What is Groove?
GrooveFunnel officially launched its full suite in October 2020 but has been providing a lite version of its all-in-one marketing platforms since early 2020.
It's essentially a full suite of marketing and selling tools for online businesses with the ultimate promise to have EVERYTHING you need in one place.
At the date of this review, the GrooveFunnles is still in beta.
For the sake of this review we'll only talk about all the tools affecting course creators. Meaning that some features in the suite like GrooveKart - which is essentially aiming at replacing a Shopify and e-commerce solution - won't really be part of the review.
Lastly, GrooveWebinar, GrooveDesk, GrooveStream, GrooveSurvey and GrooveQuiz are NOT currently available.
Features: What can you do with GrooveFunnel?
Ok so let me start by listing out the key features of the suite and its associated tool, because that's definitely something we haven't seen before:
Let me break down what these would supposedly replace for you:
GrooveSell + Groove Affiliate
Mailerlite, Mailchimp, ConverKit,...
Demio, Everwebinar, Easy Webinar
That all sounds good in theory, but let's look at the state of things right now and each of the major features of the platform after having tested them.
Again here, I'll only review the tools that course creators will be interested in and to make a fair comparison with other all-in-one platforms like Kajabi, New Zenler, Kartra,...
GroovePages: your new funnel builder?
First stop, the funnel builder! This is part of the features that were released earlier in 2020 for free and has had time to see some improvements.
The first thing that you'll have is the possibility to create different sites in the page tool:
This will essentially allow you to have different domain/subdomain for different funnels or mini-sites within your account - very useful for branding purposes! Definitely a nice touch.
Within the site itself, you'll then be able to start creating your funnels.
You can start from scratch with a templates or from an URL import (more on that later)
The templates are honestly really well-designed and not only giving you a proven structure for any type of pages you may want to create (homepage, sales page, optin page, challenge, registration,...) but also some copy guidance - instead of some basic placeholder text.
The cool thing too is that you can save your own templates, after having created a page, to re-use later!
URL import: this feature is very promising! Knowing that a lot of people will want to move away from another funnel builder/platform (ClickFunnels, Leadpages, any WordPress page builder,...), Groove has added this feature to allow you to NOT have to recreate these pages from scratch and instead import them in one-click!
Super promising feature only problem: it's not really working right now?
The way this is meant to work is that you would add a piece of code on your current page (the one you want to import) to verify you are the owner, and then simply click to import it.
I've been testing this on different pages but to no avail, and it seems like that's been the case for other people too from looking at their forum?
The platform is still officially in beta and this is unfortunately one of the many things that are not quite working right now, more on that throughout this review.
Once you've got your template loaded, you can now use the front-end drag and drop builder, just like you would for many other funnel builders out there.
In there, you'll have all the bells and whistles of an advanced page builder, and quite a lot of customization capabilities.
Starting by either adding full designed and premade sections/blocks: hero, CTA section, pricing section, team, testimonials...
And then individual elements: columns, text, image, list, video, buttons, form,...
You can of course change the basics: font, color, padding, size, animation, shadow,...
But also some interesting advanced stuff: hover, effect, layout, focus, transparency,...
And some really un-typical blocks: dynamic countdown, google map, devices templates...
You can of course create pop-ups (Standard, Entry, Exit).
All of these elements of your funnel can be saved and re-used later as Global Blocks
I particularly appreciate this as it's making the creation of your funnel a LOT faster, so that course creators can actually focus on something else - like selling their programs!
Overall I've found the funnel to be comparing very well with the best funnel builders out there. One thing to note is that A/B testing is not currently available for GroovePages.
Beginner be aware though, just like with every page builder, there might be a bit of a learning curve to start using the tool, but I'd still feel confident recommending it to these people just getting started because of the plug and play templates mentioned above.
GrooveMember - hosting your courses and memberships
After you've made the sell, it's now time to deliver on your course!
Obviously as a course creator, you also care about the student's experience. This is sometimes what makes the difference between a basic platform like Teachable and a more advanced one like Kajabi.
GrooveMember is the tool inside GrooveFunnels that allows you to create, design and host your courses or memberships.
So the first thing you'll do is create that new membership and the cool thing to notice right off the bat is that you'll create a specific subdomain/member portal for each course:
You then go to setup some of the foundational part of the setup for the online course/membership: Instructor, Comments, Access level,...
I like the fact that you an easily choose different access levels within the course based on different tiers of your membership or simply the freemium part:
This is for example something that's currently lacking in Kajabi and other platforms.
You can also either give instant access, drip based on their join date, or drip based on a date you specify - super useful for beta versions of courses or memberships that drip content monthly on a specific date, regardless of where the user is at in their progression.
You'll then have access to the course builder.
If you're used to other course platforms like Teachable, Kajabi, Thinkific, this part might throw you off.
The course builder used in Groove is a front-end builder. Meaning that you won't load up and manage the content in the back-end and then see it populate on the end user version of the course. You'll directly drag and drop the element of each module in the course framework:
This builder isn't as flexible as you might want but it compares fairly well to other platform.
There are 2 theme (aka layout) to choose from and each module as to be built manually.
GrooveVideo: a new way of making a call to action
This might be one of my favorite features in the GrooveFunnels suite that makes for a big competitor?s advantage in my opinion!
You'll have a dedicated tool to manage your video and library of content, a little like what you would have in a WordPress site.
Note: the amount of videos you'll be allowed to upload depends on your plan.
After uploading your video, you'll be able to add elements to it directly from GrooveVideo:
An Optin Form to unlock the video! This makes for some really cool freebie, you can setup the optin form to be filled out for the video to be playable ? no risk for the video?s URL to be shared directly and missing out on some optins anymore.
A Banner overlay to your video. Choose a clickable image to appear at a certain time during the video with a call to action to it! You can even add a skip button. Think about it like almost an in-video ad you can have or simply something that organically makes sense within the video.
Text overlay + CTA: you can add call to action directly inside the video! I think this is really cool for anywhere you use a video: webinar replay, free training, optin video,... And better than the typical alternative to simply have a button CTA below the video.
But here is where I think this is even cooler: inside your paid courses! Imagine the possibilities to have upsells and cross-sells inside your course with in-video CTA.
This just opens so much opportunities for better, organic call to action in your content, especially since you can embed GrooveVideos anywhere with the provided code.
The only other platforms I've seen doing this is LearnWorlds? but for a much heftier price!
GrooveMail: Email Marketing & Automation
GrooveMail is the email marketing platform you'll use to setup broadcast, automatic email sequences, lists and segments:
It has everything you need to manage your lists and campaigns, including helpful forms you can embed anywhere with the code snippet.
If you're using one of the top all-in-one platforms like Kajabi, New Zenler or Kartra, you may feel like the email sequence building is something a little messy and hardly user friendly, especially when trying to build more advanced automations.
Because on the other hand when you're using an external email marketing software like Mailerlite, Converkit or ActiveCampaign, building these out is very intuitive and visual!
What I like about GrooveMail is that it's taken the best of both worlds and became the first course platform to have these cool visual representation of your automation:
You can setup time delay and pick exact times of days of the week and conditional split with true and false path!
This is really a big upgrade from the somewhat basic sequence builder you'll find for all other competitors and all-in-one platforms.
You can also separately setup basic IF/THEN automations. Eg: if lead has X tag then subscribe to sequence Y.
Lastly, you will be able to add text messages as part of your follow up sequences! With a pre-made Twilio integration, you'll have access to text broadcast to send reminders to your list if you've collected their phone numbers.
Texts are proven to drastically improve attendance rate for something like a live webinar for example. (up to 45%)
A big advantage of having your email software inside the same platform you're using for your funnel and courses, is that it opens possibilities for a lot of automation you'd have to work hard to hack together otherwise.
This is an upside of all-in-one platforms in general, not just GrooveFunnels, but it's good to highlight here again.
Something to notice however is that the email builder you'll have access to in GrooveMail is very basic until you upgrade:
If you do upgrade to a paid plan, you'll get access to the drag & drop builder with loads of great templates.
This works similarly to the page editor with blocks and sections
Groove Webinars: Automate Your Funnel & Sales
A big part of most online course creator’s funnel is a webinar. Whether that’s live or automated, it’s become a pillar sales mechanism in the industry.
Groove Webinar allows you to create that system and automate it.
Right now, only the Automated version of the webinar is available, which could be plenty enough!
If you’re familiar with evergreen webinar platform such as Everwebinar or Easywebinar, then the setup inside of GrooveWebinar will feel familiar, here are some of the highlights:
- Setup a schedule: recurring every hour, once a week or “just in time”
- Engage your audience: enable a live chat, polls, sticky messages, dynamic attendance, and time an offer to be made at the right time!
- Reminders and automation: setup email or SMS reminders for your registrants and set up what you want to have happened post-webinar.
It really has little to envy to softwares that would cost you close to $100 per month.
For now, only automated webinars are available but more options are coming soon:
Groove Blogs: Quickly Publish Your Content
Groove has put together an impressive Blog tool available for any plans.
This will allow you to easily create a blog homepage with dynamic content, and publish your content.
Add text, image or videos to your blog posts and categorize them however you like!
SEO settings are also easily editable so that your content has the most chance of showing up in the search results.
You won’t be able to edit sitemaps or robots.txt but these are fairly optimized by default.
GrooveSell/GrooveAffiliate: Sell your knowledge
As part of your funnel, you need to get paid and be able to grant proper access to your product.
That's what a cart/checkout does and that's called GrooveSell in our GrooveFunnels suite.
GrooveSell provides a great dashboard to see all of your stats at glance, this is also where you start expanding on your funnel.
You'll create the main product page on GroovePages and then send people to the cart you'll create in GrooveSell where you can then process payment and set up things like upsell, bump products, cart abandonment, etc.
GrooveSell takes you through the step by step of setting that up:
Pricing: pick the type of payment and pricing options. This is really as good as it gets it terms of being able to pick any payment type: one-off, subscription: monthly, bi-weekly, daily,..., free and paid trial, payment plan and even recurring instalments:
You can also have more than 1 pricing on the same cart.
Payment Gateway: You can hook up the big payment gateway names (Stripe, Paypal) but the main thing to note here is GroovePay: this is a new native payment gateway Groove is creating to bypass the need to use an external tool? and reduce processing fees!
Groove REALLY does want to make their suite the only thing you need!
Checkout Design: This is where you customize the feel of your checkout - this can either be a popup on an external site or directly hosted in GrooveFunnels. Setup the cart abandonment automations - meaning that you can actually tag and follow up with these people in a meaningful way.
And you can even change the language to dynamically adapt to the user's location! Super useful for international course creators with a wide audience.
Upsells: To create an upsell, you'll have to recreate another product in that funnel in GrooveSell through this process and add the sales page for it in that step, with either the one-click option or the full checkout experience.
Which to be honest makes the process a little cumbersome but you'll get the hang of it!
This is also where you select the thank you page for each product/upsell.
Fulfilment: This is another selling point for GrooveFunnels and shows its high flexibility. Sometimes you just want to sell a simple file or physical product. In which case if you try to do so with a platform like Kajabi or Teachable, things get complicated. You have to use some workarounds and the user will have to create an account?
GrooveSell allows for you to select you fulfilment option based on the type of digital product you're selling:
Proof: Have you ever seen these little notifications on the bottom corner of a sales page saying "Marc just joined the program!"... you know the ones!
Well typically you would integrate an external tool like Proof to be able to achieve this. I know you may be thinking these are annoying but they are actually proven to increase conversion rate by 2 digits, creating a social proof effect - which isn't always easy to do online!
GrooveSell has an integrated tool to help you do just that!
You can customize the message of that notification and the display rules of it too!
You'll then get a proof widget code you can place anywhere you want.
This is really another feature never seen before natively in an all-in-one platform, another big flex for GrooveFunnels.
And that's the whole cart setup in a nutshell, note that some of these things are still on the coming soon list so you make sure to check their feature update regularly!
On the general setting level, you will also be able to do things like: sales tax (coming soon) - which I'm assuming is going to help add VAT and other taxes automatically on the cart, advance coupon setting: date expiration, minimum sales volume, recurring charges or not,...
Affiliate: Ok so this part is a bit confusing if you're navigating the platform. Groove has been pushing their affiliate program really hard around their launch for obvious reasons and turning their users into ambassadors - much like what ClickFunnels did very successfully.
But a little bit to the point that it may be hard to make the difference in the back-end between YOUR affiliate program and theirs?
GrooveAffiliate is essentially the dashboard to monitor the affiliate sale you make referring GrooveFunnels. This is where you'll see your earnings and other fancy stats.
But also where the Marketplace sits. I don't really want to expand on what this is in this review but this is essentially Groove's attempt to replace Clickbank and JVzoo by creating a marketplace for affiliate offers you can choose to promote (or for you to allow other people to see your offer and promote it).
Anyway, let's talk about your affiliate program and where you'd find this to set it up: which is actually not going to be in GrooveAffiliate at all but still in GrooveSell!
When you're setting up your cart as I walked you through a little further above, one of the step is going to be to activate the Affiliate feature on that product/funnel:
You'll have the ability to setup the commission (percentage or fixed amount), override it for certain affiliates, even setup custom landing pages and integrations just for your affiliates.
Pretty standard setup, note that you won't be able to change things like the cookie expiration, first touch/last touch like you could in external carts like ThriveCarts or SendOwl.
Most times, one of the hardest thing with your affiliates, is to get them to actually do something meaningful to promote your online program.
But if you go back to your Funnel inside GrooveSell, you can create Promo assets for your affiliate: swipes, blogs, social, banner, signatures,...
This is really cool to make this super easy for your affiliate to sign up to your program and have everything they need to simply copy paste and promote!
User experience: Is it easy to use GrooveFunnels?
It's undeniable that the large amount of features reviewed above, naturally also make for a lot of things to have to squeeze together in the back-end.
It's also unfortunately very clear at this stage the platform, still in beta, is only partly functional?
A lot of the features are bugged and the system gets slow and wonky at times.
From a back-end user perspective this can end up amounting to a lot of wasted time for now!
Now, to be honest the UI is as intuitive as possible and somewhat streamlined between the different tools and features:
Apart from some confusion like the affiliate things previously mentioned or similarly GrooveKart/GrooveSell similarities.
GrooveFunnels have launched a product that's only somewhat complete and still needs a lot of improvement. And I can't make this review without mentioning this several times: you'll need a bit of patience for things to be working smoothly.
You obviously can't compare the current state of the platform and its functionality-readiness with a mature tool like Kajabi or Teachable? things are breaking and being iterated.
On the end-user side, things look rather decent. Pages are loading fast and the checkout is rather smooth.
We've mentioned before the somewhat basic capabilities of the membership area which may devalue the perceived value of your course or membership to some extent?
But the rest of the customer-journey is very customizable.
Overall, this is definitely an area of improvement for GrooveFunnels.
Pricing: How much is GrooveFunnels?
At the time of writing this, GrooveFunnels offers 5 different pricing plans, which makes for a lot of confusion...
The free plan allows for quite a bit of what Groove has to offer!
One of the main limitation will probably be the hefty store fee (10%) and the limited number of contacts, emails per month and videos.
The first paid plan is called startup and available from 39.99 per month:
This will give you quite a few unlimited feature and get the store fee down to 5%.
If you really want to increase the email limit as well as the other things, here is what the other plans will allow:
- Creator plan: $83 per month, 5,000 contact and 50k emails and 50 videos
- Pro plan: $124 per month, 30k contacts and unlimited emails and videos
- Premium: $166 per month, 50k contacts, unlimited most features.
How is the Support & Community for GrooveFunnels?
I was rather impressed doing my research on this, but Groove has gathered a massive community!
Their Facebook group is currently towering at just under 110k members!
That's by far the biggest of all the big names for all-in-one course platforms out there.
Now, because of the hype of the launch and everything, you'll find that a big chunk of users are mostly trying to not sell their own product but rather only be an affiliate for GrooveFunnels. There is also a separate Facebook group for JVs?
But it's undeniable that the community is growing and the launch made a big splash in 2020 (in March and then with the full beta in October), growing a large user base quickly.
I anticipate the user base to decrease a little after the hype has passed, which will increase the quality of the community, before going back up as the platform matures and fixes some of its current issues and shortcomings.
On the support side, Groove has put together the GrooveAcademy for you to watch tutorials and helpful videos.. Ironically, This was built on Kajabi!
Otherwise you can also go through their knowledge bank of articles.
If that's still not enough, you can either open a ticket where you'll be able to attach files and screenshots, or get on live chat with their support!
So pretty much everything you could wish for in terms of support, which is very important for a young platform that still has a lot of issues to fix!
Our Overall Rate: 4.5
Community & Support Rating:
GrooveFunnels is here and instantly became one of the top platforms out there for course creators!
It's really got all the bells and whistles you can imagine and wish for (this is the only platform I've given a 10/10 for the Features).
Although very promising, these are the early stages and a lot of functionalities need to be fixed and iterated to fully reach the potential the platform seems to have.
Whether you jump onto the lifetime deal or the monthly one, it's definitely a great bang for your bucks and could be an investment that saves you a lot of money over time!