GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign. An unbiased review.

In the previous blog post I discussed keyword research. Today I wanted to bring you something a little different than other posts.  In this blog post, I am going to give you a review of GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign.  For those who are more visual learners, I have also included a video! Below the video you will find the written review.

Many of you know that I have been using GetResponse for a long time.  Recently a friend and I were discussing some of the issues that I was having with the platform, and he recommended ActiveCampaign.  So, as a part of my trial, I decided to bring you a review of both and let you know what decision was made based on the recommendation and the testing of the trial with ActiveCampaign. Let’s begin the review of GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign, I hope this post will some of you out there that are looking for this information.

GetResponse

First, let’s dive into GetResponse.  The platform is set up in a manner that is easy to use.  The different activities are laid out in a manner that you can navigate no problem, even as a beginner.  As you can see from the screenshot below, everything is easy to understand from the main page

getresponse menu

Each of the sections in the drop-down is straight forward, and there are no hidden menus or other things that a user should know about before getting started.  There is even a way to create funnels and set up custom domains.  This feature seemed great, except it was never used because other products seemed to have a better product with better templates such as ClickFunnels, WordPress, and even custom development if you wanted to take longer to set up a site. 

Let’s dive deeper into the email templates and other stuff that are essential to email marketing.  Clicking on autoresponders will bring you to the following screen where you can create email sequences.  While there is the email marketing tab, for the sake of speed, here are the templates in the autoresponder, they are all the same.

getresponse autoresponder page

Clicking create autoresponder will take you to a screen that will help you through the process of creating emails.  Once you get to the next screen, you have the option to create a new email.  Here you have the opportunity to use their shorthand markup to customize subject lines, which worked well.

getresponse autoresponder settings page

The next step is choosing the template for the email.  These templates all just seem kind of basic when you look at them.  The company uses template monster but not sure the rest of the details here.

getresponse email templates

As you can see, the first few templates seem kind of flat, boring, and basic.  The rest of the templates are the same.  So, once you finish the setup and are ready to go, you can schedule the autoresponder or send it immediately.  You can set it up for a specific list and all the other things that you would expect an email marketing tool to allow you to do.

Issues

These features were straight forward and easy to use.  The emails would send, and you can track open rates, click rates, and the platform even lets you know when people are engaged and not engaged.  Outside of these basic features working well, the problems begin.  Using this platform for quite a while, the automation never worked right.  Changing the automation, setting up new ones, and testing repeatedly, they never worked flawlessly.  There were always one or two things that were broken.  For instance, adding tags did not work no matter what sequence was tried.  Testing the ability to send an email asking users who weren’t engaged in emails to opt-in through a web form when they did not open the emails just sent the opt-in email asking for confirmation that they wanted to stay on the list to all users instead of those who weren’t engaged.

Next, after emailing some of the individuals on my list and talking to them in my Facebook group, we realized that some of them were not getting emails.  There was no bounce, and the emails were not in the spam folder.  After testing, there seemed to be some deliverability issues associated with the platform.  No idea if it is with the providers or possibly servers that are clogged with traffic, no idea.

With all these issues in mind, a new project was set forth to see what was out there because there were missing features essential to email marketing, and customers were missing some emails. 

ActiveCampaign

After speaking with a friend, he told me to check out ActiveCampaign.  He said to run the trial see if the issues were present.  So here is the second review for the ActiveCampaign testing of trial that was run.

At first glance, the user interface for ActiveCampaign seemed straight forward.  All the features offered by GetResponse were there plus more.

activecampaign's main page

Clicking inside of each category in the side menu revealed a lot more features.  The first place examined was the campaign category to look at their email templates.  After all, this would be what my customers would see.  Looking in the campaigns section and creating a new one just to see what the new templates looked like.

Inside of campaigns, there were many different options.

activecampaign's setup page for new campaigns

I chose autoresponder again since that is what we used in the last review.  One thing to note is that there is an option for split testing. This feature is found in the ActiveCampaign interface, GetResponse does not have this feature.  According to the GetResponse website, this feature should be located under email marketing; It is not there, and after searching the platform for a while, it was never found.  After clicking on the autoresponder feature and giving the campaign a name, it took me to the page to choose a template.  At first glance, the templates seemed to look better.  They seemed to have a bit more to them and were not so dull looking.

activecampaign's email templates

The next feature was the one that interested me the most, the automation.  Running through the testing the same as before with GetResponse, starting from scratch, was easy.  The platform presented a user interface for the first trigger and allowed drag and drop of actions and follow up triggers.

activecampaign's automation setup page

Creating basic automation in this platform worked every single time.  Each of the activities and triggers that were set performed flawlessly every single time.

So, what about deliverability issues? 

As of now, no issues have been reported, and testing will continue for the duration of the trial to make sure that customers are receiving emails appropriately.

Pricing and Features

Now we will compare the pricing and features of GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign. The monthly pricing for each of the platforms was similar.  With GetResponse at 1000 email addresses was $49 a month for the plus version.

GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign. Pricing plan for GetResponse

ActiveCampaign for the same size list was the same price for the plus version.  The other packages are more expensive with ActiveCampaign. Still, the fact of the matter is the chances that you are missing out on customers because they are not receiving your emails make up for the difference in cost.

GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign. Pricing plan for ActiveCampaign

Now, let’s talk about the difference in the packages so you can see what you are getting between the two platforms.  Let’s compare!

For GetResponse you get the following at each tier

GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign. What you receive with each plan for getresponse

At first glance, this seems like a lot of stuff.  If you look a little closer, there is no slit (a/b testing), and the $99 plan seems only to give you things such as more extensive webinars, unlimited funnels, and unlimited automation. 

Now let’s look at the ActiveCampaign packages to see what you get from active campaign along with all of the features working.  The screenshot is smaller because of the way that they list their features.

GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign. What you receive with each plan for activecampaign

As you can see here, many features are precisely what an email marketer would need.  Even at the professional version, the features that are offered are different between the two platforms.

Who is the winner?

Since the time of this writing, the switch was made to ActiveCampaign.  The ease of use and all of the extra features with everything working was a no brainer.  The pricing and feature model, for me, was perfect.  The fact that the automation worked perfectly, the templates looked better, and my customers receiving their emails; the decision was a no brainer.

That is all for this post, hopefully, this review of GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign will help you make an informed decision. For me switching was the right move, if you are just getting started and need something with only basic features, GetResponse is a good platform to start with but you will outgrow it quickly. Remember, Just Keep Going!

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