August 21, 2015
Recent studies show that more than 90% of American consumers actively use email every day, and email is three times as effective as social media in prompting purchases. The best time to start your mailing list is yesterday – but today will do, if you choose the right platform. Today we compare two very popular options for email marketing: GetResponse and MailChimp.
GetResponse offers a one-month free trial period with access to platform’s full functionality, including autoresponder.
MailChimp works differently. They provide free service indefinitely – as long as you have less than 2,000 subscribers and send less than 12,000 emails a month. It seems like a good option for a beginner; however, free things are never really free. In this case you pay for the free service with risk – MailChimp sometimes cancels free accounts without explanation or breaks links in mails. And one has to remember that free plan doesn’t have autoresponder – an indispensable feature according to most marketers.
Landing Page Creation
This is one of the strongest arguments in favor of GetResponse. MailChimp doesn’t have a landing page creator, period – you either have to code something yourself or use an expensive third-party tool like Unbounce.
In GetResponse, the landing page editor comes as a part of a full-featured package for $15/month.
No possible difference of opinion here – GetResponse’s split testing feature leaves MailChimp far behind. It allows you to test up to 5 email versions at a time, differentiating in a wide range of variables. MailChimp offers only two versions and two variables (subject line and ‘from’ field), which is, as any experienced marketer knows, simply ridiculous.
Signup Form Design
Again, GetResponse is ahead – it offers a wide range of form templates which you can edit to your heart’s content or create your own one in a user-friendly interface. MailChimp’s options are far more limited, with only popup and embedded forms on offer.
Both platforms allow you to create mobile-friendly versions of your emails. However, in MailChimp it looks like a last-minute addition rather than a full-fledged feature – you can see the smartphone version, but have to go to a separate menu to do so, and have to repeat it all over again after each new change you make. In GetResponse you see the mobile version in real time on the same screen you work, which greatly speeds up the process.
MailChimp may have a free option, but when it comes to paid plans, it is far less alluring. Despite starting at about the same level as GetResponse, MailChimp’s monthly fees quickly skyrocket. In addition to that, GetResponse offers annual and non-profit discounts, which means that if you planning long-term development, it is better for your business.
Both services offer high deliverability ratings: 96-99 percent at MailChimp, 99 percent at GetResponse. However, GetResponse has one crucial feature MailChimp lacks: spam checker, allowing you to test your emails for risks of falling into spam box.
When comparing GetResponse with MailChimp, pretty soon one starts noticing a pattern: MailChimp has some things speaking for it, but its advantages are extremely contextual. It is a good choice, if your mailing list is small and isn’t going to grow, if you don’t use affiliate links, if you want to save that badly you are ready to put up with its free account inconveniencies, if you get used to its rather quirky interface. A whole lot of ifs.
On the other hand, GetResponse offers mostly objective benefits: it is cheaper, especially for larger lists, split testing is much better, autoresponder has more features, landing page creator comes as part of the package, form design is much more flexible, mobile functionality is much more powerful.
In other words, MailChimp may be better in some very specific and not very common situations. In all other cases, going with GetResponse is a more logical choice.
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