Mailchimp vs Aweber — Which is Best?

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Mailchimp vs Aweber

In this Mailchimp vs Aweber comparison, I’m going to look at two of the best-known email marketing solutions currently available — and help you work out which one is the best fit for your business.

Read on to get a full overview of both Mailchimp and Aweber’s feature set and exactly why — and when — you might decide to use one of these tools over the other.

Let’s start off by taking a look at the key things that Aweber and Mailchimp let you do.


What do Aweber and Mailchimp actually do?

Aweber and Mailchimp are tools that allow you to:

  • import and host a mailing list and capture data onto it using sign-up forms

  • create newsletters that can be sent to your subscribers

  • automate your messaging to subscribers via use of email autoresponders

  • review statistics related to your email marketing campaigns – open rate, click through, forwards etc.

…and much else besides.

But how much does this functionality cost?


Pricing

Aweber pricing

There are two types of plan available in Aweber: ‘Free’ and ‘Pro.’

The free plan allows you to use most of the features of Aweber, so long as your list is 500 or less subscribers in size. You can access this here.

With regard to Aweber Pro, the costs for using it are as follows:

  • Hosting and emailing a list containing up to 500 subscribers: $19 per month

  • 501 to 2,500 subscribers: $29.99 per month

  • 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $49.99 per month

  • 5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $69.99 per month

  • 10,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $149.99 per month

If your list contains over 25,000 subscribers, you will need to call Aweber for a quotation.

Aweber pricing
Aweber pricing

Mailchimp pricing

There are four Mailchimp plans, each with a very different set of features, and the cost of using each depends on how many records you have.

They are:

  • Free

  • Essential — from $9.99 per month

  • Standard — from $14.99 per month

  • Premium — from $299.99 per month

The key differences between the Mailchimp tiers involve:

  • T

    he maximum number of subscribers you can have on your list — up to 2k on the free plan, 50k on ‘Essentials,’ 100k on ‘Standard’

    and 200,000+ on ‘Premium.’
  • A

    ccount users — the free plan limits you to 1; ‘Essentials’ to 3; ‘Standard’ to 5 (the ‘Premium’ plan places no limits on these)

  • Send limits — the number of messages you can send varies depending on the plan you’re on (from 10k on the free plan up to 3m on the Premium plan)

  • Customer journey automation — this is only available on the ‘Standard’ plan or higher
  • Support — you can only avail of this fully on paid plans

    (the free plan does provide support but it is limited to the first 30 days of account usage)
  • Advanced segmentation — this is only available on the ‘Premium’ plan

  • Reporting — the most advanced reporting features are only available on the ‘Premium’ plan

  • A/B testing — this only available on paid plans

  • Advanced split testing — this is only available on the ‘Premium’ plan.

Mailchimp pricing
Mailchimp pricing

An interesting option for users who mail their databases relatively infrequently is Mailchimp’s ‘Pay as You Go’ plan, where you pay a set fee per email sent.

Exact pricing varies by territory, and the functionality you get is the same as that provided on the ‘Essentials’ plan.

The pay-as-you-go model won’t be for everyone, but it’s potentially useful for users who are not interested in making use of autoresponders and only wish to send ad hoc, one-off blasts.

A similar pay-as-you-go option is not currently available in Aweber.

So which works out cheaper?

If your only purpose of using an email marketing tool is to send occasional newsletters to a reasonably small database, then Mailchimp lets you do this a bit cheaper than Aweber, via its ‘Essentials’ plan.

You won’t be able to use advanced email automation on it, or code your own templates, but it will let you carry out basic email marketing perfectly well.

However, once you exceed 5,000 subscribers, Aweber becomes the more cost-effective option.

Send limits in Mailchimp

Unlike Aweber — which allows you to send an unlimited number of emails per month — Mailchimp now caps the number of e-newsletters you can send every month.

These limits vary according to plan, but if you have a lot of autoresponder cycles going on, or send a lot of ad hoc email blasts, you will need to bear them in mind — especially if you are on the ‘Essential’ plan, which features considerably lower send limits than all the other Mailchimp plans.

Of course, you could theoretically use either product for free — so let’s take a quick look at the free plans on offer from Aweber and Mailchimp.


Free plans

The Mailchimp ‘Free’ plan is one of the strongest reasons why you might want to choose Mailchimp as an email marketing solution: it lets you send e-newsletters to a mailing list containing 2,000 contacts entirely for free.

However, there are some important things to be aware of with regard to this plan:

  • it is ad-supported, with the Mailchimp logo being added to your footer

  • you can’t automate your e-newsletters via autoresponders

  • split testing is not available

  • it only allows you to use a few ‘plain’ templates

  • you can’t use custom-coded templates with it

  • no support is included.

Aweber free plan

Perhaps in a bid to compete with Mailchimp, Aweber recently introduced an entirely free plan too.

This manages to be both less generous AND more generous than the Mailchimp plan.

It’s more generous because with the exception of a couple of features (notably split testing and abandoned cart emails), you get access to the bulk of Aweber’s functionality entirely free.

Mailchimp’s free plan, as discussed above, restricts functionality to a few core features.

Aweber is less generous in that the free plan only works if your list is 500 contacts or less in size; this compares rather negatively with Mailchimp’s 2000 limit.

Like Mailchimp, Aweber’s free plan features is ad-supported, but the branding is pretty subtle.

You can try the free Aweber plan out here.

Something to watch out for — subscriber count

There is something rather sneaky in both the Mailchimp and Aweber pricing structures: both platforms include unsubscribed contacts when calculating your list size.

So, for example, if you have 1,000 active subscribers, and 200 unsubscribed contacts in your account, both Mailchimp and Aweber will consider you to have a list containing 1,200 subscribers — and charge you accordingly.

Other leading competing email marketing solutions, such as Getresponse, only charge for hosting active subscribers.

Granted, you can always delete the unsubscribed contacts, but this means remembering to do it — and unnecessary work.


Autoresponders and marketing automation in Mailchimp and Aweber

Autoresponders are e-newsletters that are sent to your mailing list subscribers at pre-defined intervals.

For example, you can set them up so that straight after somebody signs up to your list, they receive a welcome or ‘onboarding’ message from your business; a week later they could receive a promo code for specific products; two weeks later they could receive an encouragement to follow you on social media.

And so on!

The idea behind autoresponders is that much of your email marketing gets automated – it’s a sort of ‘set and forget’ scenario that saves you the bother sending out e-newsletters manually (although you can still of course do this as and when required).

Both Mailchimp and Aweber allow you to create simple ‘time-based’ autoresponders — a series of emails based on time intervals (as discussed above).

I’d argue that for this kind of autoresponder, Aweber makes things a bit easier — setting up automation in Mailchimp can be slightly fiddly (as there are more options to wade through) whereas Aweber’s ‘Campaigns’ tool, which is used to create your autoresponder workflow, is very easy to use.

However, to properly compare Mailchimp and Aweber’s autoresponder functionality, we need to look beyond traditional ‘drip’ style autoresponders and look more closely at the idea of marketing automation, something that has been introduced into many email marketing solutions over the past couple of years.

Marketing automation works in a similar way to autoresponders, in that emails are automatically sent to a mailing list according to a predefined sequence.

But instead of time intervals, user behaviour is used to determine what should emails should be sent next — opens, clicks, goal completions, purchases, abandoned carts and more can all be used to trigger the next e-newsletter. 

The journey builder tool in Mailchimp
Mailchimp’s customer journey builder tool

As things stand, Mailchimp offers significantly more functionality when it comes to marketing automation: you can use its sophisticated ‘customer journey’ tool to create a series of messages that are sent on an ‘if this then that’ basis.

Aweber’s marketing automation feature, ‘Aweber Campaigns,’ is currently far more basic in nature — you can only use tags and clicks to create automated user journeys with it.

Automation in Aweber
Automation in Aweber

As an aside, I would argue that both products a bit behind their rival Getresponse in the marketing automation stakes (especially Aweber).

Marketing automation in Getresponse
Marketing automation in Getresponse

This is because Getresponse now bundles e-commerce functionality, ‘conversion funnels’ and webinar hosting into its plans, and you can integrate marketing automation with all three. You can find out more about all this here.

As discussed above, a key thing to be aware of if you are hoping to create autoresponders with either Mailchimp or Aweber is that the customer journey feature is only available on the more expensive Mailchimp plans — ‘Standard’ or higher.

And using Mailchimp’s ‘Standard’ typically plan works out $20 to $80 more expensive per month than the Aweber equivalent.

To be fair, you’ll get more advanced autoresponder functionality for this, but if all you’re looking for a tool to send simple e-newsletters or create a basic drip campaign, Aweber works out considerably cheaper.

Now, let’s move onto the visual side of things.

Did you know?

Both Aweber and Mailchimp be tried out for free. Just follow the links below to get started:


Templates

Both Aweber and Mailchimp offer a wide range of e-newsletter templates, which are designed to suit many different applications and organisation types — e-commerce, events, sports, education and so on.

Aweber offers far more templates than Mailchimp, however — around 700 to 80 respectively.

With both systems you can tweak the templates extensively, and indeed code your own, so users of both platforms should be able to settle on a template which works for their business without too much difficulty.

However, and as mentioned above, you’ll pay a premium to do so with Mailchimp.

All the email templates provided by both products are responsive, meaning that they will automatically resize themselves to suit the device your e-newsletter is being viewed on.

A ‘preview’ mode is also available for both Mailchimp and Aweber which allows you to see how your e-newsletter will look on a mobile device.

In terms of quality, I’d argue that some of Mailchimp’s templates look a bit more contemporary than Aweber’s. But there’s not a huge amount in it.

One of Aweber's more contemporary templates.
One of Aweber’s more contemporary templates.

Web fonts in Mailchimp and Aweber

Both Mailchimp and Aweber now allow you to make use of web fonts — something which not all other leading email marketing apps let you do (many tend to restrict you to more boring fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and so on).

Web fonts are useful because they can improve the look and feel of e-newsletter considerably; and depending on the typefaces you use on your website, may help you achieve a greater brand consistency between your site and your e-newsletters.

Both Mailchimp and Aweber allow you to make use of the following web fonts:

  • Arvo

  • Lato

  • Lora

  • Merriweather

  • Merriweather Sans

  • Noticia Text

  • Open Sans

  • Playfair Display

  • Roboto

  • Source Sans Pro

So if you use any of the above on your website, you’re in luck — you can add them to your e-newsletters too and keep the branding consistency tight.

Aweber gives you one additional typeface, ‘Permanent Marker,’ a brash font which is something of an acquired taste — but potentially handy to have in your design arsenal nonetheless.

So a slight win for Aweber here.

My hope is that at some point the range of fonts available in both Mailchimp and Aweber will be expanded somewhat, as the above selection is a little bit on the dull side, but a general thumbs up to both products for allowing users to make use of web fonts in e-newsletters; not all competing products do.

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AMP for email in Mailchimp and Aweber

An area where Aweber has an edge over Mailchimp — and indeed most other email marketing platforms —involves something called AMP for email.

In the past, e-newsletters have been very static affairs — a simple combination of text and images.

AMP for Email changes all that by making it possible for recipients to take actions (like booking an appointment or RSVP-ing to an event) directly within the email — i.e., without leaving their email program and without visiting an external website.

It also allows the senders of an email to insert live, dynamic content into it — think survey results, weather updates, football scores etc.

This ‘dynamic’ nature of AMP e-newsletters gives recipients a reason to return to them from time to time — turning emails into much more powerful and engaging pieces of content.

The below video from Google about AMP for email is worth checking out.


The Aweber and Mailchimp interfaces

Aweber takes quite a traditional approach to its user interface — when you log in, you encounter a horizontal primary navigation bar containing all the key options.

The Aweber interface.
The Aweber interface uses a traditional-style menu.

Hovering over these menu items then reveals sub-menus that let you ‘get at’ important secondary options (for example, email templates, import options and statistics).

Mailchimp’s interface is more ‘funky’, with icons on the left that when clicked on bring up features or data on the right.

Mailchimp interface icons
Mailchimp interface icons

The two interfaces also differ when it comes to font size and use of white space: Mailchimp uses really big typefaces and lots of white space.

Whilst aesthetically this makes for a ‘cleaner’ and more attractive user interface, in my experience it also means a lot more clicking and scrolling about the place to find what you’re looking for.

And the icons used in Mailchimp’s main menu means that there’s a bit of guesswork as to what they represent involved.

With Aweber, by contrast, all the important options are easily identifiable the moment you log in.

So despite the fact that the Mailchimp interface is undoubtedly prettier, actually locating key functionality is arguably a bit harder to do.

On aspect of Mailchimp’s interface that I do really like however is its content studio — a place where you can upload assets (images, files and so on) to the platform which can then be incorporated into emails really easily as you create campaign.

The bottom line on interfaces is that you’ll probably be fine with either. If working in a contemporary online environment is important to you, you’ll prefer Mailchimp’s; if you’re a fan of traditional menus, you’ll prefer Aweber.


Opt-in processes in Aweber and Mailchimp

There are two ways you can add subscribers to a mailing list: using a ‘single opt-in’ or a ‘double opt-in’ process.

When you use a single opt-in process, the person completing your sign-up form is added to your mailing list immediately.

With a double opt-in process, the person signing up to your list is sent an email containing a confirmation link that he or she must click before they are subscribed.

The main benefits of a single opt-in process are that

  • it makes it easy for users to subscribe

  • it generally improves conversion rates and leads to more people joining your list

 A double opt-in process is better for

  • keeping ‘spam’ and ‘fake’ email addresses to a minimum (because everybody on the list has to prove that their email addresses are real)

  • improving the accuracy of reports (because open rates are based on the actions of subscribers with real email addresses, not a bunch of fake emails).

For some time, Aweber had a big edge over Mailchimp in this area, because it allowed users to make use of either a single or a double opt-in approach.

Mailchimp eventually changed its tune however, allowing its customers to use a single opt-in approach, because the company found that 61% of users completing double opt in data capture forms were not completing their sign up process.

So a thumbs up to both products for the flexibility in this area. Not all competing products provide single opt-in functionality, so it’s great to see both Aweber and Mailchimp doing so.


Data segmentation

A key part of managing a mailing list involves creating segments and sending e-newsletters to them.

Both Mailchimp and Aweber allow you to create segments based on your preferred criteria — but what they don’t do is let you send to multiple segments at once.

Aweber vs
Neither Aweber nor Mailchimp lets you send to multiple segments at once.

For example, say you’re a Volkswagen dealer with a mailing list containing a field called ‘car model.’ You’ve used field this to segment your mailing list neatly into the owners of VW Polos, Golfs, Passats, Tiguans etc. You have a special offer which is relevant to Polo and Golf owners, and you want to send this message to those two segments in one go.

But with Mailchimp’s entry level plan and Aweber…you can’t. You’ll have to go and create a brand new segment for people who own Polos OR Golfs.

Now, this might not seem like a serious problem, but if you regularly need to send mailouts to multiple (and varying) segments of subscribers then you will potentially have more work to do than you might like.

If segmentation is a very important aspect of how you manage your mailouts, then I’d probably look elsewhere for an email marketing solution. The two products I’ve come across which cater best for emailing multiple segments (and indeed lists) are Getresponse and Campaign Monitor.

To be fair, you can get some advanced segmentation functionality with Mailchimp — but at a price (you’ll need to be on the prohibitively expensive Mailchimp ‘Premium’ plan, which starts at a whopping $299 per month!).

If you’ve got the budget for it though, you can find out more about advanced segmentation in Mailchimp here

Finally, Aweber allows you to send e-newsletters across multiple lists — Mailchimp doesn’t. Although it’s usually better to use one list and segment it properly, there are occasions where you might need to broadcast e-newsletters across a variety of individual lists.

Overall, it’s a bit of a win here for Aweber, due to the fact that the product allows you to send emails to multiple lists. But both products could do rather better here.


Nice touches in Aweber: stock images and a Canva integration

One nice feature in Aweber which isn’t currently available in Mailchimp is a free stock images library.

You can use this to insert royalty-free photography into your e-newsletters — this is handy for all those times you need a generic looking picture of a computer keyboard to use as a thumbnail!

Mailchimp users can still avail of free stock photography for their e-newsletters of course; they’ll just have to source it from a royalty free photo site like Unsplash or Pexels.

A related Aweber feature which is worth flagging up is its new integration with the popular graphic design tool Canva. This lets you create Canva designs without ever leaving the Aweber interface — and insert the results into the e-newsletters you create with Aweber.

The below video gives an overview of how this integration works.


Split testing

An important feature of email marketing tools like Aweber and Mailchimp is split testing.

This allows you to try out different subject headers or content on sample data to see which works best.

For example, you could send two versions of your e-newsletter to 10% of your subscribers, analyse the results (i.e., open / clickthrough rates) and send out the best-performing version to the remainder of people on your list.

If you have a large mailing list, use of split testing can lead to significant improvements to your open and clickthrough rates. So, many email marketing tools automate the process for you.

On the ‘Essential’ and ‘Standard’ Mailchimp plan — the ones that are broadly comparable to Aweber in price — you can test 3 different versions of your emails against each other. You can involve one variable in these tests: subject line, name, content or send time.

More sophisticated split testing options are available in Mailchimp if you’re prepared to pay for them — subscribers to Mailchimp’s ‘Premium’ plan can test 8 variants of e-newsletters against each other (and using multiple variables at once — sender, subject header, content etc.).

This is undoubtedly useful, but as this will cost you a small fortune every month ($299+), it’s probably going to be a feature that only large organisations, with correspondingly large budgets, will avail of.

Aweber also lets you test 3 versions of your newsletters against each other — but importantly, there are no restrictions on what you can test. You can simply put 3 e-newsletters head to head — testing content, subject headers, sender names etc. against each other all at once.

So on balance, when it comes to split testing, it’s a win for Aweber.


RSS to e-newsletter

Both platforms allow you to send out e-newsletters automatically based on an updated RSS feed. In Mailchimp, you can use any template to do so, but with Aweber, you’re restricted to using a set of rather dated, hard-to-edit templates.

This has negative implications for the consistency of your branding across your communications — you might spend some time, for example, creating a slick template in Aweber for your e-newsletters only to find that you can’t use it for broadcasting blog posts.


Landing pages

Landing pages — also known as ‘squeeze pages’ — are web pages that are designed with just one goal in mind: data capture.

They typically consist of a form, some attractive images and a small amount of text spelling out the benefit of submitting your email address.

Aweber’s landing page builder
Aweber’s landing page builder

Landing pages capture data more effectively than forms placed on regular websites, simply because there’s less elements on view to distract users from entering their data — no navigation, offers or content to take attention away from a sign-up form are usually present.

Both Mailchimp and Aweber recently introduced landing pages as a new feature — you can now use both platforms to design simple landing pages which can be used in conjunction with advertising campaigns.

Aweber and Mailchimp’s offering in this regard is a bit limited by comparsion to the likes of dedicated landing page products Instapage or Unbounce however.

Mailchimp landing page example
Mailchimp landing page example

This is because they don’t facilitate A/B testing, where variants of the landing pages are shown to a sample of users, with the highest-converting ones being automatically rolled out.

Mailchimp’s landing pages do let you view analytics on the performance of your landing pages however, allowing you to perform manual tests and make your own decisions regarding which landing pages are performing best. This does add value to proceedings.

Aweber doesn’t seem to offer a similar set of statistics for landing pages (you’ll have to manually track hits and conversions using Google Analytics), meaning Mailchimp has the edge here.

Tip: if landing pages are very important to your business, we’d suggest taking a look at Getresponse, which offers landing pages that offer much more comprehensive split testing functionality. Read more about Getresponse’s landing pages here.


Reporting

Both Aweber and Mailchimp provide you with detailed statistics on the performance of your mailouts with — in my view — Mailchimp having the better reporting interface and one that is more feature packed.

It’s laid out in a way that makes drilling down into particular bits of data very straightforward — you can view e-newsletter results by activity (opens and clicks etc.), URLs clicked, social activity, e-commerce, conversations and Google Analytics.

There are two particularly nifty features in Mailchimp that are worth singling out for attention:

  • a ‘member rating’ system – Mailchimp reviews how engaged each member of your mailing list is (based on opens, clicks and purchases) and assigns them a member rating (using a five point scale). This allows you to identify particularly ‘good’ members of your mailing list easily and craft specific communications for them.

  • the option to compare your list’s performance against industry standards (i.e., you tell Mailchimp what sort of business you’re operating and it will compare your stats against campaigns by similar businesses).

Reporting in Mailchimp
Reporting in Mailchimp

Aweber is not without its strong features when it comes to reporting either however, and I particularly like the way that you can create segments directly from reports (i.e., you can look at a report for a particular e-newsletter broadcast, go to a list of people who’ve opened that email, and target them with a new communication on the spot).

This is not easily doable in Mailchimp: to create a segment of subscribers based on clickthroughs or open rates, you need to open your report, export a list of the relevant subscribers, and then re-import it (making sure that there is a field which flags the fact that these subscribers have engaged with the mailout). Messy!

However, Mailchimp does surface contacts (on its ‘Audience’ dashboard) who generally engage often, occasionally and seldom with your emails, and provides an easy way to retarget them.


Integrations

Aweber and Mailchimp both integrate with important e-commerce and social platforms — key examples include BigCommerce, Paypal and Facebook.

Aweber offers more integrations however: around 800 to Mailchimp’s 290 or so.

Mailchimp is more of an industry standard tool than Aweber, however, so some important services — key examples being Squarespace and Facebook— will offer Mailchimp as a built-in, ‘works out of the box’ email marketing integration.

One exception here is Shopify. Due to a dispute over data protection there’s no longer an official integration between Mailchimp and Shopify — workarounds exist, however.

When it comes to Facebook ads, Mailchimp is more tightly integrated with the platform. You can connect a Mailchimp list to Facebook, which will then automatically examine its addresses and show ads to anybody on your list who also has a Facebook account (this is called a ‘custom audience’).

Importantly, your Mailchimp list can be synced with your Facebook account, meaning that Facebook can automatically start showing the ads to any new subscribers (i.e., in addition to the people who were on your list when you connected your accounts).

Now, you can do this with a Aweber list too, but you will have to upload your list manually periodically to ensure that new subscribers continue to see your ads.

On top of this, you can actually run Facebook ad campaigns (and indeed Google ad campaigns) from within your Mailchimp account, so if you’re the kind of user who wants to manage everything in one place, you may find this useful.


Send time optimization

A good feature that is included in Mailchimp which is unfortunately not present in Aweber is ‘Send Time Optimization’.

Send time optimization is a sophisticated tool which automatically sends your e-newsletter at the time at which it is most likely to be opened.

This time is calculated by Mailchimp based on looking at when the subscribers on your list have previously opened mail — it can work this out based on looking at the campaigns you’ve previously sent and also by using data from campaigns sent by other Mailchimp users involving email addresses that are also present on your list.

As Mailchimp explains:

Since MailChimp has 4+ million users, we look globally at each email address’ engagement in deciding the best time to send to your list. Chances are the email addresses on your list receive email from other MailChimp users. That means that even if you’ve never sent to your list or only sent a few times, we can still provide a recommendation.

Mailchimp support

It’d be great if Aweber could consider adding this functionality, as it has the potential to significantly increase open rates.


Using different languages in Mailchimp and Aweber

For users wishing to provide versions of their confirmation emails and thank-you pages in different languages, Mailchimp is a better choice than Aweber, as it provides this functionality out of the box. 

Setting this up is a bit fiddly however, and involves creating different merge tags for each language.


Support

Aweber has the edge when it comes to support: you can get phone support, live chat and email support on all plans whereas on its more affordable plans, Mailchimp only provides email support — and only after you’ve been forced to search their website for an answer to your query first!

Phone support is available on the Mailchimp ‘Premium’ plan, but as discussed elsewhere in this review, ‘Premium’ really does mean premium: a cost of at least $299+ per month.

Aweber’s phone support is 8am-8pm ET, Monday to Friday, and its live chat / email support is available 24/7. The company has won several Stevie awards for their customer service over the past few years too, which speaks well for the quality of their support.

So if you are a complete novice to e-marketing, but don’t have the resource to hire somebody in to set your e-newsletter campaigns up, the availability of phone support for Aweber is something bear strongly in mind as an important advantage of using the platform.

Indeed, phone support is something of a USP for the product, given that many of of its leading competitors simply don’t offer it.

All in all then, a win in the support department for Aweber.


Alternatives to Mailchimp and Aweber

Before deciding conclusively on Mailchimp and Aweber, it’s worth taking a quick look at some alternatives:

Getresponse

As you’ve probably picked up on by now, for me, the obvious alternative to both Mailchimp and Aweber is Getresponse.

Depending on your list size, it will usually come in cheaper than both Mailchimp and Aweber (particularly if you pay upfront for a year or two years), and it’s feature packed (offering more sophisticated landing pages, webinars and e-commerce tools in addition to the features outlined above).

And it is much more flexible than either Mailchimp or Aweber when it comes to emailing segmented data and managing multiple lists. 

To help you get a sense of the differences between Getresponse, Aweber, and Mailchimp, you may find the following resources useful:

And you can try Getresponse free here.

Hubspot

Hubspot is a good choice for users who wish to tightly integrate their customer relationship management (CRM) with their email marketing; it’s also great for anybody who’s serious about tying both in with an inbound marketing campaign.

A generous free email marketing plan is available with Hubspot too — you can access this here.

Campaign Monitor

Another option is Campaign Monitor — this is a feature-rich tool which provides some very attractive templates (arguably best-in-class), along with strong functionality in the segmentation and marketing automation departments.

However, it’s extremely expensive by comparison to any of the other products under discussion here. Read our Campaign Monitor review for more information.

Mad Mimi

Mad Mimi is one of the cheapest email marketing tools available — but also one of the most basic.

It’s good for users who just want to send very simple e-newsletters or run basic drip campaigns and don’t have much in the way of a budget.

But it’s not in the same league as the other products under discussion in this comparison, especially Mailchimp and Getresponse. Check out our Mad Mimi review for more details.


Aweber vs Mailchimp: the verdict

Overall, both Awber and Mailchimp are solid, well-established tools that you can use to create and send professional e-newsletters with. Either, used correctly, can help you grow your email database and contribute the success of your business. Aweber outshines Mailchimp when it comes to ease of use, bang-for-buck, and support. Mailchimp is, however, the more fully-featured tool, providing automation functionality that is far more sophisticated than what’s on offer from Aweber.

Here are the key reasons you might want to use one over the other:

Reasons to use Aweber over Mailchimp

  • Its free plan doesn’t restrict many features.
  • You you can code your own templates on any Aweber plan — again, Mailchimp charges a premium for this.

  • Autoresponders are a bit easier to set up (albeit far more basic in nature) than in Mailchimp.

  • There are significantly more templates available in Aweber (700+ to Mailchimp’s 80 or so).

  • No send limits apply.

  • You can use AMP for email in Aweber.

  • Although Aweber’s user interface is more ‘old-school’ and not as pretty as Mailchimp’s, it’s arguably a bit easier to use, and key features are more easily accessible.

  • The e-newsletter builder makes editing text slightly easier than in Mailchimp.

  • You get access to a library of stock images with Aweber that you can use in your mailouts for free.

  • The product integrates neatly with graphic design tool Canva.
  • You can send to multiple lists at once in Aweber; Mailchimp doesn’t facilitate this.

  • The Aweber support options are more extensive — phone support, email support and live chat are available on all plans; Mailchimp doesn’t provide phone support except on its most expensive ‘Premium’ offering.

Reasons to use Mailchimp over Aweber

  • Its free plan lets you email more subscribers (the Mailchimp limit is 2,000; Aweber’s is 500).

  • If you have a small list (less than 500 records), you can host it more cheaply with Mailchimp.

  • Autoresponder and marketing automation functionality is significantly better — so long as you’re on a ‘Standard’ plan or higher.

  • RSS to email functionality can be used on all Mailchimp templates — Aweber forces you to use some rather dated templates if you want to trigger e-newsletters via RSS.

  • A much wider range of integrations with third party apps is available.

  • Send time optimisation functionality is available.

  • Using different languages for thank-you and confirmation pages is more doable out-of-the-box.

  • Its landing page creator reports on the success of your landing pages.


Got any thoughts or questions on Mailchimp and Aweber?

If you’ve got any queries on Mailchimp vs Aweber, I’d love to hear them — just use the comments section below (I do my best to answer each one!).

You may also be interested in reading our full Aweber review or taking a look at our email marketing reviews section.

Comments (18)

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Great review! I’ve tried both these tools (Aweber just for a short while, Mailchimp for 2 years). Recently I started using GetResponse https://www.getresponse.com, and so far, I’m satisfied. I’d like to read a “GetResponse vs Mailchimp” article, aren’t you planning something like that?

Great review, thanks!
But I didn’t find what I was looking for – API comparison. Would be nice to add.

Thanks for taking the time to provide a solid analysis here. There’s a lot of ‘instant’ or copycatted content on the web so it’s nice to find a site with real info.

As of this writing, split (or A/B) testing has been removed from Aweber. I’m told it was removed this past spring. The support folks didn’t know when it would return. I wanted to use this functionality, so I’m moving to Mailchimp.

Thanks for your comments Tom, we’ve updated the comparison to reflect the fact that Aweber’s split testing functionality is not currently available. I have heard that it’s being redesigned and will be re-introduced soon but like you I am not sure of timescales.

Thanks for posting the comparison. It definitely cleared up some stuff for me. I’m also thinking about GetResponse. They seem to also have marketing automation now.

Thanks for your comments on our Aweber vs Mailchimp comparison Daniel. If you’d like to check out our Getresponse review you’ll find it at http://stylefactoryproductions.com/blog/getresponse-review

With mailchimp, will I be able to create a lead magnet capture page (to be used with Facebook ads) and have a auto responder Thank You/Welcome page in addition to a Thank You email?

As far as I know Peter, yes, you should. However you’ll have to create your landing page by embedding some code onto a web page you own (or using something like Instapage or Unbounce); Mailchimp doesn’t provide landing pages out of the box. You might want to check Getresponse for that – review here: http://stylefactoryproductions.com/blog/getresponse-review

Thank you Chris for this review!
It’s an oasis of good info in the web – already bookmarked and favorited. Please keep it going!

I’m writing here under Mariahna’s questions because I think you you add to the review. I’m also curious about affiliate marketing (tracking of leads sources, splitting of payments and so on…).

I’m also curious about the integrations with Paypal, Facebook Ads and Google Ads that you mentioned, if you can expand on that.

Thanks for the kind words Catherine! I’m glad you found our Mailchimp vs Aweber comparison useful 🙂