Aweber vs Getresponse (2019) - A Detailed Comparison of Two Leading E-newsletter Creation Tools
Below you'll find an overview of their pricing, a discussion about their key features and a summary of why you might choose one over the other.
But first: what do Aweber and Getresponse actually do?
What do Aweber and Getresponse do?
Aweber and Getresponse are tools for hosting your mailing list, creating attractive email templates and sending e-newsletters out to your subscribers. They also allow you automate your communications to subscribers via ‘autoresponders’.
Autoresponders are used to provide subscribers with e-newsletters from you at pre-defined intervals: for example, immediately after they sign up, a subscriber might receive a simple welcome message from your business; a week later they could receive a discount voucher for some of your goods; three weeks later they could receive an encouragement to follow you on social media etc.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg though: e-newsletter tools like these allow you to do a lot of other funky stuff, which we discuss below.
Before that though, a quick look at pricing.
Getresponse pricing vs Aweber pricing
There are four Getresponse plans:
Basic — this starts at $15 per month, and allows you to send an unlimited number of emails to up to 1,000 subscribers
Plus — starting at $49 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers
Professional — starting at $99 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers
Enterprise — starting at $1,199 per month for lists exceeding 100,000
If you have a list larger than 100,000 subscribers, there's an 'Enterprise' plan you can use, which starts from $1199 per month (exact pricing will depend on your requirements — you'll need to negotiate these rates with Getresponse).
There are also separate pricing plans available for not-for-profit organisations, but again, you will need to contact Getresponse directly about those.
The key differences between the Getresponse plans involve the addition of landing pages, webinars and CRM and e-commerce, with more functionality being provided the more you pay (we discuss this in more depth below).
There are 5 Aweber plans to choose from. These don’t have names but are based on the size of your list, with the following pricing structure applying:
Up to 500 subscribers: $19 per month
501 to 2,500 subscribers: $29 per month
2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $49 per month
5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $69 per month
10,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $149 per month
If you have a list larger than 25,000 subscribers, you will need to get a quote from Aweber to establish monthly costs.
There is no difference in features between each Aweber plan — the functionality of each plan is the same, regardless of payment.
Discounted plans are available for non-profits (3 months free, 25% off after that) and students (20% off) too.
Who wins on price?
When comparing Aweber vs Getresponse, the Getresponse 'Basic' plans are probably the ones to focus on as they are similar, feature wise, to all the Aweber plans.
At the starter end of things, Getresponse is definitely the more cost-effective solution: if you have a list with 500 to 1,000 subscribers on it, you're looking at a not-inconsiderable $14 per month ($168 per year) saving by using the Getresponse 'Email' plan instead of Aweber's equivalent.
For lists over 1,000 subscribers in size, each Getresponse 'Basic' plan effectively comes in $4 per month cheaper than the equivalent Aweber plan (an annual saving of $48).
Additionally, Getresponse offers sizeable discounts if you pay upfront for one or two years: 18% and 30% respectively. There’s also a 30% to 50% discount available to nonprofits (with the more generous discount being available if you display the Getresponse logo on your website and allow Getresponse to market you as a partner).
There are discounting options available with Aweber too, but they are not nearly as generous: if you pay quarterly, Aweber will discount your plan by 14%, and if you pay annually, the saving will be 15%.
Overall, I'd say that Getresponse is the overall winner on pricing, but as we shall see below, this is not the only thing you should base your decision on here.
Let's take a look at features.
Overview of core Aweber and Getresponse features
Similarities between Aweber and Getresponse
Ability to capture data and host mailing lists
A wide range of pre-designed e-newsletter templates
Autoresponder functionality which allows you to send automated e-newsletters at pre-defined intervals to subscribers after they sign up
Statistics on the percentage of subscribers that are opening your emails, clicking links or unsubscribing
RSS to e-newsletter functionality (useful for automatically sending your blog posts to subscribers on your mailing list)
Message builders that allow you to create and edit e-newsletters without coding
Integration with various third-party sites/tools (for example, online shopping services such as Amazon Payments, Paypal and Google Checkout or CRM tools like Capsule and Salesforce) — this allows you to add customers to mailing lists at the point of sale, for example, or use Aweber and Getresponse to send e-newsletters to customers on your CRM system.
Responsive email templates.
Key differences between Aweber and Getresponse
There are some Getresponse features which are not available in Aweber:
More advanced marketing automation
A landing page builder
We'll discuss these in more depth later, but first, let's take a look at something very important in email marketing: visuals.
Getresponse’s templates look fine – and are fairly easily editable – but they’re just, well, a bit boring and slightly dated-looking; Aweber’s templates are slightly more visually appealing and, for my money, usable for a wider range of marketing applications.
All that said, the gap in quality is by no means huge — you should be able to find something pretty good in Getresponse’s template arsenal which you can then tweak to bring it up to date a bit.
The email templates provided by both Getresponse and Aweber are now all responsive — this means that they will automatically adjust the layout of your e-newsletter to suit the device it's being viewed on (mobile, tablet, desktop etc.).
However, Getresponse is significantly better than Aweber when it comes to previewing what your email will look like on a smartphone.
In Getresponse, as you build your email using the drag-and-drop builder provided, you see a real-time preview of what it will look like on a mobile device on the right hand side of the editor.
This is great, because you can simultaneously see the desktop and mobile versions of your e-newsletter — as you build it. Not only this, you can flip the orientation of your e-newsletter around to see how it looks in both portrait and landscape mode on a smartphone.
With Aweber, I couldn't see an easy way to preview the mobile version of my email at all — I may be missing something, but to get a preview of the mobile version of my emails, I ended up having to send myself test emails and open them on my phone. This is obviously disruptive to workflow — so a win for Getresponse here.
So far, so good as far as Getresponse templates go — but there’s a problem with them that I identified recently.
As things stand, Getresponse templates are not displaying correctly in the Gmail mobile app (iOS and Android). In some cases, the responsive version of a Getresponse template is not being displayed properly in this app; and in other cases, thumbnails are not displaying correctly (the gap between any thumbnails and text is removed, leaving you with text bunched up against your images).
A fix is promised for September 2019, but as things stand, if you are concerned about template performance on the Gmail mobile app, you’re currently better off with Aweber.
Web fonts in Aweber and Getresponse
Major clients such as Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo are increasingly supporting the use of web fonts — and accordingly, some leading e-marketing apps are starting to include them in their email editors. This can help designers create newsletters which more closely match the branding used on corporate websites.
Aweber has a bit of an edge over Getresponse here, because it allows you to use web fonts; Getresponse doesn’t, restricting you to the standard web safe fonts (such as Times New Roman, Arial, Trebuchet etc.) — which is a shame really, because web fonts can make e-newsletters look considerably slicker.
That said, the Aweber fonts aren’t terribly interesting ones. As with Mailchimp’s web fonts offering, it’s a bit on the basic side, to the point where there isn’t a huge advantage in using them over the web safe ones. But, if you use a font like Open Sans or Roboto on your website, with Aweber, you’ll be able to incorporate this typeface into your e-newsletters too.
I wouldn't view web fonts as being a show-stopping issue at all, but it definitely would be nice to see their inclusion soon in Getresponse.
As discussed briefly above, autoresponders are emails that are sent automatically to your subscribers at intervals that you define – for example, you could create a programme of autoresponders so that…
10 minutes after somebody signs up to your list, they receive a welcome message
exactly one week later they receive a discount code
three weeks later they receive an email showcasing a particular product…
…and so on.
This type of email marketing is often referred to as a 'drip' campaign.
Both Aweber and Getresponse provide good basic autoresponder functionality, allowing you to automatically send particular e-newsletters based on time intervals (as in the example above) or trigger them based on user actions (joining a particular list, making a purchase etc.). Aweber's is particularly easy to use.
For me, Getresponse's autoresponder functionality is considerably stronger however, because the range of actions you can use to trigger the sending of a particular e-newsletter is more comprehensive, and it's easier to set up these action-based triggers in the first place.
As such Getresponse's autoresponder functionality now goes well beyond traditional 'drip' style campaigns and forms part of its 'marketing automation' feature.
And speaking of which....
Getresponse recently introduced a new feature called 'Marketing Automation' which takes autoresponders to a much more sophisticated level.
This allows you to create sophisticated automation workflows using a drag and drop builder - you basically set up an 'automation flowchart' that tells Getresponse what to do if a user takes a specific action.
There are a large number of triggers you can use to shape your automation workflow in Getresponse, but key ones include:
A change in a subscriber's custom field data
This means you can extensively customise your subscribers' user journeys based on how they interact with your emails. Not only this, but you can integrate this workflow with Getresponse's CRM features (of which more later).
The video below gives you an idea of how it works.
Aweber offer something similar with their 'Campaigns' tool — but at the moment it's a very basic affair, which essentially allows you to tag subscribers and send particular follow-up emails based on the links that they click.
So for now, Getresponse is significantly ahead in the area of workflow based automation.
In terms of the types of files that Aweber lets you import, you can bring in data from the following types of files:
Getresponse lets you import from the following file types:
In addition to allowing you to import the above file types, Getresponse also allows you to import from various third-party services.
Both platforms also let you add contacts manually — either by adding individual contacts or by copying and pasting rows of contacts.
Finally Aweber and Getresponse both allow you to add users to a particular autoresponder cycle when you import them, which is not the case with all competing systems.
One thing you'll need to note with Aweber is it can take 1 business day to process a the import of a new list (if you have over 10,000 subscribers). Something to bear in mind if you're in a hurry.
So overall, a general thumbs up for both platforms here when it comes to imports.
Single opt-in and double opt-in
There's two ways to run a mailing list: using a 'single opt-in' or a 'double opt-in' approach to subscriptions.
When you use a single opt-in method, the person who completes your sign-up form is added to your mailing list there and then.
With a double (or 'confirmed') opt-in process, the person signing up to your mailing list is sent a confirmation email containing a link that they have to click before they are subscribed.
Both approaches have their pros and cons. The main benefit of a single opt-in process is that it makes it easy for users to subscribe and maximises conversion rates; a double opt-in process is better for verifying that the people subscribing to your list are using real email addresses and leads to cleaner data and more accurate stats.
I'd argue that both single opt-in and double opt-in processes have their place in email marketing and it's vital for your chosen solution to facilitate both processes. And the good news is that both Aweber and Getresponse allow you to choose your preferred opt-in method easily.
Integration with other systems
Both Aweber and Getresponse offer a wide range of integrations with other sites and apps. These include integrations with very-well known services such as Amazon, Paypal, Salesforce, Facebook and Twitter.
There are several hundreds Aweber integrations available, to Getresponse's 150 or so, meaning Aweber is a clear winner in this area.
It should be noted that some of the integrations for both products — particularly those for less well-known services — involve setting up a connection between your accounts using a third-party sync tool like Zapier or Pie Sync. This is not madly complicated, but it can take a little trial and error to sort out.
(And whilst I love Zapier, sync errors can occasionally occur which then involve some manual intervention to sort out.)
Split tests allow you to try out different versions of your emails on segments of your data and send the best performing one out to the rest of your database.
This can be done by testing different subject headers, different e-newsletter copy or even different templates against each other.
Getresponse allows you to test up to 5 variants of e-newsletters against each other, which makes it better in this area than its key competitors (Mailchimp's entry-level plans facilitate split testing of 3 variants; Campaign Monitor's just 2).
Aweber allows you to test up to 3 variants of e-newsletters against each other, so not awful, but nonetheless a win for Getresponse here.
A key reason why I generally prefer Getresponse to Aweber involves data segmentation.
Both Getresponse and Aweber allow you to create data segments easily enough: you can use a variety of filters to identify subscribers based on particular criteria and save them.
However, Getresponse beats Aweber when it comes to sending e-newsletters to your segments. This is because Aweber only allows you to send e-newsletters to one segment at a time.
For example, if you had a mailing list of car owners with three pre-existing segments in it, 'red car owners', 'blue car owners' and 'green car owners', and you wanted to send an e-newsletter to the red guitar and blue car owners in one go, you could do this in Getresponse really easily - you'd just tick the relevant segments and hit send.
But in Aweber to do the same thing you'd have to create an entirely new segment containing red car owners OR blue car owners. This leads to more manual effort and a bigger list of segments to trawl through.
Similarly, excluding segments from a mailout is much easier in Getresponse than in Aweber: once you've picked your list of recipients, you can just tick the relevant segments or lists that you want to exclude from the mailout. Aweber allows you to exclude lists from mailouts, but oddly, not segments.
Landing page creation
Another area where Getresponse currently has an edge over Aweber (and indeed most other email marketing apps) involves landing pages.
Landing pages or 'squeeze pages' are web pages that are designed with one thing in mind: data capture. They typically contain a form, some attractive images and a small amount of text spelling out the benefit of submitting your email address.
It's generally better to use landing pages for online ad campaigns instead of a form that sits on your website, simply because they are optimised for capturing data (as they contain less content to distract users).
With Getresponse, you get a landing page creator out of the box, which allows you to make use of various templates and a drag and drop editor to create a strong landing page.
This Getresponse feature allows you to create an unlimited number of landing pages, display them to an unlimited number of viewers and crucially, do A/B testing too, where you can try out up to 10 different versions of your landing page — with the system automatically identifying he best performing one (thus allowing you to use your best landing page to maximise conversions).
You can also make use of landing pages with Aweber, using a variety of third party integrations / apps or by manually coding your landing page and inserting an Aweber form. You can also split test individual Aweber sign-up forms, so that may provide some sort of a workaround too.
Ultimately however, using landing pages in Aweber is not as straightforward as Getresponse, and if you rely on third party software, it can all get rather expensive rather quickly (for example, using landing page creators Unbounce or Instapage will set you back a minimum of $99 or $129 per month respectively).
A new feature of Getresponse is 'Getresponse Webinars', and this is something you're not going to find as a feature of any of Getresponse's major competitors: Aweber, Mailchimp, Mad Mimi et al. are all yet to offer this service.
By purchasing a Getresponse plan (‘Plus’ or higher) you gain the ability to run webinars directly from within your Getresponse account. Since webinars are typically used as a lead generation tool, integrating them closely with your email marketing application is potentially a very good idea.
The feature set for Getresponse Webinars is pretty good too, and similar to that you'd expect on dedicated webinar solutions.
Key features include:
a multiple presenters option
whiteboards / presentation design tools
In terms of attendee limits, the 'Plus' plan allows you to host a webinar with up to 100 participants; the 'Professional' plan's cap is 300 and the ‘Enterprise’ plan’s cap is 500. You can also buy the webinars functionality as an add-on: $40 per month buys you a 100 attendees limit, $99 per month buys you a 500 attendees limit.
It's not entirely clear what happens if you need to host webinars to over 500 people — I'd suggest dropping Getresponse’s support desk a line about that — but I suspect those limits will work fine for most SMEs.
If you wanted to run webinars with Aweber, you'd need to use a third party tool such as Gotowebinar. This can work out expensive.
Send time optimization (‘Perfect Timing’)
Getresponse includes a really nifty feature, send time optimization, which is not yet available in Aweber.
Called ‘Perfect Timing’, this feature automatically sends your email at the time at which it's most likely to be opened — Getresponse looks at your subscriber list and their email-checking habits and makes this call on your behalf.
If you can live with using this big-brother sort of technology then according to Getresponse, you can expect a 23% median improvement in open rates and a 20% median improvement in click-through rates.
Aweber do offer a feature called 'send windows' which allows you to limit the time you send your automated emails out to a particular time slot — but it's not as sophisticated as send time optimisation, and also requires you to do a bit of legwork and stats-eyeballing in finding out when the best time (in general) is to send emails to your list.
CRM in Getresponse
Another feature which you'll find in Getresponse but not in Aweber is a Customer Relationship Management tool (so long as you have the budget for it: it is only available on the 'Plus’ plan or higher).
Some of its features are very interesting. Not only can you use the CRM to manage sales pipelines, track customer activity and so on, but you can link it up with Getresponse's autoresponders, email marketing automation and webinars to create very sophisticated subscriber journeys.
you can add a contact to a particular stage on a sales pipeline based on the page of your site that they completed a form on;
you can then send them an automated email tailored to that pipeline stage a couple of days later;
and then, based on the action they took with regard to that email (clicking on a certain link etc.) you can automatically move them onto another stage of the pipeline and automatically invite them to a webinar.
However, it's not all good news on the CRM front — there are some BIG things missing from Getresponse's CRM feature set.
The most serious omission is email activity tracking. CRM packages typically allow you to bcc a dropbox email address any time you send an email to a lead or client; doing so keeps a record of the communication in the contact's history. There is currently no way of doing this with the Getresponse CRM, nor is there an easy way to send one-to-one emails to leads or clients.
Activity tracking isn’t brilliant either: when you click on a contact within a deal pipeline, you can't see an overview of your previous interactions with that contact.
Task management is missing too: unlike dedicated CRM tools, there's no way to assign tasks to other team members.
So although there’s some really interesting functionality here, it’s unlikely that Getresponse will replace a standalone CRM package for most users — yet. But it’s an interesting development nonetheless and it provides functionality that is not to be found in Aweber.
Getresponse’s newest feature is called ‘Autofunnel’ and it aims to turn the product from being an email marketing platform into something of an all-in-one marketing and e-commerce platform.
The idea behind Autofunnel is that you can do the following things without ever leaving the Getresponse environment:
Create a product catalogue
Create and run Facebook ad campaigns
Create landing pages
Add subscribers to an autoresponder cycle
Drive users to sales pages (also created in Getresponse)
Take payment for products (using several leading payment gateways)
Send abandoned cart emails if necessary
As the feature name suggest, Getresponse wants to give you an easy means to create sales funnels without the need for any other tools at all being necessary (other than a payment processor — Paypal, Stripe etc.). If you like, however, you can involve third party platforms — Shopify, Bigcommerce and Etsy can all be integrated with this feature.
Now my hunch is that serious e-commerce operators will continue to make use of established platforms like Bigcommerce or Shopify to sell goods online — but this all-in-one approach will appeal to some businesses, and it’s an interesting departure for Getresponse.
As with CRM, webinars and marketing automation, Aweber is yet to provide similar functionality.
To ensure a high deliverability rate of your emails, it's advisable to use a system called DKIM email authentication.
You can use DKIM with both Getresponse and Aweber — but only on the more expensive Getresponse 'Professional' or ‘Enterprise’ plans. Most competing products, including Aweber, provide this functionality as standard.
So a win for Aweber here.
Both Aweber and Getresponse have won Stevie awards recently for their customer support, which says good things about both companies’ efforts on this front, but I’d argue that it is nonetheless an area where Aweber beats Getresponse.
Unlike Getresponse — and indeed competitors Mailchimp, Mad Mimi and Campaign Monitor — the company offers phone support (and toll-free to boot, if you live in the US). Email and live chat support channels are also available.
Getresponse used to offer phone support, but now offers live chat and email support only. This is a shame as when it comes to tech support, there are times in life when only a real conversation with a real human will do.
So all in all Aweber's support offering is arguably better than the Getresponse equivalent — if you think you're the kind of customer that is definitely going to require phone support, then it's worth giving Aweber some consideration over Getresponse.
Both Aweber and Getresponse offer a fully functional free one-month trial. Aweber's trial doesn't limit the number of subscribers you can broadcast messages to; Getresponse's does however (to 1000).
If you want a free trial of Aweber, you should note however that you'll need to enter credit card details before you can avail of it.
The free trial of Getresponse, on the other hand, doesn't require your card details in advance (I much prefer the latter approach because the risk of getting charged for a product you don't want after a free trial expires is much lower).
The links for each free trial are below:
Which is better, Aweber or Getresponse?
Both Aweber and Getresponse offer a good range of tools to help you create, maintain and communicate with an email database; even if you’re not all that technically minded, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty using either to manage your e-communications.
In general, Getresponse is the winner in this shootout — it's much more of an 'all-in-one' solution than Aweber, comes with significantly more advanced automation features, and is a bit cheaper too.
There are a couple of key areas where Aweber does have an edge though — it integrates more easily with a wider range of third-party products, and unlike Getresponse, phone support is included with your Aweber monthly plan.
And, until Getresponse sorts their bug with the Gmail mobile app out (in September 2019), you are going to get better looking email in that app by using Aweber.
Here's a final lowdown of why you might pick one of these tools over the other.
Reasons to pick Getresponse over Aweber
You can sign up to a free trial without entering credit card details.
Getresponse is more competitively priced (particularly if your subscriber list contains between 500 and 1000 records).
An 18% discount is available if you pay for the product on an annual rather than monthly basis, and a 30% discount is available if you pay for two years upfront. These discounts are more generous than the Aweber equivalents.
Getresponse offers more comprehensive split testing options.
Getresponse comes with a built-in landing page creator.
Getresponse's 'Marketing Automation' features currently trounce similar workflow-based automation tools offered by Aweber.
The CRM functionality — although not a realistic substitute for a dedicated CRM package — is pretty good for the price, and integrates really well with Getresponse's other marketing automation features.
Getresponse's 'send time optimization' feature has the potential to significantly improve your open and clickthrough rates — there's no equivalent functionality in Aweber.
The new webinars functionality is potentially fantastic for any business that uses webinars for lead generation.
You can actually sell products with Getresponse.
Reasons to pick Aweber over Getresponse
The Aweber templates are a little bit more attractive than the Getresponse equivalents, and there is a greater selection of them available.
There’s no issue with how emails appear in the Gmail mobile app — Getresponse’s are buggy (a fix is planned for late September 2019, however).
You can use DKIM on Aweber on any plan; you have to be on a more expensive Getresponse plan to access this functionality.
Significantly more third party integrations are available for Aweber than for Getresponse.
Phone support is available.
Finally, with all my comparison reviews, I always advise potential users to try both products before they buy, simply because free trials of the products under discussion are readily available and you may find that one tool has particular features that suit your business needs which you can’t find in the other. You'll find links to the Getresponse and Aweber free trials below.
Alternatives to Aweber and Getresponse
There are quite a few alternatives to Aweber and Getresponse out there. At the more expensive end of the spectrum, you can consider Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp; budget options include Moon Mail and Mad Mimi. You may find some of the below reviews and comparisons helpful:
Finally, if you've got any thoughts on the Aweber vs Getresponse debate, do feel free to share! Just leave a comment below.
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