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.

There are drawbacks, however, and they are threefold: first, the program seems to be falling behind on the social media front. Second, AWeber is a little on the pricey side, especially for businesses with very small lists (1000 and under). Once you hit the 2500-subscriber mark, costs are more in line with industry averages. The company has no send-based subscription plan, which means if you have a large list but send infrequent emails, there are probably better choices for you. Third, the company makes its free trial unnecessarily burdensome by requiring a credit card. This would be a minor issue if not for the fact that customers have reported complications with canceling the service.
You will benefit from a range of tools when you use the email marketing service from Benchmark, with features such as the ability to add links, social media, and other interactive features to your marketing materials. You can also create surveys and send them out with the Benchmark Email marketing system, and this is part of the package which is not always the case with some competitors. - Joseph Raspolich
In closing I signed up with verticalresponse.com and in 2 sec I had an email from the CEO with her photo and a phone number to call if I had any support related issues, and no joke, in literally 10 min I had built my mailer and sent it out to 8500 customers – they did not hold it for a while, or send just a few test mails; it was done and sent and reported on in less than 30 min! MailChimp.com take note: That is how you do it! (reports not bad either)
Today, I'm going to bite the bullet and sign up for AWeber, a communications company that offers Auto responder and Email Marketing services.  I am going to launch a newsletter on my music Web site, www.Musiciantip.com. AWeber Is Recommended Web-Wide Rosalind Gardner, Michael Brown, Allan Gardyne, and countless other successful affiliate marketers all recommend AWeber  (… Read more →)
So you should review the product to see if it provides value for your subscribers. Does it work? Is it helpful? How is the support from the product creator? You are co-signing on all of this when you send that email to your list. As a newbie you still need to nurture and protect your list by emailing them frequently with more informative content. Just make sure this product meets your standards.
To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!

Here are two guides I mention in the video. When you’re ready to create an ebook, my guide Ebooks the Smart Way will walk you through the process. I also highly recommend picking up a copy of the book Ask, which will teach you how to ask the right questions of your audience. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase Ask through the link to the right.]
With Aweber, it is very easy to sort through your list to find out who hasn’t confirmed. But as far as I can tell, there’s no way to send out an automatic reminder. However, you can do this manually since you have their email address. Plus I believe you can tell if they’ve even looked at the confirmation email so you can sort out who you want to remind vs someone who is truly not interested anymore.
The disadvantage with using free services like Mailchimp is they’ll usually suspend your account without warning, it’s kind of like setting up a blog with wordpress.com or blogger.com. Since it’s a free service it’s kind of like they have this “one and your done” attitude which I guess is understandable since you’re getting the service for free, but sometimes I wonder. Now on to Aweber.
Using the Personalize dropdown, you can insert custom snippets like your subscribers first name, or sign up date, and AWeber will automatically insert that data specific to each subscriber if we have it. If you collect first name, for example, you can send an email that says Hello Tom, or Hello Mary, or Hello John, depending upon who you’re sending to.
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