Let’s get into two areas of the Kajabi ecosystem that create real value for you and your customers – Products and Offers. Without these, you’re not truly running an online business on Kajabi because you don’t have anything to market or sell!
In a nutshell, Products are the digital “goods” you have for sale, and Offers are the different ways you package them up to sell them.
This separation gives you a lot of flexibility because a single product can be part of multiple offers and multiple products can be “bundled” into a single offer.
But before getting into the specifics, let’s see a quick example of how products and offers work together.
Example: Online Course
Imagine you’ve created an online course that’s available in a self-study format but is also sold in a premium version with a private community providing extra support.
To achieve this in Kajabi you’d create two products – the course and the community – and two offers – one at the lower price containing just the course and the other at the higher price containing the course and the community.
This is just a simple example but shows the power of separating the two concepts.
Kajabi is designed for selling digital products delivered via the platform. Primarily that means online courses, membership programs and virtual communities. You can also sell digital downloads but if that’s all you’re selling, Kajabi is probably overkill.
Note: Kajabi is not well-suited for selling physical products. It can handle a simple “just pay shipping” free book offer (although you’d need to handle the shipping separately) but if you have a catalogue of physical products to sell, Kajabi isn’t a good fit.
To make creating products as easy as possible, Kajabi provides a collection of “blueprints”, which are essentially templates for common product types.
Select one of these blueprints and Kajabi pre-populates your product with handy content placeholders for content and makes some decisions for you about the design layout (both of which you can change later).
Here’s the full list of product blueprints:
- Mini Course – a simple online course made up of a series of lessons that’s designed to be quick and easy to consume;
- Online Course – a more comprehensive online course divided into separate categories (Kajabi’s equivalent of modules or units), each containing a series of individual posts (Kajabi’s equivalent of lessons);
- Drip Course – a comprehensive online course where the categories are automatically “dripped” out to students over consecutive weeks;
- Membership – a membership program with categories and posts organised as core training, bonuses and resources;
- Community – an online community modelled after Facebook Groups that organises content around topics and discussions.
Note: When creating your product you can also select the “Blank” product blueprint to start from scratch.
The Truth about Product Blueprints
Once you’ve spent some time exploring the various product blueprints, one thing becomes clear – with the Community blueprint excepted, all other blueprints are simply variations on the same basic template.
In fact, you can replicate any of those blueprints in just a few minutes by starting from scratch. Now that doesn’t make the blueprints any less useful, but it does help to understand that most are really just “serving suggestions” to suit different scenarios.
However, the Community blueprint is a different beast altogether. It’s designed to facilitate discussions between members rather than deliver content in a structured way and we’ll discuss it separately.
But first, let’s look at the building blocks of all of the other blueprints in Kajabi – Categories and Posts.
Categories and Posts
Kajabi uses the terms “category” and “post” for its products but these are rather generic so let’s put them into a bit more context.
In a traditional course, a category would represent a course module (or unit). A post would represent an individual lesson or an assignment residing within a module.
Let’s start by exploring categories (and subcategories) in more detail.
Categories and Subcategories
Categories allow you to organise your posts into logical groups like course modules. Kajabi also supports subcategories, giving you a further level of structure for building your products.
This means that even quite large products – like extensive courses or continually expanding membership programs – can be presented in a digestible way.
In Kajabi, categories and subcategories have little content of their own – they’re really just “containers” for your posts. But here’s the settings they do have:
- Title – the main title for the category, which is visible to members;
- Description – an optional description for the category, which may or may not be visible to your members depending on your chosen product theme;
- Poster Image – a featured image for the category, which again may or may not be visible depending on your theme;
- Visibility – set to either Published, Draft, Drip, or Locked.
The last setting, Visibility, merits a bit more explanation. The first two options – Published and Draft – simply determine whether the category and its contents are visible to members. But the second two options – Drip and Locked – enable some very useful behaviour that we’ll discuss fully once we’ve talked about posts.
Posts are the lowest-level building block in a Kajabi product and they function a lot like the posts within a Kajabi blog.
Note: Posts can only be created inside of a category or subcategory. In other words, you can’t have a product that has posts but no categories.
Each post you create has a Title and some combination of the following settings:
- Video – a video that appears in a player at the top of the post;
- Assessment – a quiz which lets you test members’ knowledge by asking them questions and capturing their answers;
- Body – the textual content that appears as the main body of the post (for video posts this could be left blank or used for a text summary of the video content);
- Poster Image – the featured image for the post (or the main thumbnail for the video, if one was uploaded);
- Downloads – one or more downloadable files that supplement the main content (e.g., a PDF transcript of the lesson audio);
- Comments – whether or not members may leave comments against this post.
Note: Since both videos and assessments are designed to be the “centrepiece” of a post, you can have one or the other (or neither!) but not both.
Similar to categories, posts can have their visibility set to either “Published” or “Draft”, meaning you can keep posts invisible to members while they’re in development.
As you can see, a post makes a flexible product building block, which explains why it’s able to support multiple different product types.
Controlling Access to Content
A little earlier I mentioned but didn’t explain two visibility settings – Drip and Locked. With these Kajabi gives you greater control over how members consume your content.
With the Drip setting, instead of giving members instant access to all content within a product as soon as they join, you can have it “drip” out over time according to a defined schedule (e.g., one category per week).
With the Locked setting, instead of letting members access available content in any order they choose, you can specify that certain categories are initially “locked”, only becoming available once members have completed a specific post.
And by combining the locking behaviour with the assessments feature, you can prevent members from accessing the next module of your course until they’ve passed a quiz relating to the current one. This can be very handy from a teaching perspective.
Note: Locking is made possible by the “Mark As Complete” button that Kajabi displays by default on each post, which members can click when they finish the content. This lets them (and you as the product creator) keep track of their progress.
Product Design Themes
Much like the design themes for building your website, Kajabi offers several design themes for your product-related pages. The basic principle is the same but product themes have a slightly different selection of sections and blocks, such as product syllabus, course progress, and instructor profile.
You can choose from around a dozen themes and at the top of the pile are what Kajabi calls its “next-generation” themes, called Premier and Momentum. These have a similar feel to the Encore website theme – they’re clean, modern and fairly configurable, and the interface is more reminiscent of the builder used for creating landing pages.
In addition to these, you have a bunch of older, less flexible product themes that have more distinctive styling but offer less control over the design.
Any theme can be used with any product blueprint with one exception. Due to its more rigid structure, Community supports a few design options but doesn’t have anything like the flexibility of a regular product theme.
So let’s now get into the Community blueprint in a bit more detail.
The “Community” Blueprint
Kajabi’s Community product blueprint is based heavily on Facebook Groups. Members congregate around certain topics, posting messages and replies, and generally being sociable. Communities can also provide a place for members to interact directly with you and your team to get additional support.
Why Build Your Community with Kajabi?
Lots of successful online programs use private Facebook Groups, so why might you choose to host your member community on Kajabi instead?
Personally, I can think of a few reasons:
- Creating your community on Facebook is a little like building your home on someone else’s land. If Facebook changes their rules, or how groups work, or starts charging a fee, you could find yourself scrambling to find an alternative meeting place for your members.
- Hosting your products on one platform and your community on another is a little “clunky”. Keeping everything together means your members have a single login and see consistent branding across everything.
- Some people simply don’t like using Facebook. Either they refuse to use the platform altogether, or they don’t like the idea of using their personal profile for socialising with relative strangers.
If your needs are fairly basic, Kajabi’s Community blueprint may fit the bill. That said, many Kajabi users seem to prefer Facebook (because most of their customers are already using it) or a dedicated community platform like Circle or Mighty Networks.
Kajabi hasn’t enhanced its community features in a good while, so they may have decided not to compete head-on with those other solutions.
So let’s see what features are available to budding community builders.
Kajabi’s Community Features
I’ll do my best to give you a quick overview of what Kajabi provides without descending into a straight feature dump.
Communities are centred around topics, which are like top-level categories for hosting discussions around a specific subject. (Even if you’re not acquainted with Facebook Groups, you should find the basic structure familiar if you’ve used any type of online forum.)
Members can interact with each other by creating new posts within existing topics and replying to (and “liking”) other members’ posts. Members can also add videos, photos and links to their posts if they choose.
Making it easier to track what’s happening in the community, members can “follow” specific posts to receive email notifications of any new replies, and will get notified if another member mentions them by name.
And that really is the Community functionality in a nutshell!
As a community creator you have a few simple configuration options:
- You can decide whether your community’s front page is a list of topics or a “feed” of recent activity.
- You can add a simple navigation menu and customise the sidebar to add a small amount of content to help members get oriented.
- You can give each topic “tab” its own colour and specify a primary colour and an “accent” colour to help brand your community as a whole.
As you can see, Kajabi communities are simple but fairly effective. Only time will tell if the company decides to improve the features or stay focused on users with modest needs.
Okay, that covers all of the product blueprints, let’s talk briefly about the automations that products support.
As with most other areas of Kajabi, you can attach automations to your products to trigger certain actions under certain conditions.
In practice, you only have one product-related trigger at your disposal – the marking of a post (e.g., a course lesson) as complete.
While that’s rather narrow it still allows for some neat behaviour that would be much harder to achieve on a platform that’s not as integrated as Kajabi.
For instance, when a member completes the last lesson in a course module, you could trigger a mini email sequence that congratulates them and introduces the next module.
Kajabi’s product creation and delivery features are definitely among its strengths when compared to other all-in-one platforms. However, it may still fall short when compared with dedicated courseware, membership and community solutions. Let’s explore the limitations.
No Native Support for Product Tiers
Kajabi doesn’t support true product tiers, where members with different membership levels (e.g., bronze, silver or gold) see different content within a single product.
You can achieve a similar effect using a separate product for each tier, but this is really just a workaround. In my opinion, your “gold” members shouldn’t have to navigate to a separate product to access their exclusive content!
You Can “Drip” and “Lock” Categories But Not Posts
Kajabi offers less control over content consumption for posts than it does for categories.
For example, you can drip out whole categories according to a defined schedule, but not individual posts.
Locking is more restricted too. You can lock a category until a post is completed, but you can’t lock a post in the same way. This means you can’t require that posts are completed in the order that they appear, which some course designers will want to do.
No Moderation Queue for Member Comments
If members leave comments against your posts they will appear immediately for everyone to see. In other words, there’s no moderation queue – you can only delete inappropriate comments after the fact.
Granted, toxic or spam comments are less likely within a private community (compared to a public blog, for example) but comment moderation would still be a nice option.
Inflexible Community Structure
While simplicity is arguably one of its strengths, Kajabi’s community structure is very rigid. Unlike other blueprints, which allow two levels of organisation via categories and subcategories, the Community blueprint has just one – the topic.
Additionally, topics can only be created by administrators, not members. If you design your topics thoughtfully, that shouldn’t be a major problem, but again, it’s useful to know.
As I mentioned at the top of the chapter, offers are what makes your products sellable, and Kajabi’s approach allows for a lot of flexibility.
A simple offer might grant customers access to a single product for a flat price; a more complex offer might bundle several products into a package that’s paid in instalments.
What makes these varied options possible is Kajabi’s simple but powerful offer configuration.
Three settings lie at the heart of Kajabi’s offer configuration:
- Included Products – what products does this offer grant access to?
- Product Access – do buyers get lifetime access or something more restricted?
- Price – what’s the price of this offer and how are the payments structured?
On top of these, the following options provide further flexibility:
- Limit Offer – this lets you restrict the availability of the offer by time (“only available until Friday”) or quantity (“only 10 places available”).
- Order Bumps and Upsells – these are both ways to increase the value of each order.
- Coupons – these let you offer discounts on your offers for a limited time or to a limited group of people.
Not all of these options merit further explanation but let’s dig deeper on the most important ones.
When pricing your offers you have four basic options: free, one-time payment, multiple payments or recurring subscription.
The first two should be self-explanatory. The multiple payments option lets you offer a payment plan, e.g., three monthly instalments of $199. Recurring subscriptions charge a fixed amount each month until cancelled (and also support free and paid trials).
Order Bumps and Upsells
An “order bump” is an extra offer that customers can add to the shopping basket before completing their purchase. It’s usually a lower-value product that’s easy to explain and complements the main offer.
An “upsell” is an extra offer made immediately after the initial purchase that gets added to the order without the need to re-enter payment details. It’s often a bigger or better version of the main offer designed to capitalise on the customer’s buying momentum.
Money-off coupons are a useful way to promote your offers by providing a discount for a limited time and/or to a limited group of people.
Coupons give buyers a discount based on a percentage (e.g., 30% off) or a fixed amount (e.g., $50 off) and may also have an expiry date. They come in two flavours: single and bulk.
Single coupons let you create a discount code (e.g., BLACKFRIDAY20) that anyone can use while the coupon is still valid. You could use this type of coupon for general email promotions or for displaying on your website for a limited time.
Bulk coupons make it easy to generate multiple single-use discount codes. This is useful if you negotiate a group deal with an organisation for an offer – they’d pay once and get a fixed number of coupon codes giving their employees a 100% discount.
When creating an offer you also configure its checkout page – the page where people actually pull out their credit card and buy the offer. As you’d expect it has a number of customisation options.
Customising Your Checkout Page
You can give your checkout page a title, a banner image, and provide a description of the offer. You can also add a product logo, featured image, and video.
Other notable customisations include:
- Extra Contact Info – by default you can choose to collect some combination of the buyer’s address, phone number, name and password. (The address can be handy if you’re shipping a physical product or bonus.) You can also add custom fields.
- Service Agreement – you can choose to have the buyer explicitly agree to a service agreement before proceeding (the message is customisable).
- Testimonials – you can choose to add one or more testimonials featuring the person’s name, quote and image.
- Order Bump – this is where you’d add a second offer as an “order bump”.
You can specify that a “cart abandonment” email is sent out automatically if a potential buyer enters their details but fails to complete their purchase.
The email content is customisable and typically reminds the contact their purchase failed then encourages them to return to the checkout and complete the transaction.
As you’d expect, you can add automations to your offers. The most common type triggers when an offer is purchased, but you have a few other options too, including several relating to subscription payments (successful, failed, cancelled).
Kajabi offers give you numerous options for pricing and packaging your products, but let’s look at some of their limitations.
No Design Themes for Checkout Pages
While you have a fair amount of control over the appearance of your checkout page, it’s basically a fixed structure with some optional elements. In use, it’s rather like having a single, Premier-like design theme instead of multiple themes to choose from.
For most people, this approach will provide enough flexibility but anyone expecting lots of checkout themes to choose from will be disappointed.
Limited Payment Integrations
Your business will fail pretty quickly if you don’t have a way to accept payments for your Kajabi-hosted products, for example via credit card.
Many different options exist for taking payments online, but Kajabi currently only supports Stripe and PayPal.
While those will probably be sufficient for many online businesses, if you want access to other options (like Authorize.net), you’ll need to replace the Kajabi checkout with an alternative solution.
No Built-in Handling of Sales Tax
One of the big advantages of running an online business is that you can target customers in many different countries. However, doing that correctly means handling sales tax in the various different territories (e.g., the EU).
Unfortunately, Kajabi doesn’t handle sales tax – everyone is charged the same price no matter where they’re based.
To handle sales tax correctly you’ll need to integrate with a third-party solution like Quaderno or use a separate checkout provider like Thrivecart.