This is a comprehensive, brutal, and honest Aweber vs MailChimp review. So if you are muddled about which email marketing service to use in 2020, this post is for YOU.
In this MailChimp vs Aweber guide, I will compare the following:
- Flexibility and design
- Ease of importing email subscribers
- Email capture forms
- Customer support
- Ease of editing emails
Let’s jump right in.
Introduction to Aweber vs MailChimp
I have used both MailChimp and Aweber. So this review is based on my personal experience with both. And because I started my email marketing journey with MailChimp, let’s make it our jumping-off point.
What is MailChimp? What is MailChimp Used For?
These two web design enthusiasts – Dan Kurzius and Ben Chestnut came up with the idea to start a side hustle with an email marketing service, which is today known as MailChimp, in 2001. Initially, the two Georgia residents aimed at helping small businesses manage their customers.
Today, MailChimp has grown to a reputable email marketing service boasting of over 16 million users, with 12 million+ customers. In a report published by Enlyft, 426,321 companies are using MailChimp.
What is Aweber?
Aweber, on the other hand, was started by a college dropout, Tom Kulzer, in 1998. Tom was a passionate wireless modem salesboy, and it is through his modem sales that he thought about the idea of starting an email marketing service company.
Today, Aweber is one of the go-to email marketing services boasting over 100k customers worldwide. Aweber is the go-to email marketing software because it offers users over 700 email templates, autoresponders, free stock images, etc.
From that introduction, you can see that both Aweber and MailChimp are reputable email marketing companies. But which email marketing tool is better in 2020?
Let’s cut to the chase:
Head to Head Comparison – Aweber vs MailChimp
1. Flexibility and design
You know that your emails should be kept simple and that you have limited time to create simple, but good-looking email layouts.
Both Aweber and MailChimp provide email template layouts for their users, which can help you save time and the hassle of creating email templates from scratch.
MailChimp offers 80 clean and beautiful email templates for its users, while Aweber offers over 700 email templates you can readily use.
MailChimp’s email templates are easy to use as compared to Aweber. When trying to create my email design with Aweber, it took a couple of hours. I had to send a couple of test emails to ascertain that I was sending out perfect emails to my subscribers.
Winner: Aweber has got lots of template layouts, but MailChimp beats it in this category because of its ease of use. A beginner will find it easy to use MailChimp template layouts as compared to Aweber. So, I choose to go with MailChimp templates.
2. Ease of import
Building an email list is a hassle. So you do not want to start building your email list from scratch because you started a new blog. Instead of building a new email list from scratch, you can import your existing email list to your current email marketing company.
Both Aweber and MailChimp allow users to import their email list, but the ease of import varies depending on which email marketing tool you are using.
Aweber allows users to add subscribers manually, but some restrictions come with it. For example, you’ll get an error if you add 40+ subscribers manually. Additionally, Aweber allows users to import subscribers in a spreadsheet, through copy and paste, among other formats.
On the other hand, you can import your subscribers to MailChimp in CSV or excel sheet files, and it’s super simple because MailChimp focuses on user experience.
A few days ago (before writing this post), I decided to import my MailChimp email list to Aweber. So I downloaded my file in a spreadsheet. To date, Aweber has not updated my list. As a result, I’ve lost patience, and I’m now importing my subscribers manually.
Winner: Importing my email list to Aweber was a hassle. On the other hand, I have tried importing subscribers to MailChimp, and the transition was smooth. So MailChimp beats Aweber in this category again.
You’ve got lots of important stuff to attend to. So you don’t have time to send out emails to every new subscriber. Ugh! It’s a complete waste of time. Fortunately, these two email marketing giants come in handy. You can set email automation using both Aweber and MailChimp.
MailChimp autoresponders allow you to launch different campaigns, depending on the tags you apply. So if you’d like to offer a free mini-course running for five days, you can automate the lessons in a five-days sequence. You can also write and upload your email marketing series, then schedule them depending on which dates you want to send them.
Aweber equally offers solid autoresponders for its users, just as MailChimp. The only difference is the ease of setting up these email automation. I tried automating my free mini-course series in Aweber a few weeks ago. And to be honest, setting up my five-day email series was quite simple, unlike the hassle I experienced setting them up on MailChimp.
Furthermore, Aweber provides email campaign templates that you can easily edit and schedule without any hassle. I recently used this feature to run an email campaign for three consecutive days, and it was quite a smooth process.
Winner: Aweber beats MailChimp in this category. This is because setting up automation using Aweber is simple through its drag and drop feature. On the other hand, MailChimp is not beginner-friendly and is likely to confuse individuals who are just getting started with email marketing.
4. Email capture forms
It would help if you made it easy for your subscribers to sign up for your newsletter. You can do that by creating a form using Aweber or MailChimp.
MailChimp makes it easy for its users to create sign up forms using a drag and drop feature, and you can add fields such as city, name, among others. You can pre-segment your subscribers by allowing them to enter the product or service they love on your pages. That way, you can group your subscribers and create specialized content for them.
Aweber, on the other hand, provides even more features. With Aweber, you can create up to 25 fields, but c’mon, you don’t need all those – you probably need at least two fields (the name and email). While there are premade form layouts you can use on Aweber, you also have the freedom to come up with your design and publish once you are done.
When I started my blogging career, creating sign up forms and adding them to my WordPress account using MailChimp was a hassle. MailChimp needs you to add the code from the theme editor – not so beginner-friendly. On the other hand, you can add the Aweber code on your widget in just seconds.
Winner: I’ll go with Aweber because adding the code on WordPress is quite straightforward. You can add it by following these steps: Appearance >> Widgets. From here, you can drag and drop the text box and place it right before the footer boxes on your right. Here’s a tutorial to walk you through.
5. Customer support
You’ll frequently encounter challenges when using either of the email marketing services. And the truth is that every user (including myself) would be companies with better customer support.
Now, both Aweber and MailChimp have resources to get you sorted. MailChimp, for example, has a ton of resources where you can find help whenever you need it. With this in mind, MailChimp is not looking forward to more people contacting them directly. Additionally, MailChimp offers one-month consistent customer support for free users. Once the one-month period is over, you have to find how to survive. Doesn’t sound good to newbies, right?
Aweber, on the other hand, offers tons of resources that can provide quick help when you encounter any difficulty. However, I must admit that you may never find everything you are looking for in their resource base. Additionally, Aweber offers both email support, telephone support, and live chat support. I don’t love telephones or email support, so I always choose to use the live chat support option.
Aweber customer support is always there 24/7, so I encourage you to contact them through their live chat option. Usually, you will be served instantly, unless there is a queue when you’ll have to wait for approximately five minutes. Better than waiting for days.
Winner: Aweber carries the day in this category. MailChimp tries to perfect everything to avoid customers from contacting them directly. The truth, though, is that everyone will always encounter challenges, no matter what. And because Aweber offers consistent customer support, I’d recommend it any day.
6. Pricing – Aweber versus MailChimp
If you are just getting started with email marketing, pricing should be a top priority. This is because you don’t want to overspend before your business gets off the ground.
Aweber offers users different packages starting from $19 for between 0-500 subscribers. It gives a 30-day FREE trial, so you can try their service for a full month before choosing to commit to any of their plans.
MailChimp, on the other hand, offers users with three plans – the Free, Grow, and the Pro plan. That said, this marketing company will help you host up to 2,000 subscribers with their free plan, and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month.
Even more, MailChimp offers a plan called Pay As You Go, which allows you to send emails considering your budget. For example, you can send up to 1,000 emails per month at $30, 5,000 emails for $150 and 10,000 emails at $200.
Winner: There’s a tie in this category. MailChimp offers users a Pay As You Go plan, which can be of help to small businesses. On the other hand, Aweber offers a free 30-day trial before you can choose to commit.
7. Ease of editing emails
Email marketing is the lifeblood of your business. So you need to make sure that your email campaigns are clear, concise, and error-free. Fortunately, both MailChimp and Aweber offer users drag and drop functionality to help you edit your newsletters quickly.
But Aweber does it a little bit differently. With Aweber, you can see the changes you are making in real-time. On the contrary, MailChimp only allows you to edit from the backend, and you can only see changes once you are done editing your campaigns.
Huh! So who’s the winner in this category?
Winner: Aweber is my pick in this category. This is because it allows you to see the changes you are making in real-time, and that’s what makes Aweber unique. Otherwise, MailChimp would still be a good option.
It’s always essential that you segment your email list, so you don’t send irrelevant emails to your subscribers. Segmentation is breaking down your email list into subgroups, depending on their interests.
For example, I have segmented my list depending on my subscribers’ interests – “start a blog,” “podcasting,” “Vlogging,” “affiliate marketing,” and “e-commerce.” This is super helpful because it helps me send the right emails to the right people.
You can create segments on Aweber using your subscribers’ activities. For example, I have segmented my list, depending on what every user signed up for. So if you signed up using a vlogging pop up, you will be automatically added to the “vlogging” subset. You can also segment your email list, depending on who opened your emails and abandoned carts, among others.
MailChimp also offers a ton of segmentation options, depending on your plan. Using MailChimp, you can segment your list depending on the campaign activity and automation report data.
Winner: I found segmenting my email list using Aweber to be quite simple as compared to MailChimp. Back then, when I was using MailChimp, I had to hire freelancers to help me with segmentation, which cost me extra. So Aweber is my pick in this category.
9. Deliverability – Aweber vs MailChimp
Deliverability refers to whether or not your email campaigns reach your email subscribers. For me, this is important because I want to maintain professionalism and never spam my loyal subscribers.
Both MailChimp and Aweber put in place measures to make sure that your subscribers don’t get spammed. For example, Aweber complies with the ISP standards and closely monitors its users’ accounts to make sure no subscriber gets spammed.
MailChimp, on the other hand, uses a system called Omnivore that automatically detects spam emails. Once it catches these spam emails, MailChimp moves those emails from the active area to the spam complaint area.
But before we compare the next feature, let’s look at EmailToolTester’s findings on deliverability for both MailChimp and Aweber.
Winner: Both email marketing services have excellent deliverability rates. I have used MailChimp and Aweber and not a bad experience, though there were times when most of my emails sent through MailChimp would land in spam. So if I were to choose one, I would go with Aweber.
So we have compared the most crucial 9 features you should look for in an email marketing service. It’s now time to know which of the two email tools suits you and how you can get started with either of them.
Aweber vs MailChimp: Making the Choice
Who Should Use MailChimp?
If you are just getting started with email marketing, the chances are that you don’t have adequate funds to invest in an email marketing service. So you want to try out a few things, build an email list before opting for a paid version. If this is the case, MailChimp is for you. In summary, MailChimp offers the following attractive features:
- MailChimp free plan, which allows you to have up to 2,000 email subscribers.
- A ton of autoresponder options.
- Email campaign scheduling features with a free plan.
- Basic email campaigns you can use to send out your email campaigns.
- MailChimp integrates with many third-party applications and tools.
- It guarantees you excellent RSS.
Get Started With Mailchimp
Signing up for MailChimp is super simple. You will need the same information required to sign up for any other service – email address, username, and password.
MailChimp won’t ask for your credit card information as it gives you access to their lifetime free trial. If you like, you can choose to commit to their paid plans once you have built a huge email list. So to sign up for MailChimp, head over to their official sign up page and enter your details.
Who Should Use Aweber
But what if I’m a business with an affiliate marketing plan in mind? Well, Aweber will be your best bet in this case. Apart from offering affordable plans, Aweber has an affiliate program that lets you market their service and earn a commission whenever someone signs up through your affiliate marketing unique link. I have not heard about the MailChimp affiliate program, though. In summary, here’s what you will get when you opt for Aweber:
- 700+ email templates.
- Easy to set up and easy-to-use autoresponders.
- Drag and drop editor that allows you to add features and make your email look just the way you want it.
- Get a ton of FREE stock images.
- Timely customer support service.
Get Started With Aweber
Getting started with Aweber is also quite straightforward. They have a big button on their sign up page “start your free trial,” which goes for 30 days. The difference is that Aweber will ask you to provide your credit card information. So to get started with Aweber, head over to their official sign up page and hit the “start your free trial” button.
Aweber vs MailChimp: Final Verdict
From this Aweber vs MailChimp review, I feel that Aweber is still the go-to email marketing service if you are a business. While MailChimp offers a lot with a lifetime free trial, it still limits you with a ton of features, plus, it never gets updated from time to time. So let me know what email service you are using and your experience with it in the comments below.