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MailChimp vs GetResponse vs Aweber vs Mad Mimi – Email Marketing Services Comparison


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It’s a showdown! GetResponse vs Aweber vs MailChimp vs Mad Mimi!

Read any article about ways to increase your site traffic or to make money from your blog and growing your email list is sure to be mentioned. If you are like me and fully committed to this goal, then the next question is which email marketing service is best? MailChimp? Mad Mimi? Aweber or GetResponse?

I have spent a ridiculous amount of time answering this question especially as I have three sites, all with different needs and the fact is that there isn’t just one service that is the absolute best – it is all about finding the email marketing service that best fits your needs for the best price.

While sorting this out I tried 4 different services. By tried, I mean I loaded my existing lists, set up forms on my sites to add new subscribers to that service and sent out emails. Like I said, I wasted a lot of time! This is because I wanted specific functionality and, unfortunately, often the only way to tell if it existed was to sign up and get started.

I am hoping that all this wasted time has a positive outcome other than the fact that hopefully my email lists have a good home now – you can all learn from my trial and error. There were some things that I didn’t even consider and had to learn the hard way – like Mad Mimi has rules about content. It is against their terms of service to email content about working online! Save yourself the hassle and learn from me instead. This is my email marketing services comparison.

Selecting the best email marketing service dnw

What you will learn:

  1. Why you need an email marketing service
  2. What to consider before doing your own email marketing service comparisons
  3. The pros and cons of using MailChimp
  4. The pros and cons of using Aweber
  5. The pros and cons of using GetResponse
  6. The pros and cons of using Mad Mimi
  7. The latest prices of all 4 of these services
  8. The Verdict – What is the best email marketing service?

1. Why do you need an email marketing service?

If you are running any type of site that you hope to earn money from then you should have an email list. Why is this? Simply because an email list of people who not just like your content, but want to give you their email address for more, are the best customers you could ever have.

Other types of traffic can come and go – Google could stop ranking your site, Pinterest could shut down, you could lose your Facebook account, but you will always own your email subscribers.

You need an email marketing service to store these email addresses, add new ones to when people subscribe, handle things like double opt in, allow you to send emails to your subscribers and show you stats of how successful your email campaigns have been.

If you set up an email marketing service well, everything can be automated for you to drive more hits to your websites and more conversions. This means more money! For all these reasons, using a good email marketing service is essential, as is an autoresponder series.

2. What to consider before doing your own email marketing service comparisons

Before reading any of the below, work out what you need from an email marketing service, both now and in the future.

You should definitely be looking at autoresponders. Autoresponders are systems of email that you can set up to send out automatically. Do you just want these to be time based or action based? For example, do you want to send out emails once a week to a schedule and/or do you want to be able to capture people who perform a certain action (such as viewing certain information on your site) and send them out an email?

Another feature that was important to me was people being able to move into multiple lists without opting in again. This is something else to consider. Ideally you want to segment your lists into different areas. For example, for my working from home site, people can sign up for the general email list and then may want to opt in to doing a 7 day course via email. I want them to be able to join this course without having to go back to the site and opt in again.

The other important thing to consider, which may rule out certain services in your email marketing companies comparison, is whether you want to be able to do affiliate marketing. Most bloggers probably want to promote affiliates at some point or another so you should keep this option open if you are unsure.

The other consideration I had was that I had multiple sites that I wanted to store email lists for.  This is not a problem for some services. For others, this requires multiple accounts (so may end up costing you more money).

Finally, now that I have been building my emails lists for awhile, I also care about being able to set up rules (sometimes called automation). This means I can make certain events trigger for a subscriber when they perform a certain event. For example, if they click a link in one of my emails to a certain post, I might want to copy them to another list where I send out more content specifically about that area where they showed interest.

3. MailChimp

MailChimp email service

It seems appropriate that I start with MailChimp as that’s who I started with. I had my email lists in MailChimp primarily because that’s what I had heard discussed in blogging groups and it was free.

However, I am not a fan. I found the interface very difficult to use and not at all intuitive. They have thankfully recently updated it, but I still do not find it as easy to use as the other providers. In fact, I can’t stress enough how much more difficult this is to use than their competitors. Once I knew I wanted to use autoresponders (so the account would no longer be free), there was no reason to stay.

Pros

  • Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month (however, I highly recommend you use an autoresponder which is not free).
  • Time based and action based autoresponders.
  • 300 email templates
  • A/B split testing
  • Send time optimisation – MailChimp can work out the best time to send your emails based on what time is most likely to see more click throughs to your site.
  • If changing from another service, you can upload your subscribers without them needing to opt in again.

Cons

  • Less intuitive to use than the other providers.
  • They do not allow content on topics such as making money online and working from home (so I should not have been using it for this site). You can see the full list of topics here.
  • Affiliate marketing is prohibited in their terms of service. If you read the details, it seems they allow some forms but not others and it is not that clear. There are lots of stories online about people who have had problems with this.
  • No access to email support for free accounts.

Best For

People who want something free and don’t mind foregoing features to get it or for people who want lots of features and will not write content about any prohibited topics or engage in affiliate marketing.

4. Aweber

Aweber email service

Aweber is another popular option so it is the next one I tried. It is recommended by many internet marketers but given it is the most expensive for people starting out, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a ploy to get affiliate commissions. However, I needn’t have worried. It is a good service, it just did not suit me.

The only problem I had is that double opt in is required for people to move between lists. Double opt in is where someone signs up for your email list and then they have to go click on a link in an email to confirm their subscription. This is an important process, but it is overkill when the person has already subscribed.

I was also not happy that in my example above for my working from home site, subscribers who wanted to sign up for my online courses needed to click a link in their email which would take them back to a sign up form on my site, then go confirm via email. I am not a fan of all these steps.

Pros

  • Straight forward to use
  • Responsive support with live chat (although only during certain hours).
  • Time based auto responders
  • Can use one account for multiple lists across multiple sites
  • A/B split testing
  • Can deliver attachments in emails (like your lead magnet)
  • 700 email templates
  • Free 30 day trial

Cons

  • Expensive when starting out although prices are similar to other services once you have more subscribers
  • Double opt in required to move between lists. If subscribers want to join another list, they need to fill in another form as well.
  • In working out your number of subscribers for billing purposes, they count people who have not confirmed their subscription and people in multiple lists.
  • Not as many features as GetResponse or MailChimp.

Best For

Aweber is best for people who want to use auto responders and are not concerned about the problems associated with moving between lists.

5. GetResponse

GetResponse email service

GetResponse email marketing was the final service I tried. I stopped at this point because it was also the best! It offers a range of features and it should cover whatever you want to do with your email list. It is a good price and free for a month if you wish to trial it.

It is easy to move people between lists, you can use it for multiple lists across multiple sites and there are time and action based responders. I have found it easy to set up and get going.

I have now been using GetResponse for nearly two years and I am even happier than before. They have added a ton of new functionality and I especially make use of “automation”. This is where you can set up rules to do things like move a subscriber between lists or to send them certain emails based on their actions. It’s very powerful and does everything I have possibly wanted to do with my lists.

For example, I currently have automation set up to move across subscribers who open the last email in my travel blog autoresponder series to a new list. If they don’t open the final email, after 7 days I send them another email asking them if they still want to be on my list. If they say yes, they move to the new list.

If they don’t respond within 10 days, they are moved to a different list where I don’t email them anymore. I can save them and clear them out (to save on subscriber costs).

I highly recommend this service and I am very happy I found it!

Pros

  • Straight forward to use with a low learning curve.
  • Responsive support with live chat 24/7. I have used their live support a few times (by my 4th service I asked lots of questions before signing up!) and always had immediate and great service.
  • Time and action based auto responders
  • Can use one account for multiple lists across multiple sites
  • A/B split testing – this service has the most options for this
  • Readers can also subscribe to lists via email
  • Over 500 email templates that are very easy to use
  • Inbox display – while you are working on your emails, you can view how they would look both on a computer and a phone.
  • Time travel feature – this means you can send emails at a set local time for the subscriber, eg an email can be sent at 10am Tuesday local time – this will send out to each subscriber when they hit this time in their time zone. You can also set an email to send automatically at whatever time to subscriber is most likely to open it.
  • If changing from another service, you can upload your subscribers without them needing to opt in again.
  • They also provide landing pages.
  • Automation – GetResponse allows you to set up rules to move subscribers between campaigns, send out email sequances depending on what the subscriber does, etc.
  • 30 day free trial available.

Cons

  • The only con has been that people who are already subscribers can not just click on a link to subscribe to another list like in Mad Mimi. They need to fill in another form (but don’t need to double opt in) or they can send a blank email to a specific address. You can get around this by setting up automation rules, ie if the subscriber clicks on a certain link in a certain list, they get copied (or moved) to another list.

Best For

GetResponse is best for people who want a full featured, powerful email marketing service without a big price tag that is simple to use.

6. Mad Mimi

Mad MimiWhen I first signed up for Mad Mimi I was in love. It is snazzy and quick and easy to get started and do whatever you need to do. However, its simplicity is it’s downside. It is missing certain functionality and you can only use one account for one site (as you can not edit the contact or business information on a per list basis). It also has similar rules to MailChimp about prohibited content and affiliate marketing. However, if it suits your needs and you don’t need any of the extra functionality and will not be writing about prohibited topics, then this is a cost effective and very easy option for your email marketing service.

I do feel I need to issue a warning with this recommendation. I currently have this site’s email list in Mad Mimi and when I tried to send out my first newsletter with it, it decided the content was banned (as I write about working online), it did not send out and I got an email saying that they did not want me as a client anymore!

After a few emails back and forth, I was forwarded to their “Chief of Email Deliverability” who sorted it out and my email was sent and my account activated again. I have been put on some list so I can continue to write about this topic with hopefully no further problems. I was too paranoid to keep my work from home site with this provider for these reasons, so I moved this and my travel blog list to GetResponse. I will probably move this list at some point too as I want to be able to market affiliates.

Pros

  • Very quick and easy to use.
  • Free for up to 100 subscribers.
  • Can move subscribers between lists easily. Subscribers can just click on a link to be added to other email lists.
  • It’s a nice looking website with a great user interface.
  • It’s the cheapest option.
  • Live chat for support

Cons

  • Certain content is prohibited, like discussing working from home or online. You may be able to get around this.
  • Affiliate marketing is prohibited.
  • You can only use one account for one site.
  • You can not set up a double opt in for services which use the API to add subscribers to your list, eg if you use OptinMonster or many other plugins. Think carefully about whether this may cause issues for you. Not having a double opt in can mean that you end up with email addresses for people who did not sign up – if they report you as spam this can affect your deliverability. You may also need a double opt in to meet legal obligations when you email out to your list.
  • There is only one email template (although it is very nice!)

Best for

Mad Mimi is perfect for people who want something that is quick and easy to use. It is easy to get set up and started creating an auto responder series within a couple of hours. It is not recommended for people who write about working online or other prohibited topics or want to do affiliate marketing.

7. Latest prices of these services

This is the current pricing for these email marketing services based on the number of subscribers.

Service5001,0002,0005,00010,00025,000
Mad Mimi$10$12$16$27$42$89
GetResponse$15$15$25$45$65$145
Aweber$19$29$29$49$69$149
MailChimp$20*$20*$25$50$75$150

* MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers. However, you do not get all the functionality, like auto responders.

The pricing is quite similar except for Mad Mimi which is a fair bit cheaper. Aweber is also more expensive for people just starting out, although as you add more subscribers, the services are a similar cost.

8. The Verdict – What is the best email marketing service?

GetResponse is by far the best option. It includes the most functionality, is a good price and doesn’t have terms of service that prohibit many topics like MailChimp and Mad Mimi. Aweber is also a good option if the issues regarding moving subscribers between lists is not a concern for you. However given GetResponse includes more functionality and is easier to use, it wins this contest for me.

I do like Mad Mimi as it is just so easy to use and produces good looking emails very easily. It is also a fair bit cheaper than the other options. However, if you plan to do any affiliate marketing or talk about working online/from home, be cautious about taking this option. If you are looking for a free account, I would pick this one over MailChimp.

It is important to make a good decision from the beginning as the more subscribers you get, the harder it will seem to switch providers. Even if you do not need paid features at present, if you are aiming for blog growth, a good autoresponder series is essential so factor this in to your decision.

Read all our content marketing strategies in our article about how we reached 100,000 page views and how you can too.

Any questions? What do you prefer out of Aweber vs MailChimp vs GetResponse vs Mad Mimi?

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase one of these services after clicking on one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost for you.

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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