In this Kajabi review, I'm going to focus on Kajabi's performance in email deliverability based on my own real-world tests. If you're thinking about putting your business in the hands of Kajabi, read the rest of this review so you know what you're getting into!
When I was thinking about making the switch to Kajabi, I had a list of 20,000 contacts in Mailchimp. That was costing about $200/month.
I had a Mailchimp plugin for my Wordpress membership site that cost $39/year.
So my costs were already $2449 every year for email marketing to work with my website. That’s about $205/month.
Kajabi promised to eliminate the need for these extra email services but I was worried that Kajabi’s email deliverability wouldn’t be up to the task. I worried that poor email deliverability would cost me money in the long run if I left Mailchimp.
I decided to transition from Wordpress to Kajabi and see how email deliverability went. And in this post I’ll share the (happy) results of my leap of faith.
If you’re familiar with building Wordpress membership sites, you may have noticed that I left out another key email cost.
If you’re new to Wordpress membership sites, you didn't notice it. Let me clue you in to something that nobody will tell you about until it’s too late.
It’s called “transactional emails.”
Transactional emails are things like receipts, confirmations, login credentials, password resets, and other boring logistical things like that.
Wordpress is not optimized to handle sending out those types of emails. And the internet has architecture in place that actually sends emails like that into spam if it’s not properly sent by a transactional email service provider.
So to make sure all those “boring” emails get sent AND delivered to your customers on a Wordpress site, you have to sign up for a transactional email service provider.
Surprise, surprise! That costs money.
Email with a Wordpress site is not BIG money. I was paying for Mandrill (a Mailchimp transactional email service). It was $20/month.
But all this starts to add up.
To get all my marketing emails AND transactional emails delivered AND have it all integrated with my Wordpress site, I was actually paying $225/month.
Oh, also, I had to make sure the SMTP plugin that allowed for transactional emails through Mandrill was always up to date. Which means I also had to always pray that it never broke during an update process...
Bottom line: I didn’t like how this worked. And it was another substantial cost on top of other costs I was paying to keep Wordpress running.
When I was doing my cost comparisons between Kajabi and Wordpress with Mailchimp and Mandrill, I was shocked by the amount I was paying for so many different services and plugins.
But with Mailchimp and Mandrill, I knew my emails were getting delivered. I had an excellent “sender reputation.” Depending on how targeted my email campaigns were, I was getting open rates of 20-50%.
On email automations, I was getting very good open rates in the 60-80% range.
Deliverability, according to Mailchimp/Mandrill was always around 98% or higher.
Kajabi was an unknown quantity, and I couldn’t find good info on their email deliverability.
Looking at Kajabi’s own materials, email deliverability and open rates wouldn’t suffer. Their stuff was great and awesome. That was the claim, anyway.
But I’m always skeptical of marketing claims.
I google searched for Kajabi Reviews and came up with a bunch of spammy garbage from affiliates. I found tons of Kajabi reviews that were obviously written by people who hadn't used Kajabi and just wanted affiliate marketing income...
...or people who literally just cut and pasted text from Kajabi's own marketing materials to create a totally bogus Kajabi review.
So I went to the Kajabi Users Facebook group and started searching old threads and asking for input.
I saw people angry about Kajabi email deliverability being TERRIBLE.
I saw people saying they Kajabi’s email deliverability was so bad that they felt forced to go back to their old email services like Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign.
But then I also saw some people say, “no, you guys are doing it wrong. You just need to follow the instructions!”
And I saw some others say, “I’ve done nothing special and my open rates have gone up since transitioning!”
So I couldn’t be sure one way or the other.
If I can’t get the answer from others, I will get the answer myself.
I knew that I could keep Kajabi and Mailchimp going. If Kajabi email deliverability wasn't good, I could just keep using Mailchimp.
I’d still save $20/month on transactional emails (since Kajabi handles all that without my having to think about it).
But I really wanted Kajabi to be my all-in-one solution!
So I asked my Kajabi account rep to help me import all my Mailchimp contacts with their tags for proper targeting and categorization. He got it all done for me. That was free. And it didn’t cost me any time or money (HUGE BONUS).
Over the first few weeks, I sent out some big email blasts to my entire list through Kajabi.
I didn’t segment down to juice my open rates. I wanted to see what would happen with a big blast to my whole list.
And here’s one example of what happened:
The open rates are still around the same as when I was using Mailchimp. No big drop. In fact, the open rate was a little higher than I used to get! No hit to deliverability. Very respectable open rates for thousands of subscribers.
This was the next email campaign after that one:
I breathed a sigh of relief.
And if you're thinking, "well maybe those were flukes! Maybe kajabi's email deliverability was just lucky on those..."
Here was the next email campaign.
Email deliverability on Kajabi was not bad. It actually worked just as advertised. Kajabi's email marketing numbers were solid and were clearly working well for me.
I breathed a BIG sigh of relief.
When I look at the costs of running a Wordpress membership site, email marketing and transactional email delivery combine to be one of the bigger costs.
I was paying over $220 EVERY month to get emails sent and delivered.
With Kajabi, I pay $320/month on their Pro plan for integrated email marketing, high speed reliable hosting, a learner management system, course builder, page builder, funnel builder, etc. etc. etc.
BUT I don’t have to deal with Wordpress plugins.
AND I don’t have to pay more for transactional email service. I don’t have to even know what transactional email is!
The Kajabi system just works. And for far less money than I was paying for Wordpress, Mailchimp, and Mandrill before.
If you get the Kajabi Growth Tier plan at $159/month, you can still have an incredible site. And you'd be saving HUGE money. I just wanted a couple extra bells and whistles with Kajabi's top-tier plan.
At $159/month, Kajabi is a huge cost savings over a Wordpress membership site.
I wish I had started my business on Kajabi sooner. It would’ve saved me a lot of time, headaches, and money!
So if I had to summarize this Kajabi Review in three words or less: "try Kajabi, now."
The Kajabi pricing comparisons aren’t even complete! This post is only about Wordpress email marketing costs versus Kajabi email marketing!