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Sendinblue Review: My Experience Using It In 2020

A comprehensive analysis of Sendinblue's email marketing tool, dive into their features (including WordPress & Shopify), thoughts on their pricing and more!

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Sendinblue is an email marketing platform that comes with a comprehensive list of features. As our list of subscribers started growing, we found it increasingly challenging to bulk send customized newsletters to our audience.

I started to look for an email marketing solution and compared the platforms Google fed me with. Sendinblue was the platform that stuck with me. It had everything I was looking for at reasonable prices. 

We started using it a few months ago to send Failory’s newsletter to our subscribers. Since finding the right email marketing platform is a daunting task for many, I decided to share my experience with you. My Sendinblue review may help you if you are on a budget, with a growing list of subscribers, looking for such a tool yourself. 

What is Sendinblue

Sendinblue's homepage

Sendinblue is a powerful email marketing platform. It comes with an impressive list of features, which I found quite interesting at this price point. It helped me streamline all my email marketing activities and automate repetitive tasks. 

Sendinblue even goes one step further to help with marketing activities. It has support for SMS marketing and comes with basic CRM features. Basically, what I’m saying is that Sendinblue is an email marketing platform that doesn’t give it justice. 

All my findings go in line with the Sendinblue evolution journey. It was created by marketers for marketers. The Sendinblue team started out working in a digital agency, which enabled them to learn the needs of growing businesses. Sendinblue was developed to answer all these needs, and in my opinion, it reflects really well on the features and capabilities of this tool. 

My unbiased opinion is that it’s a comprehensive marketing solution catering to the needs of small to medium-sized businesses across the industries. Now that you know what Senindblue is let’s take a closer look at all the features it comes with.

Email Marketing

In its core, Sendinblue is still an email marketing software. I’ve been able to put all its features to good use when managing Failory's weekly newsletter, delivered to +7,000 subscribers every week. Here are all the features that I’ve tested since I started using Sendinblue.

Sign-up forms

To become more efficient in email marketing, you need to grow your contact list. That’s where sign-up forms come in. However, people with no background in coding find it very hard to make and publish sign-up forms. 

Sendinblue tackles this challenge with great success. The sign-up form is a feature that enables you to create beautiful and engaging forms and publish them on your website. 

I found creating a form very easy. Sendinblue comes with a drag and drop form builder, so you can create any form that you like without writing a single line of code. You can take a quick look at the Sendinblue form builder on the image below.

Sendinblue sign up forms

All it takes to add/delete fields, customize text, add radio buttons, and dropdown lists, is a simple click. Once you are done with building your form, you will get a chunk of code to copy/paste on your website. 

I personally loved the ability to add extra radio buttons. It helped me enable the contacts to opt-in to receive different types of emails to comply with the latest GDPR regulations. 

Email designer

The email designer is a tool created to help you make beautiful and professional-looking emails. The tool resembles the sign-up forms. It comes with a drag and drop editor. You can build emails from scratch, use a pre-built template, or edit a template however you want to. There are over 60 email templates in the Sendinblue template library. All templates are responsive and ready for use right out of the box.

Sendinblue sign up forms

Adding blocks, text, and customizing the style is hassle-free. Email designer also has support for automatic content personalization to help you email stick out in the recipient inbox. You can add your contact’s name. 

Sendinblue drag and drop

Once you get comfortable with the Sendinblue email designer, you can also use advanced personalization settings. The tool allows you to set conditions and use different dynamic content for each of your contact segments. 

Contact management

I had no trouble creating a contact list within Sendinblue. Managing contacts is easy and streamlined. Something I found really cool is that once I created my account, Sendinblue asked me to confirm that all my contacts have opted in. 

Sendinblue wants to make sure that all of its users stay compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act, which I personally find very responsible. The company has a very strict anti-spam policy.

There are three ways to import your contact list into Sendinblue:

  • Import from .CSV or .TXT files
  • Copy and paste from your list
  • Enter contact information manually

Adding new fields and changing attributes and field types is also easy. My contact table outline included an email address, name, birthday, and gender. You can easily add other fields such as the date contact was added to the list and whether the contact opened an email or not.

Sendinblue contact manager

Furthermore, you can manage contacts by enabling automatic triggers and segmentation. The practice can help you personalize your email marketing and set it for success. 

Reports

When it comes to reports, Sendinblue is an absolute beast. It comes with so many features to help you gauge the performance of your email marketing campaign, discover bottlenecks, and better and data-driven emails to boost engagement and conversion rates.

Sendinblue review

Open & Click-through reports, for instance, will provide you with actionable statistics for each campaign. The reports tell you which contacts engaged with your email. You can also discover engagement timelines and learn what the best time to send emails is. There is an option to automate this as well, and we’ll tackle it soon.

You can also filter the reports by geography and by inbox providers used by your contacts. Learning how your contacts and segments engage with your email can help you come up with a better strategy.

Sendinblue uses AI and machine learning to identify email opening patterns. You don’t even have to interpret the result as the platform does it for you. All you need to do is click a button to activate the “Sned at the Best Time” algorithm. It will automatically schedule your emails for the best time in terms of open rate and engagement.

The reporting capabilities don’t end with this. You can use two other features to improve your marketing strategy: email heat map and A/B testing.

Email heat map report helps you visualize how your contacts engage your emails. You can see what sections they pay attention to and what are the sections they completely ignore. With this information, you can custom-tailor your email templates to drive more engagement. 

A/B testing is straightforward. You need to create two different emails and put them to test. A/B test report will tell you which one will perform better. 

And, finally, assessing the performance of your email marketing campaign is possible as it develops because Sendinblue generates reports in real-time.

Automation

Many people stay away from the email marketing automation tools because they fear the technicality of having to build their own workflows. I was one of those people. And, yes, Sendinblue supports custom workflows. However, it comes with several basic workflows that you can use out of the box, including:

  • Welcome message
  • Birthday message
  • Abandoned Carts
  • Page Visit
  • Website Visit
  • Product Purchase
  • Activity-based templates

Using pre-built automation templates is easy even for absolute beginners. All you have to do is choose a template, decide which contacts to add to it, and you are set. That’s where contact filters come in really handy. 

You can add contacts to workflows by specific criteria such as age, time spent on a website, geographic location, and so on. The pre-built templates are not set in stone. You can edit them once you feel more confident with using Sendinblue.

Sendinblue automation

If you are a more advanced user, you will love creating your custom workflows. Setting these ones is not rocket science. The workflow setup starts with the selection of a file type. File types range from all contact files and contacts who have completed specific activity to contacts who have opened an email to those who visited your website. 

You set these conditions in the workflow editor by simply clicking a “+” icon and choosing a condition. At the start, it may appear complex, but after some practice, you will become a workflow wizard.

Sendinblue automation workflows

There is also a very convenient RSS automation that you can use to base your campaigns on your content marketing. I found this feature extremely useful. I’m definitely going to use it to send content updates to my subscribers. 

Integrating your RSS feed in Sendinblue is as easy as copy/pasting the RSS feed link into Configure RSS Feed window. 

Sendinblue RSS feed

The best thing about it is that you don’t need to manually design emails. The platform comes with an RSS default template you can edit as you please. 

It’s a great way to get rid of a few manual tasks and keep things automated. You can even select which contacts in your list will receive email updates based on RSS feed. 

RSS feed campaigns allow you to send a new email as soon as the RSS feed picks up your new content. You get to choose how frequently Sendinblue checks your site's RSS feed. You can schedule email campaigns on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to deliver those catchy weekly and monthly digests.

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Transactional emails

The Sendinblue email marketing platform is also a viable option if you want to base your campaigns on transactional emails. There are four different ways for you to set up transactional email triggers and delight your customers or followers with notification emails. 

The easy to use ones are eCommerce plugins and marketing automation workflow conditions. Those reserved for more advanced users include SMTP Relay and API. All of them work perfectly. I tested them to send password reset messages and order confirmation emails and had no problems setting them up.

Sendinblue transactional emails

All the features we went through so far are available for transactional emails. You can use transactional email templates to kick start your campaign or create one from scratch, thanks to a drag and drop editor. Dynamic content is also available, enabling you to personalize your transactional emails. 

Sendinblue comes with webhook support, meaning that you can create a completely custom trigger to send transactional emails. You can do this on your website or use webhooks with some other tool to trigger transactional email send. 

You can monitor the performance of your transactional emails via reports as with any other email sent through the Sendinblue SMTP infrastructure.

Deliverability

When choosing an email marketing platform, one of the most important factors to consider is deliverability. Deliverability stands for the ratio of sent emails and emails that actually reach the target inbox. It also encompasses the time it takes for an email marketing platform to deliver bulk emails. In other words, deliverability is the speed and reliability of the email marketing platform.

Sendinblue is a reputable company with a state-of-the-art SMTP infrastructure. There is a dedicated team of IT and email deliverability experts constantly working on improving the speed and reliability of Sendinblue SMTP infrastructure. 

In any case, you can always assess the deliverability via reports, and you can do it in real-time despite the scope of your email marketing campaign or the length of your contact list. 

Integrations

As you might already know, marketers solely use just one tool. In my opinion, a marketing software solution has to be versatile in terms of integrations—the more, the merrier. Currently, Sendinblue supports 50 integrations with tools that are commonly found in marketers’ toolbox. 

The App Center and Integration Page are simple and easy to use. The dashboard allows you to browse supported integrations and initiate the one you need.

Sendinblue can be used hand in hand with forms/lead generation, event management, eCommerce, development, CRM, CMS, and analytic tools. 

I found integrations to be easy and very useful. For instance, there is a dedicated WordPress plugin to help you design and send emails from the WP admin panel. The Sendinblue plugins are available for WordPress, Jimdo, and Wix.

There is even an open application programming interface (API) that you can use to integrate Sendinblue with whatever solution your company is using. I personally didn't do it as it requires knowledge in software development. 

Facebook Ads campaign integration with Sendinblue works seamlessly, and you can use it to target specific user segments and send personalized emails. 

Other noteworthy integrations in the eCommerce domain include support for WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento.

Customer Support

Sendinblue has an extensive customer support network. The platform has a useful help center you can use to go from zero to hero – you’ll find everything that might interest you regarding Sendinblue’s functionality right there. It comes with many resources to shorten and smooth out the onboarding process for absolute beginners.

The topics are conveniently put in relevant categories ranging from how to set up an account and launch an email campaign to how to manage contacts and automate your marketing. There is also a search feature to quickly find the topic you are interested in. 

If the online support resources can’t help you to resolve your issue, you have several options:

  • Create a ticket
  • Contact the support team via a web form
  • Call a toll-free support number

There is one catch, though. Phone support becomes available only for users with Essential accounts. 

Sendinblue Vs. Competition 

Let’s see how Sendinblue compares against its rivals on the market.

Sendinblue Vs Mailchimp

While Sendinblue and Mailchimp offer approximately the same things to users who want to use Free packages, things start to rapidly change for the users interested in paid packages. Sendinblue is a considerably cheaper option. 

For instance, to send a monthly Failory’s newsletter to 7,000 contacts, I had to invest  $25 in Sendinblue. The same package on Mailchimp comes with a price tag of $74.99. What is the reason for such a huge difference? Mailchimp bases its prices on the number of contacts on your list. 

The prices tend to be significantly more different when we look at other premium packages. Sending a monthly newsletter to 75,000 contacts will cost your $66 with Sendinblue and $399 with Mailchimp. 

Email automation is also one of the key differences here. Sendinblue comes with complex marketing automation workflows, while Mailchimp offers basic 1-click automation.

Sendinblue Vs. Constant Contact

The key difference between these two email marketing platforms is the pricing model. Constant Contact pricing is based on the number of contacts in your contact list. Sendinblue has a completely different pricing model, based on the number of sent emails. 

With Sendinblue, you can store and manage an unlimited number of contacts, which is excellent for growing businesses. It also comes with a free plan which comes with a limit of 300 emails per day. Constant Contact doesn’t have a free plan. However, it offers a 30-day free trial.

After looking at the list of available features, a few noteworthy differences deserve your attention. Constant Contact doesn’t have support for transactional emails, and it offers abandoned cart emails for Shopify only. 

Constant Contact also lacks a few automation features found in the Sendinblue. It doesn’t have complex automation workflows, dynamic segmentation, and SMS messages automation. 

Sendinblue Vs ConvertKit

Unlike Sendinblue, which offers 4 packages, ConvertKit offers only 2. CovertKit pricing is also based on the number of subscribers. The free plan comes with a 1,000 subscribers limit and only a few basic features. Unlike the Sendinblue free plan, ConvertKit doesn’t offer email automation.

The paid starting plan with ConvertKit starts at $29 and supports up to 1,000 subscribers. Sendinblue paid starting plan comes with a price tag of $25, no contact limit, and 40,000 emails sent per month limit.

However, the ConvertKit pricing plan scales significantly with the number of subscribers. In terms of features, ConvertKit has considerably fewer features than Sendinblue, and they all become available with a paid plan. 

ConvertKit offers two courses to all of its users, including those with a free plan account, whereas Sendinblue only offers access to Help Center.

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Other features

In the first Sendinblue review section, I went through the core features of this email marketing platform. However, the platform offers additional features to help you with your marketing strategy.

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is of great help when you need to communicate with your customers directly. It typically happens when you need to send urgent messages, inform customers about time-sensitive offers, or upcoming events. With Sendinblue, you can do it hassle-free. 

Sendinblue SMS

SMS marketing allows you to send bulk SMS marketing campaigns to contacts in your Sendinblue contact list. The functionality of this feature is similar to that found in email marketing. You can apply contact filters and choose contacts to send SMS messages to. The schedule option is available so you can send messages at the best times.

You can also create triggers to send transactional automated SMS messages through the use of marketing automation, integrations, and API. 

Sendinblue allows you to use personalization and dynamic contact features with SMS marketing to deliver custom-tailored messages to each one of your contacts. It pulls the data from your contact database to insert relevant text into every SMS message.

And, finally, SMS marketing comes with reports so that you can monitor the performance of your SMS campaign in real-time. The two most noteworthy metrics are engagement and deliverability. 

Chat

I was quite surprised to find that Sendinblue comes with a live chat tool, which is, by the way, now free for everyone. You can easily integrate it on your website and be there for your visitors when they need you the most. 

The installation requires minimal skills. You will have to copy the code snipped Sendinblue provides and paste it into the header section of your website. 

The live chat feature is easy to use. You can personalize the look to align it with your branding and website design, so it fits in perfectly. 

You don’t need to install any additional piece of software to chat with your visitors. The entire communication is handled through your Sendinblue Chat Inbox. During the conversation, Sendinblue allows you to see exactly which page is your contact on. 

Live chat supports several user agents. To reduce response times and engage with more visitors, you can assign conversations to several people on your team. 

Here at Failory, we have been using Sendinblue live chat for several months. It may not be as powerful as some dedicated live-chat software solutions, such as Intercom, but it gets the job done. After all, Sendinblue isn’t about chat support. However, having access to a chat feature in an email marketing platform enabled us to use fewer tools, reduce costs, and keep everything in the same place. 

CRM

CRM is quite a useful feature if you intend to start building a relationship with people in your contact list. With Sendinblue CRM, you’ll be able to use a centralized platform to track everything that’s going on with your contacts. 

Sendinblue CRM

The great thing about the Sendinblue CRM is that it’s a part of the marketing platform, so you don’t need to install additional software nor use a different account. You get to upload and manage your contacts in one place.

CRM extends the content management found in Sendinblue email marketing software. You get to add additional info and even attach notes to store vital information about your customers. 

When it comes to features unique to CRM, you will get access to advanced contact management capabilities. You can organize contacts by applying different criteria, including the source of acquisition and the lead qualification phase.

CRM works hand in hand with email marketing. You can schedule emails and automate follow-up emails for all your contacts in the Sendinblue CRM. 

There is support for user agents to help you delegate tasks to other members of your team. 

Landing pages

Landing pages are a feature you can use to grow your contact list. It basically allows you to build custom web pages without typing a single line of code. You can have a different landing page for every email marketing campaign or create unique landing pages for every segment. 

Sendinblue has a library of professionally-designed landing pages. If you want to create a brand new one, you can do it in minutes, thanks to a drag and drop editor.

Sendinblue landing pages

All fields on a landing page are linked to your Sendinblue account so that you can capture data hassle-free. The data is automatically uploaded to your contact list. 

Landing pages dashboard also provides you with a quick and easy way to create follow-up pages to delight your customers and website visitors with a consistent experience. 

After you create a landing page, you can add the link to your emails, social media posts, and ads. You can also brand them. There is a setting that allows you to replace the default domain with your domain name.

Facebook ADs

Sendinblue allows you to leverage the Facebook Advertising platform to grow your contact list, increase your brand awareness, and drive your sales. The feature is integrated into the Sendinblue platform. You can create, publish, and monitor your Facebook Ads campaign from one dashboard.

Sendinblue Facebook ADs

The Facebook Ads algorithm works great. You get to choose whether to target your existing contacts or expand the targeting with smart criteria introduced via Sendinblue Facebook’s lookalike audience feature.

Facebook Ads feature gives you full control over your campaign. You can set the budget and duration of the campaign while the platform automatically sets a daily spend limit to provide you with the best results. 

You also get real-time statistics to assess the performance of your Facebook Ad campaigns so that you can make adjustments and improve your ads.

Pricing

Here is everything I managed to dig up regarding the available Sendinblue packages, including their prices and which features they come with.

Free – great for startups and solopreneurs

Price: $0 per month

Features: Limited to 300 emails per day

  • Email designer
  • Email template library
  • Email and SMS personalization
  • SMS marketing
  • Contact management
  • Transactional email and SMS
  • Core API features
  • Dynamic content for emails
  • Marketing automation for up to 2,000 contacts
  • Real-time reporting
  • Plugins
  • Email support

Lite – perfect for small businesses

Price: $25 per month / $22.50 per month with annual payment

Features: All features from Free package, plus:

  • No daily sending limit
  • 40,000 emails per month

Essential – great for growing businesses

Price: $39 per month / $35.10 per month with annual payment

Features: All features from Lite package, plus:

  • White-labeling
  • A/B testing
  • Geography and device reporting
  • Heat map reporting
  • Advanced open and click stats
  • Phone support
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • 60,000 emails per month

Premium – perfect for mid-sized businesses

Price: $66 per month / $59.40 per month with annual payment

Features: All features from Essential package, plus:

  • Send time optimization
  • Facebook ads
  • Retargeting ads
  • Landing page builder limited at 5 pages
  • No contact limit for marketing automation
  • Additional 3 users on the account
  • 120,000 emails per month

Enterprise – for large corporations

Price: Request a quote

Features: All features from Premium plan, plus:

  • Page builder with no limit
  • Dedicated IP address
  • 10 additional user accounts
  • Dedicated account manager
  • SSO and SAML


Negative Points

While using Sendinblue, I’ve discovered a few of its negative points as well. Let me elaborate. The contact import tool is sometimes glitchy, especially if you are trying to import your contacts from a .TXT file. The import tool can make a mistake adding the relevant value to the correct field.

Setting up the dedicated IP is somewhat complex, but given that it is an Enterprise feature, it’s reasonable to see that type of complexity. After all, enterprises have a team of dedicated IT specialists, and this should not be a problem. 

Finally, Sendinblue appears to be clunky during the rush hours. I contribute this to the heavy user load and Sendinblue’s server infrastructure, which is unable to sustain this many users in terms of loading speed and responsiveness. 

Conclusion – When is Sendinblue a Great and Bad Fit?

Let me sum up my Sendinblue review. Sendinblue is a great option for startups, solopreneurs, and small- to mid-sized businesses. It’s easy to use and comes with all the tools you need to streamline contact management and marketing automation, and then some more. 

The growing businesses will find it particularly convenient for use because Sendinblue offers 4 distinct package options making it a scalable solution. It is a fast and reliable email marketing platform you can use to send a couple of hundreds of emails or send bulk email and SMS messages all at once.

The only scenario where I can see Sendinblue as a bad fit is if you are trying to migrate a huge contact list from some other email marketing platform. As I’ve previously stated, the import tool appears to be a bit clunky, and you might end up losing too much of your precious time having to fix the incorrect fields manually. 

If you have any questions about Sendinblue and my experience with using it, feel free to contact me! I’m more than happy to provide you with any additional information not found in my Sendinblue review.

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