Sendinblue refers to itself as an all-in-one digital marketing platform for many businesses. But, as with most businesses, that doesn’t mean a lot on paper.
Digital marketing covers a wide spectrum of activities, and Sendinblue covers a good chunk of them. However, as you’ll read in our review, “all” doesn’t really cover what Sendinblue does.
Below, you’ll find out everything you need to know about Sendinblue and whether you can use this email marketing, SMS, and landing page builder tool.
What is Sendinblue?
Sendinblue advertises itself as being for businesses of all sizes and types. This includes eCommerce sellers, agencies, and both B2B and B2C clients.
Its main offering is email marketing and automation tools. However, it also includes simple design software that you can use to build email templates and landing pages.
Sendinblue breaks its services down into 10 “apps,” which define what features it offers. In our later section on features, we will break down those in our later features section.
Sendinblue has been around since 2012, founded by Armand Thiberge. According to their about page, it was founded to create the “most effecive marketing channels accessible to all business.”
The company has seen massive growth, spreading to over 300 thousand users across 160 countries. They have offices in the United States, India, France, Germany, Bulgaria, and Canada to staff their international team.
So, Sendinblue is successful, but does this translate to an effective product?
Who is Sendinblue best for?
Based on our research, Sendinblue is best for starting entrepreneurs and medium-sized businesses. It is like MailChimp, but has a greater emphasis on marketing automation. You’ll find most of its talents shine through transactional email and SMS.
Much of Sendinblue’s availability for entry-level email marketers come as its free plan, which is something we will inspect later in this article. However, it offers solutions for enterprise level clients, offering a solution that scales with your business.
Sendinblue pros and cons
- Free plan is great for those who want to try out the platform
- Landing page and email building tools are incredibly easy to use and handy
- Customizable dashboard
- Automated features come with easy-to-use templates
- Basic CRM features
- Integrates with all major email platforms
- Includes chat box
- Free plan limited to 300 emails per day.
- Advanced features for template creation require an additional payment
- CRM is limited compared to competitors
- Chat box does not integrate with automated features
Sendinblue pricing – cost comparison of plans
Sendinblue offers four major plans for its customers:
The free plan is the most interesting of these, as it is a great way to test out the features. The other plans remove the daily sending limit, offer more email support, and include additional features.
You can increase your monthly email volume in increments of 20 thousand. You pay about $7 per 20 thousand emails under the lite plan and $15 under the premium plan. You should only need to boost our email allowance if you send more than 20 thousand per month.
Comparing this to MailChimp, you’ll find the rate to be similar. What makes Sendinblue the more interesting offer is its addition of five landing pages starting at the premium level.
Sendinblue Lite Plan
Sendinblue’s Lite Plan starts at $25 per month ($22.50 if paid annually). This level provides you with the basics of their email marketing platform, which includes a marketing campaign manager and CRM.
The Lite Plan does not include any email automation features, making it less useful for those who want to build automated marketing systems. So, the lite plan is best for people who prefer manual control of their campaign.
Those who pay for Lite get unique access to the Lite+ add-on for $12 per month ($10.80 if annual). This addition lets you remove the “Sent by Sendinblue” logo from the bottom of your emails. It also gives you access to A/B testing features and advanced analytical information.
The extra pay is ideal for data nuts who like heat maps, geography-based reporting, and device-based reporting to optimize their email and SMS campaigns. However, this plan only provides access to one user, meaning you’ll have to share space on the account.
Sendinblue Premium Plan
The Sendinblue Premium Plan provides the more advanced marketing automation features for $65 per month ($58.50 if annual). It also includes the ability to include a chatbox for your website and manage Facebook ads without leaving your Sendinblue account.
Optional add-ons at this level include the ability to add additional users at $12 per month per user ($10.80 if annual). Premium, by default, includes three users with its base pricing.
You can also choose to add five additional landing pages for $24 per month ($21.58 if annual). Premium includes five starting pages.
When paying for premium, you also unlock unlimited contacts and phone support. Under both the lite and free plans, you can only get access to the slower email-based cusotmer support.
Sendinblue Enterprise Plan
The Sendinblue Enterprise Plan is for digital marketers who need more. There is no set pricing, as that changes per the volume of emails, users, and landing pages you need. However, it advertises a custom volume of emails, over 20 landing pages, and 10 (or more) user accounts for access.
On the highest level, the premium plan allows you to send up to one million emails. So, the Enterprise plan is suited for companies who have a high number of contacts and handling many emails. Here, Sendinblue’s ability to segment email groups is pretty handy.
While the idea of getting a customer success manager and priority support is great, we won’t be looking at this plan. Instead, we will focus on the features offered for small and medium businesses.
What comes with the Sendinblue free plan?
Sendinblue offers a free plan for those who have tight budgets. As you might expect, the free plan comes with some heavy limits, but could be worse. You might consider it an unlimited free trial.
To start, the free plan lacks all the A/B testing, landing page building, and marketing automation features you know from other plans. However, it keeps the ability to build email templates and designs, making it only suitable if you need a simple email platform.
You’ll also have to deal with a strict limit of 300 emails per day. For start-ups and small entrepreneurs, this isn’t too bad, but you’ll find your marketing needs outgrowing this fast once you build a subscriber list.
Optional paid features
For those with unique needs, there are four optional paid items you can get:
- Individual email credits
- SMS credits
- A dedicated IP
- A custom premium template
Individual email credits are less cost effective than paying through a monthly plan. However, if you exceed your email limit in what you believe to be a onetime case, you can pay a minimum of $40 per 5,000 emails with better pricing for bulk packages.
SMS credits are also available at a much better rate (anywhere from $1 to $4 per 100 depending on your country). However, SMS messages are much more limited in what you can send, making them situational.
You can choose to get a dedicated IP, which gives you better control over your sender reputation. This reduces your chance of being put in the spam folder, as emails from a dedicated IP have a confirmed source. Consider it to be a digital signature that costs $251 per year per IP.
Finally, you can choose to order a custom, premium email design from anywhere from $479 or up. The custom design provides you with an HTML code built for you to use through Sendinblue or other providers.
You can also choose to pay for a design and code, providing you with access to premium designers and email HTML coders. These are optional and aren’t married to any specific plan from above.
Sendinblue ease of use test – using the dashboard
Sendinblue’s dashboard can be full or simple, depending on your plan. The more you pay, the more features you get, making things a bit more crowded.
The left half of the dashboard (the image you see above) remains unchanged, regardless of your plan. Instead, it includes an overall look at your business with the ability to view your active and drafted email campaigns. For more details on your active campaigns, click the email tab just below it.
“Templates” allows you to see your existing email design templates. From there, you can search for templates, view active templates, and check on inactive templates.
Statistics, which is where campaign managers will spend their time, will see important stats. This includes the Click-Through Rate (CTR), open Rate, and any other rate. You can also sort this with different timelines to see where your email campaigns saw the most growth or loss.
Navigating between unique elements is simple, making it one of the easier marketing platforms to use. What makes things interesting is the top menu, which (for now) shows the default features that Sendinblue recommends you review.
Most features you find are found in the above navigation panel. As you might imagine, the more you use Sendinblue, the more stuff appears in this area. Clicking the “add more apps” button reveals the complete list of 10 apps.
It takes a bit of time to get used to this complete lineup of features, but it isn’t challenging. Below, you’ll find out more information on how each feature works.
Sendinblue features review
When you have all the apps selected, your email management system will include these ten features:
- Email campaigns (and SMS campaigns)
- Automation (for emails, website tracking, and contact management)
- Transactional emails (and SMS)
- Facebook ads management
- Landing page creation and management
- Inbox (connecting your email account for management within Sendinblue)
- A customer relationship management interface
If you are following along with our review with your own Sendinblue page open, we will start in the upper-left corner. Ultimately, Sendinblue’s best work comes when you use their email marketing service to direct them to your integrated landing page.
Email marketing tools
The campaign tab found in the upper-left has a link to emails, which includes all of your existing email campaigns. Clicking on “create an email campaign” in the upper-right corner will bring you through campaign creation.
The first thing you’ll notice when creating a new campaign is the option to choose between “regular” or A/B testing. The A/B testing feature allows you to tweak your designs between two original subject lines or email content designs, which is fairly simple.
The next page allows you to dictate these four areas:
- To – The group your email is going to (you can choose which groups to send it to and which groups to not send it to)
- From – The email your content is coming from (you need to add it to your Sendinblue account)
- Subject – The subject line of your email (you can preview how it looks in a mobile inbox)
- Design – The unique design of the email (this is where you can build your email and select templates)
Advanced settings below allow you different settings based on newsletters, subscriptions, and design. By clicking “edit settings” you can choose what to change, which can be useful for tracking, sorting, or unique design features.
The email design features are the most engaging of this group. In a later section, we will revisit those.
When finished filling out the information, you’ll be able to click the “preview & test” and “schedule” buttons to look at the email and set it up for a future date. However, you might also choose to integrate this email with your automated process.
Marketing automation tools
What makes Sendinblue incredibly useful is its automation features. While creating email marketing campaigns is part of the Lite plan, the Premium plan supports automation. You can choose between pre-made templates and more advanced features.
The automation tab found on the top-end navigation bar shows you this page. From this page, you’ll want to be sure “workflows” on the left is selected. To start, the system will encourage you to pick one of their pre-made templates.
These templates include many of the following email types:
- Abandoned cart
- Product purchase
- Welcome message
- Marketing activities (like clicking an email campaign)
- Website events (giving your users an email after clicking something on the website)
- Page visits
If none of these fit what you need, you can also click the “create a custom workflow” button in the upper right corner.
Clicking on one campaign will give you an overview of how it looks. For example, selecting the abandoned cart email allows you to select event triggers, the delayed time of when they receive an email, the data you receive, and when it stops sending them the email.
Transactional email and SMS
Sendinblue’s transactional emails are managed through the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). These transactional emails are ideal if you have an automated system to handle repetitive tasks. For example, you might set SMTP up for order confirmations, account creations, or password recovery.
This is where Sendinblue becomes a bit more useful for small businesses with strong online presences. As this allows you to use Sendinblue as an automated email service beyond sending direct sales emails.
This also saves you money from needing to hire an outside staff to handle these sorts of requests. Your support team instead is mostly automated, preventing you from needing to hire a separate customer service person specifically for menial tasks.
Drag-and-drop landing pages & and email editor
By clicking either the “email templates” under the automation tab or “templates” under the campaign tab, you can find the email and landing page design tool. On this Sendinblue review, the design elements are likely a big reason people purchase this software.
The design tools make use of a simple drag-and-drop interface, which is like webpage builders like Wix or Squarespace. Despite the editor being simple and dynamic, it doesn’t quite have as much customization as webpage builders. To find out why, you’ll need to click the “new template” button found in the upper-right corner.
Clicking the template section starts by asking you to fill in a series of boxes. This starts with a handy feature: personalization, which allows you to insert elements like a person’s email, first name, or last name in the subject line or description. Next, you’ll find a page with many layout options to get started. Of course, you won’t get these boxes when filling out a webpage.
The layouts give you a good idea of where to start with a good email design. Of course, if you prefer, you also have the option of choosing simple, which is the text-only email option. Some people prefer this, as it can make the email feel less like an ad and more like sending something to a friend.
So you get the complete idea of what features they offer, let’s stick with the default template. Selecting it will bring up a more detailed design page you can find in this image below.
The right half of the screen is the preview for your new design. At the top, you’ll see the option of checking your design between mobile and desktop browsers. If you want to save the design, you can find that under the “actions” menu in the upper left.
The left half of the screen contains more layout options under the “content” tab. The “my content” tab allows you to save your favorite blocks and keep ones you’ve tweaked for your marketing needs.
Last, design allows you to select a background color, image, body color, width, text appearance, button design, and spacing details. For the meticulous designer inside of you (or on your team), these features are incredibly appealing. The only thing they lack is more detailed image editing software, which you can supplement through tools like Photoshop or Canva.
Going back to the right window, you’ll find you can click on individual elements like the text and header. Much like with the overall design defaults from our previous section, you can choose individual design elements for each image or text.
What you’ll find here is an excellent tool for building any email you want to send. Among landing page builders, Sendinblue isn’t quite as a powerful, but provides options to take people through simple actions. When using Sendinblue, you can make it a centerpiece too your marketing platform.
Managed inbox and contacts
The shared inbox that Sendinblue offers allows you to provide access to your email without giving away your direct email password. However, you either need to provide your Sendinblue password or create for them a user account.
The shared inbox allows people to view collective responses. This page also allows you to assign conversations to specific members of your team, making task delegation simple.
The assigning feature and shared inbox are handy. However, with a limit of three users under the Premium plan, you’ll find this to be less useful. Using this feature can also make it easy for crosstalk on customer support, having multiple people respond to the same person.
Thankfully, you can divide your inbox by different segments, grouping customers depending on your preferences. These segments are ideal for those at different stages of the buyer’s process or if you manage multiple email subscription lists.
Customer relationship manager (CRM)
The other half of Sendinblue’s full marketing suite is its Customer Relationship Manager, or CRM. This CRM allows you to track your leads through the complete buyer’s journey, but is much weaker than other CRM-driven software like HubSpot.
You’ll find these four options on the left-hand navigation tab:
- Deals (allows you to track current customer stages)
- Tasks (allows you to assign and setup tasks for your colleagues)
- Companies (the companies you own or the people you are getting leads for)
- Settings (allows you to invite users, set notifications, manage your inbox, and manage your pipeline settings)
The “companies” tab will likely be your first start, as it allows you to create the companies you manage marketing for. If you don’t manage multiple companies, you’ll likely only have one entry here. So for those managing a single business, it might confuse at first.
From here, you can connect the company to deals, which allows you to track current customers, their values, and their stages. While other CRMs might list out the customers and their current state, this system focuses on a deal-by-deal basis.
For example, here’s a deal named “test” we created:
After clicking on it, you can see a few more details. Only after scrolling down, you’ll see the contact associated with this deal.
Given CRMs are customer first, it’s unusual that you have to dig for this information. However, it isn’t the worst design error, making it a pretty engaging CRM.
What makes it more interesting is the ability to add custom deal under the settings. From there, you can input custom sales pipeline stages based on your process and their win probability (your likelihood of reaching the next stage).
Sendinblue conversions (chat box)
The last tab you’ll see is “conversions,” which refers to the integrated chat box you can put on any of your websites. Much like the email campaigns, you can program it to respond to specific questions. However, these features are weaker than what’s available through email tracking.
The chat feature includes integrations with Shopify, Facebook, and Instagram. This way, you can stick to one location for all of your customer communication needs.
Sendinblue reviews – what do the users say?
If you take the time to do a public review of Sendinblue’s reputation, you’ll notice fairly positive results. Most customers (over 80%) give this software a five out of five, with 9% of customers sharing their experience as “bad.”
The top Reddit complaint comes from someone who was confused by customer support advice. What isn’t known about dedicated IPs is that if you don’t send out regular emails, your IP-based email campaign is on cooldown. Unfortunately, it seems like there was some confusion about why he needed to purchase the IP.
Mostly, people are positive about the customer support and ease of use on the platform. You’ll find these comments scattered throughout sites like Trustpilot.
Wrap up – is SendinBlue worth your money?
So, is Sendinblue worth your money? The short answer: yes, especially if you don’t have to give up any actual money.
Sendinblue has powerful design features for creating landing pages and high-quality emails. This, alongside their CRM system and contact management, makes it an excellent tool for email marketers wanting to create a sales pipeline using a single tool.
Sendinblue is also ideal for users wanting a hands off approach. Automation can be tricky at first, but is offered through an incredibly simple platform. Overall, when working with email and marketing automation, Sendinblue is a brilliant solution for businesses of all sizes.