Email marketing platforms like AWeber and MailChimp are essential for any business to succeed in today’s world. no matter how big or small your business is, chances are you’ll need a platform to send out marketing emails. And while both offer some fantastic features, and each has their own distinct audience, one thing is for sure: you’ll be hard pressed to find a single email marketing platform that doesn’t have its quirks.
So which is the best platform between the two? Let’s dive in and find out.
The Pros And Cons Of Each
AWeber is the older of the two and has been around since 2007. It originally started as an email marketing platform that focused on lead generation before expanding to other marketing channels like mobile messaging and social media. As a result, it tends to attract a bit more of a B2B (business-to-business) audience than a general consumer audience. But if you’re in a B2B environment, or if you just need an email marketing platform to generate leads, AWeber is a great choice.
While AWeber is a great choice if you’re looking for an all-in-one platform, the truth is, it’s not the most user-friendly experience. In order to keep up with the growing demands of its users, the company has had to make a number of product updates over the years. Some of these updates have been great, while others have been controversial. The platform is also a bit complex for beginners, which is why a lot of people consider it to be the more “prosumer” (professional consumer) side of the business.
On the flip side, MailChimp is the newer and arguably more convenient option. In 2016 alone, MailChimp managed to grow its user base by 23% year over year. This makes it the largest email marketing platform, by far. And unlike AWeber, which is a standalone product that you have to purchase in order to use, MailChimp is a hosted solution, which means it’s always free.
As a result, MailChimp has been around long enough to settle into a comfortable groove and avoid a lot of the controversy that has plagued AWeber. And while it may not be the most user-friendly option, or the most popular one, MailChimp is a lot more stable and established than AWeber. And this, in turn, makes it the better choice for those who need a more reliable and sustainable option.
Features, Features, Features
One of the first things you’ll notice if you try out either of these platforms is how packed they are with features. Neither of them is lacking in the features department, especially now that they’ve both matured and had enough time to flesh out their platforms.
In terms of functionality, AWeber is the winner here. Not only do they allow you to create email campaigns that are fully automated, but they also allow you to monitor and analyze every bit of data that comes in from your email marketing.
As a result, AWeber has literally hundreds of different features that make it the most comprehensive email marketing platform around. But while that may be a great thing for experienced users, if you’re looking for a simpler solution, MailChimp is still the better choice.
Another huge selling point of AWeber is how easy it is to get started. Not only do you get a free trial, but they also walk you through the entire process of setting up your account, from the get-go. So even if you’ve never sent an email before, you’ll have little to no trouble getting up and running.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, MailChimp is a bit more complicated to get started with since you do have to create a minimum amount of content in order to send out a test email. Yet, once you’ve created that initial content, it’s almost as easy to use as AWeber. This is definitely a pro-MailChimp audience.
Another key difference between these two platforms is how much they cost. AWeber is the more expensive of the two, starting at around $2.95 per month for the basic plan, which is billed annually. So, if you do the math, this could end up being $39.45 per month, or $468.90 per year.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, MailChimp starts at a lower price point of $2.45 per month, with the standard plan. But this is a one-time fee, and it is currently the same price as the basic AWeber plan.
As a result, if cost is a concern and you need someone to handle your email marketing for you, MailChimp might be the better option. Yet, for those who need an all-in-one solution, or who want to send occasional emails with no restrictions, AWeber might be the better choice.
You’ll notice a significant aesthetic difference between AWeber and MailChimp right away. The design and user experience of each are completely different. While AWeber has a professional and polished look to it, MailChimp is a bit more minimalist in its design.
On the whole, MailChimp’s design is a lot more streamlined and easy to use. Everything from the general layout and design of the platform to the individual icons and elements are simply easier to navigate and more intuitive to use. As a result, if you’re looking for an email marketing platform that is both beautiful and functional, MailChimp is the clear choice.
Speaking of the individual icons and elements of the interface, AWeber has taken the approach of including as many features as they can in the form of icons and images, while restricting the user experience to just text elements. As a result, sometimes it can be a little bit chaotic trying to figure out what does what, since there are so many different icons and images that you’ll come across.
If you’re a beginner user, or you just need a bit more help than the average bear, AWeber is the better option here. Yet, for those who are familiar with email marketing and looking for an alternative platform, MailChimp is the clear choice.
Last but not least, we have security issues. It is important to understand that despite how tempting it might be to use the same password for multiple accounts, this is actually a very bad idea. This is because each account will have a different password and, as a result, you’ll be opening yourself up to the risk of having your accounts hacked. Or, at the very least, having your email spammed.
To avoid this, it’s essential to use different passwords for all your accounts. Not only does this make it more difficult for hackers to get into your accounts, but it also means you’ll be forced to remember a different password for every account. This, in turn, makes you much less likely to forget them and expose yourself to possible hacks.
AWeber and MailChimp are both fantastic email marketing platforms, each with their own perks. Yet, as we just discussed, despite how great they both are in their own right, one undeniable fact stands out: you’ll be hard pressed to find a single email marketing platform that doesn’t have its quirks.
As a result, it’s important to do your research and determine which one is the best for your needs before making a decision. Yet, for the sake of argument, if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that can handle automated email sequences as well as track the results of every campaign, AWeber is, hands-down, the best choice for you.