What is System.io
System.io is an online course creation platform that you might not have heard about before but has a lot to offer that might surprise you.
It’s considered a course hosting all-in-one platform because it allows course creators to not only market and sells 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 considered a cheaper ClickFunnels because, when you look closely, System.io resembles ClickFunnels a lot.
System.io first launched in French but made the platform accessible for the English-speaking market later on.
So, what can you do with System.io, and how does it compare to other all-in-one platforms? That is what we’ll cover in this review.
Feature: What Can You Do With System.io
The highlights of an all-in-one course platform are funnel/page building, checkout, email/automation, and course delivery. We'll break down all of this 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:
As you can see, System.io is a complete all-in-one! Now, let's break down the 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, like opt-in, thank you page, sales page, webinar registration, etc.
You will then be offered a choice of template that you're free to preview and choose, or you can just start from scratch if you want.
I always like it when you can start a new page from a proven template and pre-loaded designs, and the System.io ones are really good!
Each step of the funnel will have different automation options you can set up. For example, on a registration page, when someone registers, you can then tag them.
That is also where you can set up A/B testing and optimize your pages. You can pick a variant you want to test and a goal (eg: higher opt-in rate).
But let's look at the page builder and 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.
System.io has a proper front-end drag and drop page builder with different block types within sections.
The different types of blocks are rather basic, like text, columns, timer, form, button, video, etc.
But, it should be everything you need to create a well-designed and converting page.
I've found it to be relatively fast and free of any bugs or issues!
What I love about the page builder is that you also have block templates, so you can insert a pre-made section and just drop in your copy and adjust.
Pre-made templates are a huge time saver and take out the guesswork of building a page. Plus, not all all-in-one platforms have this on their page builder.
On top of that, you can also save your own block and re-use these custom designs elsewhere on the page or in any other funnel!
System.io has a few other things that make your life easier, like the simple, but oh-so-life-saving, undo/redo edit feature.
You can also create multiple pop-ups (exit and on-click) and edit the header and footer code at a page level.
Overall, although it’s not the most advanced page builder, I found System.io to have a great balance between easy and flexible with its page builder.
Finally, you'll have the ability to create (depending on your plan) evergreen webinars.
The way this works is by allowing users to pick a date and be sent to a webinar room, which is 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 set up.
Lastly, let’s cover a quick note on System.io’s blog.
With System.io, you can design a blog page and blog post templates just like you would on Kajabi. The only downside is that you can only create flat URLs for your blogs which are not ideal for SEO.
Checkout and Affiliate System
Although in most online course platforms you create an offer and set up pricing directly in the product's setting, System.io works differently.
The way you set all of this up will be directly in your funnel with the order form.
When setting up the pricing, you have a choice of multiple templates. You can have multiple pricing options on the same cart. And, this can be anything you want like one-payment, subscription, free and paid trial, or flexible payment plans.
All of this can be chosen based on the currency you are using for that funnel. In other words, you can create multiple funnels with different currencies.
You can select what resource you want to sell here, and this can be not only one of the online programs you're hosting on the platform but also 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 on their checkout, so System.io’s checkout is powerful.
This is also where you'll set up the affiliate commission (if you have one) that you want to payout for this offer and when.
Also, you can set affiliate commissions at the general level, along with payout time, minimum payout to transfer, and allow for Tier two affiliates.
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 with your audience and make a commission.
This acts as a substitute for Clickbanks and AffiliateZoo.
But, back to the checkout!
Within the page builder, you can create a two-step checkout where students enter their contact details and credit card information.
These pages are fully customizable and allow you to optimize anything you want to increase your conversion rate.
After you are finished setting up the checkout page for the main product in your funnel, you can choose what the next step will be. One option is to have upsells and down-sells.
These are one-click additional purchases your user can decide to add to their basket before completing their purchase.
You can create as many upsells and down-sells as you want in your System.io funnel and split test which one works best!
The System.io funnel is as advanced as something like ClickFunnels and should have all the tools you need.
This is rather impressive for an all-in-one course hosting platform, which generally are not as versatile.
Email & Automations
Another important feature of an all-in-one is the native email marketing tools and automation.
The first thing to note for System.io is that there is a contact list limit depending on your plan (see pricing), starting at 5,000 for the Startup package. If you have a sizeable audience, you need to be aware of your limit.
As for most of these systems, you can have two types of email campaigns including a one-off broadcast (like a newsletter) and autoresponder sequences (campaigns).
Unfortunately, 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 a shortcoming here compared to most competitors.
However, from the functionality point of view, all of the bells and whistles are available in System.io!
System.io has some impressive feats, especially when it comes to automation.
You can create basic automation rules and workflows that allow you to use a visual builder with more advanced automation and sequences like delay, paths, and smart filtering.
This is impressive because typically, these tools are only in dedicated marketing/CRM software like Active Campaigns, Getresponse, or Infusionsoft.
On top of that, you can set up a custom sender domain through Sendgrid to improve the deliverability of your campaigns.
Course and Product Design, Delivery & Learning Tools
System.io is mainly geared towards people selling digital products, but you can also use it to sell physical products.
You can set up a product, and you'll be able to add all of the different variations and attributes you want (eg: size, color, etc.).
Any products you set up, you can later add to your checkout. (See checkout further above).
Now, let’s take a deeper look at how System.io compares to other platforms when designing digital courses.
Overall, System.io is in the mid-range of performance for digital courses.
You can create modules and lectures in the back-end with a simple drag and drop menu, which will automatically populate the course main page. Each lecture can then be edited separately.
This is where you'll upload videos, text, and other assets you want to deliver, just like you would edit a page.
This is simple to use, but the overall design is a bit basic.
However, you can easily drop each lecture and customize the drip email for each. Unfortunately, though, you cannot schedule the release of a lecture on a specific date.
But, the main weaknesses of digital courses built on System.io in comparison to most other online course platforms are:
- First, there is no community feature. Although that's not a must for some course creators that can use a Facebook group, this is becoming increasingly important to create a proactive learning experience.
- Secondly, there is no quiz or assessment feature or way for students to upload a file and get graded. This can be limiting for some course creators that rely on assessments 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-one platform like System.io, then the UX is going to be important to you.
The back-end of System.io is well organized and easy to navigate.
On top of that, everything from the page builder to set up emails and automation is relatively fast, which is great as some funnel builders are notoriously slow
The few seconds of loading can add up, so System.io’s quick system is a bonus.
But, some of the features and menus are counter-intuitive and not designed for ease of use.
Also, the icons and assets used in the back-end look cheap: a small detail, but it just shows inattention to polishing up the edges. That is where its image for being a cheap Clickfunnels rings true.
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?
System.io is affordable, especially in comparison to pretty much any other platform out there with anywhere close to the same amount of features.
There is a reason why it's sometimes called the cheaper Clickfunnels.
System.io starts at $27/month, with all features included!
However, with the startup plan, you are 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 an affordable solution for course creators!
Plus, you can get started with a14 days free trial without putting in any credit card information.
How is the Support & Community for System.io?
System.io has great support with resources like a 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, which is why its community Facebook group is sizable, but in French.
There is an English-speaking Facebook group, but it's only about 1.8k users, 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 before, but System.io is an all-in-one kind of platform that really does have all of the bells and whistles necessary to market and sell digital products.
Plus, the affordable price tag 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 decide for yourself if System.io is right for you.