AWeber and Mailchimp are the leading giants in the world of email marketing.
AWeber vs Mailchimp which is which?
While you can’t go wrong with either, it is likely that one email service provider will serve your needs better.
This is why it is crucial to be clear about your goals before you get started. After all, you will be using the service for a long time. Therefore, you have to dig deeper beyond the similarities of their features.
Keep reading to find out more.
The two most popular email marketing services, Mailchimp (read our Mailchimp review) and Aweber (read our Aweber review), continue to lead the market, both in terms of their features and price. However, you only need one, and choosing between these two is often a daunting task. So it’s best to think wisely before you get started.
The basic service you’re looking for is an easy subscribe/unsubscribe option, excellent deliverability, and good support. All email marketing services, including Aweber and Mailchimp, provide these.
So we’re going to dive deeper, looking at features, pricing, template design and even opt-in forms available to you. Once you’re done reading, you should be able to easily make up your mind on which service will work better for you.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Overview
Tom Kulzer created AWeber in 1998 with the goal of making email marketing simpler for small businesses. Today, it boasts over 100,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs around the world.
AWeber has all you require to build an email list from over 700 templates, free stock images, autoresponders and so much more.
On the other hand, Dan Kurzius and Ben Chestnut co-founded Mailchimp back in 2001. It started as a side project to provide email marketing services for small businesses.
The company has grown to become a leading marketing platform with about 16 million users. Mailchimp offers advanced analytics, templates, autoresponders as well as optimization features.
At a glance, both seem quite similar. So which one should you choose?
To answer this question, I will be taking you through an email-marketing journey to show you what each platform offers in each step.
Are you ready? Let’s begin!
Getting Started with Aweber
When it comes to signing up, AWeber has a big green button where you click to start your 30-day free trial period. Here you provide basic information such as your name, address, and credit card information.
After this, AWeber provides a welcome video that takes you through the account set up, creating your first list and customizing your confirmation email.
The user interface has a logical menu with four sections. The first section displays the main components of the system. This includes the subscribers, messages, and lists.
The second section shows the types of help available including webinars, online guides, and videos.
The third section highlights subscriber statistics while the forth part displays recently sent messages and statistics.
Getting Started with Mailchimp
Mailchimp collects similar information to use in other settings. However, it doesn’t require credit card information due to its free account. Even though this plan comes with some restrictions on the number of features you get, it has an unlimited trial period.
Once you finish this step, you will go to the dashboard that displays your options. These options include learning more prompts on each section. With MailChimp, you have the option to create and send a campaign, create a list, start building your audience, invite your colleagues and verify a domain for sending.
Its user interface is uncluttered and comes with more options for templates, campaigns, reports, lists, and automation for simple navigation.
Here is how to get started with Mailchimp.
Both AWeber and Mailchimp takes ease of use into consideration. Each platform strives to make the signing up process and dashboard navigation as simple as it can be. For this reason, they tie on this round.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Ease of Import
The next thing you probably want to do is to import your subscriber list into your selected platform. This could be from files and third-party services such as CRM or your ecommerce tool.
AWeber allows you to import your list from various text formats, spreadsheets or even copy paste from another app. You will then be required to map the information with their list fields.
Similarly, Mailchimp lets you import lists using excel sheets or CSV files. It also requires you to map the information submitted with their list fields. The only difference is that Mailchimp focuses on user experience making it easier for its users.
Mailchimp takes the lead for this round for making the process a lot simpler than AWeber.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Sign Up Forms
Creating sign up form in AWeber.
To build your subscriber list quickly, you will need to have an enticing sign up forms. AWeber provides sign up forms that have up to 25 fields of information. You can create your own design or use a pre-made template. You can then embed the forms into your site, turn it into your landing page or even carry split tests on them.
On the other hand, Mailchimp sign-ups need HTML knowledge. This is because it generates a code for its sign-ups forms that need some HTML expertise in order to embed it on your site.
AWeber takes the win here because it takes into consideration the less tech-savvy users. It also allows you to split test multiple sign up forms to drive great results.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Type of Messages
AWeber offers five different types of messaging options on its top menu. They include:
AWeber saves your messages to a draft status then you can be sent it as a broadcast, follow up series or send a test.
These are automated messages that enable content customization. This helps your subscribers receive messages based on the triggers you create.
- Legacy follow up series
This sends follow up messages to your subscribers using set time intervals. They act as autoresponders that constitute a crucial part of email marketing automation.
These messages are the one-off messages you send to your subscribers. This can help you notify them about your webinar or a special sale discount.
- Blog broadcasts
Blog broadcasts use the RSS feed to send blog posts to your subscribers using email.
In contrast, Mailchimp refers to its messages as campaigns. It offers four main types of campaign options including:
- Regular campaigns
This is the most used type of campaign. It lets you design and customize your content. You can also choose to send it immediately or schedule it for a later date.
- Plain text campaigns
The plain text campaign is the simplest form of an email to send. They do not have formatting options.
- Automation campaigns
These campaigns let you automate email marketing using set triggers.
- A/B testing campaigns
This allows you to send more than one version of a similar campaign. You can test subject lines, text and send times.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Email Templates
AWeber and Mailchimp provide numerous email templates designed to meet different needs. However, AWeber offers over 700 templates compared to MailChimp’s 100 templates.
They both allow you to tweak templates and even code your own. The email templates have a responsive design so they can automatically resize to suit any device.
Even though AWeber clearly has more options when it comes to templates, Mailchimp wins out in email design. You get to design your templates from scratch instead of being limited.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Editing Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are a vital part of your email marketing strategy. This is largely because they help you nurture existing clients and stay top-of-mind. An email newsletter contains valuable content such as product reviews, product recommendations, announcements, tips, blog posts, and guides.
The big question when choosing an email marketing software is how do you edit your e-newsletters? Luckily, both AWeber and Mailchimp use a drag and drop approach. This makes it easier to add, move and edit elements including text, logo, and images.
One aspect that stands out for me in AWeber is its visual builder that lets you just type onto your e-newsletter and make the changes right there. In contrast, in Mailchimp, you have to use a back end to make these changes. The back and forth edits slows you down a bit.
AWeber does it here with the visual builder that makes editing your email newsletters a breeze.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Segmentation
Segmentation lets you break down your subscriber list into subsets. This helps you to reach out to a group of people who show interest in selected topics without agitating other subscribers who do not have an interest in them.
For instance, imagine you’re selling swimsuits for both men and women. It’s a good idea to target your emails in such a way that women receive product updates on the latest bikinis while men get emails on the latest swimwear for men.
You can use subscriber activity in AWeber to make segments. This could be using those who opened the email, clicked links or even sales and page visits. Secondly, you could also make use of tools in the subscriber page. For example, you can select those who didn’t open you're third follow up message to make a segment.
Mailchimp has an extensive list of segmentation options depending on the plan you choose. You could use automation report data, email domain, and campaign activity to create segments.
Mailchimp wins this round due to its more advanced segmentation options.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Autoresponders
Autoresponders are a series of emails focused on a specific topic. You send them in a pre-determined sequence at set intervals. They help you automate your marketing campaigns.
You can use autoresponders to provide product training, offer birthday discounts, follow up shopping cart abandonment, upsell and cross-sell your products.
To set up autoresponders using AWeber you create an email list, customize the follow-up series’ welcome email then add more entries.
In MailChimp, you navigate the campaigns section, click the drop-down menu to the autoresponder you want and select replicate to automation. The automation builder then lets you create your automation.
Mailchimp offers more functionality as you can choose from predefined workflows or create your own based on your goals.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Email Deliverability
Deliverability ensures that your emails reach subscriber’s inboxes. This helps you determine if your emails reach your target audience.
Some of the factors that affect deliverability include using a single opt-in, using spammy subject lines, short URLs, lacking custom authentication and using a free domain address.
AWeber adheres to ISP standards for sending and managing opt-in emails. It has strict restrictions on spamming and closely monitors its user’s accounts.
AWeber closely monitors user accounts and subscribers anyone who sends unsolicited emails is blocked, as spamming is not tolerated at AWeber.
Mailchimp uses an abuse-detecting technology known as Omnivore to detect unethical email campaign practices.
Mailchimp is a member of the wider organization (AOTA, ESPC, EEC, and MAAWG) that are dedicated to delivering and maintaining the email ecosystem. Mailchimp stays up to date with the latest technological and industrial standards.
Mailchimp handles spam email complains by immediately moving them from the active list into the abuse complain area. Mailchimp is registered with major ISPs that receive alerts when a campaign is marked as junk.
Both Mailchimp and AWeber have a good reputation on their deliverability rate they both promise over 99% result. Which in this case they both tie.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: A/B Testing
Also known as split testing, A/B testing is comparing two versions to know which performs better. A/B testing enables you to do more with existing traffic.
Anything that affects visitors behavior can be A/B tested like subheadings, paragraph text, testimonials, headlines, call to action text, call to action buttons, links, images, social proof, media mentions, and award and budges.
Mailchimp offers limited split testing in their free plan. If you opt for the paid plan, you can even test the three-email version against each other. Mailchimp Pro offers tests that are more sophisticated. You can test up to eight variables of e-newsletter against each other.
If you have a large list, Mailchimp configures the test so that 50% of your subscribers receive the test combination. The winning combination can be sent to the remainder on the list.
In Mailchimp, the winner campaign is based on open rate, total revenue, and click rate. It takes a minimum of four hours to run the test.
Until recently, AWeber has been allowing users to split test four different emails against each other.
Mailchimp has a more elaborate A/B testing plan that advances with the pricing plan.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Affiliate Links
Your business plan may include having some residual income from affiliate links. This means that you will need to include those affiliate links in your emails.
AWeber has no restrictions when it comes to promoting affiliate links using its platform.
MailChimp, on the other hand, has strict affiliate link policies. Even though it doesn’t ban you from using them, it has a long list of blacklisted domains. This includes many retailers and you might risk being shut down trying to get around them.
For businesses that have affiliate links as a major component of email marketing, AWeber is the go-to email service provider.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Integrations
Mailchimp has a bigger selection of integrations. Shopify and Squarespace provide Mailchimp as their default option such that it requires some configuration to set up AWeber.
It is also synced with your Facebook account meaning that Facebook will automatically begin showing ads to new subscribers. With an AWeber list, you’ll have to upload your list manually for new subscribers to see your ads.
Mailchimp has a lot going for it when it comes to integrations. You can even run your Facebook ad campaigns and Google remarketing ads straight from your Mailchimp account.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Reporting
The insights that you get on what worked and what failed gives you an advantage on future campaigns.
Mailchimp offers reports that explain bounce rate, open rate, click-through rates, and other metrics. It presents this information using interactive graphs and provides the click map overlay to show what elements attracted your subscribers the most.
With AWeber, the analytics dashboard provides a clear view of opens and clicks using a graph format. You get to see where subscribers clicked to have a clear picture of what content resonated with them. In addition, you can see those who have unsubscribed from your list to monitor the causes.
Mailchimp has more advanced features on reporting than AWeber. It shows industry averages and an email click map that highlights the best positions for links.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Customer Support
Problems will always come up no matter how hard you try to avoid them. The best thing to do is ensure that the friction doesn’t become a major issue. Customers will be more comfortable doing business with you when they know that they can voice complaints and their issues will be addressed.
Both services offer online tutorials and guides to help you solve any issues you face. They also provide email support to help you come up with solutions. However, Mailchimp does its best to eliminate the need for customer service and that leaves it at a disadvantage.
AWeber does more when it comes to customer support by providing a toll-free number. They also offer live chat support for instant problem handling.
AWeber vs Mailchimp: Pricing
Sometimes choosing an email service provider comes down to pricing. So if you’re wondering, how much do they cost? Here is the lowdown.
In AWeber, the price you will be paying is based on the number of subscribers you have. It also includes a 30-day free trial for users to sample all their features. Its pricing plan starts at $19 each month for up to 500 subscribers and scales up from that.
In contrast, Mailchimp offers three plans. The free plan caters for up to 2000 subscribers and allows you to send 12000 emails each month. The second plan is the growth plan that starts at $10 every month to cater for unlimited subscribers and emails. Finally, the pro plan starts at $199 per month and comes with unlimited email and subscriber options.
Even though AWeber does not offer a free plan, the 30-day free trial period is not restrictive. You are able to get a good sense of what it offers. Unfortunately, MailChimp’s free plan is quite restrictive.
Regardless, it offers a pay as you go option for users who send emails less often. Here, you only get to pay for the number of emails that you send. This makes it stand out from AWeber and take the lead.
Who Should Consider Using AWeber
AWeber is a great option for large enterprises and businesses with affiliate marketing in their game plan. Some of the few reasons to pick AWeber over Mailchimp include:
- AWeber has more templates (over 700) than MailChimp.
- Its autoresponders are simpler to set up.
- The real-time editor in the e-newsletter builder makes editing easy.
- It has more free stock images.
- It provides more extensive support options.
- It doesn’t have strict restrictions on affiliate marketing.
Who Should Consider Using Mailchimp
Mailchimp is a decent choice if you’re starting out on email marketing. This is especially when you don’t want to commit a budget. Its designs are more user-friendly and it offers more integrations. Below are the reasons you should choose Mailchimp instead.
- It has a functional free plan to get started.
- Its autoresponder options are more extensive.
- It includes sending time optimization.
- You can easily use different languages for confirmation pages.
- It has a wide range of integrations with third-party apps.
- It offers a better RSS to email feature.
Both AWeber and Mailchimp are excellent options for email marketing. AWeber features more templates and does its best to simplify its processes for newbies. On the other hand, Mailchimp offers more options when it comes to reporting and designing emails. However, its drawbacks are too big to overlook especially when it comes to restrictions on affiliate links and lack of customer support. If these two features are not a deal breaker for you, then Mailchimp is the better choice.