Bye-Bye Aweber – Hello Get Response! Facebook Changes – Make Email Subscribers More Important

I’m a hard customer to get – but if I’m happy with your product I’m pretty loyal. Indeed I’ve been an Aweber customer since 2007! But today I cancelled my account with them, and hit “buy” on my new GetResponse account. 

Why? Well two things really – price and features. 

Price 

Aweber pricing is: 

  • $19 – up to 500 subscribers 
  • $29 – up to 2500 subscribers
  • $49 – up to 5,000 subscribers 
  • $69 up to 10,000 subscribers (I wish!) 

In contrast GetResponse costs: 

  • $15 – up to 1,000 subscribers 
  • $25 – up to 2,500 subscribers 
  • $45 – up to 5,000 subscribers 
  • $65 – up to 10,000 subscribers 

There’s not a lot in it – unless you have between 500 and 1000 subscribers  -than it’s very worthwhile moving! Still I probably wouldn’t have bothered because there is a bit of work involved, finding where all the forms are and converting them. 

Actually I saved more because GetResponse currently has a 25% Christmas discount on annual plans – but that was just lucky! 

It’s About Usability and Features 

I’d got used to AWeber  -when I started using them I knew nothing about email marketing. I learned using their interface. It’s pretty darn ugly. Over the years it’s improved, but it’s still not pretty. It’s quite confusing. I recently taught someone how to use it – and yes it’s still confusing. 

Meanwhile a client asked me to set up an email  auto-responder series to support their eBook. They were already using GetResponse – so I agreed to do it using  their existing account. 

I expected to lose some time learning a new system. But like – wow- seriously easy! Okay I already knew email marketing – but the system was just easy. And nice. 

Not only was it easier to use  – but it did stuff that AWeber didn’t do (or didn’t do as well) 

  • all emails had a responsive design as well as a “normal” one. You could also preview in a number of email programs;
  • you could automatically send messages not just based on time or after a subscription but also after a user clicked a link, opened a certain message, reached another goal, change their data or had a birthday. 
  • the control over timezones and when messages are delivered is also better in GetResponse 
  • you can use Google Analytics with GetResponse 
  • they have surveys built into the account 
  • you can import existing contacts into a list without having to do another opt-in – that’s a biggie! 
Very New Zealand Christmas Scene - Onekaka Beach, Waiheke Island

Very New Zealand Christmas Scene – Onekaka Beach, Waiheke Island

Why Not Use MailChimp – It’s Free? 

Good question – indeed I do use Mailchimp for a non-profit that I’m secretary for. It’s not too bad  – for sending out newsletters. Unfortunately –  for the free version that’s all it does. It doesn’t offer a  true autoresponder for free. I use auto-responders all the time – particularly for my lists associated with books. Once you sign up for the paid version it’s the same price as GetResponse – but has fewer features. 

MUST I Use An Email Marketing System?

Short answer – yes. 

Long answer – there are only two things you totally control on the Internet – your website (assuming you are actually paying for hosting) and your email list. In theory you can just keep a manual list of email addresses and email them from your own email account. But don’t come crying to me when your email provider bans you, or you find your emails go straight to the spam folder! 

 This week Facebook is full of bloggers crying because Facebook is now only delivering their FB Page’s updates to about 10% of their subscribers.

Of course you can pay (about $5/update) – but still not everyone will see your update. With email deliverabiltiy is pretty darn high well over 98% for both Aweber and Getresponse. 

Maybe Twitter then? Well it’s been floated too – so don’t be surprised when they start charging too! The thing is that all these companies need to make money at some point. Social media is not a bad way to drive traffic – but they are a means to an end – not the end itself. The result is having people interacting on your blog and/or signing up for your email list. 

Oh yeah those evil affiliate links again? Aweber or GetResponse 

What are you using for your email marketing? Are you pushing it up a notch now that Facebook is playing hard-ball. 

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4 Responses to “Bye-Bye Aweber – Hello Get Response! Facebook Changes – Make Email Subscribers More Important”

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  1. Rob says:

    Thanks for the post. I’ve been providing my services (workshops and coaching) in-person for the past few years and just now starting to offer them via the web (when I started my business a few years ago, I asked about”Teaching Sells” on your site, which set off a minor firestorm). I’ve been researching email marketing programs over the past few weeks, and discovered there are dozens of options. So I went to a site that shows how many hits each site gets in terms of visitors, and the top in this space are Constant Contact (12.5M visits — not sure if they are even in the space you’re discussing because they don’t get mentioned with the other names in some of the on-line comparisons), Aweber (9.4M visits), Mailchimp (5.7M), Get Response (4.3M). It falls off substantially from there.

    From my novice perspective (I have about 3,000 of my customer email addresses but haven’t sent out my first marketing email yet), I’ve read a lot about how it’s important to go with a service that a) has great features, and b) has a good delivery rate. Based on just a little bit of research, others on the web suggest Get Response is more strict and therefore has a better delivery rate. Since all of my addresses are from my clients, I’m thinking I should go with Get Response.

    Here are my questions:
    1. Is there a way to determine which service has the highest delivery rate?
    2. Why doesn’t Constant Contact get mentioned with the other providers?
    3. How do I learn how to create emails that a) won’t automatically be flagged as spam, and b) will be effective in driving traffic to my site?
    4. Are there any “rookie mistakes” I should avoid (or a place to read about how to avoid them)?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  2. Lis Sowerbutts says:

    Hi Rob – oh you trouble-maker you :-). I didn’t mention Constant Contact above because I hadn’t used it. As you have discovered there are truly dozens of these services. I’ve used the three I mentioned above, I haven’t used any others. I had a look at CC though – not impressed – they have no mention of having an autoresponder, analytics, segmentation or surveys – and the price is the same as AWeber – not a good deal at all. They sell a number other products though – maybe that’s why they have more traffic to their website?

    Deliverable rates are hard to find – well there’s lots of claims on the email services sites – but they may be a little biased! I’ve never heard that any one service (of these 3) are better or worse than others. They will all tell you if your email is risky – you get a spam rating before sending it out – and you can amend it.

    Emails shouldn’t automatically flagged as spam from any of of these services. But if you haven’t emailed your list in a while, then make sure you remind them where they signed up for your emails and who you are – lots of people don’t and most of us don’t recall every list we signed up for!

    I’m currently reading this cheap eBook by Steve Scott http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D0YUCUQ/ Good information and well worth the $3!

    The big mistake for me is only emailing your list when you are selling something – I try to add value as well, provide content, give links that aren’t just products to buy. But read Scott’s book – because he talks about a number of different approaches.

    With 3000 sign-ups you are off to a good start! Note if you are importing a list AWeber will insist that everyone on the list has to “opt in” again. The other 2 services doesn’t insist on this – though GetResponse will approve your list after importing – so there is a short delay on that.

    Cheers

  3. Tommy says:

    Have you ever checked out Act-On software to compare with Aweber and Get Response!?

    A colleague of mine here in Austin just switched and claims that it is the most feature rich and best value on the market. They claim to have looked at over a dozen platforms, so I’m not sure if both of the above were included.

    We’ve been considering Act-On for some more advanced email marketing work. So far, the free MailChimp has served well for basic newsletters and promotions, but our list will soon exceed the “Free” plan. As you’ve already seen, the paid plans on MailChimp are not the greatest value for the dollar.

    Thanks for sharing the post. I’ll give a look to GR during our evaluation.