In this article, I explain why I’m leaving MailChimp for Aweber, why I chose Aweber, and the steps I took to complete the easy migration. If you’re trying to decide between MailChimp and Aweber, or you’re using one and wondering about the other, here’s why I changed to Aweber:
- Customer service, customer service, customer service.
- With Aweber, you can email more than one list at once – not so with MailChimp.
I’m sad to leave MailChimp because their template-based campaign creation is the easiest I’ve ever used, and I’ve used several systems over the last 12 years. MailChimp emails render so well on mobile too, no matter what device I’m using. My WordPress expert tells me that their code is uber-clean too.
But I need to be able to email all of my lists at once. Period. Each time I wanted to send out my ezine (email newsletter) with MailChimp, I was having to download all my lists and see who was on multiple ones because I didn’t want the same person to receive multiple copies. This was taking up to an hour each time. No can do.
That wasn’t enough to put me over the edge though. Even though I’m a MailChimp paying customer who uses the autoresponder functionality, I could only get support with them via email (slow) or chat (frustrating). With chat, it was apparent that each consultant was chatting with numerous other patrons while helping me. I don’t want to spend 30 minutes chatting to get an answer. Again, no can do.
Yes, with MailChimp, I should have only created one list and grouped it or segmented it, but that’s not how my lists evolved. So when I asked MailChimp if I could merge my lists, they said, “yes,” but then they revealed that all my existing autoresponders and opt-in forms would be blown out of the water.
That was the tipping point for me, and it was time to move on. It really was a piece of cake to migrate to Aweber.
Here were the steps:
- Sign up for Aweber’s free trial.
- Create all your lists.
- Create all your corresponding autoresponder series (copy & paste).
- Create your opt-in forms.*
- Test the process.
* You don’t have to have the form installed on your website to test it. Just put the code in a text file and save it as a .html file and open that file with your browser.
Crazy me, I have 4 free offers and 7 opt-in pages/spots, so I hired a CSS expert to change the code on all of the forms. As each form was converted from MailChimp to Aweber code, new people began adding to my new system. I had just one important step for the migration to be complete: move my lists. I waited until all my opt-in code was converted for all of my freebies. I decided to keep MailChimp active a short time longer, so that all recently added subscribers there could work their way through the autoresponder series.
Again, importing my list to Aweber was way easier than I thought! Gone are the days when your change email services your subscribers have to opt-in again, a process that would have gutted half or more of my list, since they had done that before. (Those opt-in messages seem to get into the spam boxes.) Check out Aweber’s article: Importing Your Email List Just Got Easier.
Here were my steps:
- Export the email list from MailChimp.
- Import the names and email addresses while mapping those fields to the Aweber list I had created.
- Answer a few questions about where the names came from. (I had different answers depending on each list.) During this process, I could tell Aweber whether or not I wanted these subscribers to receive the opt-in notification or to receive the autoresponder series. For me, both answers were no.
- Await the import approval. Some lists were instantaneous, others took a few hours, and one took 24 hours, all depending on how I answered the questions about where the list came from.
For me, the process was smooth as silk. I think I lost a handful of email addresses on one list, but it was a list where I had many spam addresses added before I realized it and added CAPTCHA. In this case, the emails that weren’t converted over were probably black-listed domains, so there was no real loss.
Now, I’m ready to send out my first ezine with the Aweber system, and this is where the customer service factor that I mentioned above comes in. I was able to create my first broadcast just fine, but the images looked squeezed when reviewing a test on my Android phone, both with Gmail and another email service.
You can call Aweber and talk with someone who is helping you and only you. They helped me one-on-one for about 20 minutes while we tested out the perfect solution. This is not unique: all of my clients have Aweber, so I can say that they will work with you — and even do custom coding right on the spot, as they did in my case — until you’re happy.
And that’s why I’ll pay more ($5/month more) with Aweber. Because $60 a year is nothing compared to being able to hop on the phone and get your challenge solved fast. And hey, no more downloading all my lists, figuring out who is on which one, and then manually deleting them from the duplicate list, which is another time-saver for me.
How about you? Where do you stand in the Aweber vs. MailChimp conundrum?
Kristy Schnabel of It’s Virtually Done is a social media & online marketing strategist who helps entrepreneurs with quick & easy social media strategies to boost their business. She’s been profitable online for 11+ years and relishes helping others master new technologies. When she’s not online, you can find her swimming miles for her next open water swim vacation, hiking in the forest with her dog, Aubrey, or walking at the Oregon Coast with her husband Larry.