The creator economy has empowered thousands of creators to open an online business, build life-changing courses, and fuel their own success. But all that success hinges on one thing: building your business on the right platform, a platform that empowers and equips you to reach your full potential.
For creators, both Kajabi and Gumroad look like good options, but there are differences in terms of their approach and features. Which one comes out on top?
In this Kajabi vs. Gumroad review, we’re diving into the key features you need to drive long-term success:
- What can you sell?
- Payment processing
- Landing pages
- Customer management features
Let’s get started.
What can you sell?
First, let’s compare what both platforms allow their customers to sell. Both Kajabi and Gumroad support selling digital products. You may sell courses, coaching programs, and memberships.
Both Kajabi and Gumroad allow for one-time payments, multiple payments, and recurring subscriptions. That makes it easy to sell any type of digital product that you envision.
To a point. With Gumroad, the size of the digital files you can sell depends on the package you purchase. If you’re offering a free product, remember, you’re restricted to a maximum of 25 MB in the free plan and 250 MB in the Pro plan. If you’re selling a paid product, your file can be as much as 16 GB.
On Kajabi, there’s no size limit to your digital products. You’re only limited to a specific number of products, depending on your plan:
- 3 products in the Basic plan
- 15 products in the Growth plan
- 100 products in the Pro plan
So what you create is up to you: online courses, memberships, templates, e-books and more.
Gumroad is geared toward artists and helps their customers sell paintings, jewelry, photography, or other creative goods.
You could sell those on Kajabi as well with an integration or by using a ghost offer. So while Kajabi was designed for digital products, you can use it to sell physical products as well.
Kajabi also lets you create pipelines, or marketing funnels, with upsells and order bumps to raise your order value. This isn’t an option with Gumroad.
Another important point to consider when deciding on the best platform to sell your products is how payment processing is handled.
On Kajabi, you’ll set up payments through Stripe and/or PayPal. Both charge a small payment gateway fee — 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. You won’t see any additional fees siphoned off by Kajabi.
As we’ve already noted, Gumroad charges you its own processing fee on top of Stripe’s or PayPal’s fees.
Because Gumroad makes their money by taking a cut of your revenue, it creates a few fuzzy areas. Free products, for instance. They don’t make money from your free downloads, so Gumroad restricts the size of these projects.
If you use Gumroad for free, your free product cannot exceed 25 MB. It can’t exceed 250 MB if you’re on the Pro plan. There are no size limits on your Kajabi products. If you can visualize it, you can build it.
Website and landing pages
As a digital entrepreneur, you already know there’s more to selling online than setting up a shopping cart. There’s also marketing and promotion, including the ability to create attractive, high-performing landing pages.
Both Gumroad and Kajabi offer the drag-and-drop simplicity of a landing page builder. You’ll find a variety of pre-made, mobile-responsive templates that look fresh and modern across a wide range of devices.
Both platforms also offer templates that help you create a polished, professional-looking website without spending a fortune on a developer. But, here’s where you start to see the differences between the two platforms.
On Gumroad, you’re building a digital shop with a few landing pages. You get a creator profile, where your products are listed and your audience can sign up to your newsletter. You can also build a product page, or landing page, for each product.
That’s the extent of your real estate on Gumroad. If you want a fully-fledged website or anything other than product pages, you’ll need to build it on another platform.
With Kajabi, you have the resources to build your entire website, including a home page, a blog, a podcast, as well as product pages and landing pages.
Kajabi then goes a step further, taking some of the burden of building these pages off your shoulders. In just a few clicks, not only can you create a beautiful landing page, you can also build a sales page, policy page, product page, lead generation form, and more.
Plus, you have complete freedom to adapt these pages, so they have the unique look and feel of your brand. Adjust the colors, fonts, and images until they look exactly the way you want across every device.
When comparing email marketing between Kajabi and Gumroad, Kajabi’s tool has a lot more functionality. That can save you the cost of having to sign up for another separate email marketing tool.
Gumroad has a tool called Workflows that allows for sending automated emails to customers after they purchase from you or followers. These include sharing dripped digital content, upsell offers, thank-you messages, and more.
On Gumroad, you can only have one Workflow, or email sequence, per audience member. If you have a workflow set up then choose to send a different email out, it will cancel the other workflow. This could limit your ability to most effectively leverage email as a communication or marketing channel.
There are four basic audience segments you can use: All of your customers, customers of a specific product, all of your followers, or all customers and all followers. You can refine the “all customers” segment further with some other built in filters. You can create a series of emails and choose the sending based on certain triggers.
Gumroad also has a Post feature where members can make an informational Post about whatever they want to share, and Gumroad will send an email about it to your audience.
When it comes to the email design, you can format the text and add a call to action button, so there is not a lot of customization.
On Kajabi, our email marketing tool is very robust and works like a typical email marketing tool. You can send transactional emails and marketing emails. You can send multiple emails to different audience segments. We include an automated sales funnel blueprint software, called Pipelines, which makes it easy to launch email campaigns that nurture potential customers.
Kajabi has 50 custom fields in our customer management tool, called our People tab, and you can segment with those fields to define your audience for certain emails. With forms included with your Kajabi site, you have the tools you need to grow your email list.
We include an easy to use email marketing editor and provide plenty of professionally designed templates so you can impress your email subscribers and stay on brand.
Customer management features
To grow your business, you need to be able to engage with your customers based on where they are in their customer journey. You need to be able to build stronger relationships with them, sharing offers and deals that match their needs and goals.
Kajabi understands how pivotal a robust CRM is to your business growth. That’s why they’ve built one into the platform. Kajabi’s customer management tools give you insight into your customers’ journey, so you can set up automations that send them timely messages based on their behaviors.
Set up triggers to launch emails, coupons, and product access. Create rules for who gets your campaigns, and when. The system handles the rest, sending your campaigns automatically, so you’re free to do more of what you love.
And Kajabi completely removes the guesswork, giving you templates that nail the messaging in emails and on important pages. With a few clicks, you’ll have your campaigns set up, from onboarding campaigns to engagement campaigns and sales emails.
Gumroad has an audience dashboard that shows customers and followers and records their email addresses, shipping information, and purchases. It allows users to export reports with certain filters, such as to see active membership customers. It also allows for the sending of coupons. It’s a pretty simple customer record system. If you’re planning to actively market to these people, you may find it falls short of your needs.
Both Kajabi and Gumroad provide analytics.
Gumroad offers a basic analytics dashboard that lets you see important sales-related data, including:
- Conversion rate
- Direct sales
- Specific product sales
You can then filter this data by date range and country, as well as state (US only), to see where visitors are coming from based on the Referrers information.
Kajabi offers detailed analytics that go well beyond the basics of conversions and sales. It gives you details like:
- The number of purchases over the last 30 days
- The net revenue of the last 30 days
- All time net revenue
- Subscription metrics (recurring revenue, revenue per user, churn)
- Opt-ins to your email list based on form submissions and specific landing pages
- Page views
- Product progress (especially valuable for seeing how far your members have progressed in their respective courses or subscription)
- Offers sold
- Affiliate commissions and referrers
This is the information you need in order to track your performance and understand how you’re attracting and retaining customers.
Now, what about Google Analytics? Both Gumroad and Kajabi integrate with Google Analytics. Kajabi also lets you integrate Google Tag Manager.
Too often, this is the deciding factor when it comes to choosing an online business platform: What will it cost? How will you afford it? Both fair questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to a big decision like this one. Let's dive in!
Originally, Gumroad’s fee(s) was based on the lifetime revenue milestones of the creator. As a creator's earnings increased, the fee decreased. For example, Gumroad would take 9% of earnings from creators making between $0 - $999, but for creators earning between $1,000 - $9,999, Gumroad would only take 7%.
But as of January 31st, 2023, Gumroad updated to a flat 10% fee for all creators on their platform. For creators just getting started, 10% may seem reasonable, but top-earning creators might feel differently. Just imagine making $10,000 to have $1,000 taken away.
Now, let’s compare that to Kajabi. Let’s start with this: Kajabi never takes a percentage cut of your revenue. You choose the plan that’s right for you and your business. And, every plan gives you all of Kajabi’s growth-boosting features.
Most businesses start with Kajabi’s Basic package and grow from there. Here's the breakdown of Kajabi's three pricing tiers:
- The Basic plan ($119/month) allows you to build 3 products.
- The Growth plan ($159/month) allows for 15 products.
- The Pro plan ($319/month) allows for 100 products.
Kajabi’s pricing is comparable to most course-creation platforms. You’ll find less expensive options (like Gumroad). You’ll also find more expensive options. But put into perspective, Kajabi gives you the power and tools to build a substantial business that can generate a huge return on investment—and they don’t take a percentage of that revenue.
In addition to a digital product builder and shopping cart, you get email marketing, website hosting, funnel builder, analytics, and a landing page builder.
Kajabi isn’t part of your tech stack. It is your tech stack. With all the marketing and sales tools you need, no matter where you are in your business growth. What you save each month on business tools all but pays for your Kajabi plan.
Let’s take a look at the customer success on Kajabi as well. In 2020 alone, Kajabi Heroes generated $800 million in payments, and the average Kajabi Hero made $6,100 per month.
Bottom line in our Gumroad review: Is it right for you?
At first glance, comparing Kajabi vs. Gumroad, they seem like comparable products. Both market to the creator economy and both are heavily focused on helping entrepreneurs succeed with digital products.
Gumroad has its strengths. It caters to shops with physical products and hobbyists, and may be a good option if you simply want to sell an ebook, promote your art or custom jewelry, or are looking to make some extra money with your favorite pastime.
But if you want to build a strong digital presence, with a website, podcast or blog, and a library of digital products, Gumroad can only take you so far. You’ll need to purchase other tools to market and sell your products. You’ll need to build a separate website to build out your online real estate.
Kajabi, on the other hand, was built specifically for creative entrepreneurs and digital marketers. It’s the industry’s leading all-in-one resource for building and scaling a digital business.
No more cobbling together plug-ins, add-ons, and third-party tools (with all the costs that come with them). Kajabi gives you a seamless, fully-integrated suite of resources and tools that are key to growing your business.
And because they’re designed to work together flawlessly, you don’t have to worry about compatibility and technical integrations.
So whether you’re just starting out, you’ve outgrown your current platform, or you’re looking for a solution that all but removes the technical headaches, Kajabi was built for you. Get started today with a free 14-day trial and see for yourself how simple starting and managing a business can be.
Check out our other competitor reviews:
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