If you’re a personal trainer and you’ve read about email marketing online to help bring in new business, you’ve probably heard of Mailchimp and Aweber. These are two of the most popular email marketing platforms available today, and they’re both very affordable.
However, trying to determine which one is right for you, the personal trainer, can be troublesome. This is why we’ve decided to compare and contrast the main features of the two platforms, and below you'll find free install guides for each program for you to follow along. Either program will be a great addition to your Fitness Marketing depending on your goals.
The first thing your website visitors will see before they subscribe to your email list is your sign-up form. Both programs give you the option to collect first and last names, email address, phone numbers, etc. More often than not, asking for just a first name and email address is more than enough information to start collecting leads.
When it comes to aesthetic, a nice looking form can help encourage your visitors to join your list (most important is the content you’re providing, but that’s beyond the scope of this blog post).
Mailchimp gives you the option to customise your forms as much as you want… if you know html/css. For personal trainers this is impractical. It’s a pretty steep learning curve to be able to custom design a form like that, and isn’t worth the time. With API integration you can, however, customise your Mailchimp form with a third party services like Jotform or Wufoo. Below is a screenshot of a My PT Website client’s Mailchimp sign-up form embedded on his home page.
Aweber utilises a more user friendly drag and drop form builder. It’s loaded with templates that can be customised much more easily than Mailchimp forms, and you can control color and form size without any code knowledge. Here’s a screenshot of a My PT Website client using Aweber.
Both Mailchimp and Aweber allow you to manage multiple forms. With both programs you can create as many inline forms as you want, and have multiple forms all link up to one list.
However, Mailchimp also requires some coding knowledge to make this happen. With Aweber it’s much easier to set this up. Multiple forms are important if you have more than one opt-in incentive on your website. However, if you’re new to email marketing and you’re working on your first opt-in incentive, this isn’t a feature you’ll need yet.
Both programs give you the option to import and export your email lists. This is a great feature, because if you decide to start with one program and want to switch, you can do so without having to manually input all of your subscribers. With both programs you can add and remove subscribers manually. They both also follow spam compliance laws, giving your users the option to unsubscribe if they want, whenever they want (this is important so don’t mess with it).
Multiple List Management
With Aweber you can create multiple lists, each for a different opt-in incentive. Blog sign-up, nutrition course, recipe book, exercise challenges, ebooks, you name it. You can create a list for each one and manage them all separately, each named after their respective sign-up form in the settings. If you want to send an email to one list, some of your lists or all of your lists, Aweber gives you this option with their broadcast feature.
Mailchimps broadcast feature doesn't work in the same way and that's not a good thing. This is a problem if you want to launch a promotion and send it to all of your subscribers. In order to achieve the same result with Mailchimp, there are two options.
With both programs you can get the same job taken care of, it’s just a little bit easier with Aweber.
Both programs offer analytics to track your marketing campaigns. This is important because it will help you learn what’s working and what isn’t. If you’re more advanced, you can integrate google analytics with either program, but for most personal trainers this isn’t necessary.
Both Aweber and Mailchimp’s analytics are as extensive as you’ll need them to be, both programs offer graphs, and both programs have a mobile app so you can look at your stats on the go.
Send An Email
Mailchimp and Aweber both make it very easy to contact your subscribers. With both programs you’ll have a ton of mobile-responsive templates to choose from, and customize how you want with drag and drop editors. If you prefer, you can build your own template from scratch and re-use it (this is nice if you send a newsletter). Or, you can build something different based on the content of the email. Either way, with both programs you have a lot of freedom to play with.
With both programs you can also schedule the emails for a later date and time. This is great because you can put together a series of emails and schedule them when your subscribers are most likely to be on their phones or checking their emails. For more advanced features, check out the automations and autoresponder features.
Automations and Autoresponders
With both programs, you’ll be able to create a welcome series anytime a visitor joins any of your lists. You can use the same one for each list, or create a separate one specific to each opt-in incentive you offer. Both have a bit of a learning curve to them, so either way you’ll need to spend some time learning how to configure the settings to get everything running the way you want.
When it comes to pricing, both programs offer a tiered structure depending on how many subscribers you have. The more subscribers you have, the more expensive the program becomes.
The big difference here is that Mailchimp offers a completely free version for up to 2000 subscribers, where Aweber only offers a one month free trial. The Mailchimp free version doesn’t let you take advantage of the automations and autoresponders, but is still very powerful for a free program.
Overall, as different as they are, both programs are fairly similar and are capable of achieving the same desired results with your email marketing campaigns. With mailchimp, some of the features are more difficult to set up than they are with aweber which is important to consider for personal trainers. However, mailchimp does offer a free version of their program which is also another huge factor to consider.
Just like personal trainers build exercise programs around their goals, personal trainers need to determine their own goals for their email marketing. As you get more advanced, Aweber seems to be a better option. However, if you’re new to email marketing, mailchimp’s free version is an excellent way to start learning. Since you have the option to export your lists, you can always try both and decide which one you like best.