Kartra Review: For Course Creators and Membership Site Owners

8/24/20 UPDATE: While have chosen to keep this review live for those who are interested, Freedom Driven Success no longer uses Kartra and will not be making updates to this post. You can read why here: The Real Reason Why I Left Kartra (and Why You May Want to Avoid it Too)

Kartra Review: For Course Creators and Membership Site Owners

If you’ve been hearing the buzz online that lead you to this Kartra review, I’ll give you a quick spoiler…

It’s 100% worth your time to look into in order to see if it’s the best fit for you.

In this blog, I’ll be going over everything I’ve found throughout my own experience with Kartra including:

  • The features included in this all in one platform.
  • What to keep in mind when it comes to determining if the investment is right for you.
  • How I saved just over $300 a month by switching to Kartra.
  • The top five Kartra features I use (along with the pros and cons for each).
  • Video screen shares of each feature at work so you can see behind the scenes.

As far as my first introduction to Kartra, though?

Well, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.

In fact, when a friend mentioned Karta my first reaction was…

“There’s no way I’m moving to a new system right now.”

At the time, I already had multiple sales funnels that were leading to multiple online courses and a membership that were all up and running.

Even the thought migrating all that over to something I never even heard of until that point was a hard NO for me.

So, what changed?

A few weeks later she shared how much her open rates increased since she switched over. I’m talking about an almost 10% increase.

Now, as any fellow digital marketer can attest to, when you hear something like that, you can’t help but go check it out for yourself.

What Is Kartra

Created by Andy Jenkins and Mike Filsaime, Kartra was developed to be an all in one platform for running your online business.

However, its approach to doing so is different than other players in the online space, with a focus on Goal Oriented vs Task Oriented.

What does it mean for a platform to be Goal Oriented?

It’s to think about the end goal first and work backwards from there.

Now, this is the opposite of what most online platforms do (so, just a warning that it may throw your mind for a loop at first).

For example, what we typically see and do is:

Opt-In Landing Page >  Tripwire Page > OTO Page > Emails 1-? > GOAL

Instead, Kartra wants you to work from the goal, backwards:

GOAL > Emails 1-? > OTO PAge > Tripwire Page > Opt-In Landing Page

As someone who has been known to jump on her soapbox, more than once, about the necessity of having the end goal first when planning out a funnel, it makes sense that when it comes to the actual implementation of that plan, we do it in the same order.

Well done Kartra, well done.

Kartra Features

What’s actually IN this all in one platform?

Upon originally going to the Karta site, I found a video that promoted the promise of…

The Single Biggest Breakthrough In The History of Internet Marketing

A bold claim, right?

Same thought here.

But what caught me even more was a quick scan of the Kartra features listed:

  1. Multi-Dimensional Sales Funnels + Email Marketing
  2. Product Shopping Carts
  3. Opt-in, marketing, sales and landing pages
  4. Help Desk with Live Chat
  5. Affiliate management
  6. Course and Membership sites with multiple pricing tiers
  7. Video hosting with pre- and post-CTAs

And let’s not forget some pretty promising analytics around ALL of these features.

As we all know, analytics are every business owner’s best friend in order to make better decisions moving forward.

With the ability to see the analytics for every email you send, video views, funnels clients, sales page actions and so much more, I could see how this would give our team a much easier way to find everything we needed in one place.

This lead me with the only next logical choice – to get myself signed up for 14 days for $1 trial period to see how this all worked.

How Much Does Kartra Cost?

As with any new tool or platform in your business, pricing comes into play to make sure it fits within your budget.

As for Kartra pricing, you’ll find that there are five tiers available, following  your 14 day trial period:

The above prices are for the monthly plans. They also have discounted options for anual options.

The best fit for my list size and needs would be the Silver plan.

This meant it was time to weigh that investment alongside the tools I was already using.

This included:

  • ConvertKit (for email management) = $79
  • MemberVault (for courses and membership): $49
  • Deadline Funnel (for evergreen timers in my funnels) = $37
  • LeadPages (landing pages and sales pages) = $37
  • SamCart (payments and affiliate program) = $199
  • Zapier (connecting everything above) = $50

This comparison alone would put me at…

$451 per month
Kartra at $149 per month*

(*Note: I purchased when the Silver month to month plan was grandfathered in at $149/month. This same plan can now only be purchased at $149/month if you are getting the annual package. Otherwise, it’s $199/month.)

If I look just from a pricing perspective, I could save just over $300 a month by switching to Kartra.

But wait….

Does Kartra even work?!

Because if you are saving money but completely pulling out your hair in the process because it’s glitchy, the savings doesn’t matter.

And with an all in one promise, I tend to always be hesitant that “no one can do EVERYTHING 100%”

Or…. can they?

Let’s look into it!

I’m going to go into the four areas of Kartra that I now use the most (which pretty much gives away that answer, huh?)

Kartra for Funnel Creation

The promise:
Kartra’s easy Sequence Builder lets you easily build any size sales funnels — from the simplest to the most elaborate — just by dragging objects to a canvas and configuring them with the intuitive help wizard. In just minutes, you’ll have your first automated campaigns up and running to engage your customers.

The reality:
Here’s a look at one of my current funnels as well as what the drag and drop Sequence Builder looks like in action.

 Insanely easy to add and edit elements of your funnel. As a result, you can have your funnels up and running faster than ever before.
 You can visually see the flow of your funnels, which can be helpful for larger funnels.
 The analytics provided will break down not only the open and click rates but also the income generated for each email within your funnel so that you also know when people are buying.

 On the Advanced email option, you aren’t able to remove the background border you see in the view (or make it completely white to “hide” it). This makes it so that if you are using a mix of Basic and Advanced emails in your Sequences, they won’t all be aesthetically the same.

Kartra for Email

The promise:
It’s never been easier or faster to build and launch email campaigns designed to drive clicks and purchases.

Select from an assortment of gorgeous, expertly-designed templates and components including hero sections, content blocks, countdown timers, testimonials, video thumbnails and more.

The reality:
Here’s a look at me setting up a Broadcast to send an email.

 You can categorize your emails in order to easily find certain promotions and/or email types that have been previously sent. Because of this, you can easily find and repurpose emails.
 You can easily create a template for your emails if you are using certain graphics and/or styles consistently.
 There are a variety of options available for segmenting the emails going out to your list, even down to lead scores.

 You are limited to five segmentation tags for any one email. This means that if you are looking to exclude/include more than five tags, you will need to tag them all together under your Leads section first.

Kartra for Landing and Sales Pages

The promise:
Choose from dozens of gorgeous, high converting page templates, pre-made sections, and pre-built components for text, images, countdown timers, opt-in forms, videos, and much more. (And for you DIYers out there, you can add your own HTML code to sections too!)

The reality:
Here’s a look at the Pages area within Kartra.

 With multiple templates available, you can have any page up and running quickly, even with no tech or design experience.
 There is no limit to the amount of customization available within Kartra’s pages so you can make it as on brand as you’d like.
 Since all of your systems are in one place, it’s easy to link all of your pages together. This is great when it comes to link sales page buttons to checkout forms.

 Pages are not autosaved so you’ll want to make sure you hit save often to avoid losing your work (been there, yelled all the curse words).
 As of this blog, once you choose a font size and line height, Kartra doesn’t automatically highlight what font size or line height you’ve used. This means that when you’re working on custom pages, you’ll either need to duplicate entire areas to keep all the same sizing or write it down so that when you add new text areas, it matches the others on the page.

Kartra for Products and Payments

The promise:
Create as many products as you like — digital and physical, individual products and memberships. Set multiple price points for each product, and multiple ways to pay for them — one-time, recurring or installments.

Add shipping costs and sales tax by region. Include a money-back guarantee.

The reality:
Here’s what it looks like to set up a Product and collect payments within Kartra.

New Products and/or price points can be set up and ready to go in a matter of minutes.
You can have various pricing options for any one Product that can be vital for launch periods.
 One Click Upsells are easy to set up and utilize for any Product.
 You have the ability to leverage affiliate sales and coupons, at no additional charge.

 When going back in to edit a Product, you have to go through every step you see on the top bar vs being able to jump to the one specific section you need.
 Bump Offers are not available with PayPal payments. You would need to utilize the One Click Upsell option, after purchase, if you’re looking to utilize PayPal with that product.

Kartra for Courses and Memberships

The promise:
Kartra’s complete Membership Portal management system makes it easy for you to deliver your content to paid and free members, with a clean, intuitive interface for a premium member experience.

The reality:
Here’s a look at both the creation side and viewer side of a membership and course within Kartra.

 You can leverage portals in order to showcase all available Products that fit your audience’s needs.
With Custom Sidebars, you can add upsells within individual Products.
The drag and drop options are easy to use and give a variety of content styles to share with your members.
You can create multiple course and membership tiers which will give you the option for trials and VIP options.

While landing pages can be completely customized in Kartra, you aren’t able to to the same in their Membership Portal. You will be limited to the colors and style options available vs being able to have free reign.
When creating your Lesson titles, you are limited on characters which can be a pain at times.
 If you are adding your bio into one of the drag and drop areas, it’s extremely limited (see video)

Kartra Conclusion

As you can see, there’s a reason why some of the most common searches right now are…

Kartra vs ClickFunnels

Kartra vs Ontraport


Kartra vs Kajabi

It’s because Kartra is coming in as a major competitor of them all right now.

Between the powerful features, analytics, reliability and ease of use, you can have a complete system that will allow you to better serve your audience at a price that blows most of the other options out of the water.

Switching to Kartra has allowed me to:

• Simplify and streamline.
With everything in one place, we have not only reduced the amount of charges coming out of our business account each month but have been able to better track, analyze and refine based on the the entire picture of what’s happening on a daily basis vs multiple moving pieces on different platforms and systems.

• Drastically lower tech issues.
Now that we no longer have multiple tools and platforms needing to talk to each other in order for everything to work, we have seen a huge decrease in tech issues and team effort needed to troubleshoot them.

• Increase our profits with daily analytics.
By being able to keep a constant pulse on everything from landing page conversions, funnel sales, video views and pretty much any number you can imagine to track… we can consistently see where we can improve in our marketing efforts to increase profits.

What to expect starting out:

• Remember where you started and give yourself grace.
Typically, those moving to Kartra are in similar positions as myself where they have multiple tools and platforms at play. If so, remember that you learned each of these separately. Now, you’ll be in a platform where you’re getting a crash course in landing page creation, email marketing and any other features you’re using – all at once. 

So, if you don’t “get it” right away, just remember that you’re covering EVERYTHING in one place and give yourself grace with that. Also, be sure to check out their training academy to help you along the way!

• Plan your migration time in advance (if needed).
If you are moving over email lists, existing products and funnels, know that it can be a time-consuming process for everyone. Be sure to give yourself the time needed in order to do so. We did a two week surge to get everything over (with the migration being the number one focus)

However, I have worked with clients who do it over the span of 90 days, due to their schedules and/or existing launch plans.

If you don’t have much you’re moving over, or are starting from scratch, this won’t apply to you as much.

The great news:

You can try it for yourself for $1 for 14 days to see how it compares for you first.

Because just like there’s no one size fits all when it comes to business, the same goes for platforms you use.

For myself, the price, options and complete streamlining of my own business can’t be beat!

Have you tried Kartra already? If so, what were your thoughts?

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. This means that if you use them, I might be rewarded a credit or commission (at no extra cost to you). Please note that all affiliate income from Kartra is redirected to Black Girls Code.

8/24/20 UPDATE: While have chosen to keep this review live for those who are interested, Freedom Driven Success no longer uses Kartra and will not be making updates to this post. You can read why here: The Real Reason Why I Left Kartra (and Why You May Want to Avoid it Too)