Kajabi vs MailChimp: In-Depth Comparison

Kajabi

4.8/5

Outstanding

vs

Mailchimp

2.8/5

Average

Table of Contents

Creating a product is only half of running an online business. The other half is marketing your product to your audience.

Email marketing is a fantastic marketing strategy that has a high ROI. Two platforms for email marketing are Kajabi and MailChimp.

If you have heard of these two platforms, you might be wondering: Should I use Kajabi or MailChimp?

Here is the kicker: It’s not an either-or thing in this case. MailChimp integrates into Kajabi so you don’t have to choose between one or the other!

Kajabi vs. Mailchimp

Main Differences Between Kajabi and MailChimp

  • Features/functionality – MailChimp is mostly a marketing suite with an emphasis on email marketing. Kajabi is an all-in-one business platform.
  • Pricing: Kajabi plans start at $149, MailChimp offers a free plan (with very limited functionality and number of contacts)
  • Marketing Tools: MailChimp’s main priority is email marketing and it has a full suite of marketing tools. Kajabi also has a full suite of built-in marketing tools.
  • Course Creation: MailChimp is not a course building tool, so it can’t create courses.
  • Integrations: MailChimp is designed to be integrated into other platforms. Kajabi has 10 built-in integrations

The main difference between the two platforms is that MailChimp is an email marketing tool while Kajabi is an all-in-one business tool. MailChimp’s main focus is running creative marketing campaigns while Kajabi puts a bigger emphasis on course creation and hosting. MailChimp can be integrated into Kajabi, but it can also replace MailChimp. 

Pricing Comparison

Kajabi offers 3 pricing plans:

  • Basic: $149/mo
  • Growth: $199/mo
  • Pro: $399/mo

These plans are a bit more expensive than some competitors, but keep in mind that the price includes everything; from web-building and course building tools to email and sales tools.

Kajabi handles all hosting and there is no need to buy extensions or plugins to run things.

Each plan also offers unlimited landing pages and marketing emails. Kajabi does not offer a free plan but you can sign up for a free 28-day trial.

You can also save 20% on subscription costs by switching to annual billing. 

MailChimp has a flexible approach to pricing. Basic accounts are free and start you off with 2,000 contacts and 10,000 emails. Paid plans start at:

  • Essentials: $9.99/mo
  • Standard: $14.99/mo
  • Premium: $299/mo

These are starting prices and your actual subscription plan may differ depending on how many features and contacts you choose. To be honest, the free tools are actually pretty awesome and have a ton of useful features for small-to-medium businesses.

Marketing Tools 

Email marketing is MailChimp’s bread & butter. Even on the free plan you get access to a ton of useful tools like automations, reports, pop-up forms, social posting, surveys, and behavioral targeting.

You can run an entire email marketing suite right out of MailChimp for free. The premium plans add some nice features too like more email contacts, A/B testing tools, more automations, and a social post scheduler. You can add on a bunch of integrations too. 

Kajabi recently launched (or technically relaunched) its own email marketing suite and amped up the design.

Two of Kajabi’s marketing suite features are email automations and pipelines. Automations are tight and allow for complex sequences. The pipeline tool is a unique take on sales funnels that make it easy to see the abstract structure of your marketing funnels. 

Both platforms are excellent in their marketing tools, and the best part is that you can use both at the same time. So you don’t have to decide on one or the other.

Website Building Comparison

MailChimp is primarily an email marketing platform, but it recently unveiled a new webpage builder. Even the free plan comes with the website builder, so you can start building one right away. The problem is the free builder is extremely limited, so it’s not a good choice if you want to make a functioning site for a moderate business. For example, the builder does not have templates. It just starts you at a bare layout which you add to. Given some time though we hope that MailChimp builds on the tool and adds new features. 

Kajabi has a powerful web builder in comparison that can create good looking business pages with minimal effort. Kajabi uses a drag-and-drop editor that can make clean, modern sites. Kajabi web-builders use mobile responsive designs so they are smartphone friendly. Adding new pages is simple and with the Pro plan you get access to the code editor.

Theme Comparison 

Kajabi uses a theme-based design for its pages. Kajabi used to have 11 themes but have switched gears and are now focusing on developing the Premier Theme into a powerful framework. The Premier theme has 6 layout presets with customizable templates and elements. Themes in Kajabi can also be set at the individual product level. There are 6 product themes to choose from so you can give each section of your site a unique look.

MailChimp does not work with themes in its web-builder. But it has a ton of themes and templates for marketing emails. Once you start editing an email, you can mix and match features with the drag and drop editor. You can also access the HTML editor to make custom templates from scratch. The builder lets you test and preview email before sending as well. 

Course Creation & Student Engagement Comparison

MailChimp does not have any tools for making courses and so also does not have any tools for student engagement. Again, MailChimp is an email marketing platform, not a course creation platform. If you want to use MailChimp to sell courses, then you need to integrate it with an LMS or some other plug-in. 

Or you could just integrate with Kajabi. Kajabi has a wide library of tools for making courses and keeping tabs on student engagement. Combining the course capabilities of Kajabi with the email marketing capabilities of MailChimp is a smart idea for running a course business. Kajabi also has built-in quizzes and assessment tools for gauging student progress. Quizzes can be set as prerequisites for certain lessons. Kajabi’s student engagement tools are slightly limited though. Specifically, the lack of randomized or timed quizzes jumps out to us.   

Kajabi does make it easy to set offers for your courses. Courses can be priced as one-time purchases, subscriptions, or membership packages. 

Integrations

MailChimp has over 300 integrations including some popular services like WooCommerce, Shopsync, Canva, Slack, WordPress, and more. Given that MailChimp is an email marketing platform, you will most likely have to integrate it with some other service to have a fully functional business website. Fortunately, integrations are simple and quick to set up. 

Kajabi has 10 built-in integrations including ones for MailChimp, Drip, ConvertKit, Aweber, Adsense, Google Analytics, and Clickfunnels. Kajabi also has Zapier integration which allows for custom integrations with 1,000s of non-native third-party apps. Kajabi is an all-in-one platform so you do not have to use integration, but it is a nice option to have in case you are already used to some provider or service. 

In this case, you can integrate MailChimp with Kajabi. You can run your marketing suite out of MailChimp and handle course creation and sales with Kajabi. The two systems have a good synergy. 

Customer Support 

Kajabi has a wide customer support base that is knowledgeable and efficient. If you have the Growth plan or higher, you get access to 24/7 email and live chat support. Users also get access to Kajabi University; a library of training and educational resources directed at how to run a course business. You can also sign up for the Kajabi Hero challenge and take the 28-day crash course to make your first sale. Kajabi has a devoted community base and the devs offer regular in-person and online training events. 

MailChimp does not really have a customer support team. Users have to rely on self-service to figure out issues. Fortunately, MailChimp has a pretty extensive library of topics and commonly asked questions about how to use the platform. The in-box dialogue and hints are helpful too. The lack of ability to speak to a person via chat or email is a negative though. 

Conclusions Kajabi vs MailChimp  

Both Kajabi and MailChimp have different strengths and a different focus.

Kajabi is focused on designing, marketing, and selling courses, while MailChimp is about running vibrant marketing campaigns. MailChimp integrates into Kajabi so you can use both at the same time.

MailChimp is a good service, however, Kajabi almost completely replaces MailChimp, so if you don’t need very specific functionality that MailChimp provides, but Kajabi doesn’t. Then we recommend that you go with Kajabi.

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Susan Tuttle
Susan Tuttle
Susan is an expert course creator / writer with a strong interest in online course platforms and learning management systems. She has plenty of hands-on experience and is here to help you launch a successful online course business.

Disclosure: I am not an employee or representative of Kajabi, LLC. I am an independent Kajabi Partner and I receive referral payments from Kajabi in this role. All opinions expressed herein are my own and are not official statements of Kajabi or any party affiliated with Kajabi.

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