What makes a good email marketing service? What features should you look for to be able to launch a successful email marketing campaign? This is a comparison between GetResponse, which claims to be an “easy and smart email marketing” solution, and the award-winning iContact. However, to evaluate these two more objectively, let’s consider examining them based on what we expect from a good email marketing service.
There are five factors used in doing this comparison: features, reliability, good reporting, support, and the price. Also, this comparison is mostly limited to the basic iContact service since it is the version whose prices are closer (still noticeably more expensive but closer) to those of GetResponse’s plans.
Science-backed email marketing strategies do exist and they can guide you in choosing the right email marketing service. Basically, these science-backed strategies are about customization, the right timing in sending the emails, and automation. As such, you have to look for an email marketing service that offers a great deal of personalization along with tools that allow you to create impactful marketing emails. The right timing in sending emails is something you determine through the reports generated or through features that facilitate the process of determining the best days and times for sending emails. Automation, on the other hand, is about keeping your contacts/subscribers or current/prospective customers engaged. It’s impossible to properly deal with thousands of contacts manually so automation definitely helps.
Taking these into account, it’s worth noting that both GetResponse and iContact offer a great deal of customization, come with A/B or split testing tools, and have their respective autoresponders.
GetResponse has hundreds of customizable email and form templates that allow you to create the best possible marketing emails. If you are not satisfied with the customization you can do with the templates, you can turn to the HTML editor and start from scratch. The same applies to iContact. It also offers a multitude of customizable templates and an HTML editor.
GetResponse has a robust A/B testing system that simplifies the process of analyzing and optimizing email parts and content. iContact also has a split testing facility but it is only available with the premier and higher version of the service. A/B or split testing is useful in determining what adjustments are to be made on the emails being sent to achieve the best possible results. This testing enables the determination of the best days or times for sending emails, the best headings or layouts to use, the best content to write, and various other tweaks or adjustments to get the best possible reactions from the targeted recipients of the emails.
When it comes to autoresponders, both GetResponse and iContact also have the function. However, iContact is only limited to simple automatic responses. GetResponse can do both time-based and action-based autoresponder function.
Overall, GetResponse wins the features race. It has all the important features readily accessible in its less expensive plans. You need to upgrade to iContact Pro or higher to make use of the important features or functions that are already being offered by GetResponse.
Founded in 1999 and still doing well in the email marketing business, there’s no question in the reliability of GetResponse. The same can be said about iContact. These are two well-known names in email marketing. Both are known to have great deliverability records with GetResponse confidently claiming a deliverability rate of 99%. iContact has no specific claims on its deliverability rate but many users attest to the good deliverability that comes with it.
Detailed reporting is something quickly and neatly provided by GetResponse. It has an excellent reporting function complete with charts and real-time information on various areas of interest including metrics that help determine the best day and time for sending emails, list segmentation, quick email comparisons, email ROI, statistics pertaining to the autoresponder, and social media and email client statistic. Unfortunately, again, iContact requires you to upgrade to the pro version before you can use the advanced report, impact and comparison tools. You can only use basic report functions with the basic iContact service.
GetResponse Reporting Preview:
iContact Reporting Preview:
Support in this context refers to technical and customer care support. It’s about how the email marketing service provider addresses your questions and complaints. It is always preferable to get prompt and insightful responses from the provider to help you make the system work, learn about the features, and get tips on succeeding with your email marketing campaigns. Of course, it’s only reasonable to expect email marketing service providers to be experts in the services they are offering.
Both GetResponse have good records when it comes to customer support. GetResponse provides 24/7 live support and loads of educational materials (manuals, white papers, reports, and API tools) that can be downloaded from the GetResponse website. iContact similarly provides live technical support, API support, and free educational resources.
As mentioned earlier, iContact’s prices are noticeably higher than those of GetResponse. iContact offers three different versions: iContact (basic/small business), iContact Pro, and iContact for SalesForce. The cheapest is the basic iContact service but it is still more expensive than GetResponse. The lowest plan under basic iContact is $14 for only 500 contacts per month. In contrast, GetResponse’s lowest plan costs $15 but it is for twice the number of subscribers or contacts.
GetResponse’s prices are cheap and can even become considerably cheaper through annual discounts. You can save up to 18% with the annual discounts offered by GetResponse so the $15 price for for the 1,000-subscriber plan can even become cheaper than the $14 500-subscriber only plan of iContact. This is even just comparing with the basic iContact service. If you want to avail of more advanced iContact features, particularly the support for multiple profiles and A/B testing, you will have to upgrade to iContact Premier.
Both GetResponse and iContact provide free trial periods for 30 days without the need for credit card details. There should be no reason not to try these services out if you really want to learn more about them or to experience the interface and features for yourself.
Taking everything into account, it’s easy to say that GetResponse is the more favorable option. It is cheaper but not inferior. In fact, it even wins in most aspects of this comparison. It is easy to use and comes with good technical support. After GetResponse adjusted its prices, it became even more competitive. However, this is not to say that iContact is a bad option.
iContact continues to exist in the email marketing business because it is reliable and also delivers the results expected of it. To be sure that you are making the best and most well-informed choice though, it would be advisable to go through the trial period for both options.