In this honest and comprehensive Sendinblue review, I aim to help you determine whether the popular email marketing tool is the right platform for you or whether you’d be better off using another service.
In my guide to the top five email marketing services in 2023, I praised the company’s generous free plan and excellent automation features.
Today, I’ll stand by what I said and continue to tell you why these two details help Sendinblue stand out as one of the best platforms to use if you’re serious about growing your audience.
However, as someone who has used email marketing extensively to build my own $1.5 million content marketing portfolio, I know that freebies and automation alone may not make Sendinblue the perfect platform for everyone.
So, should you give Sendinblue a try, or is there an alternative solution better suited to your needs?
In the following review, I’ll draw on my personal experience to give you my unbiased answer to that very question.
What is Sendinblue?
Sendinblue is a highly-rated email marketing platform that earns acclaim for being highly reliable and excelling at getting your emails into customers’ inboxes and optimizing those emails to ensure they get opened.
Who is Sendinblue For?
Sendinblue’s unbeatable user-friendliness and high-value free plan make it a great choice for those who are just beginning to learn how to get started with email marketing.
That being said, the higher-than-average limits on the number of subscribers you can have and the number of emails you can send make it just as good for growing businesses and large-scale enterprises that already have an extensive subscriber list that they’re looking to manage more easily and effectively.
1. Email Campaign Management
I have to give Sendinblue credit for their email campaign tools to combine very useful advanced features with beginner-level simplicity that is almost beyond comparison.
Both the ‘to’ and ‘from’ sections of your email can be customized to a high degree. With the latter, you’ll be able to add multiple different email addresses and choose which one to send your campaign from.
This may be useful if you want to use a separate email address for different campaign types.
Alternatively, suppose you’re starting a WordPress membership site. In that case, you may have one email address for creating an automated welcome email campaign, a second one for things like technical updates and announcements, and a third for sales and marketing.
As far as determining who will receive your email, you can divide your subscribers into an unlimited number of different lists for different purposes and choose which lists to send it to.
Of course, if you have a lot of lists, you may decide that it’s easier to select all of your lists and then use the advanced options to determine which users won’t receive them.
Here, you can omit specific lists from your broadcast or exclude certain users or user types based on any number of conditions including, but not limited to:
- First name and/or last name
- Email address
- Whether they’re on a list or not
- Whether they’ve been flagged
- Whether their profile has been changed
- Subscription status
- Whether or not they opened a specific email from you
- Whether or not they clicked a link in an email
- And more.
Among all these conditions, my favorite is the option to send an email only to those engaged with your brand (i.e., they open emails and interact with them through clicking links) or those not engaged with your brand.
This is especially helpful as it allows you to target non-engaged customers with special offers or promotions to increase your engagement and sales levels or limit your campaign to those you’re confident will interact with it.
Elsewhere, you’ll have the ability to customize your subjects and preview text.
If you’re unfamiliar with preview text, this is a preview/summary of the email content displayed in the inbox on popular email clients such as Gmail and Yahoo, but not the email itself).
I’m glad to see this option here, as it’s well-known that adding this text can significantly increase your email open rate.
2. Customizable Templates
Creating your emails is every bit as easy as managing your campaigns.
Here, you’ll have multiple options.
First, you can choose from standard layouts and input your content into them. If you’re exceptionally skilled, you can even hand-code your email, though the best option is to choose from one of the countless beautifully-designed themes available.
Each of these templates has been created and clearly labeled to help you pick the perfect one for a wide range of purposes, from selling new products to re-engaging long-lost customers via order confirmations, announcements, and more.
When you’ve found the suitable template, you can customize every component using a highly intuitive drag-and-drop editor that is one of the smoothest and most straightforward to use any I’ve seen.
3. Marketing Automation
Even with the excellent campaign management features in place, marketing automation is the real star of the Sendinblue show.
Though you can always create custom workflows, you’ll find most of the things you’d want to do with automated emails are already set up for you. All you need to do is fill in the details.
The following pre-made workflows are all available:
Sends an email when customers don’t complete checkout
Sends users a confirmation message that their purchase was successful.
Send an automated welcome message to new subscribers.
Send follow-up emails based on whether or not users open previous emails
Send one-off emails with special offers or a series of emails based on events such as user birthdays, sign-up dates, and more.
It isn’t just that most of this is set up for you in advance that makes Sendinblue such a great choice for automation, nor is it that the whole process of creating your automated workflows is as easy as you could hope for.
No, the real highlight here is that you can customize many different options, ranging from how long the email should be sent after a triggering action to what triggers the event and much more.
If you want a complete set-it-and-forget-it approach to using email marketing, you’ll find that only Aweber comes anywhere close to being as good as Sendinblue.
4. Apps and Integrations
There’s no denying that Sendinblue plays well with others. The platform doesn’t offer the most integrations I’ve ever seen, but it does offer plenty of in-built and third-party tools to help you optimize your communications beyond the platform’s core offer.
Among the list of apps and integrations, you’ll find tools to help you import contacts from other services, send text message (SMS) campaigns and Web Push Notifications (WPN).
Also, manage your leads and conversions through a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, and even allow those leads to book meetings and appointments with you directly from your campaigns.
If you like what Sendinblue offers but still need a little more functionality, exploring the catalog of apps and integrations will ensure you find everything you need.
5. Other Key Sendinblue Features
The features listed above are the main ones that help Sendinblue stand out from its competitors, but that’s not all available.
Depending on the plan you sign-up for, you’ll also be able to access the following:
- Custom sign-up forms
- Live chat options for your website
- Transactional email campaign management
- Email heatmaps
- Open-rate and click-through reports
How Much Does Sendinblue Cost?
If you read my Aweber review, you may remember me saying that the platform had one of the best free plans in the entire email marketing game.
That’s undoubtedly true, but I think Sendinblue’s free package may be just as good, if not slightly better.
Without paying a penny or even entering your credit card details, the platform offers all of the following:
- Unlimited email marketing contacts
- Marketing automation limited to 2,000 contacts
- Send up to 300 emails per day
- 500 x Web Push Notification impressions per month.
I’ve used several services to grow my email list over the years, and in all that time, I genuinely don’t believe I’ve found a single platform that offers the ability to grow an unlimited subscriber list and send as many daily email broadcasts to that list as you’ll find with Sendinblue.
What sweetens the deal even further is that along with those beneficial resources, the free plan also offers access to the following features:
- Email templates
- Drag and drop email editor
- Email campaign management
- Customized email personalization
- Email automation
- Advanced segmentation
- Customizable sign-up forms
- Integrations with WordPress, Shopify, and other vital platforms
- GDPR Compliance
- Email support.
However, where the free plan falters is that it places Sendinblue’s branding at the bottom of your emails and leaves out several key features that you may have been relying on. The lack of a landing page builder is incredibly disappointing, as you’ll need your platform to attract those potential new sign-ups.
If a landing page is essential to you, I’d encourage you to either go for Aweber’s free plan, which does offer landing pages or upgrade to one of the following Sendinblue premium plans:
|PRODUCT NAME||PRODUCT DESCRIPTION||PRODUCT PRICE|
|Starter||Includes everything in the free plan plus: |
Send 20,000 emails per month
No daily sending limits
Basic reporting and analytics.
The starter plan also allows you to remove the Sendinblue branding, but only if you pay $9 to access that feature as an add-on.
Since removing the branding is one of the main reasons I’d want to pay for an upgrade (especially since branding removal is one of the key features of most other companies’ starter plans), this doesn’t represent the best value.
|Business||Includes everything in the starter plan plus:|
Advanced marketing automation
Landing page creation
Remove Sendinblue branding for free
Telephone and live chat support.
|Enterprise||Includes everything in the Business plan plus:|
Send unlimited emails
Create and launch Facebook ads
Personalized support and tailored onboarding
The bottom line is that while Sendinblue’s basic free plan is a great deal for newcomers or cash-strapped content creators, their premium plans are among the most expensive in the market. And, sadly, don’t represent the best value for money you’re going to find in an email marketing package.
How Difficult is Sendinblue to Use?
If you read this entire review, you’ll notice that I haven’t been shy about pointing out where Sendinblue could do much better. However, one thing I can not fault them for is how easy they are to use.
From setting up your account to launching your first campaign, there isn’t a single criticism I can hold against the company regarding usability.
If you’ve found other platforms too tricky to get to grips with, Sendinblue may be the one for you.
How to Get Started and Launch Your First Automated Email Campaign With Sendinblue
1. Create a Sendinblue account
First, head to Sendinblue.com and click ‘Sign up Free.’
On the next screen, create an account by entering an email and password and verifying your email address. Alternatively, you can use your Google or Apple credentials to sign up.
2. Enter Your Personal and Company Details
With your account made, your next step is to enter information about yourself and your business.
You’ll begin by adding your name, company name, and website, followed by your address. This last part is particularly important as it helps you to comply with various international anti-spam laws.
Finally, you can complete the Sendinblue onboarding process by providing details about your business or brand, including its size, current email list (if you have one), and whether or not you sell products online.
You’ll also need to enter a phone number to verify your account.
3. Choose a Pricing Plan
With all that done, you’ll be asked to choose one of Sendinblue’s four plans.
If you choose a premium plan, you’ll be asked for your billing information and complete a standard checkout process before being directed to your dashboard.
You’ll be taken straight to the dashboard if you go for the free option.
What I like about the dashboard, in particular, is that it has a very intuitive and well-designed menu and provides crystal-clear instructions about your following tasks.
4. Import Your Contacts
If this isn’t your first rodeo regarding email marketing, you’ll no doubt have a bunch of existing subscribers you’ll want to add.
To do that, first, select the ‘import all of your contacts’ option from the dashboard. From there, you’ll have the option to either upload your subscriber list or manually copy and paste references into a new list.
5. Start Your First Email Campaign
Here’s where the fun begins.
After returning to the dashboard, select the ‘schedule your first email campaign’ option.
You’ll be taken to Sendinblue’s email campaign management dashboard. As a new user, you won’t have any campaign data here yet, so go ahead and click the ‘Create an email campaign’ button in the top-right-hand corner.
Give your campaign a name or, if you’re taking advantage of the A/B testing option available to Business and Enterprise users, give both of your A and B campaigns a name.
6. Enter Your ‘From’ and ‘To’ Details
Moving on, you can customize the ‘From’ part of your email that users see when they open it.
Here, you can send your broadcast using the email address you signed up with or add a new email.
You can also customize the sender name (listed by default as ‘my company’).
Next, you’ll need to customize the ‘To’ details, choosing whether or not to send to all of your lists or, if you’ve used the audience segmentation features, individual lists.
As I mentioned earlier, when talking about Sendinblue’s features, you can also use this section to choose who *not* to send your email to, whether that’s a specific list or certain types of users.
7. Enter a Subject and Preview Text
Every good email broadcast needs a subject, so that’s the next thing to take care of.
You can also customize the preview text to boost the number of subscribers who open your email.
8. Choose and Edit an Email Template
Though you may prefer to hand-code your email broadcast or use a basic default layout, it would be a shame to miss out on using one of the many high-quality, pre-made templates available.
To continue creating your campaign, you can browse through the catalog of available templates or search for those that best meet the purpose of your email.
Hovering over a template you like will allow you to preview and select it.
When you’ve found the one you like, click the ‘Use Template’ button to open up the handy drag-and-drop editor.
Using this very user-friendly tool, you can click on any individual element in your template to change it or drag new elements into place using the options available in the left-hand menu.
9. Schedule Your Campaign
When you’re happy with your design, click the continue button to return to the main campaign dashboard.
From there, you can use the options in the top-right-hand corner to preview and test your campaign before setting it out to your audience.
Click the ‘Schedule’ button, and you’ll be given three options:
- Send your email right away
- Schedule it for a later date
- Send it at the best time for each user (this feature is only available on the Business plan).
If you have a business plan, I recommend taking advantage of this feature, which determines the optimum send time based on the previous email opens.
Otherwise, either hit ‘Send Now’ or follow my example and choose to schedule it.
This brings up a couple of basic drop-down menus where you can choose the date and time to send your email.
Do that, hit ‘schedule,’ and you’re done. You’ll receive a notification that your email is ready to send, and with that, you’ve successfully created your first email campaign with Sendinblue.
What is Sendinblue Customer Service Like?
Customer service is one aspect of Sendinblue in which the company does well in some regards and not so great in others.
First, let’s get the negative out of the way.
The brand’s support documentation is also somewhat lacking, so if you run into a problem, there’s less chance of figuring it out yourself.
This means contacting customer support, where you’ll be limited to email and chat support unless you’re on the high-priced Business plan.
On the plus side, though access to customer service isn’t the greatest, the company’s agents respond quickly, deal with issues patiently, and solve even the most complex of problems without going into technical jargon.
To sum up, the support you get is fantastic, though I am disappointed that you don’t get to speak to a real human being on the phone unless you pay top dollar.
What Do Other People Say About Sendinblue?
So far, you’ve heard my opinion about Sendinblue, but if you’re serious about giving Sendinblue a try, it pays to consider alternative opinions too.
Over on the reputable consumer review site Trustpilot, the company gets largely positive feedback, resulting in an overall ‘Excellent’ rating of 4.4.
Like me, fans of the service praise the high quality of their customer service and reliable service.
On the flip side, one common trend in Sendinblue’s negative reviews is that the company seems to block, ban, or delete accounts that don’t meet specific requirements determined by an algorithm. Though I can say hand-on-heart that I’ve never had this problem myself, it is something that you may want to investigate further before deciding whether to sign up.
Sendinblue Pros and Cons:
Frequently Asked Questions About Sendinblue
Is Sendinblue reputable?
Yes. Sendinblue enjoys a strong reputation as a reliable email marketing service that takes data privacy seriously and delivers solid results.
Is Sendinblue the same as Mailchimp?
Sendinblue and Mailchimp are both top-rated email marketing tools. However, they do differ. The latter is the best for marketing analytics and amazing templates, while the former offers unbeatable marketing automation and customization options.
Is Sendinblue secure?
It certainly is. The company uses a multi-level firewall, industry-leading anti-virus and anti-malware software, and encrypted data transmission via its PCI DSS-certified data centers to ensure top-level security for users and subscribers.
Should You Give Sendinblue a Try? My Verdict
So, with all that being said, is Sendinblue the right email marketing tool for you?
Truthfully, that depends on what’s most important to you.
Suppose you’re looking for a free plan that allows you to build an email list with an unlimited number of subscribers, create effective automated email campaigns, and manage your entire email marketing efforts with the greatest of ease.
In that case, I recommend you give Sendinblue a try.
However, if you’re an experienced user who needs more advanced features such as landing pages. In that case, you may find that the company’s high-priced plans leave much to be desired and may want to consider top Sendinblue alternatives, Aweber or Constant Contact.