I love to test out new software. I’m a perpetual shiny object chaser. #guilty
But I consider it my duty to you to try everything out so you know which tool is the absolute best to use for your business (and which to stay far away from).
So, I’ve taken the long hours of signing up for new accounts, poking around, forgetting to cancel before you get charged (oops), etc… off your plate and put it onto mine.
First, let’s break down the 6 tools I needed to run the online course / digital product side of my business:
- Sales/Landing Page Builder
- Shopping Cart
- Course Hosting
- Countdown Timers
- Email Software
Your list might look a little different, but that’s the jist of the different tools I needed for my business.
Next, it’s important to know that my 2019 word of the year is Intentional, and right alongside that is Simplify, which included simplifying the tools I’m using to run my business.
So, after tons of research (more than I care to admit) and testing all of the different options, here’s what I’m using for my business in 2019…
SALES/LANDING PAGE BUILDER
WordPress with the Elementor Plugin
In the past I was using ClickFunnels for my landing and sales pages, and I loved it. But with my intention of simplifying this year, I asked myself how well was I actually using the tool, and the truth was – not good enough. I also started to feel like no matter how much you customized your ClickFunnels page, you could still tell it was a ClickFunnels page. Maybe that’s my designer eye speaking, but it drove me crazy.
So, I decided that I wanted to keep my landing and sales pages on my own site and use the same tool I use for my clients to build custom pages, Elementor Pro. (They also have a free version, but for only $49/year, the Pro version is 100% worth it.)
Why I love it: 2 words… Lifetime Access. I hate monthly fees, so I’m the type of person who will go all in on the annual fee or choose software that offers a lifetime option. Beyond that amazing feature, it also includes everything you need in a shopping cart. More importantly (for me), it integrates with my email marketing software (ConvertKit) and my course hosting platform (Teachable). It also has the capability of offer order bumps and upsells, which is always a nice feature to have in a shopping cart.
Ultimately, I chose ThriveCart because of the feature to be able to do embedded checkout forms and pop-up order forms, alongside its standard checkout pages. In the very near future, I’m going to be re-opening my template pack shop, and I wanted to be able to use the same shopping cart for that, so this feature allows me to place an embedded checkout form directly on my site so customers don’t have to leave my site.
This is the one tool that I had a hard time deciding on. I almost went with Kajabi but ultimately decided that it was too robust for what I needed, and I actually prefer to use tools that specialize in one thing. What I’ve found is that the all-in-one tools lack some features that I think are crucial to the tool itself. So ultimately, I chose Teachable because of it’s direct integration with my shopping cart (ThriveCart) and email software (ConvertKit).
I have the option of building my own custom membership site, but what I’ve found is that it’s usually more headache than it’s worth. I don’t want to deal with password issues, access issues, etc, so I chose to host my courses and products through a hosted course platform so they can handle those tech issues for me.
I chose EasyWebinar because of 1) the price, 2) the ability to run automated webinars and 3) the interface (aka – it looked pretty). You can also run live webinars and then turn them into automated webinars with 1-click.
Another solid option is Demio, which I equally love. It’s just a bit more for the annual plan.
If you are using the Elementor page builder for WordPress, then you can upgrade to Pro for only $49 (for 1 year of support and updates) and get access to the countdown timer widget. It works for both date-based and evergreen timers (tracks when someone first opens a page and then starts the countdown from there).
If you need something more robust, then I always recommend Deadline Funnel.
For email countdown timers, I love MotionMail.
I’ve been using ConvertKit for almost 3 years now, with no plans on changing. I moved to CK from Infusionsoft and it was the best business decision I’ve ever made. It was built for exactly what I need and integrates with basically everything you need it to.
Did this list help? Share in the comments below 👇 if you’re planning on trying out some of these tools for your own business!