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Starting life as a digital agency, Sendinblue’s email marketing platform was developed in response to one of the biggest challenges faced by small businesses: automating email marketing on a budget.
Everything, from its comprehensive feature set (which includes a CRM, marketing automation, transactional emails, SMS, landing pages and Facebook ads), to its extremely competitive pricing, shows that Sendinblue is serious about becoming a major player in the email marketing software market. It even has a very popular email plugin for WordPress.
Its efforts seem to be paying off, with over 175,000 users and 100 million emails sent per day! For a company that’s a relative newcomer (it was launched in 2012), it’s not bad at all.
Sendinblue Review: What to expect
Sendinblue has a nicely-featured free plan, which includes email templates, automation workflows, phone support (for the first 60 days) and up to 300 emails per day. The advanced automations included offer web tracking and lead scoring. Unlike other providers, they charge based on the number of email marketing campaigns you send rather than how many contacts you have. Paid plans start at $25 a month for 20,000 emails.
Now let’s dive into this in-depth Sendinblue review and see whether this email marketing platform lives up to its promise of delivering a user-friendly, all-in-one solution.
Unlimited subscribers. Emails include branding, daily quota of 300.
Starter plan. 20K emails. Unlimited recipients
Starter plan. 40K emails. Unlimited recipients
Starter plan. 60K emails. Unlimited recipients
Starter plan. 100K emails. Unlimited recipients
Check out our complete Sendinblue pricing guide.
Pros and Cons
The first thing that will probably stand out to you is its pricing. Sendinblue offers some of the most competitive prices on the market, with plans starting at $25 for 20,000 emails and unlimited contacts.
Solid email automation:
Surprising for a newsletter service at this price point: Sendinblue boasts excellent workflow-based automation. You can trigger campaign actions using your visitor’s email and website engagement behavior, assign lead scores, send transactional messages, plus loads more. For this reason, it’s one of the best email marketing tools for Shopify.
Transactional email and SMS marketing tool:
Not many newsletter tools offer transactional email and SMS marketing, so it’s great that Sendinblue does. It’s also pretty affordable!
Sendinblue WordPress plugin:
Sendinblue’s plugin has over 80,000 active installations on WordPress, with 4.5 stars. The interface mirrors that of the web application, making for a seamless user experience.
Free CRM software:
Even Sendinblue’s free plan comes with a sales CRM. You can see how it compares to the best free CRM software in this guide.
Free plan sending limit:
Their free plan has a daily sending limit of 300 emails, which is not much at all.
System can feel a bit slow at times:
Sometimes the web application is a bit slow when loading certain pages.
Is Sendinblue the right newsletter service for you?
You need to send transactional emails, SMS and/or WhatsApp messages:
Sendinblue does much more than just email marketing campaigns, in fact, it’s one of the best tools for trigger-based and transactional emails. Its automation workflow designer allows you to build campaigns triggered by clicks, opens and even webpage visits. And its dedicated transactional section allows for messages such as password resets, and sign-up and purchase confirmations! There’s even an option to send SMS and branded WhatsApp campaigns to a segmented list.
You want a sophisticated tool on a low budget:
Sendinblue works out to be a lot cheaper than other comparable tools if you send few emails to the same people. If you’re after a value-for-money service with automations, advanced segmentation, live chat and dynamic personalization, it’s a noteworthy option.
You’re an ecommerce:
With features like customizable triggers based on purchase data, the ability to import customer orders, and customizable KPIs, Sendinblue is well-equipped to serve ecommerce. Integrations with popular platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento are available.
Not recommended if:
You need multiple logins and different user access levels:
Unfortunately, Sendinblue only allows you to set up logins for multiple users on their Business and Enterprise plans.
Ease of Use
The user experience is pretty good and the menus are easy to navigate. Having undergone some updates, the drag and drop email builder is very user-friendly. There’s also a nice campaign-production flow that is easy to follow.
As with most tools, Sendinblue offers a drag-and-drop email editor that is both fast and smooth. There are a handful of pre-set elements to choose from, which should be enough.
Simply add one of the ‘attribute conditions’ by clicking on the personalization button – the same goes for subject lines and preview text of your campaigns and templates. They also offer conditional content, which allows you to display certain elements of the email to specific contacts (e.g. discount offers to VIP customers), and dynamic lists, which lets you include dynamically-updated content (e.g. items purchased in a customer’s order).
Newsletters, autoresponders, A/B testing, transactional email and SMS
Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs
Sendinblue offer 47 email templates, which are all responsive, and the designs aren’t bad at all. However, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always upload your own from builders like Stripo.
Email Marketing 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.
You can create ‘filters’ that serve as segments, based on contact field criteria and behavior (email opens, clicks, etc.). You can also set up automated workflows to create a new mailing list based on demographics, behavior and lead scores. Import your contacts via an .xlsx, .csv or .txt file. No option to migrate contacts directly from another provider.
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.
Sendinblue’s deliverability fluctuates in our deliverability tests, but they have achieved scores in the nineties.
Reports and Analysis
Sendinblue has most of the reports you might need, such as a click-map, geo-tracking and Google Analytics integration. You can also access conversion data.
The website and help center are available in 6 languages (EN, ES, PT, DE, IT, FR)
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.
Hard bounces are automatically blacklisted. Sendinblue provides a list of both hard and soft bounces.
It’s possible to export your blocklist from the tool.
Storage available for data and images
There doesn’t appear to be a limit on the total amount of images, or on individual image sizes.
SPF, DKIM and DMARC.
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
Only available on Business and Enterprise plans.
A number of integrations are available, however, more are yet to be added. That said, Sendinblue is also part of Zapier’s library.
Landing Page Builder
A very sleek and modern landing page builder is available for those on the Business 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.
Customer service is one of Sendinblue’s strengths. A universal help button is available, allowing you to access Sendinblue’s knowledge base, leave a message, or access their agents via 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. Also, there is the Sendinblue Academy targeted at email marketing beginners.
From a value-for-money perspective, it’s actually a great email marketing software, considering that the features it offers are pretty advanced. A/B testing, advanced marketing automation and CRM features could well meet your email marketing needs. Try it for free.
A More Detailed Look at Sendinblue’s Features
As you can see, Sendinblue offers a good range of pro features, and gains points for being so affordable for small businesses. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of Sendinblue’s key features:
Sendinblue’s templates aren’t bad at all. There are 47 responsive designs available, and they are organized by purpose (sale, re-engagement, welcome, etc.) rather than industry (fashion, marketing, etc.). Compared to many of Sendinblue’s competitors it’s an uncommon approach, but in my opinion, this makes more sense, as the design will already be optimized for specific call-to-actions.
All email templates are included on all plans, including the free one. Though, bear in mind that you’ll need to pay in order to remove Sendinblue’s branding.
You also have the option to code your own newsletter and save it as a template.
Note that once you’ve chosen your template, you won’t be able to change it without starting from scratch.
Sendinblue SMS Marketing
SMS marketing is offered on the free plan, though you’ll need to purchase credits. The price depends on the country you’re sending them to. For example, sending SMS within the US will cost you €5 for 500 SMS, €10 for 1000, etc. Note that you’ll be charged in Euros regardless of where you operate.
Having the ability to send SMS is an added bonus, as not many email marketing platforms offer this. Not even the popular newsletter tool Mailchimp has this capability.
We compared prices to emailing tool Omnisend and found them to be very similar.
Sendinblue’s SMTP relay service is used to send transactional emails and avoid spam filters. This is great for those who need to send time-sensitive bulk emails.
Sendinblue promise rapid delivery:
- 50% of emails delivered within 1 second
- 99.98% of emails delivered in under 20 seconds
Our deliverability tests, which monitor email marketing services’ ability to deliver marketing emails to a range of email clients, show that Sendinblue does indeed achieve very good deliverability rates.
You can use Sendinblue’s SMTP service for free with a limit of 300 emails per day, but I’d recommend avoiding these kinds of limits and heading straight to the paid plan if you’re likely to go over.
Aside from unlimited contacts, marketing automation and web tracking, its free plan also comes with a built-in CRM.
Most all-in-one email marketing services charge extra for this pro feature, so having it for free is a great advantage to using Sendinblue.
We even included it in our guide to the best CRM software for small businesses for that very reason.
It’s true that dedicated CRMs like HubSpot offer greater functionality, though if you only need a simple solution, Sendinblue’s CRM could be enough for you. After all, we have listed it as one of the best HubSpot alternatives.
In our opinion, Sendinblue’s deal pipeline is well-designed and easy to use. It’s definitely one of the simpler CRM solutions, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, you won’t be overwhelmed by hundreds of options and layers of navigation. Instead, you’ll find editing columns and adding/editing attributes a breeze.
That said, it is missing two key things: lead scoring and analytics. There is no reporting at all on deals, which isn’t great.
Multichannel contact management is possible with Sendinblue thanks to the Conversations app. Here you can manage messages that come in via live chat, chatbot, FB Messenger and Instagram.
This is what the interface looks like when you get started:
This is definitely a great addition to the emailing software, as it really helps you to stay on top of messages and quickly identify opportunities.
There is also a Conversations mobile app, which is available for both iOS & Android.
Sendinblue promises to integrate WhatsApp into this dashboard in the near future.
This feature is available for free, but it’s quite limited, as you won’t be able to connect the external messaging apps. If you want to integrate Facebook Messenger, Instagram +/ WhatsApp, you’ll need to pay $15 per user on top of your monthly subscription.
As one of the first Meta partners for WhatsApp Campaigns, with Sendinblue, you can now send targeted messages to your audience through the messaging app.
Unlike with SMS, you can customize your WhatsApp campaigns with images, videos, attachments, and CTAs. This could be a great way to keep your customers engaged. You’ll be required to add an unsubscribe link to your WhatsApp campaigns, and we’d advise keeping an eye on the unsubscribe rate, as a high one will affect your quality score. It would be great if you could A/B test such campaigns – something that isn’t possible currently.
You can upload your contacts in bulk and create segments that you can use across other channels (SMS and email campaigns). So the fact that you can manage various channels all in one place is really useful.
This feature is available on all plans, though sending charges vary per country.
After conducting this Sendinblue review and taking a look at their full feature set, it’s clear that Sendinblue ‘get’ email marketing. They’ve built-in some very clever options to help small businesses optimize their email campaigns, including advanced email automation, segmentation, personalization, and landing pages and forms that are geared towards increasing conversions. They really do have small business email marketing covered (hence why we listed them as a good Mailchimp alternative)!
Sendinblue have also been working on their CRM features, incorporating a deal pipeline and inbox where you’re able to send emails to customers directly by integrating with your email client.
Aside from offering a generous free plan, with its paid plans starting from $25 for up to 20,000 emails, Sendinblue are one of the cheapest email marketing providers on the market.
In terms of features, there’s no denying that Sendinblue is impressive. Our best advice? If, after reading this Sendinblue review, you’re really interested in what they could offer you, try it out on the free version to see if you like it. Who knows, you might find yourself enjoying sophisticated marketing automation on a budget?
MailerLite is, along with Sendinblue, one of the most budget-friendly tools we’ve tried. They offer a generous free plan as well. MailerLite is more suitable for beginners as it’s a bit easier to use than Sendinblue.
GetResponse has some extra (advanced) features like a webinar hosting platform. It also comes with thorough reports and useful analysis features. We are also big fans of their email automations and list management capabilities.
ActiveCampaign is, generally speaking, a more advanced tool than Sendinblue. For example, their flexible and powerful automation system, can’t be compared to Sendinblue’s. However, Active Campaign is more expensive and you’ll need some budget to use it – no free plan.
How do I cancel Sendinblue
Canceling your account can be done online. Simply log in and go to your accounts My Plan page.
At the bottom, you will see the option to cancel the monthly plan or to close the account.
If you don’t close the account entirely you’ll be able to use your remaining credits until you’ve reached the end of your billing month.
Is Sendinblue free and what are the limits?
Though the free version is for an unlimited time, there is a daily sending limit of 300 emails.
If you go over this allowance, Sendinblue will employ its ‘Requeue’ feature, which means that your paused campaign will resume sending automatically in the following days until you have sent the email to all your contacts.
How good is Sendinblue?
Looking at our detailed Sendinblue review, you can see that, aside from a slightly slow system, the features and allowances you get with Sendinblue are very good. Considering their very reasonable prices, we recommend this email marketing service. It’ll make a great addition to your digital marketing toolbox.
Sendinblue deliverability - is it any good?
Sendinblue’s deliverability is consistently very good according to our bi-annual deliverability tests. It currently sits among the top 5 providers.