Welcome to the email marketing software comparison. Today we're letting the two email giants go head to head.
A year or so ago I changed from Mailchimp to AWeber and I thought that it would be interesting to compare my experiences with these two email marketing software companies.
If you're not already using email marketing your blog or website I highly recommend you do so. Building an email list is one of the best ways to make money with your blog.
Because you're attracting a group of people who are giving you permission to contact them directly meaning you expand your reach, build trust and your website brand.
You can then send specific information to your targeted audience about the services and products you offer. Email marketing is the number way, in my view, for bloggers to build personal connections and trust with their readers.
Any good online entrepreneur recognises the enormous potential that email marketing can open up in terms of turning casual readers into loyal subscribers who value your opinion within your chosen area and are ready to purchase something you recommend.
Starting an email list and getting opt ins is not as hard as you might think. The first step is to offer your readers something in return for their email address. After that, just make your emails super useful so that they want to click open every time an email pops into their inbox.
With AWeber you can write a bunch of emails that get sent out in order to everyone who joins your list.
Whether you want to promote your latest blog posts and recommend certain products or services that will seriously help your readers – building a list of email subscribers is the best way to do this.
So now let’s take a look at the two biggest players in the email marketing software industry: AWeber and MailChimp.
There's a constant debate amongst blogger and website owners about which email marketing software company to use.
So, for what it's worth, let me wade in with what I think, based on my own experiences of the two.
A quick comparison
AWeber has been around since 2001 and to date have more than 120,000 customers using their software.
They provide you with easily customisable opt-in forms to collect email addresses, ways to organise your subscribers into lists, autoresponder software to scheduel emails and valuable tracking data.
You can also track the percentage of subscribers opening your emails and clicks on links. AWeber has fantastic customer support with it's 24 hour live chat.
AWeber offer a 30 day free trial, and a layered pricing structure depending on the number of subscribers you have.
MailChimp was founded in 2001 and claims to have 7 million+ users and sends over 500 million emails a day.
Just like AWeber, MailChimp has gives you the measn fo colelcting email addresses through custom forms and has the same tracking abilities.
The reason MailChip are so popular is that it's free to start with them and you only start paying once you reach the 2000 subscriber mark. The only downside is if you choose to move to another email marketing service provider, there's no way of transfering your email subscribers across.
Okay, so now let's look at pricing, what the differences are between MailChip and AWeber and take a look at both their pros and cons.
How much do they cost?
Since they both offer very similiar services, let's take a look at their pricing structures to find out which one represents the best value for money:
If you're a beginner to email marketing and are starting from scratch MailChimp is free until you hit 2,000 email subscribers or have sent less than 12,000 emails in total.
The great thing about this is you don't need to give them any credit card details until you reach these milestones. And whilst you might not get the full premium features, you do get the ability to start building your list and launch your first email marketing campaigns.
AWeber offers a 30 day free trial followed by $10 a month for up to 2,500 subscribers. What's the difference in the service offered?
With AWeber you get award-winning customer support and autoresponders, but you have a lot more options when it comes to creating your opt-in forms with over 700+ form templates to choose from.
Ease of use – creating your opt in forms and emails
With both AWeber and MailChimp it's easy to create emails and add them to your autoresponder sequence and simple enough to create a beautiful looking opt-in forms.
Personally, I find AWeber easier to use (this may be because I've used them for a while so I'm used to it) but I think they're better for beginners purely because of the huge amount of done-for-you templates you can choose from (over 700).
It's easy to customise your emails and web forms, simply adjust the layout, font, colour, images as you wish.
When I choose to switch from MailChimp to Aweber, cost was of course a factor, but I also wanted more control, more flexibility over the design of my emails and web forms.
Overall, I feel AWeber gives me more options, it's user-friendly and easy to use.
Every emailing marketing software company will offer an autoresponder service – an automated list of emails which are sent out to your email subscribers once they sign up.
You can choose the time intervals of when you want your emails to be sent out and you can send a spontaneous email (broadcast email) at any time you like if you have a special promotion or important news update you need to send to your readers.
When a website visitor opts in via your web form and decides they want to receive your emails – it's good practice to send an initial thank you email and follow them up with a list of emails that offer useful and high value content.
Exactly what you send out will, of course, depend on what niche you are in and what your website is about.
At TheMakeMoneyOnlineBlog.com I offer a free 7 Day Email Course on how to make money online where I go through the steps to building an online business.
Many bloggers use their email lists to keep people up to date with their recent blog posts.
Both AWeber and MailChimp give you the ability to create emails and add them to your autoresponder sequences. They both give you the option of when you want your emails to be sent and in what order and they both give you stats on email opens and click through rates.
The whole purpose of an email marketing campaign is to get your message in front of your readers, that's the whole point of email marketing right?
What most people don't realise is that both AWeber and MailChimp have built up a track record with companies like Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail.
Basically, the better the track record, the higher the chances of youe emails ending up in your subscriber's inbox instead of their spam folder.
As far as I can tell, AWeber have a 99% deliverability rate and MailChip have a 96-99% deliverability rate so both pretty good.
Checking your stats
As any affiliate or niche marketer knows, the ability to track your opening and CTR stats is critical to the success of your email marketing campaigns.
It gives you the ability to split test, find out what makes your readers tick, what types of emails perform better and so on.
AWeber have a feature where you can track leads and sales and it's really easy to see who has unsubscribed and via which email so you can adjust your autoresponder series accordingly.
Personally I think split testing is easier with MailChimp than AWeber.
This is where AWeber really shines.
As an email marketing beginner or experienced pro, there are always those times you need a question answered quickly. It could be you're struggling to get an opt-in form just the way you want it or you've got a billing query, the important thing is to be able to get support when you need it.
The only support you get with MailChimp is a contact form that won't get replied to for 2-3 days, whilst you can contact AWeber by calling them directly, sending a email or through their live web chat.
I have to say, every time I've reached out to AWebers support team, they've always given me an expert reply and fast.
For me and my online businesses, when I need help I need it now. Waiting around for a response isn’t really an option, especially if it's an urgent issue.
AWeber recognise this and are always winning customer service awards, like in 2016 when they were awarded gold for ‘Contact Center of the Year'.
Where both email marketing software companies excel is with their helpful how-to videos and step by step tutorials.
Using Your Email Marketing With Affiliate Marketing
If you're wanting to use email marketing to support your affiliate marketing efforts, the chances are your emails will contain links to your own website affiliate links to third party offers.
For some reason, MailChimp really don't liek affiliate links and there are tons of complaints online by users saying their accounts were completely shut down without warning.
Honestly, this alone is enough to put me off using MailChimp in the long-term.
Linking Your Email Marketing With Social Media
Both AWeber and MailChimp are always trying to innovate to make their services better for their service users.
They're both now looking seriously at social media and how bloggers and website owners can expand their reach through sites like Twitter and Facebook.
AWeber now even has an app so you can create emails and check your latest stats when you're on the go. As of 2016, thenew AWeber app feature gives you the ability to send texts out to your subscribers (if you have their numbers of course).
The Email Marketing Software Comparison – The Final Verdict
When choosing which email marketing company to sign up to, it's important to think about what you need to take your business to the next level, not just now but into the near future.
While you maybe be a newbie to making money online and while may only have a few email subscribers now and could perhaps get away with using the basic, free service from MailChimp, I'm not sure that you’d be happy with their prices and service as you grow.
This is ultimately why I decided to switch from MailChimp and take AWeber up on their 30 day free trial.
It’s very easy to set up an account and an email campaign using either email marketing software company, but less easy to switch later down the line (although not impossible).
Taking into account the harsh restrictions MailChimp put on the use of affiliate links and how difficult it is to contact them, I have to give it AWeber.
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Agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you. Ever used MailChimp or AWeber? Which email marketing software company would you choose? Share your own experiences in the comments below.
Simon Crowe is the founder and editor of The Make Money Online Blog on a mission to help as many people as possible kiss their bosses goodbye.
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