Advanced Email Marketing Designed for Simplicity
Created in 2012, SendinBlue is the new kid on the block.
Its main goal was to bring “advanced” email marketing features to small- and medium-sized businesses. Such features had previously been reserved for huge companies.
With a generous free plan and unique features like SMS marketing, SendinBlue has quickly become a popular email marketing platform.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone. If you’d like to find out if SendinBlue email marketing has everything you need, read the rest of this review.
Unique Features that Few Competitors Offer
It’s really obvious that SendinBlue doesn’t just copy other email marketing tools. It has its own take on certain features, and tries to innovate.
SendinBlue offers basic split testing, a visual editor, multi-user support, and so much more. I can’t go over everything, but I’ll give you a detailed look at the most important features that make SendinBlue stand out.
Note that some of these features are available only on certain plans, so you may need to upgrade to access them.
Beautiful Email Templates (or Save Your Own)
SendinBlue has 70+ email templates — not the largest collection I’ve come across. But they’re gorgeous.
All templates in the gallery look professionally designed, and they’re all mobile-responsive, of course.
While there aren’t too many to look through right now, you can sort them by category to save time (e.g., newsletter, follow-up, holiday).
In addition to the template gallery, you can create your own templates using the email editor and save them at the press of a button.
As an example, you could create a template for blog updates once, and then use it for all blog updates.
Simple Email Automation Workflows
SendinBlue offers some of the most advanced — yet easiest to use — email automation features.
When you create a new workflow, you can choose from nine workflow templates, or start from scratch.
These include the most common workflows, such as automatic abandoned cart emails, welcome messages (i.e., an autoresponder), and product purchase follow-ups.
The workflow editor couldn’t be easier to use. All you need to do is click the “+” icons to add a new condition or action.
There’s a good number of actions to pick from, including:
- Sending emails
- Sending SMS messages
- Adding or removing contacts from lists
- Adding contacts to a retargeting audience
As for conditions, there are three main ones to pick from:
- Time delay
- If/else conditional block
- A/B split
That covers all the basics, and then some.
Email Send Time Optimization
This feature is available only on the “Premium” plan or above. Considering how much easier it can make your life, it might just be worth it for you.
When you schedule a campaign, you’ll see a box to “Send it at the best time.”
If you choose this, SendinBlue will automatically send the email at the best time for each individual email recipient, based on past data.
This will maximize your open rates, ultimately resulting in more conversions. With a big enough list, the increase in conversions will more than justify the cost of a Premium plan.
Live Chat App for Your Website
Ever thought about adding live chat to your site so that visitors could chat with you? Many potential customers have questions and concerns, and live chat is the easiest way to address them quickly.
You can enable live chat with the toggle of a button in your SendinBlue account, and then you just need to paste in some code on your website.
Afterward, you’ll see a new “chat” menu option in your account, where you can manage all your chats.
Other email marketing tools integrate with live chat tools, but very few have it built in this seamlessly.
Over 50 Integrations with Popular Tools
Integrations are called “plugins” in SendinBlue. There are currently just over 50, which is far from the hundreds that other tools have.
However, considering that SendinBlue has a lot of features already included (e.g., live chat) that require integrations on other platforms, it makes sense that it doesn’t have quite as many.
Although the number of plugins may not be huge, all the most important ones are there.
For e-commerce sites, there are integrations with:
There are also plugins for most major content management systems like:
The only area that’s really lacking compared with other email marketing tools is social media.
Simple SMS Marketing
It’s no shock that people like their phones; more and more web traffic is from mobile devices.
And yet, SMS marketing is one of the most underused marketing channels.
SendinBlue is the easiest platform to tie together your email and SMS marketing.
The possibilities are endless once you start combining email and SMS in your automation workflows.
Once you start collecting phone numbers in addition to email addresses, you’ll be able to easily send text messages from your SendinBlue account.
Ease of use
A Beautiful and Intuitive Interface
Getting started in SendinBlue is one of the smoothest onboarding processes out there.
The only annoying thing is that your account needs to be manually reviewed so it can be validated (and so you can start sending emails). It took only a few minutes for me, but it could take up to a day.
The user-interface is clear and intuitive. There was never a point where I had trouble finding what I was looking for.
It’s clear that a lot of work went into making SendinBlue easy to use, but there are three aspects that stand out to me.
A Smooth Email Editor with Time-Saving Blocks
These days, every email marketing tool has a visual drag-and-drop editor.
However, not many are as smooth as SendinBlue’s editor.
On top of being able to drag in elements like text, images, and buttons, you can also pick from “content elements” that have pre-formatted combinations of images and text. No more wasting time fiddling around with the layout!
The Best Sign-Up Form Builder I’ve Used
I absolutely hate the form builders that most email marketing platforms offer. They’re clunky, have limited formatting options, and are just a pain to use. Then you end up having to waste time messing around with CSS to get it to look the way you want.
I’ve tried dozens of email marketing tools over the years, and bar none, I think SendinBlue offers the best form builder.
It’s simple to use and smooth, much like the email editor.
More importantly, it gives you full control over the form’s design. You can pick the color, spacing, alignment, and more for each element of the form.
It even has fields to let you add a GDPR checkmark or CAPTCHA confirmation.
Finally, in the form options, you can choose from single or double opt-in.
Control Over the Apps in Your Account
One of the biggest reasons SendinBlue is easy to use is because you see only the features you need.
While it offers many features, many are in the form of “apps” that you can enable or disable.
Once you enable them, only then will you see a new menu option.
Analytics & Reporting
Easy-to-Understand Analytics at a Glance
SendinBlue offers real-time analytics for individual emails, as well as total statistics for your account.
All the standard email marketing statistics are available, and you can export them as PDF or CSV reports.
An Overall Look at Your Account Performance
SendinBlue offers an easy-to-use dashboard that looks nice. It mainly focuses on the total stats for all your emails:
- Emails sent
- Emails opened
- Links clicked
One fairly unique design feature is that all the numbers are color-coded (i.e., green=good, red=bad), which makes it that little bit easier to process data quickly.
Below your overall totals are the overall stats for each email campaign, along with a link to an individual report for each. You can also export an overview of your email campaigns as a CSV.
Detailed Individual Campaign Reports
SendinBlue gives you quite a bit of data about each individual email campaign you send.
This includes all the basics (e.g., opens, clicks, unsubscribes), plus a few extras like the average time to open, and average time to click.
You can see who opened and clicked on the email using the “openers & clickers” tab as well.
Simple Report Exports
You can export an individual email report either as a PDF or a CSV.
The CSV is a standard spreadsheet summary of the data, while the PDF looks similar to a screenshot of the page (not exactly the prettiest).
SendinBlue gives you all the data a marketer would need, so no real complaints from me here.
Disappointing Support Options
As you’ve seen, I’m a big fan of SendinBlue; it’s a well-designed platform for the most part.
But the support options are weaker and more frustrating than those from other tools I’ve used.
There are supposed to be three main support options:
- Live chat
These are all included on the “Essential” plan and above, as well as for 60 days on the free plan and the cheaper “Lite” plan.
Here’s the problem: I’ve never seen an option for either live chat or phone support in my account. That’s pretty annoying because the website says both are supposed to be included.
And unlike most SendinBlue reviews, I wanted some answers. So, I submitted a ticket, asking about the hours of both forms of support.
It took almost 4 hours, but I did get an answer:
Okay, so live chat should be available from 9am-5pm Paris time. Wait…But I’m usually logged in during those hours, and still don’t see it, so what gives?
After another exchange, I received another reply, this time within 25 minutes:
Well, I logged in with a VPN to use an IP address based in Paris — still no chat support. So while the answer is polite, it’s not exactly a confident one (“may be”), and I’m not so sure it’s accurate.
As you can see, I also asked about phone support. I can’t find that number anywhere on SendinBlue’s website. If you say you offer phone support, shouldn’t your support phone number be easy to find?
Instead, all the support options in your account push you toward submitting a ticket or using the knowledge base.
Rant over. I’m just disappointed.
The ticket support I received was pretty good. Obviously it’s polite and clear, even if not fully accurate. Response times were reasonable, but on the long side.
As for the knowledge base, it’s pretty good. There are hundreds of articles that are easy to navigate, and pictures to walk you through solutions where needed (although some are outdated).
SendinBlue offers five different plans, suitable for businesses of all sizes. You can get a custom “Enterprise” plan if your list ever gets huge. Note that SMS credits are not included on any email plans; you have to buy them separately.
Overall, SendinBlue’s pricing is quite affordable — cheaper than most competitors. The free plan is quite generous, as it comes with most features (including automation). The main limits are that you can send only 300 emails per day, and that your emails will contain the SendinBlue logo.
You can pay for your plan using either PayPal or any major credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club, American Express, JCB, UnionPay). If you live in Europe, you can also pay by direct debit.
In terms of plan length, you have three options:
- Pay monthly
- Pay yearly (and get a discount)
- Buy credits (pay as you go)
If you send emails only once in a while, buying credits as you need them can save you a lot. You’ll get access to all the features on the “Essential” plan.
|# of emails per month||# of subscribers||Multi-user accounts||Automation||Segmentation||Analytics||Price|
|Premium||120,000 or 350,000||Unlimited||Yes||Yes||Yes||Complete||$66+|
Cancellations & Refunds
It’s a small thing, but I love how easy it is to cancel your account.
Other platforms force you to “confirm” you want to cancel several times, speak to customer support, or leave feedback — SendinBlue doesn’t.
You just have to go to your “My Plan” page, scroll down, and click a link to cancel your plan.
There’s a single confirmation to prevent accidents, but that’s it.
The same goes if you’d like to cancel your account altogether. This will delete all the data in your account, and you won’t be able to log in anymore.
Now, what about refunds? SendinBlue generally doesn’t give you a refund for unused credits, or for the remaining time on a monthly plan.
For annual plans, the refund policy isn’t clearly stated, so I contacted support to find out what happens if you cancel a yearly plan somewhere in the middle.
Not exactly a guarantee, but it does seem like you can get a refund if you have a genuine reason to cancel.