In-Depth Comparison

Olivier Rousseau
4 November 2023 2 min read

We take a close look at JackRabbit vs. IClassPro vs. Activity Messenger, explain the key differences, and ask: How can you simplify and streamline your online registration & class management?

Choosing the right class management software can make or break your business.

The right solution will save you and your team hours with customizable & intuitive workflows that fit your needs. The wrong solution can limit your ability to grow with endless workarounds to make things work.

In this article, we’ll compare three popular platforms: JackRabbit, IClassPro, and Activity Messenger, focusing on their features, ease of use, and how they can benefit your business.


DISCLAIMER: Activity Messenger is our product. We created it because we struggled for years with the shortcomings of existing online registration software and believe that most class management software is broken.


In this article, we’ll discuss:

3 critical things to consider before choosing (or changing) your registration platform
Pros of JackRabbit
Pros of IClassPro
Pros of Activity Messenger

Why a modern registration platform might be best for your organization

Actual marketing tools
No account creation required
Fully integrate with your website
Simplifies the registration process (especially on mobile)
Replace other tools (Looking at you Mailchimp, SurveyMonkey & Eventbrite)
Personalized & effective communication tools
Bonus: Kids party Workflow


Simply looking to get started with a form building-tool?
How to create a Dance registration form
How to create a Gymnastics registration form
How to create swim lesson registration form


3 things to consider before selecting (or changing) your registration platform

When choosing or switching your registration platform, there are 3 critical factors to consider to ensure it meets your business needs.

1) Simplify your enrollment process (especially on mobile)

Scrolling through endless class options on a tiny mobile screen is no fun. It’s like a maze with no cheese at the end. We’ve seen people just give up and walk away (aka lost revenue).

Yet most online registration platforms still present your customers with an endless list of all your classes.

They were designed for a time when everyone registered from their desktop.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

With modern class management software, you can give your customers a personalized experience, just as you would if they were registering over the phone.

📌 Pro Tip: When designing a registration path, we always consider the questions a client would ask if they were registering over the phone and then recreate that flow as the registration process

2) How many extra tools will you need?

I’ve been where you are—jumping between apps, losing track of data, and wasting valuable time. That’s why we created Activity Messenger. It’s more than just a registration platform; it’s your all-in-one toolkit for running your business smoothly.

We’re not just about replacing Mailchimp, SurveyMonkey, Eventbrite, and SmartWaiver. Our clients rave about being able to see everything—from registrations to waivers to email blasts—in one unified dashboard. It’s like having a command center for your business without the hefty price tag.

Jackrabbit and IclassPro also understand the importance of these other tools. In fact, they both wrote a blog article (article 2) about it. But they expect you to pay extra, learn another tool (SurveyMonkey) and not have everything in the same place.

📌 Pro Tip: Moving from MailChimp to Activity Messenger allowed our kids sports business to improve our marketing efforts by sending outreach based on participants registration status.


3) Ability to create custom workflows (take you out of the equation)

You deserve a registration platform that actually allows you to get back to doing what you love.

No more broken promises.

Activity Messenger helps you translate your business rules into scalable workflows.

So you can make sure your customers get the right information at the right time, while freeing up your time.

It’s like having an extra employee to automate all those repetitive tasks that no one has time to do.


📌 Pro Tip: When designing workflows, include all the touch points (sms or email) needed yo improve your clients experience. A well-drafted workflow allows you to automate communications at the right time based on registrations, party booking, free trials etc.

Pros of JackRabbit

JackRabbit built great platforms for dance studios, gymnastics clubs and swim schools to manage their businesses and they just might be the perfect solution for you.

Online Class Registration

With Jackrabbit, clients can browse classes, check availability, and sign up—by creating an account in their parent portal that is linked to your website. They remove manual offline registration from your operations and put everything online.

Billing & Payments

With Jackrabbit, automated tuition fee posting and payment processing are built-in functionalities that aim to minimize time spent and maximize revenue collected.

Reporting Features

Jackrabbit provides comprehensive financial reporting and enrollment KPIs, enabling you to make data-informed business decisions about class popularity and revenue-generating programs

Class Management

Jackrabbit includes a dynamic calendar and various other features designed to streamline the process of creating class schedules and managing class enrollments.

Staff Management

Jackrabbit features a Time Clock designed to eliminate the need for paper time sheets and manual payroll processing, thereby ensuring accurate and timely staff payments

Pros of IClassPro

IClassPro built a great platform that helps businesses spend less time running a gym, swim, dance or cheer business and get back to coaching. Here are a few pros of the platform.

Online Class Registration

IClasspro’s Customer Portal will give your customers access to easy class booking, account updates, payments, school news and much more! Simplify the process with easy sign-up and auto-charge scheduling.

Billing & Payments

They offer a payment processing solution that is easy to understand, affordable and secure, and will help you process payments efficiently so you can better manage your business.

Class Management

You can book & manage private lessons, 1-on-1 coaching sessions, evaluations and semi-private lessons.

Staff Management

You can record your team’s time with a simple one-punch system.

Pros of Activity Messenger

Activity Messenger is not just another online registration software. While it offers all of the same features as JackRabbit & IClassPro, it helps you simplify, streamline and automate all your processes.

Online Class Registration

Activity Messenger takes it a step further by offering a more intuitive and user-friendly interface. Our modern form builder replaces something as simple as Google Forms or as complex as full-class management software. Plus, we fully integrate with your favorite tools like Canva and Stripe, making the registration process not just easy but also engaging.

Billing & Payments

Offers seamless integration with Stripe for secure and efficient payment processing. Our platform is designed to simplify your organization’s financial workflows. You’re not just collecting payments; you’re building a streamlined financial ecosystem.

Reporting Features

Activity Messenger provides comprehensive analytics and reporting features that go beyond just numbers. We help you understand your audience better, from class popularity to customer engagement, aiding you in making data-informed decisions that can genuinely impact your business.

Class Management

Our class management features are built with real-world operational experience. We offer a more flexible and customizable class management system that can adapt to your specific needs, whether you’re a dance studio, a swim school, or a martial arts dojo.

Staff Management

Forget about paper time sheets; our platform offers a more robust and secure staff management system. We can integrate with your existing payroll services or function as a standalone solution, ensuring your staff is paid accurately and on time, every time.

Why a modern registration platform might be best for your organization

1. Actual marketing tools

Unlike class management tools that offer rudimentary marketing features, Activity Messenger integrates robust marketing tools that rival standalone services like Mailchimp or Constant Contact. From stunning newsletters to tailored email campaigns, we’ve got you covered.

Drip Campaigns

Forget static, one-off communications. Our drip campaigns allow you to send a series of automated emails to your customers at predetermined times or based on specific actions. This type of ongoing engagement not only keeps your brand top of mind, but also fosters a deeper connection with your community.

Canva Integration

Activity Messenger’s integration with Canva allows you to effortlessly create visually stunning emails, surveys, and forms right from within the platform. This seamless connection allows you to elevate your communications and online registrations while staying on brand.

Free trial automation

With Activity Messenger as your platform, your gymnastics club or dance studio can easily set up a free trial flow, complete with automated reminders and brand-specific forms. This allows you to not only attract new members but also keep them engaged and ultimately convert them to paying members.

Event Ticket Sales

Activity Messenger offers specialized event ticketing features that make it a breeze for you to manage events, from recitals to competitions. With real-time availability updates, scannable QR codes and automated pre and post event reminders, you can provide a seamless and professional experience for your attendees.


Why we built this (read on review sites from dance, gymnastics and swim club owners)

  • The marketing or availability to keep in contact with the current members is not easy to do and costs more money if you want the marketing portion.
  • Would like to have the ability to stay more brand specific
  • Email function could be improved by allowing user to input a picture/document into the body of an email, not just as an attachment

2. No Account Creation Required

So, the million-dollar question: Should we require our clients to create accounts on a portal when they first register? In my experience, the short answer is a resounding no. Let’s look at the reasons why.

Don’t scare potential clients away

New customers are like gold, especially for small businesses. A complicated sign-up process is often the fastest way to turn that gold into dust. You have a limited amount of time to capture a customer’s interest. If you bog them down with a complicated and lengthy account creation process, the chances of them leaving will skyrocket.

Convenience is key

The fewer steps, the better. The main goal should always be to convert interest into action as quickly as possible. By allowing them to enroll in a class with just a few clicks, you’re simplifying their lives and making the decision to join your class much easier.

Occasional Users: Make Life Easy for Them, Too

Let’s not forget about the people who are just testing the waters or coming in for the occasional class. They don’t need a long-term commitment like an account. By forcing them to create one, you’re adding an unnecessary layer of commitment that they may not be ready for. They might think, “I’m only here for a class or two; why the account?” Make it easy for them to say “yes” to your service, even if they’re not frequent flyers.


Why we built this (read on review sites from dance, gymnastics and swim club owners)

  • I feel like we lose people because they don’t want to waste time and “create an account”
  • There’s no easy way to have drop-in clients. All visitors must go through the cumbersome parent portal to create an account
  • No events sign-up or events calendar where people can just click and sign up for single events without creating an account

3. Fully Integrates with Your Website

Unlike other platforms that require linking to external registration pages, Activity Messenger integrates directly into your website (never requiring people to be sent to our platform). This provides a consistent user experience and maintains your branding throughout the registration process. That’s where it makes a difference:

Brand Consistency

First and foremost, hosting your online registration on your own website ensures brand consistency. When prospects or members land on your site, they’re immersed in your brand’s colors, logos, and overall feel.

Keeping the registration process on your own site allows you to maintain that cohesive brand identity from the first click to the final confirmation.

Streamlined User Experience

Another important consideration is the user experience. Navigating away from your site to complete a registration can be confusing for users, especially if the third-party site has a different look and feel.

This can lead to a disjointed registration flow, causing potential customers to drop out of the process due to confusion or distrust. By keeping registration on your own site, you can create a streamlined, intuitive user journey that guides visitors from interest to enrollment.

Lower Dropout Rates

Finally, the more steps and redirects involved in a process, the more likely people are to drop out. Every additional click or page load is an opportunity for potential customers to reconsider or become frustrated with the process.


Why we built this (read on review sites from dance, gymnastics and swim club owners)

  • It doesn’t work very well on a mobile browser, so I would stick with a computer if you are using this product.
  • I would prefer to use html and have parents book directly from my website instead of being directed to the parent portal
  • The parent portal can be very glitchy

4. Simplified Registration (Especially on Mobile)

Your customers are now most likely to discover your classes and events while scrolling through their phones. That’s why we’ve been obsessively focused on making the registration process as easy as possible, especially on mobile devices.

Our forms are designed to load quickly and render beautifully on smaller screens, with easy-to-tap buttons and a seamless, step-by-step flow. Even complex actions like digital signatures are a snap.

The result? A smooth registration experience that your customers can complete while waiting in line for coffee or sitting on the couch.

Mobile-Friendly Experience

Navigating a clunky, unresponsive interface on a small screen is a surefire way to lose potential registrants. A streamlined, mobile-optimized process ensures that users can complete their registration quickly and efficiently, regardless of the device they’re using.

Simplified Class Selection

Another important consideration is the ease of class selection. Presenting users with an endless list of classes can be overwhelming and counterproductive. A well-designed enrollment system should allow for easy filtering and searching so that users can quickly find the classes that are most relevant to them.

The faster and easier it is for potential members to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to complete the enrollment process.

Fully Customizable Registration Process

No two organizations are alike. What works for a swim school may not work for a dance studio. That’s why we built fully customizable registration forms into Activity Messenger. You can tailor every field, question, and even the layout to fit your specific needs.

Unlike rigid, cookie-cutter forms that force you to adapt, our flexible registration forms are designed to adapt to you.



Why we built this (read on review sites from dance, gymnastics and swim club owners)

  • It can be hard for parents – not always user-friendly on their end. I do a lot of helping customers..
  • Also, the account creation doesn’t have customizable fields where you can choose the information you want from customers
  • What I like least is that the registration form cannot be changed to meet some of my needs.

6. Replace other tools

You may find yourself juggling multiple platforms to manage different aspects of your organization. Mailchimp for email marketing, Survey Monkey for feedback, Eventbrite for event registration, and Jotform for custom forms – it’s not only overwhelming, it’s inefficient.

Activity Messenger is designed to be the Swiss Army knife for your administrative needs.

How Activity Messenger replaces Mailchimp

Unlike Mailchimp, which is primarily an email marketing platform, Activity Messenger provides a holistic approach to managing communications with participants.

Activity Messenger goes beyond Mailchimp’s email marketing capabilities by offering customized solutions for sports and recreation organizations. With our platform, you can not only send beautiful newsletters, but also send personalized emails to specific lists, automate start and end of session reminders and send SMS to participants when you need to cancel a class.

How Activity Messenger replaces SurveyMonkey

Activity Messenger replaces SurveyMonkey with automated, targeted surveys designed specifically for gymnastics, swim and cheer clubs. Our platform streamlines and automates the feedback collection process, making it easier and more efficient for you to gather insights.

How Activity Messenger replaces Tututix or EventBrite

Activity Messenger is also an alternative to Tututix by automating ticket sales and event communications. Our platform streamlines the entire process, from selling tickets to scanning at the door and even automating event updates, all in one place.

How Activity Messenger replaces SmartWaiver

Activity Messenger is an alternative to SmartWaiver. You can convert your existing waiver into a customizable waiver with digital signatures and include it in your registration process. But unlike IclassPro and JackRabbit, you can have people sign digital waivers without the friction of having people create an account just to sign a waiver.


Why we built this (read on review sites from dance, gymnastics and swim club owners)

  • We are paying for Smart Waiver to get waivers on students that are not in classes.
  • I wish the camp functionality was more user friendly like including waivers for parents to fill out
  • Our company has needs that have to be met elsewhere that I wish were included in our monthly package.

7. Automation Everywhere

Imagine if you could delegate those time-consuming administrative tasks – like collecting waiver signatures, prompting membership renewals, distributing surveys, and sending reminders – to a reliable, efficient team member.

That’s where Activity Messenger comes in, acting as your virtual assistant. It’s like adding an extra set of hands to your team without the extra payroll.

With just a few clicks:


It’s about eliminating the mundane, the repetitive, and the tasks that eat up your day while adding value to your customer’s experience through better communication.

You do less, & your customer experience improves.

Read more: 4 automated tasks every organization needs


Why we built this (read on review sites from dance, gymnastics and swim club owners)

  • There are lots of steps to doing things. You have to do a lot of clicking.
  • Auto payments aren’t truly automatic
  • Needs more automation for repetitive tasks

8. Personalized & effective communication tools

In the digital age, where inboxes are cluttered and attention is scarce, personalizing your communications can be the key to standing out.

With Activity Messenger, you can set up personalized SMS/email reminders that resonate with each participant.

The platform gives you the flexibility to schedule these reminders to be sent at the perfect time – two days or a few hours before your event – for maximum impact and participation.

But it’s the personal touch that really makes the difference. Using placeholders or mail merges within Activity Messenger, you can tailor each message to feel like it was created individually.

Imagine a text message that greets your participants by name, recognizes the specific event they’re attending and even references the date, making it not just a reminder, but a personal nudge from someone who cares about their experience.

For studio owners, the power of a personalized text message is undeniable. It’s more intimate than an email, and when a participant sees their name-or better yet, their child’s name-it creates an instant connection.

It’s not just a broadcast; it’s a conversation.

This level of personalization doesn’t just capture attention; it fosters a relationship and makes each participant feel seen and valued.



Why we built this (read on review sites from dance, gymnastics and swim club owners)

  • Mass text messages can’t be sent from the ‘classes’ page
  • I was looking for something that would increase communication with our families, but this system made it worse.
  • We would like to have the ability to customize our emails

Bonus: Kids Party Workflow

Children’s birthday parties represent a lucrative opportunity for dance studios, gymnastics clubs and children’s activity centers to increase revenue, foot traffic and brand awareness.

However, the complexities of organizing such events, with their myriad of details such as staffing, contracts, waivers, and payments, often make them a logistical nightmare, discouraging many providers from offering these services.

Activity Messenger is emerging as a game-changing solution, offering an all-in-one platform that streamlines the entire party booking process.

It allows you to:

  • Automate marketing emails
  • Create customized party booking forms
  • Manage payments and digital waivers
  • Send customized invitations (Canva integration)

You’ll have access to a comprehensive suite of tools that can turn the daunting task of organizing children’s birthday parties into a streamlined, scalable, and profitable service.

All respect to IClassPro & JackRabbit

Icons in the industry, JackRabbit and IClassPro, have been instrumental in shaping the landscape we navigate today.

But if you’re here because you’re looking for iClassPro or JackRabbit alternatives, or evaluating Jackrabbit vs. iClassPro, then you’ve come to the right place to discover a more modern and adaptable solution for your gym, dance studio or swim school.

At Activity Messenger, we’re honored to take the baton from such giants and build on their legacy to bring you the future of registration platforms.

JackRabbit vs IClassPro vs Activity Messenger (In-Depth Comparison)

You’ve come here because you recognize that the uniqueness of your business is not reflected in the one-size-fits-all solutions of yesterday’s registration tools.

The uniqueness of your services demands a software solution that is equally adaptable.

Activity Messenger is designed to improve the customer experience, increase your revenue, and streamline your support needs. If this sounds like the upgrade your business needs, we invite you to book a demo and see the impact for yourself.

Written by Olivier Rousseau Olivier is a Sportball Franchise owner who has been operating for over 10 years with locations in Montreal, Quebec city & Ottawa while also coaching business owners as Sports Marketing Consultant.

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