In this SendinBlue review, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about Sendinblue email marketing software – so you can decide to give SendinBlue a try yourself (or not).
I went through every function step-by-step, and we interviewed longtime users to get their experiences and opinions. Probably making this the most detailed review on the web.
👉 Ready for the review of the SendinBlue email marketing service? Great. Let’s dive straight in!
What is SendinBlue email marketing?
SendinBlue is an email marketing solution for SMB (small and medium-sized) businesses that want to send and automate email marketing campaigns, even if they have a limited budget.
Put simply, SendinBlue is like a cheaper alternative to MailChimp, including a free version and free trial, but with even more functionality.
This approach seems to have paid off for them. Today, SendinBlue has over 80,000 users and sends a whopping 100 million emails per day, that’s pretty impressive! SendinBlue launched in 2012, and the platform got a big redesign last year – so we are looking at the 2020 version of the platform.
1. SendinBlue’s most important features
Most brands and marketers will use SendinBlue software to send email marketing campaigns and newsletters. You can also automate triggered campaigns like welcome emails, but there is more. A lot more.
What can you do with Sendinblue email marketing software?
Here are the most important features of SendinBlue:
- Drag and Drop Email Editor: SendinBlue comes with an intuitive drag-and-drop email editor. Here you can choose from a variety of pre-set elements to customize your email design.
- A/B testing: Optimize your emails by testing multiple subjectlines and picking the winner.
- SMS: You can also use SendinBlue to send SMS and autoresponder messages.
- Landing pages: (in Premium and Enterprise plans): You can use SendinBlue to create landing pages from scratch or use one of their professional-looking templates to help speed up the process.
- Bounce Management: You get access to a log of soft and hard email bounces. Hard bounces are removed automatically.
- Reports and Analytics: All of the must-have email marketing metrics as well as email click-map, google analytics integration and geo-tracking
- Opt-In Forms: SendinBlue’s subscription forms are dynamic. You can customize them to fit your brand. The more sophisticated features include captcha verification and automatic data population (so people don’t have to fill in there name etc twice)
- List Management: You can easily manage your mailing lists. Import, export, and edit contacts.
- Email segmentation: Segment your audiences based on your subscriber’s demographics, actions taken, and lead scores.
- Email Marketing Automation: SendinBlue offers plenty of email automation functionality. For example, the workflow editor lets you to target leads based on their on-site actions, web behavior, email engagement, etc.
- Transactional Emails: Through SMTP, you can directly send transactional emails. For instance receipts and order confirmations, password resets. Etc!
- Email Templates: SendinBlue offers 65 pre-made email templates to quickly get started.
- Chat: Include a chat function and place it on your website for immediate 1:1 communication with site visitors.
- CRM: SendinBlue has a sales and marketing CRM included. In the CRM you can centralize all of your contact information and set follow up actions.
- Fantastic customer support: In addition to live web chat, you can also contact their support team via email and phone. The SendinBlue site also has knowledge base with helpful tutorials and FAQs. Our interviewed users, say they like the speed and knowledge level of the support team.
2. SendinBlue Review: Sending Email Marketing Campaigns and Broadcasts
When it comes to sending email marketing campaigns and email blasts, SendinBlue offers everything you would expect. For this SendinBlue review I created a fresh and free SendinBlue account and went through it from scratch like anyone would.
There are three email editor options:
1. The drag and drop editor
2. A rich text editor
3. Paste your own HTML code (you can import your own email template in HTML and edit it from there).
The drag and drop email editor is the one everyone typically uses. Let’s get to testin’!
So once you pick the drag-and-drop editor, the canvas opens and you can start editing your email right away!
SendinBlue’s editor comes with ready-made blocks you can drag onto your email. You can see them on the left in the image. Add all the common types of email content, like images, text, buttons etc. All blocks and templates are mobile-friendly by default.
The SendinBlue customers we interviewed, say it’s pretty much ‘effortless’ to adjust their email designs. That is what I found as well. It is super simple.
The one time I changed something in the design during the test (background color) and wasn’t happy, the auto-save function saved my life. I could go back to the earlier version. Phew!
The email editing experience:
- Text editing is in-line. As you type the email changes and you see exactly how it will turn out later. What You See is What You Get.
- When you hover over a section, the editing options for that section appear. You can add, copy and delete sections, insert new content, add text and images, etc.
- When you click inside a block, the options for that block appear to the right. For instance the colors and size for buttons.
- You can edit pictures with SendinBlue’s built-in image editor. You can resize, crop, add text in your images and use (color and effects) filters.
Other SendinBlue users say that the email editor responds exceptionally well to mouse movements, there’s no lag. That is also what I found. My Sendinblue email editor experience was excellent.
Preview how your email looks like in Gmail, Outlook, etc
There is extensive email inbox testing included. This gives you real screenshots from different email inboxes. So you immediately see how your email looks in Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, on mobile devices, etc. You don’t have to use a special rendering testing tool like Litmus or Email on Acid. Boom!
Use the free email templates (or reuse your own)
SendinBlue offers a free email template library to help you get started quickly. There are over 65 templates.
The email templates are organized in categories, for instance:
- Holiday greetings
- Lead Generation
- Sale emails
If you’re not a web designer, using the email templates is a great starting point. They look professional and are optimized for both desktop and mobile users.
Every element inside the templates is customizable. You can change the emails just like you would a regular email, add your own sections.
So you can customize your templates:
- Add a branded header with your logo and color-scheme
- Change the email footer
- Edit the text
- Add your own CTA buttons
You get the idea. You might recognize that I used the “Concrete” template, for the email earlier. 😛 My email ended up having its own look (except for the colors in this case. I liked it green).
The cool part is to save your own customized template. It then stays under the ‘My Templates’ tab, so you won’t have to start from scratch every time you launch a new campaign.
You’ll save lots of time. If you have multiple “brands” or work as an digital agency you can also import templates from other environments.
SendinBlue Review: Contact Management in SendinBlue
If you’re taking contact management seriously, you’ll want to know how managing your email list works. In SendinBlue, you organize and manage your contacts in the ‘Contacts’ tab.
I made a quick manual list. That is not what you would normally do. But my ideal list = me, Jordie, Melinda Gates and Gordon Ramsey. As you see – you can add custom fields. For instance “Do they like pets” to hold their favorite pets.
Anybody else fans of Cats? 😀
What can you do in SendinBlue Contact Management?
- Create and segment your emails lists
- Edit individual contacts (or entire lists)
- View stats on how engaged your contacts are with your campaigns
- Create subscribe and unsubscribe forms
- Import new contacts (.csv AND copy/paste)
- View individual contact history and check specific data – for instance, opens, clicks, their profile, etc.
My contact management experience here was almost flawless, had to get used to pressing “save” to change individual contacts. Importing and exporting contacts is easy peasy.
SendinBlue Review: Email Marketing Automation
You can trigger one-off emails with SendinBlue email automation, but you can also set up complete automation sequences and email funnels.
It seems like you can use the automated mails in an infinite number of ways. Left to your imagination.
Here are 5 (numbered in Spanish) examples of what you can do with SendinBlue email automations:
- Uno: When someone subscribes to your email list, you can automatically send a welcome email, followed by a series “funnel” that follows up. For instance, I’d send tips on blogging and ebooks myself, to warm people up for the idea of hiring a writer like me.
- Dos: When a prospect visits a specific web page or link, send the visitor an email with more info on the topic. (like their favorite pets!)
- Tres: If a customer shopping (for some fried chicken for instance) and abandons their shopping cart, you could send out a follow-up email.
- Quatro: Follow up with your new customers a week after their first purchase.
- Cinqo: If it’s a customer’s birthday, send them a birthday email with a freebie or a coupon!
Best of all, SendinBlue pre-made the most popular email automation sequences for you.
It all lives under the ‘Automation’ tab, here you’ll also find a step-by-step wizard that helps set them up.
The idea is to “automate your marketing based on your contacts’ personal and behavioral data”. Over time, you’ll get more and more data, which you can use to send more automated campaigns through Sendinblue.
How does email automation work in SendinBlue?
To kickstart an automated workflow, you’ll need a ‘Trigger.’ The trigger starts the automation.
For example, a visitor could subscribe to your email list (i.e., the trigger), which then automatically sends out an email campaign (i.e., the automation), Got it?
When you go to create a new workflow, SendinBlue offers you four entry points to choose from:
- Email activity (opens and clicks)
- Contact details
- When a contact submits a form
- Website activity
Setting up an email automation workflow is very simple. SendinBlue provides a step-by-step guide as you create your first workflow. Plus, there are always tutorials available inside of SendinBlue’s knowledge base if you want to have a second look.
SendinBlue Social Media Tools
SendinBlue also offers a few social media marketing tools. This is a relatively new addition to the marketing platform.
One of their most-used features is to launch Facebook ads directly from your SendinBlue account. You can retarget old contacts or reach new audiences based on your email lists, this tool comes in handy if your audiences are a lot on Facebook.
A Facebook Ad in SendinBlue contains text, an image, and a link to your website or landing page, and they are displayed on the Facebook website and mobile.
SendinBlue has a sales CRM included. If you don’t have a Customer Relationship Management system in place, that can be a great addition. The SendinBlue CRM is where you can store all the information you have of your contacts and plan follow-ups.
For tasks you can: Send an email, Phone call, a To do, Meeting, or simply a deadline to get back in touch.
You can store additional profile information like notes from previous communications you’ve had or upload any relevant documents directly to the contact profile.
You can use lists to organize your contacts based on whatever criteria you like. This could be similar demographics, the source of where the leads came from, how far down the lead conversion funnel they are, etc.
Create deals and tasks inside of the SendinBlue CRM. Then delegate these tasks to other members of your team (or a Virtual Assistant) and add deadlines to these tasks to help your staff stay on track. With notifications, you’ll get an email once the task is up for doing.
You can set the Deal stage, and see the overview of how your deals are doing. All in all SendinBlue CRM is a great addition. And it is Free, even can be used in the forever free version and directly once you try SendinBlue out.
SendinBlue Review: Registration and email opt-in forms
SendinBlue’s templates for registration and subscription forms are pretty advanced. You can customize the forms using the form drag and drop editor. In seconds, you can modify the color scheme, insert images, add text, and choose your desired font(s). You can also add as many different fields as you want to your forms – it’s entirely up to you what info you collect.
You can add all the typical form fields:
- Text input fields
- Radio buttons
- Dropdown lists
Then once you’re happy with your form, you can embed it on your website by pasting the HTML code.
Forms use captcha verification, to reduce fake signups, and you can choose whether subscribers go through either a single or double opt-in process.
If your visitors come to your form via an email, you can pre-populate the form fields with data like their name, email address, phone number, etc. You can fill-up the form with the data you already have and ask for whatever’s missing. That’s pretty impressive!
SendinBlue Review: Reporting and Analytics
When it comes to reporting and analytics, SendinBlue tracks all the must-have email metrics in their software, like:
- Sends, bounces, opens and clicks
- Subscription and unsubscribe rate
- A/B testing outcomes
- Stats on automated campaigns
You get the idea. You’ll get access to the following, that provide you with invaluable insights about your subscribers:
- Click-map in the emails
- A Google Analytics integration: Sendinblue automatically adds tracking codes to your email campaign links. So you can use Google Analytics to analyze all the people coming from your emails and which campaigns are performing best.
- Engagement rates of your lists
Once you’ve created an email automation workflow, SendinBlue will automatically track this data as well.
- Identify subscribers who clicked the link inside your emails
- Monitor page views
By using these tracking as well, you’ll get a more in-depth insight into the success of your campaigns and the behavior of your subscribers.
SendinBlue Review: Integrations and API
SendInBlue is in the Zapier library, so you can integrate your account with hundreds of other apps. Think lead generation tools, online courses and LMS platform, event management, e-commerce, analytics, and CMS.
SendinBlue has a bunch of native integrations, including:
- Jimdo, Wix
- And many more
Fort instance the SendinBlue WordPress plugin is very popular. WordPress is the most used CMS in the world.
With the plugin you can:
* Create sign-up forms that fit your image and easily include them in your posts or pages;
* Design, set up, and program your transactional emails via the Sendinblue SMTP;
* Manage your contacts simply and efficiently, right in WordPress with the Sendinblue plugin;
* Imagine, create, and manage your email campaigns;
* Access and analyze your campaign statistics, then improve your performance based on those results.
The team at SendinBlue told me they’re working on adding more native integrations in 2020. Of course, you can also use SendinBlue’s API to integrate and automate a lot of tasks.
SendinBlue Review: Landing Pages
Users report that SendinBlue’s landing page editor is incredibly sleek.
You can use landing pages to streamline several processes. For example:
- Product-focused landing pages to drive conversions from your email campaign traffic.
- Use landing pages for ad / social media campaigns and collect info pushing it directly into your email marketing account. With Automation, you can score leads and plan a marketing automation follow-up.
- Promote content / lead magnets and collect opt-ins and profile information when they click download. Then sync the data with the ESP and use Marketing Automation to send the resource and follow up.
Landing pages are available in the Premium plans. Just like with email, SendinBlue has pre-made landing page templates to help you create high-converting pages or you can build your own designs from scratch.
3. How Much Does SendinBlue Email Marketing Cost?
There’s a good chance you’re very interested in SendinBlue pricing. After all, SendinBlue could be the best email marketing software in the world, but if it’s massively out of your budget, then it would be a no-go.
Luckily that’s not the case; SendinBlue, compared to its competitors, is very cheap email marketing software.
So how much does Sendinblue cost? There is a free and a paid plan. SendinBlue costs are based on the volume of emails, rather than the size of your email list. So it doesn’t matter whether you have a list of ten subscribers or 1,000,000, you won’t have to fork out any extra.
Sendinblue discount 💎
If you are ready to try out SendinBlue email marketing software, we have an extra discount in it for you. Because when we spoke to the SendinBlue team, they wanted you to get started on your favorite plan – basically totally free.
If you register for a new account, start your free trial via this secret page you get…
- 99% discount off of your first month of paid plan
- Another 20% discount if you pay per year
- If you’re just starting to build your email list and you have anywhere between one and 1.000 subscribers, The SendinBlue free plan should be enough to meet your needs.
- There are only a few restrictions on the free plan, but SMS campaigns and landing pages aren’t included in the free package.
- The free plan gets you 300 daily emails (9,000 a month). Email automation is free for up to 2,000 email subscribers (which includes both tracking and lead scoring).
- The first 60 days of your free plan, you’ll also get access to phone support. This comes in handy for ironing out any creases as you first get to grips with the software.
- The Sendinblue email editor is a breeze and almost no learning curve.
- Autosave and email render checking included!
- SendinBlue has impressive and flexible email automation functionality.
- There are over 65 email templates you can use to get your email design started quickly.
- SendinBlue customer support are responsive and knowledgeable. Trough email, live chat, and phone.
- Compared to any email marketing tools, the SendinBlue pricing is hard to beat.
- SendinBlue has a very attractive forever free plan.
- Logins for different users are only in Premium plan. Unless you want to pay for SendinBlue’s Premium or Enterprise plans, you can’t set up logins for different users. This can make managing a small team for small senders tricky. If you need multiple logins with varying levels of access, you have to get the version with pricing at $66 month, or -20% if you use our discount.
- Not an Enterprise automation system There are a lot of possibilities in email automation with SendinBlue, but if you want to do very elaborate autoresponders and automation – Remember, SendinBlue is not an Enterprise Marketing Automation tool like SalesForce, Eloqua or HubSpot.
- Dedicated IP-addresses in the Premium version only. you will need to get the Premium version as well
- Non-opt-in lists might be blocked. Some online reviews talk negatively about SendinBlue not taking people with non-opt-in list. (Mostly spammers) Obviously, I think it is a good thing they don’t allow spammers.
- There is an A/B testing wizard for testing email subject lines, for A/B testing complete campaigns you’ll have to split and send the mails out yourself.
About the forever free email marketing software plan
You’ll be happy to hear SendinBlue has a forever free plan. This is great for trying SendinBlue before committing any of your hard-earned cash.
What you need to know about the free plan
As free email marketing software plans go, this is an incredibly good deal.
PSSST: Remember here is a secret page, that will give you first month discount of 99% on Premium package – so that means you get everything for (good as) free as well.
So what does SendinBlue cost? It has a forever free plan and then, depends on your send volume up to $66 a month for up to 120.000 emails.
4. SendinBlue Long-time user reviews: Pros 👍
As mentioned, we interviewed longtime users to get to the nitty-gritty of their experiences with SendinBlue.
In general, people are mostly positive about their SendinBlue experiences. The pricing is very attractive and the tool is easy to use.
Let’s take a look at some of the specific strong points that came out of that.
SendinBlue user reviews say:
Users reviews: Customer Support
SendinBlue offers users a ‘Help’ button right in the interface. When you click this, you’ll get access to SendinBlue knowledgebase, live web chat, or you can email them a message.
SendinBlue users say that the agents on live chat are responsive, helpful, and friendly – what’s not to love about that? I tested it as well, checks out. Plus, the knowledge base is pretty thorough. So, it’s smiles all round when it comes to evaluating their customer support.
Interestingly, SendinBlue predicts where users might need more help by automatically offering them a “live” assistant. For instance, you’ll see an option appear when you go to set up your first automation workflow.
SendinBlue Long-time user reviews: Cons 👎
Any email marketing tool, can also have downsides. SendinBlue isn’t for everyone. Here is a list of issues we heard back from users and found in online SendinBlue reviews.
Final conclusion, SendinBlue is it worth it?
Email marketing is an important part for many online businesses, and there’s a very good reason. Thanks to the SendinBlue free plan, you can test the tool with no investment, see if you like it for yourself. Then, if you need, can upgrade to a paid plan and get some additional perks + more send volume.
My Scorecard of SendinBlue:
Ease of Use: 9 / 10
Pricing: 10 / 10
Editor and templates: 9 / 10
Functionalities: 10/ 10
Email Automation: 8,5 / 10
Customer service: 9 / 10
Total score 9,5 / 10
Looking at value-for-money, SendinBlue is an amazing tool. The functionality you get for what you pay is almost unheard of for email marketing software. It could very well serve your email marketing needs. Try it for free.