New Zenler vs Kartra 

 Updated: April 2, 2021

What are New Zenler and Kartra?

In the world of online course platforms, one of the most popular categories is the one of all-in-one platforms of which New Zenler and Kartra both belong.

What it means is that these are supposed to be your one stop shop as a course creator for hosting, marketing and selling your programs online.

And New Zenler and Kartra both handle all of this including funnel building, course design, checkout and affiliate system, email marketing and automation,...

As both of these platforms are some of the most popular all-in-one, I thought it would be relevant to compare them directly and see which one might be best for your online courses!

4.25/5

New Zenler

New Zenler is one of the new-coming as an all-in-one. It's still in beta but has a lot to promise and is slowly building a base of raving fans to refer the platform, as it can only be accessed by invite.

Feature/UX

Affordability

Community

4.5/5

Kartra

Kartra is an all-in-one online marketing platform to sell both digital and physical products. 

It's part of the Genesis Digital group that is also responsible for other softwares like EverWebinar and WebinarJam.

Feature/UX

Affordability

Community


Features : New Zenler vs Kartra?

Here is a the highlight and overview of the main features for both platforms:

New Zenler
  • Course hosting and design
  • Course Assignments
  • Emails/Automations
  • Cart + Affiliate Program
  • Page/Funnel Builder
  • Community/Forum
  • Blogging
  • Webinar/Live hosting
Kartra
  • Course hosting and design
  • Advanced Emails/Automations
  • Calendar capabilities
  • Advanced Cart + Affiliate Program
  • Advanced Page/Funnel Builder
  • A/B Testing
  • CRM: Help Desk, ticket system, live chat, lead points
  • File hosting
  • Code access

And now let's get into the comparison and break down:

Site & Page Builder

Both New Zenler and Kartra offer a great support for building a fully fledged website.

With global elements to use across your site and easy ways to organize your pages and funnel, these platforms can both fulfil all of your website needs.

At the expectation maybe, that Kartra does not allow for setting up a blog (New Zenler does)

Creating a page follows a similar process with both platforms, you'll be able to select a pre-made template:

kartra page templates

Now, Kartra does have a significant advantage here and offers 100's of professionally designed templates, whereas New Zenler only has a few.

Not that more is better but in this case it does make a difference!

Inside the page builder itself, again you'll find a lot of similarities.

Both platforms have an advanced front-end drag & drop editor that will allow for pretty much everything you might want!

page builder

Here, again premade sections templates are available - and again Kartra's has a little more furnished library.

kartra section templates

Something that Kartra offers and New Zenler doesn't, is an A/B test functionality, which is very useful for more advanced users to optimize their funnel.

On top of that you'll be able to save entire sections as favorite and use them on other pages (again - only on Kartra)

Overall fairly similar performance on this feature for both platforms then, Kartra may have a slight advantage!

Selling / Checkout

Now, building a sales funnel with New Zenler or Kartra has a few components, one of which is your checkout and how you're setting up a product.

Setting up a checkout and new offer in New Zenler is rather straightforward, you'll create a new step in your funnel and style the page however you'll like.

The price is set up at the course level and you can have multiple pricing options there.

The process is a little more flexible but also cumbersome with Kartra.

You'll have different options for your checkout look & feel first of all:

kartra checkout design

Then a lot more control on the product delivery, indeed Kartra is also very powerful to sell anything you want and not just digital courses.

kartra product deliveries

Now again, ask yourself if this is really something you need!

Lastly, Kartra does have a much better upsell/downsell system. New Zenler only allows you to set up 1 upsell after checkout whereas Kartra allows for a whole funnel setup.

kartra upsell

Rather similar capabilities for both platforms when it comes to affiliate systems. You'll have the flexibility with cookies and other steps of your affiliate program as you need!

Overall, Kartra is a much more advanced tool when it comes to setting up a sales process, but New Zenler might just be enough too if you're a beginner course creator.

Course delivery

Let's say this from the get-go, the course experience is something thats been neglected by most course platforms and New Zenler and Kartra aren't exactly the exceptions.

Don't get me wrong, you'll be able to create and deliver a decent course in there.

But the course layout and design remains rather basic, see Kartra for example:

kartra course builder

In terms of content and learning, New Zenler does offer a few cool tools like the Assessment that can be uploaded from the student to the instructor, reviewed and sent back for another round of editing.

zenler course creation

Kartra does not offer a lot of choices for that but does have a very cool video builder:

kartra video creator

This would allow you to insert call to action inside the video, which can be an opportunity for both the learning and marketing side of your online course.

On top of that, with the advanced automations Kartra allows for, you could do a bit of outside of the box thinking to unlock surprise modules on completion and just gamify your programs a little.

Again, nothing extraordinary unfortunately for this feature but both platforms have a few bells and whistles and compare evenly.

Email & Automations

This is probably the biggest difference between the two platforms so far.

One of the biggest features of an all-in-one platform that distinguishes them from standalone LMS such as Teachable, Thinkific and the likes, is an integrated email marketing tool.

Both New Zenler and Kartra allow for sending one-off emails (broadcasts), automated responders and also setting up automations to manage your list or just automate part of your customer journey

It's very visible however that Kartra has a much superior email marketing and CRM system.

Starting with the email builder, which is fairly basic for New Zenler:

The automations and autoresponders are also fairly limited and there's not a lot you can do in terms of customer management.

Kartra on the other hand has a very powerful CRM system, allowing you to create beautiful emails from premade templates:

kartra email design

But also to build advanced automations and autoresponder with a very cool visual flow builder, that will support things like split testing, conditional logic, tagging and a lot more:

kartra sequence builder

On top of that you will also have a true CRM and ticketing system. You can manage your users ticket inside the platform, setup FAQs and live chats.

But also attribute leads points to your prospect to know how engaged and warm they are based on their behaviour which could allow for a much better list and follow up management.

kartra crm

In brief, Kartra is miles ahead of New Zenler on this side of things and this could have a significant impact on your sales as a course creator.

Other feature

Beyond the features we've already mentioned, they are some other ones that New Zenler and Kartra have that aren't necessarily essential but could be a deal maker for you!

New Zenler has 2 distinguishing features that are standing out: Live and Community

The live features enable you to connect your Zoom account natively and run live session directly in your course :

new zenler live

This can be a very useful feature if there are some live components in your online program and you want to keep it simple and inside one platform. 

You'll be able to easily run live sessions and interact with your participants.

The Community feature enables you to create forum-like groups, which kinda look like a light version of a Facebook group:

nz community

Again, if your online course is centered around the community and group support then this feature could be a great alternative to the classic Facebook group setup which forces your people to go to another platform

Kartra has more than a few additional bells and whistles we haven't covered (see our full review here) but let's talk about 2 in particular: the Helpdesk and Kartra Calendars.

The first one is something we've already covered but is essentially a combination of your CRM system and customer support very powerful!

Kartra Calendars is meant to replace your need for any scheduling system (Calendly, Acuity,...).

You can pick different types of calendar to use it for regular consultation calls or recurring events like a class for example:

calendar

This is a very powerful tool that, integrated natively, makes it so much easier to manage your appointments and live programs if you have any.

User Experience: New Zenler vs Kartra

If you read our full reviews on both platforms, you'll see that user experience isn't a particularly strong feat for either New Zenler or Kartra.

New Zenler's user experience is a little clunky and has a bit of cheap feel to it.

Things are still somewhat intuitive and the learning curve is not particularly a steep one but it's  not going to be a lot of fun hanging out in the back-end:

That being said, setting up anything like a new product or funnel is still a relatively smooth process and you'll be guided and through in just a few clicks.

That isn't the case of Kartra unfortunately, for which setting up anything at all is a rather in-depth and cumbersome process that isn't that intuitive.

The back-end does have a better look though and efforts have been made to reduce the friction of each steps:

UX

Regarding the end user experience (your students), there is little you can do to influence the customer journey with New Zenler but as we've seen before, options of customization are many inside of Kartra.

A bit of a tie here between the 2 platforms but neither are really impressive on that side of things!

Pricing: New Zenler vs Kartra

I think if you read the review up until now you may have read between the lines and thinking that Kartra is technically a bit more powerful than New Zenler.

But the price difference might be a deal breaker for you if you don't need all of the bells and whistles.

Here is the pricing breakdown for both platforms:

  • New Zenler Pricing

  • Kartra Pricing

A rather steep difference then, but to make this clear:

  • Kartra starts at $79/month billed annually with a Starter plan that doesn't allow for a very big list (up to 2,500)
  • New Zenler starts at around $54/mo billed annually with a plan that shouldn't limit most course creators (up to 25,000 leads)

Now again this is more about what you really need and value (see Other features) and Kartra could also be the best decision for you, even if a little pricier.

It's also good to note that New Zenler is still in beta mode and you may encounter a few more bugs here and there than a mature platform like Kartra.

The good thing to know for both platforms is that, as all-in-ones they should be covering pretty much everything you need and no, or little additional costs, would be required.

Community & Support: New Zenler vs Kartra

The community and support you might get from fellow users and customer support is important, especially if you're just starting out and still learning the platform.

New Zenler, being a much newer platform is still growing its community base. So you won't be among a huge community but it still is a significant and dedicated one!

In terms of support, there is no live chat available but you can submit a ticket anytime or simply sift through the very useful knowledge bank available or training videos.

Kartra is a more mature company and therefore also has a bigger audience and support systems in place.

support

Beyond just the community of fellow expert users who will be able to answer all of your questions, you will also have access to a full training program called Kartranaut.

But also a weekly Q&A live and also live chat support on top of the ticketing system.

Another point for Kartra then on this aspect, mostly coming from its longevity in the industry!

New Zenler Vs Kartra : The Bottom Line

new zenler square

  New Zenler would be a better choice if?

  • You're looking for the most affordable solution and might not need all of the advanced features Kartra may have.
  • You run a community centered program that will need a place for people to share inside the program as well as a live component.
  • You need the learning tools available inside your course such as quizzes, assignments and other ways to test their knowledge.

Kartra would be a better choice if?

  • You need advanced features specifically for the email marketing and CRM system and all of the advanced automations Kartra has to offer.
  • Calendars and planners are a big part of your business and Kartra Calendar would make your life a lot easier than using an external calendar system.
  • You need to be able to set up advanced funnels and you don't mind paying a little extra for it, things like multiple upsells and downsells, A/B testing or simply selling physical products too.

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