If you want to be successful in blogging and online business, you need to start a mailing list. You probably heard about the term ‘the money is in the list‘ and that if you think that is just for Internet Marketers, you are absolutely wrong.
It doesn’t matter if you are running a small blog or a corporate website; you need to have a god-damn mailing list! And when it comes to the best mailing list provider, you are spoilt with choices. With over a dozen email marketing providers around, we are constantly trying to get the best for our bucks. I mean, who doesn’t right?
Prior to this, you should know that I am a huge fan of AWeber and I eve wrote a review about it. Read all about AWeber here.
Recently, I was basically lured into the dark valley and got bribed by GetResponse with their 25% Christmas deal and being a human being, I was attracted to it … big time!
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And I went through the whole process to migrate all my subscribers from AWeber to GetResponse and it was merely to leverage from the Christmas deal while giving it a go.
Yes, call me crazy.
I know there are probably hundreds or thousands of posts about AWeber vs GetResponse and seriously, I find them not much of a help as they are merely focusing on selling! In this review, I will be sharing with you what I think about both email marketing providers and of course, my personal opinion as a paying user myself.
AWeber vs GetResponse – The no-BS review
In this review, I will sharing with you several criteria for my judging and thus, feel free to head to the relevant section for my write up. Of course, this could possibly be a very long review indeed!
Criteria used for judging:
- Overview of both the email marketing companies (what?)
- Web signup forms designs
- Integrating with third party mailing list plugins
- Newsletter creation
- Autoresponder ability
- RSS to email feature
- Drag and drop editor
- Email delivery rate
- Ease of importing contacts
- Single opt-in and double opt-in
- Customer service and support
- The pricing factor
While this is definitely going to be a huge list, I recommend you to bookmark this for future reference.
1. Background check of AWeber and GetResponse
AWeber was founded back in 1998 and it was then a huge hit when it comes to email marketing. As off 2011, AWeber was home to over 100,000 customers globally. By now, I believe they are serving over 300,000 clients worldwide.
AWeber is used by several key figures such as Ileane Smith, John Chow and Adam Connell. For me, I love AWeber’s professional designs and outlook.
Some claimed that AWeber is probably the best email marketing provider in the world.
GetResponse was founded back around the same time with AWeber and it is a great alternative to AWeber. At the moment, GetResponse has over 300,000 clients internationally and is one of the most interactive email marketing providers I ever come across.
GetResponse is actively used by many bloggers, marketers and even huge corporations as well. Just like AWeber, it gets tons of great reviews from popular sites such as Mashable.
There are also many die-hard fans for GetResponse when it comes to choosing the right tool to build a mailing list.
Winner: There ain’t any winner in the background check. Both are highly creditable and reputed. Therefore, this is a draw.
2. The battle of web forms and designs
If you want to sky rocket your mailing list creation, you got to have beautiful signup forms that converts.
I have been using AWeber for over 8 months before this and I got to admit, I love their well-designed sign up forms. At the moment, AWeber has over 140 beautifully crafted sign up forms to woo your visitors to sign up.
Creating a sign up form on AWeber is easy and it offers 4 types of form such as inline, pop up, pop over and lightbox. For me, most of the sign up forms are beautiful and thus, it save me a lot of time when it comes to modification and this makes AWeber pretty much ready out-of-the-box.
AWeber has a great Drag and Drop editor for designing forms but I think that is absolutely not needed since it comes with some very attractive ready-made templates.
Now, if you are still unable to find a right template for yourself, don’t worry! AWeber team could provide support and even create a custom template for you! Yes, no joke!
GetResponse is something new to me and I am highly attracted to their very leisure outlook. You know, the vibrant colours and fonts … you get the point.
When it comes to build a sign up form, GetResponse is pretty much opposite from AWeber. Of course, I am more towards the lazy type and expects a lot from my email marketing provider. In terms of sign up form designs, I find that GetResponse is pretty much not overly attractive. They are pretty plain in some way (I am comparing highly to my site only) right out-of-the-box to be honest.
However, don’t get fooled with this. GetResponse is very powerful since it has a great Drag and Drop editor which I love to call to WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). This means that every form you build is according to your liking.
Winner: Since I am a huge believer that email marketing must be easy and less time consuming, AWeber is the clear winner here.
3. Easy of integration with other mailing list plugin
AWeber and GetResponse are equal in this comparison. The main reason is because both of these are very popular email marketing providers and thus, it is a no brainer to include easy integration with most of the mailing list builder plugins.
Sign up forms generated with AWeber and GetResponse comes with both scripts and HTML codes which you can easily use and integrate to any plugin under 10 seconds flat.
Furthermore, both offers features such as:
- Self installing the codes
- Emailing the codes to your developer(s)
- Hosting it through AWeber or GetResponse servers
I have tested with several optin plugins such as Hybrid Connect and Optinskin. Integrating both email marketing providers is as easy as A, B and C.
4. Creating a newsletter for your mailing list
If you are interested to use AWeber, it is great for both HTML and plain text usage. Creating a newsletter using AWeber is easy as there isn’t any technical skills required. All you need is to choose the beautiful ready-made templates and you are probably all done and ready with it.
AWeber has spam score value which are auto calculated based on the number of images, links and number of sensitive words in your newsletter. This is definitely a good thing as having a high score will actually increase the changes your newsletter landing in the spam box. Certainly, something you wouldn’t want to right?
Once a newsletter is done, you are given two choices which you may decide to send immediately or schedule a different time. If you are deciding to schedule the newsletter, all you need to set is the time which is according to Eastern or Western time.
Of course, you can also decide which mailing list which will be receiving the newsletter (aka segmentation).
Personally, AWeber is great if you are very focused in text based newsletter.
Again, GetResponse is very opposite to AWeber and it is more focus in dynamic and responsive email newsletters. GetResponse has over 30 of ready made newsletter templates and all you need to do is to choose one that fits your need. Lastly, do some modifications according to your needs and you will be ready in no time.
Of course, if you are adventurous and hardworking, you can just use the Drag and Drop feature and build your own custom newsletter.
A huge feature which GetResponse has is that it comes with responsive email testing and preview. This means that there is an option for you to preview how the newsletter would look like on different smartphones, computer OS and even browsers! Oh yes, if you think that I am joking, I am not!
Here’s what it (called as Inbox Preview) looks like:
GetResponse also comes with spam score but it had to be done manually (one click button).
There’s one more thing you should know about GetResponse; the revolutionary time-travel. With time-travel schedule featured enabled, all newsletters will be send out according to your subscriber’s local time. This is a mind blowing feature since you obviously do not have all subscribers living in the same town or time zone.
Winner: I would go with GetResponse as I felt each newsletter would be more customized and personalized thanks to the effective Drag and Drop feature. Also, with the latest Gmail update on images, having more images in your newsletter would be a good ‘investment’. Of course, the time-travel feature by GetResponse is definitely a no-brainer winner over AWeber in this comparison.
5. AWeber vs Getresponse review – Autoresponder ability
Autoresponder is a great feature to attract loyal readers back to your site and keeping them informed of the latest updates.
Creating an autoresponder is easy and all you need is to create multiple emails (called as follow up emails) plus, setting up the time to be send accordingly. Here’s an example:
AWeber’s autoresponder feature is pretty straight forward and it is pretty well baked for users who do not require much of a beautiful user-interface (comparing to GetResponse).
GetResponse does everything the same as AWeber and with some twist. You would be able to decide each autoresponder to be send according to:
- Time based (right after subscription or x days later)
- Upon actions such as after a click on any links in specific email
- Upon actions such as after opening a specific email
- Self defined goals that you create (click through rates, engagement level etc)
While this may sound hazzy at first, this means that GetResponse autoresponder is more versatile and provides a more custom-made experience for you and your subscribers.
Winner: For me, GetResponse is a better autoresponder since there are multiple ways to trigger an email. This means that you have everything it takes to create multiple goals that can be triggered by any goals or campaigns you had set.
Furthermore, having multiple options is a great way to boost your email marketing campaigns.
6. RSS to email feature
This is one email marketing feature which is very powerful and can determine the success or failure in luring your readers back to your site. Basically, all you need is set once and forget.
I was addicted to AWeber RSS to email and used it for a course of around 2 months. Setting up is extremely easy and AWeber provides you two options which are automatic and manual.
In automatic, you need to set the time and the number of RSS collected on AWeber. Once it reaches the goals you had set, an email will be send out automatically to all your subscribers.
However, it is not the case for the manual feature. Instead, emails will be created automatically and placed in your draft folder. You would then need to manually send each email (assuming after you customize or checking it).
Personally, I tend to use more automated than manual but bear in mind that automation could means boring and you are killing the surprise factor.
Since I moved over to GetResponse and totally love their Drag and Drop editor, I basically ditched this feature. However, here’s my review on it.
- Setup your RSS link with GetResponse
- Set up the frequency of daily, weekly, monthly or anytime you like
- Configure the total number of RSS collection before sending out
When it comes to RSS to email feature, GetResponse has only automatic feature and this means that it doesn’t go in draft unlike AWeber.
I would say this is a great addon to any mailing list campaign you are building. However, with the capabilities of the Drag and Drop feature of GetResponse, this could be one of the most under-utilized feature for me.
Winner: In terms of usability, I would give higher point to AWeber since it has the automatic and manual feature. It certainly a better feature when it comes to email customization.
7. Drag and drop editor
Out of a scale of 10, I would say AWeber would score around 7.5 for this category. In AWeber, you get all the basic feature you could ever wished to build a newsletter, autoresponder etc.
If you are planning to use AWeber drag and drop feature, it is best used on a blank template since all the ready-made templates are already so perfectly done.
The only issue is that you got to get used to the layout of AWeber Drag and Drop before you can actually maximize its usage.
GetResponse on the other hands is highly focus in drag and drop feature compared to AWeber. I would rate GetResponse higher with a score of 8.5 due to the fact that the feature is more ‘interactive’ with users compared to the above.
However, bear in mind that this is great option especially when you are picky (like me) or would simply prefer a fully customized form.
The only downside for GetResponse is that it takes quite a bit of resources to get this feature running. Therefore, you may face a slower loading page if you are using an older computer.
Winner: I would give GetResponse the winning point here because I noticed it is able to perform better (in terms of functionality) as a drag and drop editor and the WYSIWYG feature really works well with this editor.
8. Which email marketing provider has a better email delivery rate?
Email delivery rate is important as we need to ensure that our subscribers get those email newsletters promptly and at the right time for the maximum effect.
Through my 8 months with AWeber email marketing, it has never fail me when it comes to email delivery. Every email is sent out promptly and sharp on the dot.
What else to say? Perfecto!
The delivery rate for GetResponse is pretty close to AWeber and I got to admit, probably on par for many if is not better.
Honestly, I had issues with time-travel delivery not once but twice during my first week with GetResponse. However, the support team was really fast in rectifying the matter and everything was back working in a very short period of time.
For your information, the issues I faced were caused by a technical glitch which affected my account only. Unlucky me!
Winner: While both are seriously on par, I would give AWeber the winning point here due to the technical error I faced during my time at GetResponse. Though it was just an unwanted error, it certainly affected me a little especially when I have such a high expectation.
9. Process importing contacts and security matters (subscriber’s view)
Building a mailing list is all about contact and if you are importing contacts to AWeber, you are in luck.
It is pretty easy for backend users like you but it could be a hassle for your subscribers. By default, the process of importing contacts (bulk upload) to AWeber is a 3-steps process:
- Import contacts to AWeber
- AWeber will screen the emails to check for any anomalies
- Contacts will automatically receive an email verification which they need to verify to subscribe to the mailing list
You can also upload contact manually to AWeber and everyone need to go through the same verification process.
Update: According to Brandon from AWeber, we (clients) could request to have this double opt-in feature removed on a case to case basis simply by contacting their customer support team for assistance. Personally, I have yet to experience this and thus, I leave it as a neutral factor at the moment.
By default, GetResponse automatically enables double opt-in for all subscribers. However, you are able to change this feature in the settings.
Compared to AWeber, I totally understand the reason behind this. Not all subscribers are happy (and keen) to keep ‘authorizing’ the newsletters (especially when you are moving from AWeber to GetResponse) and you might lose quite a number of loyal subscribers which could affect your email marketing campaigns dearly.
I would highly recommend to enable double opt-in for new mailing list subscribers to avoid spammers and disable this feature when you are importing your contacts (from other email marketing provider to GetResponse).
Winner: I would say GetResponse is a better winner compared to AWeber in this comparison as I am coming from the point of a subscriber.
Imagine having to verify subscription email another time and maybe, the subscriber could ignore it. I know maybe there are 60% of people out there who will still re-verify but honestly, I would rather not take any chances.
10. AWeber double opt-in or GetResponse single/double opt-in? (end user’s view)
As stated above, AWeber is extremely strict when it comes to verification and thus, it is compulsory to verify through email before subscribers will be added to the your mailing list.
While this could be an extremely good move for you as a host, it could also prove an issue for some subscribers would consider it a hassle to ‘keep verifying’ especially when you are moving from one provider to another.
However, don’t forget that by verifying again, you could easily remove inactive users from your email marketing.
GetResponse is different from AWeber as it offers both choices for its users. By default, the double opt-in feature is enabled from the moment you start an account with GetResponse.
However, you can change this setting by going directly to the settings and turn off the double-opt in feature.
This is where you can decide when and what action would require to turn on the double opt-in feature.
Winner: For this, I believe AWeber is a better choice. In comparison #9, I gave GetResponse the winning point as that was during the process of importing email subscribers. However, this comparison is mainly on the users themselves and thus, I believe AWeber’s compulsory opt-in feature is a great move to avoid spam or any wrong doings.
11. Quality of customer service and support
Customer service at AWeber is pretty top notch. They have a good respond rate and speed; through my experience, all email enquiries and supports are replied within 12 hours or less.
I would also give credit to them as they always come back with follow up emails and asking me if the problem is solved after a few days.
Coming from a customer service background myself, this is definitely more than just good customer service. It certainly make me believe that my mailing list account is in good hands.
AWeber has the live chat feature which is great and you can easily find it on the top left (green button). Their support team also operates 24/7 and you can even tweet them for assistance too.
I am going to be very honest here. GetResponse support team isn’t as good as AWeber.
However, what makes GetResponse on par with AWeber and the rest of the email marketing providers is the live chat feature. This means that you are absolutely sure that at anytime you need some help, chances are there’s someone listening and providing valuable assistance.
While AWeber has the live chat feature too, I noticed that GetResponse live chat feature is more visible and the button is located on the left side of the page.
Personally, while AWeber could probably have the best support team, it is always great to know that GetResponse support is just one click of a button away.
Anytime you need help about email marketing, just hit the live chat and someone should attend to you within minutes.
A draw back from GetResponse is possibly the fact that they do not operate 24/7 like AWeber does. So, this could be something you should be considering if you are the type that would require lots of support.
Winner: Again, I would call this a draw. Both has live chat feature which is good and the only difference is that AWeber is operating 24/7. So, go figure!
12. The pricing factor – AWeber vs GetResponse
Disclaimer: This is probably the biggest and most important factor when it comes to deciding which email marketing provider you are going to use and my review here is solely on budget and quality of service.
AWeber is offering $1 trial for 30 days plus, a full 30-days money back guarantee if you are unhappy with the service. The below are AWeber pricing plans:
As you can see, pricing for AWeber is pretty steep. In fact, it is one of the most expensive email marketing provider in the market now.
GetResponse is offering 30-days free trial and no credit card required. This means that at anytime you are unhappy with the service, you can stop without a single cent charged to you (if you cancel within the first 30 days).
This is what GetResponse pricing looks like:
Just like AWeber, GetResponse is also offering discount if you sign up for a yearly plan. What differentiate GetResponse and AWeber is that GetResponse do not have a quarterly plan.
On top of that, GetResponse also offers additional pricing for bigger email volumes such as the below:
New users who sign up for GetResponse could also get extra $30 discount if they signup through a special discount code like this one, GetResponse $30 extra credit.
Winner: As much as I love AWeber, I would say that GetResponse is a better choice with bigger discounts and easier on the pocket. Also, GetResponse offers more email subscribers limit compared to AWeber which is also a huge plus point.
AWeber vs GetResponse – Which is the best email marketing provider?
Phew! That’s one hell of a review right? If you managed to reach here in one shot, I think I might need to treat you a mug of beer mate!
I even took 5 rounds to complete this article with over a dozen revisions.
Using the comparison above, here are the scores:
- 3 categories are draw between both email marketing providers
- AWeber won 4 categories
- GetResponse won 5 categories
With the detailed comparisons above between AWeber and GetResponse, which would be a better choice for you?
While you won’t go wrong with any of them, I would say GetResponse is much better due to the pricing factor.
Though I would probably get better customer service at AWeber, I could get twice the number of subscribers limit plus saving of at least $77 with GetResponse.
I hope you enjoy this long review and tell me what you think using the comment form below.
Also, here are the links which you can sign up for both the email marketing providers:
Sign up for AWeber for $1 (first month)