When it comes to email marketing, you have several options to choose for. But two of the leading platforms, Mailchimp and AWeber, often rank at or near the top for those just starting out. But then the question becomes:
Which is better? Our AWeber vs. Mailchimp comparison will tell you.
The answer is — it depends on what you want to do with them.
At their core, both Mailchimp and AWeber let you:
Create sign up forms designed to capture email addresses and build a mailing list
Create newsletters (in both plain text and HTML) to keep subscribers informed about your products or services
Automatically send messages at times and dates that you specify (the “autoresponder”)
Let you see how well your email marketing campaigns are performing via detailed reports
Build landing pages to test certain offers or encourage sign-ups or orders.
Integrate with a wide range of third party tools to improve your marketing campaigns
To help keep the Mailchimp vs. AWeber debate as apples-to-apples as possible, we compared AWeber’s $19 plan to Mailchimp’s $14.99 plan.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s a head-to-head comparison:
You Should Use AWeber If You:
Like Design Flexibility
AWeber has over 700 different templates – more than any other email marketing service. You can use any one of their templates as a starting point, or build your own from scratch. Conversely, Mailchimp will charge you $189/month to design your own template.
You can drag and drop elements into the editor easily, without any HTML or web design experience, making AWeber a great option if you like to have a variety of designs to choose from which you can then customize to make your own.
Plus, they also have a free library of thousands of stock images that you can use to really give your newsletter some professional polish. This is included with any plan and doesn’t cost extra.
The only area where their template flexibility is a bit lacking is in their RSS-to-email templates. If you want to create a sort of email digest of your latest blog posts and keep your subscribers up-to-date automatically, AWeber uses a different set of templates for this task.
And they look like they came straight out of 2003.
If you only want to use your email marketing service as a tool to promote your blog, you may be better off choosing a different RSS-to-email service with more up-to-date templates.
Want simple autoresponder functionality without a lot of fuss and hassle
At its core, “AWeber autoresponders” are simply timed messages that go out according to a schedule you specify. So if you want a series of emails to go to your mailing list every 3 days, autoresponders will make that happen for you.
In AWeber, these were known as a “legacy follow-up series”. That’s because they were originally what AWeber was designed to do back when it was founded in 1998. Email marketing has changed a lot since then.
As of February 2020, AWeber has rolled this featured into their Campaigns settings, so you can choose the interval to send your emails from as you work on creating your email campaign.
Want to be able to freely promote affiliate links in your emails
This is something that you don’t find out about Mailchimp until after you sign up and try to send out an email message with an affiliate link in it. They really, really frown on that.
In fact, Mailchimp maintains a blacklist (which is not public) of URLs that they don’t allow. This may very well include some products or services that you might receive a commission for if someone purchases from you. If you’re an affiliate marketer, there are many other email marketing services that don’t have these kinds of constraints and AWeber is one of them.
Like having the ability to call customer support on the phone and reach another human being on the other line
This is one of those things that you’ll probably never need because AWeber is so user-friendly and easy to work with. But if you do need to call up customer support, it’s nice to know that there’s someone there that can help you. AWeber also offers international phone support for users outside of the U.S.
Don’t want any limits on your ability to send messages
AWeber lets you send unlimited email messages when and how you want. Even beyond the free plan, Mailchimp limits how many emails you can send.
Want to enhance your emails with AMP
AMP brings the fast-loading interactivity of mobile-responsive web pages to your emails. Using AMP allows users to take action right inside your email message itself without having to click through to a website to do things like RSVP to an event or fill out a survey (among many other things).
Currently, only AWeber offers this functionality. You can expect over time that more features will migrate from AMP over into email messages, so it’s good to get on board with an email program that already has this functionality baked in.
You have up to 20,000 subscribers
You may look at AWeber’s $19/month and Mailchimp’s $14.99/month and immediately think that Mailchimp stays cheaper than AWeber across the board.
If you have a list of around 20,000 subscribers, you’ll actually pay more for Mailchimp ($189) compared to AWeber ($149). Plus you’ll have to take into account that even with its highest plan, Mailchimp caps the number of emails you can send every month.
If you have or plan to meet those criteria, AWeber is absolutely a better choice for your e-mail marketing needs. By clicking the button below, you can sign up and get 30 days to try it out, free.
Now, there are some things that AWeber does exceptionally well, but other things that Mailchimp excels at which make it worth a look as well.
You Should Use Mailchimp If You:
Want to start email marketing for free
Although AWeber has a 30 day free trial that you can take advantage of, Mailchimp’s basic account is free if you have up to 2,000 contacts.
Both Mailchimp and AWeber count unsubscribed users toward your total numbers. So even if people have unsubscribed from your list, they’re still counted toward your limit. If you want an email marketing platform that only counts users that are actively subscribed to your list, check out GetResponse instead.
Want autoresponder functionality with lots of different options as far as triggering automations
If you want to dabble more in autoresponder automation beyond the basics, Mailchimp is a good way to get your feet wet. Although it doesn’t offer the depth of automations like GetResponse does, it still offers more trigger choices than AWeber (which only offers 3).
Want your sign-up forms and confirmation pages in a language other than English
If you’re building a mailing list in a different language, it makes sense to have sign up forms in that language. Mailchimp currently lets you translate key parts of the sign up and confirmation process into any of 50+ languages. AWeber offers the ability to set your confirmation page into one of 13 languages.
Want to create an email newsletter that is a roundup of your latest blog posts
This is where Mailchimp truly outshines AWeber. As noted above, AWeber lets you make use of special RSS-to-email templates where you can create a “roundup” of your latest blog posts. Unfortunately, these templates look rather dated, and you’re limited on the options you have available to choose from. Keep in mind, RSS-to-email templates are different in AWeber than those used to design your email newsletter.
Mailchimp lets you build your RSS-to-email template in much the same way as you would build a regular email newsletter, so the interface is familiar and easy to use, even if you’re not a designer or a programmer.
Want the option to “pay as you go” so that you only pay when you send emails, rather than paying monthly.
Another area where Mailchimp outperforms AWeber is the ability to pay only when you send emails, rather than a month-to-month contract. You get the same features as Mailchim’s “Essentials” plan (regularly $9.99) but you pay a per-email fee instead. If you don’t send messages frequently or you have a small mailing list, this may be a cheaper option that could save you money.