SendinBlue Review - Email for the Budget-Conscious
SendinBlue launched in France in 2012 as a transactional email service, aims to ‘become the simplest, most reliable and cost-effective marketing platform’. This is a bold aim that’s difficult to measure, but perhaps the numbers they quote give some insight, with more than 30 million emails and SMS’s sent each day to people in 140 countries.
SMS is actually relatively unique to SendinBlue, although these aren’t available on any free plan and only make sense if your subscribers are in the USA, otherwise the costs become prohibitive. Of course, the majority of users will be more interested in their email marketing and transactional campaigns. These you can try for free, but you’ll have a daily limit of 300 and monthly limit of 9,000.
Now it’s time to dive in and see whether this really is the simplest marketing platform.
SendinBlue in Detail
|Ease of Use||The user experience is a little duller than other tools, yet the menus are easy to navigate.|
|-Editor||The editor itself is relatively fast, yet the sections have a slightly annoying movement/flickering effect whenever you move over them, or click on them to edit. Also you need to make sure the screen is wide enough. Otherwise the side menus cover the editing pane. The help menu is not available while you’re in the editing screen.|
|-Personalization||yes||Similar to other tools, If/Then/Else logic is available, but a little awkward to use.|
|-Types of Emails||SMS, classic & transactional newsletters. Autoresponders via the Automation section.|
|Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs||The templates are all responsive. Design-wise they don’t look too bad. There are just over ten design elements to choose from, less than most other tools have.|
||Even though it's still a Beta version, we found their integration pretty solid. It allows you to use website visitor data to automate your email marketing.|
|List Management||List management is quite good. You can create separate lists within folders, and can easily manage contacts across lists, and folders, by going into a contact’s file. Segmentation methods are also useful, allowing you to create several and/or conditions within lists.|
Opt-in & Opt-out- Process
|Easy to create these, and you can add your own database fields. Some of the menus below can be easy to miss, so read each section carefully.|
|Reports and Analysis||SendinBlue has most of the reports you might need, such as a click-map, geo-tracking and Google Analytics integration. It also has order tracking available. It’s only missing direct social media tracking.|
|Languages||The website, and help, is available in 6 languages (EN, ES, PT, DE, IT, FR)|
|-Spam- and Design-Testing||You can test email delivery for certain email clients to see if they will be regarded as spam or not, as well as seeing a preview of how the email might look. These are easy to access and run but they sometimes time out.|
|-Bounce Management||yes||Only hard bounces are managed automatically, by blacklisting them. Soft bounces need to be managed manually by the user, and this can be done by filtering lists by those who have soft bounced.|
|-Blacklist||yes||It’s good to note these users still count towards your subscriber amount. You can export the blacklist easily.|
|-Storage Available for Data and Images||unlimited||There appears to be neither a limit on the total amount of images, nor on individual image sizes.|
|-Social Media Integration||You have basic integration by sharing campaigns via a link, but this needs to be done manually. You can add your social media links to your newsletters too.|
|-Newsletter Archive||no||You can create an archive folder within your account, but you can’t create an archive of newsletters for your website.|
|-Authentication||yes||SPF and DKIM (Domain Keys)|
|-Own Tracking Domain?||no||You get a cryptic tracking link that can’t be customised.|
|-Different Access Levels||no||Not available.|
|-Integrations||yes||Only a few integrations available, mostly contact syncing with major companies such as WordPress and WooCommerce.|
|-Landing Page Editor||no||Not available.|
|Support||You can access a relatively thorough knowledge base, and send an email, although they’re a little hard to find. They responded within a couple of hours and were quite friendly. Would be nice to also offer live chat.|
|While mostly easy to use, SendinBlue is missing some of the features of other email tools. On the flipside, it comes at a very low price and offers email automation. Try it for free.|
© EmailToolTester Matrix
If you just want to send out responsive newsletters then SendinBlue should have everything you need. There are a few niggles though with the editor’s general ease-of-use, template choice and general lack of options (e.g. no A/B testing). With other options, such as integrations, they just can’t compete with the choice offered by other tools like ActiveCampaign or GetResponse.
On the other hand, SendinBlue have good list management and segmentation options available, and offer a similar level of reporting to other newsletter marketing platforms out there. Their marketing automation tool looked quite promising to us ( more about it here ).
If you’re after value, then SendinBlue may deliver (pardon the pun), giving you up to 40,000 emails for under $8 per month. But if you’re looking for a free plan, MailerLite may be a more attractive choice due to SendinBlue's daily sending limit.
25.11.2016 - Update under email automation.
03.03.2016 - Initial Tests.
Last Update: 25 Nov 2016 | Steve Lamattina
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