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Whether you’re starting an online business or a blog, you cannot live without an email marketing software. Email is still one of the most effective communication channels and it’s uber important to leverage it.
But let’s face it, choosing an email marketing tool is not that straightforward. With so many different options (free and paid), you’re ought to get confused. Even after using multiple email marketing tools both at work and personally in the past six years, I still spend considerable time in comparing different tools. Finding the right tool might take some time and that’s completely natural.
Today, I’m sharing my review of Sendinblue, a tool that comes very close to being perfect. Over a year back I switched to Sendinblue from Mailchimp and I cannot be more happier. In this Sendinblue review, I’ll be going through its different features, advantages, and more. I’ll also compare it with other popular email marketing tools to help you make an informed decision.
Sendinblue is perfect for anyone looking for an inexpensive email marketing tool with all the essential features.
Paid plan starts at 25$ per month
WHO IT'S FOR?
Sendinblue is perfect for bloggers, solopreneurs, mid sized and e-commence companies.
PROS & CONS
Table of Contents
What made me switch to Sendinblue and the pros ?
I’ve been a power user of Mailchimp for quite some time. I mean there’s a lot going for it too. It’s simple to use, has a sleek interface and loads of pre-made templates. But their free version is very limited. You cannot create lists, there’s a lack of automation options and more.
So when I started this blog, I wanted to switch to a more complete tool even if it required me to spend a few bucks. After a brief analysis, I found both ConvertKit and Sendinblue to equally powerful and in my budget. But after carefully comparing both tools I found Sendinblue to be a better option, especially because it had a feature-rich free plan (up to 2000 subscribers).
But don’t get me wrong, Convertkit is a great tool. But for someone who’s just starting out, Sendinblue is the smarter choice and here’s why –
A Balanced Free Plan
Sendinblue’s free plan is really good. The best part is that it allows you to do all the basic tasks without any limitations. The only bummer is that you can only send 300 emails per day and transactional emails are limited to 40 per hour. This can be a problem when you want to send a bulk campaign to more than 300 contacts.
But there’s a workaround to this too. Sendinblue allows you to buy a certain number of emails at a flat rate, starting at 40$ for 5000 emails. You can use them to send bulk campaigns.
Their support is surprisingly well too. I raised few support requests and most of them were resolved in a day. You even avail phone support for the first 60 days in the free plan.
To summarise here’s what you can do on their free plan –
In case you do need to upgrade to a paid plan, it starts at only 25$ per month. It’s the most affordable among the top email marketing tools.
Advanced Email Automation
One of the absolute necessity today is automation capabilities in a email marketing tool. Sendinblue shines in this. There’s a lot of customisations options built-in. This is especially useful for one-to-one campaigns like password resets, abandonment cart email, or any transactional emails, etc.
It also lets you create complex workflows using the tool. I used it to create a drip for my content marketing email course. Check it out if you haven’t. The email drip sends the user 8 emails at the delay of 1 day.
Let’s look at the different functionalities you get –
Entry Point – An email can enter your workflow when someone visits a certain page, clicks on a link (eg. Forgot password), added to a particular list, or depending upon certain data points, for example, if it’s a birthday and more.
Actions – You can trigger an email, SMS, chat message or call another workflow depending upon the entry point.
Conditions – Depending upon the action you can also add delay, split test (only for paid users), or add additional conditions using if/else.
This is useful when you want to send an email to a user in case they visit two different pages. You also have the option to choose whether you want an user to enter the workflow again or not. You can enable or disable this option at the time of creating a new workflow.
You can really create some complex drips using the different elements. But even if you’re new to email automation, don’t worry, you’ll also find a lot of pre-made workflows.
When you’re sending emails, it’s very crucial to know if they are actually hitting the user’s inbox and other metrics like click rate, etc. Sendinblue provides you campaign-level statistics as well as overall email performance. Here’s a snapshot of my email data from the past few months –
You can really dig deep using filters like sender’s email, tags, and more.
Note- The statistics tab doesn’t include the performance of email campaigns.
What I hate?
It goes without saying that no tool is perfect. Here’s a few that I wanted to highlight –
The email editor is by far the worst part of the tool. It literally fells a decade old. While it has a drop and drop functionality, it’s way behind the competition.
When creating an email there are three main options to choose from –
1. Drag and Drop Builder
2. Text Editor (for simple emails)
3. HTML Code
If you’re someone who likes to customise emails a lot, then you’ll be greatly disappointed. The interface is very limiting.
But if you’re planning to use a different tool to design the email then paste the HTML code here then it shouldn’t bother you.
While there are 65 email templates included in the tool, most of them are very basic and old. In my brief research, I couldn’t find a single email that I can use as a blogger. Most templates cater to e-commerce companies.
It will be amazing to see Sendinblue add more creator-friendly templates and update their old templates.
Another bummer is that Sendinblue doesn’t integrate natively with Elementor, one of the best page builders for WordPress. Owing to the fact that this site is completely built upon Elementor, I found it very disappointing. I even reached their support to see if its something they’re working upon. But looks like they don’t plan to support Elementor until next year.
However, there’s a workaround. You’ll need to use Zapier to create a zap that catches the webhook and sends the details to Sendinblue. But remember that Zapier gives you 100 free zaps per month on their free tier.
It does support Thrive Leads though which is great if you’re a user of Thrive Architect and other applications.
It provides you with a lot of pricing options. There’s three email plans –
1. Lite Plan (40,000 emails/month) – 25$/pm
This is perfect for bloggers, early to mid-sized startups. Also, there’s no sending limit, unlike the free plan.
2. Essential Plan (60,000 emails/month) – 39$/pm
This is perfect for mid to large-sized businesses who uses emails extensively for marketing. In this plan, you have the option to remove the branding from the footer, A/B test and fetch advanced statistics.
3. Premium Plan
Silver plan ( 120,000 emails/month) – 66$/pm
In addition to all the other features, you get a landing page builder, send-time optimisation, multi-user access and more.
Gold plan ( 350,000 emails/month) – 66$/pm
In the gold plan you get a dedicated IP with all the other features.
There’s also a pay as you go plan from Sendinblue. This basically allows you to add a certain number of emails for a credit amount. This is very useful if you’re on the free tier and want to trigger a few bulk emails campaigns without switching to a paid plan.
My Personal Experience
After using Sendinblue for almost a year, I can say it’s feature-packed, affordable and a very easy to use tool. Even in terms of deliverability, it easily matches the competition. I saw its real power when designing the workflow for my 7 days emails course. It was a certainly a breeze. I’m still on the free version but I won’t hesitate in upgrading to the paid plan. It’s worth it. If you’re looking for a new email marketing tool, I’ll highly recommend you to try its free plan. Even if you’re moving from a different tool, it’s very easy to migrate data.
Who is Sendinblue for?
Sendinblue is for anybody is who’s looking for a powerful and affordable email marketing automation tool. The free version is perfect for people who want to get started with email marketing activities but are not ready to invest in a paid tool. Folks like bloggers, startups owners or anybody who’s just starting out.
But don’t get me wrong. If you love the free version you can definitely upgrade to the paid version.
Also, Sendinblue recently raised $160mn in funding which they’ll invest in improving their product and expansion. I’m really excited to see the changes they make.
Hope you enjoyed reading my Sendinblue Review article! What do you think about the tool? Let me know in the comments section below.