- 18,000 total email per months free.
- Dozens of integrations with third-party apps, including Zapier.
- Includes custom branding.
- Includes the automation suite.
- Simple interface.
- Free agency option (partially white labelled)
- No limits on integrations.
- Rest API
- 300 to 600 per day cap in the free plan.
- May have less specialized features than some other tools, but the tool is easy to navigate.
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It’s not a surprise that when it comes to the sea of email marketing automation solutions, we are quick to choose Sendinblue. This French company had the brash to get head-to-head with MailChimp – offering a simple but competitive offering that’s both simple to navigate, but still a champ at what it does. In this review, we’re going to try and go as much in-depth as we can into why we believe Sendinblue is a great solution for small businesses and startups (as well as larger businesses) as well as specific use-cases to make the most of the solution.
Let’s get right to the money. Signing up for an account on Sendinblue is free and easy, after you login, you’ll see a very simple menu with a limited number options to adhere to that simplistic feel. As soon as you login, you’ll want to head into your settings (Click “Settings” on the left-hand menu) and configure your sender id by just verifying both the sender’s email and domain by following simple instructions. Like with any account or new product, the initial setup may be the most tedious because in addition you’ll also need to make a basic email template (doesn’t need to be in HTML, but the options exists to use their WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) form and template designer. You’ll need to add some minimal amount of branding and fill out some terms and conditions related to your brand or website just to make sure that you’re on brand. This would need to be done with any email automation service.
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One thing you’ll quickly notice is that there’s not a whole lot of menu options and choices – and we’ve seen that over time there’s been less, and less. We can only assume that this tool was very much built for the small business user who may not “live” in online marketing tools. But whether someone is adept at SaaS tools or not, we believe that everyone will appreciate the simplicity. The pricing is fairly simple as well: for the first 3 free and paid plans, there isn’t so much of a difference between them, aside from the fact that once is a paid subscriber to Sendinblue, he or she is not limited by a daily email cap. We figure that Sendinblue assumes that if you have more than a few thousand subscribers, you’re most likely making money off your email campaigns.
Lowest Priced Plan: $20 / month (paid annually) for 40,000 emails per month.
Highest Priced Plan: $173 / month (paid montly) for 350,000 emails + all premium features
The pricing begins with 40,000 emails; if you compare that to how much the average small business sends through tools like MailChimp – this is actually an extremely generous amount. MailChimp’s premium tier begins with unlimited contacts but with around 2,000 contacts in automation workflows and permits up to 40,000 emails to be sent per month, but the problem is that most small businesses aren’t sending campaigns beyond once or twice a week, and likely don’t utilize sophisticated ecommerce automation features like abandoned-cart emails as well (although many are beginning to). The subsequent plans permit better analytics as well as 60,000 emails per month, with the highest plan adding a number of additional features like landing page builders, ad integrations, unlimited automation usage (the first 3 plans, including the free plan includes 2,000) , and much more.
Features & Benefits
- Up to 9,000 emails per month provided free. (Updated 2020)
- Email automation engine with 2,000 contacts in use at any given time.
- Template library of email creatives.
- API, several integrations with services like Privy.
- Email personalization.
- A/B Testing included (typically a paid feature).
- SMTP capabilities included.
- Domain verification.
- Unlimited contacts
- Customizable Sign-up forms.
- Free light-weight CRM.
- WordPress integrations.
- Email support.
PROS (for the Highest Premium Plan @ $66/month)
- 350,000 emails.
- Unlimited automation usage.
- Heat Map reporting.
- Advanced analytics.
- Location reporting.
- Landing page builder.
- Ad integrations with Facebook.
- Chat integration.
- Dedicated IP included.
- No Sendinblue branding.
- No daily send limits.
One significant difference between Sendinblue and other email marketing providers is that Sendinblue does not cap the amount of contacts one can have. This is amazing as it allows from someone to be able to manage all of their data within the tool without the worry of being charged after surpassing around one to two thousand contacts. It’s also helpful for those who don’t necessarily have the “cleanest” list of scrubbed email addresses – thus one can store inactive contacts without the common worry of having to pay for those inactive contacts (almost all other email marketing providers make you pay for inactive contacts by adding contact list caps).
- There’s a limit of 300 emails per day.
- Sendinblue branding is added to the bottom of every email.
- Sendinblue does not have intelligent or “smart” features like optimal-time sending, geo-targeting,
- 2,000 record-cap for the automation engine, but this is to be expected for the free plan.
CONS for Paid Plans:
- There’s a 2,000 record-cap for use of the automation engine, even for the first two paid plans.
As email marketing tools have become less generous about their features over time, we feel that Sendinblue should be brought to the spotlight given its arguably generous free plan – especially when keeping in mind with the fact that a user receives unlimited contacts, automation tool privileges, A/B test, as well as full use of customizable forms. A business will have to be extra careful to not utilize all of its email credits in one day unless its transactional or promotional messaging uses a different tool, but otherwise few email marketing SaaS tools provide such a generous offering.
Especially for a free tool, we want to ensure that we highlight the automation offering which should be utilized by small businesses. As you can see in the screenshot, the automation engine is particularly visually-friendly, which always helps with mapping the customer (email) journey as defined by your conditions. One can trigger the automation from a large variety of triggers such as behavioral triggers like clicking a link, or visiting a specific webpage, to data-based triggers like birthdays and the like. You can literally set this up in just a few clicks. The automation workflow then allows you to include features like A/B testing, or conditions simply within the workflow editor. The combinations are limitless and further more the automation workflow designer is on par with that of enterprise-level tools used by the Fortune 1,000 companies.
The use cases are varied and numerous, especially for local businesses. The reason why we believe Sendinblue is an ideal match for small business is because Sendinblue is simple and easy to use, there are several WordPress plugins and third-party services that have direct integrations with the tool, and also – the truth is that most small businesses don’t have such huge email marketing lists. Thus, most new and growing small businesses will find the free plan satisfactory, and can easily grow into the first tier of 40,000 messages per month with out too much of a financial setback. If one is unlikely to surpass 500 users or contacts, Sendpulse may be a better solution as it offers 15,000 emails per month without any compromise of capability or limitations – however one should be aware that Sendinblue offers one of the most affordable solutions for someone to easily grow.
- Use the SMTP to deliver transactional messaging for your website (assuming you would send less than 300 emails per day – Updated 2020).
- Perfect for small businesses who want to depend on automations and journey flows for most of their messaging; with 600 emails per day, most small businesses are not likely to surpass this amount.
- Perfect solution for most local businesses who want to do a combination of both light promotional and light email management through their websites. Sendinblue also provides a free light-weight CRM with unlimited records so you can manage all of your data in a protected and central location.
- Any online business or website that’s looking to get started and doesn’t have so many users. Even if a website accumulates a number of bad or inactive email addresses, it won’t count against the total.
- Agencies who want to offer a comfortable white-label solution for their SMB clients.
- Perfect for restaurants or any store-front that wants to continuously engage with their customers by sending triggered emails; a business can easily encourage people to sign up to join your list by short link or Q-code, which will direct the customer for a Sendinblue form, from where they can quickly sign up.
- Since triggered and automated messaging is free, this is a perfect solution for using something like TypeForm to collect survey results or emails, then use Zapier to send the info to Sendinblue to hold the data.
EmailOctopus is a competitor with a similar price point, which offers more emails but has some significant disadvantages when compared to Sendinblue, including a less sophisticated automation wizard (which has no limits), no white-label features, less sophisticated sending features for premium plans,and less analytical details.
MailChimp - the king of the small business email marketing space, which also featured one of the most favorable and generous free plans... no longer provides unlimited access to its automation feature. While MailChimp will likely be the king of the jungle for small businesses for years to come, the truth is that SaaS softwares such as Sendinblue will continue to provide awesome alternatives which may be much better solutions.
Sendinblue was founded in 2012 by French entrepreneurs
Armand Thiberge and Kapil Sharma in Paris, France. It has raised its third round of funding as late as 2017, with $36 million to expand operations. Sendinblue claims to service over 80,000 businesses globally is over 70 different markets. In early 2019, Sendinblue acquired German competitor Newsletter2Go and began integrating its technology into its own product. In 2016, Forbes rated the company as 1 of 20 startups to watch in 2016. We here at B3Ware are watching this email marketing automation magnate as well.
If you have any questions, you can visit their support page to contact their support directly.
The free plan is generous in that it provides the user with a lot of messages (300 / day are advertised, but out accounts were given 600/day upon signup), which ends up with 18,000 per month – for most small businesses, this is more than enough for any small business. The plans also give the user most features as well, outside of the following for the highest tier: premium analytics, landing page builders, retargeting ad capabilities, send-time optimization, and a limit for the automation to only manage 2,000 records at any one time – (which includes the first 2 paid plans as well).
Specification: Sendinblue – Email Marketing Automation Software
Wordpress Plugin, SaaS
CRM integration, Data import/export, Gamification, Open API, Scheduling, Social integration, Tracking
|Email Marketing Features||
3rd Party Integrations, Advanced Analytics, Advanced Email Sending Features, Basic Analytics, Database Management, Email Autoresponder, Email Broadcasting, Email Templates, Social Media Integrations, Workflow Management, WYSIWYG Email Builder
Annual Subscription, Freemium, Monthly payment
Email Support, Phone Support