Is CXL worth it?
CXL is pretty darn awesome.
Some content is slightly outdated, some of it is a drag. But other than that, I think the growth marketing minidegree and all-access pass is superb.
Hi, I’m Khushi Lunkad. I'm a growth marketer working for SaaS and Ecommerce companies. I discovered my passion for growth marketing in 2018. Since then, I have completed over 60 online courses on Coursera, Edx, DataCamp, Hubspot, Facebook Blueprint, Google Academy, Copyhackers, Chase Dimond, Foxwell, CTC etc.
It’s been 20 months since I completed CXL’s minidegree and so far, I’ve managed to work with the best minds in the world. People know what CXL is and what is stands for.
Review of ConversionXL’s growth marketing courses:
CXL’s beginner’s courses were more actionable than the advanced courses from Google Academy.
Their All-Access Pass is a little pricey and may be an opportunity cost for some.
Most of the teachers at CXL institute are good at both — their work and teaching.
Some (1–2) teachers are good at what they do but their teaching styles didn’t suit me.
Know the Certificate requirements before you sign up. CXL does not take the quality of their education lightly. And I compare this with 60+ courses, some worth $4000 and some completely free that I have taken. You need to get 90% of the questions right to pass and the questions are tricky.
But, it’s actually one of the best entry-level courses out there, no joke. The videos are incredibly well-edited and concise = 0% rambling. I’ve benefited greatly from the training at my job and consistently impress my colleagues by just applying the learnings.
Every video has a transcript that you can search. Most lessons come with downloadable slides, lots of templates and reading material. The instructors share everything that they’ve got without any hesitations.
But, this is what an instructor at CXL shared with me 😐
"CXL is very tactical. Some courses are also very beginner level. Some are good, of course. But I think overall Reforge is far more advanced." - An instructor at CXL
So, what should you do?
I don't really want to confuse you, but it is what the industry believes.
CXL is tactical. It will get you started in the field and you won't find a better starting library elsewhere.
Top experts in the industry, including the head of growth marketing at Loom and an EIR at Reforge, reviewed my resume. They noticed CXL and praised its credibility. Completing a 100-hour course shows hard work. So your efforts won't be in vain.
CXL is better than free courses and some paid courses
Here's what I regret:
I was on Peep’s mailing list for quite a while and I wish I had decided to take this course earlier on rather than taking free courses on Google with their analytics and adwords.
I didn’t store information properly in the initial days. But you can do better.
CXL is even better than paid courses like Growthschool. Boy was I pissed after spending $300.
Who is CXL not for?
CXL is probably not for you if you have no experience with marketing. A basic foundation in marketing is necessary to make the most out of the course.
If you’re a founder trying to learn marketing instead of hiring someone else, please don’t do that. CXL is too intense. Hire a marketer, a consultant, or even a mentor.
This course isn’t for you if you just want a certificate, even though you get one. This course is for you if you want to get ridiculously good at data-driven marketing.
If you’re not at all technologically savvy.
If you're too senior in your marketing career, and already know your way around most of the stuff.
If you checked any 2 of those 6 statements, please reconsider before investing your time and resources.
Other important details (I’m doing a brain-dump)
I think they also give you access to a Facebook group. CXL shifted between a circle.so community and a FB community; not sure if any of them are still active today. The FB community helped me back in 2020 but now I have over 10+ Slack channels to get help.
The growth marketing minidegree was amazing and we didn’t have a lifetime access deal like you have today.
The all-access may be in terms of optionality. But you can also have a decision paralysis with so many options, so know what works best for you.
Everything is pre-recorded. CXL also has personalized/live courses called Sprints if you prefer.
After every lesson in a course, the instructors give you an empty templates to refill based on your data. Super practical.
I honestly did not like a bunch of courses like this and this one. Some courses can be outdated even if you wouldn't expect it like this one so use your judgement! Although, I see a lot of fresh courses that weren't available when I took so that's nice.
Demand Curve’s Growth Marketing Training — Demand Curve is all text, no audio/video. CXL is audio/video/text/AMAs. Julian Shapiro’s content is really good but if you don’t have a startup, then you may not be able to extract the most out of Demand Curve’s training. [Edit: I took Demand Curve in early 2022, it's better for founders, not marketers. ]
Reforge — quite expensive at $2000/year but considered the best in the industry. They give you access to 22 programs but you need to apply and get accepted. [Edit: Fun fact, I got a scholarship on April 28, 2022]
Growth Hackers: Their courses are backed up by a popular personality in the growth marketing world — Sean Ellis. But the courses aren’t taught by him. They are taught by partners. CXL does have 1 course by Sean Ellis :)
Udemy: I haven’t personally ventured into this space because I found out that Udemy has a bare minimum instructor vetting system. If I have to try tens of instructors to find the right one, then it’s a waste of time.
CXL Scholarship — They have a scholarship program as well but you need to apply, get accepted and then write a 1000 word blog post each week. Edit Jan, 2023: Scholarship is no longer available but they launched another alternative which costs $100.
CXL course review by other nice people
Take a look at some real reviews posted.
Look, if you’ve made it this far, it only points to one thing — that you’re serious about your future.
CXL is one option to get started, and probably the easiest because of their 7-day trial. When you go through CXL's cancel flow, they'll offer you a 50% discount to stay. Make sure you take advantage of it and cut your costs in half.
Next, take some time to understand how the industry works. I have an article here.
If you want some course recommendations that aren't already on my course list, just ask me. I'm pretty resourceful as you'll see below. 😄
My recommendation is to start with CXL. They have a 7-day trial. You don't have to start the search process all over again. Maybe you’ll find the missing piece and use CXL as a stepping stone to a better future. Remember, CXL is not a magic bullet. The more you get into growth marketing, the more you'll realise what you don't know. CXL is the best way to get a step in the door. It's not the final step you'll take.
Can I download CXL courses for free? 🙈
CXL is tactical, which means their courses constantly need updating.
The problem with this is that you could download content that is already outdated. That'd be twice the amount of time you'd have to spend learning and re-learning.
If you're lacking budget, I'd recommend CXL's New Scholarship Program. It costs a one-time fee of $100 and then they help you get hired too (which may or may not work. I've tried recruiting once from their pool but I didn't hire anyone.)
If you want to take one or two courses, go for the $1 plan and skim through it.
CXL also puts a LOT of content on their blog which in my opinion covers most of their content, but it's a bit too much to read through. Blog's free.
You could force-download the content from their site using shady methods but it'll take longer to individually download the content than for you to consume it. Plus, you'll never watch it if it's downloaded on a hard drive that you have to keep plugging in to your laptop to watch. You won't have transcripts to read along the videos. The templates and files won't be easily accessible. You'll lose a lot of motivation along the way. It just won't be worth the effort if your time has literally any value but you could get access and download the content.
I'm not sure if CXL's free courses are good or not. Better to go for the best quality of education out there if time and money constraints can be easily sorted out.
About other minidegrees from CXL
CXL Analytics Minidegree
Content is outdated. They are still using UA instead of GA4 (as of July 4, 2023). Here's the feedback I received:
My experience with GA and GTM is that the industry is shifting to Mixpanel Marketing Analytics and Segment. GTM is so unintuitive that even my developers struggle to use it, so no wonder we'll do too.
CXL CRO Minidegree
If learning is the goal, this minidegree is great. Content won't ever be outdated. However, it doesn't teach you how to do in-product experiments and CRO is sort of owned by Product. You need to stitch marketing site data to product metrics like activation, retention, and engagement metrics, which I don't remember CXL teaching. It's still useful and is a good alternative to the $1500 growth.design course.
Liked this cxl course review?
First of all, thank you for reading my experience at CXL Institute!
I put in hours of effort into making the most comprehensive and honest review of CXL’s minidegrees. I’ll continue to improve it as time passes.
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Why I wrote this article and why I want to improve it further?
I wasn’t able to find any honest review of whether CXL Institute is good or not. Everything out there was unoriginal, useless or incomplete. Ever since completing the growth marketing mini-degree, I wanted to write a sincere review.