aweber vs getresponse

What is the Best Email Marketing Service? Why I Switched From Aweber to GetResponse

If you’ve been getting my emails for awhile you’ve probably noticed at some point that I used Aweber. Like basically everyone else does. Aweber has been awesome and has made my business a lot of money.

I remember the moment several years ago that I first signed up with Aweber. It was kind of a plunge… I didn’t want to sign up for a monthly fee but I knew I needed an auto responder service to continually generate sales.

And having a real email service made all the difference.

Let me give you the main email marketing cliches that are 100% true:

  • the money is in the list
  • I wish someone would have told me when I was starting to build a list from day one
  • if you’re not building a list you’re not building a business

So… yes, no matter what your method or model is, you should be building a list of email subscribers.

Now, let’s move onto why I switched to GetResponse from Aweber…

Why I Switched to GetResponse from Aweber

There really wasn’t anything wrong with Aweber. Emails were getting delivered, I knew how to use it inside and out at this point, it integrates with everything… but there were a few features that started to catch my eye with GetResponse though.

I signed up with GetResponse and started using it before I canceled Aweber to see if I really wanted to make the switch. What I found as I actually used it is there are a few features with GetResponse that they don’t even mention as selling points that are extremely useful that Aweber just isn’t that good at. I’ll get to those in a minute…

Things That Aweber Is Really Good At

Integration: I really, really liked how easy Aweber is to integrate with everything. GetResponse is just as easy, except for one thing. If you want single opt-in turned on to use through the API, you have to send a request to support. You can instantly use single optin with GetResponse if you’re using one of their forms. But if you want to use GetResponse with something like Lead Pages with single optin, then you need to have their support enable it for you. That’s a small annoyance but it was taken care of within 24 hours.

On the other hand- with payment systems it is impossible to have someone added to a buyer’s list using single optin with Aweber. They have to be sent a confirmation email and click the confirmation link to be added to your buyer’s list. This was always a huge annoyance because the number one thing you want to segment is buyers, and if they have to click a confirmation link once they’ve already been your subscriber, there will just be a certain percentage that won’t click the link or will simply miss the email.

With GetResponse, not the case. You can set “goals” inside of your account which means putting a little code on a thank you page, or any page you want to track for that matter, and when someone reaches that page you can have an automation rule that moves them to your buyers list with no confirmation email involved.

This is a huge, huge benefit GetResponse has over Aweber.

Support: Whenever I had a question with Aweber, they would answer emails within a few hours usually and were generally very helpful.

With GetResponse there are two factors: they have live chat support, but only during business hours so if you’re online then it’s just a few seconds before you’re chatting with a support rep. If the chat isn’t online then you’ll basically wait overnight for an email to get answered. Not a big deal, and the chat is a huge plus.

Segmenting Tools: For this one I need to point out that I was actually using Aweber with AW Pro Tools. If you don’t know, AW Pro Tools is an extra service that lets you do even more with Aweber. It let’s you do advanced segmenting stuff like you can do with InfusionSoft, but not pay anywhere near what InfusionSoft costs… actually- now that I think about it my Aweber account was at $200 per month and AW Pro tools was another $30. Price was one consideration actually. I’ll talk more about that in a minute as well.

The thing about having a bunch of segmenting options for me is that I realized I would never actually use a lot of them. Or use them to their full potential. In theory it sounds goods to eventually slice and dice your main list into 20 different sub lists that are laser targeted by different interests, but in practical terms it’s a lot of work with diminishing returns… in my opinion anyways. My approach to email marketing has always been to create really long auto responder sequences that follow a basic format, but with some of GetResponse’s auto responder tools it’s easy to do the same thing but a 10x more effective version. I’ll explain what I mean in a minute…

And, as lazy as it sounds, I didn’t like switching between two systems constantly as I was working on my email marketing. You have to setup certain things in AW Pro Tools and then go into Aweber and finish things.

Before I start telling you all the awesome things about GetResponse, I want to make it clear that Aweber is still a great service. And AW Pro tools is an amazing service if you want to add extra functionality to Aweber.

Things I Absolutely Love About GetResponse

Now I’ll try to give you a complete list of the things I like so much better about GetResponse.

The Email Builder: GetResponse’s email builder is sweet. Super easy to use, it helps you create eye-catching emails, and it includes over 1,000 iStock images that you can use in your emails. I have a few niches I work in where I wanted to depart from the “internet marketing” type of emails- you know, the text-on-white type of emails. Yes, I could have done this in Aweber just fine- it’s just that GetResponse’s builder is faster to use to create these types of emails, and having all the free stock images to throw into emails is a big bonus.

As soon as I switched to using emails with images and graphics and a nice-looking template, my open and click through rates went way up.

On a side note about this- apparently I’ve been wrong for a long time that you’re not allowed to use Amazon affiliate links in emails. So lately I’ve been promoting my Kindle books in my newsletters and it has been amazingly effective. I create an affiliate link to link to my Kindle books so that I’m getting a little extra when someone buys a book, but what’s been happening as well is that I’m making a lot of Amazon affiliate sales for a bunch of other random products. I’m back in the Amazon affiliate game without even focusing on building Amazon review sites.

Auto Responders 2.0: This is what GetResponse calls their new auto responders. The big thing is the different ways you can use to trigger an auto responder being sent out. The main one you’ll use is time-based auto responders, and that just means you send email 1 right after someone opts in, you send email 2 the next day, email 3 on day 3, etc.

I mentioned earlier using an upgraded model of what I usually do, which is simply to setup a really long auto responder sequence for my different lists. First of all it’s one of the highest leverage things you can do, because you stay in the mind of your subscribers and you are marketing to them over and over on complete auto pilot, but there are a few things you can do with GetResponse to make it even more effective.

You can send out auto responders based on a click. So… when you recommend a product in an auto-responder, you can set another auto responder to go out the next day after someone has clicked that link. So what I’ll do is mention a product in one of the emails from my main sequence, and if someone clicks on it they’ll be sent an email that’s dedicated to that promotion the next day. If they click the link in that email then they are sent another email the next day, or a few days later. Very very effective. This way someone is only getting more and more direct promotion emails for things they’ve shown an interest in.

Another way of using it if you have your own products: if you have everything setup to where a buyer will be added to a buyers list when they purchase, you obviously set it up so that they are removed from your main list as well. Then, you can set one of this click-based auto responders to go out a day or two after someone has clicked on your product link that simply says something like, “I saw that you visited my Dog Training System page. Do you have any questions I can answer”- just something to gently bring them back to the sales page. If they purchase from the main email, they’ll never get this reminder email. But if they visit the sales page and don’t purchase, then they’ll get the reminder email. That little extra email can get you a lot of extra sales you’d miss out on otherwise.

Price: If you’re using your email marketing service effectively, price shouldn’t be main consideration because email marketing in general will be the highest ROI tool you’ll ever use. But… at the end of the day it matters. In this case I realized I’d simply be getting a better service for me for less money.

GetResponse starts at $15 for up to 1,000 subscribers. Aweber starts at $19 but goes up to $29 after just 500 subscribers. And every tier up GetResponse has a lower price. For me I was also $30 higher because of AW Pro Tools. In my opinion GetResponse is just a better a service for less money- so that’s a big plus.

Surveys: One of the most effective things I’ve done in the last year is make a survey part of my first 2 or 3 emails on my bigger lists. I just ask a few basic questions and I get all kinds of info from subscribers about what they’re interested in, what they want to know, yada yada yada. GetResponse comes with a full-on survey service that’s part of your account at no extra charge. It collects all the responses and you can view everything right inside your GetResponse account instead of having to open a separate spreadsheet OR pay for a separate survey service.

I highly, highly recommend that you take your subscribers to a survey in your first 2 or 3 emails. Another very effective practice.

iPhone/Android App: I absolutely love this feature. For so long I wished that Aweber would come out with an iPhone app- I mean it’s 2014! You can look at stats and send emails wherever you’re at. I use it to constantly tally my opt ins everyday. It’s become quite an addiction.

Stats: Aweber’s stats just suck. That’s the bottom line. They’re hard to read and generate and I swear they don’t even work correctly.

GetResponse’s stats on the other could not be easier to use and understand. And… that’s another huge deal. You want to know how well your emails are performing. You get these big, beautiful graphs to look at, and it even lets you see stats based on the different links your emails contain so that you know what types of things are getting clicked on the most.

I know there’s more… I just can’t think of it right now. The biggest things have been how easy it is to create awesome-looking emails- which totally boost your opens, clicks, and sales- and then the automation features with the auto responders. And of course it costs a lot less than I was spending and it’s a better service.

If you have any questions about the differences, just ask in the comments below.

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About The Author


Nate is a blogger, fitness enthusiast, and designer.


  • Chanchana Sornsoontorn

    Reply Reply January 28, 2014

    How to switch from AWeber to GetResponse without effecting anything to my list?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 29, 2014

      Hi Chanchana- That’s something I forgot to mention… Importing your current list into GetResponse is extremely easy. I imported all my lists and had no issues.

      It took 24 hours and everything was imported.

  • Don Pasco

    Reply Reply January 28, 2014

    Hi Nate,
    I have had an aweber account for many years though email marketing has never been my forte.

    I am still at the $19 level even though one of my lists is showing 1,485 subscribers. Perhaps they raised their prices for new subscribers at some point after I became a customer or something.

    I also remember trying GetResponse many years ago and quite frankly did (at that time) like them better, but because so many other marketers were using aweber and even creating tutorials showing how to use it, I went with aweber.

    My question is… how difficult is it to make this switch?

    I’ve seen a few other marketers send emails with bribes in order to get them to opt in all over again which seems like a lot of trouble to me, and I’m sure some subscribers are lost in the transition.

    However, I don’t recall you asking me to do anything like that. Is there a better, easier way?


    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 29, 2014

      Hi Don- I know exactly what you mean. If importing my current lists had any issues I wasn’t going to go through with it.

      Luckily, importing your lists is extremely easy, and the GetResponse team simply looks it over and approves the import. As long as nothing shady has been done to build your list, you’ll be good.

      You don’t have to send out an email that gets people to click, because you’d obviously lose a ton of subscribers doing so.

      • Don Pasco

        Reply Reply March 4, 2014

        Hi Nate,

        I’m still contemplating a switch from Aweber to GetResponse.

        Perhaps it is because Aweber went down about 4 times last week. I noticed in your last email that GetResponse also was attacked and had issues.

        In any case, I have a question I hadn’t thought of before that I thought I’d ask you about.

        I know you mentioned that importing the list(s) from aweber to GetResponse is easy and seems to be without issues, but what about the opt-in forms?

        Aren’t they all specific to Aweber?

        Wouldn’t they all need to be recreated inside GetResponse and then replaced on the sites/blogs?

        If this is correct, how much trouble is that part of the switch?

        Thanks for your help.

        • Nate

          Reply Reply March 8, 2014

          Don – If your opt-in forms were made in Aweber then yes, you would need to re-create them in GetResponse. But, if you were using API or pasting a form into something like OptimizePress or Leadpages then it’s just switching out the code.

          The process isn’t too bad… just sit down for a few hours with that one task and you can get it out of the way.

  • Nigel

    Reply Reply January 28, 2014

    Nate, I switched 14months ago because of the exact reasons you stated above. Bye bye Aweber


    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 29, 2014

      Thanks for reading Nigel- yeah I’m liking GetResponse much better.

  • Christian

    Reply Reply January 28, 2014

    Nate, that’s quite a convincing post. Many thanks for this useful write up! I had to laugh when I read about aweber’s stats. I was thinking I was just not smart enough to understand them.

    I’ll sign up with your link.

    Can you really use Amazon links in emails? It’s not necessary that they originate from your website?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 29, 2014

      Hi Christian- Yeah you’ll be able to actually get some feedback from GetResponse’s stats. They’re awesome.

      And yes- you can use Amazon affiliate links in your emails. The TOS says that if you’re using them to spam people then you’ll get banned, but that goes without saying.

      Using Amazon links in emails has been working like everything else does when you combine it with email marketing… much better.

      Thanks for reading Christian.

  • Clayton

    Reply Reply January 28, 2014

    Would you recommend GetResponse for someone that is just starting out or would the freemium model like MailChimp be a better choice?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 29, 2014

      Hi Clayton-

      Clayton- I definitely do recommend that you start out with a paid service.

      If you start with a free service and then get to where you have to start paying, you either have to stay with a service that isn’t as good and start paying for it, or you switch to the better service but you have a new learning curve to face.

      Thanks for reading Clayton.

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