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Sendinblue review: Email marketing and automation

Sendinblue actually started as a digital agency, but they quickly noticed that the offers of email marketing providers didn’t satisfy their needs but were designed for large scale businesses and came with the corresponding price. Marketing automation for smaller businesses was an underserved marketing then. So, they “scratched their own itch” and built their own email marketing service. That was in 2012.

Sendinblue is now a comprehensive marketing solution offering email marketing, live chat, Facebook ads, and SMS marketing. Its headquarters are located in Paris, France, and they also have offices in Delhi, India, Seattle, US, and Berlin, Germany.

Sendinblue’s offer is geared towards small and medium-sized businesses, that also want or need to do omnichannel marketing.

Pros and cons of Sendinblue

Sendinblue has a rich feature set at a competitive price point. It’s more a relationship marketing software that’s geared towards small and mid-sized businesses. Its drag-and-drop editor has some ready-made blocks for all the most common types of content to streamline the process of designing and writing an email.

Pros

  • Free forever plan
  • Powerful and versatile automation features
  • Fair pricing
  • SMS marketing, Facebook ads, and live chat make it an omnichannel marketing provider
  • Email list segmentation
  • Customisable email templates

Cons

  • Import contacts is can be buggy at times, especially if you try to import a large list
  • The basic plan lack some key email management features
  • It can have a learning curve, making the initial setup complicated
  • To be able to send mails, your account must undergo a review and validation process
  • If you don’t regularly log into your account, it’s status will change to suspended.

Who is Sendinblue for?

If you’re a small to medium-sized business in the market for marketing automation, that lets you not only reach your audience over mail but also via text message and Facebook messenger, Sendinblue has everything at reasonable prices. You’ll be happy to see that when your subscriber list grows, it offers you filters based on contact field criteria and behaviour to create segments so that customise your newsletter.

If you’re running an ecommerce store, you know how important it is to automate repetitive and tedious tasks. Sendinblue has your back with its customisable triggers based on customer behaviour data.

Sendinblue user interface

With its straightforward interface, it’s easy to get started. It’s clear and intuitive, where all controls well grouped and clearly labelled. It never felt annoying, cluttered and we have had problems finding what we needed at the moment.

There is a small niggle though. When you first sign up, your account needs to be reviewed and validated manually. The validation process can take up to a day.

Campaigns

Setting up a campaign in Sendinblue is a 4 step workflow Setup> Design> Recipients> Confirmation.

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Sendinblue newsletter drag-and-drop editor

After you’ve determined the basics like sender name, sender email, email subject, and campaign name in Setup, you can design your email. You have a choice of using a drag-and-drop and a rich text (What You See Is What You Get – WYSIWYG) editor, or directly pasting your code. All 3 editors let you preview your design as mobile as a desktop.

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Sendinblue newsletter templates

Of course, you can also choose a template from Sendinblue’s Template Gallery and customise it.

Sign up forms

An integral part of your marketing is growing your subscription list. Sendinblue gives you a solid tool for creating beautiful forms that will resize on all kind of devices like mobiles or desktops. The form builder looks and acts just like the drag-and-drop for creating emails. You can make the forms. You can then publish the form by pasting the provided code into your website or a link to share on your social media.

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Sendinblue drag-and-drop form editor

List management, segmentation, and personalisation

Creating and managing your contacts is straightforward. To make it easier for you to add existing subscribers from other mail services, you can import them as a csv or txt file or copy-paste.

You can manage your contacts with the automatic triggers to segment your list. This will help you send personalised emails to each segment of your list.

Automation

Is essential for your marketing. It will help engage your audience, increase ecommerce conversions, and of course, save tedium and money. The key for automation is that when a predetermined condition is met, it will trigger a specific action, and you can chain several into a workflow. It’s easy to set up a new automation workflow, define the triggers and conditions.

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Sendinblue automation templates

Sendinblue has prepared automation workflow templates that you can build upon or build a recipe from scratch.

Sendinblue integrations

At the time of writing, Sendinblue offers 50 integration (Sendinblue calls these plugins) with tools that many marketers use. It’s also in Zapier’s library so you can make full use of its automation.

Sendinblue reporting

Sendinblue comes with many reporting features that you may need. You get basic real-time reporting across all versions. In the higher price plans, you’ll also get click-maps, geo-tracking, and advanced open and click reports. So you can see who is really interacting with your emails.

SMS marketing

SMS marketing is helpful in cases where you need to communicate with your audience instantly, say for example for ecommerce customers, where you want to send time-sensitive offers or inform about upcoming events. Sendinblue’s SMS marketing works more or less like email marketing campaigns. It also has segmentation, automation, and reports. Know that SMS is a paid feature and needs to be enabled.

Facebook ads

A relatively new type of campaign is Facebook ads. You can use it to target specific user segments and send personalized emails. And similar to the email and SMS campaigns, it comes with reporting so that you can see the Facebook ad performance.

Live chat for your website

If you want to help and support your audience, you can integrate a live chat with your website and be there for your visitors in real-time. After enabling it, just copy the code provided by Sendinblue into your website. The chat feature is included in all plans.

Transactional mails

What sets Sendinblue apart from other email marketing providers is that you can also send your transactional emails. These are for example account creation emails, order receipts, or shipping notifications. This is an often overlooked area for marketers. But if you take this part of the customer journey seriously, you’d also want to design and automate transactional emails for a wide range of customer actions (purchases, subscriptions, password resets, and more). Reports will tell you how many are really arriving and then opened or if you’ve got an invalid email address.

Support

Since Sendinblue’s features are quite powerful and versatile, you may find there is a learning curve. To ease you into all the tools and features, there’s a well-organised help centre. https://help.sendinblue.com/hc/en-us

You can reach Sendinblue’s support team via its live chat or request help through their ticket system.

Pricing

The basis for Sendinblue’s pricing is how many emails you send per day. The pricing plans are flexible without commitments, that is you can just sign up without the need to key in your credit card details. Even on the free tier, you get its powerful automation feature. For SMS marketing, you need to pay for the credits separately, as it’s not included in any of the plans.

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Hop over to Sendinblue to get its current prices

Is Sendinblue right for you?

Sendinblue is an excellent choice for startups, solopreneurs, and small- to mid-sized businesses. It’s a well-rounded omnichannel service with email marketing at its core. Even with its free plan, it provides you with some essential marketing tools. With its different price plans, it will grow with your needs.

If you’ve got any thoughts on Sendinblue, or have experiences of using the product you’d like to share, feel free to let us know in the comments.

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