I’m not sure but as far as I can remember (or at least about 2 years ago) I found a function to activate the subscribers without their needing to opt-in (even though a warning from Aweber would pop up). I lost about 70% of my subscribers in my very small list back then when I changed, but I’ve been able to grow it ten-fold since. And I used opt-in, because I didn’t want anyone to complain to me later.
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Thanks for bringing that subject up! Having you used both of these services in the past 2 years, I prefer Aweber over Mailchimp. For me it comes down to usability and efficiency, which Aweber just does better than Mailchimp. Having said that, I do like the value Mailchimp brings to the table for new startups with their free service. Also I do admit that giving away 2,000 subscribers to everyone – that’s just huge, yet clever at the same time.