There are tons of online community-building platforms out there, and choosing the best one for you can be a nerve-wracking process! That’s why we do as much research and analysis as possible for you. You can thank us later.
In this comparison, we’re stacking up Kajabi to Circle.so.
Stay with us to find out which online community platform is better suited for you and all your business needs.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Overview of Circle.so vs Kajabi
- Community building and management
- Course creation
- Marketing features
And more! Let’s dive in.
An overview: Circle.so vs. Kajabi
What is Circle.so?
Hitting the marketing as recently as 2020, Circle.so is a platform that helps you build community, giving you the tools you need to create content, drive discussions, and monetize memberships.
This platform is aimed at brands, start-ups, and content creators. It supports a variety of community types, such as memberships, courses, clubs, and coaching programs.
With Circle.so, you can create different areas for varying membership levels, help users network with each other, customize the platform to match your brand, and integrate sign-ins with a number of tools, including other community-building platforms like Kajabi.
What is Kajabi?
Launched in 2010, Kajabi is the original one-stop shop for your online business and community-building needs. This platform helps you monetize your knowledge and engage with your community members in a useful and effective way.
With Kajabi, you can create a membership site, build an online course, set up a coaching program, implement sales funnels, and host live streams and podcasts. Kajabi is aimed at creative entrepreneurs and coaches, as well as any online business wanting to grow its brand.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dig deeper and explore each platform’s features.
Community building and management in Circle.so vs. Kajabi
Circle.so has always been a platform dedicated to helping users build online communities. Here’s some of what it offers:
- A single place for your community and content
- Clean, organized interface for your members to navigate
- Group chats and events to connect with your members
- Flexible payment options to monetize your community
- Integrations with other tools for single sign-on (including other community-building tools)
- Online courses (mid-tier “Professional” plan and above only)
With Circle.so, you can create public or private groups, choose which members can access which group, and decide whether users can set up their own groups. It also offers group coaching, weekly training, and education for creators to make the most of their online community.
So how does Kajabi compare on the community front?
Kajabi offers separate “community” and “membership” tools with every plan to help creators connect with their audience and monetize their offerings. And they’re always making improvements.
In January 2023, Kajabi launched the next generation of their community feature—Kajabi Communities—with exciting new features powered by the acquisition of the top community platform Vibely, including live calls, leaderboards, challenges, and accountability tools.
Kajabi understands the time and effort that goes into nurturing your community, which is why it’s strengthening its community features to help you make the most of your membership.
It’s not just about helping you build your community, it’s also about welcoming you into ours — Kajabi Heroes is a thriving community of thousands of bold, creative entrepreneurs always ready to help and inspire each other. And all Kajabi users also get access to tons of business training through Kajabi University at no extra charge.
Bottom line: Circle.so offers a good set of tools for community-building. Kajabi’s community features are getting revamped in 2023, bringing you an advanced toolkit to build your community effectively.
Course creation in Circle.so vs. Kajabi
Circle.so started its journey as a community platform first and foremost, and its course-creation features are relatively new (launched in September 2022).
To access Circle.so’s course creation tools, you need to sign up for their mid-tier Professional plan ($89/month billed annually) or above. Course creation is still in beta testing and lacks some functions such as drip lessons or video analytics. These improvements are under development, but there isn’t a stated timeline for their release.
By comparison, Kajabi’s online course tool is a mature and robust system that provides polished, professional, easy-to-use templates for various types of courses and digital products. Whether you want to create a mini-course, a signature program, or a drip course, Kajabi can provide the foundation, making it quick and easy to upload your content—and most importantly, sell it.
You can make everything match the style and tone of your brand, and with the Kajabi mobile app, your students can access your courses and products wherever they go.
Best of all, with Kajabi, your courses and digital products are seamlessly integrated with your website, marketing funnels, payment processing, and analytics. It truly is a complete solution for all your online business needs.
Bottom line: Circle.so’s course creation tools are still in their early stages, so functionality can be limited. Kajabi offers a full suite of tools for online course creation built to drive revenue and deliver value.
Integrations in Circle.so vs. Kajabi
Circle.so works with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, but it also integrates with WordPress and community-building platforms such as Kajabi and Slack, allowing you to market your community on social media or connect it with other platforms so users don’t need multiple passwords.
Kajabi doesn’t offer social media integrations, but it does provide key integrations for digital knowledge creators and marketers, such as:
- Analytics — Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics
- Email marketing — MailChimp, ConvertKit, and more
- Funnels — ClickFunnels
You can connect both Circle.so and Kajabi to Zapier, allowing you to connect them to a multitude of other tools. There is, however, an extra cost to take into account when getting a Zapier subscription. And with Circle, you need the Professional plan to connect to it.
Bottom line: Circle.so integrates with social media, website builders, and other community platforms to support single sign-on capability. Kajabi offers better integrations in terms of analytics, email marketing, and funnel-building—and all integrations come standard with all Kajabi’s pricing tiers.
Marketing features in Circle.so vs. Kajabi
We’ve seen that Circle.so brings great tools for community building and good social media integrations, but some users report it has limited marketing features.
Circle.so’s analytic reports don’t offer great visibility into your community’s performance, and they’re only available through their Professional plan or above, meaning you’ll have to spend more money to access them.
If you want to build funnels in Circle.so to maximize your revenue, you’ll have to get a third-party platform to do so and pay those additional costs.
By comparison, Kajabi offers a full range of marketing tools ready to get you going and growing:
- Templated, built-in funnels to help boost revenue
- Email marketing to create and deliver campaigns
- Automations to keep everything working smoothly
- Blogging platform to engage members
- Lead generation tools to help you sell more
- Podcasting tools to share knowledge and promote work
Bottom line: Circle.so’s marketing capabilities are limited. Kajabi is fully equipped with all the marketing tools you need to grow your business through your online community.
Pricing in Circle.so vs Kajabi
At first glance, Circle.so’s pricing starts lower than Kajabi, but there are several factors to take into account to understand its pricing system:
- All plans have transaction fees.
- Circle.so’s Basic plan doesn’t offer integrations like Zapier or WordPress.
- If you want priority support, you’ll have to upgrade to the Enterprise plan ($360/month).
- With every plan, if you need add-ons, you’ll have to pay extra.
Circle.so offers three different plans. Billed annually, they are:
- Basic ($39/month) — good to start building a small online community (100 members). A four percent transaction fee applies, and it offers basic email support. It doesn’t offer WordPress or Zapier integrations.
- Professional ($89/month) — for mid-sized communities. A one percent transaction fee applies, and you get basic email support. It offers more integrations, but you can only add three admin users, and you don’t get email white-labeling.
- Enterprise ($360/month) — for larger communities. A half of a percent transaction fee applies, and you get priority email support and email white-labeling. You can add up to 10 admins.
If you need any extra admins, moderators, recording time, or storage, you’ll have to pay additional fees, which increases the overall price of Circle.so.
And, if you want to build marketing funnels, you’ll need to get (and integrate) a third-party platform, which also adds to the overall cost. Phew! That’s adding up fast.
How does Kajabi compare? First, there are no transaction or add-on fees. Kajabi offers straightforward billing and a 20% discount when you choose to be billed annually.
Kajabi’s plans start at a higher price point, but the platform includes all the tools you need to grow and monetize your online community without hidden fees or additional costs.
On top of an online community builder and manager, with your Kajabi membership, you’re getting online course creation tools, a website builder, email marketing, an e-commerce shopping cart, podcasting software, and membership tools.
There are three different membership options available with Kajabi:
- Basic ($119/month) — good to start selling your digital products up to a maximum of three. It gives you unlimited landing pages and emails, plus a website builder and basic automations. You also get access to Kajabi University, webinars and events, and chat support.
- Growth ($159/month) — good for businesses offering up to 15 products. You get everything the Basic plan offers, as well as 24/7 support, the ability to remove Kajabi branding, advanced automations, and affiliate marketing.
- Pro ($319/month) — a great option for those offering up to 100 products. You get everything the Growth plan includes as well as three websites, a code editor, and up to 25 admins.
Kajabi’s Basic and Growth plans are more costly than Circle.so’s Basic and Professional plans, but our platform includes a higher number of users and website and email marketing tools from the get-go. This saves you the trouble of having to choose a higher-paid plan on Circle.so or pay for third-party tools to integrate with your system.
Kajabi’s Pro plan is actually cheaper than Circle.so’s Enterprise plan, and besides offering a higher number of users, admins, and all-around better functionality, it also comes with 0% transaction fees and no add-on costs.
Both platforms offer a free 14-day trial, so you can explore their features before you commit to any subscription.
Bottom line: Although Kajabi’s pricing is more expensive for its Basic and Growth plans, it offers all the tools and integrations you need to grow and monetize your community, saving you money overall. Circle.so’s plans carry transaction fees and exclude many key features at the lower tiers, which means you’ll have to use third-party platforms and increase your spending.
User rating Circle.so vs Kajabi
Because Circle.so is a relatively new platform (January 2020), there aren’t as many reviews online as there are for Kajabi.
Researching what users are saying, we found that one of Circle.so’s strongest points is its interface, described as “intuitive, clean, modern, and easy,” making the user experience straightforward and simple.
Another plus is its onboarding process, which includes weekly live workshops and a first-hand community experience for Circle.so’s newcomers.
Common criticisms of Circle.so and calls for improvement relate to app functionality and customer service, which seem to be affecting the experience of both users and their communities.
There are also complaints about Circle.so not being a good solution for course creation, making it harder for you to build and market your online course successfully.
So what do people say about Kajabi?
Kajabi has been around since 2010, and it has empowered over 55,000 knowledge creators in 120 countries, so reviews are more widely available. It’s even been recognized as a Winter Leader 2023 on the review site G2.
Kajabi’s strongest points are its course creation tools, sales pages, email marketing software, funnel system, and “endless integrations” that help you run your business and community smoothly.
Another strong point is Kajabi’s analytics dashboard, which allows you to get insights on your revenue, subscriptions, page views, and offers sold, among many other things.
The pace of feature updates have been highlighted as a concern by some Kajabi users, but as this user wrote, it’s constantly improving “at an impressive rate” to bring you the best possible version of the platform.
Bottom line: Circle.so gets high marks for user interface but low ones for functionality flaws and poor customer service. Kajabi has hundreds of stellar reviews on major sites, with the main criticism being that some features need to be updated more regularly.
Which platform is best for you?
Both Kajabi and Circle.so offer a good toolkit to help you build, grow, and monetize your online community easily, but there are some key differences between both platforms.
While Circle.so’s Basic and Professional plans are cheaper than Kajabi’s Basic and Growth plans, they don’t offer all the functionality of Kajabi.
Circle.so always takes a fee for all your transactions, even if you’re on their highest-paying plan. And if you need to add extra admins, create more spaces, or get more live-streaming hours, you need to pay additional fees.
Kajabi includes everything you need to hit the ground running when it comes to setting up, growing, and monetizing your online community without any hidden fees. We include almost all available features with every pricing plan.
You can try both Circle.so and Kajabi for free before making up your mind.
With Kajabi, you get all the tools you need to grow your business in one place, and you can also access all the free training, mentoring, and community support to successfully run and grow your business.