Low Pricing (weighted 11%)
Forever free plan
for 0-2,000 subscribers/ 12,000 emails per month.
This plan may be all that you need when you're just starting out. It is a pretty generous free plan.
MailChimp offers two basic types of plans (with a flexible pricing structure): list-based and send-based
Here are a few pricing examples.
for 0-500 subscribers,
for 501-1,000 subscribers
for 1,001-2,000 subscribers
for 26,001-36,000 subscribers
for 225,001-232,000 subscribers
MailChimp's rates are highly segmented. There are a lot more pricing plans in between these options.
At $0.03 per email:
300 Emails – $9
2,000 Emails – $60
At $0.02 per email
10,000 Emails – $200
At $0.005 per email
375,000 Emails – $1,875
High-volume pricing (CPM)
2,000,000 Emails – $2,500 ($0.00125/each)
MailChimp also offers a Pro add-on for $199/month that adds extra analytic tools made for growing companies.
Note: MailChimp has an extremely flexible pricing structure. There is a plan at every $5 interval beginning at $10, but it’s not a strictly linear progression. You can use the billing calculator to figure out exactly how much your plan would cost.
for 0-500 subscribers
for 501-2,500 subscribers,
for 2501-5,000 subscribers
for 5,001-10,000 subscribers,
for 10,001-25,000 subscribers,
For more than 25,000 subscribers AWeber offer an enterprise package.
All of these pricing plans include unlimited emails and unlimited image hosting. They also have a 30 day free trial so you can check it out to see if it meets your needs.
It seems that AWeber also charges for unsubscribers when they calculate your monthly number of subscribers. This seems completely counter-intuitive, but it is their policy. If you don't want to get charged for unsubscribers, they say you should delete your unsubscriber list.
That can mess up all kinds of data that you may need to streamline your email marketing campaign. This is a pretty shady policy that is buried deep in AWeber's help section, so many people don't realize until they've already signed up.
Be careful when getting close to those subscriber limits. If you exceed the limit on subscribers, AWeber will go ahead and bill you for the next plan up.
Design (weighted 11%)
MailChimp has hundreds of built-in beautiful HTML templates with lots of different color schemes.
Your emails can look different depending on the email client your customers use. In MailChimp you can preview how your email will look in 10 of the most popular email clients. AWeber does not have such a feature.
All the templates are also mobile optimized, so you don't have to worry about sending you customers emails that will lag on their phone.
You can also add your own HTML email design, customize an existing template, or code a completely new one from scratch.
AWeber has more than 700 well designed templates, but if you don't want to use their templates there are a couple different options to choose from. You can create your own custom HTML template, which will obviously require some coding skills.
You can also contact the AWeber team to modify an existing template or create an entirely new one. They charge $29 for editing an existing template and $299 for creating an entirely new one. The new one may be a bit pricey, but editing an existing one is a pretty good deal.
AWeber's design features are pretty impressive, but they're about on par with MailChimp.
Frontend Features (weighted 11%)
MailChimp’s complete features are only available to paying customers, so if you are using the free plan some of these may not be available.
Paid users get access to all MailChimp's features including: email designer, multi-user account, analytics /reports, autoresponders, custom forms, subscriber profiles, geolocation and deliver by time zone, audience segmentation, integration into other web services, or any of their support options.
MailChimp has a seven, count-em seven, mobile apps available for Android or iOS that can help you manage your email list while away from the computer.
MailChimp Mobile - Lets you send campaigns, view reports, and add new subscribers.
MailChimp Coupon Scanner - This lets you put coupon codes into your emails.
MailChimp Editor - You can edit emails right from you phone with this app.
MailChimp Snap - This lets you take a photo, or select an existing photo, and build a simple email around it that you can send out to any of your lists.
MailChimp VIPs - mark extra-special subscribers as VIPs and receive notifications when they open and click
Mobile Signup Forms - a great app that will help you collect email addresses in person at a storefront or conference.
SMS for Events - This sends text messages to your subscribers during events.
These apps let you do most of the things available in the MailChimp web app right from your smartphone. They are much much better at keeping your email marketing mobile than AWeber.
AWeber has a pretty sophisticated autoresponder system. They allow you to send a number of follow up emails to your customers automatically.
There is also a very nice landing page creator in AWeber. This lets your customers fall on an attractive page that can easily convert them into subscribers.
The AWeber form templates are easy to navigate and you customers should have no trouble with the form's flow. There is no danger of frustrating a potential subscriber.
AWeber has a mobile stats app, for iOS and Android, that will help you view important stats for your list, broadcasts, and subscribers while on the move. They app only measures your stats though, so it is useful as a monitoring tool, but you won't be able to react to that information until you're back at a computer.
Backend Features (weighted 11%)
MailChimp has a nicely designed dashboard. It seems to be geared towards users of any skill level. They took time to make this a very usable platform.
On the main menu you'll find the following links:
- Campaigns - where you can access your current campaigns.
- Templates - the starting point for creating your email designs.
- Lists - where you can manage you current subscriber lists or create new ones.
- Reports - where you can track how well your campaigns performed, check open and click rates, and more.
- Automation - here you can setup your automated emails to users that subscribe to your lists, open links from your newsletters or buy your products (only available to paying users).
MailChimp's backend is pretty nice. They make it easy to set stuff up, and all your tools are right there in front of you. They probably have the edge over AWeber, but it really comes down to a matter of taste.
AWeber has a shiny new interface that look and works great.
At the top of Page, the current list you are viewing is displayed. You can toggle to other lists by tapping on the list name. Next you fill find links: Manage Lists, My Apps (where you can add your favorite integrations), and Help and My Account (where you can mange your account information).
Let's check out the main menu:
- Home - which gives you access to the dashboard where Subscriber Stats, Scheduled and Recently Sent Broadcasts, and List Stats will be displayed
- Messages - This gives you all the tools necessary for creating your newsletters, follow up, or broadcast messages.
- Subscribers - manage, add new subscribers, and view you import history here.
- Sign Up Forms - This is where you can edit all of your sign up forms that convert visitors into subscribers.
- Reports - Here is where AWeber deals with all of its analytics.
- List Options - This lets you access your basic list settings, personalize your list by adding and removing custom fields, and setup automation rules like subscribe or unsubscribe users when they subscribe or unsubscribe to another list.
AWeber's backend is very nice to use. They make it easy and simple to set up all the common tasks associated with email marketing.
Reports & Statistics (weighted 11%)
MailChimp has a good reports section with a lot of useful data.
There are also maps that show the locations of the people who have opened emails. This can be pretty cool to look at. It is always fascinating to see where your emails end up.
You’ll also have access to reports for successful deliveries, forwards, unique opens, and abuse reports, and you can view bounces and social activity.
Don’t forget that you can track higher-level stats (ROI, conversion rate, revenue and the average value per visitor) using the Google Analytics integration (Analytics 360). You can download reports for both single and combined campaigns in csv format.
This all adds up to a lot of useful data. You won't have a shortage of information to help you fine-tune your email marketing campaign.
AWeber lets you track your sales to see which of your campaigns are the most successful. The same basic analytics and reporting options (clicks, opens, unsubscribes, revenue) are available.
It shows you exactly what users clicked on so you can build a picture of your customer's preferences. It’s also really easy to see who has unsubscribed (and it better be if they're charging you for it), and you can use this information to monitor what emails are causing unsubscribes.
AWeber gives you access to standard and more advanced analytics. They give you a wealth of data on clicks, opens, unsubscribes, revenue over time, subscriber growth, stats by location, area code, and market area. They have a few more statistics than MailChimp.
Flexibility (weighted 11%)
MailChimp offers several ways to add subscribers to your list. You can import subscribers from a CSV, TXT, manually add contacts from XLS or XLSX files, or import from services like Google Contacts, Salesforce, Highrise, Zendesk and even Constant Contact. This makes it really easy to get started.
You can import the contacts to a new list or append them to an existing one. Import new subscriber data to an existing list is also possible.
Keep in mind that when you import a new list or switch to MailChimp from another email service provider, you may need to reconfirm your subscriber list, especially if your current list hasn't been recently or regularly cleared of unsubscribes and bounces.
Other ESPs handle bounces differently than MailChimp so double check that your bounces aren't included when you upload your subscribed addresses.
There are no contracts and you can cancel at any time, but you won’t get a refund for fees you’ve already paid including email credits. You still have the option to temporarily pause monthly billing if you don't need to use MailChimp for a while.
Keep in mind that if you are on a paid account and want to go back to the Forever Free plan, you can downgrade only once over the life of your account.
With AWeber you have only two importing options: a manual text-based upload and a spreadsheet upload from XLS, XLSX, TSV, CSV and TXT files. Unlike MailChimp, AWeber doesn’t have third-party integration for importing contacts.
It is hard to switch to AWeber from any other email marketing service. You have to export the contacts from the other service first and then use the spreadsheet upload feature.
You may cancel your account at any time and the backup data feature allows you to export your list of subscribers as you leave.
Automation (weighted 11%)
Autoresponders are pretty easy in MailChimp.
They allow MailChimp users to engage with their subscribers one-on-one by sending automated welcome emails, birthday messages, purchase follow-ups or even provide product recommendations based on previous purchases.
You can personalize emails by customer interests and behavioral tracking. This is pretty useful for targeting specific customers.
Keep in mind this is one of the features only available on paid plans, so free users will have to upgrade before using the automation features.
Autoresponder emails are very easy to setup and each subscriber is tagged with a message number which indicates which followup emails they have received.
To prevent a subscriber from receiving a specific followup email, you must set the subscriber’s message number to be higher than the email sequence number. This is a little byzantine.
AWeber is not quite as good at autoresponder emails as MailChimp. MailChimp has a lot more features that will help you automate pretty specific tasks.
Extensibility (weighted 11%)
MailChimp offers an enormous number of integrations and add-ons. Their integrations list dwarfs AWeber's
Their Integrations Directory lists more than 800 integrations, so its pretty likely that your favorite apps will be included.
A few of MailChimp’s most popular add-ons and integrations are Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Shopify, Bigcommerce or Zoho.
AWeber has more than 120 integrations with other apps. Obviously MailChimp has a lot more.
You can connect your AWeber account to social media, landing pages, shopping carts and many more integrations like WordPress, RavenTools, PayPal, Shopify and many more. They have most of the major apps you are likely to use.
The AWeber team does allow you to create your own integrations if you have the coding chops.
Support (weighted 11%)
Unlike Aweber, MailChimp doesn’t have live telephone support.
The only way to communicate with them is by Email (you can reach them 24/7) and Live Chat (available Monday-Friday from 8am-6pm EST)
Both of those options are only available to paying customers.
MailChimp’s team is active on Social Media especially on their Twitter and Facebook pages, so if you are looking for a quick answer that might be the best option.
Users can also search the knowledge base. They have FAQ’s, video tutorials and even a glossary explaining MailChimp’s terms.
Aweber has live telephone support, this is definitely an advantage over MailChimp.
Their live chat and email hours are 8AM-8PM EasternTime Mon-Fri and 9AM-5PM ET Sat-Sun
There is a huge knowledgebase available including FAQ’s, video tutorials and live free webinars.
They also respond to user comments and questions on Social Media, especially on Facebook and Twitter as you might expect.
MailChimp can boast all of this as well, except for a live phone support line. Talking to a real human can be very helpful, and it seems AWeber knows that.
A searchable collection of hundreds of articles on the software, including walkthroughs, troubleshooting, and explanations of software features is at your disposal to help you get started.