If you are looking for a platform to host your wellness business programs, courses and challenges, New Zenler might've come up. Keep reading to find out if you should be using this platform or if you should look at othr options.
What is New Zenler?
New Zenler is an all in one platform that allows you to host a website, email marketing, and courses all in one location. New Zenler has been in beta for a while and is still offering beta pricing. I am not an affiliate for New Zenler so my review is completely unbiased. I have used New Zenler with clients helping them set up group coaching programs, blog articles and website pages.
As with any all in one platform it offers everything you need, but not everything will have the funtionality that their standalone counterparts have. You’ll have to make sacrifices in your website, course platform and email marketing platforms to get the simplicity of an all in one platform.
New Zenler is currently much cheaper than its competitors like Kajabi and Kartra. And if you sign up now you’ll still get in on beta pricing. The price will continue to increase until they are ready for official release, but you can still lock in at the beta pricing.
When choosing any platform for your wellness programs, this should be your primary concern. Unfortunately I don't believe New Zenler offers a seamless client experience. The process for signing up for and using your programs and courses on New Zenler has some issues:
- The signup process can be confusing for new members. By default there are a few emails that go out, and creating the account and setting the password is not as smooth as many platforms
- The structure of New Zenler makes it impossible to link directly to a lesson in course emails, making it more difficult for clients if your program is long and complicated.
5 Things That Hurt Client Experience
In your online wellness programs
New Zenler’s website builder is easy to use and can produce professional looking websites. It uses a drag and drop editor which means you can quickly set up a website with it. If you are looking for a simple website, then New Zenler might be perfect for you. It also makes it easy to display your course offerings that are also on New Zenler. You can also have pages that are available only to logged in users or look different for logged in users. This makes it easy to customize the experience for your cold and warm audience.
Some things that are missing with the website builder:
- Menus are not customizable. You can make some changes to the menus, but you’ll likely need to use CSS for this.
- Contact form is not customizable. You might be able to use a different form to get the results you are looking for but this requires some work arounds
- Fewer options for content blocks than other website builders.
- Fewer options for changing the look and feel of your website. Some things that are standard with other website builders just don’t exist with New Zenler
New Zenler also offers a page builder that you can use to set up sales pages or landing pages for your free offers. They have a reasonable library of blocks and elements to create a nice looking sales or landing page. Because it’s all on one platform these integrate nicely with the courses you are offering.
One issue I see with the page builder is that you can’t just copy a page, or have more than one page for the same product.
I have some good and bad things to say about the New Zenler course platform. New Zenler’s course platform is full featured and let’s you create a course that includes video, pdfs, text, and downloads. You can also include quizzes, a community and live videos. But keep reading to discover what I don’t like about it.
It lacks flexibility. You can create time or date drip courses but you if you try to switch from one to the other, you lose the emails created. So say you want to run a course or challenge live and then switch it to evergreen, you’ll have to recreate all the associated emails.
Each lesson can only have one email, so you’ll have to create a new lesson in order to send out more emails.
There are no options to change the course layout which limits it’s use for non course digital products.
Like the email editor, the course page editor lacks templates that would make it easy to use. And adding content is clunky and difficult.
New Zenler’s email marketing platform is not ready for prime time. They don’t allow the creation of email templates which makes each email you create a difficult and time consuming process.
The only ways to create email automations are from within courses or as part of a funnel. But even these automations are simplistic and don’t allow even basic automation functions that most email marketing platforms allow.
New Zenler has a community feature that you can use within courses, or outside of courses. It is fairly simple, but usable alternative to having a Facebook group for your programs. And it allows the convenience of having the community right on the course platform making engagement more likely.
New Zenler allows you to host video directly on the platform. You can also use it for live video which would eliminate the need for a platform like Zoom. Live video is available within courses or as standalone webinars you can sell.
If you have a large team or even a little bit of help, you’ll appreciate the different roles that New Zenler has available. For the backend you can set roles as Site Admin, Instructor, Assistant and Support in addition to the Owner role.
The only issue I have with roles is that only the owner has access to integrations. This makes sense for payment integrations but less so for email integrations. If you want a VA to set up the email integration they’ll need your owner login details.
The blog platform is usable, but lacks some key features. There is no option to schedule the publishing on a blog post. Formatting also seems to be a little challenging to use.
This is an area that New Zenler is definitely lacking. There doesn’t seem to be much for reporting from either the email, website or student side.
Because New Zenler is an all in one platform it doesn’t have as many integrations as some course platforms. It does integrate with several email service providers and with Stripe and PayPal. At least with MailerLite the email integration is missing some key aspects. New subscribers can be added to MailerLite, but tagging based on what course they are in is difficult.
Integrations with social media platforms is also difficult. Unlike WordPress, there are no plugins for showing social share counts or adding Pin it buttons to your images.
New Zenler has extensive tutorials which is good when you are starting. But when you want to find an answer to a simple question they don’t work very well. The information is there, but you’ll have to sit through a 20 minute video to find out how to do a simple thing.
New Zenler has very good support. They are quick to respond when there are issues and their Facebook group is an excellent source of information and help from other users.
Since New Zenler is in Beta there are some issues with it. Of course that means you can get it for a lower price.
But it means you’ll have to wait for the features you want, and they might never appear. They don’t seem to have a very quick development cycle so the wait might be longer than you are prepared for. The lack of some features makes your course set up time longer and more frustrating.
Is it worth it
At the time of this writing New Zenler can be locked in at $647 per year which is a steal compared to platforms like Kajabi and Kartra. Since it’s still in beta, you can assume that many of the issues that exist right now will be fixed.
Using multiple platforms to do the same job will likely result in a more customized and possibly better user experience. In it’s current state New Zenler will likely take you longer to set up than using multiple platforms which are easier to use. It takes me approximately twice as long to set up a course with New Zenler than it does using a combination of MemberVault, MailerLite and Muse (a video hosting platform). Other things like creating emails and adding website functionality also take more time and more messing around to make it work the way you want.
However since MemberVault and Thinkific increased their prices, New Zenler has become one of the most cost effective course platforms around. But keep in mind that lack of integrations make it difficult, but not impossible to use only for courses.
You would expect that an all in one platform would be able to be set up without requiring coding or other technical knowledge. But in fact, due to the lack of flexibility of many pieces of New Zenler, particularly when it comes to the website platform, you might need to add code to make things work the way you want.
But compared to many other all in one platforms New Zenler is a good choice.
If you are looking for an all in one platform and are willing to put up with the issues of a platform still in beta, then New Zenler is a good choice. But be prepared for some growing pains and for the potential that you’ll outgrow the platform. Also make sure you weigh the less than perfect client experience and extra time needed for much of the setup against the savings