MailChimp vs Aweber

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Several weeks ago, I introduced a way to set up an email distribution list.  In that post I discussed the key differences between Aweber and MailChimp.  In the comments several readers also suggested using Constant Contact.  In that post it was my intention to help introduce missionaries and churches to some of the email newsletter options available.

At the time, I mentioned that I was using MailChimp and I was quite happy with it.  However, since I’m now using Aweber for my blogs, Money Help For Christians and Help Me Travel Cheap, I thought I should explain why I made the change.

First, everything I said in the previous post is still true and accurate (as far as I know).  MailChimp is still a great service with some nice features, (especially if you have not used a mailing service before) and best of all, with less than 500 subscribers, you can send emails for free.

Why I Moved From MailChimp to Aweber

Dear MailChimp, It’s not you, it’s me …

Since my post several weeks ago, I’ve changed some of my ideas about blogging.  Basically all I’ll say is that my list is more important to me now than ever before.  I want to be sure I have the best possible emailing service and I’ve found that to be Aweber.

I using the list to provide exclusive information on budgeting, debt reduction, investing and the Bible and money.  In addition, I notify subscribers of exclusive offers and promotions.  For example, next month I’m going to be releasing my first eBook and my subscribers are going to have an exclusive opportunity to buy the eBook for 50% during a three day promotional period.

If you have not signed up for the MH4C Newsletter make sure you don’t miss out on any of this bonus information.

Advantages of Aweber as Compared to MailChimp

(Note to the reader – it is quite possible that MailChimp has all of these features; however, if they are available, they are harder to find and navigate.  Either it is a difference in feature or ease of access).

  1. Outstanding customer support – I’ve needed feedback on a few issues and they have responded quickly.
  2. They have the easiest way to create a customized a sign up form on your blog.  MailChimp’s subscription widget was not as easy to customize and it seemed to slow down my page load time.  With Aweber I’ve had no such issues.
  3. Reports subscribers to Feed Burner – My list with MailChimp was did not count towards Feed Burner subscribes.  Now, however, my Aweber subscribers also count as FeedBurner subscribers.  That did provide a boost in my subscription count, but I’m also getting a dramatically higher subscription rate now that I have some more visible subscription options on my website.
  4. Customized subscription options.  I love the fact that I can now offer both a weekly blog update (called the MH4C Newsletter)  and a daily update.  Now you, my readers, get to choose your favorite option, and it just doesn’t get any better than that.
  5. Deliverability rate. Some people prefer MailChimp because if you are migrating a list, your subscribers don’t need to reconfirm their email address (obviously you lose less subscribers this way).  However, that double opt in helps Aweber maintain high deliverability.  With MailChimp I uploaded about 500 people to whom we send our missionary newsletter.  Over several years we have been building the list, and as I mentioned in my last post, many of those names were hand written on a piece of paper.  Well, as it turns out, I must have entered a wrong email address and the recipient reported my email.  MailChimp says you can have about 1 complaint per 1000, so now I need to see if I will start getting a lot of undeliverable blocks the next time I send out this list. With Aweber you completely avoid this risk.
  6. Popularity. Because Aweber has so many more users than MailChimp, it is so much easier to Google and find a solution.
  7. Easy to set up Blog Broadcast.  I can use Aweber to send out my daily updates instead of FeedBurner.  In fact, all new subscribers are receiving Aweber emails instead of FeedBurner.  I can access much better stats – how many people opened the email, what links were clicked within the email, etc … In addition, I love the fact that I can easily add a note at the top of my daily broadcast.  It’s easy to customize and personalize.

Disadvantages of Aweber as Compared to MailChimp

So far I’ve only found one – cost.  Instead of getting a free service with MailChimp, I now pay $20 per month.  However, as with many things, you get what you pay for. Since I want to provide the best for my readers, it is worth every penny.

All Aweber and constant contact links in this post are affiliate links.

Anyone else using a mail service that they would suggest?  Anyone else using and enjoying Aweber?

Comments

  1. says

    I also chose Aweber for many of the same reasons you listed. After 500 subscribers the price is comparable so it comes down to usuability. For me the customizable Aweber forms where a nice selling point as well as deliverability.

  2. jarthurford says

    Since reading your previous post, I did move from Constant Contact to Mailchimp. That was mainly because my list is small and I have no intent that it will either grow or make any money. It is mainly for sending information to the congregation, and I would rather pay nothing than the $15 per month CC charges Christian organizations. I have since noticed that ShareFaith is partnering with them to enhance services to churches. That likely wouldn’t have changed my mind, but may give more possibilities for church newsletters.

  3. says

    Thanks for the informations. I have been trying to find a solution to picking in between the two and you have given me a lot of help. Thanks.
    .-= DavidJParsons´s last blog ..8 Stupid Inventions That Made People Extremely Rich =-.

  4. says

    hi folks, great post, thank you! ya know, i was keen on aweber but i had an experience that had me look closely @ mailchimp (when i wished i could stay with aweber)…. maybe i’m wrong but even aweber help confirmed this issue … and that was that i had 2 campaigns set up on aweber with MY email addy in both. when i sent out a broadcast to ONE list only, i did not get the email. aweber help said this was coz i had my email addy on the list to be excluded… (huh?)…. i want to be able to have 1 master list, know their interests and locations, and pulse those segments and KNOW my emails are getting thru…. but i felt this was not possible after this issue… maybe i got something wrong? all comments welcome.

    • says

      I really don’t know a lot about the technicalities of Aweber. If the Aweber support staff is unable to resolve the issue I don’t think I could add anything valuable to the conversation.

  5. says

    I’ve set a up a lot in Mail Chimp and im just getting things going. I would like to know how your transition was from mail chimp to Aweber. I’m looking to help people build their businesses in the ocean of social media. Before I get too far into things, your feedback is appreciated.

    Wayne
    http://www.islandconsultingcorp.com
    Building your island in the ocean of social media.
    Romans 8;28
    .-= Wayne Ulery´s last blog ..Welcoming our newest client!! Katies Korner Howland, Ohio =-.

    • says

      @Wayne
      I’m really glad that I changed to Aweber. Things are working a lot better for me. For some reason I found that the MailChimp templates and sign up forms were not as user friendly.
      As for the transition the only issue was exporting and importing my mailing address. From there everyone had to reconfirm their email address. I think I kept about 70-80% of my subscribers so people need to be prepared that they will lose some subscribers in the transition. But, chances are those are not your committed subscribers.
      Otherwise it is a very simple and smooth transition.

  6. says

    Mail Chimp seems to be like a good solution to recommend to people with lists of under 500 people. This could help out a lot of affiliate marketers that are just getting started.

    • says

      @Elite Events
      I think MailChimp is a great option for those who have less than 500 subscribers and expect there list to stay under 500 subscribers. However, if you think it will grow beyond 500 then Aweber is a better option because during the transition where people must confirm their opt in you typically lose 30% of your subscribers. After all that hard work to get subscribers I’d hate to see someone lose such a large percentage.
      I do still use MailChimp for my ministry related newsletters because I don’t expect that list to grow beyond 500. For my blogging mailing lists I’ve moved all of those to Aweber.

    • says

      @Dana
      What you would need to do to transfer you list is export your Mailchimp list to a csv type file then when you get an Aweber account just import that same list. It is quite simple.

      Very important: Aweber requires a double opt in which means they will send an email to everyone on your list asking them to confirm their subscription. If someone does not confirm their subscription they will be lost as a subscriber. Typically, I hear people lose about 35% of their subscribers. In my case I had just started my list and moved over before my list was too big. I think I probably kept 60% of my subscribers.

  7. says

    Is there a way to put people in aweber without a double optin? I have been using aweber but want to sign up a bunch of people who just filled out their emails on paper.

    • says

      @Buddy
      Not that I am aware of. When I moved my list from MailChimp everyone still got an email they had to confirm. But, actually this is a good thing because you know they won’t report you as spam if they confirm their subscription. Better safe than sorry.

  8. Tom says

    Also, Aweber gives you a much bigger kickback when people sign up….30% of everything they spend, forever.

    And since Aweber is much more expensive than Mailchimp, you profit even more.

    I’m sure that had nothing to do with your recommendation, though.

    • says

      @Tom
      This post shares the reasons why I changed my service from MailChimp to Aweber. Yes, Aweber is more expensive so that does mean I pay more for the service. But, I legitimately believe that the price difference is worth the extra cost.

      I’ve made no effort to hid the fact that this article does include affiliate links.

  9. says

    I use both Aweber (for business with my partner) and Mailchimp (for a personal blog). I love the creativity and and humor of Mailchimp, but when I can justify the cost of Aweber I will also most likely make the switch.
    Thanks for your honest information…

    • says

      @Brooks
      I also still use both Aweber and Mailchimp. For my missionary newsletter list i use Mailchimp because i have less than 500 subscribers. For my blogs I use Aweber. You’re right that Mailchimp is very creative.

  10. says

    Just migrated to MailChimp from Aweber had two problems:

    1) Their followup message system is IDIOTIC. You can’t save drafts. When you save your messages, it’s immediately put in your queue. The only workaround is putting “999″ in the box that specifies how many days it should be sent after the previous message. I accidentally sent out an email that I had started to build but had to leave and come back to – super unprofessional.

    2) They don’t allow you to send “countdown” messages, i.e. followup messages that send relative to a specific date. So if you want to do a countdown to an event (e.g. sending an email out 3 months, then 2, then 1 before someone’s birthday) or send out a happy anniversary email, you can’t. Mailchimp lets you do that automatically.

    Never will use Aweber again.

    • says

      @Kathryn
      Thanks for sharing your experiences because that is helpful information to know. I’ve never had to save a draft nor have I tried to do countdown messages. People looking for those features will be thankful. BTW, I’m guessing MailChimp does both of those things?

  11. says

    :) Yes, Mailchimp does them both. The thing that got me with Aweber was that with a “regular” broadcast message, you can save your draft for as long as you want before it’s ready to queue. I naturally assumed it would be the same with the follow-up (autoresponder) messages. Not so! On Mailchimp, you just “save and exit” until you’re ready to launch your autoresponder and/or email campaign. Easy, intuitive.

    Why would Aweber force you to save one type of message one way and then another type of message another way? Who ever gets their follow-up messages correct on the first try?

    And yeah, for the date thing, Mailchimp just allows you to select on your autoresponder when you want a message to go out: how many days before or after a certain date (or on a certain date, like a wedding date or anniversary). You can also do the standard “how many days after” a previous autoresponder. Can’t believe I’ve been paying for Aweber all this time!

  12. says

    Ha, sorry to bombard the comment queue, but here’s another thing I don’t like about Aweber: unsubscribe options. When someone clicks on “unsubscribe” they’re taken to a separate page with two radio buttons: one to stay on the list and the other to be taken off the list. If they click on the radio button next to unsubscribe, they are automatically unsubscribed without clicking “confirm” or anything like that. People do sometimes just “play around” with radio buttons but just one click and it’s done. Not a good idea.

  13. says

    I was just thinking about moving my email list from aweber to MailChimp… After reading you post… i think i am going to stay with aweber for now : )

  14. says

    I’ve actuaaly just started my first list and after doing some research I decided on MailChimp. You’re now allowed up to 1000 subscribers before you have to pay.

    Also, considering this is the first system I’ve ever used, I’ve found it extremely easy and had my first campaign out without any drama whatsoever.

    The forms were also extremely to set up and very configurable and they also have a large range of templates you can use for your campaigns. Heaps of reports and the added feature that you can tie your campaigns with Twitter and Facebook etc.

    Personlly I don’t see nmyself switching, even if my subscribers get to over the 1000 limit.

  15. says

    I was looking for a date on this blog post. Don’t know how old this is.

    Note: I am a programmer, and I did the opposite. I went from Aweber to Mailchimp. I liked the personality MailChimp put into the site, doesn’t make it feel like work. The buttons are big and straight forward.

    The most important element is how Aweber handles their confirmations. I also run a virtual bookclub site ( http://www.edrivenbookclubs.com ). I had a special mailing for my facilitators inside Google’s Gmail. People other than myself needed easier access to that list, and we needed to schedule post-dated emails. Upon importing of the list only 50% of my group confirmed in 4 -days time. I called a few of them, and they said they must have accidentally deleted the confirmation. Ok… that happens. Aweber will NOT allow you resubmit the confirmation email for 30!!! Days. In addition, you can not remove an email address for 30!! days once you’ve manually entered it. It makes me powerless to even try to correct the problem.

    With MailChimp….. I was able to send a mailer to my group within 5mins of signing up. Importing was simple… they have hooks to all our services (EventBrite.com , Salesforce.com..etc)

    I don’t know if the mandatory opt-in feature is really a “good” feature. I am not one for random spam either, but to loose 50% of my list of 20 people I know personally due to confirmation hassle.

  16. says

    I actually just migrated from AWeber to Mailchimp. I do not know when you wrote the above post, but I most say that I prefer MailChimp’s support over AWeber.

    There is also a couple of issues if you are using AWeber with special characters (we have three that are not in the English alphabet here in Denmark).

  17. says

    I’ve heard that it’s against mailchimps terms to post mails containing affiliate links and so on, ths’a a great disadvantage.

    So far I am not using an email list building service, but I will soon implement one, probably Aweber since it’s so widely supported everywhere.

  18. says

    Thank you for taking time to make that comparison.

    I started to use Aweber and I wanted to know the difference with MailChimp.

    The popularity, the service and the affiliate marketing of Aweber are more than enough to keep the choice.

  19. says

    Craig,

    Thanks for your analysis and opinions. I have used Constant Contact for a ministry list, Aweber for myself as a trial, and now I am using mailchimp because I could not justify the cost of $240 per year due to the current small size of my list. I will likely go back to Constant Contact or Aweber at some point but the jury is still out with me based on one major feature that I can’t seem to find anyone supporting. It looks like from this post that you have not found the answer yet either. I want to have a check box on my blog comments section that allows for a commenter to be able to register for my email list without having to enter their email twice in two separate forms on a single blog post. Do you have any insight on this blog comment and newsletter list integration?

    • says

      Hank,
      I’ve seen some paid plugins that will do that with Aweber. Unfortunately, I can’t think of the name of the plugin I used to have. I guess you Google it. Sorry, I wish my memory was better, but I do know it is possible.

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