Gone are the days of traditional mail marketing.
Conventional mail, used in marketing, has gone basically extinct with the advent of email.
While many consumers may become annoyed with an overabundance of marketing emails in their inbox, email marketing is still the norm and will remain that way for years to come.
Why Is Email Marketing So important?
So why is email marketing important?
Well, one obvious reason is that it’s cheaper, faster, and more reliable than traditional mail. We don’t call it “snail mail” for no reason after all.
Businesses can send a significant number of emails per day to clients, leads, partners, monitor the recipients’ behavior, and gather information about their demographics.
This allows them to understand customer behavior better and use it to grow their organization.
This type of marketing allows you to stay connected to your audience in a way social media never could because customers expect and want to receive your emails when they opt-in and subscribe.
You can also choose when is the best time to send marketing emails based on the gathered customer behavior information.
Email marketing services allow you to:
- Track delivery rates
- Bounce rates
- Click-through rates
- Unsubscribe rates
- Open rates
You can use all this information at your disposal to use targeted messaging to guide potential customers into becoming real customers and retaining them as such.
The great benefit of email marketing services is its ability to handle tons of recipients for a very affordable price, all while allowing you to create stunning emails, newsletters and promo-materials.
A side note to these benefits of emails is that recipients usually distrust sources who send lots of emails, spam, or lousy email marketing practices.
Companies that don’t use reputable service providers are often sending emails without recipients’ permission, breaking spam laws, hiding or not offering automatic unsubscribe, and so on.
These “wild west” tactics are often offset by strict adherence to email marketing etiquette, which is on digital marketing basics.
Services like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, and other similar email marketing services are all made with this marketing etiquette in mind.
Returning to why email marketing is so important, we can simply say that it forms the basis of your digital marketing strategy.
Without it, you can never hope to reach the strategy’s full potential.
What is GetResponse?
GetResponse is an email marketing service.
It allows users to:
- Create a mailing list and insert leads into them,
- Send emails to recipients of that mailing list,
- Automate emails by using something called “autoresponders,”
- Generate and analyze statistics about the past and ongoing email campaigns
You might be mistaken or fooled into thinking that GetResponse is just another email marketing service when that’s not the case.
What makes GetResponse stand out is its plethora of additional features that encompass the creation of landing pages, marketing automation, webinars, conversion funnel, and paid ads, which we’ll talk about in more depth in the segment about GetResponse’s features.
What is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign prides itself on being a category-defining customer experience automation program.
It automates behind the scenes marketing, sales, and support processes via email marketing, marketing automation, CRM (customer relationship management), and machine learning for powerful cross-channel segmentation, personalization, and so on.
To put it briefly in terms we all understand, ActiveCampaign is another email marketing service.
ActiveCampaign also boasts smart auto-responders, SMS marketing, automated series, email templates, and built-in email design – a staple of every email marketing service in the industry described in detail in the Features segment.
Features of GetResponse
All right, the first and foremost feature we’ll take a look at is email marketing.
Many organizations use email marketing services for creating newsletters.
Whether you are HTML savvy or not, GetResponse offers you the choice between making a newsletter solely in HTML or using their own integrated drag and drop newsletter editor.
This drag and drop editor shouldn’t scare you because you really don’t need to start from scratch.
If you don’t want to use the “blank canvas,” you are free to choose already made templates that you can modify to give them your personal flair.
Once you are happy with the design, you can always send a test message to yourself or send it directly to the chosen mailing list or mailing list segment.
If newsletters aren’t your thing, or you wish to combine them with automated emails, GetResponse has got you covered.
You are able to design emails in the same fashion as newsletters, albeit in a different tab of the service, which you can schedule to be sent at a particular time or when something happens on the part of the customer.
The latter means that you can automate emails sent upon trigger activation, for example, welcome emails, reminders, etc.
With GetResponse, you can also create whole sequences of automated emails with which you can follow up with your audience (this is the Autoresponders feature we’ve mentioned above).
Of course, you can also create an automated blog digest and use transactional emails to send receipts or reminders.
The bread and butter of email marketing services is its ability to funnel leads into customers paying customers.
With GetResponse, you can add products from your GetResponse store, should you chose to create one, or you can integrate an existing online shop with the marketing service and allow users to shop via email and automatically recommend related products from your store.
You can also drive traffic to your landing page, which is another feature that can help you grow your mailing list and sell products faster.
Landing pages can be upgraded with popups – for lead generation, forms, webinars, Facebook ads, or something similar.
Building these landing pages is simple, as GetResponse has a built-in drag and drop editor for this as well.
In the grand scheme of things, all these features need to be put in place so that you can get more customers, or what’s called the conversion funnel.
This means potential customers have to be funneled down step by step by a superb digital marketing campaign until they become paying customers and remain that way.
GetResponse solves this problem with another feature called the conversion funnel software.
With it, you can make a simple opt-in funnel, lead magnet funnels, sales funnels, and webinar funnels, all working towards the same goal.
Let’s do a quick rundown of other GetResponse features:
- Webinars – GetResponse offers an integrated webinar software with easy set-up and no installation required on your part. You can host unlimited webinars, have up to a thousand live attendees with two other presenters, and store those webinar recordings for up to 20 hours of footage.
- Signup Forms – of course, a service like this would have a signup form. Just embed them to your blog or website, and you’re off. You can also make trigger popup forms and scroll forms. GetResponse also has simple to share signup links, which allow you to share these forms on social media.
- Paid Ads – use your social media presence to engage existing contacts and new audiences, which you can bring to the landing pages for lead generation or run targeted ads to promote the sale of goods and services.
Lastly, GetResponse gives you powerful analytics at your fingertips, much in the same way as ActiveCampaign does.
Features of ActiveCampaign
Moving on to ActiveCampaign’s email marketing service, we can see roughly the same features, such as triggered emails, email autoresponders, targeted emails, scheduled emails, and email funnels.
With their intelligence-driven automation, you can create marketing campaigns, update mailing list data, and reach out to sales leads with no hassle.
ActiveCampaign also allows you to track customer behavior and analyze it later on.
With ActiveCampaign, you can create an ideal lead profile and adjust lead scores as they take specific predefined actions, and add rules that come into effect to create the perfect lead.
You can also split test the email campaigns that you use in automated workflows and create conditional processes that pop into action when specific criteria are met.
This product can be used to develop unique experiences for leads with trigger automation.
You might say that ActiveCampaing is somewhat similar to GetResponse, and frankly, that’s because it is. Not much differs between these two services.
The only plus to ActiveCampaign is that its automation workflows generally have more triggers than GetResponse.
Because of this feature, ActiveCampaign’s CRM is more advanced than that of GetResponse, which is decent.
ActiveCampaing offers SMS marketing as a core feature, something that GetResponse doesn’t have.
With their SMS marketing feature, you can automate welcome messages, send follow-ups, notify sales agents, and more.
They also offer automatic opt-out and unsubscribe management for people wishing not to be a part of this marketing type.
In any case, by using ActiveCampaign, you will be able to make appointment reminders, messages to event attendees, confirmation or coupon delivery, and flash sale notifications.
Sadly, ActiveCampaign does not have GetResponse’s landing pages & funnels or its own equivalent, so depending on your needs, you might find this feature lacking.
Neither does it have the webinar feature of its rival, but not that you need it if all you’re interested in is the email marketing aspect of it.
ActiveCampaign also has free expert migration services, meaning that the tech-savvy experts working there will migrate your complete marketing, including importing lists, contacts, custom fields, tags, as well as the recreation of opt-in forms, automation workflows, and email templates.
Because of so many similar features that these two services share, we won’t go into an in-depth analysis of ActiveCampaign’s features be.
They are basically the same as GetResponse.
Pros and Cons of GetResponse
- GetResponse is cheaper than its key competitors while offering pretty much a whole package, if not even more, but this is true for their “Basic” plan, which is still a powerful tool in its own right.
- Generous discounts when signing up for plans you pay for a year or two in advance.
- Advanced marketing automation features at your disposal.
- Very user friendly.
- The webinar feature and functionality are great.
- A handy conversion funnel.
- A reliable support system in multiple languages.
- Lots of video content on how to use GetResponse.
- Landing page creator offers A/B testing and meets GDPR standards.
- You can try GetResponse with all of its features for 30 days free without any need to add tom your credit card.
- Easy integration with Google Analytics and other tools.
- No phone support is provided unless you get the “Max” plan.
- High limit of 1.000 webinar attendees.
- No 2-factor authentication at login.
Pros and Cons of ActiveCampaign
- Very easy to use, meaning it is well designed and has an intuitive user interface.
- It is also affordable.
- It integrates via their Zapier integration with over 2.000+ different tools (you will need a paid Zapier subscription).
- You can A/B test entire sequences against each other with the automation split testing.
- Many innovative machine learning features are built-in.
- The CRM is not as good as other standalone platforms.
- ActiveCampaign’s reporting can be hard to navigate at times and can become quite crowded.
There are four GetResponse pricing plans:
- Basic – starting at $15 per month to send unlimited emails to up to 1.000 subscribers.
- Plus – starting at $49 per month for up to 1.000 subscribers.
- Professional – starting at $99 per month for up to 1.000 subscribers.
- Max – this plan is negotiable.
Of course, you can pick any plan and define the number of subscribers you want on that plan.
This means that sort of plan is more expensive than its lowest tier. Also, not all plans offer the same features.
So if you’re really interested in a more in-depth view of pricing vs. features, please consult GetResponse’s pricing tab on their website.
ActiveCampaign also has four pricing plans:
- Lite – starting at $9 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
- Plus – starting at $49 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
- Professional – starting at $129 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
- Enterprise – starting at $229 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
As with GetResponseyou can pick any plan and define the number of subscribers you want, which means that prices rise with the number of subscribers.
And again, for a more in-depth view of pricing, please consult the pricing tab on their website.
Summary: GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign
So, which one of these fantastic email marketing services should you choose? Sadly, no one can answer this question but you.
Remember you know your business’s needs better than anyone else, and when trying to choose, consult this analysis, their respective feature, and above all, what you need right now to grow.