Kajabi vs. Teachable: The best online course platform for 2020 [updated]
What are Kajabi and Teachable?
Kajabi and Teachable are both online course platforms that let you create, publish, and sell online courses. Unlike massive open online course platforms like Udemy or Coursera that put your course on an open marketplace, Kajabi and Teachable allow you to sell online courses under your own brand with complete control over your prices.
In this in-depth comparison, we look at how Kajabi and Teachable stack up as the go-to platform to build and grow a profitable online business. In addition to course-related functionality, we compare marketing capabilities of each platform. After all, people have to know who you are, what you’re about, and what you can do for them before buying from you.
Every successful online marketing strategy follows the same framework. As you compare Kajabi and Teachable feature by feature, analyze how each feature will support the following framework for your business:
- Identify your audience.
- Drive them to your site.
- Entice them with a solution to their problems.
- Nurture the relationship.
- Persuade them to invest their time and money.
- Get repeat sales.
We’ll compare Kajabi and Teachable capabilities in these areas:
- Online course creation and delivery
- Online course structure
- Video hosting
- Member progress
- Digital product themes
- Website builder
- Landing pages
- Email marketing
- Pipelines (AKA sales funnels and automated marketing campaigns)
- Live events, virtual summits, webinars, livestreams
Online course creation and delivery
Both platforms let you take any type of content you’ve created — whether it’s in the form of video, audio, digital workbooks, etc. — and turn your content into a digital product.
Online course structure
When it comes to building out the actual structure of your course, both platforms let you group lessons under categories. Your course appears to your students like an online syllabus, making it easy for your students to follow along and learn.
One difference: Kajabi lets you create subcategories to nest under categories, and Teachable does not.
Here’s an example of how you can organize a content-heavy course using Kajabi.
Subcategories help organize significant volumes of content, particularly from an optics perspective. Too much content in a course syllabus can run too long and appear to be overwhelming for your students.
For back-end video hosting, both Kajabi and Teachable use Wistia, which delivers high streaming quality via adaptive streaming. Wistia automatically adjusts the quality based on your viewer’s Internet speed. So even if your student is watching your video from a smartphone going through a tunnel on 3G — as Wistia explains it— your student will still get uninterrupted playback.
Both Kajabi and Teachable have unlimited video hosting for online courses.
Up-to-date progress reports about your students or members help you answer questions about your customers, such as:
- Are they going through the course and digesting the material?
- Are they getting stuck anywhere?
- Are my videos too long?
- Where do they tend to drop off?
In Kajabi, you get full access to all these details with our robust analytics. With both lesson progress and video progress, you can track exactly how people are digesting your content individually and from multiple overview perspectives.
Here’s an example that shows how much progress each student has made in one course. Kajabi also lets you segment out your students however you’d like to categorize them. For example, if you wanted to specifically see how community members were progressing, you could create a filter for them.
Let’s say you wanted to slice the data differently by lesson. Here’s an example that shows the overall progress all of your students have made, broken down by each post or lesson of your course.
Teachable also tracks your student progress and video engagement on an individual basis. The video heatmap generated by Wistia shows a second-by-second graphical view of how your audience watched your videos. Green indicates the student watched it. Yellow means the student rewatched it. Orange means the student rewatched it. White means the student skipped it.
Teachable does not offer the overview progress reports that Kajabi offers, which give you the option to see the number of members who completed a lesson, number of members that started, as well as the average progress by post.
Assessing your students: testing, surveys, assignments
Every course creator wants their students to soak up as much knowledge as possible from the course. Building an interactive experience for your customers makes a big difference. It also sets your course apart from the slew of courses on the market. When done right, testing helps your students digest and remember your material on a deeper level.
Giving your customers opportunities to take quizzes or surveys helps you, as the course creator, understand them better. You can track how well they’re learning and how they’re feeling throughout the course. Both Kajabi and Teachable platforms offer built-in quizzes, assessments, and surveys.
Teachable allows you to add multiple choice quizzes to any “lecture,” which is how Teachable refers to units of text, files, video, or images. For simplicity, let’s consider a “lecture” a lesson.
In Teachable, quiz functionality depends on your plan level:
- The basic plan ($39 per month) lets you create non-graded quizzes, which means you can’t track how your students score on the quizzes.
- The professional plan ($119) lets you create graded quizzes and track scores. You have the option to require students to complete a quiz with a minimum score before moving onto the next lesson.
If you think multiple-choice questions are sufficient for your course, then Teachable’s quiz functionality is all you need. However, some course topics need more flexibility to assess students. Let’s say you wanted to ask an open-ended question, where the answer might be a paragraph. What if you wanted to assess your student’s work by asking them to upload a photo, audio file, or pdf to answer? In those scenarios, Teachable would fall short.
With Kajabi, you have plenty of flexibility in how you design assessments, including:
- multiple-choice questions
- open-ended questions
- fill-in-the-blank statements
- images as the question itself
You could even have students upload homework — PDFs, word documents, videos, images, audio files — directly into the lesson. Grading comes free with every plan.
Do you want to automatically subscribe students to an email sequence after they’ve completed the assessment? Do you want to email them with a link to test results? Do you want to email your team every time a student completes an assessment? You can do all of that in Kajabi.
Like Teachable, you can require your students to complete an assessment with a minimum score before moving onto the next lesson. Or if it’s more important that they answer the questions rather than the grade itself, set the passing grade to 0%. They’ll be able to move on once they answer your question(s) — regardless of how they score.
Every course is unique. Picture the type of rich interaction that comes with having your students do more than click on A, B, C, or D on a multiple-choice question. That’s the only option you have with Teachable. The more flexibility you have in facilitating deep, meaningful interaction with your students, the better equipped you’ll be to create top-notch courses.
With Kajabi, there’s much more you can do with assessments far beyond courses. For example, you could use them in your landing pages to segment out your leads.
Bottom line: If you want a robust functionality for testing your students, sending surveys, or simply designing a more interactive learning experience, Kajabi has everything you need.
Digital product themes: the look and feel of your course
If you’ve ever purchased an Apple product, you most likely remember the visual experience, the packaging, and the overall high-quality presentation. Powerful branding is one of the reasons consumers are willing to pay premium prices for Apple products. The look and feel of Apple products alone give the products a higher perceived value.
Customers want to be blown away by their purchases. Once they’ve made an investment, they want to feel like they’ve made the right decision. That feeling you once had unwrapping a beautiful, sleek MacBook Pro or iPhone — that’s the same feeling your customers should have the first time they log into your course.
This is where product theming comes into play — one of the most significant differences between Kajabi and Teachable.
Teachable product themes
In Teachable, the concept of course theming is reduced to a singular theme that allows you to change your:
- logo and background
Essentially, with these three options, you can customize the look of your online courses to match your specific branding. The downside is that all your products will look uniform. Aside from logo changes, you can’t customize the look of your various products.
In Teachable, each page in your course will have a video and a course outline so you can jump from one lesson to the next pretty easily. That works great for basic online courses, and maybe that’s all that you need.
But what if you wanted to sell other digital products in addition to your course, like a membership site, a digital download, a video lesson, etc.?
What if you want to add coaching and have a weekly webinar?
What if you want to create a paid community as your product?
This is where the rigidity of Teachable can become a problem.
If you’re selling a membership site, you most likely want to give your members fresh, new content plus ways to interact with you regularly. In that case, a linear format primarily designed for online courses probably won’t work well for you. You need a platform with built-in flexibility that allows students to jump around easily
On the other hand, if you’re selling access to one video, for example, your platform would ideally allow you to create a one-page course site with the video. The traditional course outline Teachable offers isn't suited for that either.
Kajabi product themes: suitable for any type of digital product
Here’s what Kajabi does that no other online course creator does: it presents you with a library of beautiful, highly customizable themes that you can apply to your different products.
Got an online course with several modules and lessons?
What about a membership site?
Want to add coaching and a weekly webinar?
What about creating a paid community?
If you have any kind of digital product, Kajabi has the right theme for it.
The best part is you’re not obligated to use the same theme across all of your products. You have the option to pick a different theme for each product.
Even within each carefully crafted theme, you have the flexibility to customize each one with Kajabi’s easy-to-use theme editor and powerful code editor.
Bottom line: If you want to make a strong impression on your customers and have the flexibility to serve your audience in different ways, Kajabi is the stronger platform.
Having your course live in the same ecosystem as your website not only eliminates your tech integration headaches — it gives your website visitors a more seamless experience, guiding them to make a purchase. You eliminate that extra layer of friction that would otherwise force your visitors to bounce around different systems.
Both Kajabi and Teachable promise a drag-and-drop website builder made to house your course. Both platforms can host blog posts so you can deliver free, valuable content to potential customers. But there are huge differences in this category, so let’s dive in.
Teachable website builder
Essentially what you get with a Teachable website is a basic storefront page that showcases your online courses. You can add certain blocks like image, text, button and certain block layouts predesigned as a banner, pricing, etc.
The Teachable website builder has no actual themes to choose from.
On the dashboard menu, the item named “Theme” gives these options:
- You can upload images for
- site logo
- homepage background with some degree of a dark overlay for the background
- You can choose one font throughout your entire site (out of 11 fonts).
- You can choose colors for specific sections.
For example, one color for all buttons and links, one color for all headings, one color for your video player, and so on.
Because the Teachable website builder doesn’t have much flexibility in design or customization, Teachable sites tend to look very similar to each other.
If you upgrade to Teachable’s business plan ($299 per month), you get the Power Editor, which lets you make advanced customizations with custom code, including HTML/Liquid and CSS. Then again, we’re pretty sure you’d rather not spend your time learning custom coding.
The Power Editor is still in development, and Teachable advises its users to be cautious:
Kajabi website builder
With Kajabi, you can feel confident about building a beautiful website that’s safe, secure, and stable — all without hiring expensive designers or web developers. Kajabi’s theme offers multiple layout presets that you can customize.
Just pick a layout preset you like and add your own branding and copy. From there, you’ll have your own stunning website — complete with your library of products, about page, blog, and more.
With the framework in Kajabi, you get access to all the elements successful websites use, including options to add:
- site header
- video background
- opt-in forms
- calls-to-action (CTAs)
- feature highlights
- sales pages
- blog posts
You could also add a pop-up form on your site so when visitors land on your homepage, you can start capturing their emails — all done in Kajabi.
The best part is that it’s all easily customizable with all Kajabi plans. With its drag-and-drop editor, you can make changes on the fly and move elements wherever you want — minus the scary custom coding you’d have to do with Teachable’s Power Editor.
No other online course platform comes close to letting you create beautiful, professional-quality websites from scratch.
Bottom line: If you’re done with tech headaches integrating your website to your products and marketing campaigns, Kajabi is the all-in-one platform for you. Teachable’s website builder is severely limited. To grow your online business, you’ll need to pay for a website builder to serve as your home on the web.
Landing pages are pages aimed solely at getting visitors to take a specific action, known as the call to action (CTA). Separate from your website where visitors come to learn about you and your brand, landing pages should be simple. The goal is to remove potential barriers to conversion, whether your CTA is to download a free pdf, sign up for a newsletter, or buy a product.
You’ve seen landing pages in many different forms:
- opt-in pages
- sales pages
- thank you pages
- download pages
- video pages
- . . . and more.
Let’s compare how each platform can help you build and grow your online business.
Kajabi landing pages
With its built-in landing page functionality, Kajabi lets you choose from dozens of different templates to create any kind of landing page you need. These are perfect for growing your audience, delivering value, and selling your products. And they're easily tied together to build an automated marketing campaign or funnel.
Here’s an example of a landing page funnel you could create in Kajabi in less than 20 minutes: An opt-in page that promises video content in exchange for an email address. Once your visitor opts in, they reach a landing page with your video content. At the bottom of that page, you include an irresistible CTA. Your visitor clicks on the CTA, and automatically gets directed to a sales page featuring one of your introductory offers.
This simple example — which barely scrapes the surface of Kajabi’s landing page capabilities — can easily start generating sales from Day 1.
Teachable landing pages
Teachable courses, by default, come with a sales page, a checkout page, and a thank you page. You can create up to 10 sales pages for each course and use the predesigned page blocks for sections like the author bio, FAQs, testimonials, and more.
Keep in mind getting people’s eyeballs on those pages — much less turning visitors into paying customers — will be very difficult without having built a relationship. You’re simply relying on cold traffic — people who have never seen or heard of you— to make an investment.
If you end up choosing Teachable, you’ll have to enlist (and pay for) third-party landing page software to add the automated marketing capabilities that come with Kajabi. These types of services can cost you an extra $100 a month in addition to your Teachable subscription.
Speaking of additional software, what happens when your landing pages generate leads? Teachable does not offer customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities or ways to track those contacts. If you chose Teachable, you’d have to get a CRM system — another tool that could cost an extra $50 a month.
Kajabi does not offer full-fledged CRM capabilities, but it does automatically track those who have opted into your mailing list or offers. Kajabi tracks each person’s contact information, their progress within your course, and their purchases.
Email is the lifeblood of any online business. It converts more effectively than any other marketing medium out there. Consider the latest stats on email marketing:
- 80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention.
- 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI.
- 59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
Both Kajabi and Teachable claim to offer email marketing, so let’s compare the two and see how they stack up.
Teachable email marketing
Teachable advertises “integrated email marketing” in its list of basic plan features. The platform, by itself, allows you to send emails to your students or a subset of students. You’d likely send course-related announcements to people who have already purchased your course. Teachable would allow you to notify students when you’ve updated a video, added a new lesson, or made changes.
Those emails are helpful to your students, but they’re not the type of email marketing that nurtures prospects towards becoming new customers.
What about the people who have opted into your mailing list or signed up to receive a freebie? They’re not paying customers yet. How can you cultivate a relationship over email and eventually convert them into paying customers?
To do that, you’d have to enlist a third-party email provider — another add-on that would cost extra depending on the number of subscribers you have.
Kajabi email marketing
Kajabi Email works right out of the box — no plugins needed. You can start building relationships with prospects by sending out personalized, beautifully designed email broadcasts and autoresponders. Use email marketing to keep the conversation going, add value, and consistently show up. Email is a huge opportunity to stay top of mind for your market.
Kajabi’s new visual builder makes it easy to add rich design to your emails.
- 15+ themed templates
- 12 preset sections that allow you to add new content, countdown timers, images, and video previews quickly.
Behind the scenes, Kajabi email comes with Email Subject Line Validation, which improves deliverability as you’re typing your subject line. The tool automatically checks for potential spam triggers and suggests exactly what to fix — helping you increase open rates and stay out of spam.
By having your emails natively integrate with the rest of your Kajabi site — including events, marketing automation, and digital products — you no longer have to worry about frustrating integrations and broken APIs.
If you’re wondering how you benefit from having your email marketing under one roof with the rest of your business, here’s an example of an autoresponder sequence you build in Kajabi:
- You create a Kajabi landing page with a video about your upcoming digital product.
- Anyone who opts into that landing page, automatically gets entered on your Kajabi email sequence.
- Throughout the week, Kajabi automatically sends out an email with a new video each day. Each video is delivering value and building up excitement about your upcoming product.
- At the end of the week, you notify your prospect that you’ve opened up registration to your online course with discounted early bird pricing.
- A few days pass, and because the prospect hasn’t purchased yet, your autoresponder notifies them that the discounted pricing offer will soon expire.
- You close the cart and you’re done. Now you have a bonafide evergreen launch funnel that runs in your sleep.
You can do all of this inside Kajabi. To see Kajabi’s unveiling of our email builder earlier this year, check out the email launch live replay. You can also check out email FAQs and the Kajabi Email Deep Dive Training video.
Bottom line: Kajabi has all the email marketing you need to grow and develop your customer base. If you go with Teachable, you’ll have to enlist the services of a third-party email marketing platform.
Pipelines (AKA sales funnels and automated marketing campaigns)
Feature unique to Kajabi, not offered by Teachable
While we're on the subject of landing pages and email marketing, one robust feature entirely unique to Kajabi is the power to create pipelines, also known as sales funnels.
Pipelines are automated marketing campaigns that tie together your opt-in forms, your landing pages, and automated email, to help you sell your digital products and online courses. The idea behind Pipelines is simple: You can't expect to sell your digital products to audiences who aren't aware of your brand already. You need to build the relationship first.
And Pipelines will help you do that.
Pipelines help you deliver your content, build trust, and automatically send out personalized messages so your audience will know, like, trust you. Keep in mind, these people are still getting to know you. The goal is that eventually, they’ll buy from you.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I have great ideas and amazing content, but how do I get my message out to the world and sell?” — then Pipelines is your answer.
This Pipelines feature in Kajabi is entirely automated, which means once you’ve created your pipeline, you can set it up to run automatically, helping you build your online business while you sleep.
Here are some examples of Pipelines you can put together inside Kajabi with just a few clicks:
- Free report. Capture emails and build your list by offering a free downloadable report.
- Product launch. Engage and excite your list with a multivideo sales process.
- Promotional offer. Capture emails, follow up, and present an irresistible, low-ticket offer to start making sales.
- Webinar. Host your own free webinar, where you can demonstrate your skills and offer your products to your audience.
"It took me less than 48 hours to get everything set up in Kajabi, ready to convert and send traffic to. The first week I had products online, over 25% of those who purchased took my order bump on the checkout page. And Kajabi's checkout page performed over 15% better than Teachable's checkout page, which I was previously using! I have been so impressed with this software because it really has made selling easy." — Haley Burkhead of the Profit Planner
As you can see, Kajabi Pipelines can fit a variety of different needs, including building your list, hosting a webinar, and selling your digital products.
Bottom line: If you want to build a profitable online business that's built to last, then Kajabi Pipelines can help you to do that.
Live events, virtual summits, webinars, and livestreams
You know how critical it is to build your audience in a way that’s consistent and sustainable. You need new people discovering you, telling their networks about you, and subscribing to your emails. Free live webinars can help you attract new audiences. Both Kajabi and Teachable offer some webinar support with major differences.
Kajabi comes with the power to host your own webinars. You can build out and market any kind of event through Kajabi. Whether you want to host a live video training via Zoom, a virtual conference, or prerecorded webinar, you can manage all the logistics and marketing from Kajabi.
Here are three examples of events you can set up:
- Live event. Host a live training and engage with your audience.
- Virtual summit. Host a virtual summit that runs over the course of a few days
- Evergreen webinars. Run fully automated webinars. Just set an event to repeat however you’d like — every 10 minutes, every hour, every day. You can set your webinar to run on autopilot.
Once you’ve nailed the type of event, date and time, Kajabi makes it easy to:
- add countdowns to your landing pages and email broadcasts
- register people (for both digital and in-person events)
- send email notifications reminding people about the event
The best part? You don’t have to put much thought into what elements you need to create a marketing campaign around your event. Kajabi comes with a webinar pipeline that includes customizable templates for your:
- registration page
- confirmation page
- sales page
- 4 reminder emails
- 5 followup emails
Set up your webinar pipeline once and Kajabi takes care of the rest.
Teachable doesn’t offer a native way to add livestreams, but you can run webinars inside Teachable by embedding a live video stream code into a lesson.
So while Teachable does allow you to run webinars to engage specifically with your students, Teachable’s webinar support capabilities aren’t designed to reach audiences outside of your existing students. The most you could do is upsell existing customers to other products. With Teachable, you can’t leverage webinars to build your list, sell your product, or build your brand authority out in the open.
According to Teachable’s statement, its customer care does not support livestreams:
If you’re interested in using webinars or any kind of live events to grow your business, you’d need to pay for another webinar platform outside of Teachable. But even with an external webinar platform, you’d still be missing the incredible benefits of having an automated marketing campaign (which comes with Kajabi).
Bottom line: Engaging your audience through live events can help you grow your list, build brand authority, and sell more of your products. If you want to leverage the power of webinars, virtual summits — or events of any kind — Kajabi has what you need.
There are no shortage of tools out there right now that help you grow and automate your online business, and if you're a digital entrepreneur looking to sell online courses, odds are that you’ve used some of them already.
But software platforms can be confusing to navigate and their primary goal isn't to work with other platforms — it's to execute their primary purpose in the best way they can.
So how do you make these tools work with your online course platform?
That’s where integrations come in.
Integrations make it easy to connect third-party apps with your online course platform and have them work together in powerful ways.
And while Kajabi does offer everything you need to run a successful online business, we understand that you might have some favorite tools that you just don't want to let go of yet.
That's why Kajabi has built-in integrations, to give you that extra flexibility so that you can build your business as you see fit.
Teachable also has built-in integrations. So which platform has more and does it better?
Well, at the time of this writing, Teachable has 6 native built-in integrations:
- Google Analytics
In contrast, Kajabi has 10 native built-in integrations:
- Google Analytics
- Facebook Pixel
It's not just the number of integrations that put Kajabi ahead in this category, it's the integrations themselves and the convenience they can bring to your workflow.
For instance, Kajabi's Facebook pixel integration lets you easily track every page on your site simply by pasting your pixel ID.
In Teachable, here’s what you’d have to do to start tracking your audience with the Facebook pixel: grab the actual code and paste it into the code editor for all of the courses you want to track.
Support is a feature: 24/7 live chat and email
One thing about any software platform that you have undoubtedly learned in all walks of life: don’t overlook excellent support.
The last thing you ever want to happen when creating and selling your online course is getting stuck with no help.
Sure, you can pour over countless help articles to find an answer, but what if you were about to launch and something goes wrong the night before? Do you have a way to get help immediately?
Access to 24-hour support can mean the difference between a smooth, successful launch or a ton of wasted time and effort.
Both Kajabi and Teachable take pride in their support. But how do they compare to each other?
Both of them have a full knowledge base with a comprehensive set of help documentation, training courses on how to use the platform, and the ability to send out emails to support.
All of these serve to remove the friction of going from just starting out to being a bonafide digital entrepreneur success.
We can't speak to the quality of Teachable support, but we can tell you that our software is backed with 24/7 live chat and email support. So you can bet that not only are you getting top-notch support by a team of highly qualified Kajabi experts, you can expect to get the help you need, whenever you need it.
Now that's value you can't quantify.
Now that you have seen the major differences between Kajabi and Teachable, it’s the perfect time to segue into pricing so you can see where you can get the most bang for your buck.
The plans that are most similar in nature are the Kajabi Pro plan and the Teachable Business plan. At first glance, it looks like you might save money with Teachable.
But here’s the catch: To sell digital courses with Teachable you’ll also need to use a whole host of third-party tools, including landing page software, a CRM, an email marketing platform, webinar software, etc.
All of those tools combined can easily cost hundreds of additional dollars per month, which must be factored into the cost of going with Teachable.
There’s nothing more frustrating than purchasing a product only to discover you’ll need to pay for more services just to get everything working the way you want.
That’s why you can often save money by investing in one platform that will eliminate the need to pay more for third-party tools. We’ve broken down what you’d have to spend if you picked Kajabi’s most popular plan versus that of Teachable.
The final word on Kajabi vs. Teachable
If you only need a software tool to build and deliver your online courses, Teachable works great for that.
Meaning, you should already have these pieces in place:
- marketing tools
- email list
- automation tools
If you don’t have any of these in place, you’ll have to look outside of Teachable for the solution.
The limited website functionality that Teachable provides means that it can’t act as the online hub for your brand, only as a back-end for which your online courses are delivered.
It also means that when it comes to actually growing your business by acquiring new leads and turning them into customers, you’ll need to pay for different software apps.
For some people that can work fine, but for others looking to do everything from one place and easily scale up, that presents a huge problem.
If you’re tired of duct-taping different tools together and want something that does more than deliver your products, then it’s pretty clear which platform you need to use.
Kajabi has all the tools you need in place so you can build and run your entire online business selling digital products.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can do with Kajabi:
- Build, sell, and deliver any type of digital products, including membership sites, online courses, downloads, and more
- Create landing pages to build sales funnels turning leads into customers
- Send marketing emails to build relationships with your prospects
- Use the built-in CRM to manage all of your leads and customers
- Use an integrated payment system to collect money for your content
- Create a website to serve as the home of your business on the web
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Kajabi can do for you and your online business.
And don't just take our word for it. See how independent review site Sell Courses Online thought Kajabi stacked up with Teachable here.
By having every tool under one roof, you can not only save money, but also put your time and energy into what you do best: creating valuable content, serving customers, and scaling your online business.
We hope this article has helped illuminate for you the differences between Kajabi and Teachable.
And if you’re interested in experiencing a streamlined, all-in-one solution for your online business, try Kajabi for free today.