AWeber and MailChimp are arguably the leaders of email marketing. Combining superb functionality across a number of pricing schemes, these solutions cater to everyone—from small organizations to more expansive brands. AWeber, for instance, has years of experience under its belt that attracts businesses to its tried-and-tested services. On the other hand, MailChimp boasts of highly-customizable templates that deliver truly bespoke messages across your channels.
But you’ll only need one of these platforms, so which do you get? Here, we take a closer look at two of the market’s leading email marketing and automation solutions, and help you take charge of your decision.
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AWeber vs MailChimp Comparison Chart
|Price||Check Price at AWeber.com||Check Price at MailChimp.com|
|Contacts Per Month||$19 Plan: 0-500|
$29 Plan: 501-2,500
$49 Plan: 2,501-5,000
$69 Plan: 5,001-10,000
$149 Plan: 10,001-25,000
|Web Activity Tracking||Yes||Yes|
|Drag and Drop Email Creation||Yes||Yes|
|Create Membership Sites||No||Yes|
|Mobile App||AWeber Stats, Atom App, Curate||MailChimp|
|Recommended for||Online media marketing and advertising agencies||E-commerce publishers and authors|
Joining AWeber and MailChimp is easy, thanks to the hassle-free signup procedures, and guided registration prompts.
Founded in 1998, AWeber boasts years of experience in providing email marketing solutions—and it shows. Signing up on the platform is pretty straightforward. On the website, you’ll find a big green button across five different plans. Simply click your preferred subscription service to start building an account.
Next, you’ll be asked to provide your contact information and credit card details. The latter is a requirement since AWeber’s services are all paid-for. But don’t worry, as you do get a 30-day free trial period, which you can cancel anytime before you’re charged for any of the regular monthly subscription fees.
In contrast, MailChimp doesn’t require any credit card information since it comes with a free-forever plan. While this free version is limited in features, it certainly gives users more time to test the solution compared to AWeber’s trial period. Granted, a month of testing on AWeber should be more than enough to get an idea of whether or not a solution answers your business needs. Plus, its trial option offers a functional account compared to MailChimp’s rather basic and restrictive free plan.
In any case, signing up on both email marketing services should be easy, thanks to the logically-arranged sections with guided prompts. AWeber, in particular, even offers online guides and webinars to help you get started.
With AWeber, you pay for the number of subscribers; in contrast, MailChimp charges for subscribers, email sends, and features.
A key difference between the two solutions is with their pricing. MailChimp plans are based on the number of subscribers you have, as well as the email sends per month. In addition, as you move up the pricing ladder, you get access to more advanced features. MailChimp currently offers the following plans:
- Essentials at $9.99/mo
- Standard at $14.99/mo
- Premium at $299/mo
With AWeber, the pricing is still based on the number of subscribers. However, all plans come with the same set of features. Here are the monthly fees under AWeber plans:
Overall, MailChimp allows for more subscribers than AWeber. The latter, on the other hand, comes with unlimited email sends per month, regardless of the plan you’re subscribed to. While this seems like a huge advantage, keep in mind that promotional or marketing emails these days are less frequent and are largely paced. You certainly wouldn’t want to overload your subscribers with information. Given this trend, the cap on email sends per month on MailChimp is less a limitation and more an opportunity for creative and purposeful marketing efforts.
MailChimp offers more advanced features but AWeber’s tools are more user-friendly.
When it comes to email marketing services, you’d like to see the following basic features: marketing automation, list management, and deliverability. As expected, you get all three on both AWeber and MailChimp, albeit at different levels of functionality.
Automation on MailChimp, for instance, is pretty solid. Using this feature, you can set up email drip campaigns, follow up abandoned carts, and offer birthday discounts. Plus, you get pre-made automation templates. However, modifying or editing an autoresponder once it has been set can be cumbersome. Unfortunately, MailChimp’s popular drag-and-drop feature is not available when you’re creating a workflow for email automation.
In comparison, AWeber comes with a surprisingly intuitive UX when it comes to autoresponders. Called campaigns, the feature is quite easy to set up and modify compared to MailChimp. Here, you can send tailored messages to tagged users, but that’s about it. In terms of features, it’s still quite limited.
Because MailChimp and AWeber are largely automation tools, you want to ensure you’re sending messages to the right group of people. With AWeber, you can segment your subscribers based on their activity; for example, those who opened your email. MailChimp, on the other hand, comes with more advanced segmentation based on engagement data or custom insight. This includes sorting subscribers according to sign up source, location, and purchase behavior, among others.
Of course, crucial to any email marketing campaign is making sure your audience receives your message. In terms of overall deliverability, AWeber sees more of its messages end up in spam compared to MailChimp. Nonetheless, both services adhere to strict standards for sending and managing opt-in emails. AWeber, for instance, closely monitors user accounts and behavior to minimize unethical email campaigns. On the other hand, MailChimp employs Omnivore, an abuse-detecting program to identify spamming. Thanks to their industry-compliance, email deliverability will be quite reliable on both services.
Although AWeber offers more email templates, MailChimp is highly-customizable with sleeker designs and objective-specific layout.
Aside from the user-friendly interface of AWeber, you also get to choose from over 700 email templates to start your campaign. The designs come in a number of color schemes and layout, so there shouldn’t be a theme that doesn’t fit with your brand. If you’re not keen on any of the templates, AWeber does offer custom design service for a fee: $29 for template modification, and $299 if you’re building one from scratch.
MailChimp doesn’t offer as extensive a template catalogue as AWeber, but it does come with a high-level of customizability. From images to headers, layout to color schemes, you get more control over how your content is built on the platform. Moreover, the template and layout options are categorized according to your objective, like making an announcement, selling a product, or engaging with a customer.
On both services, you’ll be pleased to know emails are optimized for mobile. And if you don’t fancy any of the hundreds of templates on AWeber or MailChimp, you can opt for those designed by third-party websites instead.
AWeber has more intuitive controls and straightforward plans while MailChimp offers more powerful automation and customization features.
There is no doubt that AWeber and MailChimp are packed with the features you have come to expect from email marketing and automation platforms. As such, choosing between the two will come down to what your business needs.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use solution and also require a larger bandwidth for email sends per month, then AWeber is the better choice. It’s automation tools are not as solid as MailChimp, and its extensive email templates aren’t exactly the sleekest, but you will find setting up campaigns easier with its UX.
MailChimp, on the other hand, comes with highly-customizable designs that make them ideal for individuals or organizations who need to standout. And because it supports a larger subscriber list, it’s definitely a match for e-commerce publishers. Plus, you do get more advanced automation and segmentation tools. You just need to get past its often cumbersome interface.