GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign – Which Tool is Better?

These are two of the best email marketing services in our opinion. The main difference between GetResponse and ActiveCampaign is the range of features they offer and what they charge for them.

ActiveCampaign’s specialty is marketing automation, allowing you to build complex workflows based on email engagement, web events, and events in third-party tools (e.g. purchases or support tickets), to name a few.

Customer messaging tools mean that you can reach your customers via a variety of channels, for example, email, SMS, Facebook Audiences and live chat. You can also build dynamic landing pages and manage deals through the built-in CRM software.

Of course, GetResponse also has a lot to offer small businesses, and depending on your marketing strategy, this could be an excellent email marketing platform for you.

Its niche features include a website builder, webinar software and sales funnel software. We were also pleased when they announced a new freemium plan for up to 500 subscribers.

So let’s see how these email marketing software compare.

GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign: Summary

GetResponse and ActiveCampaign are all-in-one marketing platforms packed with plenty of advanced features such as marketing automation and segmentation, a landing page builder, CRM and much more. ActiveCampaign’s entry plan starts at $15 for 500 subscribers and GetResponse’s Email Marketing plan is charged at $19 for 1,000 subscribers. GetResponse offers a free plan for up to 500 subscribers, but the features are more limited.

The Main Differences Between ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse

  • ActiveCampaign comes with a built-in CRM and deal pipeline software, whereas with GetResponse you’d need to integrate with a third-party CRM software
  • GetResponse allows you to host webinars on its built-in software
  • ActiveCampaign allows you to contact your subscribers by email, SMS, Facebook Audiences and live chat. With GetResponse this is only possible through email and live chat
  • ActiveCampaign allows you to show dynamic content on your website or landing pages. (Find out more in our ActiveCampaign landing pages review)

This ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse review will look at everything from ease of use to pricing and email deliverability, but before we get stuck in, here are our video reviews of the two tools.

GetResponse Video Review

See video review

ActiveCampaign Video Review

See video review

ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse: Ease of Use And Editor

Both GetResponse and ActiveCampaign offer a range of pro features, so it’s nice to see that they’re still fairly easy-to-use email marketing platforms.

You can arrange the dashboard to best suit your needs, adding information such as contact trends, conversion funnel data (in the case of GetResponse) and pipeline activity (in the case of ActiveCampaign).

Though both have fairly easy-to-navigate interfaces, some might feel a little overwhelmed by ActiveCampaign’s menu, which has many more items than GetResponse’s.

activecampaign email editor

ActiveCampaign’s email editor

ActiveCampaign’s email builder is modern and user-friendly. The drag and drop technology is fast, and there is an undo button if you make any mistakes. You can also save custom ‘blocks’ to reuse and see changes other people have made.

getresponse newsletter editor

GetResponse’s email builder

GetResponse has thankfully just updated its email editor, now offering users a fast solution with a contemporary interface. An undo button has been added, and like ActiveCampaign, you can save blocks for future use.

Winner: Both tools take a point here for their easy-to-use builders and well-designed interfaces. 1-1

Design And Flexibility

When it comes to email templates, you won’t be disappointed with GetResponse or ActiveCampaign’s selection. Though GetResponse says it comes with 500+ templates, there are actually far fewer. However, there are still plenty to choose from. ActiveCampaign offers 250. The templates from both providers are all mobile responsive.

getresponse email templates

GetResponse’s newsletter templates

You can also create or add your own HTML templates with the HTML builders offered by both tools. A/B testing is also possible.

ActiveCampaign’s newsletter templates

ActiveCampaign’s newsletter templates

ActiveCampaign offers users a free customized email design on the Plus plan and higher.

Winner: Again, I think both deserve a point here for design options and flexibility. 2-2

Email Automations

If you’re serious about email marketing, then you’ll no doubt be looking for a provider that comes equipped with a robust automation workflow builder.

Luckily for you, GetResponse and ActiveCampaign are both advanced marketing automation tools.

Sales funnel software: GetResponse

GetResponse’s automation workflow builder

GetResponse offers a myriad of templates and a handful of triggers, such as when a user visits a page, makes a purchase, abandons their cart, etc. Automations for lead scoring and web event tracking are also available.

Unfortunately, this feature is only available on GetResponse’s Marketing Automation plan and higher, which means you’ll be paying a little more than with ActiveCampaign, which includes it on all plans.

activecampaign automation templates

ActiveCampaign’s automation templates

ActiveCampaign has what seems like hundreds of automation templates to help get you started. If you opt to start from scratch, you’ll have a whole host of triggers and actions to choose from. Plus, because ActiveCampaign comes with its own CRM software, you can automatically update properties related to deals, as well as contacts and lists.

activecampaign automation workflow

ActiveCampaign’s automation workflow builder

Winner: There’s no limit to what you can do with the marketing automation tool, ActiveCampaign, which is why I’m giving them the point for this round. 2-3

Registration Forms

GetResponse gives you many templates to work from, or the ability to create your own. You can embed forms on your site or host them on GetResponse.

The form builder is well laid-out and has all the options you need – it’s also possible to edit the “Thank You” page. ActiveCampaign will just show a simple “Thank You” message.

ActiveCampaign doesn’t give you any templates, but you do have a number of form types, for example, floating forms and popups, whereas GetResponse seems to only offer standard forms.

Both email marketing tools allow you to create your own custom fields and add them to the form.

Winner: As both have advantages and disadvantages in this area, I think both deserve a point. 3-4

Spam And Design Testing

Inbox testing is available on GetResponse, allowing you to see the design in many browsers and on all main devices. The email’s spam score is a rating from 0-5 of how likely your email will be recognized as spam.

With ActiveCampaign, spam testing is simply a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ – there are no factors present to help understand the ruling. Though it’s possible to preview your email campaigns on various email clients, this is charged at $1 per test/client, which seems a bit steep.

Winner: This round goes to GetResponse. 4-4

Reporting

GetResponse comes with detailed reports that include geo-tracking, email clients, opens, clicks, unsubscribes, etc. Conversion/ecommerce tracking is also available, as well as the option to compare the performance of different campaigns. However, one thing it’s missing is a heatmap.

ActiveCampaign provides reports on basically everything. Aside from data on email campaigns, other reports include contact trends, deal reports, chat conversion, automation reports, etc. The “Recommendations for you” section offers helpful suggestions on actions you can take.

Activecampaign reports

ActiveCampaign’s reports

Winner: ActiveCampaign offers more comprehensive reporting, which awards them the point this round. 4-5

Deliverability

It’s imperative that the email marketing tool you select has good email deliverability, otherwise all your efforts leading up to sending your campaign will have been for nothing.

We’ve been tracking the email deliverability of the providers we review for a number of years.

Here are the average figures of how they performed in our last 3 rounds of bi-annual deliverability tests (Mar 2021Apr 2022):

GETRESPONSEACTIVECAMPAIGN
Overall Deliverability Rate8191

ActiveCampaign tends to do much better than GetResponse in our tests, scoring in the early nineties.

GetResponse, on the other hand, can’t seem to make it above 85.

Winner: ActiveCampaign is the clear winner here. 4-6

Landing Pages

Nowadays, email marketing automation software often includes landing page software, so it’s no surprise that both ActiveCampaign and GetResponse offer this service, too.

You can create landing pages from scratch or make the most of the many landing page templates provided.

ActiveCampaign Landing Page Templates

ActiveCampaign Landing Page Templates

ActiveCampaign offers 56 templates, whilst GetResponse comes with 180 responsive landing page and website templates. It’s possible to create unlimited landing pages on both tools. However, A/B testing is only possible on GetResponse, which allows you to test up to 10 design variants of the same page displayed under the same URL.

In terms of ease of use, you have more freedom with GetResponse in that you can freely move elements around the page. ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, only allows you to move elements within the predefined grid, which can be a bit frustrating.

GR landing page

GetResponse Landing Page Editor

The cool thing about ActiveCampaign is that you can add dynamic content (web personalization, as they call it). This means that you can show users the information that is relevant to them – be it a product, service, event, or copy. The same feature is not available in GetResponse.

Let’s talk prices. With ActiveCampaign, you can only create landing pages on the Plus plan and higher, which is a little pricey (from $70/month). Furthermore, the web personalization feature is only available on the expensive Professional plan and higher ($187/month).

GetReponse includes landing pages on all plans, even its free one (though you’re limited to just 1 landing page).

Winner: Considering that the use of GetResponse’s landing page builder is considerably more affordable than ActiveCamapign’s, this point goes to them this round. 5-6

Integrations And Extras

You shouldn’t have any problem finding what you’re looking for in GetResponse and ActiveCampaign’s long list of integrations. They cover everything from ecommerce to CRM to social media tools.

Bear in mind that no integrations are included on GetResponse’s free plan, and you’ll need ActiveCampaign’s Plus plan and above to integrate with WooCommerce.

Winner: This round is a tie! 6-7

Support

GetResponse offers email and live chat support, which I found to be quick and helpful. The knowledge base is thorough and easy to navigate, making it easy to resolve any doubts you may have.

ActiveCampaign also offers a useful and easily searchable knowledge base. Plus, there are video tutorials available, webinars (live and archived) and one-on-one training on the Plus plan. All plans include live chat.

Winner: This round is also a tie! 7-8

Prices

Let’s take a look at their lowest-level plans to compare:

GETRESPONSE

(Email Marketing Plan)

ACTIVECAMPAIGN

(Lite Plan)

500 subscribersFree$15
1,000 subscribers$19$39
5,000 subscribers$54$99
10,000 subscribers$79$174
50,000 subscribers$299$424
100,000 subscribers$539$505

This table compares the two lower-tier plans, whereby GetResponse comes out much cheaper. However, it’s important to note that you’ll need GetResponse’s Marketing Automation plan in order to use its marketing automation features. This pushes prices up to $59/month for 1,000 subscribers.

All ActiveCampaign plans include marketing automation, which means you can pay as little as $39/month for the same number of subscribers.

Unfortunately, ActiveCampaign is one of the few email marketing platforms that doesn’t offer a free plan.

Winner: This one really depends on what you’re going to be using the tool for. If you only require the basic features, then GetResponse is more affordable, and it comes with a free plan. On the other hand, if you require marketing automation then you’d be better off going with ActiveCampaign, as it works out cheaper and gives you better value for your money.

I think both deserve a point here. 8-9

Detailed Features Comparison (Table)

+ Add to comparison


Ease of Use


Newsletter Creation

yes

ActiveCampaign have around 250 modern, responsive templates to choose from. You can handily preview them in another window, both on mobile and desktop. They offer users a free customized email design on the Plus plan and higher.

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With GetResponse’s powerful and flexible workflow editor, you can build some pretty complex automated sequences. You’ll need at least the Marketing Automation plan to use this feature. Aside from being able to send a series of emails based on specified conditions and triggers, there are also rules to move subscribers from one list to another. Automations for lead scoring, abandoned cart campaigns, and web event tracking are also available. More on email automation.

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Compared to some other tools, managing contacts and lists is made much easier due to their automation functions, which allow you to organize people into lists. Learn more here.

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Fairly easy to use, with many templates available, or the ability to create your own. There are several types of integration available: you can embed forms on your site or host them on GetResponse, now with a Recapchta verification feature to avoid any unwanted bot attacks. Options to edit thank you pages and the backend (e.g. which lists to add subscribers to) are a little hidden, though.

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In our deliverability tests, ActiveCampaign tends to score pretty highly, landing emails in the main inbox of the most popular providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and AOL. ActiveCampaign’s deliverability is fairly consistent, which is good news for email marketers.

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Reports and Analysis


Languages


Further Features

yes

yes


Pro Features

yes

yes


Customer Support

Prices

Up to 500: $15/mo

Up to 1,000: $39/mo

Up to 2,500: $61/mo

Up to 5,000: $99/mo

Up to 10,000: $174/mo

Up to 50,000: $424/mo

‘>Show prices

4.2/5

4.5/5

GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign: Final Thoughts

With an overall score of 8-9 to ActiveCampaign, we have a winner! But to be fair, it was very close, as GetResponse clearly has a lot going for it too. If only GetResponse’s deliverability and reporting features were better.

We list ActiveCampaign as our number one email marketing service provider. But why is ActiveCampaign the best? Well, as you’ve seen in this GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign head-to-head, a combination of excellent functionality, a well-designed interface and first-rate deliverability mean that ActiveCampaign is our top choice.

You can see how these two popular email marketing services compare to Mailchimp and other providers in the following comparisons:

ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp

GetResponse vs Mailchimp

ActiveCampaign vs Drip

ActiveCampaign vs HubSpot

ActiveCampaign vs ConvertKit

You can find more great alternatives to ActiveCampaign here.

 

Leave a comment if you have any questions – I’d be more than happy to help!

 

Updates:

23 June 2022 – Added landing pages section

12 May 2022 – Added video reviews of each email marketing service

27 Apr 2022 – Updated deliverability averages 

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