But how do you reach 25,000 people? That’s via email marketing services!
Even with hundreds of other instant messaging services coming up, email marketing occupies the top spot on the table.
This is because pretty much everyone has a habit of checking their email inbox at least twice a day.
In fact, more than 44% of the US population has a habit of checking emails thrice a day.
Why Get An Email Marketing Service?
An email marketing service offers a common channel to stay in touch with customers.
They are designed for mass communication. Hence, they come with hundreds of templates and ease of use to allow limited customization based on user location and language.
But mainly, email marketing services offer a lot of reports and data that you can see and study about your customers.
You can see who chose to open the mail, the number of clicks, the number of bounces, and those who spammed it.
A solid and reliable email marketing service needs an affiliation. They must have some sort of support relationship with the major ISPs (Internet Service Provider). Think Verizon or Comcast or Sparklight.
Otherwise, the mails from your company could be reaching directly into their spam box. In other words, the MSPs must have a “whitelisting” rating from these ISPs.
Another important thing is the anti-spam policies that the services follow. All EMSPs have to provide information to the user regarding how they joined the list. They also need to provide options for unsubscribing.
All of them follow a similar and robust anti-spam policy and feature a good whitelisting relationship. With that out of the way, let’s get into the details!
GetResponse vs. Aweber vs. MailChimp
Singing Up Process
You can sign up for the GetRepsonse free trial for a period of 30 days. This service does not ask for any credit card or payment details, which we consider a much better route.
Once you sign in, you can access the main home page or dashboard of your business. They automatically create a first list for you with the existing details.
Aweber has a very simple and straightforward signup. After this, they provide every possible area of disruption so that you can get started right away.
On the next screen, you can add basic information about your account. You can also immediately create a mailing list. Aweber’s free account doesn’t require any credit card details.
Like GetResponse, MailChimp offers a simple sign-up without any credit card details.
And unlike any other service here, MailChimp allows you to retain the account for an unlimited amount of time. The first time you log in, MailChimp directs you to a special dashboard. Here you can choose which aspect you want to work on first.
Unlike the other two, which guide you step by step, MailChimp allows you to choose the step and skip some. Now you can create a mailing list, start a campaign, etc.
GetRepsonse has a decidedly wonderful dashboard. It contains different sections that you can see at once.
And every section is customizable. There is a header at the top with labels beneath to identify the icons. The dashboard uses only white and blue with black minimally as an accent color.
When you first sign in, GetRepsonse automatically sets up various sections.
This includes webinars and a shortcut zone that allows accessing quick functions.
You can edit these as well. In this matter, GetRepsonse is quite similar to MailChimp.
Both allow an immediate appraisal of ongoing business by displaying data as graphs. They also have a home page or dashboard that is separate from the tabs above.
GetRepsonse has a very simple and easy UI. Aweber goes a step ahead and makes it beginner-friendly.
GetRepsonse is a good option for those who are digitally adept and are comfortable with a more informative home page.
Aweber uses a clean UI with blue for the highlights, white as the background, and green as the accent.
The topmost banner allows you to manage your lists. This remains unchanged on every page, which is great since it contains the Help option.
The header contains the main call-to-action buttons. You can check out your messages, subscribers, and signup forms from here and even create new ones.
The central zone contains whichever action you are currently using. Again, Aweber provides videos for starters. The writing is minimal, and overall, the layout is clean and precise.
At any given time, when you sign in, you can see the current stats on the Home page.
It shows any scheduled broadcasts and current subscribers in action. The Aweber UI is great for those new to the field. the segmenting of each field allows for a much clutter-free opening
The MailChimp UI takes a cue from GetResponse but is much more informative.
The homepage is very analytical, and with every sign-in, you can easily see the growth.
The next section displays the current subscriber number along with a graph for gauging overall growth. The right side is devoted to upcoming campaigns and autoresponders.
To the very left is a hidden panel that expands on hovering.
It contains the major headers like managing subscriber lists, checking reports, etc.
What we do like about the GetRepsonse dashboard is that you can customize it to add any section you like. Or move the existing one as well.
You can add quick action buttons, top countries, trending search items, and virtually any report graph.
It is understandable why someone new to this might find the GetRepsonse UI confusing.
They also use different terminology than their contemporaries. For example, a list is referred to as a campaign. Whereas Aweber uses the word to denote something else altogether.
Since messages are predominantly the main function of any email marketing service, let’s take a deeper look at what these services can and cannot do.
GetRepsonse offers the following types of messages:
These are basically timely emails that are sent out to every subscriber. You can use these to announce new features, introduce deals, or ask for signups.
You can create and set up various autoresponders and send them at predetermined times.
- Blogpost Messages
These convert existing RSS from your site into an email. You can use this to send entire blogs or any specific deal pages.
Aweber offers the following types of messages:
These are one-time notification messages. They can announce a new feature or notify users of any changes and additions.
- Blog Broadcasts
This is a message type that converts a blog of your choosing into an email. Via this, you can send the entire blog to your subscribers.
This is more of a feature. You can select a group of messages and place them under the same Campaign. Hence, if you are running a New Year Sale, you could group all such messages under this header.
- Follow Up Messages
This is essentially a time-sensitive message sent out to dormant or active customers. You can set up the amount of time after which you want such autoresponders to be sent out.
MailChimp offers the following types of messages:
- Regular Campaign
These are the usual messages that a business sends out. You can add multiple messages to a campaign.
- Plain-text Campaign
This is the same as a campaign message. Only, it works similar to a plain text message without links and any special formatting options.
- A/B Testing Campaign
This includes campaign messages which can be sent out with multiple headers.
Unlike the other two, where A/B Testing can be decided later, MailChimp offers an entirely new section for it.
- Blog Broadcast
This converts a blog or an RSS feed to an email.
GetRepsonse Message Features
With GetRepsonse, you can avail of the following features:
- A/B Testing – GetRepsonse has a powerful A/B Testing module. With this, you can customize everything from the subject line to the header and even delivery time. Finally, you can even choose a test condition to separate which emails are to be sent to which client. Thus, you can create a condition where everyone with a Gmail ID (for example) gets sent mail set A, whereas others get mail set B. You can also send it based on your lists.
- Delivery Modes – You can send messages at different times based on the user location. Thus, you can send the email time as 10 am, and every user will receive it at what is 10 am based on their timeline. GetRepsonse also offers data on the most responsive times for various time zones, so you can set that up too.
- Autoresponders – This is really where GetRepsonse strikes gold! GetRepsonse wastes no time in allowing you to capture user interest. You can set up autoresponders to be sent to a recipient after certain conditions are met. This can be – time-based, based on them clicking something, based on their opening the mail, or becoming subscribers. You can also set up a custom filter by adding 2-3 options at once. For example, when a user opens a link AND subscribes, autoresponder email 2 is sent.
Overall, GetRepsonse has a very strong message background, and their options for customization are excellent.
Aweber Message Features
All worked-upon messages are stored in drafts. Aweber offers various fantastic customization options for sending messages such as:
- List Management And Automation – You can segment your customers into different lists. And there is no cap to the number of lists created! Also, you can add conditions to move customers from one list to another. For example, if a person subscribes to a certain list, you can choose to remove them from the earlier list. Vice versa, if they unsubscribe, you can remove them from all lists by automating such a procedure.
- Subscriber Management – You can easily segment customers into various subscriber lists by using their filters. Aweber offers filters like date last followed up, email or part of the email, and city. Overall, they offer a comprehensive list of filters. You can also import subscribers easily using third-party tools.
- Broadcasts – You can choose to send test emails or schedule one for the future. While scheduling, you can add entire segments as receivers and a few extra customers added or removed. Sadly, Aweber only allows a fixed sending time across the world. That is, you can set a date and time for sending a message. However, if you have chosen 10 AM IST, it applies to a worldwide 10 am IST, not 10 am of the user’s standard time.
- A/B Testing – You can also mail the same email to multiple segments with A/B split testing between the headlines and message body. Thus with click automation, you can monitor which campaign was more effective. However, while sending the mails, you can only send part A to one segment and part B to the other segment. You can alternate up to 5 messages.
Overall, Aweber’s messaging features leave much to be desired. However, they do offer Click automation.
With this, you can create links within your mail and monitor the number of people who use the said link.
This can be especially useful to gauge the success of the campaign. They also have click automation to see the number of times someone clicked a link.
MailChimp Message Features
With MailChimp, you can use the following features while sending messages:
- Views – MailChimp offers multiple preview options like desktop, tab, mobile, etc.
- Delivery Modes – Like GetResponse, MailChimp offers optimized delivery timings based on their collected data. You can choose to send messages based on this. Or you can send messages at the user’s local time.
- A/B Testing – MailChimp offers the same customizations for A/B Testing. This includes the subject line, body, content, and time. However, you can only alternate between 3 messages. One additional feature is that you can first send it out to only 50% of the entire list. After selecting a winner based on the results, you can send it to the rest.
- List Management – You can create infinite lists with MailChimp. However, you can also create lists within lists. These smaller lists can be divided based on their social media, location, response to campaigns, etc. I found this to be a handy feature. Thus, you can select the most active users to test the first 50% of one A/B Testing set.
- Subscriber Management – You can easily import subscribers into MailChimp. Others can add themselves via sign-up forms. Unlike Aweber, MailChimp does not require this party services for integration. You can even simply add an excel file.
Overall, MailChimp has some powerful features. However, it does fall short of GetRepsonse in various categories.
They also do not offer visual work funnels like GetResponse. Another con is that you cannot send an email to multiple mailing lists at once.
GetRepsonse has the following templates for starting messages:
- Templates – GetRepsonse has 600 templates that you can choose from. These are tagged according to the industry they cater to (health, entertainment, education, etc.).
- Drag and drop email builder – This basically allows you to generate a template yourself to adding the various features. You can choose a layout, add banners and sidebars from the choices, and so on. A good thing here is that GetRepsonse allows you to see a mobile preview of the mail as well.
- HTML Editor – With this, you can choose to work in HTML or WYSIWYG. The tools are simple and similar to a generic word file tool.
Aweber does not offer any templates. As such, it does not contain any template with colorful headers, etc., like the others. It does offer three simple templates:
- Drag and drop email builder – While Aweber does not offer any template, you can create thousands of templates with this feature. They do offer design options for banners, headers, status bar, and layouts. You will have over 700 customizable features at your disposal to place and move as you like.
- Plain Message – This opens a regular text message without any frills. While plain texts can be great, remember that you cannot add any functioning links to them. Users will have to copy-paste it to make it work.
- HTML Editor – An HTML editor is similar to a plain message (like the one in GetRepsonse). But it does allow certain perks like embedding of links. Aweber also offers a WYSIWYG editor here.
With MailChimp, you can get the following templates:
- Basic Template – This one includes a blank template. However, they are different from plain messages as you can add your own elements from the MailChimp design bank. The templates available on MailChimp are better than the above two. Their drag and drop editor is also extremely simple and easy to use.
- Themes – This includes templates with a predestined background, theme, and layout. Like GetResponse, they are tagged based on the industry.
- HTML Editor – If you have a coder and designer on the team, you can build your own here.
Sign Up Forms
GetResponse offers the possibility of creating forms for both desktop and mobile.
They also offer multiple templates which can be customized with your brand colors. Based on the lists created, you can add pop-ups for certain customers.
GetResponse also offers the possibility of creating your own form from scratch by using an HTML builder.
Aweber offers multiple sign-up forms template, starting from extremely sober to extremely flashy.
You can opt for 3 options with respect to publishing each form. Either a designer can incorporate it into the site, or you can do it yourself. Or, you can use it as a landing page for your site.
Aweber allows split testing for their sign-up forms. Building a form is relatively easy. You can simply jump from one page to another as directed by the wizard.
MailChimp’s sign-up forms are undoubtedly the best of the lot. They offer drag and drop features and a multitude of beautiful templates.
Apart from this, you can set conditions. The second someone signs up, MailChimp places them on a subscriber list. The conditions will determine which list they become a part of. The forms allow the inclusion of a Google reCAPTCHA as well.
Using an API, you can also gain access to subscriber info, but this is only available in the advanced feature pack.
The 30-day GetResponse free trial requires no credit card information. You can start off at 15 USD per month for the Basic version (1000 subscribers limit) for the paid version.
This holds off certain features like work funnels that are extremely useful in marketing automation. You also cannot collaborate with multiple partners or attend GetResponse webinars.
The next stack is the Plus Account at 49 USD for 1000 subscribers. For 1,00,000 subscribers, it is 499 USD per month.
For a larger enterprise, you can get custom pricing based on your needs. The Professional package for 1,00,000 subscribers comes in at 580 USD per month.
Aweber comes with a 30-day free trial. For this, you will need to provide your credit card information and address.
With Aweber’s free plan, you can manage upt0 3000 subscribers. You can also send a maximum of only 3000 messages per month in total. The free trial also limits access to A/B Testing, Behavioral automation, and click tracking.
The Pro account started at 16.15 USD per month for 500 subscribers. It increases based on the number of subscribers. Thus, a package for up to 25,000 subscribers will stand at 146.15 USD.
MailChimp offers three majorly different pricing stacks. First is their unlimited free plan. However, even with this, you get an upper limit of 2000 subscribers and 12000 emails per month.
Since all services bill plans annually, MailChimp offers a special option. You can take the pay-as-you-go option. Here you can choose a service plan and prepay it monthly.
Finally, there is the Standard plan that stands at 14 USD per month for 1,00,000 contacts.
There is also an essentials plan at 9 USD and a Premium plan at 299 USD per month. It is interesting to note that MailChimp includes the A/B Testing feature in the 9 USD plan.
Web Push Notification
Both Aweber and GetResponse now support push notifications. You can use their web push notification tools to allow your visitors an option to subscribe to your website notifications without giving their personal information.
A small popup will be displayed on your website to allow users to subscribe for push notifications. You can send a notification to these subscribers and they’ll get a native notification on their device.
MailChimp doesn’t have this feature.
GetResponse Conversion Funnel
GetResponse has an additional suite of marketing tools called GetResponse conversion funnel.
It’s software that allows you to set up a store, create a sales funnel, collect payments, and get feedback for your product.
The GetResponse conversion funnel is one of the easiest ways to get started with the sales funnel. You don’t have to build a funnel from scratch. Instead, use the templates to get started in minutes.
It’s a huge plus point when compared to MailChimp and Aweber. Both of which have nothing like it.
Moreover, GetResponse also has a Chats feature. You can add a live chat popup on your landing pages and website and chat with visitors and customers. All through GetResponse dashboard or smartphone app.
You get a 24×7 chat, phone, and ticket support system with GetResponse. There’s a small popup everpresent on the left side of your screen.
To initiate a support chat, simply click on it, and almost immediately, an agent is assigned to help you.
All my queries were solved within the first 10 minutes. Questions that require a little technical skill and knowledge do take time. Most of the time, I have to explain everything in layman’s terms.
But so far, they have never left me hanging. And they are always available, quick to respond and solve your problems personally.
Aweber’s support is at par with the GetResponse team. But when it comes to their knowledge of email marketing and their own software, Aweber has one of the industry’s best support teams.
They offer the same 24×7 chat, weekdays phone support and email ticket system.
Very friendly and professional in their attitude. My queries were answered instantly, and they helped me to understand their platform for a whole week.
We also ended up optimizing a couple of our automation workflows, working with the Aweber support team.
There is a difference in the medium and quality of support in MailChimp’s free and premium plans.
For free users, the support is limited to Knowledgebase guides and email ticket support. 24×7 chat support is only available for premium users.
And only the highest plan users can get phone support. When using MailChimp, I felt their support system to be quite good. They are pretty knowledgeable, but again, the email ticker takes too much time.
Conclusion: Who Wins?
There is no doubt that all three services are top of their class.
I found GetResponse to have the best overall features.
Even though you might miss out on some features that MailChimp offered, they have a well-rounded package.
However, if you are new to the business – it is best to start with the free MailChimp version. MailChimp’s ability to create lists within lists could be great once you are looking at a large number of subscribers. With their pre-paid 9 USD version, you can carry out an A/B Testing trial as well.
As for pricing plans, for a small business running within under 5000 subscribers, Aweber offers the most pocket-friendly option. For affiliate marketers, Aweber is the best choice.
GetResponse offers a really nice marketing automation tool. You can visualize the workflows and integrate filters into virtually anything.
They also have the best UI out of the three, being both user-friendly and beginner-friendly. Since all of them come with free plans, you can test each out and see which suits your needs best!
We hope our guide helped you find the best email marketing service. Let us know your pick and questions in the comments below.