GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign – Which Is Best For Your Business In 2021?

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GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign can be a tricky choice, as they both have some great features to offer.

In this article, I’m going to take a look at what both of these email marketing platforms have to offer to help you make the best-suited choice for your business.

I have used both of these platforms myself, so I’ll also give you my opinions on both from my own personal experience.

Both these email marketing platforms are great for all kinds of businesses, which I’ll get into a bit later in the article. However, one thing to note is that these two platforms have slightly different policies when it comes to affiliate marketing.

ActiveCampaign isn’t really affiliate-friendly and doesn’t like its members using affiliate links. However, there are ways around this if you have some experience, so it doesn’t rule out ActiveCampaign completely for affiliates. I’ll also discuss this in more detail later on.


GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign Overview

If you have been looking for a complete comparison of GetResponse and ActiveCampaign, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to take a deep-dive look at what both of these email marketing software products have to offer, what they’re good at, and a whole lot more.

Introducing GetResponse

GetResponse was created in 1998 by Simon Grabowski when he only had $200 in his pocket. He made it to solve a business problem that he had, but he later realized that the email marketing software could be a great business itself.

Since then, it has become one of the most popular email marketing software pieces globally and has evolved into an all-in-one marketing platform that does so much more. In fact, GetResponse has an impressive number of over 350,000 customers in 183 countries.

Over the years, it has also become significantly easier to use than it used to be.

Here are GetResponse’s main features:

  • Newsletters
  •  Behavior-based email automation sequences/Workflows
  • Email Autoresponders (This is what GetResponse calls basic non-behavior-based automations)
  • Landing page builder
  • Forms and Pop-ups
  • List Management
  • CRM
  • Sales Funnels
  • Webinars

GetResponse is known for helping businesses of all sizes generate more leads and connect with their customers. It does this through its unique and effective set of features beyond helping its customers with email marketing.

Introducing ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign has also been around for quite some time, as it was founded in 2003 by Jason Vandeboom. Since then, it has also become extremely popular in the email marketing industry as it has over 100,000 customers.

The software offers a combination of email, sales, and marketing automation tools to help its customers convert more leads.

ActiveCampaigns main features include:

  • Email marketing
  • SMS and Email Marketing automation
  • CRM and Sales Automation

ActiveCampaign is known for having high deliverability rates and powerful CRM features that combine well with their email marketing tools. The software is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses that want to have the best possible tools on the back-end to convert their leads into sales.

GetResponse Features and Benefits

To give you a better idea of which software is best for your business, I’m going to run you through both platforms separately. This way, you can see which set of features suit your business best.

If you want a more detailed deep-dive on this autoresponder platform then I recommend you read my GetResponse review here.

What GetResponse Has That ActiveCampaign Does Not Have

The main advantage that GetResponse has over ActiveCampaign is that it is more of an all-in-one platform. It gives you tools for landing and sales pages, webinars, and sales funnels, whereas ActiveCampaign doesn’t have these features.

Below, I’ve described these in a little more detail, so you know what features you’ll have when you sign up for GetResponse.

(Better) Landing Page and Sales Page Builder

GetResponse has a built-in landing page builder, which lets you build your sales and landing pages. It’s an easy to use drag and drop builder that lets you create unlimited pages with checkouts.

It comes with a wide range of templates that you can use to create different types of landing or sales pages. They’re colorful and surprisingly load quite fast, which isn’t always the case with managed page builder platforms.

Having this feature is great, as it means you won’t have to spend money on an external landing page builder. It helps you save some money, and it also makes your business a little more efficient and easier to manage as you don’t need integrations.

Although ActiveCampaign lets you build basic landing pages, it doesn’t allow you to create sales pages. Plus, GetResponse’s builder has been around for a lot longer, so it has more templates and elements that you can use.

GetResponse Funnel Builder

This feature was recently called the auto funnel feature, but now it is called the “Conversion funnel.” Either way, it’s a useful feature that can definitely make growing your business a lot easier.

You can select your campaign’s goal, and GetResponse will suggest the steps you need to take and give you templates for every part of the process. Or you can, of course, select your own if you prefer.

This feature helps you build your sales funnel and gives you a complete overview of it. I also like the GetResponse funnel builder because it shows you some excellent analytics like the ROI of your funnel as a whole or the value per lead, which can help you make better management decisions.

If you’re interested in funnel builders then I recommend you read my article on the best funnel builder software here.

GetResponse Webinars

The third feature that only GetResponse has is the webinar builder.

Surprisingly, GetResponse’s webinar builder lets you host both live webinars and pre-recorded webinars. I’ve come across quite a few platforms that don’t let you host pre-recorded webinars, so it’s pretty nice to see that GetResponse does allow this.

The GetResponse webinar feature also comes with some cool engagement tools like live chat and surveys.

These webinars can also be connected to your landing pages, sales pages, email automation workflows, and sales funnels easily. This makes running your marketing campaigns a lot easier, as you won’t need to integrate with a ton of different platforms and can easily manage everything from one dashboard.

ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, doesn’t have this feature, so if you do want to run webinars, you’ll need external software unless you use GetResponse.

GetResponse Pros

  • Powerful landing page and sales funnel builder let you convert leads effectively
  • Webinar builder gives you a great way to sell medium to high-ticket products and services
  • Great automation features to help you engage your audience and sell to them
  • Affordable pricing for all sized businesses
  • Easy to use for any skill level

GetResponse Cons

  • It has a little learning curve due to the large number of features it comes with
  • CRM is a little limited and doesn’t let you automate as much as ActiveCampaign’s

What GetResponse Is Particularly Good At

GetResponse is particularly good at giving its users an easy-to-use, all-in-one marketing system that is highly effective.

Whereas most autoresponders focus on helping their customers convert their leads into sales, GetResponse focuses on converting your visitors into sales, meaning they guide you through the entire process.

It’s becoming increasingly popular for email marketing platforms to offer landing pages, but GetResponse goes one step further and gives you webinars and sales funnels. All the features combined work extremely well to create a highly effective marketing sales machine, which no other email marketing software can create the same way.

GetResponse Ease of Use

GetResponse had a major update a few years ago and has since then been really easy to use. Even the automation workflow builder is drag and drop, just like everything else inside of the platform.

Before the update, GetResponse was quite hard to use and a little overwhelming, but that is no longer the case.

The only thing which I think could be slightly easier to use is the landing page builder for mobile. When you create the page and then switch the builder to mobile, it can be a little hard to optimize it. Then again, that might just be me.

Apart from that, though, GetResponse seems to be excellent in terms of usability. I also like the interactive tutorials for almost any feature to help beginners use the platform more effectively.

GetResponse Deliverability Rates

Deliverability is always a little tricky to review, as there are so many factors that affect it. However, according to their website, their overall deliverability rate stands at an impressive 99% success. However, 3rd party tests indicate GetResponse has a slightly lower deliverability rate of only 86%. Still, that’s pretty solid and not to spoil this article, but it’s also better than ActiveCampaign!

From my personal experience, I can tell you that I have never had any issues with GetResponse’s deliverability. Although it does always depend on your emails’ content, if you follow the usual deliverability best practices, you shouldn’t run into any issues.

GetResponse actually has a spam scoring system, which you can easily use on every email to avoid them going to spam. It will give you some suggestions as well to help you prevent your emails from going to spam.

Who Is GetResponse Good For

GetResponse offers a wide range of features that suit most modern businesses.

There are hardly any businesses out there that don’t need a great landing page builder with powerful automation features. It’s also highly likely that you will need a comprehensive sales funnel feature and a webinar builder to help you convert as many leads as possible.

Plus, as we also briefly mentioned earlier, GetResponse is affiliate-friendly. This, combined with the features and strong deliverability rates, make it a solid choice for affiliate marketers. If you are an affiliate, you’ll have everything you need to collect emails and promote affiliate offers effectively to your audience.

Overall, I think the GetResponse’s set of features can work incredibly well for:

  • Service-based businesses
  • Affiliate marketers
  • Info-product vendors
  • SaaS tools (assuming the back-end site is somewhere else)
  • E-commerce stores

GetResponse also has transactional emails, which can be especially beneficial for eCommerce businesses.

Plus, the pricing plans are also suited for businesses of all sizes, so it’s likely to fit yours too. If you need most of the tools that GetResponse offers, you’re unlikely to find a more cost-effective solution than it.

ActiveCampaign Features and Benefits

Now that we have taken a look at what GetResponse has let’s take a look at what ActiveCampaign has to offer.

What ActiveCampaign Has That GetResponse Does Not Have

The main advantage that ActiveCampaign has over GetResponse is its features on the back-end, such as the CRM, SMS, and a few additional email features. Below I’ve described them in a little more detail to help you get a better understanding.

A Better and More Automated CRM/Sales System

While GetResponse has a CRM system, it isn’t quite as advanced as ActiveCampaign’s. For example, if your lead activates specific triggers, ActiveCampaign can go as far as contacting your sales team, while GetResponse lets you manage your leads from an easy overview.

Both also come with lead scoring to help you determine the actions suited best for your business.

However, if your business does need a comprehensive CRM to help you manage your sales and automate tasks like contacting your sales team, it may be worth considering ActiveCampaign. That being said, you can also integrate some of the best CRM tools on the market with GetResponse.

A Slightly Better Email Automation System

This difference is minimal, but ActiveCampaign has a slightly better email marketing system. The reason for this is that it has a few more triggers than GetResponse. However, this difference is tiny and shouldn’t even affect most businesses.

Still, I thought I’d mention it just in case it is important to you.

SMS Marketing

ActiveCampaign also has SMS marketing features.

Have you ever received those SMS messages from Dominos or any other pizza place?

That’s exactly what this feature allows your business to do. You can also build it into the automation sequences with your emails, which is pretty cool.

Admittedly, I don’t think most businesses use SMS marketing, but I still thought it’s quite a cool feature. And it can be quite effective as well.

ActiveCampaign Pros

  • Brilliant email automations with many triggers to engage your audience
  • Powerful CRM that is comparable to a regular comprehensive CRM
  • It has a SMS marketing feature
  • You can get automation sequences on the lowest plan starting at just $15 per month ($9 if paid annually)

ActiveCampaign Cons

  • The landing page builder isn’t as good as GetResponse’s
  • No Webinar feature
  • No funnel feature

What ActiveCampaign Is Particularly Good At

ActiveCampaign is particularly good at giving its customers a sales system that lets them convert their leads into sales.

Using ActiveCampaign, you are equipped with some excellent features like the comprehensive CRM, powerful automation sequences, and SMS messaging to help you make more sales.

I think that these little tweaks and features can work wonders for the right type of businesses, mainly when used in combination. If you feel that your business could use the unique set of tools ActiveCampaign offers, it may be worth giving the platform a shot.

ActiveCampaign Ease of Use

Compared to GetResponse, I must say that ActiveCampaign is a little harder to use. The email creation process is fairly similar, but I find that GetResponse’s dashboard just looks a lot cleaner and is a lot easier to keep an overview of.

Plus, with ActiveCampaign, you need to integrate with a lot more software as it doesn’t have webinars or sales funnels. This can be quite confusing, especially if you have to connect the software pieces through API or Zapier.

However, ActiveCampaign also has a visual automation builder that is easy to use. It works the same way GetResponse’s builder does through drag and drop.

The CRM feature also has quite a learning curve, but this is due to the number of things it does.

Overall, ActiveCampaign is fairly easy to use, but compared to GetResponse, it loses out.

ActiveCampaign Deliverability Rates

ActiveCampaign used to be known for its good deliverability rates, at least in most Facebook communities. However, the recent study where GetResponse scored 86%, ActiveCampaign only scores 73%. That’s not a huge difference, but it is notable, to say the least.

Before this test, ActiveCampaign scored at least 90% in the previous ones, which shows why this result is a little strange. Still, the study is considered to be pretty reliable.

However, as we mentioned earlier in the GetResponse section, as long as you follow the best practices, you shouldn’t run into any issues. Plus, their support team is also happy to offer advice on getting your emails delivered.

Overall though, GetResponse surprisingly also wins the deliverability battle. The reason I chose GetResponse as the winner is because they published their overall deliverability rate, and in a 3rd party study, it also outperforms ActiveCampaign.

Who Is ActiveCampaign Good For

ActiveCampaign can work great for a wide range of businesses such as:

  • Ecommerce stores
  • Service-based businesses
  • Info-product vendors

It really depends on what the business needs.

I think ActiveCampaign is best suited for small and mid-sized businesses that could make great use of the CRM/Sales tools. For example, if a company needs to send out SMS reminders. Or if they have high-value leads and would like to automate tasks like contacting the sales team, then ActiveCampaign could be a great choice.

A more specific example of a business where tools like this could come in handy would be small and medium-sized marketing agencies.

However, if you own a business that doesn’t really need those features, I wouldn’t recommend ActiveCampaign.

Can You Use ActiveCampaign For Affiliate Marketing?

The short answer to that is no, not directly at least. But, there are ways around it if you have an affiliate marketing business.

ActiveCampaign says they do not like affiliate links being used in their emails, as affiliate links can often harm the deliverability.

However, they have also stated that their users can send affiliate links if they do not:

  • Send messages about make money online, getting rich, affiliate marketing, or work from from
  • Send emails that purely just focus on promoting affiliate links
  • Send emails that are only created to promote other businesses/products
  • Do not send emails related to getting rich, making money online, etc.

Even if you follow these guidelines, I would still be careful when using ActiveCampaign for affiliate marketing. You could get around this consistently by building a brand yourself that helps its users find the right product.

You could do this by:

  • Using landing pages as bridge pages between your emails and your affiliate offers
  • Creating eBooks or video courses that contain affiliate links, so your emails send users to those instead
  • Creating a blog post or YouTube video containing affiliate links, which can also be used as a bridge page

I personally think that GetResponse is better suited for affiliate marketing anyway. However, I wanted to give you a guideline for using ActiveCampaign if you still wanted to use it as an affiliate.

GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign – Pricing

So far, I’ve looked at the key differences between GetResponse and ActiveCampaign are. Now let’s take a look at what costs they come at.

GetResponse Cost

Below, I’ve explained each GetResponse pricing plan and how much it costs at 1,000 subscribers. If you need more contacts, just head over to the official GetResponse pricing table here and take a look.

If you pay monthly, there are annual discounts available too; 30% for 12-months, and 40% for 24 months.

GetResponse Basic ($15 Per Month)

This plan includes:

  • Email marketing basic features (Newsletters, email creators)
  • Autoresponders (Again, this is GetResponse’s name for non-behavior automations)
  • Unlimited automation templates
  • Unlimited lead funnels
  • 1 Sales Funnel
  • Chats
  • 1,000 subscribers (need more subs, click here)

I think this plan is pretty solid for beginners. You won’t find many $15 plans that offer more value than this one, as it also has email marketing, landing pages, and funnels included.

GetResponse Plus ($49 per month)

GetResponse Plus has everything mentioned in basic and:

  • Automation builder with 5 sequences
  • Contact scoring and tagging
  • 5 Sales funnels
  • 3 Sub-users/partners
  • Webinars with up to 100 attendees
  • 5 webinar funnels
  • 1,000 subscribers (need more subs, click here)

GetResponse Professional ($99 Per Month)

  • Unlimited automation workflows and builder
  • Push notifications
  • Paid webinars
  • Up to 300 Webinar attendees
  • Unlimited sales funnels
  • Unlimited webinar funnels
  • 5 sub-users/partners
  • On-demand/pre-recorded webinars
  • 1,000 subscribers (need more subs, click here)

I think this is the plan that will suit most businesses. It has everything you need to create a powerful marketing system that converts visitors into sales. There aren’t many limits on it either, which is pretty nice too.

GetResponse Max (Custom)

Lastly, there is the GetResponse Max plan, which has everything in professional plus:

  • Transactional emails (available as an add-on)
  • Dedicated support
  • Dedicated IP address
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • Webinars (max 500 attendees)
  • Email marketing campaign consulting
  • Microsoft Dynamics integration
  • Deliverability consulting
  • 1,000 subscribers (need more subs, click here)

This plan is, of course, the custom/enterprise plan, so if you’d like more info on that, you can get in contact with GetResponse here.

ActiveCampaign Cost

The prices below are for 500 subscribers, which is what ActiveCampaign’s plans start at. There are also discounts of around 20% if you choose to pay annually.

I find that ActiveCampaign’s pricing plans are quite expensive compared to GetResponse unless you truly need all the features they offer.

ActiveCampaign Lite ($15 per month)

  • Email marketing automation
  • Email marketing tools (Newsletters, Creator, etc.)
  • Forms
  • Segmentation
  • The site and Event tracking
  • Reporting
  • Up to 3 Users
  • Mobile CRM and Marketing Access
  • APIs, Webhooks, and Integrations

What I like about this plan is that it has behavior-based automation workflows. Overall, it’s a solid plan, although it doesn’t quite compare to the tools that GetReponse offers.

ActiveCampaign Plus ($70 Per Month)

ActiveCampain’s next plan up is lite, and it comes with everything in Lite+ plus:

  • Landing pages
  • Custom Facebook Audiences
  • Scoring
  • Automations Map
  • Conditional Content
  • Advanced Reporting
  • Advanced CRM
  • Salesforce integrations
  • SMS follow-up

ActiveCampaign Professional ($159 Per Month)

Everything in plus and:

  • Website personalization
  • Predictive sending and content
  • Marketing attribution
  • Conversion reporting
  • Site Message
  • Win probability
  • Deal path reporting
  • Split automations
  • Personalized product experience
  • In-app messaging
  • 50 Users
  • 1:1 Onboarding
  • Strategy consulting
  • 3x 1:1 Training per month

ActiveCampaign Enterprise ($279 Per Month)

  • Custom Mailserver domain
  • Custom Domain
  • Free design services
  • Email design testing
  • Social Data enrichment
  • Custom reporting
  • Contact enrichment
  • Unlimited users
  • Dedicated account rep
  • Phone support
  • Customize your application URL
  • Custom branding within the application
  • HIPAA support
  • Single sign-on

Final Thoughts – GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign – Which Is Best?

As you have seen throughout this article, both GetResponse and ActiveCampaign have some excellent features.

ActiveCampaign has a better CRM and slightly more triggers for automation sequences. However, overall I am going to call GetResponse the winner.

This is because it simply offers many more significant features and even does so at a better price. It has a better landing page builder, a sales funnel feature, and a great webinar platform, which combined significantly outweigh the few benefits of ActiveCamapaign for the majority of businesses.

With ActiveCampaign, you’ll need to spend additional money on all of these tools that GetResponse has built-in.

Plus, GetResponse has also been around longer, so it has a better track record and has built up more trust.

If you would like to try GetResponse, you can click the button below to get access to a 30-day free trial (NO Credit Card Required).


Disclaimer: Please be aware that I may receive commissions when you click some of the links in this article and then decide to make a purchase. If you do follow one of my links and purchase a product, thanks! It means a lot to me, and any commissions I do make from this blog enables me to continue to provide you with all this awesome, free content. However, any commissions I do receive does not affect my reviews and comparisons. If I think a product is sub-standard I will either say so in the article or I will not feature it on my blog. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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