Aweber vs Getresponse (2017) - 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 e-newsletter 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
It can be a little bit confusing working out which Getresponse plan to pick, as there are three tiers of plans - "Email", "Pro" and "Max" - and within each tier, several different plans to choose from.
- Up to 1,000 subscribers: $15 ('Email') / $49 ('Pro') / $165 ('Max')
- 1,001 to 2,500 subscribers: $25 ('Email') / $49 ('Pro') / $165 ('Max')
- 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $45 ('Email') / $49 ('Pro') / $165 ('Max')
- 5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $65 ('Email')/ $75 ('Pro') / $ 165 ('Max')
- 10,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $145 ('Email') / $165 ('Pro') / $255 ('Max')
- 25,001 to 50,000 subscribers: $250 ('Email') / $280 ('Pro') / $370 ('Max')
- 50,001 to 100,000 subscribers: $450 ('Email') / $490 ('Pro') / $580 ('Max')
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 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 as you go up the pricing ladder (more on both anon).
When comparing Aweber vs Getresponse, the Getresponse 'Email' plans are the ones to focus on as they are similar, feature wise, to all the Aweber plans.
There are 5 Aweber plans to choose from:
- 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 regarding your requirements.
Discounted plans are available for non-profits (3 months free, 25% off after that) and students (20% off) too.
Who wins on price?
Well, at the starter end of things, Getresponse is definitely the most 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 'Email' plan effectively comes in at $4 per month cheaper than the equivalent Aweber plan (an annual saving of $48).
Additionally, Getresponse offers a sizeable discount - 18% - if you pay upfront for a year, and 30% if you pay upfront for 2 years.
There are discounting options available with Aweber too, but they are not as generous - if you pay quarterly, Aweber will discount your plan by 14%, and if you pay annually, the saving will be 14.9%.
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.
Now 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 (you get a little bit of HTML code that you can insert on your site or social media profiles to capture email addresses)
- 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:
- CRM functionality
- 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.
Both Aweber and Getresponse provide a wider selection of templates than their major competitors.
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 and unless there is an Aweber template that you are mad about, you should be able to find something similar enough in Getresponse’s 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 has a significant edge when it comes to previewing what your email will look like on a smartphone. 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, but 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 I ended up having to send myself a test email and open it on a phone to view the mobile version. So a win for Getresponse here.
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.
Sadly, Getresponse and Aweber have yet to follow suit and only offer the 8 standard 'web safe fonts' for use (such as Times New Roman, Arial, Trebuchet etc.) - which is a shame really, because web fonts can make e-newsletters look considerably slicker.
If web fonts are an absolute show stopper for you then you'll find them available in Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp - however, it's important to note that (1) only a small selection of web fonts are available in these two apps and (2) in Mailchimp, the web fonts offered are particularly boring, to the point where there's not a huge aesthetic benefit in using them. (Campaign Monitor's font offering is better, but you'll pay through the nose to use this solution.)
I wouldn't view web fonts as being a show-stopping issue at all, but it would be nice to see their inclusion soon in Aweber and Getresponse.
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.
Both Aweber and Getresponse provide good 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.).
For me, Getresponse's autoresponder functionality is considerably stronger, 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.
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:
- Email opens
- Link clicks
- Product purchase
- Abandoned carts
- URLs visited
- 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.
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 much more 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.
Getresponse was traditionally a much better option for those wishing to create email marketing campaigns using an existing list, because when you imported your own mailing list to Aweber, your subscribers could not join a list without reconfirming their subscription – with predictably awful results.
Thankfully they've now changed their approach and Aweber customers can import their own data (albeit after they've answered quite a lot of questions about its source).
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:
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 allow you to add users to a particular autoresponder cycle when you import them, which is not always the case with competing systems.
So a thumbs up for both platforms here when it comes to imports, but overall Getresponse offers more import options.
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 around 235 Aweber integrations available, to Getresponse's 185.
However 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 the third-party sync tool Zapier. 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.
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 othter.
Getresponse allows you to test up to 5 variants of e-newsletters against each other. Aweber used to offer similar functionality (allowing you to split test 4 variants), but at time of writing they've disabled this feature. Their sales team have told me that this functionality will return at some point in the future. As things stand however, this is a pretty big omission from Aweber's feature set - it arguably reduces open rates and allows other products to steal a march on it.
Landing page creation
Another area where Getresponse currently has an edge over Aweber 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 over 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.
By default each type of Getresponse account ('Email' / 'Pro' / 'Max' / 'Enterprise') has the landing page editor available, but unless you pay for a Pro, Max or Enterprise account you get limited functionality: you can only create one landing page, it doesn't provide A/B testing and only 1000 views per month of it are permitted.
Purchasing a plan featuring the fully-featured Getresponse landing page creator however 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 rolling out the best performing one to the majority of your site visitors (thus maximising the number of signups).
Landing pages are available on the Pro plan (and up), which means the cost of obtaining this functionality looks at first inspection to be pretty high for some users. For example, if you plan to host a list with 1000 contacts on Getresponse, it will cost you an additional $34 per month to avail of the landing page functionality (because you'll need to upgrade from an 'Email' plan to a 'Pro' one). Users planning to host 5,000 records on Getresponse however will be faced with a difference of just $4 between the 'Email' and 'Pro' plans.
Fortunately however, you can also purchase a Getresponse add-on for $15 per month which provides landing pages functionality. It's a case of looking at your list size, doing your sums and working out which option is best for - the add-on, or a plan which includes the functionality in the first place. Either way the landing page creator is extremely good functionality to have if you are serious about lead generation.
You can also make use of landing pages with Aweber, using a variety of third party tools 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 (for example, using landing page creators Unbounce or Instapage to create your landing pages for Aweber can set you back anything from $68 to $399 per month).
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 (Pro 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.
I have yet to try out this functionality in depth, but I like the idea of keeping everything in one place - see the 'Getresponse Webinars' video on this page for more details (which of course being a promotional video will portray it in as good a light as possible, but does spell out the basic features clearly).
In terms of attendee limits, the 'Pro' plan allows you to host a webinar with up to 100 participants; the 'Max' 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 support 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 optimisation
There's a really interesting Getresponse feature called 'send time optimisation', which is not yet available in Aweber.
Send time optimisation 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
Getresponse recently made beta version of their new interface available to some users and having had a play with it recently, I noticed that it includes a new feature that may eventually prove extremely tempting to small businesses: a CRM tool.
Typically, unless you're paying for an expensive tool like Salesforce or Infusionsoft (both of which integrate CRM and mass mailouts) you end up having to import and export data both ways from your email marketing tool and CRM in order to run and analyse digital marketing campaigns.
Getresponse's CRM tool as it stands in beta mode is very basic - you can basically create sales pipelines, add contacts to them and move these contacts through the pipeline (adding / ticking off contact-specific tasks as you do so).
However, I've been informed by Getresponse's support team that more sophisticated functionality is on the way - it looks as though users will soon be able to do lots of exciting things with triggers, and send messages to your leads directly from within the CRM tool.
If Getresponse get this right, I think it will make the product a very useful 'all-in-one' style marketing tool to rival more established CRM platforms (it's hard to think of too many products, certainly at the Getresponse price point, that offer email marketing, webinars, landing pages, marketing automation and CRM all in one box).
Support is an area where Aweber outperforms 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. On top of this, Aweber have won 'Stevie' awards in both 2016 and 2017 for customer service, which obviously says good things about the quality of support it provides.
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 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 serious 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. However, I think that on balance, Getresponse is the better value product - it's much more of an 'all-in-one' solution than Aweber.
Here's a lowdown of why you might pick one over the other.
Reasons to pick Getresponse over Aweber
- You can sign up to a free trial without entering credit card details.
- Getresponse is slightly 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 Awber equivalents.
- Getresponse offers more comprehensive split testing options.
- Getresponse comes with a built-in landing page creator, albeit one you have to pay extra for to unlock. The pricing plan is confusing and could be improved, but it's still cheaper to use the Getresponse option than combining Aweber with a tool like Instapage or Unbounce.
- Getresponse's 'Marketing Automation' features currently trounce similar workflow-based automation tools offered by Aweber.
- Getresponse's 'send time optimisation' 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 get basic CRM functionality in Getresponse - if the functionality for this is beefed up, this could prove to be an incredibly helpful feature for SMEs.
Reasons to pick Aweber over Getresponse
- The Aweber templates are a bit more attractive than the Getresponse equivalents, and there is a greater selection of them available.
- 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
Finally, if you've got any thoughts on the Aweber vs Getresponse debate, do feel free to share! Just leave a comment below (note: if you're reading this on a mobile device, you may be seeing an accelerated 'AMP' version of the page, which doesn't include comments. You can switch to the regular version here if you'd like to read or post a comment).