Kajabi — Pipelines and Automations

One of the great things about online businesses is that they can be run largely on autopilot. In other words, many of the processes that make your business work can happen without you lifting a finger. And what makes this possible is automation.

In fact, many of the features we’ve already discussed like landing pages, forms and email sequences are just static building blocks. It’s Kajabi’s automation features that tie everything together.

Two concepts lie at the heart of Kajabi’s automation capabilities – Pipelines and Automations.

Let’s look at each in turn.

Pipelines

Pipelines are Kajabi’s answer to marketing funnels.

In case you’re not totally au fait with funnels, here’s a quick definition:

A marketing funnel is a series of automated steps designed to lead a potential customer along a “journey” from initial awareness to final sale.

Not all funnels will cover the entire customer journey, but what makes them so powerful is that they can be executed time and time again for any number of contacts.

Kajabi’s Pipelines are not the only way to create funnels using the platform but they are designed to be the easiest.

How Pipelines Work

In practice, the Pipelines feature in Kajabi is a combination of two things:

  1. A visual environment for building and configuring multi-step marketing funnels;
  2. A collection of customisable “blueprints” for creating common funnel types.

Ultimately, pipelines are designed to make marketing funnels – one of the most complex parts of any online business – as easy to create and maintain as possible by providing “fill in the blanks” templates.

An individual pipeline packages up the various assets (e.g., landing pages, forms, email sequences) required by a funnel with the rules and processes that tie them all together.

Now’s a good time to mention “OVO” – a term that crops up a lot in the Kajabi documentation in the context of pipelines.

What Is “OVO”?

OVO stands for Opt-in, Value, Offer and it’s the high-level template for any Kajabi Pipeline.

Here’s the basic structure:

  • At the “top” of your funnel, you’ll have an Opt-in, i.e., a page that captures your prospect’s email address.
  • In the middle, you’ll deliver something of Value. This could happen via content hosted on your site, a sequence of automated emails or even a live webinar.
  • At the bottom of your funnel, you’ll make your Offer, whatever it is you’re hoping your prospects will buy.

All Kajabi pipelines follow this structure and if you’re creating one from scratch you’ll need to start with the Opt-in step, then add the Value step and then (usually) wrap up with the Offer.

However, while it’s possible to build from a blank canvas, most people will want to take advantage of Kajabi’s blueprints. So let’s see what’s available.

Kajabi’s Pipeline Blueprints

Kajabi’s Pipeline blueprints cover several common types of online business funnels.

Here they are in full together with a brief description of what they do:

  • Freebie – a site visitor provides their email address (opts in) in exchange for a downloadable freebie (e.g., a PDF) and then receives an email welcoming them to your email list.
  • Sales Page OVO – a site visitor opts in to access something of value, e.g., a video lesson, which includes a pitch for an offer, which is followed up with a sequence of emails to convert that offer.
  • Product Launch OVO – a site visitor opts in to receive something of value that’s delivered in several parts, e.g., three lesson videos, which are sent to them via a sequence of emails, which then leads to an offer.
  • Zoom Webinar OVO – a site visitor opts in to attend a Zoom webinar, receives a short sequence of emails before the webinar reminding them to attend, and then another sequence of emails after the webinar prompting them to take up the offer presented in the webinar.
  • Free Book OVO – a site visitor opts in to receive a “free” book (paying postage and handling only) and then receives a sequence of emails promoting a higher ticket offer.
  • Coaching Campaign OVO – a site visitor completes an online application form expressing an interest in coaching, gets directed to a thank you page prompting them to book an initial session via a calendar link, then receives a short sequence of reminder emails to book the session.
  • Simple Sales Page – a site visitor makes a purchase via a sales page and is then sent a series of emails promoting another offer. (This is really just a generic version of the Free Book OVO pipeline.)

As you can see there’s a good selection of blueprints to choose from and each can be configured in terms of the design, email content, number of emails, and so on.

Note: You can also start from scratch by selecting the “Blank” blueprint if you wish.

Pipeline Stats

Once you’ve built and deployed a funnel you’ll want to see how well it’s performing. Kajabi provides a way to monitor this via Pipeline Stats.

A simple dashboard shows the following information for the pipeline as a whole:

  • Conversion rate – the overall conversion rate, i.e., the percentage of people landing on the initial opt-in page who go on to make a purchase;
  • Total revenue – the total revenue generated by the funnel to date;
  • Revenue per view – the revenue generated per view of the opt-in page (useful for understanding the average value of each person landing on the page).

In addition, you can view statistics for the landing pages and email sequences in the pipeline:

  • For each page, you can see the total number of views, conversion rate (number and percentage of visitors reaching this page who opt in) and sales (value of sales made from this page).
  • For each email sequence, you can see the number of sends, opens and clicks.

Note: Some of these statistics are also available elsewhere in the application but Pipeline Stats brings everything together in one place.

Limitations

Since pipelines are built on top of other Kajabi features, they naturally share the limitations of those areas.

For example, since email sequences don’t support sending multiple emails at different times on the same day, that limitation affects pipelines too.

Likewise, the relatively small selection of landing page templates affects pipelines too since all pipelines will need at least one landing page.

But let’s look at a couple of additional limitations to be aware of.

Visual Builder Is Fairly Basic

When building pipelines, steps are added from top to bottom, with any additional configuration added inside each step. This keeps things visually simple but makes it difficult to keep track of the logic when building more complex funnels.

More sophisticated automation platforms (e.g., Infusionsoft/Keap) allow different logic paths to be created visually, almost like a flowchart.

That said, Kajabi isn’t designed to go head-to-head with more heavyweight tools. If you have very complex funnels, Kajabi probably isn’t the platform for you.

No Way to Import or Export Pipelines

Within Kajabi your options for creating pipelines are either to use one of the provided blueprints or create your pipeline from scratch. You have no option to import a pipeline from elsewhere or share your pipelines with other Kajabi users.

By contrast, some platforms (such as ClickFunnels) have a funnel marketplace, where you can browse and buy high-converting funnels created by other people to use on your site.

Automations

Automations are closely related to Pipelines but the overlap can cause some confusion.

So let’s start by explaining what a Kajabi automation actually is.

An automation is a single “action rule” that performs a specific action when triggered by certain circumstances.

One example would be an automation that sends a congratulation email when a member successfully completes the final assessment in one of your online courses.

Another example would be an automation that tags a contact who opens a specific broadcast email.

Automations come into existence a few different ways:

  • They are added for you automatically when you create a pipeline based on a blueprint.
  • They can be created manually within a pipeline when you add additional configuration to a step.
  • They can be created manually within the Automations section of other Kajabi features, such as email sequences.
  • They can be created directly within the Automations area of Kajabi (unless you’re on the Basic subscription plan, in which case this option is not available).

Taken as a whole, your automations are the custom logic that controls your online business’s “autopilot” behaviour.

Now it’s time to learn about the two different types of automations.

Basic vs. Advanced Automations

Kajabi has the concept of Basic and Advanced Automations.

Users on the Basic plan only have access to basic automations while users on the Growth plan or above get advanced automations.

It’s easier to understand the difference between the two if we start with basic automations.

Basic Automations

A basic automation follows the “When, Then” template. In other words, when action X occurs, then trigger action Y.

Using the example of congratulating a member for completing a course, we could define the following automation:

When: Assessment “Final Assessment” is completed

Then: Subscribe member to “Congratulate member” email sequence

This would be done within the Automations section of the relevant assessment.

Advanced Automations

Advanced automations extend this idea using the “When, Then, If” template. In other words, when action X occurs, then trigger action Y, but only if condition Z is true.

Here’s a quick example:

When: Assessment “Final Assessment” is completed

Then: Send discount coupon for “Premium Product”

If: Member does not already own “Premium Product”

Note: The simple addition of an “if” opens up a lot of possibilities, including branching logic, because you can take different actions under different conditions.

Limitations

Kajabi Automations offer a lot of power, particularly when advanced automations are used, but they’re not without their limitations. Let’s look at those now.

Only One Action Per Automation

You can’t specify more than one “Then” action within any automation rule.

So if you wanted to tag a contact and send them an email immediately after completing a form, that would require two separate automations with the same “When” trigger rather than just one.

Technically this doesn’t limit what you can do, but it does have the effect of fragmenting your business logic.

No Wait Timers

Kajabi doesn’t let you add delays to your automations, so actions will usually occur immediately after being triggered.

Most of the time that’s fine, but occasionally you’ll want to add a delay, for instance, to prevent several emails arriving at the same time.

Email sequences (which can be triggered by automations) do give you some control over timing, but it’s at the level of days rather than hours or minutes.