There comes a time for all types of online businesses when they need to get serious about email marketing.
You've heard it's important and that the ROI is incredible, but never found the time to nail down what you need to do and how to go about it.
Clearly, you don't have time to individually write, send, and track sales emails for each particular address. So you need a tool to manage the process.
But, picking a tool to manage your email marketing a challenge too. They all promise similar things and share features you struggle to tell apart. Why should you choose one over another?
In this post, you'll find out the main differences between to popular email autoresponders; ConvertKit and GetResponse.
You’ll find out which one performs best for comparable functions, and the strengths and weaknesses of each tool. Finally, we'll conclude which one is most beneficial for your type of business.
Let's get started.
GetResponse Vs ConvertKit Main Differences Summary
You could be forgiven for thinking that all email autoresponder programs are mostly the same. They all manage lists of subscribers and send emails to them, right?
Well, that’s not solely the case nowadays. Email autoresponders do so much more, as email marketing becomes increasingly sophisticated.
Increased sophistication also results in increased monthly fees. And you’ll need to understand the assorted elements of any package, to prevent you from paying extra cash for advanced features you don’t really need.
First, let’s start with the main differences between GetResponse and ConvertKit are:
- No matter how many email lists you set up, ConvertKit only charges you per unique email subscriber. GetResponse will charge you for duplicate subscribers on different email lists.
- GetResponse has additional functionality to help you host webinars online for your subscribers.
- As your list grows, GetResponse offers more functionality for the same price as ConvertKit.
- ConvertKit is much more user friendly and has a shorter learning curve.
- ConvertKit will shortly provide a digital product shopping cart service as part of its package.
Learn more about ConvertKit in our updated ConvertKit Review article.
GetResponse has been in the autoresponder business since 1998 – a lifetime as far as the internet is concerned. A global company with over 300 employees, GetResponse claims they are ‘the world’s easiest email marketing platform.’
The GetResponse suite of tools helps you to:
- Capture email addresses and build an email marketing list.
- Create newsletters to regularly send out to your list.
- Automate sequences of emails that get sent when a condition is met.
- Analyze the performance of your emails and newsletters to help you optimize your marketing.
- Host webinars.
- Design multiple sales funnels.
- Create email capture forms and landing pages.
ConvertKit is a younger company, having launched in 2013.
Blogging entrepreneur Nathan Barry set up the company after he found the existing autoresponders on the market were not suitable for his business needs.
Although created primarily for bloggers, ConvertKit has since developed to serve the email marketing needs of all types of businesses. Though it is fair to claim that they primarily aim their product at creatives.
The ConvertKit suite of tools helps you to:
- Build forms to capture email addresses.
- Design landing pages to host the forms on.
- Create text based emails that deliver and convert.
- Automate email flows, so the right message is delivered at the right time.
- Organize and understand your subscribers.
Like most software tools today, you pay for access to both packages on a monthly subscription basis.
GetResponse charges $15 per month for your first 1000 email subscribers.
While ConvertKit goes one better and gives you the same amount of subscribers free of charge.
Now, clearly, access to the software at these kinds of prices are going to come with reduced functionality. But it means that you can try out both packages and get a feel for them, for less than the cost of a takeout pizza.
For both solutions, the more subscribers you add to your list, the more you have to pay per month.
Let’s take a closer look at how both packages currently price their subscriptions.
GetResponse Pricing Plans
GetResponse uses the price anchor strategy that offers a range of options to you, but the one they expect you to pick is the ‘Plus’ option.
The Basic package offers simple email marketing capabilities that, while groundbreaking 15 years ago, today are insufficient. All you get is a method for capturing email addresses and a tool to blast out emails to the list.
Email marketing concepts and techniques have matured. So to get the more advanced options like email list segmentation, sales funnels, and contact scoring, you need to look at the ‘Plus’ option.
So once you have tested the software at the $15 price point, you’ll need to pay $49 for your first 1000 subscribers to take advantage of the full functionality.
As you add more subscribers to your list, the cost increases for each subscription level. For example, if you grow your list to 5000 subscribers, then the price for each level rises.
GetRespones pricing levels step up to 100,000 subscribers. At this point, you will need to get a custom pricing quote from GetResponse. But, if you manage to build a list this large, then the monthly fee quoted will not pose a problem to you.
You can save 18 percent on the monthly subscription if you pay for one year upfront, 30 percent if you pay for two years.
ConvertKit Pricing Plans
ConvertKit prices its tool using a much simpler pricing strategy than GetResponse. You can try it for free up to 1000 subscribers, but once you exceed that number, then you must pay for access to all their functionality.
Even though the free account has limited functions, it does offer an advantage over GetResponse's cheapest option, with the ability to tag subscribers.
This is important. Marketing today is all about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. So the potential to divide up your email list into smaller parts so you can send them more appropriate messaging, for free, is excellent.
If you are happy with the software and want to upgrade to full functionality. Then the price for 1000 subscribers is lower than GetResponse at $29 per month.
For 5,000 email subscribers, the price per month is the same as GetResponse at $79 per month.
You can manage up to 900,000 subscribers with ConvertKit before you need to look at custom pricing.
If you pay for an annual subscription upfront, then you can save the equivalent of two months over monthly subscription payments.
GetResponse vs ConvertKit: Automation
One of the benefits of email marketing is the ability to deliver the right kind of information or sales offer to a subscriber at the right time.
At first, a prospect will need general information about your product–what it does and how it can benefit them. Later as they approach a buying decision, they need more specific information, like how much it weighs or what colors are available. Finally, an offer at the right price, delivered at the right time, can help you secure a paying customer.
Doing all this for thousands of individuals over email is impossible. You need to automate it. Both GetResponse and ConvertKit have developed automation functions in their tools to meet this challenge.
GetResponse has a drag-and-drop workspace that helps you construct automated workflows. You can start with a blank workspace and build your own email flows, or select from dozens of pre-built templates and change them to fit your needs.
Whichever you choose, you will need to configure each step to fit your business to get the best from the tool.
GetResponse uses three elements to build your automation; conditions, actions, and filters.
You combine these elements together, set the parameters, and add the relevant tracking codes to your web assets to build sequences. Here is an example of a shopping cart abandonment sequence.
You have total control over all the elements, so your automation processes can be a complex as you desire.
ConvertKit uses a similar workspace to help design and build your automation. They also have similar building blocks, but call them events, actions, and conditions. You can create your own flows or customize a built-in template.
You build up your automation process in the design window and set parameters for each step. ConverKit also handily displays the number of email subscribers for each stage of any automation you have running live.
ConvertKit is the winner. With a more intuitive workspace and the ability to see subscribers live, ConvertKit takes the complex task of building automation and makes it a breeze.
Note: If you want to create more advanced types of automation, then GetResponse will be a better tool for you.
GetResponse vs ConvertKit: Tagging & Segmentation
Tagging and segmenting your email list is an essential part of email marketing today.
For example, if you have a new product and want to create a sub-group of subscribers that have shown an interest. You won't need to create a new, separate, email list for each of your products.
Instead, you can assign certain contacts a tag to create a group, or segment, of your list. Then you can send to that segment only, emails concerning the new product.
Contacts can have more than one tag and be in more than one segment too.
The benefit is, of course, is a better-defined group of prospects that you can send more appropriate messaging to.
GetResponse lets you tag subscribers as part of an automated workflow. Just select the tag element, fit it into your workflow, and assign the action that the subscriber takes to receive the tag.
It is also possible to manually add tags to your subscriber database; if you want to create a new segment from imported contacts, for example.
You can also create as many tags as you like and use up to 255 alphanumeric characters to name them.
ConvertKit also can set tags based on subscriber action within the workflow design window. It’s not quite as intuitive as the process from GetResponse, but once learned easy to use.
You first have to build the tag and action trigger before you assign it to a flow.
ConvertKit enables you to bulk assign tags to build segments directly in the subscriber list too. You can then use the conditional content builder to create and send more personalized content to your segments. As a one-off broadcast or build it into automated sequences.
GetResponse is the winner. While both tools enable you to effectively tag and segment your subscriber lists, GetResponse's process of setting up and deploying tags is more logical.
GetResponse vs ConvertKit: Forms and Landing Pages
Humans are fickle creatures. If your email signup form and landing page doesn't look right and convey trust, then your probability of capturing an email address goes down.
So getting the correct layout and look is crucial.
Both GetResponse and ConvertKit have well-developed page builders to help you design and deploy a signup form. Let's take a closer look.
GetResponse has a comprehensive editor for designing and building forms and landing pages.
They also offer a bunch of different templates categories, with designs to meet specific business needs, including:
- Newsletter sign-up
- Order forms
- Free download
- Free course sign-up
- Feedback forms
- Event sign-up
- Seasonal form
- Blank forms
Once you have chosen a template, the inbuilt editor allows you to customize the design as much as you want. You can also tweak the look to display differently on desktop and mobile.
With 500+ templates to choose from and one-click color matching with your existing branding, the form and landing page builder is a comprehensive tool.
ConvertKit has inbuilt landing page editor which enables you to customize standard templates and configure forms easily. You also have the ability to add and remove fields as required.
You get full control over color, imagery, and text so you can make the design fit your existing brand. If you don’t have a website, then ConvertKit will host a landing page for you under their own domain name.
GetResponse is the winner. Both tools have good signup form and landing page creation and customization tools. GetResponse just edges it, as they have more template categories and standard form designs. Though ConvertKit templates have more stylish design elements, which may make them a better choice if this is important to you.
GetResponse vs ConvertKit: A/B Testing and Analytics
‘What gets measured gets managed’ – if you don’t understand how your email marketing is performing, then how do you make improvements?
This question is answered by analytics reports and the ability to A/B test your marketing content. While analytics is self-explanatory, you may not have heard about A/B testing before.
Simply put, A/B testing is the process of equally serving two similar versions of marketing content (in this case, an email) and measuring how well each variant performs.
If there is a clear winner, then this becomes the default version sent out. You then create another version to try and make an even better one.
Over time you will optimize your marketing message until, in theory, it can’t be improved any further, and you get the highest return on investment.
So how do GetResponse and ConvertKit approach this process?
GetResponse allows you to A/B test five elements of your email. The subject line, email from field, email content, best day of the week, and best time of day. It’s simple to set up, and you can create the A/B tests as part of your email creation process.
The analytics provided by GetResponse is also similarly comprehensive. There are in-depth statistics about your A/B testing as well.
Plus, all manner of other analytics about email open rates, CTRs, and daily changes in your number of subscribers.
You can also see whether your subscribers are viewing your content on desktop or mobile – even Android or IOS. If you add a tracking code on your website, GetResponse can calculate your ROI as well.
ConvertKit only offers an in-built ability to A/B test your email subject lines. And while the subject line is the main factor in whether your email is opened, it would be nice to see the ability to A/B test email content too.
There is a workaround for this, but it involves duplicating email sequences and configuring code in an automated flow. Not easy.
It’s a similar story with inbuilt analytics. On the subscriber page of the software, you have a graph showing daily signups and some basic statistics underneath, like your open rate and CTR.
Again it is possible to get more comprehensive analytics, but this requires configuring Google Analytics for your website.
GetResponse is the winner, hands down. GetResponse offers an excellent solution for analytics and A/B testing. ConvertKit, in comparison, leaves you in the dark without advanced configuration or third-party tools.
GetResponse vs ConvertKit: Ease of Use and Deliverability
The email deliverability rate is the success (or not) of an autoresponder's ability to deliver your email successfully into a subscriber's inbox. It's nothing to do with whether your email is text or HTML, or even has the word ‘free' in the subject line.
It's mainly to do with the reputation of the domain name where the email is sent from.
GetResponse claims their email deliverability rate is 99%, and ConverKit does too. This shows that both put effort into making sure their products literally deliver.
What is more tricky to test is the ease of use. A 10-year digital marketing veteran will find a product more straightforward to use than someone fresh to the discipline. So, for the ease of use assessment, we'll presume that the software operator is unfamiliar with email marketing and is a newbie.
GetResponse has been around for a long time. This means there have been many iterations of development to the product. As a result, it has become comprehensive and feature heavy.
This is not all good news – the more there is to learn, the harder it is to use. GetResponse does receive criticism about its initial learning curve and lack of intuitiveness. Looking at the workflow desktop can be off-putting for a user unfamiliar with the process of designing workflows:
ConvertKit, on the other hand, is designed with ease-of-use in mind. It's constructed purposely to be simple for non-technical users. With simple screens, a clean layout, and intuitive controls.
ConvertKit is the winner. For ease of use and a simple layout, Convertkit takes the prize. Both tools claim an email delivery rate of 99%, which is not surprising – neither would be in business if they couldn’t get emails to arrive in a target’s inbox!
GetResponse vs ConvertKit: Customer Support
Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. So knowing that prompt, high quality, customer support is there for you when you need it can bring peace of mind.
Both tools have extensive online help sections where you can find articles and links to videos to help you do everyday tasks. They offer live workshops and webinars, too, if you prefer this type of option to gain a better understanding of the software.
But when everything is going wrong, and you want further help, both ConvertKit and GetResponse have an email ticket system and a one-to-one chat facility.
It's worth noting that if English isn't your first language, then GetResponse also offers email support in eight different languages. If ConvertKit does provide different language support, it doesn't publicize it on their website.
According to GetResponse and ConvertKit reviews on software review websites, where real customers leave reviews about applications, both GetResponse and Convertkit score highly for customer service.
We’re calling this one a draw! Both have good scores for customer service. And while ConvertKits marginally edges it, GetResponse offers support in more languages.
GetResponse vs ConvertKit: Which One Should You Choose?
Both of the tools discussed here help you manage your email marketing well. If all you need is to collect in addresses and periodically blast out an email to them, then there is little to choose between the two.
Both offer a low price for small email lists, and in the case of ConvertKit, free for less than 1000 subscribers. But you can and should do more with your email marketing.
You need to tag subscribers so you can divide your list into more relevant segments to better shape your marketing message.
Both tools here offer ways to achieve this. While GetResponse is more capable, you can get acceptable results with ConvertKit, and it is easier to manage.
Both products allow you to build your forms and landing pages with inbuilt drag-and-drop tools. While GetResponse offers more categories of templates, ConvertKit’s have better design.
And with both packages scoring almost equal for customer service, deciding to use one package over the other is best determined by the kind of online business you run.
Choose GetResponse if…
You sell physical products, are an affiliate marketer, or an online educator, and you aim to run Webinars. GetResponse is the best all-round package and is one of the leading tools in the autoresponder marketplace.
It’s no surprise that GetResponse is so good. They’ve been in the business for over 20 years, and have kept themselves on top by continually delivering a quality service at a reasonable price.
There is an abundance of functionality, and once you are over the initial learning curve, you will add a powerful email marketing tool to your arsenal.
Choose ConvertKit if…
You are looking to build a following for your creative business. ConvertKit is squarely aimed at the creative sector, and it’s ease of use and modern designs make it a natural choice if you work in this sector.
Its stripped-back functionality and simple menus are the reason why you would choose it over GetResponse. You want to focus your energy on creative pursuits rather than building out ever more complex tag and segment automation.
That’s not to say you can’t be entrepreneurial with ConvertKit. An update that manages the sale of digital products from your website arrives soon.
Pick this one if you want a tool you can, for the most part, set and forget.