Kajabi Alternative Technologies – Conclusions

On Friday last (22 October 2010) I presented a webinar that discussed a range of tools / technologies that you could consider as alternatives to Kajabi.

I created a detailed mind map to show all the tools and systems that I considered, and to link the tools to the features. I also recorded the webinar.

You can view both the recording AND the mind map here.

Kajabi Alternative Technologies

I cover a lot of information in the webinar, but since it’s about an hour long, I’ve documented my conclusions below. (But do at least go and look at the online mind map – you’ll get some useful information just by looking at it’s structure.)

For most people, Kajabi is not a suitable tool.

There are a lot of very nice features, and the interface is modern and easy to use (but not the easiest – see later), but….

  • Pretty much all the functionality is available elsewhere for a lower price (sometimes much lower): sometimes this is at the expense of ease of use, but not always
  • The fact that you lose all your sites if you cancel your account over-rides pretty much all other considerations anyway. Given that drawback, the system would need to have been head-and-shoulders above all competition to justify even considering using it. And it isn’t.

The single tool which is the closest competitor to Kajabi is Fusion HQ

I was originally not going to consider Fusion HQ because it wasn’t yet launched, but I learned that it will be soon, so I got access to it and experimented with it a few hours before the webinar (see the webinar recording for a brief view of what I did).

Kajabi’s claim to be “push-button” simple looks good on the video, even though most people are disappointed (but perhaps not that surprised) to find that it isn’t quite that simple to use.

But Fusion HQ is setting a whole new standard in ease of use. Not only can you create web pages with drag-and-drop facilities, but you can also create complex funnels with drag and drop – connecting up OTOs, upsells, downsells and thank-you pages in as complex a system as you care to create. The picture below gives you an indication of this:

Fusion HQ Processes

I attended a webinar by Fusion HQ’s founder, Leon Jay, and was impressed as much by his comparative laid-back approach as much as I was by the product.

As with Kajabi, Fusion HQ is a very new product, and inevitably the overall scope of its functionality is not as rich as that offered by some other products – particularly in the area of membership and content management, so if you are thinking of taking that route, ensure it DOES provide everything you need.

In my view, the whole approach being taken by Fusion HQ is the way of the future, and if the Fusion HQ team keep on with rapid developments of the product, everyone else will be playing catchup.

If you can live with the less-rich functionality (when compared with the WordPress solution below, for example), then your life will be a LOT easier taking the FusionHQ route.

I recommend you get on the waiting list to be notified about the product’s launch, and watch the videos about when it does.

The WordPress-based solution

Other than comparing Kajabi to a single tool, the other approach is to compare it with a combination of tools, and for the best options, that means having WordPress as the glue between them.

Here is a collection of tools that will give you pretty much all the functionality you need. But note that 1) I have not tried all of these and may revise my views in future 2) I am not claiming to have been anything like systematic in my researches, so there may be better products available

The WordPress approach will, on the whole, give you a lot of flexibility and options to add functionality by using other plugins – but it is NOT push-button easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Digital Access Pass

This provides the core functionality, including WordPress-based membership site management, affiliate management and autoresponders.

It also includes (just recently), 1-click upsells and downsells and tight integration with vBulletin for powerfull forum and community facilities.

You will also need a good quality theme, and that may mean another purchase.

Optimize Press

For creating professional-looking pages (squeeze pages, OTOs, sales pages etc.), based on proven templates

Easy Video Player 2

For any pages that require videos: indeed for any publishing of videos: includes the ability to insert optin-forms and other html in a video

For adding Facebook commenting to a video page.

For easy integration with Amazon S3 (it took me half an hour at most to create my first S3 account, link it to EVP2 and have my first video uploaded).

For creating Launch Funnels and Perpetual Launch Funnels (although right now, I can’t see how this is done.)

For arranging for components (such as a Buy Now button) to appear after a pre-arranged time after the video is started.

… and more

(I used Easy Video Player 2 – with some modifications – to create the page showing the webinar recording and mind map.)

Video Converter (Free)

To convert videos to MP4 format (needed for the advanced features of EVP2)

Split-Tester Pro

To provide A/B testing

WP Twin

With tools such as Kajabi and Fusion HQ, it’s relatively easy to create new sites, and Fusion HQ I know includes a “Duplicate” facility for at least some of its components.

But with WordPress, creating a new site normally involves installing WP, adding and configuring a theme and adding and configuring potentially many plugins. If you plan to create large numbers of sites, the WordPress approach could entail a huge amount of admin.

But not if you can clone an existing site.

That’s what WP Twin does for you.

As I said, I am not claiming to have been comprehensive and I’ve not tried linking all these above tools together. I am planning on changing my current platform over the next few months, and for now, the above is my expected choice of tools (unless Fusion HQ makes a dramatic leap forward in the interim!).

But things change quickly (I already know of a very interesting sounding tools that’s not far from release which may become part of the mix), and I will post updated views on this blog.

Please share your ideas below.

Alex


14 thoughts on Kajabi Alternative Technologies - Conclusions

  • Hi Alex,

    Awesome information ! I hadn't taken a look at Kabaji. I had seen your email last week ( or was it 2 weeks ago ) of your intentions of reviewing Kabaji.

    I use WordPress, so thanks a lot for the info on combining the tools.

    I will definitely take a look at Fusion HQ. I had heard of it, but didn't know what it was.
    I'm still pretty much a newbie, so this blog post is gold !

    Can I share it with my friends ?

    Philippe Moisan

  • Philippe

    Glad you found this useful. This is a public blog, so please DO share with your friends.

    There are buttons on the post to share on Facebook and Twitter and elsewhere.

    Alex

  • What about Easy Member Pro?
    Anyway, Kajabi looked like a load of hype and once I saw the price, I knew my first impressions were right.  Be interested to see a real review of Fusion HQ – there needs to be some sort of properly integrated, well-thought-out system available and the people who make that happen at a price that will not turn people away and even keep them there, will make a fortune.

  •  
    Thanks Alex, for the great review (I wish there were more of your kind, that take a closer look

    behind the many (oftentimes scammy) promos and give an unbiased report of what they find!).

    Since I mentioned 'unbiased' – well when You announced this review, I absolutely expected You

    would rather favour Delavo – hence You are in the 'Delaverian Circle'. And I saw many people

    say 'nothing beats Delavo'. You don't even mention it – dos it not compare?

    How about many other options, like InfusionSoft and the new generation of Butterfly-Marketing

    based SWs – in my opinion being lead from Nick Temples MarketingWebsiteGenerator

    (Intellispire).

    FusionHQ is for sure a great concept ! It's not that new though, but officially sold out and

    closed. But occasionally a few windows are opened once in a while – like on that webinar, or

    for Greg Jacobs 'The Assassination' program. And we can likely expect further development and perhaps a bigger open door some time.

    Another super system program – not primary just for Internet marketing, but for marketing in general – is Salesforce/Cloudforce. There are dozens of intro videos on YouTube, and the presentations are absolutely crazy mind-blowing – and frankly, a bit scary ('Marketing BigBrother') !

    HaRa

  • Hello Hara

    I use Delavo, but I'm not "In the Delavarian Circle"

     

    Firstly, I was (mostly) focussing on the newer breed of tool. At its core, it is a sales management and affiliate management system, with lots of other things added on.

    Secondly, it is VERY hard to do a feature-by-feature comparison and compare costs. The basic Delavo is free, and additional features come by buying addons: finding out the price of those addons, and exactly what they do is not at all easy.

    It is also frustrating that all the videos showing how to use the system are hidden inside a password-protected area which only uses can get at. Why? Other systems make all that available to anyone.

    Let me say that, if you can afford it (and you know what it will cost), and if you are willing to spend a lot of time learning (or hire some help), and can put up with the clunky interface, there is not much that you can't do with Delavo. Multi-level membership sites seems to be the thing you can't do: but I may be wrong about that!

    I know from detailed experience (not my own, but from reports I regularly get from others) of big issues with InfusionSoft. It is a hugely sophisticated and highly integrated collection of tools – but with that sophisticiation comes the ability to create intricate and complex systems that don't behave quite like you expect. And it costs a lot!

    And there are, of course, many other tools – some of which you and others have mentioned, which I could have included. But I had to draw the line somewhere: I never intended to be comprehensive.

    I  will include reviews/comments/findings about there and other tools in future posts.

    Alex

  •  
    What do Fusion HQ and Kajabi have in common?
    They both suck. Well the products don't really suck, just the lame way they are both being marketed.
    Both claim to be super easy to use yet at the same time limit the number of users because they don't want to overtax their support resources. 
    If its super easy why the need for extensive support? 
    They are just doing this to create an artificial scarcity so they can ask ridicules prices. 
    They are both headed for a giant marketing fail.  

  • Well, Callum, I’m sure they are both using the scarecity tactic. Like it or not – that’s how it is these days.

    Why you conclude that that means they will both fail, I don’t understand. Perhaps you HOPE they will – but that’s something else.

    If either company fails, it won’t be because they use the scarecity tactic: it will be because the price/functionality/support mix is wrong.

    As far as FusionHQ goes, I don’t think that’s going to happen (at the current prices anyway).

    Alex

  • Hi Alex,
    What a great service you have provided here in organizing and presenting these comparisons!
    It is very challenging to make the detailed comparisons needed for "rational" choices, so we all make do with limited information, judgement, trial-and-error, and product returns.
    I am exploring a few of these, as I build a business, so it is an interesting conundrum. I agree on Fusion HQ. I am starting to use Delavo, although I had it around and attended webinars. With it, Contepass, Brotherhoods and a good WP theme, one can probably do most of what is required, but of course the challenges relate to complexity, learning curves, functionality and costs. The price for Delavo, even with plugins is very competitive, and one of the other content platforms cn be very helpful.
    I have found the Socrates theme for sales pages to be rather time consuming or inflexible, to get what I want, and also in a different way Artisteer, alothough it is more flexible, but still time consuming.
    Thank you and all the best to you,
    Thom

  • Also, Alex, what do you think about displaying a website backlink for people who comment on blogs like this? I ask about your experience and thoughts because I will be setting up blogs myself.
    Thank you,
    Thom

  • Glad you found it useful, Thom.

    I am currently testing out FusionHQ in detail by using it for part of my business. If it works well, I will move everything over – but that depends on on when certain functionality gets added in.

    Showing backlinks in comments is standard. It encourages people to comment, which also helps the publisher of the blog. It can also drive reasonable traffic to your site directly if you comment on high-traffic blogs and say something meaningful and insightful, so that people think: “That was interesting! Who is this person?” and click your link.

  • Alex,
    Just wanted to stop by and thank you for recommending DigitalAccessPass (DAP) to your readers 🙂
    We've recently added many more new features that are very powerful and unique – like "In-Page Dripping", "Member-Specific Content Dripping" (for coaching clients, say), and Coupon support for Paypal.
    DAP gives people a legitimate, powerful and usable (and of course, *much* less expensive) alternative to many of the higher-priced systems out there.
    And choice sure is a good thing for the end-user – keep us on our toes, and passionately innovating too 🙂
    Cheers!
    – Ravi Jayagopal
    Founder & Co-Developer, DAP
     

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