Getresponse vs Mailchimp — Which is Best?

Getresponse vs Mailchimp - image of the two company logos beside a postbox

Getresponse vs Mailchimp — which is best? In the light of Mailchimp’s fairly radical overhaul of its pricing structure, this question has become quite an urgent one for many businesses.

So in this Getresponse vs Mailchimp comparison review, I’m going to examine both these leading email marketing solutions in depth, to see which of them best meets your business’ needs.

I’m going to look at:

  • pricing and value for money
  • quality of templates
  • key features
  • ease-of-use
  • the main pros and cons of both products

and more.

By the end of the comparison, you’ll have a much clearer idea of which product is for you.

But let’s start with a basic question: what do Getresponse and Mailchimp actually do?


Getresponse and Mailchimp — what do they do?

Getresponse and Mailchimp are email marketing tools that allow you to:

  • create (or import) a mailing list and capture email addresses onto it

  • design HTML e-newsletters (emails containing graphics, photos, branding etc.) that can be sent to your subscribers

  • automate your emails to subscribers via ‘autoresponders’

  • monitor statistics related to your email marketing — open rates, click-throughs, forwards and more.

Over the past couple of years, Getresponse has evolved into more of an ‘all-in-one’ marketing solution, and as such now has some features which are not to be found in Mailchimp, namely:

  • webinars

  • built-in e-commerce features

  • ‘conversion funnels’

Mailchimp increasingly also aims to be an all-in-one ‘marketing platform’ that offers selling / CRM functionality, and has changed its pricing model accordingly.

I’ll discuss both products’ new ‘all-in-one’ approach in more depth later in the comparison.

Before that however, let’s look at something that’s really integral to both Mailchimp and Getresponse, and a feature that they’ve been traditionally best-known for: autoresponders.


Autoresponders

Autoresponders are e-newsletters that are sent to your subscribers at pre-defined intervals – for example, you can set them up so that:

  • immediately after somebody signs up to your mailing list, they receive a simple welcome message from your business

  • a week later they receive a discount code for some of your products

  • three weeks later they receive an encouragement to follow you on Twitter and Facebook…

And so on.

The idea is that a huge chunk of your email marketing gets automated – so that once you’ve set things up correctly, subscribers will automatically receive key messages from your business without you having to bother sending out e-newsletters manually (although you can still of course do this as and when required).

The above example of an autoresponder cycle is typically called a ‘drip’ campaign, where e-newsletters are triggered by time intervals.

However, autoresponders are increasingly being used in more sophisticated ways by businesses, with messages being triggered by opens, clicks, purchases, web page visits, abandoned orders and more.

And when set up correctly, they save a huge amount of time and have the potential to generate significant income.

So what’s the autoresponder functionality in Getresponse and Mailchimp like?

Let’s take a look at that.


Autoresponders in Getresponse vs Mailchimp

Getresponse and Mailchimp both provide extensive autoresponder functionality — some of the best in the business.

Both products offer a similar set of autoresponder triggers to choose from — subscription to a list, opens, clicks, purchase mades, URLs visited and user data changes all can be used to kickstart an autoresponder cycle.

For example, with both tools, you can trigger autoresponders by:

  • e-newsletter action — for example, when somebody opens or clicks a link on an email you send, they can be automatically added to a particular set of autoresponders

  • purchases — if somebody buys a product from your website, you can use this information to trigger an email broadcast in Getresponse or Mailchimp

  • page visits – if a subscriber visits a particular page on your site, you can send them an email a few seconds later

  • data changes — i.e., when somebody changes their details on your list

  • date and time – for example, you can send automatically send messages x minutes or days after sign up, or on birthdays.

In short, both products are really strong when it comes to autoresponder functionality — the range of triggers available to you is extensive.

Getresponse allows you to manage email automation via a ‘flowchart’-style journey creator — it’s very sophisticated stuff, which you can get a sense of from the screenshot below — but it’s also reasonably straightforward to implement.

You basically map out a set of rules for Getresponse to follow — these are based on user action. So, for example, if a user clicks a link on a particular email, they are taken down one path; if they don’t, they go down another.

Example of a Getresponse marketing automation workflow
Example of a Getresponse marketing automation workflow

Mailchimp recently added a ‘journey builder’ tool that also lets you create similar subscriber journeys.

This is broadly comparable in terms of features with the Getresponse automation builder — but I’d argue that Getresponse’s feature offers slightly more in the functionality department.

Mailchimp’s journey builder seems to limit you to sending emails, delaying a message or tagging a user; but Getresponse also allows you to use subscriber actions to populate custom fields; use segments to trigger actions; and move users between workflows.

Mailchimp’s new ‘journey builder’ tool.
Mailchimp’s new ‘journey builder’ tool.

All in all, the Getresponse journey builder packs a bit more punch when it comes to functionality — but it’s worth noting that Mailchimp’s journey builder interface is a bit cleaner and easier on the eye.


Pricing

Mailchimp pricing

There are four plans available for Mailchimp. In order of expense, these are:

  • Free — a cut-down version of the product featuring an advert for Mailchimp at the bottom of e-newsletters

  • Essential — starting at $9.99 per month to send emails to a list up to 500 subscribers in size

  • Standard — starting at $14.99 per month for a list up to 500 subscribers in size

  • Premium — starting at $299 per month for a list up to 10,000 subscribers in size.

Mailchimp pricing table
Mailchimp pricing

Getresponse pricing

With Getresponse, there are also four plans available — again, in order of expense, these are:

  • Basic — starting at $15 per month 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

  • Max — custom pricing.

A free trial, lasting 30 days, is also available — you can access it via this link.

Each plan boasts different features, and rises in price with the size of your list. I’ll discuss these features shortly — but before that, it’s worth zooming in quickly on a few key limits you need to be aware of.

Getresponse pricing table
Getresponse pricing

Send limits

In May 2019, Mailchimp introduced (controversial!) monthly limits on the number of e-newsletters you can send to your lists.

These vary according to the number of subscribers you have on your list, but for the plans and subscriber counts listed above, the limits are 10k, 500k, 1.2 million and 3 million respectively.

Now, many users will never breach these limits, but if you use autoresponders extensively or send a lot of e-newsletters, it’s conceivable that you could, particularly if you’re on one of the cheaper plans.

So, it’s an instant win for Getresponse here, because all its plans allow you to send an unlimited number of emails per month — even the entry-level one. This represents much better value for money.

List limits

In Mailchimp, the number of lists you can create depends on the type of plan you’re on (1 on ‘Free’; 3 on ‘Essentials’; 5 on ‘Standard’ and unlimited on ‘Premium’).

There’s no equivalent limits in Getresponse — this makes it a more suitable tool for any business that needs to host multiple lists for different revenue streams, or sub-brands.

A key issue to watch out for: defining list size

When it comes to list sizes, you have to watch out for something rather sneaky in Mailchimp: the company charges you for both subscribed AND unsubscribed contacts on your lists (or ‘audiences’ to use Mailchimp’s new terminology).

Getresponse, by contrast, only charges you for active contacts.

So, for example, if you had 1,500 subscribers on a list, 200 of whom unsubscribed, Getresponse would consider this to be a list containing 1,300 people.

By contrast, Mailchimp would consider it to be a list containing 1,500 subscribers — and charge you accordingly.

This is pretty ridiculous in my view and, as with Mailchimp’s send limit issue, presents one of the more compelling arguments for choosing Getresponse over Mailchimp.

Users / seats

Mailchimp is slightly more generous than Getresponse when it comes to the number of users (or ‘seats’) that you can associate with an account.

Its entry-level ‘Essentials’ plan gives you 3 seats; its ‘Standard’ plan gives you 5; and its ‘Premium’ plan gives you an unlimited number.

This contrasts positively with the Getresponse limits — 1 on the ‘Basic’ plan, 3 on ‘Plus’, 5 on the Professional, and 10 by default on ‘Max’ (that said, the number of accounts on ‘Max’ is negotiable).

Free plans and trials

A very welcome feature of Mailchimp is its free plan – you can use it to send up to 10,000 emails to up to 2,000 contacts per month.

This is generous and extremely useful for users who wish to send occasional emails to a small list.

However, emails sent using this plan display Mailchimp advertising on them, which, whilst reasonably subtle, makes them look slightly less professional in appearance.

And, as you might expect, the Mailchimp free plan does not provide all the functionality that you can expect on a paid one.

Key features that are not available on a Mailchimp free plan include:

  • access to most of the templates (you can only use the plain layouts)

  • A/B testing

  • support

  • custom-coded templates

  • send-time optimization (this sends your email at a time when your subscribers are most likely to open it)

  • full autoresponder functionality

That said, the free plan remains pretty generous for what it is — a way to build an audience and send basic newsletters for free.

Getresponse doesn’t provide a free plan, but as mentioned above, offers a free trial — it’s limited to 30 days, but you can try out all of the Getresponse features using it (for lists that are 1,000 subscribers or less in size).

Key differences between the plans

The key differences between Mailchimp plans to watch out for are the ability to code your own templates and access to all the key features of the new journey builder — these are only available on the more expensive ‘Standard’ plan or higher.

And, if comparative reporting and multivariate testing are important to you, you should note that these features are only available on the expensive $299 ‘Premium’ Mailchimp plan.

The key differences between the Getresponse tiers involve access to webinar functionality and marketing automation — arguably the two standout features of the platform.

You only get access to these on the ‘Plus’ plan or higher. And the limits that apply to how many participants can attend a webinar, or how many automation ‘workflows’ you can create vary by plan (the more you pay, the more you get, basically!).

Zooming in: the Getresponse “Basic” plan vs Mailchimp “Essential” plan

I suspect many readers of this comparison will be interested in comparing the Mailchimp “Essentials” plan against the Getresponse “Basic” plan. These are the cheapest paid-for offerings from the two companies.

You’ll find that depending on your list size, sometimes Getresponse works out cheaper, sometimes Mailchimp does.

For example, hosting 25k records on Getresponse ‘Basic’ costs $145 per month; on Mailchimp ‘Essentials’ it’s $200.

But hosting a 30k list on Mailchimp Essentials is cheaper — it’s $230 to Getresponse’s $250.

Additionally, if your list is less than 500 records in size, Mailchimp will let you get into email marketing cheaper — the ‘Essentials’ plan lets you work with a list of up to 500 subscribers for $9.99 per month.

However, Mailchimp’s sneaky approach to calculating list size — by including unsubscribed contacts on it — means that we are to a degree comparing apples to oranges here…as your list grows, and people unsubscribe from it, your costs can grow considerably with Mailchimp.

Furthermore, if you are prepared to pay upfront for your Getresponse account, there are some sizeable discounts available which make Getresponse a substantially cheaper option for you. Paying upfront for a year entitles you to an 18% discount; paying upfront for two years results in a 30% discount.

No comparable discounts are available for Mailchimp.

And finally, there are a few useful features that are available on the Getresponse ‘Basic’ plan that you won’t find on the Mailchimp ‘Essentials’ plan:

  • the option to code your own templates

  • comparative reporting (where you can compare the results of one campaign against another)

  • send time optimization (where your email marketing solution automatically figures out when the best time to send emails to individual subscribers is).

  • the ability to sell products (more on that later in the review).

So given all this, it’s hard not to conclude that Getresponse offers more bang for the buck when you compare its entry level plan against Mailchimp’s.

Pricing, of course, is not the only factor you should be basing a Mailchimp vs Getresponse decision on.

Let’s take a look at features.


Templates

Both Getresponse and Mailchimp offer a good range of email templates (115 and 100 respectively) that you can use as a starting point when designing your e-newsletters.

In terms of quality, I slightly prefer the Getresponse templates — they are more contemporary in nature.

Editing one of the new Getresponse templates.
Editing one of the new Getresponse templates.

It’s important to note that with both products, you don’t need to use one of the supplied templates — you can use your own HTML code in both Getresponse and Mailchimp to design your own (note however that you will have to be on a more expensive ‘Standard’ plan if you intend to do this in Mailchimp).

You can also buy additional templates for both platforms from a third-party supplier like Theme Forest.

Examples of Mailchimp templates
Mailchimp templates

Download our free Business Growth E-Kit

For a limited time, we’re offering our readers some excellent free tools to help them grow their business. Sign up free to immediately receive:

  • downloadable cheatsheets on how to grow an online business
  • an exclusive discount code for email marketing app Getresponse
  • extended free trials of essential growth-hacking apps
  • ongoing free tips and advice on digital marketing
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We respect your privacy, and you can unsubscribe any time. View privacy notice.


Interface

The user interfaces offered by Getresponse and Mailchimp are quite different – Mailchimp opts for a very minimalistic sort of approach, with lots of big fonts (on big spaces) being employed to present menus, stats and data. And icons, rather than text, are used in menus.

Menu icons in Mailchimp
Menu icons in the Mailchimp interface

It’s quite distinctive and some users will probably appreciate the ‘big and bold’ approach.

Getresponse, by contrast, provides a user interface that is based more around traditional drop-down menus.

Neither system is particularly hard to use — personally I marginally prefer the Getresponse interface because you don’t seem to have to scroll or click quite so much to get at particular features or data.

Getresponse menu
Navigating features in Getresponse

In Mailchimp, all the big fonts employed mean a lot of stuff is ‘below the fold’, particularly on laptops – it makes for a clean interface but one where screen ‘real estate’ is not always efficiently used.

That said, I have found Mailchimp’s interface to be more robust — I’ve occasionally come across the odd glitch on Getresponse; nothing serious, but Mailchimp’s back end seems just a little bit more reliable and less buggy.

Both back ends are in general fine though really – it’s a case of personal taste here.


Editing email designs

Drag-and-drop

Both Getresponse and Mailchimp allow you to edit your templates using ‘drag-and-drop’ style editors.

These editors are fairly similar in concept, in that they allow you to lay images and text out in a manner that suits you without resorting to any HTML coding.

However, I’d argue that as things stand, Mailchimp’s email editor is slightly better than the Getresponse one.

It’s just a little bit more ‘solid,’ and it also lets you set global styles for your templates — you can define what H1s, H2s, body copy should look like in a message style tab.

With Getresponse, you have to edit these on the fly.

Web fonts

Both Mailchimp and Getresponse let you make use of web fonts in your e-newsletters.

However, the selection of web fonts provided in Mailchimp is extremely limited — only a very small number of Google Fonts can be used, and really boring ones at that (they look so similar to web safe fonts that you might as well use the web safe ones!).

With Getresponse, the options are much more extensive — you can use tons of Google fonts in your emails.

Using Google fonts in Getresponse
Using Google fonts in Getresponse

Given that Google fonts are widely used in web design, this will help a lot of users keep a greater degree of brand consistency between their sites and their email newsletters.

Mobile-friendly emails with Getresponse and Mailchimp

Both Getresponse and Mailchimp let you create mobile-friendly versions of your HTML email, and preview the mobile version as you do so.

The Getresponse email editor
The Getresponse email editor

Single opt-in and double opt-in in Mailchimp and Getresponse

There are two ways you can add subscribers to a mailing list: using a ‘single opt-in’ or a ‘double opt-in’ process.

When you use a single opt-in process, the person completing your sign-up form is added to your mailing list immediately.

With a double opt-in process, the person signing up to your list is sent an email containing a confirmation link that he or she must click before they are subscribed.

The main benefit of a single opt-in process is that it makes it easy for users to subscribe; it also generally increases conversion rates and therefore the number of subscribers on your list.

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.

The good news is that Mailchimp and Getresponse let you use either a double opt-in or single opt-in approach to data capture.

This is not the case with all competing email marketing products, so a thumbs up for both Mailchimp and Getresponse here.


Split testing

An important feature of email marketing solutions is split testing. This allows you to try out a variety of subject headers and/or content on some sample data (for example, 5% of your list) before automatically sending the best-performing version to the remainder of your list.

If you are using relatively small lists, this feature is not vital, because for statistical reasons split testing is only worth doing on relatively large lists — but anybody intending to do big mailouts will find that split testing functionality can improve open rates significantly.

Getresponse lets you use either subject headers or newsletter content in split tests.

Mailchimp lets you use newsletter content variants, subject headers, different sender names and send times in its split tests — so long as you are on an ‘Essentials’ plan or higher.

On its ‘Essentials’ and ‘Standard’ plans, Mailchimp allows you to split-test 3 different versions of your email; Getresponse’s limit on all plans is 5.

It’s important to note that with both products, you can only use one variable at a time during a split test — for example, you can test two emails with different subject headers against each other, but both versions of the email must have the same content.

If this sort of split testing doesn’t meet your requirements, then you might consider Mailchimp’s ‘Premium’ plan, which lets you test 8 variants of your e-newsletters against each other — and mix and match variables. However, the costs for this are significant — a minimum of $299 per month.


Creating data segments in Getresponse and Mailchimp

Both Getresponse and Mailchimp 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 Mailchimp hands down when it comes to sending e-newsletters to your segments.

This is because the basic version of Mailchimp only allows you to send e-newsletters to one segment at a time, whereas Getresponse lets you send them to as many as you like.

For example, if you had a mailing list about guitars with three pre-existing segments in it, ‘red guitar owners’, ‘blue guitar owners’ and ‘green guitar owners’, and you wanted to send an e-newsletter to the red guitar AND blue guitar owners in one go, you could do this in Getresponse really easily — you’d just tick the relevant red and green segments and hit send.

By contrast, in Mailchimp, to achieve the same thing you’d have to create a brand new segment containing red guitar owners OR blue owners.

More work, and more segments cluttering up the place!

Similarly, Mailchimp only allows you to send e-newsletters to one list at a time. Although it IS usually best practice to consolidate your data into one list and use fields to flag data types, there are nonetheless occasions where you may end up working with subscribers which are stored in multiple lists. 

In Getresponse, this isn’t a problem — you can send e-newsletters to multiple lists at once.

And finally, excluding segments is much easier in Getresponse — once you’ve picked your list of recipients, you can simply tick the segments or lists that you want to exclude from the mailout.

If you want more advanced segmentation options, you can get these in Mailchimp but you’ll need to be on an expensive ‘Premium’ plan.

Getresponse’s more flexible approach to both segmentation and list management is, in my view, one of the strongest reasons for using it over Mailchimp — possibly the strongest.


Reporting

Reporting on both Mailchimp and Getresponse is very comprehensive: you can track all the usual things like open rates, clickthroughs and unsubscribes, but you can also drill down into the data much further.

For example, you can look up somebody on your mailing list and get an overview of what lists they are on; their location; IP address; and what emails they’ve previously opened.

This is all very useful data for understanding your audience and informing your future marketing strategy — if rather Orwellian!

One reporting feature in Mailchimp that I really like is its ‘engagement stats’ panel. As the name suggests, this shows you the percentages of your subscribers who engage often, occasionally or rarely with your e-newsletters.

Furthermore, it allows you to email them really easily — you just click a little paper plane icon and you can send them a message immediately.

Engagement stats in Mailchimp
Engagement stats in Mailchimp

You can identify and mail your most engaged subscribers in Getresponse too; however, it’s a slightly more manual process involving creating a segment of people with a high engagement score.

Getresponse’s reporting system has an excellent feature which is not present in Mailchimp however: its automatic creation of emailable ‘groups’ — based on more precise user action — after a mailout is sent. 

After an email broadcast, Getresponse will show you several segments of contacts who took specific actions — you’ll see groups of people who opened your email, did not open your email, clicked your email but did not meet a goal etc. — and you can mail them all again really easily. This is extremely useful for sending quick reminders or follow-up offers to relevant contacts. 

Mailchimp does let you see this information too — but in order to create segments from it you’d need to export and reimport the data, using new flag fields to manually create your segments.

This is unnecessarily fiddly — and, as discussed earlier, you’ll quite possibly run into some headaches with emailing these segments, because Mailchimp is so restrictive in this area.

All in all though, the reporting functionality in both Mailchimp and Getresponse is very comprehensive — either tool will let you get a very complete overview of how your e-newsletters are performing.


Integrations

Both Getresponse and Mailchimp integrate with a wide range of other services – you will need to check their websites for an exhaustive list, but services like Paypal, BigCommerce, Facebook and Magento are examples of the kind of services catered for.

I have found that, in general, Mailchimp tends to be more of a ‘default’ option than Getresponse for many services (Squarespace and Facebook being prime examples), and Getresponse seems to rely quite a lot on a third party tool, Zapier, for quite a lot of its integrations (which makes them a bit longer to set up and involves more configuration).

That said a lot of the ‘big’ services are catered for perfectly well with Getresponse; if you like the tool and want to integrate it with an established service like Paypal or Facebook, you won’t have any difficulty doing so.

Additionally, an ‘integration’ often means simply adding a sign-up form to a website, and both Getresponse and Mailchimp make it straightforward enough to do that (see below for more information on sign up forms).

But there are times — particularly with services like Squarespace and Wix— where integrating a mailing list sign up form into your website is a bit easier if you’re a Mailchimp user.

(Interestingly however, there is no longer an official Mailchimp integration for e-commerce giant Shopify, because of a dispute over data protection and privacy issues. But there are workarounds available.)


Facebook ads in Mailchimp and Getresponse

Both Mailchimp and Getresponse differentiate themselves from many of their competitors by allowing you to manage Facebook ad campaigns directly from their platforms.

So, if you’re somebody who likes to work on all aspects of a marketing campaign in one place, you may find this functionality handy.

You can set up basic ad campaigns using the standard set of Facebook demographics (i.e., create simple ads that target users who are aged X and interested in activity Y).

More useful perhaps is the option to connect your Mailchimp or Getresponse account to Facebook, which will then — in its trademark big-brother way — examine the email addresses on your list and show ads to anybody on your database with a Facebook account (this is called a ‘custom audience’).

When you’ve connected your accounts, your lists can also be synced with your Facebook account, meaning that Facebook will automatically start showing the ads to any new subscribers (i.e., in addition to the people who were on your list when you connected your accounts).

Be careful though — new GDPR rules mean that using custom audiences — which effectively means sharing user data with Facebook — can be risky from a legal point of view (at least where EU users are concerned).

So do your due diligence first before using these features!


Adding a sign-up form to your website

Both Getresponse and Mailchimp allow you to design sign-up forms and grab a snippet of code which you can add to embed a form on your website.

With Getresponse, the design options are a bit more extensive — you can make use of a wider range of typefaces on your form and you can choose from a range of pre-designed form templates (some good, some cheesy). 

Getresponse forms
Examples of some Getresponse forms.

Neither platform is great when it comes to giving you fine grain control over your forms, however — you can’t specify for example whether or not a pop-up form should appear on mobile devices (some site owners prefer not to use pop up forms on mobile devices, as doing so can have a negative impact on a site’s performance in search results).

Mailchimp also provides some iPad / Android forms that you can use for capturing data via tablets at events — something which used to be available with Getresponse but unfortunately seems to have been discontinued.

That said, you could always use a Getresponse landing page in a browser on an iPad for this purpose — and speaking of which…


Landing page creation

A landing page creator allows you to make use of various templates and a drag and drop editor to create a landing or ‘squeeze’ page which improves the sign-up rate to your list. 

These are distraction-free sign-up pages that are designed to improve sign-up rates. A/B testing is often used to test different versions of landing pages against each other, in order to identify the best-performing ones and use these to maximise the number of sign-ups.

Getresponse's landing page creator
Getresponse’s landing page creator.

Landing pages in Mailchimp

Up until relatively recently, landing pages were not included with Mailchimp plans.

If you wanted to use landing pages with Mailchimp, you had to either code something yourself or make use of a tool like Instapage or Unbounce (the fees for which are very high).

The good news for Mailchimp users is that landing page-building functionality is now provided on all Mailchimp plans.

However, as things stand, this functionality is a bit limited: no A/B testing is included, and only a few templates are available.

Landing pages in Getresponse

In Getresponse you get comprehensive landing page functionality: hundreds of responsive templates, A/B split testing, countdown timers and free stock photography are all included with this feature.

The landing page designer could be better from a usability point of view — it’s a bit clunky and fiddly to use — but it is ultimately a powerful tool that allows you to do considerably more with landing pages than Mailchimp.

Landing pages and GDPR

Both Mailchimp and Getresponse allow you to add Facebook pixel and Google Analytics cookies to their landing pages.

Although this functionality is undeniably useful for measuring the success of advertising campaigns, neither product lets your landing page visitors opt out of these cookies being run.

This is not ideal from a GDPR point of view — and both companies need to address this urgently so that their users don’t fall foul of the law.


Translation

For users wishing to provide versions of their confirmation emails and thank-you pages in different languages, Mailchimp is a better bet than Getresponse, as it provides this functionality.


The biggest differences between Getresponse and Mailchimp: webinars, conversion funnels and website building

Webinars

With Getresponse ‘Plus’ plans and up, you get something that is not included in Mailchimp’s feature set at all: the ability to host webinars.

Webinars are commonly used as a way to generate business leads, with businesses offering access to webinar content in exchange for an email address. Normally this involves using two apps — one for hosting the webinars, and one for managing your email marketing.

Getresponse has been very clever here by offering a webinar feature as part of its email marketing offering. And it’s an extremely good feature, comparing positively with dedicated webinar products that cost significantly more than Getresponse.

Getresponse’s webinars tool

A few Getresponse webinar features worth flagging up as being particularly useful are:

  • the fact that your attendees don’t need to install any software to attend the webinars

  • the ability to record your webinars and share them with participants later

  • screensharing functionality

  • video sharing functionality (YouTube)

  • the option to upload Powerpoint presentations to Getresponse for use during a webinar

  • free online storage for playback files.

One thing to watch out for is the attendee cap: Getresponse limits this to 100 people on its ‘Plus’ plan, 300 on its ‘Professional’ plan and 500 on its ‘Enterprise’ plan. And you can’t run ‘paid webinars’ (i.e., where people pay to attend) unless you’re on the ‘Professional’ plan, which is a bit disappointing.

Webinars are not available at all on the cheapest Getresponse offering (its ‘Basic’ plan), but you can pay another $40 or $99 per month to enable this functionality and allow 100 or 500 attendees respectively to tune in.

500 is the absolute maximum number of participants you can host in a single Getresponse webinar — there’s currently no way to increase that limit.

‘Conversion funnels’

Both Mailchimp and Getresponse provide a lot of useful ways to integrate with leading e-commerce platforms and you can trigger mailouts based on a wide range of user actions on an online store.

(Note however that there is no longer any official integration available between Mailchimp and Shopify).

But the introduction of its new ‘Conversion Funnels’ feature, Getresponse has now effectively become an online store in its own right.

It’s now possible to manage an e-commerce inventory within and sell products directly from Getresponse and to make use of Getresponse’s dedicated conversion funnel feature to automate ad campaigns, data capture, transactions, abandoned cart recovery and more.

You can do similar things with Mailchimp, by connecting a third-party online store to proceedings, building landing pages and creating customer journeys — but there’s arguably more separate processes involved and more ‘joining the dots’ to do than in Getresponse.

Now my feeling is that for now, serious e-commerce operators will continue to make use of established platforms like BigCommerce or Shopify to sell products online rather than using a email marketing platform like Getresponse.

That said, Getresponse’s all-in-one approach has the potential to be useful to some merchants, particularly those starting out, those hosting paid webinars, or those who want to manage as many aspects of a sales process as possible using only one tool.

Website building

Mailchimp recently introduced a new feature that allows you to build a simple website.

It’s similar in nature to something like Google Sites, in that it allows you to create a simple website using a drag and drop interface.

Whilst it’s not going to be a replacement for a dedicated website building platform like WordPress or Squarespace any time soon, it’s still a potentially useful tool for some users, especially solopreneurs or small businesses.

And the good news is that unlike a lot of other Mailchimp features, it’s available on all plans — even the free one.

Mailchimp’s new website building tool.
Mailchimp’s new website building tool.

The closest Getresponse comes to offering a feature like this is via its landing page creator — but all you’ll be able to do with that is create a one-page website. It’s not as fully-fledged as the Mailchimp offering.


Two-factor authentication

Both Mailchimp and Getresponse facilitate two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication requires you to not only enter a password at login, but also to verify your identity as an account owner by entering in a second piece of information — for example, a code sent by SMS to your phone.

Given the emphasis placed by GDPR on the importance of data security, it’s good that both products cater for this.


Customer support

Finally, there’s customer support to consider.

Getresponse used to be a clear winner in this department, because phone, live chat and email support were offered, whereas Mailchimp only offered email or live chat support.

Getresponse recently axed their phone support however — on all plans but their enterprise-level “Max” offering — so now both products offer a similar level of support.

Mailchimp provides phone support on its most expensive offering too (the $299+ ‘Premium’ plan).

If phone support is an absolute deal-breaker for you, you might want to take a look at Aweber — one of the few email marketing products that still includes it at an affordable rate. (For more details on this product, please see our Aweber review).


Getresponse vs Mailchimp: the verdict

Overall, I have to say that Getresponse is the clear winner in this shootout — it’s (generally speaking) cheaper to use and comes with considerably more features (webinars, conversion funnels and more sophisticated landing pages to name just a few). Unlike Mailchimp, there are no send limits; and unsubscribed contacts don’t count towards your list size. All this ultimately makes Getresponse the much better value product of the two being discussed here.

In particular, Getresponse’s webinars and conversion funnels are really useful tools to have in your digital marketing toolbox — and I feel that they do make Getresponse more of an ‘all in one’ platform than Mailchimp.

On top of that, the flexible approach to data segmentation makes Getresponse a much better tool for managing an email list (or multiple lists) and using your data in creative or sophisticated ways.

There is one strong argument for using Mailchimp over Getresponse: its free plan, which is admittedly very generous for anyone with a small list and basic email marketing requirements.

I’ll leave you with a list of the key pros and cons of each product. Of course, it’s always worth making your own mind up by using the free trials available: you can try Getresponse for free here, and Mailchimp for free here.


The pros and cons of Getresponse and Mailchimp

Reasons to use Getresponse over Mailchimp

  • You get considerably more functionality on the entry-level ‘Basic’ plan than the Mailchimp equivalent (including fully-fledged autoresponders, e-commerce features and the option to code your own templates).

  • You are only charged for active subscribers on your list — Mailchimp charges you to host unsubscribed contacts.

  • There are no send limits to worry about in Getresponse.

  • Emailing and excluding multiple segments and multiple lists is very easy in Getresponse — but impossible in all but the most expensive version of Mailchimp.

  • You can host webinars with Getresponse; with Mailchimp you’ll need to use another application.

  • Getresponse’s landing pages facilitate automatic A/B testing; Mailchimp’s currently do not.

  • Hundreds of templates are available for Getresponse’s landing pages; Mailchimp only offers a few.

  • Generous discounts are available for Getresponse if you pay upfront for a year or more’s service.

  • The number of variants you can use in a splite test is higher in Getresponse (you can test 5 emails against each other; Mailchimp’s limit is 3).
  • Some users may find the built-in e-commerce / ‘conversion’ features useful.

You can try Getresponse for free here.

Reasons to use Mailchimp over Getresponse

  • Its free plan is generous, allowing you access to many key features (including autoresponders) and to send 10,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers.

  • Mailchimp arguably integrates better with a wider range of third-party tools and services (with the notable exception of Shopify).

  • It provides translation functionality.

  • If your list is very small (i.e., contains less than 500 records), you can start sending e-newsletters more cheaply with Mailchimp.

  • Some users will appreciate the modern, minimal interface — it’s arguably a bit slicker than the Getresponse one.

  • Mailchimp lets you use more variables when conducting split tests.

  • A basic web design tool is included with all Mailchimp plans.

Over to you!

Have you got something to say about Getresponse or Mailchimp, or do have you any further queries about these products?

Share your thoughts in the comments below — we’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have.


Alternatives to Mailchimp and Getresponse

There are many alternatives to Getresponse and Mailchimp available.

Aweber is a solid if slightly less functional option than these two products, but it features phone support, which some users will find appealing. Check out our Aweber review here.

Campaign Monitor is worth a look too — it’s got a great interface and its templates are really strong. It is, however, very expensive by comparison to most email marketing tools.

If your needs are very simple, then Mad Mimi might be for you — it’s extremely basic in functionality terms, but it provides a very cheap way to send out a newsletter.

Finally, Hubspot is well worth investigating — it combines a CRM with email marketing, and offers a pretty generous free plan too.


More email marketing resources / further reading

You may find our below email marketing tool resources useful:

You might also find our guide on how to create a newsletter, our autoresponders guide and AppInstitute’s guide to email marketing helpful.


Free resources on email marketing from Style Factory

For excellent free resources on all aspects of running an online business — from email marketing to SEO to web design — make sure you subscribe to our updates via email.

You’ll receive e-newsletters containing all our latest advice and reviews…essential stuff for kick-starting your business. Click here to subscribe for free today.

Comments (57)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

These comments go back 5 years but the comparison is being shown as 2019. Is this comparison actually up to current feature sets provided by each platform or is it an old review reskinned as new?

Hi Chris, thanks for your comments – yes, the post is up to date, but we regularly update it to take account of new features. We’re going to change the post details soon so that it includes this information in the copy. Thanks Chris

I was wondering if anyone has mentioned difficulties with MailChimp and being an Online Marketer? They recently closed my account down due to this, even thought I was not spamming, just setting up a weekly newsletter to opt-ins.

The same thing just happened to me — also curious what others have experienced with this. Nice to have a free service but when they suspend your account without saying WHY, it’s a big loss of time and opportunity. I’ve been waiting 8 days now to find out why my account was suspended and have it resolved. And it’s the holidays, a key time for outreach.

Thank you for all this. Very useful.
I just saw that Mailchimp is now using TAGS to help organise contacts.

Mailchimp.com :
"Tags are labels you create to help organize your contacts. Tagging lets you bring your own contact structure into MailChimp and label contacts based on data only you know about them. Tags are highly customizable, so you can create and assign them as you see fit."

That sound amazing to me ? Do you have any comments on that ?
Thank you
Eva Dalhoff

I’ve been using Getresponse for half a year now. I like it, but there are a couple of annoyances that I rarely see mentioned, and that may be important for a number of people.

My biggest issue with GR is that it will not process forms filled out by users who are already on your list. Say you have 3 leadmagnets, and you want a user to be able to download different leadmagnets on different occasions, and maybe trigger a different automation on each leadmagnet download. Well, Getresponse will not let you do this, because once someone is on your list, it won’t process any additional forms submitted by the same user. Put differently, it’s forms will not allow you to update a user who already exists. The only way to work around this is to write custom code implementing the getresponse api and perform updates yourself.

The other annoyance I have found is that you cannot split test emails that are in an automated sequence. You can only split test broadcast emails.

Hope this helps some people.

Hi Chris,

I really appreciate how even-handed this review is, even outlining circumstances under which you might make a different choice than yourself. And those circumstances are real business circumstances and not stupid marketing comments like "If you like to waste money."

As a software developer, I’d worked a lot with MailChimp on behalf of other clients. It seemed to be ubiquitous. But as I began to learn about SEO and niche content marketing, I started seeing a lot more people recommending GetResponse.

As your article points out, there are good reasons to prefer GetResponse, but I just want to underscore the value of being able to start with a free plan and scale up as needed for people launching smaller efforts they hope to build up over time, which describes an awful lot of first-time, niche content marketers. A lot of times, we have big dreams and are a little low on realistic plans and expectations. If someone is just starting out with their first niche content site and doesn’t already have a large audience to tell about it from other efforts, it’s going to take a long time before they even come close to hitting MailChimp’s free plan limit. A long time. Much longer than a month, which is when GetResponse’s plan would start charging you.

I don’t say that to discourage anyone from going with GetResponse right off the bat, but just to underscore that there is value in using tools that can bootstrap you while you get the ball rolling. It would be better for many people to use a free plan that’ll carry them through those months of building up a list than to start paying right away for features they won’t use on a list that’ll be relatively small for some time.

Thanks for the comparison. I am running Getresponse as well as Mailchimp simultaneously. Must say, I prefer Mailchimp because of it’s free 2000 subscribers, but Getresponse surprised me with all the new functionalities.

Thanks Liz – you sum up the main pros of both tools there. Mailchimp’s free plan is undeniably generous but the Getresponse feature set is, in my view, stronger than Mailchimp’s.

I’d like to add a different point of view, which is email design. I use MailChimp to send our newsletters, but I didn’t get along with their design tools. So I looked around and found Mailstyler.
It’s a desktop software (so I can use it only at my desk at the office, but it’s ok) and I use it to create templates for our campaigns. These are responsive templates. It works smoothyl and I import them directly into MailChimp. They claim templates are compaitble with every software or platform but I use MailChimp only, so who knows. I’m pretty happy, maybe it’ll be useful to you too.

Thanks for the comparison of these two tools. I think I’m going to try GetResponse first as they have a nice marketing automation solution. Perhaps you could run a comparison of this too?

Mailchimp automation is now free. https://blog.mailchimp.com/announcing-free-marketing-automation-for-everyone

Super helpful thanks for offering all of this information, it was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to also add that GetResponse is educated minded. For example, they are constantly offering classes on how to use their service to the maximum making it easy for someone like me to figure it out. Mailchimp just sends me free socks and blog posts about how they set up their own store. That’s nice but does not actually help me learn the ins and outs of how to use it.

Great article, thanks so much. Did you come across anything to do with deliverability of either solution? I am currently with Mailchimp but looking to move to GetResponse and I’d like to understand if there is any variability here – great functionality is one thing but if the emails are not being delivered….

Thanks for the great detailed comparison! This really helped me make a decision. Originally, I was leaning toward MailChimp, but after reading this, I can see that hands-down, GetResponse is the clear winner. Mainly it’s because of the features like the landing page and webinar capabilities. I am so glad I found this thorough comparison before making a decision. A thousand times, thank you!!!

Thanks for an in-depth comparison. Mailchimp seems to me like a tool good for complete beginners. It’s always a better idea to try both and see which suits your business best! I’ll definitely do so, though I’m a bit tempted by GetResponse’s marketing automation. Time for some tests! 🙂

I read the article and actually have to say, that I’m glad to use Mailerlite. These two are also good, but when you sum up everything, all details must be considered. As for a newbie I think it is pretty important to have a possibility to have a free plan, since your bugget is not big and you don’t have a lot of subscribers, but still want to have everything like autoresponds, landing pages and other good stuff. But it was great article, really detailed, it was interesting to read a battle between two giants.

I use MC and have recently also signed up to GR. I find GR very clunky and old-school. Navigation is difficult and frustrating. Their Help is just a set of FAQs and searching them gives stuff you don’t need – so you have to contact support support. Their Survey forms cannot initiate a workflow. Their workflow messages cannot get out of draft unless you email a campaign to yourself. So clunky. The Landing Page cannot host Google Adsence. I changed to GR because of a hosted TY page, but that is no value to me without Google ads. There are just so many things about GR that I don’t like – everything seems harder than it should be. Their campaign setup editor is really clunky compared to MC. MC have stricter optinn requirements I believe. When my number of contacts reaches a number where GR and MC are the same cost, then I will so bye to GR – with relief.
Davo
ps – good review – the last blog I read was done by an GR affiliate – totally biased
Davo

This review has been really helpful thanks. I’ve recently been testing GetResponse and to me just seems really buggy – so many things that should be straightforward have sucked up loads of my time trying to fix. It’s frustrating because it seems overall to be one of the best products I’ve come across. Has anyone else found this? Off to test mailchimp now to see if it’s any better…

Thanks for your thoughts on Mailchimp vs Getresponse, Monica – yes, the Getresponse automation workflows are probably one of its most impressive features. Hope it all works out well for you.

Have you found that GetResponse has a really strict compliance policy? We switched from GetResponse to MailChimp simply because every time we wanted to upload 500 emails, it had to be queued for a 48 hour review – make things pretty difficult.

No probs – thanks for the feedback! Hope the article helped clarify the Getresponse vs Mailchimp debate a little…

Great review! Both tools sound like a great choice and the ultimate choice should be defined by what we need in the end. My personal choice is GetResponse. I’ve been using it for several months now.

Thanks much for this comparison and your comparison between different services. Concise, to the point, detailed, practical – I love this. If I had seen your work before, while I was shopping for an email marketing service, these articles would have saved me loads of time. Subscribed now to your social media feeds, and responded in detail to a question in these comments. Keep up your good work!

It should also be noted that if you use a 2 step authentication with mailchimp they drop 10% off your bill each month. It’s a valid point left out of many reviews.

This is the best review I have seen so far. I am well conversant with both platforms, so I know you did a great comparison of the two. I personally use MailChimp free plan right now and if I see the need to migrate, I will move my list to GetResponse.

For those people who want to use MailChimp , I have a full Free MailChimp Video course on my site . Just go to the link attached. Click next or previous to go to the Next or previous videos. (All videos are in a progressive order- teaching one step at a time) All the best .
http://bizanosa.com/mailchimp-course-by-bizanosa-1

Very well written, thank you. I’m going for GetResponse, although I used it in the past with mixed feelings. From memory, support was sleepy and the templates a bit aged.

Awesome comparison between the Getresponse and mailchimp.. Abit texty but conscience ~ Visually appealing if it was comparing side by side using a table chart

Great Review! It was very helpful. Initially I wanted to go with GetResponse. Tried to set up an account, but the confirmation email didn’t even make it into my inbox. So much for 99% deliver-ability…
Went with MailChimp instead. Works fine.

is it possible to change services later on… for example one uses the mailchimp services till list turns to be more then 2000 users..?

Commenting a bit late maybe … 🙂

Short answer: You CAN switch from a service that does not provide auto-responders to a service that does. But it might hurt you dearly.

Long answer:

Yes, you can switch e.g. from Mailchimp to Getresponse later. Or upgrade your Mailchimp plan to a higher level. Mailchimp’s free plan sure is compelling. Exporting the email addresses from the old service and importing them into the new one is not a huge task.
I am all for saving money, so I had the same idea. The reason why I chose to run with Getresponse anyway right from the start:
– When you are building a new business, time lost hurts a lot. (In the end, not at the start.)
– You will have to invest time in learning again how to do the same stuff in new service – that can be quite time consuming.
– There is also a risk in the case of switching from a service that does not provide auto-responders (like Mailchimp’s free plan) to a service that does provide them: You may continue to think in email-blast-only categories, not having had auto-responders available.
– Plus, the way you segmented your email addresses for the non-auto-responder service may be completely unfit for working with a service that provides auto-responders. Translation: The moment you switch and understand the power of auto-responders, you may start crying. Because you may realize that all email addresses you have collected before the switch are now useless to you – because you did not know how to understand your customer base, before you started using auto-responders.

This review was particularly helpful for me. Both platforms seem to run high-quality services, so that was good to learn. I wasn’t really looking for an answer of which one should I use over the other, just a good, solid review – I found that here. Thanks!

Thanks for the post, Im curious about Landing Pages, it seems like GetResponse has that included but Mail Chimp does not, is that correct?

That’s the reason I chose GetResponse one year ago. If you’re not sure the best idea is to visit their page http://www.getresponse.com/ and read something more about it.

Hi,
nice article, thanks! But you are sure when you write "Getresponse also have a nice little feature where you can trigger an autoresponder based on a subscriber’s birthday too"?
I think that also MailChimp has "birtday autoresponder"; i’m in wrong? This feature is very important for me and i’d like to know the exactly situation before to start to use MailChimp (or GetResponse). Thank you and Happy New Year! bye