What do Aweber and Getresponse do?
Aweber and Getresponse are tools for hosting your mailing list, creating attractive e-newsletter templates and sending e-newsletters out to your subscribers. They also allow you automate your communications to subscribers via ‘autoresponders’. These are used to provide subscribers with e-newsletters from you at pre-defined intervals – for example, immediately after they sign up, a subscriber might receive a simple welcome message from your business; a week later they could receive a discount voucher for some of your goods; three weeks later they could receive an encouragement to follow you on social media etc. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though: e-newsletter tools like these allow you to do a lot of other funky stuff, some of which will be discussed in more depth below.
Getresponse pricing vs Aweber pricing
It can be a little bit confusing working out which Getresponse plan to pick, as there are three tiers of plans - "Email", "Pro" and "Max" - and within each tier, 7 different plans to choose from. So 21 plans in all!
- Up to 1,000 subscribers: $15 ('Email) / $49 ('Pro') / $165 ('Max).
- 1,001 to 2,500 subscribers: $25 / $49 / $165
- 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $45 / $49 / $165
- 5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $65 / $75 / $ 165
- 10,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $145 / $165 / $255
- 25,001 to 50,000 subscribers: $250 / $280 / $370
- 50,001 to 100,000 subscribers: $450 / $490 / $580
If you have a list larger than 100,000 subscribers, you can get a quotation from Getresponse for your needs. There are also separate pricing plans available for not-for-profit organisations, but you will need to contact Getresponse directly about those.
The key differences between the Getresponse plans involve the addition of landing pages and webinars as you go up the pricing ladder (more on all these anon). But when comparing Aweber vs Getresponse, the Getresponse 'Email' plans are the ones to focus on as they are similar in nature to the Aweber offering. With these plans, Getresponse is generally a winner over Aweber when it comes to pricing, particularly if you are operating a list with between 500 and 1000 email addresses on it.
There are 5 Aweber plans.
- Up to 500 subscribers: $19 per month
- 501 to 2,500 subscribers: $29 per month
- 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $49 per month
- 5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $69 per month
- 10,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $149 per month
If you have a list larger than 25,000 subscribers, you will need to get a quote from Aweber regarding your requirements.
Who wins on price?
Well, at the starter end of things, Getresponse is definitely the most cost-effective solution: if you have a list with 500 to 1,000 subscribers on it, you're looking at a not-inconsiderable $14 per month saving by using the Getresponse 'Email' plan instead of Aweber's equivalent.
For lists over 1,000 subscribers in size, each Getresponse 'Email' plan effectively comes in at $4 per month cheaper than the equivalent Aweber plan. Additionally, Getresponse offers a sizeable discount - 18% - if you pay upfront for a year, and 30% if you pay upfront for 2 years. This sort of discounting is not currently available with Aweber.
But pricing, as we shall see below, is not the only thing you should base your decision on here.
This is a pretty subjective area, but for me Aweber’s templates look a bit better than Getresponse’s. And there are more of them (about 700 vs 500 respectively). Getresponse’s templates look fine – and are fairly easily editable – but they’re just, well, a bit boring and slightly dated-looking; Aweber’s templates are more visually appealing and, for my money, usable for a wider range of marketing applications. All that said, the gap in quality is by no means huge and unless there is an Aweber template that you are mad about, you should be able to find something similar enough in Getresponse’s arsenal which you can then tweak to bring it up to date a bit.
Up until fairly recently Getresponse had an important edge over Aweber when it came to the technical aspect of their email templates because they were responsive and Aweber's weren't (responsive templates adjust themselves automatically to suit the device they are being viewed on) . Fortunately Aweber have now rectified this situation and you can enjoy responsive templates on both platforms.
- Ability to capture data and host mailing lists (you get a little bit of HTML code that you can insert on your site or social media profiles to capture email addresses)
- A wide range of predesigned e-newsletter templates
- Autoresponder functionality which allows you to send automated e-newsletters at pre-defined intervals to subscribers after they sign up
- Statistics on the percentage of subscribers that are opening your emails, clicking links or unsubscribing
- RSS to e-newsletter functionality (useful for automatically sending your blog posts to subscribers on your mailing list)
- Easy-to-use message builders that allow you to create and edit e-newsletters without coding
- Integration with various third-party sites/tools (for example, online shopping services such as Amazon Payments, Paypal and Google Checkout or CRM tools like Capsule and Salesforce) - this allows you to add customers to mailing lists at the point of sale, for example, or use Aweber and Getresponse to send e-newsletters to customers on your CRM system.
- Responsive email templates.
Up until recently Getresponse was a much better option for those wishing to create email marketing campaigns using an existing list, because when you imported your own mailing list to Aweber, your subscribers could not join a list without reconfirming their subscription – with predictable results. Thankfully they've now changed their approach and Aweber customers can import their own data (albeit after they've answered quite a lot of questions about its source).
Integration with other systems
One area which Aweber arguably has an advantage over Getresponse is in its integration with third party sites – whereas both tools offer a wide range of integrations with other sites (Paypal, Amazon Payments etc.), Aweber seems to integrate with better known products more easily; additionally, a lot of the Getresponse integrations involve seting up a Zapier ‘zap’ to make them work. This is not madly complicated, but I feel that less technically minded users may appreciate that Aweber is slightly better supported as an e-marketing solution by some web applications.
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. Getresponse comes out ahead when it comes to split testing - it allows you to test up to 5 variants of e-newsletters to Aweber's 4.
Landing page creation
One area where Getresponse currently has an edge over Aweber involves landing pages. Landing pages or 'squeeze pages' are web pages that are designed with one thing in mind: data capture. They typically contain a form, some attractive images and a small amount of text spelling out the benefit of submitting your email address - it's generally better to use landing pages for online ad campaigns over a form that sits on your website, simply because they are optimised for capturing data (as they contain less content to distract users).
With Getresponse you get a landing page creator out of the box, which allows you to make use of various templates and a drag and drop editor to create a strong landing page. By default each type of Getresponse account ('Email' / 'Pro' / 'Max' / 'Enterprise') has the landing page editor available, but unless you pay for a Pro, Max or Enterprise account you get limited functionality: you can only create one landing page, it doesn't provide A/B testing and only 1000 views per month of it are permitted.
Purchasing a plan featuring the Getresponse landing page creator add-on however allows you to display landing pages to an unlimited number of viewers and crucially, do A/B testing too, where you can try out different versions of your landing page with the system automatically rolling out the best performing one to the majority of your site visitors (thus maximising the number of signups). Landing pages are available on the Pro plan (and up), which means the cost of obtaining this functionality depends on your list size and varies wildly: for example, if you have a list containing 2501 records, you can effectively get landing pages for just an additional $4 per month; but if your list size is less than 1,000 you are looking at a $24. Under Getresponse's previous pricing structure, getting the landing page creator add-on simply involved paying an additional $15 on your plan - the new regime is confusing and means some customers are getting much better deals than others.
You can also make use of landing pages with Aweber, using a variety of third party tools or by manually coding your landing page and inserting an Aweber form. You can also split test individual Aweber sign-up forms, so that may provide some sort of a workaround too. It's just not as straightforward as with Getresponse, and if you rely on third party software, it can all get rather expensive (for example, using landing page creators Unbounce or Instapage to create your landing pages for Aweber can set you back anything from $29 to $179 per month).
A new feature of Getresponse is 'Getresponse Webinars', and this is something you're not going to find as a feature of any of Getresponse's competing products - Aweber, Mailchimp, Mad Mimi et al. are all yet to offer this service.
Basically, by purchasing a Getresponse plan (Pro or higher) you gain the ability to run webinars directly from within your Getresponse account. Since webinars are typically used as a lead generation tool, integrating them closely with your email marketing application is potentially a very good idea. I have yet to try out this functionality in depth, but I like the idea of keeping everything in one place - see the 'Getresponse Webinars' video on this page for more details (which of course will portray it in as good a light as possible, but does spell out the basic features clearly).
Send time optimisation
Recently Getresponse rolled out an interesting new feature, 'send time optimisation', which is not yet available in Aweber. Send time optimisation automatically sends your email at the time at which it's most likely to be opened - Getresponse looks at your subscriber list and their email-checking habits and makes this call on your behalf. If you can live with using this big-brother sort of technology then according to Getresponse, you can expect a 23% median improvement in open rates and a 20% median improvement in click-through rates. I've yet to try this new functionality out, so I can't vouch for their figures, but if they are accurate it makes for a very attractive feature.
Aweber do offer a feature called 'send windows' which allows you to limit the time you send your automated emails out to a particular time slot - but it's not as sophisticated as send time optimisation, and also requires you to do a bit of legwork and stats-eyeballing in finding out when the best time (in general) is to send emails to your list.
Support for both Aweber and Getresponse is comprehensive. Both services offer phone support, live chat and email support. Getresponse has an edge when it comes to live chat support - it is available 24/7 (Aweber's is available from 8am to 8pm ET on Monday to Friday / 9am-5pm ET on Saturdays and Sundays). Getresponse's phone support hours are 9am-5pm ET, Monday to Friday; Aweber's phone manning is better as it is available at the weekend (the hours for Awber's phone support are the same as for their live chat). It's not clear from either the Aweber or the Getresponse website what hours email support is available during.
Aweber offer toll free phone support in the US, which could be important if you are going to be making long technical support calls (it's not clear what Getresponse's phone charges, if any, are).
Both Aweber and Getresponse offer a free one-month trial. If you want a free trial of Aweber, you should note however that you'll need to enter credit card details before you can avail of it. The free trial of Getresponse, on the other hand, doesn't require your card details in advance (I much prefer the latter approach because the risk of getting charged for a product you don't want after a free trial expires is lower).
Which is better, Aweber or Getresponse?
Both Aweber and Getresponse offer a good range of tools to help you create, maintain and communicate with an email database; even if you’re not all that technically minded, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty using either to manage your e-communications. As they are very similarly priced, similarly featured tools, it is hard to declare a clear winner here; however, I think that on balance, Getresponse is probably the better value product. Here's a lowdown of why you might pick one over the other.
Reasons to pick Getresponse over Aweber
- You can sign up to a free trial without entering credit card details.
- Getresponse is, generally speaking, more competitively priced (particularly if your subscriber list contains between 500 and 1000 records).
- An 18% discount is available if you pay for the product on an annual rather than monthly basis, and a 30% discount is available if you pay for two years upfront.
- Getresponse offers more comprehensive split testing options.
- Getresponse comes with a built-in landing page creator, albeit one you have to pay extra for to unlock. The pricing plan is confusing and could be improved, but it's still cheaper to use the Getresponse option than combining Aweber with a tool like Instapage or Unbounce
- Getresponse's new 'send time optimisation' feature has the potential to improve your open and clickthrough rates.
- The new webinars functionality is potentially fantastic for any business that uses webinars for lead generation.
Reasons to pick Aweber over Getresponse
- The Aweber templates are arguably a bit more attractive than the Getresponse equivalents.
- Aweber integrates a bit more easily with other web apps than Getresponse.
- The Aweber phone support is more comprehensive.
Finally, with all my comparison reviews, I always advise potential users to try both products before they buy, simply because free trials of the products under discussion are readily available and you may find that one tool has particular features that suit your business needs which you can’t find in the other. You'll find links to the Getresponse and Aweber free trials below.
Alternatives to Aweber and Getresponse
There are quite a few alternatives to Aweber and Getresponse out there, including Campaign Monitor, Mad Mimi, Mailchimp, and iContact. You'll find some of our other comparison reviews below.