Why I Use And Recommend Aweber Over Other Solutions (Including Mailchimp)

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OK, news alert: I recommend Aweber.

Of course, that’s not news. I’ve been recommending Aweber for years now, and so do many others.

But, why? Is it just because they have an affiliate program? I know people have thrown that claim out there, especially with the likes of Mailchimp around. Mailchimp offers a free account, so obviously many bloggers prefer to use that and often wonder why people like me continue to recommend Aweber.

First, here’s the video talking about why I use Aweber. More on the Mailchimp comparison below…

OK, now let’s address the whole Aweber versus Mailchimp issue…

  • Aweber “gets” email marketing. I’ve heard from several people that Mailchimp has given them issues because of the marketing content of their email. These people are NOT spamming or doing anything shady. It seems as if Mailchimp just doesn’t like affiliate marketing. In fact, there are horror stories of people who were ethically promoting something, used an affiliate link, Mailchimp got pissed off and just closed their account. It is actually against Mailchimp’s terms of service to engage in affiliate marketing! They’ll shut you down if they find out about it. And, a TON of bloggers are engaging in ethical affiliate marketing each and every day. So, this one factor alone is a HUGE reason why I will never recommend Mailchimp to anybody in my audience.
  • Mailchimp cares more about looks than function. They have nice looking templates and a nice interface, but it isn’t nearly as capable as Aweber in terms of the function.
  • Aweber has much better statistical tracking.
  • Aweber has much stronger autoresponder management.
  • Aweber has much better list management tools, including automation rules to help you move people from list to list.
  • By all accounts that I’ve seen Aweber has a better delivery rate.
  • Aweber has more support options, including phone calls. And, I’ve used Aweber support many times. They’re awesome and helpful.

To be fair, here are the things Mailchimp does do better than Aweber:

  • Mailchimp’s interface is prettier.
  • Mailchimp’s “merge tags” are more robust than Aweber, including if/then logic.
  • Mailchimp has official mobile app. I wish Aweber had one, and I certainly hope they release one in the future.

Mailchimp is attractive to bloggers for a single reason: It is free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Certainly, that is attractive. And, if all you want to do is occasionally send out a newsletter, it is adequate for sure.

However, I’m in the business of helping bloggers building BUSINESSES. Once you move beyond the occasional mass email to your list… Aweber is the way to go.

Yes, Aweber also has an affiliate program and it doesn’t suck. 🙂 But, I never promote anything I haven’t tried myself. And, not only have I tried Aweber, I’ve been using it as a fundamental component of my business for several years now.

So, that’s why I use, prefer and recommend Aweber.

Feel free to chime in! Even if you disagree and think Mailchimp is better, let me know. I want people to have all the info so they can make a wise decision for THEM. That’s important.

Selection of an email list company is something you want to get right. And it is difficult to switch later.

Take my advice. Sign up for Aweber. 30 Day Trial For $1.

 

25 Comments

  1. Erica says:

    I’ll back you up on this one (especially as I had basically the same blog post on my to-do list.) It’s not just because of the affiliate program. I actually prefer Aweber. Also, when you @ reply @aweber:disqus on Twitter with a support issue, they go out of their way to respond. (I even had them *call me back* after I Tweeted them…that’s the best customer service I could have asked for. And I didn’t even include my phone number in the Tweet–they figured it out from looking up my account information.) 

    I’ve used Mailchimp too, and continue to use them for some low-volume projects, but I vastly prefer the workflow at Aweber.

    1. I think Aweber is better

    2. Erica, I’ve had very good response from Aweber as well. Any question I’ve ever asked has been answered quickly and correctly (always important). I did try MailChimp for a short while, but I was scared off by the same type of anti-affiliate stories that Dave speaks of. Now if they could just magically give me readers, everything would be golden.

      1. David Risley says:

        It isn’t just stories. If you actually look at Mailchimp’s terms of service, it specifically calls out people they don’t want using it. And it says “affiliate  marketers”. Pretty cut and dry, and apparently they’re serious about it.

        1. I wasn’t minimizing your point Dave by using the word stories. It was from you pointing it out in the past that spooked the sh– out of me and got me to read the terms of service. Aweber hasn’t paid for itself in usefulness yet, but I’m sure it will eventually. Thanks.

        2. FWIW, Aweber also has “it’s not OK to spam people. If you try, we will immediately close your AWeber account. You will not get any refund” in its TOS.My main concern with MailChimp after doing a bit of searching this morning is their definition of “affiliate marketer”.  If they don’t want people who solely make a living from affiliate income, so be it.  But I’ve now found stories on-line of people getting banned for sending a single affiliate link, eg. to an item on Amazon, and even problems when a newsletter linked to a page that contained an affiliate link!  I mean, if you’re using a blog broadcast via RSS then that would really make them impossible to use.On the other hand their support people seem fine with “sponsors” being listed at the bottom of a newsletter and these being affiliate links, and what’s even more crazy is that you can link your lists to sites like e-junkie where affiliate marketing is the norm.

  2. I considered switching to Aweber, but I am looking for a company that offers triggered emails and aweber does not offer this ability. Does anyone know of a good company that offers triggered email at a reasonable price? I am currently using mailchimp and I like them, but they do not offer triggered email and I am looking to move.

    1. David Risley says:

      What do you mean by triggered email? As in, an auto-sent email when a certain event happens?

      You might be able to do that using automation rules with Aweber. Idea being, move them to a different list which has its own autoresponder. Have no idea if that would work.

      But, it sounds like Infusionsoft might be a possibility. Fairly sure it can do what you need.

  3. lorrainegrula says:

    I can vouch for the fact that aweber customer service is awesome.  They even called me on the phone once which was unexpected but very much appreciated.     

  4. One new(ish) thing about Mailchimp’s free account is that they no longer include their autoresponder on that level.  If you’re already using Mailchimp you’re grandfathered in. 

    1. David Risley says:

      Didn’t know that. Well, can’t expect much for the price of free, I guess.

  5. disarli says:

    I have known and liked Aweber for a long time.  They were always highly recommended by other marketers. Great deliverability.

    Then they let the hackers take their entire email database.  Wow, that must have taught them a lesson, right?  Then they got hacked the second time.  I’m rather on the fence about Aweber now.  From the point of view of a business user, they are very nice.  From the point of view of safeguarding your customers’ email addresses, they have a very bad record.  I get a lot of spam every day I can trace to dozens of individual email addresses that was given to single companies, which were using Aweber.

    1. David Risley says:

      Yes, that’s true. Aweber had a couple of fairly public data breaches last year. I forgot about it.

      People definitely need to take that into account. The way I see it, however, almost any web-based service is subject to being hacked. Seems fairly often that a company people would expect to be secure find themselves getting backed. It happened to LinkedIn, for example, just a couple weeks ago.

      In the end, you have to pick the best company for you. Having been hacked, I can only assume Aweber is even more diligent about it now. Combine that with the fact that they certainly aren’t the only company to have that happen, one just needs to move on.

  6. Pst Bless says:

    Thanks for speaking for Aweber, they are great no doubt, you just have to find out what works for you.

  7. I love Aweber, and I really love their affiliate program! 🙂
    When you’ve built up a list of subscribers (and are making money with it) it’s unlikely that you’ll ever discontinue the service, and as your list grows the commissions grow with it. 🙂

    The only thing I wish they had was a longer statistical history. (Like back to the very beginning!) LOL

  8. My reason for not going with Aweber is one line in their FAQ:

    “While it may be possible to send messages written in other languages, we
    cannot currently offer any support on the use of other languages or
    character sets
    with your AWeber account. This applies to all aspects of your account,
    including web forms, contact information, and notifications.”

    If the web forms don’t support European character sets, then it’s no use to me on some sites, and I would also need to able to swap out the Unsubscribe message into a different language.

    Until recently they were not a member of the Safe Harbor agreement either, so I would have to announce on my sign-up box something like “Your Data is being stored outside the E.U.”.  Thankfully that has now at least changed.

    MailChimp seems more geared to the non-US market for me.  I run German and Spanish lists through it, they have been a member of Safe Harbor for ages, and even offer a range of currencies to pay in.  They also have multi-lingual landing pages which use browser/IP detection.

    1. David Risley says:

      Good to know. 🙂 I tend to forget about that sometimes, too.

  9. I actually use both, but for different reasons:

    I have one list in MailChimp that has been stagnant for 2yrs (we discussed via email, BTW, thanks for the response!), but it is there just as a place to hold it for now. What I plan to do with that list is build up strictly local and SMB’s I am marketing to. There won’t be any affiliate marketing, just my advice and services. 

    I also manage several lists for clients, sending out updates on products, etc… some of which includes affiliate marketing via Amazon, etc.. Aweber is what I use there. 

    One thing I like about MailChimp, is the ease of adding emails from a spreadsheet or manually (ie: new clients, people I meet face to face networking, etc… [yes I ask before adding them to my email list]). I add them and they don’t have to get an email saying I added them. Some people might think of that as spammy, but when I have already spoken to a person about adding them to my email list in person, I think it is overkill to double opt them in. 

    As far as html templates, I like Aweber and I build them in DreamWeaver, but personally I prefer plain text for my own list, it is more personal and gets better responses.

    1. Leo Dimilo says:

      Keith,

      I actually do the same thing in regards to Mailchimp except it is with gigging musicians.  The list maintenance is just more robust with Mailchimp.  And if you aren’t promoting affiliate products, there is more wriggle room in regards to giving the client a little time before committing.

      If you are an affiliate on the other hand, forget about Mailchimp.  The service is designed for brands and businesses that sell their own products.

    2. David Risley says:

      I didn’t know you could import contacts that easily with Mailchimp. Good to know. 🙂

      1. Actually it could be used in a spammy way, which I don’t do, but it is as simple as uploading a spreadsheet with names and emails, checking a box that says I have permission to email them ….. and your done.

  10. free-movies says:

    I actually use both!!!!!!

  11. As a marketer I love aweber because of their affiliate program and I was recommending this aweber mail chip. 

  12. Mario says:

    David, I started with Mailchimp due to their free service for small lists and now in the 25k-50k rang I find Aweber less expensive! Also because everyone recommends Aweber I’m really considering it..

    I was looking for a post like yours, looking for good reasons, BUT I have to say it’s a bit of general when you say:

    – Aweber has much better statistical tracking.
    – Aweber has much stronger autoresponder management.
    – Aweber has much better list management tools, including automation rules to help you move people from list to list.

    Would be great if you could tell us how exactly.

    By the way, I’m having around 50% constant open rate (Photography nich) which I don’t think is very low. Actually I suspect Mailchimp to be very sensitive to Affiliate Marketing cause they must be obsessed with being considered a clean Mailing Service by Gmail, Hotmail, etc. and therefore having a high delivery rate.

  13. Angie says:

    How does Aweber compare with Constant Contact?  I’ve been using Constant Contact for about a year and they have excellent stats – number of opens and click-throughs, as well as WHO opened and clicked through.  There is a WordPress plugin for Constant Contact that includes a sign-up widget and Google Analytics stats.  The only things I have problems with are making a really nice opt-in form to put into a post and I don’t see an affiliate program.  What would Aweber have that Constant Contact doesn’t?

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