featured image of aweber vs mailchimp

Because AWeber and Mailchimp has been around for so many years, I don’t think they need any introduction.

You’re here because you’re trying to switch to one of these email marketing tools, and you’re trying to compare and see which one is a better fit for you.

I’d be remiss if I don’t add another tool into this comparison article so that you have a better chance of meeting your needs.

Enter BirdSend — the “content creators” email marketing tool my small team and I built.

Disclaimer: You already know this, but let me remind you again. You’re on BirdSend’s site, so it’s only natural I’m trying to sway you to our side. But I’ll try to be as neutral as I can, and you can judge whether this is the case. At the end of the day, you’re always the one in control to choose whichever tool suits you best.

In a hurry? Want to get high email opens while saving 80% in email tool expenses? Give BirdSend a free try here.

Table of Contents

Main differences between AWeber vs Mailchimp vs BirdSend

BirdSend

BirdSend is a lightweight and no-frills email marketing tool for content creators, and not for everyone else. We offer a free migration service to make it as hassle-free for as you as possible when moving over.

It’s for folks who wish to save 80% in email tool expenses every month, yet still want to get good email opens (deliverability). Typically, this isn’t possible because you can only have either one but not both.

We’re able to achieve both because our whole strategy of getting new customers is via word of mouth recommendations. This means we don’t spend a penny on paid ads → we pass the savings back to the customers.

BirdSend is for content creators who don’t need fancy email design. After all, this is an email message we’re talking about, not landing pages and websites.

The purpose of an email is to share content and communicate with your subscribers. It’s not a place to show off how good looking your emails are.

Remember that people subscribed to you because of how your content is going to help them. They didn’t subscribe because they want to admire your email design.

Those who don’t need a landing page tool inside an email marketing tool are also suitable to use BirdSend. They understand these are 2 different tools that serve different purposes and would rather use a dedicated tool for each.

Finally, if you run a one-man show or have less than 10 team members, BirdSend is a good fit.

AWeber

AWeber targets small businesses of all types — ecom / physical products online stores, course creators, bloggers, local brick and mortar stores, agencies, etc.

Free migration is provided when you move over.

It charges you for unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts. Plus, you’re also billed for the same contact multiple times if he is in multiple lists. Example: John Doe is in 5 lists — you’re billed for 5 contacts.

It’s a good email service provider and could be a good fit if you don’t do a lot of segmentation. The reason is it’s somewhat cumbersome when you want to segment — you’d need to create a separate list for each interest, and then configuring the settings for each list.

While AWeber is not for folks who want to do advanced automation, it allows you to sell products / services and take online payments. For this, it takes a certain percentage off you on top of Stripe payment processing fees.

Mailchimp

Previously, Mailchimp tried to disable double opt-in for all its users. Only after a lot European users protested did it cancel the decision.

I’m mentioning it here so you know it has a history of not taking “a clean healthy email list” stance seriously.

Mailchimp doesn’t offer a free migration service, so you’d need to move everything on your own.

It doesn’t offer unlimited sending in all of its plans (even paid plans).

Like AWeber, Mailchimp charges you for:

  • unsubscribed contacts
  • unconfirmed contacts
  • multiple times for the same contact who is subscribed to different lists (”audiences” as they call it)

Because Mailchimp can do almost every marketing function you can think of — website builder, ecom shop builder, Facebook and Google ads management, postcard marketing, landing pages, email marketing, social media scheduling, domain registration, CRM, etc. — the user interface is complex and houses endless menus and sub-menus. All these lead to a very steep learning curve.

However, you can’t really blame it since it has to take account into all kinds of use cases and include all of them into the platform.

Which brings me to my next point…

Mailchimp is for everyone who wants to do marketing tasks and automation. Not only does it target every type of audience, it also targets every business size (small, medium, enterprise) and targets every use case.

How content creators send 30 million emails each month and get good email deliverability

They use BirdSend as their email marketing tool.

As a result, they also save 80% in expenses every month.

increase email list growth - review by user
(click here to see full image)

good email open rates - review by user
(click to see full image)

Content creators are people who teach or share their knowledge to others. Some examples are bloggers, course creators, YouTubers, coaches, consultants, writers / authors, speakers / trainers, podcasters, etc.

With BirdSend, they’re also able to create and send emails fast, especially with BirdSend’s 1-Page Sequence Builder:

ultra quick to build email drip campaigns

another customer review of how lightweight the email tool is
(click to see full image)

With the main differences out of the way, let’s get to the meat of the discussion. And that is AWeber vs Mailchimp vs BirdSend — who wins?

To answer that question…

Let’s ask ourselves 20 email marketing questions to rate how each tool fares

BirdSend

Does the tool provide free migration?

Yes it does. As mentioned above, we provide a concierge migration for free. We’ll move over everything — contacts, forms, automations, sequences, integrations, etc. — to make the process seamless for you.

Are unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts charged?

We only charge subscribed contacts — i.e. those people who you can send emails to.

Does it charge the same contact multiple times?

We only charge based on unique contacts (unique email addresses) — e.g. if Bruce Wayne is in 5 sequences / lists, you’re still only billed for 1 contact.

How easy is it to set up?

BirdSend’s focus is simplicity and lightweight, hence setting things up is easy and quick.

We’re able to do this because we’re a very focused tool — we only serve content creators and we only provide email marketing functionalities. No other nonsense.

We’re especially proud of our 1-Page Sequence builder where you can build sequences in record time (see image above).

If you can find an email tool that’s faster than our sequence builder, let us know (contact by clicking bottom right button on this page) and we’ll give you a paid account, on the house.

Is A/B testing available?

Yes. And you can set the criteria for the winner — higher open rate, click rate, or earnings.

You can customize the email ratios for the original email, variation email, and winner email.

In addition, you can resend to unopened. As far as I know, we’re the only email tool that allows you to resend even when you’re doing A/B testing.

split test is available for all types of emails

Who is the intended users of the tool?

Budget-conscious content creators who want to enjoy high email opens at an affordable price. BirdSend is suitable for solopreneurs or those who run a tiny team of not more than 10 teammates.

Does it have email series / sequences / drips functionality?

Yes, and this is an area that we’re very proud of because of how fast you can crank out email sequences.

What about newsletter-type / one-off broadcast emails?

Yes. This is the price of entry for an email marketing tool / email service provider.

Can you resend emails to people who haven’t opened?

Yes for both sequence and broadcast emails. You can set it up in advance (set it and forget it, then go away for your vacation). And it only takes 1-click.

quickly resend an email to people who haven’t opened the original email

Can it do automation based on subscribers’ behavior?

Yes. For instance, it’s easy to segment subscribers or subscribe them to different automated email series, based on their engagement with your emails.

E.g.

If subscriber opens email X, tag with X.

If subscriber clicks link Y, tag with Y and subscribe to sequence Y and unsubscribe from current sequence.

Can the tool create optin forms and landing pages?

Optin forms — including popups, exit-intent forms, sidebar and bottom widget forms, in-content forms, and welcome screens — can be created quickly.

We don’t have landing page features though. As stated above, we focus on what we’re good at (email marketing) and let dedicated landing page tools do what they’re best at.

Most landing page tools don’t have email marketing features, so why would you expect an email marketing tool to have landing page functionalities?

However, if you just want a simple landing page, our “Welcome Screen” form type allows you to create a simplistic landing page that looks like this:

simple landing page

Does it have segmentation features?

Yes. BirdSend is a subscriber-centric tool — meaning there’s only 1 master list and you can quickly segment contacts via tags.

The best thing about tags is you can create them on the fly. No need to mess around with configuring and filling out the settings for each tag because there simply isn’t any setting.

You can segment contacts in the following ways:

  • Automatically right when they join your list
  • Automatically based on how they engage with your emails
  • Manually by adding / removing tags

How is the email editor?

We use a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) email editor — like what you’d find in Google Doc or Microsoft Word.

Writing emails is as simple as typing.

Unlike 99% of email tools, we don’t use a drag and drop fancy editor. After all, this is an email message we’re talking about, not landing pages or websites.

Ask yourself this question: do you think subscribers want to open your emails because of how your content is going to help them, or because they want to be impressed at how “good looking” your emails are?

Content → useful for them to overcome their problems.

Beautifully-designed → useless as it doesn’t help overcome their problems.

Furthermore, using a simple email design helps with deliverability as there html code is much cleaner and concise.

How are the stats / reports?

As with everything in BirdSend, viewing your stats is quick and easy.

Open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates, bounce rates, spam-complaint rates, earnings, and earnings per email are all provided. You can also deep dive into each stat to see the corresponding contact.

Moreover, we report back the lifetime value (LTV) and average lifetime value (ALTV) of your subscribers.

LTV is accumulated over the years for someone who has bought many of your offers.

ALTV can be for your whole account or it can be broken down into specific campaigns — e.g. your book giveaway campaign on Twitter.

Tip: spend less than your ALTV to acquire a subscriber and you’ll be in profit.

know the LTV of your subscribers

average lifetime value is also readily available

Is spam checker functionality available?

Yes, you can check the spam score of every email before sending.

built-in spam score tool

Can the tool do cart abandoned emails?

Yes. At this time, we directly integrate with these cart platforms: ThriveCart, WooCommerce, Teachable, Shopify, SendOwl, SamCart, MemberPress, aMember, and Thinkific.

When someone abandons their purchase, BirdSend can send automated follow up emails to try and recover the sale.

How is the customer service / support?

We can sugarcoat our customer support all day long, but the best way is to try it for yourself and you be the judge. Does that sound fair?

Nonetheless, here are a few reviews about our customer service:

birdsend customer service as rated by a customer

another review about birdsend customer support
(click here for full image)

Any free plan?

We don’t have a free plan, but we offer a free 14 days trial.

The reason is our resources are limited (being a small team), and we don’t want to spread our resources too thin. Paid customers have already given us their money, so it only makes sense to serve them as best we can.

One shouldn’t judge whether to use an email tool based on its free plan.

Other important factors to consider:

  • The limitations of the free plan
  • How steep the price jump is from free to paid
  • The affordability of the paid tiers compared to other tools

How is the value for money?

For what BirdSend can do in terms of email marketing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a tool that has better value for money.

affordability vs functionality of the tool

what this user has to say about this tool’s value for money

another review by another satisfied user

Pros

  • Free migration provided
  • Very affordable (save 80% every month) yet still provides good email deliverability
  • Super quick to create sequence / drip emails with The 1-Page Sequence Builder
  • Track earnings from emails out of the box
  • Lightweight and no-frills email marketing tool — easy UI and low learning curve
  • All features unlocked, the only difference in the plan is the number of contacts

Cons

  • Small team of only 7 teammates
  • Relative new in the email marketing space (since 2018 only)
  • Not suitable if you’re looking to create fancy-designed emails
  • If you want landing page features, BirdSend is not for you

AWeber

Does the tool provide free migration?

Yes, it offers a free migration service to move your data from your previous email tool.

Are unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts charged?

Yes, you’re charged for unconfirmed as well as unsubscribed contacts.

Does it charge the same contact multiple times?

Yes, you’re billed multiple times for the same contact in different lists. For example, if Subscriber Sally is in 4 different lists, you’re charged for 4 contacts / subscribers.

I think it’s more a design flaw with AWeber being a list-centric tool though, rather than intentionally charging you multiple times.

How easy is it to set up?

The UI is pretty intuitive and easy to navigate. Everything is where it should be.

One thing to pay attention to is the “list” setting on the top left of the UI. Make sure when setting up emails or making changes, you’re in the correct list. Otherwise, you’d unknowingly make unintended changes to the wrong list.

be extra careful when editing aweber’s list settings

Is A/B testing available?

AWeber claims it has A/B testing features. I find it more of a hack than a real feature.

Here are the hacks you’d need to do to implement A/B testing:

1/ Manually create 3 email messages for the original email, the variation email, and the winner email

2/ To determine which email is the winner, you’d need to login to your account and manually (as in use your eyes and brain) review which one has the higher open or click rate

3/ Finally, you manually (again) send the winner to the remaining recipients.

aweber vs mailchimp - the former’s a/b test feature is convoluted

Who is the intended users of the tool?

Small businesses of all types — ecom brands, course creators, bloggers, authors, coaches, local brick and mortar businesses… basically any type of business as long as it’s a small business.

Does it have email series / sequences / drips functionality?

Yes, it’s called “autoresponders” in AWeber.

What about newsletter-type / one-off broadcast emails?

Yes, you can easily do this.

Can you resend emails to people who haven’t opened?

No.

Can it do automation based on subscribers’ behavior?

Yes, though it’s somewhat limited.

E.g.

You can set up link triggers like this: if subscriber clicks a specific link → tag with X or remove from current autoresponder / sequence.

But that’s pretty much it.

If you want more automation like: if subscriber clicks a specific link → subscribe to sequence Y, you can’t.

Can the tool create optin forms and landing pages?

Yes, for both.

It doesn’t have an “optin incentive” feature though (auto delivering a specific freebie for each form).

Does it have segmentation features?

Yes. It segment via lists and tags.

A list is mandatory in AWeber — it’s where you “house” contacts. Tags, on the other hand, are optional.

This could be confusing to users. Should you use lists or tags or both?

Moreover, you need to configure and fill out the settings for each list. And you’d need a different list for each subscriber interest. Imagine having 10 different interests → need to set up 10 list settings → cumbersome and frustrating.

How is the email editor?

Like many email service providers, AWeber uses a drag and drop approach for its email editor. You can built multi-columns and fancy-designed emails with this type of editor.

The con is the extra html code it produces, which doesn’t help with deliverability.

Everything else being equal, mailbox providers prefer a cleaner and lightweight html code instead of a heavy and complex one (which is what you get with fancy-designed emails).

It features some 700 email templates, though many of the design are outdated. Still, 700 templates are a lot.

How are the stats / reports?

Apart from the usual stats like opens, clicks, unsubscribes, spams, bounces… it also tells you the percentage of emails sent to the different mailbox providers. So for example, 50% of emails were sent to Gmail, 25% to Yahoo, etc.

Is spam checker functionality available?

No.

Can the tool do cart abandoned emails?

Yes for WooCommerce and Shopify. For other shopping carts, an external “connection” app like Zapier is needed.

How is the customer service / support?

It provides around the clock customer support via email, phone, and live chat. It also regularly runs webinars and podcasts that educate you about email marketing and how to use the tool.

Any free plan?

Yes, it has a free plan with the following terms:

  • Clickable AWeber logo on every email
  • No free migration
  • Only 1 list
  • Max 500 subscribers
  • Max 3k emails sent/month
  • No behavioral automation

How is the value for money?

Value for money is better than Mailchimp but not as good as BirdSend.

Pros

  • Easy to use and navigate around the user interface
  • It has this unique feature where you can input your url and the tool will get the colors / theme from your site, and from there you can use the same color brand in your emails
  • It shows you the percentage of emails sent to the different mailbox providers (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.)

Cons

  • Segmentation is inconvenient
  • Limited automation
  • A/B testing is cumbersome
  • No auto resend to unopened
  • Gets expensive quickly — charge unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts; plus charge the same subscriber multiple times if he is present in multiple lists

Mailchimp

Does the tool provide free migration?

No, you have to migrate yourself or hire a freelancer to do it for you.

Are unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts charged?

Yes. Both unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts are charged, even though you can’t send emails to them.

Does it charge the same contact multiple times?

Yes. Mailchimp bills the same contact multiple times when he is in different lists / audiences. Say Steve Rogers is subscribed to 5 lists, you’re charged for 5 contacts.

How easy is it to set up?

The user interface is confusing because of the many menus and child menus that house hundreds of features.

Being an all-in-one marketing platform, Mailchimp can do almost every marketing task that you can think of — online store builder, website builder, landing page builder, SMS, postcard marketing, Facebook and Google ads management, calendar, CRM, email marketing, social media scheduling, and even registering domains.

To incorporate all these into a single platform is no easy undertaking. So, you can’t really fault the platform though for its steep learning curve.

Is A/B testing available?

Yes, in paid plans. You can A/B test subject lines, the send time, and the email body.

Who is the intended users of the tool?

Initially when Mailchimp first started decades ago, it targeted small businesses. Today, it’s a billion dollar company and it must do everything it can to maximize revenue.

It has grown into targeting everyone who not only wants to do email marketing, but all kinds of marketing activities.

Small, medium, big, and enterprise businesses are all welcome to use Mailchimp.

It also targets businesses of all types — e-commerce online shops, course creators, bloggers, mom and pop shops in the local neighborhood, agencies, coaches, etc.

Does it have email series / sequences / drips functionality?

Yes.

What about newsletter-type / one-off broadcast emails?

Yes.

Can you resend emails to people who haven’t opened?

Yes, with the following flaws:

  • You can’t set up the resend ahead of time. You can only do the resend after the original email has been sent.
  • After the original email has been sent, you need to clone it (to be used as the resend email). Then you have to manually configure who the recipients of the resend email are by using filters / segments (again, by manually using your eyes and brain).

Can it do automation based on subscribers’ behavior?

Yes. The most common scenario is segmenting subscribers who opened emails or clicked on links, and then profiling them and / or putting them into other automations.

Can the tool create optin forms and landing pages?

Yes, it can do both.

Creating landing pages in Mailchimp is more intuitive than optin forms (which is confusing).

Does it have segmentation features?

Yes. Like AWeber, Mailchimp segments using audiences (which is the same as “lists”) and tags. It’s primarily a list-based platform, so every contact will be put inside a list (audience). But then you can also do tags.

So which one should you use? It can be difficult to know when to use which.

Plus, you need to create a list for each contact’s interest. After that, you must configure the settings for each list (audience). Doing all this is tiring and cumbersome.

How is the email editor?

It uses a “drag and drop” type of email editor for you to build emails. It provides around 100 themed templates from newsletters, e-com, events, etc.

You can build decorative and fancy designed emails with its builder, if that’s your cup of tea.

How are the stats / reports?

The usual suspects like open rate, click rate, unsubscribe rate, spam rate, and bounce rate are provided. Plus, it provides you with click maps and hourly metrics. There’s also an “industry average” stat that you can compare your own metrics against to benchmark your email performance.

Is spam checker functionality available?

No.

Can the tool do cart abandoned emails?

Yes, but only if you use the following e-commerce platforms: BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, and PrestaShop.

How is the customer service / support?

Typical of what you’d expect from big companies, unfortunately Mailchimp doesn’t fare well in this department.

It has more than 1,200 employees.

mailchimp’s enermous amount of employees

A corporation of this size typically has a lot of bureaucracy going on, which leads to suboptimal customer service.

aweber vs mailchimp - poor customer service by the latter

Any free plan?

Yes. Do note the below limitations for the free plan:

  • Mailchimp’s logo in every one of your emails
  • Customer support is only available for 30 days
  • Max 10k emails/month with a 2k/day limit
  • No automation

How is the value for money?

Even though Mailchimp offers different plans for different needs, its pricing is still on the more premium side (see comparison table below).

Pros

  • It has this unique feature where replies from subscribers are logged in the comments section of the email editor — gives you an easy way to review feedback
  • Suitable if you want an all-in-one marketing platform that can literally do everything related to sales and marketing
  • Trusted brand, has been around since 2001
  • Has a lot of integrations with other tools (around 200 as of this writing)

Cons

  • Each of the paid plans has a limit on the number of contacts you can store — meaning as you grow the number of contacts, you’d need to upgrade to a higher plan even when you don’t need the extra features

    all mailchimp’s plans don’t have unlimited sending
  • None of the paid plans has unlimited email sending
  • Complex UI leads to steep learning curve
  • Has a history of not taking data privacy seriously — almost disabled double opt-in functionality for all its users (read here for the difference between single and double opt-in).

Pricing Table Comparison

(price per month)

Brand1k Contacts2.5k 5k10k25k50k100k
AWeber$29.99$29.99$49.99$69.99$149.99$?$?
Mailchimp (Standard)$51.99$51.99$79.99$105$230$320$540
BirdSend$9$14$19$29$69$109$209

Note:

  • Not all Mailchimp features mentioned in this article are included in all its plans. It offers many different plans. Hence, make sure to do your homework before deciding which plan suits you best.
  • For AWeber and BirdSend, all features are included. The only difference in pricing is according to the number of contacts you have in your account.

Conclusion — AWeber vs Mailchimp vs BirdSend: Which email marketing tool is better?

Before we can answer that question, you should take a moment and consider what your needs are. Everyone has different needs (though some may overlap).

Are you a content creator looking to get high email opens but don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket? Then give BirdSend a free try.

If creating fancy-designed email is your thing and you don’t mind paying extra for unconfirmed, unsubscribed, and duplicate contacts in different lists… go for AWeber.

Or maybe you want an all-in-one marketing platform that can do a hundred things but don’t mind doing the migration yourself? Then go for Mailchimp.

Welly Mulia

👋 My customers (Content Creators) send 30M emails/month via BirdSend. They save 80% in email tool expenses every month while still enjoying high email opens.

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Save 80% every month. High email opens. Super fast email sequence setup.

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