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Since the dawn of internet marketing, we have been taught to build an email list as it is a terrific way to keep in touch with potential and current customers.
So I have built an email list and used Aweber for that purpose since 2007. But lately, I have become bored with Aweber as it seems they haven’t pushed forward with their user interface or haven’t updated with the latest trends such as flat design or responsive designed emails. Aweber has become an antiquated service with questionable security.
I mention the questionable security because on Monday, February 24th they experienced several Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks which cause all their services go down including their own email support. This lagged on for a couple of days and customers were freaking out and very upset. This two day service interruption was the last straw for me, so off I went to cancel my Aweber account and move over to another email marketing provider.
I needed my emails to look cool again, and MailChimp seems to be a solution.
Getting Ready to Ditch Aweber
Before leave Aweber, I needed to export my lists so that I can import them into MailChimp. Fortunately, Aweber has a tutorial on this, so I simply follow the process. The only bummer about exporting the list is that I had several campaigns and had to export them one by one, so I took me about an hour. Other than that – it was easy.
The other thing I needed to change was changing all my opt-in forms. Since I hadn’t set-up my MailChimp account yet, I couldn’t simply switch the forms over yet. So, I set up an excel spreadsheet to track where all my opt-in forms were. Once I transferred everything over to MailChimp, I would switch over the forms and use the spreadsheet for reference.
I initially cringed at the process of cancelling Aweber as I thought it was going to be a huge lengthy process where they try and convince me to not leave. But I was determined to get rid of them so I forged ahead.
My first line of communication was via their https://help.aweber.com site. After a few minutes of not finding anything related to refunds or cancelling, I simply emailed their firstname.lastname@example.org with the following request:
See that last sentence? Aweber somehow updated my billing details as my credit card was expired and I forgot to update it. So they went ahead and look at my billing history and noticed the pattern of previous credit card expiry dates and updated it.
Wham! A $179.40 charge that I did not authorize. Shady practice if you ask me.. but I digress.
I got a response that same day from a fella named Jeff:
So I went ahead and jumped through their hoops and provided the info they needed and within a few minutes, my refund was delivered.
To my surprise, cancelling Aweber and getting a refund was a lot easier than I thought. My guess is they had several refund or cancellation requests because of the DDoS attack, so they were left with no choice. If you are looking to cancel your Aweber, then just follow the steps above and you should be fine.
Now that Aweber was out of my life, it was time to start building a relationship with MailChimp to see how well they treat me. The very first thing I did was contacted them and made sure I could import my list and that my online business niche was allowed. I specifically mentioned ‘online business’ instead of ‘affiliate marketing’ as most email marketing providers do not allow affiliate related businesses; most of all make money online type of niches.
I was in the clear and given the green light.
Once I signed up to MailChimp, I did the normal account set-up stuff and then started importing my lists. This took me about the same time it took to export my lists from Aweber as they were all in separate lists. But the good thing is I was able to import them all into one list which is what I wanted to do in the first place. After about an hour, I was ready to start my email marketing journey with MailChimp.
Is MailChimp Better Than Aweber?
I have only done a few email campaigns with MailChimp thus far, but so far so good! I am very happy with the ease of use and how clean the dashboard is. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like:
As you can see in the top left corner, I was able to place my logo in the dashboard which makes it a nice ‘co-branded’ feature. This is a nice asset to have if you’re working with clients and want to show them a nice branded interface for their campaigns. But in my own case, I just like the look of it.
Once I get more familiar with the MailChimp dashboard, I will create an individual MailChimp review for you to take a look at because I think it is worth the time and effort to create a dedicated review since I am so darn happy with MailChimp so far.
With Aweber vs MailChimp, the clear winner here is MailChimp because they are a company that appreciates stylish yet effective email campaigns with a simple interface that is easy to use. If you are getting tired of Awber’s stagnant interface and are looking for a change, have a look at MailChimp as they will give you a free account that allows you to have 2,000 subscribers across all lists in your account and send up to 12,000 emails per month.
Are you interested in switching to MailChimp because your business was effected by the Aweber server meltdown? Feel free to express your thoughts and let me know in the comments below.