How do we keep this site running? This post may contain affiliate links — the cost is the same to you, but we get a referral fee. Compensation does not affect rankings. Thanks!
Having trouble nailing down which email marketing service provider to use for your business? Two of the most popular, AWeber and MailChimp, each have their devotees (and detractors). On first inspection they seem to offer a lot of the same features, with the exception that MailChimp has a free forever plan. But we dug deeper into these rivals to see how their differences could affect your ultimate choice. First, we’ll give you an overall review of each service and then delve into some of the most important features to see who wins the battle of AWeber vs MailChimp.
Just as a friendly note, neither AWeber nor MailChimp made it into our top 3 this year for Best Email Marketing Service Provider, but MailChimp was our choice for Best Free Plan in our new “Best Of” categories. However, you may still like to know how these two popular services compare against one another.
AWeber is a commonly used email marketing service provider. Their features include the standard ones that we’ve all come to expect as well as some advanced ones, at a good price too. With their competitive pricing the put up a strong fight in the email marketing battle. They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee, which is not common in this industry.
- Store unlimited images and send unlimited emails
- API Lab has good tools for creating new apps and developers get a free account
- Attach up to 1MB to a newsletter (not many email marketing providers allow this)
- Great WYSIWYG editor
- Integrate your account with more than 50 apps including Zapier, Salesforce, WordPress, Facebook, etc.
- PayPal, Shopify, and Google Checkout are some shopping cart integrations available
- Reporting and tracking are extensive showing you the number of emails sent, open rate, click-through, undelivered emails and more
- Knowledge base is great and they offer webinars, video tutorials and more
Pricing for A Weber is per contact, per month. There are no contracts or cancellation fees. They offer a 30-day free trial so feel free to try it before you buy it.
|Number of Contacts||AWeber Cost Per Month|
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing services around, with more than 8 million users. What’s their key to success? They offer the best free plan compared to all other service providers — 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, free forever with a lot of great features. That’s hard to beat. But MailChimp is also a fun, easy-to-use system that’s a solid choice for beginners and seasoned email marketers alike. If you need to bump up your volume, they have paid plans and pay-as-you-go plans that are priced competitively. Businesses wanting more advanced automation and reporting features, however, may need to look elsewhere.
- Inbox Inspector add-on that lets you generate over 25 screenshots of your email in all major email applications, as well as live tests from all the major ISPs to see if spam filters are triggered.
- Track the origin of your sign-ups to help optimize your opt-out prevention methods.
- Subscriber profiles feature lets you keep tabs on each customer’s activity.
- Responsive design templates look good on any device.
- Integration with 100+ apps, including Google Analytics, Salesforce, PayPal, WordPress and more.
MailChimp offers the best free plan, number of subscribers/emails sent, and variety of features than any other email marketing service. They also provide monthly pricing and pay as you go fees for those who need more than what you can do with the free plan.
One of the great things about MailChimp is their free forever plan. You get up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails you can send each month, no credit card required! It’s great for low-volume senders, beginners or nonprofits with limited budgets.
With MailChimp’s monthly subscriptions you pay per number of contacts, but you get unlimited number of emails per month.
|Number of Contacts||Price Per Month|
|2,700+||Use their online calculator|
Pay as you go plan
MailChimp gives you the option of buying packages of email credits, which you use like postage stamps. These can be a great option if you’re on the free plan but occasionally need to send more emails than the 12,000 limit.
|Number of Credits||Price Per Month|
|50,000+||Use their online calculator|
High volume plans
Mail Chimp also provides payment plans for high volume users and offers more advanced features, including multi-user accounts, SOC II and PCI DSS certifications, two-form authentication, and account activity alerts, full-featured API, and fully advanced segmentation. You have two options:
- High-volume monthly subscriptions start at $2,600 per month for 600,001 contacts and 7.29 million emails/month
- High-volume CPM, starting at $2,500 for 2 million email credits — an option for users who send fewer than four times a month and don’t want to pay for email volume capacity
For $199 per month you can add Pro onto your account and have access to powerful analytics to help your business grow.
Which Comes Out On Top? AWeber vs Mailchimp
Let’s explore some of the most important features all email marketing service providers offer and see how AWeber and MailChimp compare head to head.
Email Design Tools
Both AWeber and MailChimp offer responsive templates, meaning they’ll automatically look good on any device — a must in email marketing these days. AWeber has 400+ ready-made templates – more than MailChimp — but if you’re looking for more customization and design capability, MailChimp is the better option. MailChimp even provides you with raw code to help you build your own email templates.
Which has the edge? MailChimp
You want to make sure your emails are getting where they’re supposed to go in the first place. Who’s better at this? AWeber has a long history of having one of the highest deliverability rates in the industry. But MailChimp’s deliverability rate is well into the 90th percentile – a good percentage rate compared to a lot of other email marketing services.
Which has the edge? AWeber
If you’re running an email campaign and want to send follow-up emails to certain customers based on their response to your previous emails (i.e. thanking them for signing up on your website, or making a purchase), AWeber and MailChimp come out about even with their autoresponder functionality. Please note that autoresponders are only available with MailChimp’s paid version.
So, where do they differ? MailChimp makes it easier to target a subset of your email list with its autoresponder interface — choosing subsets with AWeber is possible; it’s just much more cumbersome. On the other hand, with AWeber it’s much easier to manage and track your follow-up emails to see who has opened them and when. MailChimp falls short on its autoresponder tracking capability.
Which has the edge? Even
Email Tracking & Analytics
The best email marketing services offer tracking and analytics. Both AWeber and MailChimp provide extensive email tracking and analytical tools to help you gauge who’s opening and clicking through your emails. You can monitor subscriber activity, bounces, unsubscribes, click-throughs and generate revenue reports. Where MailChimp comes out ahead? MailChimp provides Google Analytics integration; AWeber does not. And if you’re running social media campaigns along with your emails, MailChimp tracks your social sharing efforts; again, AWeber does not.
Which has the edge? MailChimp
AWeber has the clear edge on customer support, although both services have good online tutorials, FAQ’s and other resources. Neither service offers 24/7 customer support hours. AWeber provides phone, live chat and email support 7 days a week. MailChimp has no phone support, but they have incorporated live chat. Unfortunately when we recently used Mailchimp’s live chat service, we got a message that their live chat volume was high, so there would be a significant wait time.
Which has the edge? AWeber
How Does Email Marketing Build Relationships?
Email marketing is an excellent way to build and maintain relationships with your customers. Check out the following video — a success story of how one business owner uses AWeber to engage his customers.
The Final Verdict: AWeber vs Mailchimp
Based on our in-depth reviews, AWeber and MailChimp fall about even overall. It really depends on the features you’re looking for with your email marketing strategy. Yes, MailChimp has an edge with its free plan, but it’s limited and will only get you so far (i.e. no autoresponders with free plan). If reliable customer support is important, then AWeber is the way to go. Check out our Email Marketing Comparison Article for an in-depth analysis of all the top players in this category and to see why these two companies are not in our top three pick for best email marketing service.
Calling all MailChimp and AWeber users: which is your favorite?