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Marketing Automation Tools Under The Spotlight: GetResponse vs. Aweber vs. iContact

The marketing automation tool you choose needs to depend on two things:

  1. How advanced your marketing efforts are, and
  2. Which tool will best implement your marketing vision.

Not all marketing automation tools are created equal, as you will see. Aweber is only for email marketing, while GetResponse and iContact, although both advanced marketing tools, offer very different features at vastly different prices.

Find out which one’s best for your business by reading this post.

Benefits of using Marketing Automation Tools

Online marketing is pretty complex, because it involves so many elements, like:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Paid advertising
  • Social media design and management
  • Content marketing
  • Lead magnets
  • Landing pages
  • Email marketing design and content
  • Conversion optimization
  • Analytics

The digital marketer needs to don many hats in order to achieve results.

Many marketing tasks require repetition and consistency. Without some help in the form of a marketing automation tool, the marketer would be stuck on repetitive tasks, leaving no time for innovation and creativity.

This is especially problematic for small businesses, where the owner is the one required to also market the business. Research shows that half of all small businesses spend less than 20% of their budget on online marketing, and this is probably predominantly due to lack of time and resources. Many small businesses don’t do any online marketing, but those that do, say that it’s a valuable way of getting more customers.

Using marketing automation tools allow businesses to grow and get better results.

For instance, Aweber is a marketing automation tool that is used solely for email marketing and all it entails.

To get a full measure of how it helps, picture this scenario: a visitor lands on a website. A notice pops up inviting the visitor to subscribe to receive a free checklist. The visitor submits his email address. Aweber collects it and adds it to a list in the system. It then emails the new subscriber a series of emails over a period of time.

Aweber therefore, eliminates the manual, repetitive tasks involved in this process. Now imagine implementing this process manually…

On a more advanced level, sit GetResponse and iContact. While Aweber focuses only on email marketing, these two tools provide more functionality for advanced marketers, and significantly reduce manual constraints while magnifying results.

GetResponse in a Nutshell

GetResponse is the world’s easiest marketing automation tool. Expert marketers can use one dashboard from which to implement their entire marketing strategy because GetResponse offers everything you’d need to plan, attract, nurture and improve.


  • Learn about your target audience by conducting surveys, included in the package.
  • Plan your entire email automation workflow using the GetResponse drag and drop builder. As you make changes to the flow, it automatically updates the automation sequence in real time.


  • Use webinar software and built-in templates to host webinars that attract your target audience to sign up to email lists. Because it’s been specifically designed as a marketing tool used to engage your audience, the webinar feature includes chat, polls, image and file sharing, whiteboards and YouTube video sharing.
  • Use GetResponse pre-designed or blank landing page templates to get more email subscribers. They’ve been created using proven techniques to get more people to sign up, so all you need to do is tweak them here and there.


  • Easily set up email lists and use email templates from any category.


  • Use the GetResponse analytics dashboard to find out how to improve email marketing results.
  • Use the GetResponsewebsite traffic tracking software to find out the behavior and journey your visitors take when they land on your website.
  • Included in the service is shopping cart abandonment which makes it easy to find out the behavior and journey of ecommerce customers.
  • GetResponse provides scoring, segmentation and tagging, so that you can send better information to the right audiences.

iContact Sized up

iContact is more or less on the same scale of marketing automation as GetResponse, but doesn’t offer a campaign workflow planner, webinar or survey software. The one service it offers that GetResponsedoesn’t, is social media management. With iContact, you can:


  • Use actions or decision in iContact’s workflow planner for email automation.


  • Attract subscribers with pre-designed landing pages. What’s great with iContact, is that you can create Facebook landing pages, and use coupons and a donation feature.
  • Manage and monitor social media activities from the dashboard.


  • Use iContact’semail templates and auto response service to send emails.


  • Get snapshots of marketing activities from your dashboard.
  • Use segmenting and tagging in emails, so that people get only what they are really interested in.

Aweber Examined

Unlike GetResponse and iContact, Aweber focuses only on email marketing automation.

With Aweber, you can set up auto response emails, once-off broadcasts, use pre-designed email templates and sign-up forms, include tagging and segmenting and find out what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve by setting up comprehensive reports.

What sets Aweber apart from their competitors (others who only focus on email marketing) is that they offer ready-built sign-up forms for any category. Other email marketing software providers usually require additional plugins to make forms look great on websites.

Biggest differences between the Tools

If we were to liken the tools to steps, we’d put Aweber on the first step, and GetResponse and iContact on the second:

Aweber is a marketing automation tool for those just beginning with email marketing, while GetResponse and iContact are for advanced online marketers.

However, there are vast differences between GetResponse and iContact, even if they are both on the same “level” as advanced marketing automation solutions.

GetResponse boasts these features that iContact does not have:

  • Easy drag and drop email automation workflow planner
  • Webinars
  • Sign-up form templates
  • Survey creation
  • Shopping cart integration
  • Website traffic tracking

iContact boasts these features which GetResponse doesn’t have:

  • Social media management

GetResponse has an easier-to-use interface.

Finally, the greatest difference between the tools is price.

Get Aweber for $19 per month, while iContact costs $129 (Pro package) per month, and GetResponse $49 (Pro package).


Aweber focuses strictly on email marketing, while GetResponse and iContact offer a full marketing automation solution, with very different additional features.

Both GetResponse and iContact offer a landing page builder, email marketing and analytics. iContact includes a social media management platform but GetResponse boasts more features than iContact, and comes with a much lower price.