Is The Money In The List

I’m sure we’ve all heard it said many times before…and I’m sure we can all hear the echo of the experienced Marketers shouting “The Money is in the Relationship with the Subscriber on the List”

But before you can start building your list of subscribers you are going to be faced with the question of choosing which provider to use.

There are loads to choose from on the market, some good, some not so good. If you do a Google search you’ll see what I mean.

As always with the products and services I review, I only talk about the ones me and my customers have used.

In this comparison I’m looking at Aweber, which I currently use and recommend, and I’ll also be looking at MailChimp which I recommend to new starters who don’t yet have a budget to spend on their email marketing.

  • $1 trial for the first month then $19 per month
  • 24/7 eMail & Telephone Support
  • Great delivery rates
  • Free up to 2,000 subscribers
  • 24/7 eMail Support
  • Good delivery rates

Which One Is Right For You, Aweber or MailChimp?

So even though I am only looking at two of the many service providers it’s still important to choose the right one for your business right from the outset. So let’s have have a look at a few of the features and benefits each of them offer.

Aweber Pricing v MailChimp pricing

You can’t avoid it! Price is always going to be an issue. Whether you’re just starting out and don’t have a budget for eMail Marketing or you’re already established and looking to maximise your returns or reduce your costs…price will be an issue.

To get you started you have a choice of a free account with MailChimp and a $1 One Month Trial with Aweber

The MailChimp free offer lets you have up to 2,000 subscribers and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month absolutely free. There’s no expiring trial, contract, or credit card required. There are a few catches, though.

There’s no Autoresponder with the free offer and there is always the MailChimp badge on the bottom of your campaign, which in not the end of the world, but it will have an impact on your own branding.

The Aweber $1 One Month Trial gives you full access to everything that Aweber offer and when the trial offer expires you then go on to montly billing.

The basic package is $19 per month, but that only gives you 500 subscribers. When you get above 500 subscribers you then go on to a sliding scale and pay what’s know as a subscriber fee and the more subscribers you have the more you pay.

In theory that shouldn’t be a problem as you will get sales from emailing offers to your subscriber lists.

Form Design

Aweber is great is you like using templates and it has an extensive library to choose from. You can choose to make them animated as well, which means you can have them pop over the page at what ever time and direction you choose, which when done correctly is an enhancement to your reader rather than an annoyance.

For the more advanced users MailChimp has an interface that allows you to access your entire database of subscribers from an API. If you do a lot of coding or database manipulation, their API will allow you to easily manage your subscriber database in PHP or any popular scripting language. Overall, when it comes to design and programmability, MailChimp is more powerful than Aweber.

Autoresponders

MailChimp and Aweber both offer an easy way to set up a series of automated follow up emails. However, both have their good and bad points with the way their autoresponders are managed.

With MailChimp you can be specific with your follow up messages so that only a small part of your email list will receive your follow-up emails based on when they signed up for your newsletter. For example, if I only want recent subscribers from the last month to receive one of my autoresponders, I can simply specify this using MailChimp’s autoresponder interface.

With Aweber this is not as easy to do. Each of your subscribers is tagged with a message number which indicates which follow-up emails they have received. To prevent a subscriber from receiving a specific followup email, you must set the subscriber’s message number to be higher than the email sequence number.

For example if I write a 7 part follow up sequence (which is is very popular technique when getting people to buy from you) and a particular subscriber has already received your first three follow up messages and I write a brand new follow up email (message 8 in the sequence), there is no real way for me to prevent this subscriber from receiving message 8 unless I make their message number higher than 8. But if I do this, then that subscriber will never receive messages 4,5,6 or 7.

I can negate this with Aweber by using the broadcast message option which allows me to target specific lists that I have created

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 don’t know who has or hasn’t received a particular email.

Tracking

The key thing to remember here is that you only have to design your forms once but tracking your email is something that you should be doing all the time. It’s how you work out what’s working in your sales pipeline and what needs improvement. Both Aweber and Mail Chimp have good split testing and analytics reporting.

With Aweber, you can tell exactly who has opened your emails and exactly which links that they have clicked on and when. The delivery rate of emails is better with Aweber as well which is extremely important. In addition to all of this, Aweber also provides conversion tracking if you sell products and you can also track how each reader navigates through your website from an email campaign.

MailChimp puts stars next to each of your subscribers which provides you with a loose metric to measure the quality and interest of your readers. In addition, MailChimp does not track users who sign up for your newsletter but don’t confirm their email where as with Aweber you’ll be able to see exactly who hasn’t confirmed.

Support

This can be make or break for any business, get it right and you’ll have long term relationships get it wrong…I’m sure you know the answer.

Aweber has a good FAQ’s section and during regular business hours they offer prompt responses and thorough support by phone, email and live online chat

MailChimp encourage you to search their knowledge base for answers and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ll find links to contact their support team after you search.

Overall Comparison Between Aweber & Mailchimp

They both have good and bad points about the services they offer and we’ve just passed a thousand words and we haven’t even touched list management, import & export of subscribers, double optins, mobile deisgn and beyond. That’s enough for a whole video series.

What I would suggest is you take your time making your decision because it’s not one size fits all.

Think about how it can benefit your business and what difference it will make from a revenue point of view.

But irregardless of which you choose, remember it is only a tool. You still have to engage with your reader and build a relationship with them.

No matter how many fancy forms or flashy features you have, if it doesn’t benefit your customer then it’s not worth it.

Good luck

Steve King Signature

PS – Remember To get you started you have a choice of a free account with a MailChimp and a $1 One Month Trial with Aweber