What is System.io
System.io is one of the platforms that you might not have heard about before but that will surprise most.
It belongs to the course hosting all-in-one category and allows course creators to both market and sell their digital products with a funnel builder, checkout integration and email marketing system; but also to design and create the course.
The platform was created in 2016 and might be called a cheaper ClickFunnels because it resembles it a lot when you look at it closely?
The company launched to the French market initially but made the platform accessible for the much bigger english-speaking market later on and is now taking a bigger piece of the cake in the space.
So, what can you do with it and how does it compare to other all-in-one platforms?
Feature: What Can You Do With System.io
The highlight of an all-in-one course platform are Funnel/Page Building, Checkout, Email/Automations and Course Delivery - which is what we'll break down here to see how System.io compares to other popular platforms in this category
First let's take a look at the full list of features for System.io:
A very complete all-in-one as you can see! Ok now let's break down these major features:
As mentioned before, System.io looks a LOT like Clickfunnels and it shows particularly for the funnel builder!
After creating a funnel you'll add different steps in your funnel depending on what you're planning on: optin, thank you page, sales page, webinar registration,...
You'll then be offered a choice of template that you're free to preview and choose, or just start from scratch if you want.
I always like when you have the ability to start a new page from a proven template and pre-loaded designs, System.io ones are really good!
Each steps of the funnel will have different Automations you can setup. For example on a registration page, When someone registers Then Tag them.
This is also where you can setup A/B testing and optimize your pages. You'll pick a variant you want to test and a goal (eg: higher optin rate) and start the experience
But let's get inside the page builder to see what you can do there!
I'll say it again, if you've ever seen what Clickfunnel's page builder looks like, you'll feel at home!
This is a proper front-end drag & drop page builder with different block types within sections
The different types of blocks are rather basic: text, columns, timer, form, button, video,...
But it should be everything you need to create a greatly designed and converting page.
I've found it to be relatively fast and free of any bugs or annoying drag and drop issues!
A few things I love about it:
One is that you also have Block templates, so you can insert pre-made section and just drop your copy and adjust
Again this is such a huge time saver and takes some of the guess-work with building a page out of the equation. I feel compelled to mention it because not all all-in-one platforms have this for their page builder.
On top of that, you can also save your own block and re-use these custom design elsewhere on the page or in any other funnel!
And then a few other more things that make your life easier, like the simply - but oh-so-life-saving - Undo/Redo edit feature.
You can also create multiple popups (exit and on-click) and edit the header and footer code at a page level
Overall, although not the most advanced page page builder, I found System.io to have struck a great balance between easy and flexible with this feature.
One last mention about the funnel builder, you'll have the ability to create (depending on your plan) evergreen webinars.
Now essentially the way this will work is by allowing users to pick a date and be sent to a webinar room - essentially a pre-recorded video.
This is something you can achieve with most platforms and is not as feature-rich as a proper webinar platform (eg: Everwebinar, Demio,...) but System.io does make it easy to setup.
Lastly a quick note on the Blog function.
You'll be able to design a blog page and blog posts templates just like you would on Kajabi for example.
The only downside here is that you'll only be able to create flat URLs for your blogs which isn't ideal SEO.
Checkout and Affiliate System
Although in most online course platforms you'll create an offer and setup pricing directly in the product's setting, System.io works differently.
The way you'll set all of this up will be directly in your funnel with the Order form step.
Here again you'll have a choice of multiple templates
You can have multiple pricing options of all kinds on the same cart. And this can be anything you want: one-payment, subscription, free and paid trial, flexible payment plans
All of which can be chosen based on the currency you've chosen for that funnel (read: you can create multiple funnels with different currency)
You'll select what resource you want to sell here, and this can of course be one fo the online programs you're hosting on the platform, but System.io allows you to also easily sell physical products and digital downloads without forcing the customer to create an account or receive confusing emails!
It doesn't sound like much but most online course platforms aren't that flexible with what you can sell with their checkout and the delivery of the product.
This is also where you'll set up the affiliate commision (if any) you want to payout for this offer and when.
Also this is also something you can set at the general level, along with payout time, minimum payout to transfer and allowing Tier 2 affiliates.
You'll also be happy to hear that System.io has its own affiliate marketplace where you can easily create an offer for other affiliates to promote your product or for you to find something valuable to share to your audience and make a commission:
This act as a substitute to Clickbanks and AffiliateZoo
But back inside the checkout!
Within the page builder you'll be able to create a 2-step checkout where enter their contact details first before the CC fields, but also adding an order bump:
These pages are fully customizable and allow you to optimize anything you want to increase conversion rate.
After you're finished setting up the checkout page for the main product in your funnel, you can choose what the next step will be, and one option is to have upsells/downsells.
These are one-click additional purchases your user can decide to add to their basket before completing their purchase.
You can create as many upsell and downsell as you want in your System.io funnel and split test which one works best!
Again the funnel part is as advanced as something like ClickFunnels and should have all the tools you need.
This is rather impressive for an all-in-one, which tends to not be as versatile for most of this.
Email & Automations
Moving one to another important feature of an all-in-one which is the email marketing tools and automation available natively.
The first thing to note here for System.io is that there is a contact list limit depending on your plan (see pricing), starting at 5,0000 for the Startup package - which is something to be aware of if you have a sizable audience.
As for most of these systems, you'll be able 2 types of email campaigns: one-off broadcast (Newsletter) and autoresponder sequences (Campaigns).
Unfortunately as you can see above, the design capabilities for these are rather limited. We would have liked a bit more flexibility for building these and System.io shows a bit of shortcomings here compared to most competitors?
That being said on the functionality point of view, all of the bells and whistles are there!
Especially when it comes to Automation with some seriously impressive feats.
You will be able to create some basic and simple Automation rules of course
But also Workflows which allow for a cool visual builder of more advanced automation and sequences with delay, paths and smart filtering:
This is impressive because we're used to finding these only in dedicated marketing/CRM softwares like Active Campaigns, Getresponse or Infusionsoft!
On top of that you can also set up your own sender custom domain through Sendgrid to improve the deliverability of your campaigns.
Course and Product Design, Delivery & Learning Tools
System.io is mainly geared for people selling digital products but as mentioned before it can also be used to sell physical ones.
So just to touch quickly on that first: you'll do so by setting up a Product, in which you'll be able to add all of the different variations and attributes you want (eg: size, color, etc.)
This is what you will later add to your checkout for people to choose from at the cart level. (see checkout further above).
That being said, let's now take a deeper look at how System.io compares when it comes to designing digital courses.
Overall let's say that System.io is in the mid-range of performance for that feature.
You'll create module and lectures in the back-end with a simple drag and drop
Which will automatically populate the course main page. Then each lecture can be edited separately and this is where you'll upload videos, text and other assets you want to deliver - pretty much like you would edit a page.
Which is great in a sense but the overall design still feels a little basic.
A good thing is that you can easily drop each lecture and customize the drip email for each. You won't be able to schedule the release of a lecture however to be published on a specific date.
But the 2 biggest weaknesses of the digital courses built in System.io in comparison to most other online course platforms are these:
First, there is simply no community feature. Although that's not a must for some course creators that are ok putting everyone into a Facebook group, this is becoming increasingly important to create a proactive learning experience.
Secondly, There is no quiz or assessment feature or any way for students to upload a file and get graded.
This again can be limiting for some course creators that rely on this to help their students progress through the course.
User Experience: Is System.io Easy To Use?
If you're going to have everything in one place, which is the appeal of an all-in-on platform like System.io, then the UX is going to be important to you!
The back-end of System.io is pretty well organized and easy to navigate:
On top of that everything from the page builder to setting up emails and automations is relatively fast, which is a great thing to emphasize as some funnel builders are notoriously slow.
The few seconds of loading can add up so System.io is doing great here.
But some of the features and menus are a little counter-intuitive and not greatly designed for ease of use
Also, the icons and assets used in the back-end look a little cheap, small details but it just shows a small inattention to polishing up the edges.
This is where its image for being a cheap Clickfunnels backfires a little:
Overall, System.io is still not a complex platform that?ll take a big learning curve to start using right away!
Affordability: How Much Is System.io?
This is maybe the best surprise about this all-in-one. System.io is very affordable, especially in comparison to pretty much any other platform out there with anywhere close that many features.
There is a reason why it's sometime called the cheaper Clickfunnels
An all-in-one starting at $27/month all features included is a bit of a never of before!
Do keep in mind that with that Startup plan you will be limited to 5,000 contacts and you won't be able to use your own custom domain or do any A/B testing.
But even with the mid plan at $47/mo, this is still a very affordable solution for course creators!
There is a 14 days free trial with no credit card needed to get started.
How is the Support & Community for System.io?
Support for relatively new platforms is very important.
System.io made sure to put a great emphasis on their support with a really great knowledge bank and a library of courses for new users to peruse
You can also submit a ticket but no live chat is available...
As mentioned before, System.io launched to the French market first before anything, which is also why it's main Facebook group where you'd meet fellow users is sizable but in French:
There is an english speaking group but it's only about 1.8k users, so about 10x smaller than the French one.
Our Overall Rate: 4.5
Community & Support Rating:
System.io is a real diamond in the rough!
You may not have heard of it as much as it should before but this is a Clickfunnels meet all-in-one kind of platform that really does have all of the bells and whistles necessary to market and sell digital products.
And the very affordable price tag also is a huge upside, especially for new course creators that want it all without a big upfront investment.
You can start your free 14 days trial today and make up your own mind.