Are you on a tight budget and looking to explore free or cost-effective solutions for sending emails to prospects? Perhaps, your open rate and click rate are taking a beating and require instant action? Or you are simply looking for the most reliable email marketing service for your online business?
Whatever the case, there are plenty of “the best” email marketing solutions that could lend you a helping hand. But let’s focus on the top 3. GetResponse, AWeber, and Mailchimp have a lot to offer and even more to get out from. However, in order to fully grasp the full potential of each tool, you’ll need some time.
For a complete picture, you’d need to set aside a month for testing purposes.
Mostly because all three tools have free plans or free trials and will require weeks to get a deeper insight as to what features are worth it, deliverability rate/success, and further (perhaps, hidden) costs.
Fortunately, you won’t have to do any of that.
We’ve put in the hours of tedious research, testing, evaluation, and comparison so that all this goldmine of online marketing software comparison would be available to you in one concise article.
We’ve also developed criteria for higher-quality evaluation:
- Onboarding process: Which tool is best at accommodating new users?
- UI & UX design: What tool is the easiest to use and simplest to navigate?
- Templates: Which tool features (better) pre-designed templates for emails, landing pages, and pop-ups?
- Unique automation: What differentiates one tool from another? Are there any unique marketing automation features?
- Free plan or trial features: What is possible to achieve with each account?
Short on time? Here’s what you MUST know.
Go with AWeber if your SaaS is in need of effective subscription management and customer tagging, as well as:
- Your small business requires advanced analytics reporting for the entire marketing strategy.
- You are a startup in need of assistance in setting up campaigns and constant customer support.
- Your newly created customer lists could use engine checks of IP addresses to ensure deliverability.
Go with Mailchimp if you prioritize mass email sending and large list segmentation, as well as:
- Your startup requires an audience to boost sales fast.
- Your business can benefit from automated customer journeys to nurture customers who spend the most on your products and services.
- Your SMB requires mass email sending and precise list segmentation.
Go with GetResponse if your B2B or ecommerce business requires a full set of automation and pre-built pathways for sales, as well as:
- Your ecommerce business requires seamless integration with online stores and pre-built marketing automation workflows.
- Your SMB wants to use Facebook and Google ads to promote products and lower marketing and customer acquisition costs.
- Your marketing or advertising agency requires an email marketing service that supports video content through video app integrations.
- Your service-providing business requires a bunch of active landing pages for various services and products.
But there’s a lot more to each tool than meets the eye. Let’s get digging!
AWeber: check the validity of IP addresses
AWeber is on the mission to support small businesses by providing email marketing automation, email deliverability through IP and domain checkups. Its customer support is hands-on 24/7 across the media.
What we like in AWeber
- Migration assistance: In addition to complimentary migration, AWeber offers personal assistance to get you comfy during the onboarding process. An assigned person will guide you through each step and answer questions.
- Email deliverability is guaranteed: In addition to engine analyzing your customers’ IP addresses and domains to ensure validity, its automation and pre-built options limit crowding of templates to prevent your emails from ending up in spam folders.
- Award-winning customer support: No surprises there other than welcoming assistance; customer support is responsive and knowledgeable.
What we don’t like in AWeber
- Its free plan limitations: Beginners and solo entrepreneurs may find it difficult to drive any substantial revenue from only 500 subscribers allowed in this plan.
- The pro plan is expensive for the features it offers: The price depends on the number of subscribers. This becomes particularly problematic, once you need to go beyond promoting your business via emails. If you’re in need of SMS, transactional emails, webinars, or chats – you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Looking for AWeber alternatives? Check out our article, where we compare AWeber with six of the most popular email service providers.
Mailchimp: mass emailing for free
Mailchimp is a complete email marketing provider suitable for SMBs and startup businesses that require mass email sending. It is one of the best-integrated tools which allows you to significantly lower marketing costs.
What we like in Mailchimp
- Integrations with social apps: Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and LinkedIn are just some of more than 250 integrations available in Mailchimp. Cross-app promotion of content and services reduces marketing costs.
- Customer journey builder: Automated and pre-designed paths for customer journeys are suitable for the precise triggering of autoresponder messages, with an option to set time and date.
- Ecommerce automation: Integrated with ecommerce stores such as WooCommerce, ShopSync, Magento, and BigCommerce, Mailchimp allows targeted messaging for customers based on their actions towards your store (e.g. link clicks, products added to cart, abandoned cart, and more).
What we don’t like in Mailchimp
- Additional costs: Each plan is strictly limited by the number of emails allowed to be sent and the number of contacts allowed in the list. If accidentally exceeded, additional charges will automatically apply to your Mailchimp account without prior notification.
- Limited free plan: You can create and send emails; that’s it. If that’s enough for you – great. But, if you are hoping to experience some advanced automation and features, you’ll have to sign up for paid plans.
GetResponse: nurture customers and boost sales through webinars
This is our tool, but don’t worry, we won’t be biased.
GetResponse is a complete online marketing platform featuring marketing automation; email design, setup and deployment, website builders, Google Analytics integration, conversion funnels, multiple users, and more.
What is more, it comes with a vast number of pre-built templates for every element of your marketing campaigns dedicated to helping you create campaigns super fast.
Features we are proud of:
- Intuitive email creator: Email optimization follows your every step. Precise list segmentation, template building, A/B testings, and autoresponder functionality are just some of the many personalization options to help you stay in constant contact with your customers.
- Secure signup forms & unlimited landing pages: You can choose pre-designed options or create your own based on clients’ consent easily obtained through customizable opt-in forms.
- Automated customer journey: Visual automation and pre-designed paths for a variety of customer-centered activities will save you a lot of time and energy but will not compromise control over specific automation. You can always decide when and what message to send to which group of customers.
- Lead magnet funnel: To help you gain subscribers and customers, a simple call-to-action such as an invitation to subscribe is not always enough. GetResponse’s lead magnet funnel supports added values in exchange for the email address. For example, a signup form can feature a special discount for the first purchase.
- Social ad creator: If you want to run social ad campaigns from your business Instagram or Facebook account, the social ad creator app allows you to collect data on your prospects while broadcasting ads. Not many similar products support included paid ads automation, so it’s definitely a noteworthy GetResponse feature.
- “Free forever” plan: We’ve recently updated our pricing so now you can benefit from all the basic features free of charge. Forever. With no strings attached.
What needs improvement
- UX and UI design are getting crowded: Due to feature expansion, navigation is lagging a bit. However, this is expected in every tool and app during updates and the insertion of new options.
Monthly Pricing: AWeber vs. Mailchimp vs. GetResponse
AWeber features only two plans: Free and Pro. The latter one starts at $16.15/mo for the list of 500 subscribers (billed annually), and the prices go up to $146.15/mo for the list of up to 25,000 subscribers.
If you’re only just getting started and have a relatively lean email list, AWeber’s rather affordable. However, when your list grows, you’ll start noticing that you’re charged premium for a limited number of features and marketing channels.
Mailchimp comes in with 3 paid pricing plans and a free account with strict limitations. Since the latter allows up to 500 contacts, we used a calculator to present a monthly fee for each plan for 2500 contacts.
Depending on your specific use case, the GetResponse price varies from an absolute $0/mo up to $99/mo for the list of 1000 contacts. And there’s a lot for you to choose from:
Free plan may be free, yet it doesn’t limit you in the number of monthly sent emails and still grants access to essential features such as landing page builder, personal domain, custom forms, and newsletter creators. It’s a perfect place to start, whether you are searching for the new online marketing software or just getting acquainted with the field itself.
Email marketing plan is priced at $15/mo for 1000 contacts and is perfect for SMBs requiring versatility of website and email marketing to grow lists and promote products until ready to scale.
Marketing automation plan priced at $49/mo for 1000 contacts is suitable for businesses that require robust marketing automation capabilities along with webinars and sales funnels.
Ecommerce marketing plan priced at $99/mo for 1000 contacts is the way to go for companies that require multichannel marketing capabilities for their growing ecommerce business.
If none of the options apply to your specific business, the MAX plan is available for customization, and the price will depend on your preferred features.
Not sure where to start? Sign up for the Free Plan and access all the Professional features free of charge for one month!
Pro tip: GetResponse also offers several discounts – 18% off when you choose an annual plan, 30% off for a biannual plan, and 50% off for nonprofits.
Feature comparison: AWeber vs. Mailchimp vs. GetResponse
Now that we’ve got the overview of each service out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the specific features each has to offer.
Free plan or trial period
Here’s a brief overview of what you can count on with a free version of each solution:
|Landing pages builder
|Number of contacts/subscribers
|Pre-built design score
But you’re probably interested in some more details. Let’s go!
AWeber offers assistance with migration from another platform for non-tech-savvy users, and you will have an account right after you confirm your email address.
Mailchimp’s signup process is just as easy; once you receive the confirmation email, the intuitive engine guides you through the process of email creation and website-building suggestions, list imports, etc. Video instructions and how-to articles are available at any time.
GetResponse’s sign-up process takes less than two minutes. In case you need help, there are virtual tours, suggestions, and links for more info along the way, and finally, an extended video explanation of the whole tool and what you can achieve with it.
GetResponse will need only your email address when signing up for the Free plan, and you don’t have to provide any payment info right away.
UX and UI design
All three tools feature a drag-and-drop editor and integrations with free image libraries and external apps for a better user experience. Yet, of course, there are certain distinctive differences.
GetResponse is an easy-to-use intuitive email marketing platfrom. The user interface of the working area is not busy and allows straightforward navigation throughout the features. What is more, the customizable dashboard allows you to focus on the elements of your campaigns that matter the most.
AWeber is equally easy to navigate. However, the toolbar may seem a bit outdated.
Mailchimp and its recognizable yellow user interface of the navigation bar are still among the most accessible email marketing tools to use.
AWeber features pre-designed options for emails and landing pages with its drag-and-drop builder. Some of AWeber’s email templates are outdated, but they can easily be transformed with a little bit of dedication and a knack for web design.
With AWeber, pre-designed options or popups are not included.
Mailchimp features pre-designed templates for email, landing pages, and pop-ups. Both AWeber and Mailchimp templates may seem slightly outdated. Color schemes are mostly matchy-matchy, so it can be challenging to accent important boxes and texts.
GetResponse features dozens of templates for emails, landing pages, and popups. It also allows you to select from the ready-made templates for workflow automation and autoresponder services, making this process much easier.
Contemporary pre-designed options include a drag-and-drop editor and integrations with third-party services for copyright-free image galleries. It is really simple to select the template for your asset and enhance it with your custom branding saving yourself a lot of time along the way.
AWeber uses tags as its primary method for subscription management. Tags are keywords used to group subscribers and assign specific campaign messages to them.
Mailchimp has a specific feature for creating customer journeys, allowing you to create personalized pathways for your clients to set automation based on actions.
Thanks to the intuitive GetResponse interface, even the least advanced email marketers will be able to build sales funnels so you can have more control over content distribution and send effective sales offers to your customers.
What is more, this email marketing platform’s automation tool allows you to create workflows that will automatically guide your contacts through the customer journey for each campaign. GetResponse’s automation is one of the most intuitive tools on the market.
Here’s our overall evaluation of each platform:
|Landing pages builder
AWeber vs. Mailchimp vs. GetResponse: What to choose?
Each of these popular email marketing services comes with unique features and a personalized approach to its new and existing clients. While we couldn’t include all the features each email marketing service has to offer, we tried to focus on the most essential ones.
Hopefully equipped with this knowledge you already know which email marketing service will work best for your business. And if not, just go ahead and try them all – each tool comes with a free account/free trial that lets you test the platform risk-free.
Author’s note: This comparison is accurate for November 2023. We do our best to keep it as accurate as possible, and we check it on a regular basis, however, if you want to acquaint yourself with the offer of our competitors, you should check it on their official website or contact their representatives.