In this Kartra review, I'm going to attempt a deep dive into this "all-in-one platform "and see if it's the solution to your business needs.
So tell me, is it me or does it seem like there is a new business and sales platform coming into the market every other week? This is truly a great time to be an entrepreneur or business professional because there is a plethora of tools and services to grow your business. And today, we are going to be discussing one of those tools called Kartra.
So you know there are a few basic necessities when trying to sell your services online. You've got to have a web site, which includes reliable hosting. An email service provider to store leads and send newsletters to your customers.
Oh, let's not forget about a way to build your sales funnel to collect leads, create checkout pages and add upsells and downsells. Whew!
Think about all the different tools and softwares you'd have to integrate with each other to have a fully functioning online business. Not to mention the individual costs that you would have accumulated. When all is said and done, you'd be paying a pretty penny.
Kartra solves this problem by adding all these functionalities and more into a single, integrated platform. They call it the "all-in-one-platform".
What Is Kartra?
It's a monthly software service that includes everything from hosting, email marketing, video, webinars, split-testing, cart checkouts and sales funnels all designed to integrate seamlessly.
All of this seems quite familiar right?
Of course it does, because I reviewed a similar product called ClickFunnels that's built to do pretty much the same thing. But Kartra brings something slightly unique to the table.
Along with the slew of tools to build your online business, Kartra also provides the done-for-you funnel campaigns from legendary marketer Frank Kern.
It's one thing to have a gazillion funnel templates to choose from, but it's another to have the ones that've been proven and battle-tested by a marketing guru himself.
So far it seems that Kartra proving it is dedicated to the growth of your business.
Who Is Kartra For?
Before we get into who Kartra is for, let's talk about who it isn't for.
If you have a reliable system in place that’s working well for you, Kartra could be more of a distraction than a solution. There is definitely a learning curve and if you aren't accustomed to funnel design software, then it's not worth the hassle of trying to fix something that isn't broken.
Instead, it’s for people who are tired of keeping track of "X" amount of business tools that aren’t compatible with each other. Sometimes it's just easier to have everything under one roof.
And the best part of having everything in-house is that you don't have to hire teams of developers and system integrators to grow your business to the next level.
It's also for those who want to spend less time configuring software and more time on what's important, and that's making sales!
Plus it doesn't hurt that it's a fairly inexpensive alternative to ClickFunnels.
Either way if all of this makes sense and looks like you fall into the latter category, then keep reading. This might be the platform to fit your business needs.
How Does Kartra Work?
Kartra is designed from the ground up to be a one-stop shop for running your online business. Kartra is Goal-Oriented as opposed to task-oriented platforms like ClickFunnels.
So what do they mean by Goal-Oriented?
Well, instead of going about your sales process from beginning to end, Kartra wants you to think in reverse – think first about what you’re trying to accomplish, not the first steps.
Here's an example:
Imagine you want to create a landing page so that you can turn your traffic into subscribers. That's the task you want to get done.
But what is the goal you want to accomplish? Capturing that lead is your goal.
Once your traffic opts in to your landing page, and you capture them as a lead, next you’ll want them to see a thank-you page, right? That’s the end result of this whole funnel. Kartra wants you to create that Thank-You Page first!
I know it's a little strange to work backwards, but Kartra might be on to something. So let's take a brief look into some of what Kartra has to offer.
Inside Look Into Kartra
Lets have a look behind the curtains at this awesome all-in-one business platform. I'm going to show you everything about their onboarding process, product options and pricing plans.
The Onboarding Process
From the start, Kartra does an excellent job getting you on the right foot.
Once you sign-up, Kartra immediately congratulates you and says that you will receive 4 emails as part of your onboarding process.
One of the emails contained my login information for their learning center. When you first sign-in to your account, you'll be greeted with a welcome video.
This video is basically a tutorial and explains some of the initial steps you should take. What's neat about it is that they provide a sidebar checklist of things to complete to get you started.
Obviously you don't have to follow it, but it's nice to have the option available.
Similar to other page builders on the market, Kartra gives you a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) front end editor.
Kartra provides pre-made templates for anything you can imagine, from a traditional home page or blog feed, to long-form sales pages and classic squeeze pages.
The templates provided by Kartra look pretty well and up-to-date with current squeeze pages on the market. They have a huge variety to choose from and you should have no problem finding what you need.
If a template isn't your thing and you rather start from scratch, you can do that as well. Have a look below.
I decided to go with the blank template, because that's just how I roll. I find it to be much more therapeutic (HA HA). But in all seriousness I've tested most page builders or at least all the popular ones on the market.
So I've become very critical of them, especially from these all-in-one solution platforms. Reason being is that if you move your entire operation under one roof, that roof better be stable and damn near flawless.
So the good news is, making edits to the templates are simple point and click actions. This also applies to editing text, switching images and changing overall style.
You can also add elements to your page using their "block template" section.
The bad news? Well little less seamless. There's no real flow to the page building process if that makes sense.
I find that there are one too many steps to accomplish certain things. For example:
When adding my logo, I felt there was an extra step that wasn't necessary. Also when resizing columns, you have to switch "modes' and go about adjusting. I would much prefer to just click and drag to my desired sizing. But I guess that would be too easy huh?
If you're experienced in other drag and drop editors, then you may find this a tad bit annoying. If you are a newbie, I think you'll adjust to the builder just fine.
I just believe there are other platforms that do a better job at page building.
Overall, Kartra’s page builder doesn't have the flow I am accustomed to, but it definitely has a more polished and professional feel than what I’ve seen from other all-in-one solutions. With that being said, I still think other page building softwares have an edge over them, but not by much.
Kartra Video Hosting
Where I do believe Kartra shines, is within their Integrations. Remember, they are an all-in-one platform. For example, if you need to add a video on your page, you can quickly and easily select from your library of existing videos or upload a new one. No external hosting required.
You can customize the video player and select if you want your videos to autoplay or not, as well as a few other options.
Kartra's video hosting platform brings some unique functionality made just for marketers:
- Can embed videos directly on the platform
- Get access to detailed video analytics such as average watch time, at what point your people are dropping off, etc
- See every video watched by your subscribers in their customer
- In-video actions: require your viewers to social share, subscribe, or perform any other action to continue watching the video.
Those are just a few things you can do with Kartra video.
All this can be seen as a benefit incase you want to use a video for membership purposes but don't want to risk the public exposure of using YouTube. Also, why pay extra for the privacy of Wistia or Vimeo if you can host your own videos?
Products and Shopping Carts
Another awesome feature that's included with Kartra is the ability to set up products for sale. These can be products you deliver electronically like paid courses or physical products you ship to your customers.
Kartra gives you 2 options when adding a product.
- Main Product
- Upsell or Downsell
As with any sales funnel software, the product will display depending on which of these options you choose, with an upsell/downsell, the product will only display after the purchase is made.
Next, Kartra will guide you through the process of adding your product and creating your shopping cart. They've done a very good job with this interface, it's very straightforward and easy to understand.
They will guide you to completing the following steps:
- Payment Gateways (PayPal or Credit Card)
- Product Pricing
- Trial Structures
- Affiliate Program (more on this below)
- Cart Rules
- Checkout Page
- and more..
Also if you have digital courses you'll be able to seamlessly integrate with Kartra membership module.
So far I was impressed with the shopping cart aspect of Kartra. They did a great job of putting this together and I'll be honest..I think it's better than ClickFunnels.
Maybe you prefer using Kartra alongside your favorite autoresponder, course platform, website/blog or make connections via webhooks…
Although Kartra comes with damn near everything you need to run your online business – they also understand that sometimes you want to use other softwares your already accustomed to.
You’re not constrained in any way…
Here are the third-party integrations:
#1: Payment Gateway Integrations
There are 4 supported Payment gateways:
Adding a payment gateway in Kartra is one of the first and most important things you should do. It’s pretty obvious, you wanna get paid right?
#2: Email marketing integrations
Kartra has the ability to integrate with 4 different email tools:
- Elastic Email
All of the above integrations do require an API key, which you can find within your account settings.
#3: Membership integrations
Kartra has the ability to integrate with only a few membership platforms:
- Wishlist Member
- Digital Access Pass (DAP)
You can easily connect your Kartra account to the below services to utilize text-message marketing within your business.
#5: Integrating with Zapier
Unlike the other integrations done in Kartra, this particular one acctually needs to be configured within your Zapier account..
To establish the connection, you have to do everything within your Zapier account, and Zapier will automatically establish the connection with Kartra in the background without you doing any further thing.
Let's jump into the Affiliate Portal.
For each product you create, you can enable the opportunity for your customers to become affiliates of it. They are given custom share URL's with their tracking code embedded, allowing you to offer either a percentage or fixed-rate of the sale.
Through the dashboard, you'll be able to see your affiliates info, their number of referrals and the payout history.
You also get access to product sales analytics, giving you an overview of everything such as visits, sales, refunds, cancellations, revenue and customer value. You can also see the same for your affiliates referrals as well.
Overall I really like Kartra's ability to turn your products into affiliate offers. They've also taken it step further with the depth of affiliate analytics. I see this as a huge win.
Under the "My Communications" tab you will find your email marketing section. This also includes automations, broadcasts, tagging, sequences, and a few more options.
This Kartra feature is looking to replace some of the best autoresponders on the market. We'll see how well it does.
As with any email marketing software, you can add leads manually or import a list on CSV, which is very useful for those switching from their current email service provider.
Also, as if you didn't know, you can create forms in Kartra. The form builder uses the same builder interface as the rest of the software which makes it easy to navigate for the first time.
Much like any form builder, you have a variety options, such as single/double opt-in, success page url, welcome messages, tagging, sequences and automations.
Kartra will also show you examples of how to apply your tags.
You just give your tag a name, and that same tag will become available in your automations later. You can also assign it to forms.
So let's talk about broadcasts.
Every now and again you'll need to send one-time emails to your list to notify them of new videos, blog posts or general announcements.
With Kartra's broadcast tool, you can do exactly that and also utilize SMS as well. But let's get to the good stuff..Automation!
Kartra has an automation workflow builder (called a ‘Sequence Builder’) and it’s just like the ones you’ve seen with any other email services like ActiveCampaign or MailerLite.
So I gave the sequence builder a test run and...
I was visually impressed, but at first glance, it's very confusing. Also the drag portion of the interface isn't as smooth as I am accustomed to.
Also the platform froze a few times..which isn't a deal breaker but can be a problem if your sequence gets complex. You don't want to potentially lose your work.
Those are a few things that need to be ironed out, but it works like any other email marketing platform. I'm sure with enough time, you'll get used to it.
Since the marketing automation is built-in, all you need to do is find the automation triggers and actions inside Kartra and you'll be creating your own behavioral based marketing campaigns.
Campaigns can be created from scratch (and shared with Kartra users), or you can use one of Kartra’s “done for you” campaign templates.
You can build a campaign from scratch, but you will need all the assets that you've created related to the campaign.
Or you can simply choose one of the done for you campaigns and the software will do everything for you. I suggest going this route until you've become comfortable with the platform.
Currently there are 5 campaigns you can choose from and each achieve a different marketing goal.
Kartra also similar to ClickFunnels provides a marketplace for you to purchase custom marketing campaigns that have been created by fellow community members.
I personally don't buy these things nor will I ever. I find it much more beneficial to create your own or just use the free one's that are provided.
Either way, it's there for you to take advantage of if you see fit.
The ‘done-for-you’ campaigns are awesome. The ones I could see include:
- Simple list builder – allows you to build a list using a ‘freemium’ download
- List builder – allows you to build a list that sells a product
- Quick Launch – designed for product launches
- 4-Day Cash Machine – make quick sales to an existing list
- Book Funnel – uses a book to bring in customers
- eShop Campaign – a catalog page for all your products
- MasterClass Campaign – a webinar-style campaign
- Agency Campaign – acquires agency clients from cold traffic
Anyways, we touched on quite a bit so far and we haven't even scratched the surface of what Kartra provides.
Kartra gives you everything I’ve gone over so far, but it also offers things like a CRM, membership and course platform, a help desk, and a few other useful additions.
Is it everything your business needs? Maybe..maybe not, but it definitely covers most of what any online business could want.
Kartra's Membership Builder
One of my favorite Kartra features is definitely the membership builder.
It offers the following benefits:
- Intuitive and very easy to use membership to build content
- Use membership to deliver your products to enhance your customers' experience
- Various membership access levels can be granted
- Passwords can be generated automatically and delivered to users securely via email
- Memberships can be used to charge a subscription-based product
- A membership portal can be created very easily for users and you can set up payments to charge by monthly installments, per month, or on a one-and-done basis. You can also create free access.
User logins are automatically generated by Kartra (which is the member's email) and an auto-generated high-security password (which grants the new member access). This information is all delivered to the member automatically.
Memberships can be used to deliver products. You also can sell a membership that grants access to the content that you have for sale. For example, course content!
It's definitely much better than giving a google-drive link after the purchase for delivering your digital products.
Each of the membership portals currently has 4 access levels. You can name them whatever you wish and that will allow your customers to be able to access whatever content you would like them to have access to.
Kartra Pricing Plans
Currently Kartra has 4 pricing plans (Updated Feb, 2020):
The plans are broken down into 4 pricing tiers:
For full details, visit my Kartra Pricing page.
- The Starter plan ($99/month) limits you to 2,500 contacts, 15,000 emails per month, 100 pages, 20 products and 100 automations.
- The Silver plan ($199/month) members can have up to 12,500 contacts, 125,000 emails per month, and unlimited pages, products and automations.
- The Gold plan ($299/month) members can have up to 25,000 contacts, 250,000 emails per month, and unlimited pages, products and automations.
- The Platinum plan ($499/month) members can have up to 50,000 contacts, 500,000 emails per month, and unlimited pages, products and automations.
If you want a bigger discount, you can opt to pay annually.
This will bring the cost to:
- Starter plan to $79/month
- Silver plan to $149/month
- Gold plan to $229/month
- Platinum plan to $379/month.
All Kartra plans allow you to try a 14-Day trial for only $1
Kartra Frequently Asked Questions
Can I build a website with Kartra?
The short answer is YES. You can use Kartra to build websites of any kind for your online businesses, and since Kartra has an array of website templates, it’s very easy to build your website and pages in no time.
How much does Kartra cost per month?
Kartra pricing starts from $99 per month for the Starter plan which includes all the features. You can scroll up a bit to see all of the plans.
What does Kartra replace?
Since it's an all-in-one marketing suite, Kartra replaces the following marketing solutions – video hosting providers like Vimeo and Wistia, page builders, shopping cart software, help-desk software, email service, automation tool, CRM tool, membership and course hosting platform, affiliate center, heat-map tool, analytics and tracking tool, calendar/booking app and an affiliate marketplace.
How does Kartra work?
Kartra is an all-one, email marketing, list building, web-hosting, business management platform designed for online business owners and marketers. To get started, try the 14 Day Trial.
Can I use Kartra with WordPress?
Yes you can! If you already have a WordPress site and want to continue hosting your pages there, you can do that by installing and activating a plugin called “Blank Slate” to use Kartra with your WordPress site.
Here’s a walkthrough tutorial on how it works.
Who Started Kartra?
Kartra was created in 2018 by the late Andy Jenkins and Mike Filsaime.
None of the Con's are actual deal breakers. I just wanted to point out the current flaws I noticed. I do believe you get a lot of bang for your buck and Kartra overall is a solid platform.
Final Thoughts On Kartra
For the most part I really like Kartra. It's had some growing pains, but it's very powerful and comes with everything you would need to grow your business online.
Though the price is pretty steep, it's actually better than some of the competition (cough..ClickFunnels) and will save you money in the long run. It takes out the need for hosting, website and a number of other 3rd party applications.
While I have a favorable opinion of the software, I have to be quite clear. I believe it will never be a suitable replacement for a WordPress website if SEO is something you hold in regard.
As someone who utilizes blogging for my business and receives tons of traffic from it. I could never replace that aspect of my business with an all in one solution. But I definitely support using it as part of my business simply because of all the amazing features.
With that being said, if Kartra fits your business needs then by all means check it out for yourself.
Did This Help You? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you commented below and shared on Facebook
Mike Garvey Jr
Founder of BrandTheBoss.com
Work From Home
Want to learn how to start an online business and work from home like I do?
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