Below you’ll find an overview of their pricing along with a discussion about their key features and a summary of why you might choose one over the other.
What do they do?
Aweber and Getresponse are those magical tools for hosting your mailing list, creating attractive email templates and sending newsletters out to your loyal subscribers. They also allow you to automate your communications to subscribers via ‘autoresponders’.
Autoresponders are used to provide subscribers with newsletters from you regularly: for example, immediately after they sign up, a subscriber might receive a 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.
But that’s just the tip of the massive marketing iceberg though: newsletter tools like these allow you to do a load of nifty stuff, which we shall see below,
Let’s take a look at the pricing first,
Aweber vs Getresponse pricing
There are 5 Aweber plans to choose from. These are based on the size of your list, with the below-listed
- 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, Aweber will customize the plan based on your exact needs.
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.
There are four Getresponse plans:
- Basic — this starts at $15 per month, & 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, which starts from $1199 per month (exact pricing will depend on your requirements — you’ll need to customize these rates with Getresponse).
There are also separate pricing plans available for non-profit organizations, 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 and e-commerce, with more functionality being provided the more you pay (We will list the details below).
And the Winner on Price is….
At the basic end, 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 so bad $14 per month ($168 per year) saving by using the Getresponse ‘Email’ plan instead of Aweber‘s equivalent.
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 non-profits (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 discount options available with Aweber as well, 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 a meager 15%.
Overall, I’d say that Getresponse is the winner on pricing, but as we shall see below, this is not the only thing you should be looking at.
Let us take a look at the feature set.
Overview of core features
Similarities between Aweber & Getresponse
- Ability to capture data and host mailing lists
- A wide range of pre-designed newsletter templates
- Autoresponder functionality which allows you to send automated newsletters as per a predefined schedule to subscribers once they sign up
- Statistics on the percentage of subscribers that are opening your emails, clicks or unsubscribing
- RSS to newsletter functionality (useful for automatically sending your blog posts to subscribers on your mailing list)
- Message builders that allow you to create and edit newsletters without any 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 newsletters to customers on your CRM system.
- Responsive email templates.
Key differences between Aweber & Getresponse
- CRM functionality
- More advanced marketing automation
- 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.
The situation with regard to templates in Getresponse is undergoing a transformation.
This is because a new version of the Getresponse email creator is currently being rolled out and tested, and now there are two sets of templates available, one for the old email creator and one for a new, ‘BETA’ version.
The new templates are so much better than the old ones and comparable to the best ones out there.
However, there are far fewer of them to choose from, and you can currently only use them for standard mail outs i.e., you can’t currently use one of the new templates in an autoresponder cycle or automation workflow.
I’ve been told by Getresponse that this situation should be rectified within a few weeks — the sooner the better, really.
As for the ‘old’ templates, there is a big range of them available — over 500, available in easy-to-understand categories, so it’s generally pretty straightforward to find a good starting point for a template and edit it into something that fits your requirements.
The templates are also tweakable — you can change fonts, layouts and imagery easily enough using the controls provided, and of course, there is nothing to stop you simply designing your own HTML email template and importing the code for it.
The email templates provided by both Getresponse and Aweber are now all fully responsive which means that they will automatically adjust the layout of your newsletter to suit the device it’s being viewed on (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.).
In Getresponse, as you build your email using the drag-and-drop builder provided, you will see a preview of what it will look like on a simulated mobile device on the right-hand side of the editor.
This is excellent because you can see both the desktop and mobile versions of your newsletter — as you build it. Not only this, you can flip the orientation of your 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 — perhaps I was 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 disruptive to the workflow — so an easy 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. This can help designers create newsletters that 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 still 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 newsletters look 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 newsletters too.
I wouldn’t view web fonts as being a show-stopper 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 program of autoresponders so that…
- A few minutes after somebody signs up to your list, they receive a welcome message
- exactly 5 Days later they receive a discount code
- 2 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 & Getresponse provide good basic autoresponder functionality, allowing you to automatically send particular newsletters based on certain 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 newsletter is much more comprehensive, and it is 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.
Getresponse very recently introduced a new feature called ‘Marketing Automation’ which takes autoresponders to a more sophisticated level.
This allows you to create sophisticated automation workflows using a drag and drop builder – you basically set up an ‘automation flowchart’ like a Macro that tells Getresponse what to do if a user takes a specific action.
There are a variety of triggers you can use to shape your automation workflow in Getresponse, but key ones include:
- Email opens
- Link clicks
- Product purchases
- Abandoned carts
- URLs visited
- A change in a subscriber’s field data
This means you can extensively customize your subscribers’ user journeys based on how they interact with any of your emails or as a response to their actions. Not only this, but you can integrate this workflow with Getresponse‘s CRM features.
Aweber offers something similar with their ‘Campaigns’ — but at the moment it’s very basic, which essentially allows you to tag subscribers and send particular emails based on the links that they click.
So for now, Getresponse is significantly ahead in the area of workflow automation.
In terms of the file types that Aweber lets you import, you can bring in data from the following types of files:
Getresponse lets you import from the following 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.
One thing you’ll need to note with Aweber is it can take 1 business day to process 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 are 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 maximizes 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 the chosen solution to facilitate both processes. And the good news is that both Aweber and Getresponse allow you to choose the preferred opt-in method.
Integration with other systems
Both Aweber and Getresponse offer a wide range of integrations with other sites and services. These include integrations with well-known services such as Amazon, Paypal, Salesforce, Facebook and Twitter.
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 complicated, but it can take a little bit of trial and error 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.
Getresponse allows you to test up to 5 variants of 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).
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 a newsletter to the red car owners and blue car owners in one go, you could do this in Getresponse really easily – you’d just tick the segments and 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 as compared to 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, no segments.
Landing page creation
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 optimized for capturing data (as they contain less content to distract users).
This 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 tool, where you can try out up to 10 different versions of a landing page, with the system automatically identifying the best performing one.
You can also make use of landing pages with Aweber, however 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 easy as Getresponse, and if you rely on third-party software, it can all get rather expensive rather quickly.
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 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
- screen sharing
- recording webinar
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 attendee’s limit, $99 per month buys you a 500 attendee’s limit.
It’s not entirely clear what happens if you need to host webinars to over 500 people, I’d suggest calling Getresponse’s support desk a line about that but I suspect those limits will work fine for most.
If you wanted to run webinars with Aweber, you’d need to use a third-party tool such as Gotowebinar. This can again work out expensive.
Send time optimization (‘Perfect Timing’)
Called ‘Perfect Timing’, this feature automatically sends your email at the time at which it’s theoretically 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% on average improvement in open rates and a 20% median improvement in click-through rates.
Aweber does 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 just not as sophisticated as send-time optimization, and also requires you to do a bit of legwork and stats analysis 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 their Customer Relationship Management tool (it will only be available on the ‘Plus’ plan or higher).
Some of its features are indeed very interesting. Not only can you use the CRM to manage sales pipelines, track customer activity and so on, but you can also link it up with Getresponse‘s autoresponders, email marketing automation and webinars to create a very sophisticated subscriber journey.
- you can add a contact to a particular stage on a sales pipeline based on the page on your site that they completed a form on;
- you can then send them an automated email specific to that pipeline stage a few days later;
- 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 really 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 any other team member.
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 just an email marketing platform into something of an all-in-one marketing and an e-commerce platform.
The idea behind Autofunnel is that you can do the following things without ever leaving the Getresponse environment:
- Create a product catalog
- 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 leading payment gateways)
- Send abandoned cart emails wherever necessary
As the feature name suggests, Getresponse wants to give you a means to create sales funnels without any need for other tools at all (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 into this feature.
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 generally beats Getresponse.
Unlike Getresponse and 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 only.
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 consideration over Getresponse.
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.
The links for each free trial are below:
Finally 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 sound, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty using either to manage your communications.
There are a couple of key areas where Aweber has an edge though, it integrates more easily with a wider range of third-party products, and unlike Getresponse, and phone support is included with your Aweber monthly plan.
Here’s a lowdown of why you might pick one of these tools over the other.
Reasons to pick Getresponse over Aweber
- You can sign up for a free trial without entering credit card details.
- Getresponse is more competitively priced (particularly if your subscriber list contains between 500 and 1000 records).
- Much Higher discounts. These discounts are more generous than Aweber equivalents.
- Getresponse offers much better 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 any 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 click-through 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 via Getresponse.
Reasons to pick Aweber over Getresponse
- The Aweber templates are just a little bit more attractive than the Getresponse equivalents, and there is a greater selection of them available.
- You can use DKIM on Aweber on any plan; you have to be on a much 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 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 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.