Building a brand is no joke in this day and age. There is so much competition that every business is giving the best shot at standing out. Email marketing is one thing that can’t be ignored and you need an apt autoresponder for your business.
Founded in 1998, Aweber was intended for small businesses to automate their marketing campaigns and design newsletters.
GetResponse got into the market that same year. It is a well-established platform for eCommerce stores to manage their contact lists, utilize segmentation capabilities, and nurture leads.
Both make bold claims to be ‘the best email marketing tools’ out there. But they take different approaches to do so.
I’ll be presenting an in-depth comparison of both the tools and let you be the judge of what best suits your needs.
- Easy to use interface
- Comes with a free-forever plan for small businesses
- It allows you to send unlimited emails to your list and facilitates AMP for email creating interactive and dynamic emails. This increases user engagement.
- Comes with a decent range of integrations and add-ons with tech giants
- Aweber has a huge library of beautiful email templates that are easily customizable
- Allows you to use web-fonts in newsletters facilitating brand consistency for your emails
- Option to import various types of file formats and manage contact lists well.
- Award-winning customer support with 24/7 live chat and email support
- High deliverability rate ensuring all your emails get into people’s inboxes
- Intuitive interface.
- Excellent marketing automation features.
- Intelligent data segmentation focusing on customer purchase patterns enabling you to send hyper-targeted emails
- It has conversion funnels and auto funnel features to manage all your sales under one roof
- In-depth reporting features
- A/B testing allows you to test 5 variations at a time including subject line, delivery time, email content, and form field
- Easy-to-customize templates helping you maintain brand consistency
- Awesome landing page and form templates that are easily customizable, responsive, and mobile-friendly.
Aweber has an easy to navigate user interface.
On the homepage, it gives you an overview of your subscribers and your recently sent broadcasts. It will also show you some basic stats like opens, clicks, bounce, and complaints.
The top bar has five tabs, messages, subscribers, sign-up forms, reports, and list options. If you hover over them, you’ll find sub-tabs to navigate from.
Aweber’s interface is quite clean and simple to use. If you are somebody who craves simple UIs and doesn’t want to get your head wrapped around it, then you’re going to like this interface.
It is not as simple as ConvertKit though.
If we talk about GetResponse, it has a user-friendly interface too. But with a lot of features on this platform, there’s a learning curve waiting for you.
It is not clunky whatsoever and you can do all the basic things pretty easily like importing contacts, building campaigns, and checking statistics.
Quite often, its email editor is reported to be buggy but GetResponse is prompt in solving these issues.
The GetResponse interface will require you to have a great deal of patience. So go expecting a platform like Mailchimp’s you got some learning to do. But once mastered, the road is open!
Aweber lets you import contacts using CSV, XLS, XLSX, TXT, and TSV. Or you opt to add them manually.
It also lets you add your contacts to your autoresponder cycles at any time and tag them. This feature is super handy and not all email marketing tools provide the ability to add your people directly to your automation builder.
However, Aweber doesn’t let you import contacts from Gmail or other third-party apps, which is a drag.
Aweber keeps a strict check and balance on where your subscribers are coming from and so you need to answer some screening questions. They have to ensure you haven’t bought a list or spamming people.
There’s a pre-generated subject line that you can choose when creating a list. Otherwise, if you wish to create your own list, you may need to wait for one business day for Aweber’s team to verify your subject line. Got to say patience isn’t one of my virtues.
I’m not particularly impressed by Aweber’s segmentation capabilities. You have to create a new segment every time you are about to send an email.
Who does that? Okay, other than Aweber? If you have a long contact list, be prepared for the tedious and time-consuming work ahead of you.
The good news is you can segment your list based on profile details or custom fields.
Bad news, they are very similar to Mailchimp where if a customer appears on multiple lists, they are counted twice.
Let’s move to GetResponse!
Coming from Aweber, GetResponse is like hitting a goldmine.
First, they allow you to upload contacts using third-party services such as Salesforce, Google, Zendesk Support, and a few more.
Score one for GetResponse. Whoop! Whoop!
They have advanced segmentation and tagging features. You can create segments and add tags based on contact email engagement behavior, field data, lead scores, etc. If you have used Moosend, it’s very similar to GetResponse.
All you have to do is click the relevant tags and segments and ‘hit’ send. No waiting for list approvals.
Do you need laser-focus personalization? Use their ‘one-click segmentation’ and ‘metrics over time’ which segments people according to their engagement with the campaign. Believe me, you are in the driver’s seat to see how your customers engage with your emails.
GetResponse also lets you send emails to multiple segments at once or exclude other segments depending on your requirements.
The list hygiene feature further keeps your contact lists healthy by removing your audience as per your rules. Impressive, right?
Winner: GetResponse. It wins hands down. You have flexible list management and segmentation features that hardly any competitor provides.
Templates are a must-have when you are opting for an email marketing tool.
Aweber has a wide collection of email templates – both basic and colorful to kickstart your email campaigns. The templates are responsive and the drag and drop editor further lets you customize the templates.
You can also opt to customize your own template using the Aweber API.
Unlike some other tools, Aweber also lets you use web fonts. They create a far more attractive feel to your campaigns rather than those standard fonts everyone has.
Plus, you can have a brand font that’s consistent with all your campaigns.
One interesting feature that for me is the cherry on top of the ice cream, is their RSS to email templates.
Aweber calls this ‘Blog Broadcasts’ and you can send newsletters to your subscribers using your website’s RSS feed.
On the other hand, GetResponse has hundreds of attractive and modern templates that are customizable and responsive. And if you hard core, go ahead and custom a template using HTML.
It may take a while to get used to the email editor but I have to confess it’s one of the most flexible in the market. And I can’t forget mentioning their UNDO/REDO buttons and the revision history as well. Oh! I love that.
Using the preview function, you can see how they would look to your customers on the mobile, desktop, tablet, etc.
Not that just, GetResponse makes things spicy by offering a ‘time travel’ feature which sends emails or newsletters to your audience according to their time zone.
Winner: GetResponse. What’s not to love? It’s sleek templates, smooth drag and drop editor, and highly customizable templates. But, FYI, Mailchimp also gives you 600+ templates and at a lower price.
Let’s talk about the bone of email marketing tools!
Aweber has lazed around over the last few years as not much has been added to their automation.
But the good news is they let you create automation sequences in drag and drop builder using customer behaviors.
Don’t worry if you can’t find an ‘Automation’ tab because Aweber calls it a Follow-up series.
Luckily, Aweber offers email automation in its free forever plan as well. So that is a plus.
Quite honestly, the process isn’t as sophisticated as in GetResponse. The very basic state of affairs here!
Automation is limited to a specific tag or one subscribes to a list. And you only have a few actions to take. Send an email, set a waiting period, or apply a tag. Period.
With GetResponse, again the difference is like heaven and earth.
There are a large number of triggers to create your automation workflows including abandoned carts, clicks, opens, product purchases, and more.
It comes with a drag-and-drop automation builder that lets you take action and place conditions on its workflow page. But if you’re a newbie at creating automation workflows, fret not. It comes with ready-made automation workflow templates making it easier for you.
The only drawback is that the number of pre-made templates is based on the amount of cash you choose to splash. Money talks!
But for me, it wasn’t a deal-breaker as you get welcome, lead qualifying, engagement, online courses, webinars, and affiliate marketing workflow templates on all plans.
The flexible drag and drop editor lets you label contacts and assigns scores according to their response at any level of the campaign. Guess what?
This helps you create different pathways for more enriched user experience. It’s subscriber customization on a whole other level.
Of course, we’re not talking about Klaviyo or MailChimp state-of-the-art automation but hey, it’s way up there.
Winner: GetResponse. It’s a full-fledged automation builder, allowing you to take your automation to another level. With Aweber, you can stay connected with your customers but can’t really do anything to build nurture campaigns.
A/B testing is the way to court your target audience and know them better.
Aweber lets you send up to three variations of your newsletter. You can test content, call-to-action, and sending time.
Additionally, You can choose the distribution of your audience for each email variation.
That means, if you are trying out a different campaign, you can send them to a few recipients instead of launching it 50/50 among your recipients.
All the basic stats are shown on your homepage.
Again, Aweber’s split testing features are bare-bones as you can only test email broadcasts.
GetResponse lets you test five variations at once and change your form field, delivery time, subject line, and content. And it’s for both broadcasts and automation workflows.
But the added bonus is that GetResponse also allows you to test your landing pages. You can test up to ten designs of your landing page and see which one performs best on your UI homepage.
Aweber lacks an in-built CRM tool.
It is a simple email marketing solution for small businesses and can offer you integrations with Woocomeerce, BigCommerce, Paypal, Salesforce, Shopify, and many more.
Their eCommerce integrations are available in their free plan as well.
Let’s now move to GetResponse with which you can run a whole eCommerce business.
They offer the same integrations as Aweber so that’s not a big deal.
Their Autofunnels feature which lets you create attractive funnels to sell courses, products and convert your customers is the secret sauce.
Want to track your customers’ journey?
The conversion funnel feature is the ISH. It not only allows you to track the customer journey but also to create Facebook ads, landing pages, run campaigns to drive your subscribers to the sales pages, and accept payment for the purchased products.
And that’s not enough! You can add subscribers to an autoresponder cycle of your choice and send abandoned cart emails and reminders to them.
I call it a one-stop-shop for creating and managing sales funnels under one roof.
This feature is available for all of their tiers but their basic plan allows you to create just one funnel.
Winner: GetResponse. They’ve won fair and square. It’s your all-in-one eCommerce solution.
This is another area where GetResponse has a competitive edge over Aweber.
Aweber has a good collection of landing pages with Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics installed to track the performance of your advertising campaigns.
The drag and drop editor is very straightforward to use and hundreds of professional stock photos are available.
Good thing is that all of this is offered in their free plan. Aweber’s landing page functionality is nice but it definitely needs improvement.
Now onto GetResponse.
They have hundreds of customizable templates for webinars, sign-up forms, and landing pages.
However, Aweber’s interface is more user-friendly than the GetResponse landing page editor. Also, on GetResponse, you have to create separate versions for mobile and desktop.
Aweber gets credit here for not being annoying in this regard. But hey, that’s not a deal-breaker.
The landing page builder will make you forgive them for the extra work. Trust me. You can set up your ads, webinars, web forms, and social media campaigns in the landing page editor. What more do you want?
Oh, and the geeks can enjoy HTML/CSS to custom landing pages.
Plus, the landing pages are integrated with Facebook pixel and Google Analytics.
Moreover, with WordPress and Joomla integration, you can create landing pages on GetResponse and publish them directly on WordPress. Cool, right?
Winner: GetResponse. The landing page builder can be a bit clunky, but it’s ahead of Aweber because of its raw power and flexibility. However, you can consider Moosend as well for it’s landing page builder flexibility and very affordable price tag.
Aweber offers good analytical features.
To see how your campaigns are performing, you’ve got more than just the basic clicks, opens, and bounces. You can see the growth graph, location of your subscribers, and history of your customer’s activities.
I honestly think this is so much more than its competitors in the market.
But the fact that you have to hop around three tabs, ‘Broadcasts’, ‘Subscribers’, and finally ‘Reports.’ It’s tiring. Then add no Google Analytics to the equation.
On GetResponse, all of the stats are available at a single place in the dashboard. You can look at everything – autoresponders, marketing automation, and customer patterns on the interface.
But wait, that is not all!
GetResponse has other spicy features too like one-click segmentation, metrics over time, email ROI, and newsletter performance comparison.
Basically, you can track everything like a ninja from CTRs, clicks, opens to conversion rates, and tracking codes. And you can add Google Analytics to do real-time eCommerce tracking.
Aweber gets your precious emails to your people’s inbox. All the restrictions and screening they do pays off. Their deliverability is A1.
It keeps spammers out of your way by enforcing opt-in rules. The Deliverability time monitors the system 24/7 to ensure good email delivery and block any suspicious activities.
I carried out an email deliverability test sometime last year that involved the top five popular email clients in the US.
The all-round deliverability performance with SPF & DKIM showed that 92% of Aweber’s emails landed in the inbox while 75% of GetResponse emails ended up in people’s inboxes.
While GetResponse scores high in other areas, their email deliverability needs improvement.
However, it does have an anti-spam feature available in all of their plans.
Winner: Aweber. It’s hard to beat Aweber in the email deliverability ring!
There are various categories on Aweber like CRM, eCommerce, social media, webinars to make your search easy for third-party platforms.
However, there might be some challenges involved in setting up integrations with some of the services.
With GetResponse, you get a wider range of integrations with pretty much any industry-leading tool out there.
But again one limitation you’ll face here is that apps won’t integrate as seamlessly as you would find it on Mailchimp.
Being an oldie in the industry, GetResponse should focus on improving these problems and offer video documentation.
Winner: Tie. Both have excellent third-party integrations but should focus on making integration better.
Aweber’s customer support is one of the outstanding features of this product.
Winner of the Stevie Awards for customer service, this email marketing tool offers 24/7 live chat and email support.
Phone support is available from 8 am-8 pm ET Monday to Friday.
Moreover, Aweber has an extensive knowledge base and FAQ sections with lots of video tutorials.
GetResponse also has dedicated customer support with 24/7 live chat and email available in all their plans. They may delay their feedback but they answer. But I liked that you can send your email in 8 languages. English, Polish, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Portuguese.
Phone support is only available for the premium plan.
With comprehensive resources and help tutorials, you’ll find almost everything you need to use this product to the best of its use.
Winner: Aweber. No email marketing platform beats Aweber. They are the best.
Unless you have a huge amount of cash to flow, you need to take pricing seriously.
Aweber has two pricing plans: Free and Pro.
The freemium plan includes all the core features and is for 500 subscribers only. The Pro, priced at $16.15 for 500 subscribers differs from the free plan with its advanced reporting and segmentation features.
The price increases as your list grow.
GetResponse has 4 plans, Basic, Plus, Professional, and Max. The more your contacts increase, the pricier your package becomes. But they give you a free 30-day trial with no free plan.
The basic tier is priced at only 15$ with a list size of 1,000 contacts. All the tiers are for 1000 subscribers and the prices increase with the number of subscribers and features. So it can be pretty expensive.
But here’s the thing. Their basic plan doesn’t offer basic features like contact scoring and tagging and you need to upgrade to a higher package for that.
Winner: Aweber. Offers good value for your buck. With GetResponse, you may have to sell a kidney when your list increases and you need more features. However, you can get some tools like Mailerlite or MailChimp that offer similar features as Aweber at a lower price.
Now, we are in a position to decide what works for your business and what doesn’t.
Aweber is a safe option for you if:
- You want to use an easy to use the platform without a lot of fuss.
- You need value for money
- And if support is a big deal to you
And pick GetResponse if:
- You need exceptional marketing automation features and behavioral segmentation.
- You need a one-stop-shop eCommerce solution for your business.
- You put great value on the landing page and form templates
- Money isn’t an issue.
Now, handing over the reins to you to make your choice and choose the product most suitable for your business needs.