Two Hour Blogger

On Marketing and Writing

7 Persuasive Reasons You Should Ditch Mailchimp and Go AWeber

image of a pitiful monkey

Try not to feel sorry for him

Abandoning a longterm relationship was never easier.

Once you know the truth, you’ll never look at Mailchimp in the eye again. Hold your mouse, I’m fixing to dump the facts right over your screen.

There’s heaps of misinformation about these critters. The common notion seems to be, Why leave a free service for a premium? After all, they’re created equal.

But don’t allow the nickels in your jeans to trick you: Aweber’s worth your mad money. If you have fourteen emails, it’s time to switch. Here are seven traits that distinguish AWeber from Mailchimp.

1. AWeber lets you send a broadcast out as soon as it’s published

This feature alone is worth the breakup, but there’s more. In case you’re wondering how it’s done, I’ve got you covered.

With Mailchimp, emails can go out once per day (assuming there’s new content). That’s splendid. Almost.

If you set it to send at 10:00AM and then publish an article at 10:01AM, you’ll wait 23 hours and 59 minutes for that email to go out.

Houston, we have a problem.

The AWeber labs are on top of you all hours morning and night. When you publish, they ship. Just ask Devin Hughes.

2. AWeber gives you the straight on which forms are hot

If you’re passionate about growing your list, you’ve got forms sprinkled all over your site, and it’s critical to know which ones are popular.

If some guru’s discovered a way to hack Mailchimp’s API into confessing which forms are hot, he’s kept it a good secret. But AWeber’s done the heavy lifting when it comes to revealing which forms convert the best. Just ask Derek Halpern.

3. AWeber emails come from the same email address each time, which means readers can add the address to their “safe sender” list

They’ll probably sue me over this one.

If you knew how many broadcasts went into spam because the “from” address changed every time in Mailchimp, you’d cry. This is the feature that finally tipped my BIG client into going AWeber.

Of course, most email clients make Mailchimp emails look like they’re coming from the same address … but they’re not. You won’t see the truth until you’re in Microsoft Outlook. Just ask Joe Hage.

4. AWeber gives you full control of the email experience

They give you gobs of templates, but they also give you the ability to tare it to the bones. Using your own custom HTML tables, you can code it from scratch.

Not so with Mailchimp. The only way to start from scratch is to select Plain Text, which doesn’t let you use any HTML (you start from scratch … and you end with scratch). See this? You can’t even use italics. Just ask Robert Bruce.

5. AWeber lets you show off the number of subscribers in Feedburner

If you initiate a blog broadcast, Feedburner will hear about it. It’ll dynamically pull the number into your total Feedburner subscribers count. If you have 300 RSS readers and 700 emails, Feedburner will show 1,000. Mailchimp won’t do that. They claim otherwise but it never works! Just ask James Chartrand.

6. AWeber lets you handle eBooks more smoothly

Let’s say you’re giving away an eBook. You promote it on your blog, but you also have signup forms that just say, “Sign up for updates” without talking about the ebook. If people subscribe and suddenly get an eBook, they’ll think, “Wait! I didn’t order that.” That’s a problem, but here’s a bigger one. Let’s say you’re giving away an eBook on some forms but a free Webinar replay on another. Which goodie do you send when people subscribe? If they’re expecting a webinar and get an eBook, they’ll not be happy.

AWeber’s got you covered with Automation (go to “my lists –> automation”). You can set up multiple lists with their own auto responder based on what the person wants, while automatically subscribing them to your master list (the list you actually send emails to). This is incredibly powerful because you can offer an infinite number of instantaneous freebies while funneling all the leads into the same list. Just ask Joe Hage.

7. AWeber has a phone number

They’re cool like that. Watch how vibrant their office lifestyle is.

I’ve called them numerous times on behalf of myself and clients, and they’ve always been unbelievably helpful and friendly. They even manually transferred my Mailchimp database into my AWeber account, so the transition was painless. Just ask Ricardo Bueno.

Well?

I’ve given you the facts.

What will do with them?

Go AWeber.

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47 Replies

  1. Brilliant comparison post – brutally honest! I like how you have shared things that not many people know about MailChimp like the different ‘sent from’ emails thing..

    I’ve been using Aweber for about 3 years and have never looked back.

    I tend to find that almost all decent marketers use Aweber or something better rather than mailchimp.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      I just remembered reason #8: Mailchimp doesn’t let you see how many people entered their email but never clicked the confirmation link.

      Thanks Suraj – glad you’re using AWeber!

  2. Great post, Martyn. I’ve been fighting myself over this but I haven’t made the switch yet.

    I did want to add a response to #2. You can find out which forms send the leads. You just add another field to your list entitled “Location” or whatever and add a hidden input to your form with name and id as “LOCATION” (or whatever merge tag you choose) and the value as the specific form location such as sidebar, footer, feature box, etc.

    I hope that helps those who are stubborn like me and thanks for making me unsure about my service again. ; )

    Bethany

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Well, look here! The gurus are coming out of the woods. :D (Actually, I should have known this. Might have to clarify the article now. Hrm.)

      So this hidden field would appear in a dedicated column at Mailchimp Lists –> Subscribers. Correct?

      1. I’m not a guru.. just a professional googler.

        Yep, It just adds a column with the location. Look under List/Settings/List Fields and Merge Tags. Unfortunately there are no statistics or charts from it (which I’m not sure if Aweber has either) but you could export your list and create something in Excel I suppose if you wanted a visual of your best forms.

        Anyway, glad to help!

  3. The one reason I’m still using Mailchimp: AWeber costs $19/month. :( I would love it if my emails were sent immediately though! Good job, you really laid down the facts. I’m switching as soon as the blog can afford it.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Money is the #1 issue people stay with Mailchimp.

      At some point you just have to jump. My blog doesn’t pay for all its expenses (my clients do). With Mailchimp, you’re leaving money on the table because of #3 and #8 (see my response to Suraj). It takes money to make money.

      1. True, but you wouldn’t have most of those clients if it weren’t for this blog, right? So it is paying for itself indirectly. I guess I might go for AWeber before my blog can pay for it passively, but I’m not ready to spend that kind of money before it’s gotten me anything and it’s not even three months old. See ya!

        1. Martyn Chamberlin

          Oh, and you’re using Mailchimp illegally. You have to be at least 18 years old: http://mailchimp.com/legal/terms/.

          I’m just giving you a hard time. ;)

  4. I actually just posted a comment last week asking for suggestions in my decision between the two, I ended up going with Mail Chimp because it’s free, and I’m just getting things set up, but you have persuaded me to changeover to Aweber in the near future.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Well, I feel badly that you’ll have to move house twice, but you’ll not regret it in the long run.

  5. Any suggestions for the best way to migrate a list from MailChimp to Aweber? I have Aweber for 2 of my lists, but have an older blog that I started off with MailChimp. I have over 500 subscribers and don’t want to force them to opt-in again.

    I’m completely with you on the delivery of ebooks being much easier with Aweber. I CONSTANTLY get emails from people who signed up for my MailChimp list and are having trouble downloading the PDF. It seems that pop-up blockers don’t like it so the less technically minded people (about 80% of the readership for that blog) can’t figure it out. Switching over to Aweber will save me the pain of answering all those technical emails!!

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Migrating that database from Mailchimp to AWeber is easier than most people think. Just email AWeber and tell them you want to transfer your list. They’ll ask for your Mailchimp login and ask you a few questions like (1) How did you obtain this list? (2) What kind of content are you planning on sending it? Once they’re satisfied, they’ll import everyone originally who double opted in.

      It only took me a few business days to get everything cleared. That was a little over a month ago, and I’ve no regrets.

  6. Martyn, This is a good suggestion. However, there are bloggers like me, who cannot afford the price Aweber charges unless I have a rock solid money making strategy from my list.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      If you’re wanting to turn your blog into a business … it’s time to start treating it like one. ;)

      1. Hear, hear! You’ve got to spend money to make money.

        Love,
        #BigClient who reluctantly switched but glad you persisted

        1. Martyn Chamberlin

          You’ll notice I linked to you TWICE in today’s article. After all, you’re my #BigClient.

  7. I’m currently back in the dark ages with Feedburner. Perhaps it’s time to step it up a notch. Great post, I’m gonna have to go check out AWeber

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Even your avatar’s in the dark ages (literally!). I agree, time to upgrade. ;)

  8. Very convincing post. However, I wanted to click through to 3 or 4 links in your content and it went to an Aweber error page. I was using my iPhone so I’m sure you’ll want to look into this. Not quite as convincing an email client when links don’t work on a common platform. Don’t worry though, I know this is just a tweak that can be fixed so I won’t hold it against Aweber ;)

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      You CANNOT be serious! I just checked all the links in today’s email and they all work fine. Do show me the link that doesn’t work!

  9. Nice work Martyn.

    Sometimes comparison tables don’t quite tell the full story. Nor are they as much fun to read.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Heh, we don’t do comparison tables around here. ;)

  10. Reason #8 that you didn’t mention is that all the big bloggers use AWeber. This says a lot about the quality of the product. I wonder what a list of top bloggers who use each service would look like…

  11. Hey, that’s really useful post, Martyn!

    One thing most people don’t get is that you can start on AWeber and then transfer to Mailchimp. But you can’t do it the other way around without asking your whole list to reconfirm. AWeber is really twitchy about importing other lists.

    There’s another reason for choosing aWeber: you can choose to use single optin instead of double optin.

    Experienced blogger Steve Aichison recently wrote a post about the way his list is growing like crazy because he’s now using single optin:

    The Great Email List Debate: Single Optin or Double Optin?
    http://alistblogmarketing.com/posts/the-great-debate-double-opt-in-or-single-opt-in/

    I use both aWeber and Mailchimp. Our main 11k list is on aWeber. But Leo Babauta and I run a continuity program, the A-List Blogger Club and we use Mailchimp to keep in touch with our members.

    The reason: we can insert the names and emails of new membes and just tick the box to say that the person asked to be added – without needing them to reconfirm.

    One thing really irks me in AWeber: you can’t combine lists – even if they are basically segments of the same overall target group … grrr.

    thanks again for this post
    Mary
    PS. I’m happy I subscribed to you :-D

  12. Ed Page

    Reason #9 (it’s a biggie)…

    It is against MailChimp’s Terms of Service to include affiliate links in your emails.

    Apparently if they catch you, you are immediately banned and *poof* your list is gone. To me that’s even more convincing of a reason to use Aweber (or another alternative) than the first seven combined.

    I am not an employee or affiliate of any email service. Another blogger tipped his readers off to this part of their ToS.

  13. Stellar Post Martyn

    I had been struggling with this dilemma, as to who is actually better, but never really had any concrete reasons why one is better than another. I have seen the light and will definitely sign up to Aweber instead of MailChimp.

  14. I’ve been using Aweber for quite some time now. This post was good just for learning more about mailchimp, though.

    But what’s the deal with all the “just ask this guy,” “just ask that guy” or “just ask someone else” stuff? You were doing it so much I think it started detracting from your article. It’s my first time here on your blog and I started thinking all this “just ask so-and-so” stuff every few lines was getting ridiculous. No offense, just my opinion.

  15. Martyn, when I joined your list a couple of months back, I’ll swear your opt-in confirmation email came from Aweber, then the emailed blog posts came from MailChimp. I thought you must have been moving from Aweber to MailChimp!

    Anyway, my fledgling list is doing okay with MailChimp. Your convincing argument, however, means I’ll consider migrating to Aweber in the future.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Actually, a few months ago I switched from Mailchimp to AWeber. Anyone who does it the other way around must be half crazy. :P

      Glad you like the changes to the site! Let me know when you’ve switched to AWeber.

  16. By the way, I forgot to say I like the changes you’ve been making to the layout and look of your site!

  17. I use Alpha – http://alpha.76uk.com. Great looking, easy to use and best of all.. it’s much cheaper! JR

  18. You said:

    “If you have 300 RSS readers and 700 emails, Feedburner will show 1,000. Mailchimp won’t do that. They claim otherwise but it never works! Just ask James Chartrand.”

    I am having problems with this, and I clicked over to James Chartrand, but could not find any post or information about this issue. Can you provide a direct link or more information?

    Thanks!

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Hi Jeremy,

      James hasn’t written an actual article. You’d have to contact her on Twitter or email, and she’d be more than happy to explain. Basically, Feedburner shows AWeber subscribers but not Mailchimp subscribers, so if you’re dynamically showing your Feedburner subscriber count on your site, it’s WAY better going with AWeber.

  19. Thanks for the comparison. Presently I will like to stick with Feedburner. May choose Aweber later on over MailChimp.

  20. Your point #4 is inaccurate. I’m a long time MailChimp user and am very happy with the platform. As long as I’ve been a user I’ve had the ability to paste in my own HTML code. In fact, anyone with HTML and CSS skills can easily code their own templates with MailChimp’s editable template language so that it could be used inside the MailChimp editor…a handy way to develop custom templates for the non tech-savvy customer. Of course they too offer a plethora of simple editable or canned designer templates. Many of these templates also support Media Query for a better mobile viewing experience.

  21. Awesome. You just made me want to go Aweber.

    This site’s design, by the way, is one of the crispiest and smoothest looking I’ve ever seen. Awesome.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      That’s super, Regev! I’m glad you’ve made the switch to AWeber.

      Really appreciate the compliment too. I just wish my site were ugly in your eyes — that would mean the web standards are where I wish they were!

  22. Several of your points are not valid

    1: Only a problem if you WANT to do this, if you are not a pro blogger, then this is not even an issue!
    2.You can determine where your visitors signed up: http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/can-i-set-up-my-signup-form-so-that-i-can-see-where-my-recipients-signed-up
    3. The “from email” problem is only an issue in Outlook because it doesnt handle it the way everyone else does (what a surprise from a Microsoft product!) , but there is a workaround for your users full details are here: http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/my-from-name-is-changing-causing-the-email-to-go-into-the-junk-folder
    4: they do have an HTML editor, so you can do what you want!
    http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/can-i-provide-my-own-html-for-a-campaign
    5: maybe you are right, but again unless you are a pro-blogger it doesn’t really matter
    6: Ok, so if you use the method from #2 above and set a separate field so you can define which signup form they used, then you can send a different autoresponder depending on which form they used to signup. OK so there is the small problem that the soonest you can send it is 1 day after signup – I will give you this one as a freebie “problem” with mailchimp
    7: Oooo a phone number, well fair enough, but mailchimp does have a live chat option, which in my opinion is just as good, if not better than a phone number! not least as any one operator can actually handle more than one conversation at the same time and can type in URL’s for you to go to , or cut and paste code for you etc…

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Guess my article was more passion than precision. Thanks for pointing these things out.

      Still, I think AWeber is better.

  23. I’ve been second guessing my decision to move from Constant Contact to Aweber and wondering if MailChimp wasn’t the better option. This straight talking article has put my mind to rest. Thank you!

  24. is it easy to move your leads from mailchimp to aweber?

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Hi Andrew,

      Yes and no. It depends on how you obtained your leads in Mailchimp. AWeber is very strict about having your leads double opt in. If you required this in Mailchimp, then the AWeber staff will handle this for you. However, if you did require this, then you’ll need to email all of the subscribers individually.

      Since I’m a programmer I’ve thought of a geeky (evil) workaround. It works like this:

      1. Create an AWeber list that doesn’t require double opt in.
      2. Use AWeber’s automation tool to automatically subscribe anyone in this list to your lists that do require double opt in
      3. Export the Mailchimp into a MySQL database.
      4. Each time someone queries a page on your site, take advantage of their unique IP address by submitting 5 email addresses from this MySQL database into the AWeber list. Alternatively, you could use multiple proxy servers to fake the IP address, but this gets trickier.

      If you’re adventurous, this would work too. :)

  25. I liked the review of these two autoresponders. I used MailChimp for more than 3 months, and I switched to Aweber, because I realized I do not allow affiliate marketing. And I watched all the advantages you mention in this article. So far I am satisfied with Aweber. Greetings.

  26. YO Martyn!! This article kicks butt dude.

    I am a total newbie…brand new to blogging. I am graduating high school next month. So I’m a noob.

    But thanks for providing this cool article, cause I wasn’t sure which service to choose between

    Thanks!

  27. Hi Martyn,

    thank you for your insight of both platform. Currently, I’m still using MailChimp to handle my subscribers. I never tried aweber so I don’t know what benefits of using it. But now I know it from you.

    Probably, in the future, I will try to use Aweber and test it a little while to make sure the migration is worthed. Hehe.

  28. This Article is outdated at least since I have been using mailchimp (maybe 2Years now) except for #5 which I don’t care about and never researched
    #1 is not true exactly, you can send whenever you need to, manually at least
    #4 is just plain nonsense, you can do complete html from scratch
    About #9, watch this: http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/does-mailchimp-ban-affiliate-links
    I just added this here because people still consider it worthwile reading and following your advice.