GetResponse Vs. MailChimp: Clash of the (email) Titans

02/03/2017 12:18

You’ve been doing some research for a newsletter service and noticed that MailChimp and GetResponse keep popping up as recommendations. Well, that’s because they’re both quite good! They rank 2nd and 3rd in our list, just under ActiveCampaign. There’s only a few points between them, but depending on what you need, little things may make a difference. We’re going to dive in and look at the differences between each service, in a number of categories, to help you better decide which one is right for you!


So, who are these guys?

Good question, although I expect you might already have a pretty good idea of the basics if you’re reading this post.

GetResponse is a Polish-based, internationally successful newsletter service, offering many pro features for pretty competitive prices. Their focus is on ease-of-use, while also offering some niche features such as a landing page editor. You can read a full review of them here.

MailChimp is probably a service you’ve heard of. Even though they are an email marketing heavyweight, they still have a useful freemium plan you can sign up to when first starting out. This is a great way to try out most of their features and templates with no risk. You can read a full review of them here. Now let’s set them against each other, head-to-head, across several categories to see who comes out on top.


Round 1: Ease of Use

Ooh a close one to begin with! Both GetResponse and MailChimp do a good job with their usability. Easy navigation, due to clean design and menu structures, and only small gripes that wouldn’t effect the majority of users. Both sport a simple drag & drop editor, with minimal complications. If we were really pressed to choose one, though, I’d probably say that MailChimp is slightly easier to use as GetResponse’s editor can be a little fiddly when performing certain tasks.


Round 2: Template Design and Flexibility

GetResponse have a lot of choice when it comes to templates, with the majority of them being responsive too, allowing them to look good on smaller devices. The designs are a little dated, though. We found a couple of small issues with template flexibility when adding columns, but no deal breakers.

MailChimp templates

MailChimp templates  

MailChimp’s templates are more modern-looking, and also offer quite a lot of choice. So this is a plus over GetResponse. They clearly delineate between drag & drop templates and classic templates, with only the former being responsive. In our eyes, MailChimp’s the winner of this round, but only by a nose.


Round 3: Automation

Both newsletter services offer marketing automation. Ideally, this allows you to create workflows based on actions, such as email opens and clicks. MailChimp offers a few options, for example sending emails after someone subscribes, if someone abandons a cart in your store, or even if someone visits a specific URL on your site. GetResponse also offers very similar options, with the addition of a visual workflow view, lead scoring, and tagging users to, perhaps, signify their interests.   

GetResponse workflow

GetResponse workflow  

  The major difference between the two, as briefly mentioned above, is within the layout. GetResponse’s workflow is displayed as an attractive network of connections and triggers, allowing you to drag connecting lines to other actions with ease. This makes sense to users as it’s designed in a way that’s easy to follow. On the other hand, MailChimp’s automation is displayed as a dry list of triggers, without a sense of flow, or connection to others. You also have to dig around to find these options, making it extremely unintuitive. GetResponse is a clear winner in this round.


Round 4: List Management

Being able to move subscribers to, and from, separate lists easily can be quite important for certain businesses. This is equally true for segmenting lists based on certain characteristics.  MailChimp do fine with segmentation methods, allowing you to combine several positive or negative conditions (e.g. clicking on email links or by location). An issue they have, though, is that you can’t manage subscribers across lists (e.g. adding a subscriber to two other relevant lists), as each one is siloed. GetResponse, on the other hand, allows for much more complex list management. As the lists are not siloed, you can either copy contacts to another campaign, or move them entirely. Segments are also more customisable as you can add any/all conditions to users, and even groups. Because of these reasons, GetResponse easily wins this round.


Round 5: Analytics

Both services offer almost everything you’ll need: allowing you to see subscriber details for those who opened, or clicked, on a campaign; subscriber’s email clients (although GetResponse isn’t as clear with this as MailChimp); ecommerce tracking data; geo-tracking (where your subscribers are based, or at least where the email was opened).

MailChimp analytics

MailChimp analytics

MailChimp also has social media reporting, which may be a benefit over GetResponse, depending on your needs. But it’s also slightly duller-looking, if that’s something you care about. So, finally, reports and analytics for both email services are pretty neck and neck. If we were pressed to pick one, perhaps MailChimp would just come out in front, but it’s unlikely your decision will ultimately hang on this feature.  


Round 6: Languages

If being accessible in several languages is necessary, then this one is a no-brainer. MailChimp, although it has support available in Spanish, is entirely in English. Whereas GetResponse’s site is available in up to 17 languages...the clear winner in this round.


Round 7: Spam and Design Testing

Some email services allow you to test your campaigns for issues in how they’ll display with different email clients. These issues can sometimes lead to your emails being hightailed to the spam folder. MailChimp offer design testing from a third-party service, and at an extra cost unless you sign up to their higher plan. Unfortunately they don’t offer spam testing at all. GetResponse score full points in this round, as they offer both within their regular plans. Design/inbox testing is offered, giving you a view of how your email will appear across different clients and browsers. Also, in the last step of your campaign, you receive a spam test score out of 5. The lower, the better.


Round 8: Registration Forms

You’d be surprised how useful good registration form setup can be. Yet some newsletter services still haven’t completely got it yet. Both MailChimp and GetResponse offer a pretty good variety of options, though, just in slightly different formats. MailChimp have a nice, clean section that allows you to create regular, or pop-up, forms. It can be a bit tricky to find where the registration forms are hiding to begin with though.

Getresponse forms

GetResponse registration forms   

GetResponse have a useful wizard for their forms, with a heap of templates to choose from, and it’s a lot easier to find. But you’ll have to look at the list builder ‘apps’ to find novel styles of forms, such as exit pop-ups. HTML is also available on both systems, and you can integrate them within your services and websites a number of ways. Due to the amount of templates, and extra app options (e.g. scroll forms or shake boxes), GetResponse wins this round.


Round 9: Support

When it comes to support, both have thorough knowledge bases, yet GetResponse’s is harder to navigate, opening up unnecessary tabs. They also both offer email and live chat, although the latter is only available on MailChimp once you’ve upgraded to their higher tier. And, even then, their service can sometimes be quite slow when compared to other newsletter tools. GetResponse, though, offered fast and friendly support on both mediums, and this makes them our winner for this round.


Round 10: Extras

MailChimp do have a large amount of integrations, possibly due to their popularity within the English market, apparently over 800 (not that I’ve counted them all). And while GetResponse also offer integrations, they can’t match the number offered by MailChimp.

Getresponse landing page

GetResponse Landing Page editor 

GetResponse do hit back hard and fast with their extras, though. They offer a landing page editor, which is relatively unique, allowing you to create landing pages for event registrations or even simple product info pages. You can even create A/B tests with your landing pages, and they’re all mobile responsive. As a final nail in the coffin for MailChimp in this round, GetResponse now also offer webinar hosting features, which could be great for some businesses. For these reasons, GetResponse win this round by a mile.


Round 11: Pricing

Pricing differs between the two providers at the lower end quite a bit, as MailChimp offers a forever free plan. This is limited to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, and doesn’t offer some of the more advanced features (e.g. automations). But this great for someone starting out, and a good way to try their service to see if it suits.

GetResponse don’t have this available, and their pricing plans start from $15 per month for only 1,000 subscribers. You need to get the higher tier packages to take advantage of the pro features, such as webinars and extra marketing automation features. Once you get into higher subscriber numbers, though MailChimp’s prices surpass GetResponse’s, and so the latter becomes a better deal. 

We have two winners for this round: MailChimp for the low end of subscriber numbers, and GetResponse for the higher end. To check out the pricing in more depth, head over to our newsletter price comparison tool.


The Final Call

GetResponse dominates MailChimp for 7 of the 11 rounds here. By our standards, it is the clear winner, offering a good variety of features for a relatively good price, particularly when it gets up to the higher subscriber numbers. If you are after a free, easy to use service, though, you can always give MailChimp a try too.   


Do you think we missed something important? Disagree with one of our rounds? Please leave a comment below and let us know!

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