You’ve been doing some research for a newsletter service and noticed that MailChimp and GetResponse keep popping up? Well, that’s because they’re both quite good!
We’re going to dive in and look at the differences between each service, in a number of categories, to help you better decide which one is right for you!
Good question, although I expect you might already have a pretty good idea of the basics if you’re reading this post.
GetResponse is a Polish-based, internationally successful newsletter service, offering many pro features for pretty competitive prices. Their focus is on ease-of-use, while also offering some niche features such as a landing page editor. You can read a full review of them here.
MailChimp is probably a service you’ve heard of. Even though they are an email marketing heavyweight, they still have a useful freemium plan you can sign up to when first starting out. This is a great way to try out most of their features and templates with no risk. You can read a full review of them here.
Now let’s set them against each other, head-to-head, across several categories to see who comes out on top.
Ooh, a close one to begin with! Both GetResponse and MailChimp do a decent job with their usability. Easy navigation, due to clean design and menu structures, and only a few small gripes that wouldn’t affect the majority of users. Both sport a simple drag & drop editor, with minimal complications.
If we were really pressed to choose one, though, I’d probably say that MailChimp is slightly easier to use. GetResponse’s editor can be a little fiddly when performing certain tasks.
GetResponse have a lot of choice when it comes to templates. The majority of them are responsive too, allowing them to look good on smaller devices. Some of their designs are a little dated, though. We found a couple of small issues with template flexibility when adding columns, but no deal breakers.
MailChimp’s email templates are generally more modern-looking, and also offer quite a lot of choice. So this is a plus over GetResponse. They clearly delineate between drag & drop templates and classic templates, with only the former being responsive.
In our eyes, MailChimp’s the winner of this round, but only by a nose.
Both newsletter services offer marketing automation. Ideally, this allows you to create workflows based on actions, such as email opens and clicks. MailChimp offers a few triggers: for example sending emails after someone subscribes, abandons a cart in your store, or even if someone visits a specific URL on your site.
GetResponse also offers very similar options, with the addition of a visual workflow view, lead scoring, and a tagging feature. The latter is very useful to send out interest-based newsletters.
The major difference between the two, as briefly mentioned above, is within the layout. GetResponse’s workflow displays as an attractive network of connections and triggers. This allows you to drag connecting lines to other actions with ease. It makes perfect sense to users as it’s designed in a way that’s easy to follow.
On the other hand, MailChimp’s automation is displayed as a dry list of triggers, without a sense of flow, or connection to others. You also have to dig around to find these options, making it extremely unintuitive.
GetResponse wins this round without a doubt!
Being able to easily move subscribers to, and from, separate lists can be quite important for certain businesses. This is equally true for segmenting lists based on certain characteristics. MailChimp do fine with basic segmentation methods, allowing you to combine several positive or negative conditions (e.g. clicking on email links). An issue they have, though, is that you can’t manage subscribers across lists (e.g. adding a subscriber to two other relevant lists), as each one is siloed.
GetResponse, on the other hand, allows for much more complex list management. As the lists are not siloed, you can either copy contacts to another campaign, or move them entirely. Segments are also more customizable as you can add any/all conditions to users, and even groups.
Here is an example of a segmentation in GetResponse with our own account:
Because of these reasons, GetResponse easily wins this round. The score is 2:2 now in case you were wondering!
Both services offer almost everything you’ll need: allowing you to see subscriber details for those
MailChimp also has social media reporting, which may be a benefit over GetResponse, depending on your needs. But it’s also slightly duller-looking, if that’s something you care about. So, finally, reports and analytics for both email marketing services are pretty neck and neck.
If we were pressed to pick one, perhaps MailChimp would just come out in front, but it’s unlikely your decision will ultimately hang on this feature.
If being accessible in several languages is necessary, then this one is a no-brainer. MailChimp, although it has support available in Spanish, is entirely in English.
Whereas GetResponse’s site is available in up to 17 languages…the clear winner in this round. The only complaint: some of the translations could be better, German and Spanish for example.
Some email services allow you to test your campaigns for issues in how they’ll display with different email clients. These issues can sometimes lead to your emails being hightailed to the spam folder. MailChimp offer design testing from a third-party service, and at an extra cost unless you sign up to their higher plan. Unfortunately they don’t offer spam testing at all.
GetResponse score full points in this round, as they offer both within their regular plans. Design/inbox testing is offered, giving you a view of how your email will appear across different clients and browsers. Also, in the last step of your campaign, you receive a spam test score out of 5. The lower, the better.
GetResponse is in the lead for the first time: 3:2
You’d be surprised how useful good registration form setup can be. Yet some newsletter services still haven’t completely got it yet. Both MailChimp and GetResponse offer a pretty good variety of options, though, just in slightly different formats. MailChimp have a nice, clean section that allows you to create regular, or pop-up, forms. It can be a bit tricky to find where the registration forms are hiding to begin with though.
GetResponse have a useful wizard for their forms, with a heap of templates to choose from, and it’s a lot easier to find. But you’ll have to look at the list builder ‘apps’ to find novel styles of forms, such as exit pop-ups. HTML is also available on both systems, and you can integrate them within your services and websites a number of ways.
Due to the high number of templates, and extra app options (e.g. scroll forms or shake boxes), GetResponse wins this round.
When it comes to support, both have thorough knowledge bases. GetResponse’s is harder to navigate, though, opening up a lot of unnecessary tabs. They also both offer email and live chat, although chat is only available on premium MailChimp plans. And, even then, their service can sometimes be a bit on the slow side when compared to other newsletter tools.
GetResponse, though, offered fast and friendly support on both mediums, and this makes them our winner for this round. 5:2 – Mailchimp better score some points now!
MailChimp do have a large number of integrations, apparently over 800 (not that I’ve counted them all). And while GetResponse also offer integrations, they can’t match the number offered by MailChimp.
GetResponse do hit back hard and fast with their extras, though. They both offer a (responsive) landing page editor, allowing you to create landing pages for event registrations or even simple product info pages. However, only GetResponse allows you to create A/B tests with your landing pages. As a final nail in the coffin for MailChimp in this round, GetResponse also offer webinar hosting features. Depending on your business, this could be a great add-on.
For these reasons, GetResponse win this round by a mile.
Quite an important one! Do your newsletters actually make it to your reader's inboxes? Although this is not easy to test and is subject to frequent changes, we've done two testing rounds so far with thousands of emails sent. The full results are available here.
Both scored very similar results albeit, Mailchimp fared slightly better. But to tell you the truth, both only show a mid-level performance. It's worth noting that for Gmail, the most popular email client, Mailchimp had a tendency to land in the Promotions folder, which may harm your opening rate.
If deliverability is the highest of your concerns, you may even want to look elsewhere. ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact and ConvertKit currently seem to have an edge in this field. No winner in this round, still 6:2.
Pricing differs between the two providers at the lower end quite a bit, as MailChimp offers a forever free plan. This is limited to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, and doesn’t offer some of the more advanced features (e.g. automations). But this great for someone starting out, and a good way to try their service to see if it suits.
GetResponse don’t have this available, and their pricing plans start from $15 per month for only 1,000 subscribers (a free trial is available). You need to get the higher tier packages to take advantage of the pro features, such as webinars and extra marketing automation features. Once you get into higher subscriber numbers, though, MailChimp’s prices surpass GetResponse’s, and so the latter becomes a better deal.
We have two winners for this round: MailChimp for the low end of subscriber numbers, and GetResponse for the higher end. To check out the pricing in more depth, head over to our newsletter price comparison tool.
GetResponse dominates MailChimp for 6 of the 11 rounds here. By our standards, it is the clear winner. They are offering a good variety of features for a pretty good price – particularly when it gets up to the higher subscriber numbers. If you are after a free, easy to use service, though, you can always give MailChimp a try too.
Do you think we missed something important? Disagree with one of our rounds? Please leave a comment below and let us know!