I have used both, and I agree with your analysis. The great thing about MailChimp is that it lets you see the email in different clients. That is really the hardest thing about sending emails. However, you can use that service without doing everything else through MailChimp. Also, once you get the hang of it and develop templates, it no longer is much of an issue.
Email marketing is such a critical component of business for most companies (with the rare exception) because you able to communicate with your audience in the place they spend a good chunk of time (their inboxes). You also have the added benefit of building an asset (an email list) that no external platform (I’m talking to you Facebook) can mess with.
MailChimp also has great customer support but when you’re using their free service, you probably won’t get instant response from their customer team. As you know, premium services always offer faster customer support whereas free services provide less customer satisfaction. As MailChimp only has email support whereas AWeber has email, phone and live chat customer support options.

What I was trying to get across (and perhaps I didn’t make myself clear here, my fault), is that there are also other equally excellent services. I mentioned MailChimp as someone mentioned they’d like a mail list manager but couldn’t afford AW. MC is free for the first 1000 subscribers, and I think for a large proportion of entrepreneurs, that is enough to get started (more than enough, probably).

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Variations of “Hello {!firstname_fix}” have become the norm in email marketing, not the outlier. Because of that, it’s losing its effectiveness. You can still use name personalization, but you also want to think about going a step further. At AWeber, we recommend segmenting your audience and sending each segment tailored messages with unique subject lines.
Remember the article I wrote on increasing conversions where we talked about the Blue-Shirt Trust your blog needs in order to capture email subscribers and appear reliable? Well Aweber can help you with that. They have hundreds of free web forms that you can copy and paste right in to your blog’s code. They even have a web form creator (pictured above) where you can play around with colors, shapes and logos.
On the flip side, Aweber’s method of managing followup emails allows me to know exactly which subscriber has received which follow up emails and when. With MailChimp, I really have no clue who has or hasn’t received a particular email. Overall, I kind of prefer Aweber’s method of managing follow-ups but it is basically a wash depending on your preference.
Price: Several users feel that the price is too high for many small businesses, especially businesses that don’t need all the bells and whistles AWeber has to offer. This is compounded by the fact that there’s no “dormant” mode; so long as your lists are in AWeber, you’ll need to pay the monthly fee based on your number of subscribers, whether or not you are actually sending emails. Some would like to see a low-price or freemium option for very small businesses.
One question I have that you might be able to answer is: I send out a broadcast once a week when a new post comes up. I set this up manually, though I’ve seen that there is an option (I believe) to automatically send out your blog post to your e-mail subscribers. I guess I’m a little nervous about doing an automatic thing (though that is what happens with people who are subscribing via my feed). Does this make sense to you? I only post once a week so it is not that difficult to manually send out a broadcast. Just wanted to know if you could explain the mechanism behind the automatic blog post option.
I have so many people reach out and tell me that they feel discouraged with their small email lists. But, since we’ve already established that these are actual human beings, I like to take a much more visual approach. When you think about the 50 or 100 people on your list, think about having that many people in a single room to hear you speak. They’ve all shown up to hear whatever it is you have to say.
Pop ups should be easy to close. Nothing is more annoying than having a pop up appear and you do not know how to close it. Sometimes your visitor may not be interested in what you have to offer and so will decline the offer by closing the pop up. If the ability to close the pop up is difficult, such as the exit link is not visible, you can lose visitors. Therefore make sure that your pop up can be easily closed to avoid losing readers.

After you have entered your "List Name" you will need to enter a "List Description." Here is where you will describe the kind of information you'll be sending from this list. There is a 400 character limit for the "List Description." Subscribers will see your "List Description" on the unsubscribe page if they ever go to unsubscribe from your list. Once you are done entering your "List Description" click the "Next Step" button.
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