🙌🏼 (What if you attacked it and made sales before your trial was even up?!)


  • Loads of FREE assistance getting started, including Kajabi University courses, daily live demos of how to use Kajabi including Q&As, and much more. Look at all the ways Kajabi helps you at Hero HQ


  • A FREE one-on-one business strategy call, tailored specifically to your goals, with Kajabi's Launchpad team. They’ll work with you to get the framework of your online business implemented on Kajabi.



As you can see, the support is there from the very beginning and Kajabi's mission "to make every customer a Hero" is quite evident. I don't know of any other all-in-one platform that includes this type of value - and the others charge more than Kajabi, whaaaaat? 



The Bottom Line


No matter how much Kajabi costs, you have to:

  • weigh the pros and cons
  • see if it's right for you
  • decide if you believe Kajabi will ultimately MAKE you more money than it costs you, etc. 

For me, it was a no-brainer. Could I sell two $49 products per month? Could I sell one $99 service per month? Well, duh. Of course. Then there are higher ticket items, larger, more comprehensive courses that I'd offer down the road as well.


As it turned out, I created a great service package called a Virtual VIP Day for my virtual assistant clients (my first Kajabi product, yay!). I surpassed the $1K in sales needed to be a #KajabiHero within 1 month of promoting my Virtual VIP Day package. If I can do it, you certainly can. The platform is there and the customer support is there. So it can boil down to how "ready" you are, how much confidence you have in yourself and your products/services, etc.


However, if you have a strong preference for other options, than I say "go for it!" Kajabi is certainly not for everyone. But if you're like me and you fall in love with the ease and "all-in-one"-ness of Kajabi, please don't let the myth that "Kajabi is too expensive" keep you from utilizing it to fulfill your dreams. Promise? Okay, we're good then ;)


If you've hung in there for this whole article, bravo! You must be serious about succeeding in your business. But if it was information overload or you're still not sure if Kajabi is even for you, the best way to know for sure is to do a free trial. If you click this link to sign up, it extends your free trial from 14 days to 30 days.


That's a whole month to check out Kajabi and see if it's what you need, check out its ease of use, see if having everything on a single platform eases your stress level and saves you money as I've outlined, check out the Kajabi app, etc. (<- That link goes to a video demo of the app but the signup on that page is for a 14-day trial. If you want the 30-day grial, please return here after you learn about the app and click here for a 30-day trial, only offered through Partners like me). 


Hope you enjoyed my Kajabi review blog post. As always, I'm here to answer your Kajabi questions. Just drop me a note: [email protected]





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