Logo
1
SendInBlue
3.71

SendinBlue Review - Email for the Budget-Conscious

inka wibowo
Professor

Starting life as a digital agency, SendinBlue’s email marketing platform was developed in response to one of the biggest challenges faced by small-to-medium businesses: automating email marketing on a budget.

Everything, from its comprehensive feature set (which includes marketing automation, transactional emails, SMS, and landing pages), to its extremely competitive pricing, shows that SendinBlue is serious about becoming a major player in this historically underserved market.

Its efforts seem to be paying off, with over 50,000 users and 30 million emails and SMS sent - per day! For a company that’s a relative newcomer (it was launched in 2012), it’s not bad at all.

SendinBlue scores big points for having a nicely-featured free plan (with marketing automation, phone support and up to 300 emails per day), and for its advanced automations, which include web tracking and lead scoring.

Now let’s dive in and see whether this platform lives up to its promise of delivering a user-friendly, all-in-one solution.

Try SendinBlue for free: https://www.emailtooltester.com/out/sendinblue-youtube Find a more detailed SendinBlue review here: http://www.emailtooltester.com/e... SendinBlue Review - The Pros & Cons of the Newsletter Tool 2016-04-27 https://img.youtube.com/vi/RdEibKyeDyA/hqdefault.jpg

Try SendinBlue for free

SUBSCRIBERS

$0/MO

Unlimited contacts. Emails include branding, daily quota of 300.

40,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$25/MO

Emails include branding, no daily quota.

60,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$39/MO

Includes all advanced features.

120,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$66/MO

Includes all advanced features.

Low-cost plans:

The first thing that will probably stand out to you is its pricing. Affordable is an understatement – SendinBlue offers some of the most competitive prices on the market. With 40,000 emails for just $25, the value is pretty hard to beat.

Solid email automation:

Surprising for a newsletter service at this price point: SendInBlue boasts a fully-kitted, workflow-based automation feature. You can trigger campaign actions using your visitor’s email and website engagement behaviour, assign lead scores, send transactional messages, plus loads more.

Landing page editor:

A new addition to its feature set, and a very nice one too, with a smooth interface and modern template options. Available on the Premium and Enterprise plans only.

SMS marketing tool:

This is relatively unique to SendinBlue, as not many newsletter tools offer this feature.

Deliverability:

Sadly, SendinBlue hasn’t been doing so well in our ongoing deliverability tests. In fact, their deliverability rates seem to be getting lower. Watch this space, though – we’ll revisit this in future tests.

Editor and general usability:

Although it was given a recent facelift, SendinBlue’s editor can be a bit laggy at times. It’s also not as smooth or straightforward to use as other tools we’re used to. There are also a few annoying little quirks and inconsistencies within the tool – for instance, a back button isn’t always available, and live chat isn’t always available.

criterion rating comments

Ease of Use

The user experience is a little duller than other tools, yet the menus are easy to navigate. We really wish they’d make navigating backwards easier, though.

Newsletter Creation

Editor

As with most tools, SendinBlue offers a drag-and-drop email editor. It’s workable, but there are a few slightly annoying things – it can be slow at times, and editing elements sometimes takes a few clicks to figure out. There are a handful of pre-set elements to choose from, and you’re a bit limited in your ability to edit to edit the layout of these, but they’re adequate.

Personalization

yes

Advanced If/Then/Else logic is available – SendinBlue calls these ‘attribute conditions’ – and requires a tiny bit of programming to set up (similar to setting up IF statements in Excel).

Email types

Newsletters, autoresponders, transactional emails, SMS. No A/B testing, though.

Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs

There are 65 templates to choose from, and they’ll all responsive. Note that some templates have the same design with just a different layout.

Email Automation

Some really impressive automation options here. SendinBlue’s workflow editor lets you set up some clever triggered campaigns, based on contact data, email engagement, web behaviour, and ecommerce activity. It scores bonus points for lead scoring, and for the ability to test workflows prior to launching them. SendinBlue is also unique in its transactional email offering, letting you send messages such as purchase confirmations and receipts via SMTP. Side note – there’s also a handy ‘Best time’ feature that automatically sends your emails at the optimal time, based on previous campaign performance.

List Management

You can create ‘filters’ which serve as segments, based on contact field criteria and behaviour (email opens, clicks etc). You can also set up automated workflows to create new lists based on demographics, behaviour and lead scores.

Registration Forms/ Opt-in & Opt-out- Process

The forms are surprisingly advanced, with some really cool personalization features. You can let subscribers select which list(s) they want to be opted into (for example, based on interest or industry). You can also enable Captcha verification. And if the users are coming to a form via email, you can pre-populate the form fields with their data – impressive! There’s also the option to choose between single and double opt-in.

Deliverability

Based on our deliverability tests, SendinBlue needs a lot of improvement in this area. Its deliverability rates seem to be declining, and recent tests showed that it had trouble reaching Hotmail, Outlook and Gmail addresses.

Reports and Analysis

SendinBlue has most of the reports you might need, such as a click-map, geo-tracking and Google Analytics integration. However there’s no social or sales conversion data available.

Languages

The website, and help, is available in 6 languages (EN, ES, PT, DE, IT, FR)

Further Features

Spam- and Design-Testing

There’s a nice in-built previewer for seeing how emails will display in different email clients. No spam testing available, though.

Bounce Management

yes

Hard bounces are automatically blacklisted. SendinBlue provides a list of both hard and soft bounces. Note – bounced emails go towards your sending limit.

Blacklist

yes

It’s possible to export your blacklist from the tool.

Storage available for data and images

Unlimited

There doesn’t appear to be a limit on the total amount of images, or on individual image sizes.

Pro Features

Authentication

yes

SPF, DKIM and DMARC.

Own Domain

yes

Available if you purchase a dedicated IP with SendinBlue (note – this isn’t cheap), or if you have a higher-level plan with this included. Landing pages can be hosted on your domain without the dedicated IP.

Different levels of account access

no

Not available.

Integrations

yes

Plenty of integrations available to all the big web, marketing, ecommerce, payment and CRM tools. SendInBlue is also part of Zapier’s library.

Landing Page Editor

yes

A very sleek and modern landing page editor is available for those on the Premium and Enterprise plans. Truth be told, we actually like it better than the email editor! There are some nice templates to choose from, or the option to build one from scratch.

Support

4/5

A universal Help button is available, allowing you to access SendinBlue’s knowledge base, leave a message, or live chat. At times the Help button shows you different support options, which can be confusing (and frustrating!). Live chat was responsive though, and the knowledge base is thorough, so we can’t complain.

Overall rating

3.7/5

From a value-for-money perspective, it’s actually a fantastic tool. The amount of features you get for what you pay is almost unheard of in the marketplace. Sadly, its poor deliverability really lets it down. However, if you’re prepared to put up with this, and a few little quirks, it could very well serve your email marketing needs. Try it for free.

Taking a look at SendinBlue’s feature set, it’s clear that they ‘get’ email marketing. They’ve built in some very clever options for helping marketers to optimize their email campaigns, including advanced email automation, segmentation, personalization, and landing pages and forms that are geared towards increasing conversions.

SendinBlue’s feature limitations – lack of A/B testing, less-than-smooth editor, and niggles with navigation – really pale in comparison to the sheer scale of what it does offer. And while its automation features may not be enough to topple the giants like ActiveCampaign, it’s not a long way off.

The dark cloud hanging over it, though, is deliverability. Its rates could be a lot better, with our test emails ending up in the spam folder of big ISPs like Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook.

Still, it’s hard to argue with the value. Aside from its generous free plan, its paid plans start from $25 for up to 40,000 emails, making them one of the cheapest providers in the market.

In terms of features, there’s no denying that SendinBlue is impressive. Our best advice? If you’re really interested in what SendinBlue could offer you, try it out on the free plan to see if deliverability rates will be an issue (you can use tools like GlockApps to keep an eye on this). If they’re not, let us know! And who knows – you might find yourself to be enjoying sophisticated marketing automation, on a budget.

 

Try SendinBlue now for free.

inka wibowo
Coming from a digital agency background, Inka has helped businesses of all shapes and sizes to get their email marketing up and running. Now, she's excited to be helping businesses in a different way - by equipping them with the information they need to find cost-effective, easy-to-manage tools for their email marketing.

Latest Updates

10 Sep 2018 - General update incl. new marketing automation features and landing page editor
29 Mar 2018 - Pricing change in the free plan. Now you can have unlimited contacts but you're only allowed to send 300 emails per day
20 Mar 2018 - Deliverability rating added
23 Feb 2018 - Free plan increased number of emails
29 Dec 2017 - Price increase for the Lite plan
18 May 2017 - New integration options
25 Nov 2016 - Update under email automation
03 Mar 2016 - Initial Tests
Arrow Up
 
 
 
The Email Marcketing Crash Course for Beginners Ebook Cover

Get your FREE ebook now! 100% knowledge, 0% spam!

Develop your email marketing strategy the right way! Read this ebook and you'll be surprised how simple it is.
  1. Get detailed email marketing basics
  2. Avoid email marketing mistakes
  3. Understand relevant legal issues
  4. Choose inexpensive newsletter tools
  5. Discover the best tips & practical experience
Instant Download