Aweber vs MailChimp – Breaking Aweber Bad with a Chimp

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.

Cancelling Aweber

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 help@aweber.com with the following request:

aweber_refund

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:

aweber_refund2

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.

Hello MailChimp

MailChimp Home Page

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:

MailChimp dashboard

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.

In Conclusion

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.

Tags:

Trackback from your site.

Jay Neill

Jay is the founder of Affiliate Resources, Inc. and a full time online marketing consultant who helps people get started in the world of affiliate marketing via live weekly training sessions. Read more about how Jay helps people get started online.

Comments (13)

  • Avatar

    RDub

    |

    Woah… I’m so glad I read this before I signed up with Aweber… I was considering it. Thanks a million Jay! I’ll be looking into the monkey!
    RDub

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Brandon Olson

    |

    Hi Jay,

    I represent AWeber. We’re sorry to see you go. Thank you for your feedback about our user interface. I can assure you that we are continually looking at ways to improve it for our customers.

    After reading your blog post, I’d like to clarify some things that were incorrectly stated in your blog post:

    First, we were one of dozens of online business (including MailChimp) that were hit by a DDoD attack last month. We know it was difficult for many of our customers, but we have made significant improvements to our systems to minimize the impact of any potential future attacks.

    Second, there was no breach of security during the attacks, meaning no customer or subscriber data was compromised. This is a common misconception we’ve been seeing.

    Third, you mentioned that we haven’t pushed forward with our new user interface, but last May we launched a new design of our user interface (http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/2013-redesign.htm).

    Fourth, you mentioned that our email templates are not responsive; however, two months ago we converted all 600+ of our templates to be mobile responsive (http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/mobile-responsive-email-templates.htm).

    I hope this helps clarify some things. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance.

    All the best,

    Brandon Olson
    Social Media Manager
    AWeber

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Rusbell Madrigal

      |

      Im upset of Aweaber, I cancelled my account 1 week ago and today I have a new charge. Aweaber DON’T have an option to delete your Credit Card. Why I cannot delete my Credit Card form the dashboard? I can just update… of course you want to keep your clients.

      Now I am using Mail Chip and they let you delete you credit card info…. MailChimp 101% Much Better.

      Guys KEEP AWAY FROM AEABER!!!

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Brandon Olson

        |

        Hi Rusbell,

        I’m sorry to hear you were charged after cancelling your account. That certainly isn’t supposed to happen. I’d like to help you with this. Please contact us and we’d be happy to help you with this: https://www.aweber.com/contact-us.htm

        Reply

  • Avatar

    Mark

    |

    Thanks for the heads up on the problems with emailing platforms. I am at the point in my Internet Marketing career to purchase this service so I will need to do a bit more research into this area.

    I currently have about 5000 on my list and would want to email probably twice a month can you recommend a product?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    David

    |

    Hi Jay, sorry to hear about your hassles with Aweber, I have always thought that they were a good company, with a reputation for good service! I actually just cancelled my account, more because I was simply not using it effectively, but will keep this in mind when I do start to look around again for an email provider!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Craig

    |

    Thanks for bringing this up Jay, I actually exported everything I have from Aweber a few weeks ago, but I’ll have to double check that I did it correctly because it was just one file and I had several campaigns.
    I believe it was a backup of some kind.

    If I was actively using Aweber I wouldn’t of been happy during the DDOD attacks either, but for me I have just under 2,000 subscribers that I rarely email anymore. (my own fault)

    Anyway, I think I may clean things up and give Mailchimp a try too.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Dom Wells

    |

    Hey Jay, one thing that always put me off Mailchimp was their anti-affiliate marketing T&Cs. Like MadMimi, too many spammers got them into a bit of trouble, and rather than face all their emails getting blacklisted, they banned MLM or affiliate marketing uses in their emails. Aweber still allow this, so while they may have had some pretty unfortunate service in the recent past (and I agree their interface is a bit uninspiring), I’d rather stick within the regulations.

    That said, if you’re using your mailing list to promote your own services, then Mailchimp is probably your best option!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Chris M Cloutier

    |

    I’ve done this dance myself, unfortunately I’ve done it more than once. In my beginning days online I started with aweber then decided I could do it on my own, with my own software. I did it this way for a while. Of course it was quite labor intensive and my forms weren’t particularly good looking.

    I ended up using mailchimp for a while, and while I did like the ‘look and feel’ of everything it was a little difficult for me to figure out. That’s one thing I like about aweber, I felt like it was easy to figure it. But I have not seen any update at all to the interface. If there was one, it wasn’t noticeable.

    As of now, I’ve just switched back to aweber but only because it was very beneficial for me to do so. I’m using my time there wisely and trying to learn mailchimp better. I know I will eventually settle into mailchimp but at the moment its better for me on the darkside.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    David Saez

    |

    Thanks for this great post! I was going to buy aweber for email marketing and i decided to go now with mailchimp. So thanks a lot!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Heather

    |

    Hi Jay,

    does this mean Mailchimp only allows you to have 2,000 subscribers full stop? Because I am hoping for many, many more than that. I think the amount that is always aspired to is around 10,000?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Joanne

    |

    Thanks Jay!

    I’ve just been looking into these two companies, and hadn’t decided which one to go with – I think I’ll give MailChimp a try.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Shell

    |

    Thank you Jay, for this post, and for your whole website. This was very timely for me, as an e-mail service is on my list to research. These do seem to be the two highly referred services. I believe your entire website will be a great resource or me, so I intend to come often. ~Shell

    Reply

Leave a comment

You're a Smart Person

Get Support, Training, Domains and Hosting all in One Place
There is a business community that offers all this and more. Get everything you need to run your successful online business.