Small to medium-sized businesses
Businesses that need SMS capabilities
Options for a dedicated IP
Customer support in six languages
Lengthy setup process
Automation features still in beta
Not as beginner-friendly as other services
SendinBlue is best for e-commerce businesses looking for an email marketing solution that has transactional email options, SMS capabilities and the ability to send and report on email campaigns.
The ability to combine e-commerce email marketing solutions with automations and general email marketing is the true benefit of SendinBlue and is what sets it apart. For an online business that sells a variety of products, SendinBlue is worthy of consideration. Combining SMS reminders with transactional follow-ups is a powerful asset for any digital business.
SendinBlue’s pricing is affordable and appropriate for the number of features offered. Its free plan caps at 300 emails per day and 9,000 emails per month, but its paid plans start at only $7.37 per month for up to 40,000 emails and unlimited contacts.
The plugins within the SendinBlue platform are big positives for this service. It has plugins and integrations for all of the major e-commerce solutions a business is likely to use, including Shopify, Wordpress, Salesforce and nopCommerce, and it’s simple to integrate a store into email marketing efforts. Its Zapier plugin greatly increases those options as well.
SendinBlue also offers personalized IP addresses, which means emails can be sent with the user’s domain name attached, as opposed to Gmail or a SendinBlue default name, and there is no piggybacking off a public IP. This is especially useful for large businesses and is included in the top plans.
The contact list segmentation options and features are also useful. It’s easy to see which people have opened which emails over a period of time and attach that to an automation or create a new list with those selected. This can be very informative, offering insight into which products yield the most repeat customers or helping to determine which customers are repeat buyers.
SendinBlue also recently released a feature last week called SendTimeOptimisation, which allows your business to choose a date to automatically send your newsletters, and machine learning will take care of sending the emails at the optimal time for each user, which will increase open rates.
SendinBlue offers 60 templates, however they aren’t segmented into industry or use like many other services are, and it’s a bit difficult to switch back and forth between the different pages to decide which template to choose. All of the templates are mobile-responsive. It is apparent that SendinBlue puts more effort into the flexibility of the email editor to customize campaigns than in providing a large number of templates.
The drag-and-drop editor isn’t as intuitive as some other services. It comes off as a bit complicated and it’s not friendly to email beginners.
SendinBlue offers a good free option of up to 18,000 emails/month (600 max a day) with unlimited contacts. Users can get a feel for the program via the free option, but it is recommended to upgrade to at least the Micro plan when starting out. The micro option is inexpensive at only $25.00 for 40,000 emails per month. The only downside is the SendinBlue branding will still be on all of the user’s emails, and that doesn’t go away until the $39 per month bronze plan.
Even at its most expensive listed option - $66/month for 120,000 emails, unlimited contacts, SMS features, e-commerce integrations and advanced reporting - SendinBlue is a good value. The company must be contacted for prices above 120,000 emails per month.
SendinBlue’s interface is not as easy to use as services like Constant Contact or Mailchimp. It presents its features and options in a more esoteric fashion, which is fine (and arguably better) for those who are tech-savvy. However, for absolute beginners, it takes a while to get used to. The layout and overall UI are simple, but once the user digs into the individual tools, it can be a bit overwhelming.
Setting up SendinBlue takes slightly longer than other services. It’s stricter on proving identity authentication (phone verification, more form fields), and it will take some time hooking up the SMS service and connecting e-commerce solutions to the program. However, users will find that the end product is well worth the effort.
The plugins and integrations are easy to use, and a lot of SendinBlue’s value comes from its ability to seamlessly integrate itself with the user’s digital e-commerce platform. SendinBlue isn’t trying to be the best email marketing platform, it’s trying to be the best email marketing platform for e-commerce businesses, and it has succeeded in that mission.
The SMS messaging, transactional emails and wide variety of e-commerce plugins/integrations are uniquely SendinBlue. There is not a better platform for integrating email marketing with an online store. In addition, the ability to segment lists based on who opens what product emails is a very useful tool.
One downside is that while SendinBlue excels at e-commerce marketing, it falls short in a few key email marketing areas, including RSS feeds, good A/B testing and a robust automation system. It has an automation system that is in beta at the moment, so it’s working on that feature, but for those looking for more of a CRM/marketing tool, Constant Contact or ActiveCampaign should be considered. Businesses must consider how important the transactional emails and SMS messaging systems are to their business, and use that as the basis for their decision.
SendinBlue does not offer 24/7 support or live chat. The best way to get in touch is either via phone or through the contact form. While SendinBlue doesn’t have as many industry-specific materials as Benchmark Email or Constant Contact, it does have a general FAQ/walkthrough section that covers the majority of basic questions and best practices for succeeding on the platform.
The phone support system is efficient and connects users straight to an operative without having to go through an automated system, which is refreshing compared to many email marketing services. During weekdays, connection usually takes place within three minutes, and the operatives are happy to advise on both platform use and best practices. Users would be well advised to take advantage of the support staff’s knowledge as they’re getting used to and setting up the platform. For those who would rather not phone, the email support typically responds within a few hours.
SendinBlue offers the best email marketing platform for small to medium-sized e-commerce businesses. With a large variety of plugins and integrations that allow SendinBlue to seamlessly integrate itself with a user’s existing e-commerce platform, it’s the obvious choice for online stores offering a variety of products.
With transactional emails, SMS messaging, automation capabilities and effective list segmentation, SendinBlue succeeds in hitting all the aspects of e-commerce email marketing.
Founded in 2012 by Armand Thiberge and Kapil Sharma, the Paris-based email marketing business services more than 50,000 customers in 100 countries and sends more than 50 million email/SMS messages each day. SendinBlue offers e-commerce transactional emails and integrations, which is different from many other email marketing platforms.
It has three offices, one in Paris, one in Delhi and another in Seattle. In 2016, Forbes chose SendinBlue as one of the must-follow startups of the year, and SendinBlue is currently continuing its international expansion efforts by launching Portuguese and Italian language capabilities.
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