KartraStarts at $99 a month
Email marketing & Automation9.2/10
Value for money9.6/10
- Great page templates
- Powerful automation
- Excellent membership site builder
- Lots of additional features
- No. of emails and bandwidth are really limited in base plan
- Kartra branding in the emails
- Page builder loading times are high
A lot of changes are made to significantly improve both the speed of the page builder and the checkout pages.
Defining H1, H2 & H3 tags for better SEO
A minor update, but defining the H1 and H2 tags really help in ranking the page higher in Google.
This is one of the biggest updates since Kartra’s launch.
Kartra sites let you group all the pages together and share header, footer elements across all pages at once. This way you can save a lot of time avoiding the hassle of updating each page.
Calendar sync across all classes
When you have more than one class within the same calendar. For example, if you are the single coach running a daily class and also a different weekly class, there might be a chance of overlap in the calendar schedule.
This sync between the two classes will avoid such a conflict in the calendar.
Various types of automation that are set up can be viewed in the respective directory. For example, if single automation consists of three assets like forms, tags, lists, then this automation can be categorized under these assets.
This makes it very easy to navigate the different sets of automation rules.
Calendar integration with Google calendar
A Kartra calendar now integrates and syncs with Google calendar. More integrations with other calendars are planned.
Floating message for Help Desk and Live Chat
A floating message can be displayed in the live chat section in the bottom right corner.
The message can be custom set up offering a coupon code for a returning visitor to your website or can be displayed only when a visitor scrolls down to a certain percentage of the web page. Really good update to improve the conversion rates.
More color options for kartra hosted checkout pages
Under the product configuration > Kartra hosted checkout page, now there are many color options to match your brand.
A minor but important update as all the checkout pages were looking the same previously.
Progression bar for membership sites
Kartra team has repeatedly made it clear that they are adding more LMS features into Kartra to make it as good as or better than standalone LMS tools like Teachable.
The addition of a progression bar is surely one step towards that. Progression bar allows to have a look at the level of course completion by each of your users and also the average time they took to complete.
This gives a very good indication of how active your users are and also a means to encourage them to take up more levels.
There is also a way to force the linear progression of the course, whereby users have to complete the first lesson in order to get access to second and so on.
Certificates and money-back guarantee template section in page builder
A new template section named certificates and money-back guarantee has been introduced in the page builder.
Very useful to reward course completion and good performances by your users.
Video background for pages
You can now add a video background to the pages built in Kartra.
Currently supports only Kartra videos. Both YouTube and Vimeo are not supported. Therefore, it is important to have a track on the video size as it might consume a lot of bandwidth if the page visits are high.
Annual and Biennial payment options
It is now possible to pay annually in Kartra at a substantial discount of 33%.
Although it is also possible to pay for 2 years at a discount of 40%, it is too long a time to commit to a platform, however good it is.
The annual payment brings down the $99 a month plan to $69 a month and $199 a month plan to $139 a month.
That’s a significant saving when you are confident on Kartra’s abilities for your business in the long term.
Integrated calendars within Kartra to schedule one to one coaching sessions, recurring classes, gym memberships, online summits/events, etc.
It’s really useful as all the appointments and scheduling syncs with Kartra emails. A great update.
Better organization of email notifications
The email notifications are now organized into three categories, leads, affiliates, and team members. A neat feature to keep emails organized and clean.
Animation effects help to catch the attention of website visitors. Now it is possible to add effects to any part of the Kartra website from Call to action buttons, text blocks, pricing lists, etc.
Heat map tracker for all Kartra pages
It is now possible to track the visitor analytics heat map of all Kartra pages.
Some very useful data like the percentage of users who stayed more than 10 seconds on your page, average time on the page, the average scroll level can be viewed.
Kartra Concierge Services
A concierge service is now introduced by the Kartra team where they will set up and manage the technical aspects of your business for hourly charges.
Of course, it can be done by hiring a VA who is efficient in Kartra, but you always get better quality work from someone who is involved in the development of the software rather than a person who learned to use it.
Blog post section in Kartra pages
There is a new option of blog posts on the page builder menu.
It’s been made clear by Kartra that this is just a page that will resemble a traditional blog post and not intended to compete with WordPress as blogging as a blogging platform.
It is useful if you need a few posts in your Kartra website to convey some tutorials, guides, etc.
However, if you are building a blog to get ranked and get organic traffic to your website by SEO, then it’s better to stick with WordPress or other dedicated blogging platforms.
Share funnels and entire campaigns
Kartra released a very important update on October 2018, an ability to share funnels and entire campaigns.
This is a feature many users were waiting for and was one of the drawbacks compared to Clickfunnels.
With this update, it is not only possible to share the funnels with other Kartra users, but you can share an entire campaign including the email sequences, automation, etc.
Kartra is the first platform where you can share such advanced automation. Many affiliates of Kartra will absolutely love it.
So, what exactly is kartra?
Kartra is the new kid on the block when it comes to sales funnels and marketing automation.
It is founded by Andy Jenkins and Mike Filsaime, well known for his development efforts in webinar Jam and has some inputs from Frank Kern, some of the veterans in the Internet Marketing industry.
So this is not one of those weekly releases which promise money at a mouse click.
In fact, Kartra has been in development for more than 2 to 3 years and finally was released in April-2018.
Two of the main components when it comes to Internet Marketing and any sort of online business is sales funnels and marketing automation with email marketing.
Kartra aims to combine these two in a single platform with many additional features like video hosting, help desk support system, membership websites, etc.
In a way, the best comparison could be a system with Clickfunnels + Active Campaign + Zen Desk + Wistia + Kajabi.
As you can already see, it is a ton of value and having all these under one unified software tool is a huge time and money saver.
In short, you can do the following within one platform at one monthly fee,
- Build websites
- Build sales funnels
- Email marketing with an advanced level of segmenting and automation
- Host your videos
- Build membership websites
- Offer support via help desks
- Sell products from Kartra marketplace and earn commissions
Let’s look at the individual features and how good they are.
If you are using sales funnels for your business, there are high chances that you currently use Clickfunnels.
Kartra’s builder is definitely not as easy and intuitive as Clickfunnels for a beginner.
However, once you get used, it is more powerful and offers way more diverse templates and features.
You can even integrate the pages into your WordPress website which is a huge advantage over Clickfunnels when it comes to SEO.
There is a decent collection of templates and they keep adding every month.
The templates are based on individual pages and not as a whole funnel for a particular purpose, such as a webinar funnel or a membership funnel.
While there are many options to choose from the available page templates, one problem is that when you choose an opt-in page, the onus is on you to search and select a similar sales page and thank you page to match the color and design scheme.
Kartra takes a unique reverse approach to building funnels. For example, a simple opt-in funnel will start from first defining the list, then the thank you page and finally to the opt-in page.
As weird as it might look initially, it makes sense perfectly and very easy to adapt once you use it for quite a few funnels.
It is possible to drag and drop different elements within the builder easily.
There are some really cool and unique options added to the usual drag and drop features found in any modern page builder,
- Alert bar: Displays a message as a notification bar. Looks clean and catchy. Usually needs an additional tool like Hellobar in WordPress or other platforms.
- Mock-up pictures: A cool image tool where you can get mockups of your images right from the dashboard.
- Source code editing: You can edit the source code of any section you work with. Gives excellent control and flexibility if you are comfortable with coding.
- Hide/show sections in various modes: You can design and display certain sections only for desktop mode and hide these in mobile/tablet mode and vice versa.
- Export pages to WordPress: All the pages created within Kartra can be exported to your WordPress website easily in a few steps.
- Once the design is done in Kartra pages, there are two options, to either publish the page or to copy the page code.
- Copy the code and head over to WordPress.
- Install a plugin named “Blank Slate” available in the WordPress plugin repository.
- Create a new page and just paste the code in the text editor.
- Change the template of your page from default to blank slate.
- Done. The page designed in Kartra is now live on your WordPress site. The whole process takes just a few minutes and the best part is you can do edits to this page directly from your kartra account and it will be updated live in the WordPress page as well.
Split testing is pretty robust and allows to split test up to 4 pages with a 25% split. It is allowed to use even an external URL apart from the Kartra pages.
The goal of the split test could be set up to find the best conversion based on opt-in, page visit or purchase.
Once the campaign ends when the goal is achieved, Kartra automatically picks the winner or you can even manually pick the right variant.
One thing I noticed every time was the loading time of the builder was really slow when compared to other similar builders.
The heavier your page gets with data, it becomes, even slower when you open to edit it.
One more feature missing is double click to edit the text.
There might be some glitches considering the platform is still in its early days and I am sure it will be worked upon.
Done for you funnels
One of the highlights of Kartra. Sales funnels are a complex topic.
For starters, it could be intimidating to build a simple funnel let alone a funnel that works and converts.
Kartra solves this with done for you funnels by Frank Kern where everything including the email sequence, sales page, opt-in page, thank you page, checkout page is already done and ready to use.
Just plug in your product links and you are ready to go.
This could be a huge time saver for someone who is starting out in this entire sales funnel and automation system.
Email marketing and automation
Kartra’s email marketing is not just an autoresponder.
It is a complete marketing automation system. More like active campaign / Infusionsoft rather than Mailchimp / Aweber / Getresponse.
There is a basic text version of the email builder and an advanced version with lots of excellent templates that can be easily customized matching your brand and colors.
The feature I liked a lot was the countdown timer and the ability to sync it with the landing page.
Kartra has one of the best email delivery rates in the market as of now so there really are no problems on that front.
A neat preview mode is available where you can have a look at your emails in desktop and mobile view before sending it.
There is a good level of automation matching up to the level of market leaders like Active Campaign, Infusionsoft, etc.
Almost all the rules are based on if and then sequences and the different tags or segments your subscribers are put under.
It definitely takes some time to master all the possible automation, but once you get a hold of it, it can be extremely powerful.
There are so many different ways to tag your subscribers/customers, set up lead scoring points based on actions like opening the emails, clicking on any link, clicking on a particular link and much more.
Kartra also makes behavioral adaptive marketing extremely intuitive. It’s where the power of Kartra forms comes in.
In addition to the generic email opt-in forms with name and email inputs, there are no limits of custom fields you can create with Kartra forms and link up with specific automation by using tags.
For a simple example, if you have a membership site, you can set up a simple query on your opt-in form to fill out the level of knowledge the user has in the specific subject and also making it mandatory.
Based on the answer, different users can be tagged into completely different automation sequences and you can plan your marketing and funnel accordingly.
It is also possible to show or hide different sections of the page redirected after the opt-in page.
That was pure genius and it takes just a few minutes to set up this powerful automation.
Finally, I was really amazed at how simple it is to A/B test your emails effectively.
The analytics are pretty detailed and intuitive with a clear bird’s eye view.
In addition to the usual open rate and click-through rate data, it is possible to analyze the best times to send your emails based on the data tracked.
The one downside is the limitation on the number of emails that can be sent in each account. For example, the base plan at 89 dollars a month allows up to 2500 subscribers but limits to 15,000 emails a month.
That’s just 6 emails per subscriber a month. That should fill up pretty soon if you are doing any sort of serious automation.
I would suggest upgrading to the $199 a month plan as soon as you reach 1000 subscribers as it provides the best value.
Another issue I really did not like is the presence of Kartra’s branding in all emails.
The branding is so substantial which is often found only in the free versions of email autoresponders.
Email marketing is an essential part of brand building for any online business and it should be as personalized as possible to each of your subscribers.
As much as your subscriber feels it’s not an automated email, the better for the relationship.
I hope there is at least a way to hide the branding in future updates.
This is one feature where Kartra absolutely excels.
There are so many unique features that are available only membership specialized platforms like Kajabi and Teachable.
This alone stands Kartra apart from all other funnel builders.
Kartra even allows you to store your files up to 1 GB in size for your members to download.
Comments can be set up to be moderated by you before being published.
Drip feeding of content is completely supported and even access levels can be set up for different levels of membership.
For example, you can have basic, pro and premium level of membership with only the premium level getting access to the whole membership area with all the courses and modules.
This is another unique feature in Kartra. You can certainly host your videos for free with YouTube and Vimeo but they are pretty much useless when it comes to analytics.
With Kartra videos, you can get detailed analytics and call to action within the videos.
However, there is only limited bandwidth in the base plan.
If you foresee a good amount of traffic, it is better to go with YouTube or Vimeo as you will end up consuming the bandwidth pretty soon.
Customer service is of paramount importance these days. Providing on-time support can give back great benefits for any business.
The problem is help desk service providers like zendesk and the like have their pricing based on the number of users.
It’s not an issue when you are a solopreneur, but if you have even a small team, the costs can easily add up to thousands a year.
Having this option inbuilt within Kartra is a great addition and can save you a lot of money.
You can also add the help desk to your WordPress or any other website by just pasting a code generated.
It’s a cool idea by Kartra to include a marketplace where users can promote their own products and also other users’ products and earn commissions.
It is sort of having Kartra’s own version of Clickbank or Jvzoo. I believe users can promote any products, even ones that were not built with Kartra.
Kartra has native integration with most of the popular apps out there in the market for any sort of application.
Even if your favorite app is not available, there is Zapier integration which opens up a ton of possibilities.
One notable absence is other email marketing platforms like Active Campaign, MailChimp, Aweber, etc.
Yes, you can get the integration done via Zapier, but I think there should be native integration and customers shouldn’t be forced to used Kartra mail.
Checkout and payments
Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and Braintree are covered among the payment processors.
It is possible to easily set up one time, installments and recurring payments with the inbuilt integrations.
As expected one-click upsells, downsells, OTO’s can be set up like other funnel builders, but one unique feature is dynamic OTO’s.
What this does is based on the product purchased, the customer can be redirected to different OTO pages.
The billing process integrates seamlessly with Kartra’s email notifications. For example, based on expiry dates of credit cards in the record, notification emails are sent in advance reminding the customers to update the credit card details with the link to the billing section.
Small details such as this will save a lot of failed payments and results in increased customer retention.
Discount coupons can be generated and expiry can be set up based on a predefined date and also by the number of sales. It could be very useful to promote your products with genuine scarcity.
The coupons can be set to work either for everyone or only to a specific traffic source (from one of the affiliates for example).
There are four plans – Starter, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
The starter plan costs $99 a month and it’s perfectly fine for anyone starting out in internet marketing, but the silver plan that costs $199 gives the maximum bang for the buck.
Just for the additional 60 dollars a month, you get 125000 emails and 12500 leads instead of 15000 emails and 2500 leads in the starter plan.
Also, you get 3 custom domains linking over the 1 custom domain in the starter plan and good bump in the bandwidth as well, from 50GB to 125GB.
The annual plan gives a huge discount of 25% which brings down the price for the starter plan to $79 a month and the silver plan to $149 a month.
Got a cool product to sell, you can promote it by inviting affiliates within Kartra. It’s similar to what backpack offers in Clickfunnels.
It is even possible to
- Set up a two-tier affiliate system via JV brokers,
- Set up commissions for leads and opt-in you get from your affiliates additional to the product sales,
- Set up payment milestones and minimum payout amount.
- To allow anyone to be an affiliate or to set up a questionnaire and check if they are eligible.
Customer support is by email of now and the response time is fairly good. You can expect a solution within a day for most of your issues.
Also, the community in the official Facebook group is really nice in offering help and suggestions.
There is a huge library of helpful tutorials within Kartra academy which you can always refer to when in need of quick help.
How Kartra compares with other similar tools?
Kartra vs ClickFunnels
By far the biggest competing tool similar to Kartra. ClickFunnels has been around since 2014 and has a huge community of users.
However, Kartra has so many advantages over ClickFunnels so much that I had to write a separate post on it.
Kartra vs Infusionsoft
Infusionsoft is fundamentally a CRM tool with additional marketing automation capabilities built into it for small and medium businesses.
Kartra does most of the stuff you can accomplish with Infusionsoft apart from core CRM features. The most important problem with Infusionsoft is it’s extremely difficult to set up and use.
Also, it’s expensive for what it offers and your monthly bill can skyrocket pretty soon as your contact list grows.
The basic plan costs $199 a month and gives access to just 2,500 contacts. The similar silver plan in Kartra costs the same for 12,500 contacts.
Also, there is a one time set up and coaching fee of $499 which is pretty ridiculous for such an expensive monthly subscription tool.
It just a further vindication of the fact that it’s a difficult tool to use and needs dedicated coaching and set up.
Kartra vs Kajabi
If Infusionsoft is for CRM, Kajabi is focused on membership sites and courses. Kajabi is founded in 2010 and has many of the features that Kartra has.
It has to be said that Kajabi’s page builder is more modern and clean when compared to Kartra. Also, it is one of the very few tools that offer video hosting apart from Kartra.
If all your principal requirement is membership site and courses, Kajabi is a great option. However, for any other purpose, Kartra beats it quite easily as Kajabi doesn’t offer sales funnels and specific e-commerce product checkout.
The growth plan costs the same as Kartra’s silver plan ($199 a month). It gives double the number contacts, 25,000 to 12,500 in Kartra’s silver plan.
One of the biggest advantages of Kajabi is that there are webinars included in all the plans which are not in Kartra.
You can have just one website in Kajabi whereas in Kartra, up to 3 domains can be connected.
However, if all you need is membership sites and course, Kajabi is a fantastic option. Only the emails and automation are quite inferior to Kartra.
Kartra vs Thrive Themes
Thrive themes a very good WordPress plugin known for high-quality products.
Thrive membership gives access to a host of plugins that can be used to build landing pages, funnels, membership sites, etc.
Thrive membership costs only $30 a month when paid quarterly. Although it looks cheap, there are quite a few issues when compared to Kartra,
- The membership sites built with thrive themes are not as advanced as that of Kartra and in most cases would need additional third-party integrations.
- Thrive membership does not include email marketing. So, to get the same advanced email functionality as Kartra, you need an email marketing tool like Active campaign that matches the level of Kartra’s email platform. This will increase the price much higher than Kartra.
- For many users, setting up WordPress, choosing the right hosting, installing all the plugins and maintaining them would be a real pain. Using Kartra eliminates all these issues even for beginners.
However, if your substantial requirement is landing pages and funnels with simple email marketing, Thrive themes is a good option.
Kartra vs Podia
Podia is one of the easiest ways to sell digital downloads, courses, and memberships online.
Although Podia has inbuilt email marketing, the features are bare bones. It will be only enough to send reminders and updates about your courses and memberships.
If any sort of automation and tagging is needed, it will be essential to use another email marketing tool with Podia.
However, if all you need is to sell a few digital products and basic level courses and memberships, Podia is an excellent choice particularly for someone who is a beginner and not tech-savvy.
There is a free plan with transaction charges and the pain plan is quite affordable as well.
Some common questions:
Can I design a full website in Kartra?
Yes, absolutely. Kartra is not just a landing page/sales builder. You can build complete websites with navigation menus.
Can I create a blog with Kartra?
It is possible, but I would strongly suggest sticking with WordPress. Kartra cam well defined as a marketing automation and management system rather than a content management system.
The fact that Kartra allows exporting of Kartra pages to WordPress clearly indicates the vision of the platform is not to compete against WordPress but rather to complement it.
Can I move my entire business from Clickfunnels?
Absolutely. That’s exactly what Kartra is competing against. Kartra can do a lot more very little money than what you pay for Clickfunnels.
Can Kartra be used for selling physical products?
If you are starting out selling with few products, yes definitely. However, if you plan to sell hundreds of products or already selling, I would suggest to stick with or try out Shopify, Woocommerce or Magento as of now.
I don’t think Kartra has matured enough to be a stand-alone e-commerce platform for physical products.
Who Kartra is not for?
If your business just needs simple landing pages with an autoresponder integration without any automation, Kartra might be an overkill. There are cheaper options.
Wrapping up, is kartra good? Well, there has been a search for a good enough alternative for Clickfunnels, Infusionsoft or Hubspot in the market for quite some time.
They are either cumbersome to work with or priced out of the reach of small businesses or individual entrepreneurs.
I think Kartra fills that spot perfectly. It has a wide array of features for the money charged and having all the tools in a single dashboard is a huge time saver.
Yes, there is definitely some room for improvement as with any software, but with the platform not even a year old, the first steps are hugely impressive.
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