Permissions & Deliverability

Brevo Deliverability in 2024: How Does it Compare to Other Email Marketing Services?

Inka WibowoCharlotte Evans

By Inka & Charlotte

Brevo Alternatives

Over the years, Brevo (formerly known as Sendinblue) has earned itself a reputation of being a budget-friendly email marketing service for small-to-medium businesses. And, while cheaper sometimes translates to a decline in quality, our testing has happily shown that this isn’t the case with Brevo when it comes to its impressive range of features.

But what about Brevo’s deliverability? Can you rely on Brevo to get your email marketing campaigns delivered, or do they have a higher chance of landing in subscribers’ spam folders?

In this article, we’ll provide you with an overview of how Brevo performs in this arena, taking a look at its email deliverability rates as gleaned from our twice-yearly deliverability tests.

Understanding Brevo (Sendinblue) Email Deliverability and How It’s Measured

First, let's delve into the concept of “email deliverability” and distinguish it from “email delivery” – two terms often confused.

Email delivery refers to emails that have successfully reached the receiving server – that is, emails that haven’t bounced. Even if it lands in spam or junk folders, it's considered delivered. Learn more about how to calculate the email delivery rate.

Email deliverability determines whether your emails make it to recipients' inboxes or get stuck in spam folders (or even go missing on the way). Even if you follow all the best practices for crafting emails, there's no guarantee they'll avoid spam filters. That's why we regularly test top email marketing services to measure their deliverability rates. These tests often reveal unexpected changes from one round to the next.

In our email deliverability tests, the deliverability rate is calculated by the proportion of emails that effectively land in recipients' mailboxes, regardless of whether that’s the Primary inbox, Promotions, or Social tab.

deliverability checklist magnet

Brevo Email Deliverability Rate

Brevo has had its ups and downs in getting emails delivered over the years. When we first started running our deliverability tests in 2017, they started strong with an average deliverability rate of 83.9%, but hit a bump in 2018 when their deliverability rate fell to 75.6%. They managed to stabilize slightly after that, a sign that they were working on improving things.

Things really looked up for Brevo between 2020 and 2022 when they made big gains in getting emails through, reaching a high point in deliverability (96.3% in March 2021). But afterward, they had some trouble keeping up that success, facing challenges in maintaining steady performance, and falling to an all-time low of 67.7% in June 2023.

In the most recent round of tests, Brevo managed to hit a solid deliverability rate of 88.3%. While they haven't matched their best performance, it’s clear they're still working hard to make sure emails get where they need to go.

PROVIDER AUG 2017 % MAR 2018 % JAN 2019 % JULY 2019 % FEB 2020 % SEPT 2020 % MAR 2021 % OCT 2021 % APR 2022 % JAN 2023 % JUNE 2023 % JAN 2024 %
Brevo (Sendinblue) 83.9 75.6 77.4 88.8 95.4 76 96.3 84.6 90 68.2 67.7 88.3

Brevo Email Deliverability to Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL

Here's a summary of how Brevo has scored during our email deliverability tests over the years.

Deliverability to Gmail:

  • The Gmail Primary tab is the recipient’s main inbox. If an email lands there, it has a higher chance of being seen (and subsequently, read), which is why marketers generally want their emails to arrive in this tab. However, it’s a lot trickier to get there (according to studies, only 2.4% of emails land in this tab)
  • The Gmail Promotions tab is a secondary folder within the recipient's email inbox where all commercial, promotional, or marketing emails are delivered. Over 90% of emails land in secondary tabs like Promotions or Updates, meaning they have a much lower chance of being seen and read
  • Brevo’s deliverability to Gmail mailboxes tends to be pretty high, often hitting between 90-100% in our tests
  • However, they don’t always reach Gmail’s Primary mailbox. In fact, there have only been two testing rounds when 100% of their Gmail-bound emails landed in the Primary inbox, including the most recent round of January 2024

Deliverability to Microsoft (Outlook and Hotmail):

  • Brevo’s deliverability rates to Microsoft mailboxes can be volatile. While they are usually on the higher side (between 95-100%), they have historically been as low as 0-7% in 2018-2019

Deliverability to Yahoo:

  • Likewise, Brevo’s deliverability rates to Yahoo have also been inconsistent. While they started off strong at 100% between 2017-2018, in more recent rounds we’ve seen much lower rates of between 20-60%

Deliverability to AOL:

  • Similarly, while Hubspot initially achieved high deliverability rates to AOL mailboxes, we’ve seen that drop to 0% on several occasions, with the most recent round scoring just a 50% deliverability rate to AOL accounts

Our Email Deliverability Test Insights

Our bi-annual tests on email deliverability shed light on the differences in delivery rates among various email marketing service providers (ESPs). Over multiple rounds of testing, we've gathered data to assess the average delivery rates of popular providers like ActiveCampaign, AWeber, Benchmark, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, and HubSpot, among others.

The findings reveal fluctuating delivery rates over time. However, certain providers consistently excel, like MailerLite, who earned recognition with our Best of 5 Email Deliverability award this year.

On the other hand, some providers struggled to maintain steady delivery rates, experiencing significant declines in performance.

However, effective email deliverability relies on more than just choosing the right email marketing service. While selecting the right ESP is crucial, other factors also play a significant role.

Maintaining a clean email list, building a positive sender reputation, and crafting engaging content are equally important factors. As the volume of emails increases, the impact of the ESP alone diminishes.

That’s why our tests are mostly relevant for small to medium senders using shared IP addresses, rather than high-volume senders with a dedicated IP.

Brevo Deliverability Rates Compared to Other Email Service Providers

As we’ve seen in our deliverability tests, Brevo has had a rollercoaster of a performance over the years. At times they’ve performed extremely well, like in January 2019 and February 2020, when their email delivery rates were better than the average. But there were also times, like in June 2023, when their rates dropped significantly, showing they've had some ups and downs.

When we look at how Brevo stacks up against other ESPs, it's a bit of a mixed picture too. They've been on par with some providers like AWeber and Benchmark at times, but they've also outperformed others like ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit on occasion.

However, there are ESPs like MailerLite that consistently achieve higher delivery rates. So, while Brevo has shown they can compete in the world of email delivery, they've also faced some tough competition along the way.

Brevo Dedicated IPs: Can They Impact Deliverability?

By default, Brevo users send emails using shared IPs, meaning multiple senders use the same IP. In our deliverability tests, we also used Brevo’s shared IPs to send our emails.

Many businesses opt for shared IPs as they require no management on their part and also carry lower costs. However, the downside is that your sender reputation can be affected by other users on the same IP. Therefore, all senders must adhere to best email marketing practices, including maintaining good list hygiene and other factors that impact deliverability.

Alternatively, Brevo offers the option of a dedicated IP, which is ideal for high-volume senders (those who send at least three email campaigns per week to a minimum of 3,000 contacts, or if more than 100,000 emails/month). With this option, users have exclusive control over their sender reputation, minimizing the risk of being penalized for actions by other parties sharing the IP.

Learn more about the pros and cons of a dedicated IP for email marketing, and about Brevo’s dedicated IP service.

Brevo Deliverability Features

Database Management

Brevo provides a drag-and-drop form builder and customizable form fields to help users build their email lists. The platform supports a double opt-in process, adding an extra layer of confirmation to prevent fake or invalid email addresses from being added to the contact list.

Other features include the ability to let subscribers select which list(s) they want to subscribe to and Captcha verification to prevent spammy sign-ups.

List Hygiene

Brevo emphasizes the importance of maintaining clean contact lists by identifying and blocklisting inactive or unengaged contacts. Automatic blocklisting of contacts who have unsubscribed, marked emails as spam, or resulted in hard bounces helps users keep their lists up-to-date without manual intervention.

Technical Configuration

Brevo advises users to use easily identifiable FROM email addresses and allows them to set up sender authentication, such as DKIM signature and SPF authentication, to enhance sender credibility and improve inbox deliverability.

Email Campaign Optimization

Brevo emphasizes creating high-quality, engaging content to increase interest and engagement with email campaigns. Its personalization options and segmentation capabilities help users tailor campaigns to specific audience segments, improving relevance and engagement.

Monitoring and Analysis

Brevo provides users with access to key email marketing metrics, allowing them to track campaign performance and identify areas for improvement.

The platform offers testing options, including previewing campaigns on different email clients and devices, sending test emails, and conducting A/B tests to optimize campaign effectiveness.

Dedicated IP Support

Aside from offering dedicated IPs to high-volume senders, Brevo offers additional support by helping to associate domains with dedicated IPs, warming up IPs before sending large volumes of emails, and even creating a pool of dedicated IPs.

Watch our Email Deliverability Best Practices video:

Email Deliverability Best Practices

Brevo Deliverability: Conclusion

While Brevo’s deliverability rates haven’t always been the most consistent, there are signs that things may be improving. Our most recent round of tests has shown that they are capable of achieving decent rates of deliverability, so we’re interested to see if this trend continues in future tests.

In any case, deliverability depends on more than just your email service provider. It’s even more important to make sure that you’re following best practices such as authenticating your emails, maintaining your list hygiene, and sending quality content. In short: deliverability rates can vary from sender to sender, so our results might not reflect your individual experience.

What’s more, Brevo offers a lot that many other email marketing services don’t, including excellent value for money and an impressive feature range that covers automations, CRM, live chat, and other sales and marketing tools. All of this is worth keeping in mind if you’re considering Brevo for sending your email marketing campaigns, as choosing a service based on deliverability alone could make you miss out on features that are more important to your business.

Have any questions about Brevo deliverability? Let us know in the comments below!

The authors

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Inka Wibowo

Senior Content Manager

Hi, I'm Inka! I spent the earlier part of my career in agency land, helping businesses of all sizes get their email marketing campaigns up and running. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm using my experience to help businesses like yours find the best email marketing services for your needs.

Charlotte Evans

Content Manager

Hey, I'm Charlotte! I've always been enthusiastic about helping others. After working for various tech startups and eCommerce businesses, I developed a strong passion for email marketing. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm putting this knowledge to good use by recommending the very best digital tools for your business.

Learn more about us

Our Methodology

This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

Our Methodology