Part of the power in email marketing is in an automated campaign.
People opt in to your list, perhaps to get something free that you offered them (like a digital book, song, pdf, etc, or maybe for a coupon or discount, or to see a video, etc).
Then instead of just hoarding the email list, you send a series of emails where you tell them more of your story, or some background information, or more information relevant to your shared interests – preferably something of value.
Note: Mailchimp’s free version does not have automated campaigns.
My Story – Aweber vs Mailchimp
I started with Mailchimp because, well it was free, and was all over the place and it had generally good reviews – but mostly because it was free.
It also integrated easily with square space which was the platform that I was using for my website design . (Squarespace by the way was a great starting point for my website, easy and looked good and was relatively inexpensive.)
Mailchimp was great to get my feet wet as it was free indefinitely.
When did that change?
- I moved to WordPress.
I moved to WordPress as I grew out of Squarespace and wanted more flexibility to do a lot of different things with my website. With WordPress (which I hosted with Siteground) I could get plugins to give me a myriad of options, without usually needing a programmer.
This started to open me to consider other email marketing services that don’t integrate as easily with Squarespace as mailchimp does.
2. Automated Campaigns
And I learned about the power of automated campaigns. Then I learned that I’d have to pay to use that feature on Mailchimp any way.
I could already send out a blast or a broadcast email as it’s often called to my list or audience. But I’d have to pay use the campaign feature. Since I’d have to pay anyway that opened my eyes to another option which was Aweber.
I was learning about Aweber from excellent online tutorials. It seemed simpler, and clearer to understand and navigate than Mailchimp.
Mailchimp just seemed less intuitive for me.
4. Customer Service
Finally I sent Aweber an email. I had a question or two to help me in making a decision, and what better way to go to the source and test their customer service at the same time.
It almost surprised me. The response was excellent and quick. Since that time I would rank most responses I’ve had from Aweber as 10 out of 10, with none below a 5.
Of the online companies I’ve dealt with there is a huge range in how they address customer service. The top companies I’ve dealt with that seem to take customer service very seriously are Aweber and Siteground. Click here for my review of Siteground.
Those four things really swayed me to going with Aweber
- Customer Service
- Intuitive – I wouldn’t say easy, but for me it was more intuitive and simpler to run than Mailchimp.
- Had to Pay for both for campaign anyway
- I switched from Squarespace to WordPress anyway (so integration wasn’t a big barrier)
First Campaign with Aweber
Finally I was able to sign up with Aweber for FREE for 30 days. Even though it was limited to 30 days, I could still run the campaign with that FREE account, which was not possible with Mailchimp.
In that first thirty days I set up a campaign and had my first 121 subscribers before I had even paid Aweber. Now for me I didn’t convert any of these to sales. But I had a medium size campaign that went out to these subscribers which hopefully gave them some value and I still had them on my list after the fact.
Downside to Aweber
The main downside I have come across so far is integrations. Mailchimp is all over the place and so has integrations with different websites, apps, WordPress plugins, etc. Aweber has some integrations and it also has some work arounds.
This could be the first question you ask them to test their customer service. Tell them your website provider and ask how to integrate with Aweber.
There may be times to go with Mailchimp.
If you are a little scared, unsure and a long way from doing a campaign you might want to try Mailchimp, as it is free indefinitely.** (As of 2020 Aweber now also has a free version so you can get started and learn the ropes!)
If you are not interested in doing campaigns, but really just want to do broadcasts – If you want to dip your toe in the water, Mailchimp may be a good option. Over time if you learn it well, and if the price isn’t too much more for what you are doing, you might just stick with Mailchimp
If you are ready to start work toward campaigns then you may want to go with Aweber now.
Start your Email Campaign with Aweber here.
I am a happy customer and affiliate of Aweber.
I’m also a husband, father, singer-songwriter, record producer as well as producer of audiobooks and music videos.
Check out my music your favorite platform
Join my (Aweber) email list to see how I do campaigns and broadcasts and to get updated on some great music at the same time.