What is Simplero?
Simplero is an all-in-one course and membership platform which has actually been around for longer than most big names out there as it was created in 2009.
It's not as often mentioned in the top all-in-one platforms out there as it probably should!
As a quick reminder: all-in-one online course platforms are meant to have everything you need to design, market and sell your online programs.
And there's actually a lot of unique things the platform allows to do that I haven?t seen in any other all-in-ones in the industry, and these are the things I'll mention in this review:
Features: What Can You Do With Simplero?
Simplero really does have a wide range of features, beyond just the minimum you expect from an all-in-one:
On the feature side of things, Simplero really seems to have it all! A very robust set of features I'll break down a little further below.
What I keep getting impressed about too, is the flexibility you'll have with most of these features in terms of options and customization (apart from the pages - see below).
So I'll break down some of the top features and review how they compare to other all-in-ones.
Simplero Site & Page Builder
There are two different sides of your Simplero site to distinguish and at first glance this may be confusing in the back-end:
You can create pages through the Marketing tab and build out your funnel pages that way. You then also have the ability to create different ?mini-sites? for your memberships/courses that will only be accessible to people you've set access for.
I'll focus on the landing pages you can create to market and sell your courses here.
First of all, as you can see, we'll appreciate the neat organization of your pages in categories: optin pages, sales pages, etc.
When creating a new page, you'll have the ability to start from a range of really well designed pre-made templates:
I'm always pleased to see these because there's nothing more frustrating and time consuming than starting to build a page from scratch!
And this is not the case for all online course platforms so that's also why I'm taking the time to notice it here...
Once inside the page builder, you'll be able to start tweaking the different sections with the front-end builder it has. This isn't a drag & drop one as you may have seen before but you can easily reorganize the different sections.
Simplero doesn't make the difference between blocks and section, meaning that once you've selected a ?Hero? section then you won't add more smaller blocks to it but will create a new section:
You can then save sections as templates and re-use them later on that page or on another one!
And that's pretty much it to be honest...
Overall in comparison to most page builders out there, I did find Simplero?s ability a little limited when it comes to funnel building.
Most of the pre-made sections are useful and have some flexibility but some things like the spacing or just simply organizing blocks above or below each other isn't really possible?
Again, you'll be able to design really decent looking pages but do expect to make a few compromises sometimes.
One thing to note here is that you do have code access with all Simplero?s plans if you feel like getting your hands in there and tweak styling manually!
Simplero Site Functionality
Beyond just building individual pages, Simplero stands as a true all-in-one promises to replace something like WordPress for online business owners.
And I have to say that it does a really good job at doing that where some other all-in-ones often fall short!
For example, you'll have a full blown and dedicated media library where you can host and organize your different files:
But also with things like a dedicated blog with RSS feed to post your content, or a very handy Redirect creator to manage the different links on your site.
And even an integrated link shortener to minimize your URL and to be used like the likes of bit.ly!
You'll have the ability to customize your theme and overall website branding and framework:
Again, Simplero is a proper replacement to a hosted solution you might be already using like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix,...
Checkout and pricing options
The way you'll set up an offer in Simplero is by creating a Product to which you will attach pricing and your courses.
This is also where you'll add upsells/downsells (only available in the highest plan) to appear after the main product's purchase and bump orders.
The first thing to notice is the ability to set up membership levels. You've seen this before, if you have different tiers for your product, it can be a pain to upgrade someone and revoke access to the lower tier etc?.
But Simplero makes this easy with this tool that will seamlessly allow you to upsell/downsell people to a different tier!
But back to the Product, Simplero allow for very flexible pricing, including: one off, subscriptions, payment plans, pay what you want:
These different price options will then appear on the self-generated checkout page for each Product you create.
Here are some highlight about the checkout:
Simplero Affiliate system
Lastly, Simplero has an integrated affiliate system for you to create your own program.
What I really liked about it was the flexibility you'll have in terms of cookie - you can set the number of days for cookies lifetime - but also the attribution (first touch vs last touch), which isn't something you're able to usually change unless you're using an external and advanced cart!
You can even set up a 2-tiered affiliate system, meaning that if your affiliates recruit other affiliates that make a sale, they'll also get a portion of the commission (this isn't? reserved to pyramid schemes,...).
And if you're doing a big launch or event for example and plan to have prizes for your affiliates, you can even enable a Leaderboard!
Really cool stuff that again you wouldn't expect from an all-in-one.
Course & Member?s area
Let's take a look at what happens when someone is taking your course and how you can design the member's area.
This is to be honest something very neglected in general by all-in-one platforms. Apart from Kajabi, all of the other top tools in the industry allow for very few customization and theme for the inside of your course?
Simplero does a little better than average for a few reasons.
First, you'll be able to create a closed membership?s site, which only with separate pages only accessible to students, on top of the course content:
You can add different types of pages such as a private blog, a forum, a member's directory - really cool for your student to network with each other - and other content specific to this membership?s site.
You can then of course add a Course to this dedicated site, where you'll upload your video (hosted directly in Simplero through the media library previously mentioned) and other course content: Worksheet, PDF, audio,...
Note that you will only be able to design the course from the back-end, which will then populate things into the pre-made - and only - framework for the course:
Which doesn't look too bad but we would have appreciated options for different layout and themes for the course,...
I do really like some other features of the course builder that you can't find everywhere like the PDF stamping and download limit to protect your documents, or also the ability to drip a module based on a specific date, not just a drip from the day they joined,...
Lastly as already mentioned, I do really like the membership tier ability for people that don't want to compromise on this type of memberships or products.
Email Marketing Tools in Simplero
You have 3 types of emails in Simplero:
Email Broadcasts: the one-off emails you send to your list on a specific date.
Newsletter: the regular messages that can include a new blog post or weekly updates for example.
Automations: autoresponders triggered on specific action: optin, lead score,...
You're probably familiar with how email marketing works so I'll just review how Simplero compares.
First of all you're able to choose ?Done-For-You? Templates which are already made campaigns including different automations and emails. Really cool thing for beginners to start somewhere:
I really like the automations because they have a pretty simple but clean and visual builder, where you're able to add a range of step types, including - and this is NOT something you'll find in most all-in-ones - time delay and objective based automation:
You can also easily pause and resume these whenever you want!
Super useful when you're running a big campaign to your entire list for example and you don't want people to be bombarded by different campaigns running at the same time,...
The actual email design is limited but remains good enough.
You can't really add anything fancy but you'll create templates with your branding that you can re-use later.
You can also include text messages in your automations, but you'll have to pay extra money to send those?
Lastly another feature to notice is the ability to do A/B testing of subject lines for your campaigns!
Again, nothing extraordinary for this email marketing tool in Simplero but it does a great job and stands out from most other all-in-ones in my opinion!
And the last feature I wanted to review was something that simply doesn't exist in most other all-in-ones?
That's a full blown CRM system to better support and segment your prospect and students.
This includes a lead score, which will allow you to attribute points to a specific lead based on an action they took.
For example if some of your leads are very active throughout your funnel, you can add points to their profile for each of these important interactions and if they reach a certain score, and you deem them super hot leads, you can switch them to a more ?direct? to sale campaign for example.
The possibilities are endless and you really have the opportunity to offer a unique and customized experience to your leads and clients.
You can also enable a built-in ticketing system to handle prospect?s and student's requests, assign them to someone and answer directly on the platform!
Each membership?s site can also have a dedicated Knowledge Base to answer commonly asked questions and reduce the support needed?
This is truly an extraordinary touch for Simplero and I'm sure will make a lot of course creators pay attention to the platform!
User Experience: Is Simplero Easy To Use?
We've listed the great variety of features of Simplero and that does sometimes come with a price to pay on the User Experience side of things.
Overall I'd say Simplero is not super beginner-friendly but it's definitely intuitive. The amount of options and choices you have, although some might hypocritically say that's what they want, do make for an overwhelming setup for non-techies?
But I found the process still easy to follow and the system messages and descriptions to be both helpful and fun!
The other factor impacting positively the user experience for your students is also the great amount of customization available in Simplero, which allows you to influence the customer?s journey easily!
The overall UI is simple enough then, but nothing more! The back-end almost has a bit of old feel to it. Which isn't necessarily bad but matters as you're going to spend quite some time on it!
Affordability: How Much Is Simplero?
This is something that may look both confusing and off-putting to some.
The pricing in Simplero isn't as straightforward as what you may see with other all-in-one platforms:
Namely, the price will depend on your email list size!
On the one hand this is advantageous for smaller course creators that don't have a big list yet and don't want to pay as much as big lists? But for those with sizable audiences, the bill can get pricey!
Here?s an example for a 5k list:
A nice touch and incentive to invest for the yearly plan is that you will get a concierge service to help you with the migration from another platform(s).
Lastly, I want to make a note about the 1st plan (Build).
As you may have noticed, you can't actually publish courses and your sites on that plan,...
So although at first glance the price looks attractive, this is really only for those that want to test drive the platform a little longer than the 14 days free trial.
So really, the 2nd plan (Launch - starting at $83/mo) is the first real plan to have a fully functional all-in-one platform and that positions Simplero on the pricier end of the spectrum of the industry!
How is the Support & Community for Simplero?
Having been around for a while, Simplero has built a loyal base of customers. There is a sizable Facebook group of over 2.6k people where you can ask questions to other users/experts and the team:
On the support side, you'll be able to access an extensive and very useful Knowledge Base, or simply submit a ticket. The customer service tends to be very responsive!
Not much else to say on that end, overall support is very knowledgeable and satisfactory, we'll just deplore the lack of live chat which can be useful in some situations.
Our Overall Rate: 4
Community & Support Rating:
Simplero has been around for a while and for a good reason!
The variety of features and details to each of them is really impressive, even for an all-in-one.
The pricing is a bit surprising and might not make sense for all course creators. I think the people that it may cater best to would be someone who?s wanting to really create a unique experience with the membership site and also wanting to use the platform for selling offline products (events, physical)...
Or someone with a small list (for the cheaper price) that wants to get their feet wet with all-in-ones and not break the bank just yet.
In any case, the 14 free trial is interesting to try if you're on the fence!