One of the highest cost-to-benefit ratios for a business comes from email marketing. For relatively low cost and effort, you can get your business right in front of interested customers.
Email marketing is also an excellent tool to develop and maintain customer relations – but to achieve that, you’ll need support. Automated services take the time and trouble off your hands. A trusted program can help you craft emails, create conditions for them to be sent, manage your contact list, and assist you with all aspects of your email marketing campaigns.
There are so many modern options for email marketing companies that it can be difficult to choose. Such an important part of your business’ marketing strategy needs to be carefully considered, depending on the outcome you would like to achieve, and what type of business you’re promoting.
Looking at some of the best in the business, let’s start with comparing GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign – they are two of the best known and most widely utilised options for small to medium sized businesses to manage their email marketing campaigns.
Both very popular options, they include an excellent range of tools and functionalities to support businesses, from automation systems and broadcasts to email templates. However, they do have different emphases that make them appeal to slightly different audiences.
GetResponse is a broader tool that most people find slightly easier to use. Made to function as an all-in-one platform, it supplements its email features with webinars, landing pages, email templates, and many other tools.
ActiveCampaign can be considered a more targeted and focused tool, with a higher emphasis on automation. It’s less suitable for absolute beginners but offers increased options for those who are looking for a higher level of customisation. It features a CRM tool to help with collaboration and follow-up on prospects, and includes features such as SMS marketing that GetResponse only includes by integrating other tools.
Let’s take a brief look at these two options.
What is GetResponse?
GetResponse is an industry leader which has been around since 1998 – which makes it one of the longest running email marketing options. The award-winning company self-describes as one of the most user-friendly options to send out email marketing such as newsletters, campaigns, online surveys, and autoresponders.
The landing page creator and a number of other unique features make it the first choice for thousands of businesses across the world and over a billion monthly subscribers. They use an easy “drag and drop” email editor, a wide range of templates, and many other features to help support a successful email campaign.
They offer a range of plans called Email, Pro, Max and Enterprise. Prices increase with the number of subscribers that you have on your contact list. Businesses can choose to pay ahead for a year or two years, or access the service on a monthly subscription.
What is ActiveCampaign?
With tens of thousands of happy customers, ActiveCampaign are another big player in email marketing solutions. Their goal is to get businesses to send fewer emails, but get better results. One of the biggest drawcards for ActiveCampaign is the high level of services that provide automation.
They combine marketing automation, email marketing tools, and sales CRM in a single platform. The tools assist businesses to create emails, target customers based on their behaviour with the business, and then the CRM keeps track of leads and other details to gather and interpret the data.
ActiveCampaign integrates with more than 700 other apps and services, which expands its functionality and creates an all-in-one system that is designed to help businesses to grow.
Let’s have a look at how these two marketing companies stack up against each other.
Number of contacts
ActiveCampaign offer plans that start with 500 contacts, but options are available that can accommodate lists of over 100,000 contacts. The number of contacts allowed increases depending on the plan’s level, and costs more as the allowance goes up.
GetResponse offer up to 1,000 contacts on their lowest plan, which starts from $15 a month. They then offer plans for different tiers, including up to 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, 50,000, or 100,000+ subscribed contacts.
Email volume isn’t a deciding factor between ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse, as both offer unlimited emails on all their offered plans. Both also offer unlimited autoresponder series for all their plan options, and make A/B email split testing available.
Their email course builders differ, however. ActiveCampaign offers a drag-and-drop style email builder that includes data-driven segmentation and provides helpful insights into the user’s email campaign.
GetResponse focus on providing an easy-to-use Email Creator that provides both time- and action-based autoresponders. GetResponse have an advertised deliverability of over 99%, meaning that your emails are extremely unlikely to be marked as spam, so have a much higher chance of reaching your customer.
Both offer a wide range of responsive email templates. ActiveCampaign has design customisation that is available free of charge for Plus and Enterprise level users, while GetResponse has more than 500 templates.
Design and Customisation
GetResponse offers 500+ email templates, along with 1,000 stock photos and the ability to design and customise many other types of email marketing-related products. Their landing page templates are a big drawcard for users, and the unique editor can help generate more leads.
Messages can be customised with a “perfect timing” tool, which helps users control when they are sent out so they get received at the optimum time. Emails are automatically scaled to fit all devices, with a further mobile editor to allow users to customise it to their needs.
ActiveCampaign features a simple to use email designer that allows users to design and customise emails to fit their requirements. They allow for excellent automation, with features available for customisation such as abandoned cart reminders.
ActiveCampaign supports granular audience segmentation, which provides an easy-to-use system that is able to send a specific email to a targeted audience. Other marketing platforms are also supported, including tools for SMS and Facebook marketing.
GetResponse has a range of reports and analysis, such as open rate, engagement, segmentation reports and ROI, which can help businesses to understand how their service is being received and to customise it to meet the needs of their customer base.
ActiveCampaign specialise in automation, and offer unlimited options on all plans. They have automated SMS and support SMS subscriptions as well. The automation workflow builder is relatively simple to use, although absolute beginner users might struggle with some features.
GetResponse add basic automation options to their lowest tiered Email plan, with more complex marketing automation for the higher tiers. They don’t offer SMS marketing options, but there are integrations available to add those features if necessary. They offer automation workflow builder, which includes visited URL and tracking of purchases.
Both options provide lead scoring, which tracks user behaviour to help businesses customise their approach.
Some absolute beginners can find the ActiveCampaign system a little overwhelming, although they do offer step-by-step instructions. The GetResponse system is simple to use at all ability levels, which makes it an appealing option for those who are just starting out.
ActiveCampaign allow up to three users on their smallest plan, all the way up to unlimited users for their Enterprise plan. GetResponse only offer support for from one to ten users depending on the plan.
Landing Page and Forms
ActiveCampaign has a form builder but no landing page builder. The form builder has an inline, floating box and bar display. Their software allows integrations to provide a landing page builder if required.
The GetResponse landing page and web form builder is one of the company’s big drawcards. They offer a web form builder that is a complete package in one, able to create many different types of forms. The landing page editor provides drag-and-drop creation, along with over 100 different templates.
WordPress Plugin is supported by both companies, which allows you to add forms to pages. ActiveCampaign also offers tracking for your WordPress website. Both also support Zapier integration.
ActiveCampaign has a slightly higher number of apps and integrations that can work with the packages, with more than 150 available. GetResponse offers over 133 different options. The tools include landing page software, CMSs, scheduling tools, CRM tools and more.
It’s slightly cheaper to start with ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse, as the former starts at $9 per month and the latter at $15 per month. However, the affordability varies depending on the subscription level.
There are plenty of options, including monthly subscriptions and annual subscriptions at different levels. ActiveCampaign has a free 14 trial, while GetResponse offers 30 days free.
Neither have a lock-in contract term, so they go from month to month, unless the annual plans are chosen. There are no joining fees for either, and neither one offer any refunds after that free trial period.
ActiveCampaign offer phone, email and chat support. Other support options include video walkthroughs, one-on-one training and access to the user community. GetResponse have similar options available, including the GetResponse learning centre.
Pros and Cons
- Automated workflows are easy to create
- Affordable and good value for money
- Flexible price points
- Able to provide A/B testing
- CRM options, including the ability to expand to full CRM
- Limited ability to customise the dashboard
- No inbuilt landing page builder
- Can be initially overwhelming for beginners
- High-quality landing pages
- 500+ professionally designed email templates
- Webinar marketing
- Deliverability of 99%
- Any duplicate contacts will count towards monthly limit
- Limited CRM tools
ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse – which should you choose?
Both tools are very highly rated email marketing options. They are generally easy to use, although ActiveCampaign can take a little more getting used to and GetResponse tends to be more user friendly.
Both offer email automation, although ActiveCampaign has the slight edge in that department. They are also better able to support CRM functions.
GetResponse is the most compelling option for businesses who use a landing page and/or wish to host webinars, with creative templates and assistance available for both. With over 500 templates and 1,000 stock images, they’re an all-in-one solution for businesses who want to create compelling content and make sure it’s sent to the right people at the right time.
For a business that focuses more on B2B sales, the CRM focus from ActiveCampaign might make their option more appealing, as is their targeted focus on identifying and keeping higher value clients. For businesses that prefer to deal directly with their customers, GetResponse have slightly better functions for creating and managing campaigns.
Choosing for your business
The choice between ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse is highly dependent on your business’s priorities.
If you’d prefer an all-in-one solution with a user-friendly design, a wide variety of templates and the option to design and utilise landing pages and webinars, then Getresponse is likely to be the best option. If you’d prefer a more focused tool with granular functionality that allows you to build from scratch as well as integrated CRM functions, ActiveCampaign will meet your needs.
With both offering similar price points and the ability to integrate other tools to use with these platforms in case you need a functionality not native to them, the best option is likely to utilise their free trial periods and see for yourself. Either is a great choice if you would like an affordable, comprehensive email marketing solution that is customisation and provides real results.