SendinBlue Review

SendinBlue Review

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9/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #6 in category Email marketing service

As an entrepreneur, it is almost impossible to run a successful online business without an effective email marketing tool; don’t be fooled. Think of a barefoot soccer striker coming up against the best defenders in the Champions League final. He has no chance. Yes, this sounds unthinkable but wait a minute, here is the truth; the success of your online enterprise depends a lot on the choice of email marketing software you use.

However, with so many popular software options online, you may be overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a suitable tool for your business needs. From the likes of Mailerlite to Mailjet to Infusionsoft and everything in between, you have an unlimited number of tools to choose from. Now, while these big names do an excellent job, there are many little-known yet brilliant solutions out there, and some of them are just as equal to the task. One such solution is SendinBlue.

SendinBlue Explained

SendinBlue is a sales and marketing platform having virtually every essential feature an online marketer would look for. It comes with Facebook Ads, chat, marketing SMS, email marketing, marketing automation, and many more features. With close to 100000 users, SendinBlue has already taken online marketing by storm and is no longer one of the smallest names in the industry.

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Getting Started with SendinBlue

To get started with any online marketing tool, you need first to sign up, and SendinBlue is not an exception. What is perhaps exceptional with this tool in this respect is the ease with which it allows you to sign up. Once you are on the landing page, click on the “Sign Up Free” button located at the top right corner. The next step will be to fill in your email address, business name, and of course, password. SendinBlue uses an enticing marketing strategy by providing some juicy benefits; what a smart way to lure leads into giving the tool a go!

Once you have filled in the form and clicked “Get Started,” you will receive an email message asking you to confirm the email address you registered with. After the confirmation, you can proceed and complete your profile by filling in your full names, list size, phone contact, company type and title, and list size, among other details. Hit “complete my profile” to put the process to bed.

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User Interface

While a tool may have dozens of brilliant features, it could be somewhat frustrating if it is difficult to use. If there is one online marketing tool with an easy-to-use interface, it is SendinBlue. Uncluttered, clean, and simple; these are perhaps the best terms to describe the tool’s interface. It allows you to gain access to all the main features from a single point; the left sub-menu. At the bottom of the homepage, you can catch glimpses of essential stats. This effortless convenience is definitely what many users want, especially those who are not tech-savvy. Of course, not even technology veterans would want to work with a cluttered interface because it slows down their productivity.

Thus, the bottom line here is that an easy-to-use interface is an essential factor when choosing your marketing tool. SendinBlue’s interface is user-friendly and clutter-free, and you only need one or two clicks to find what you want right from the homepage.

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Transactional Messages and SMS Marketing

When it comes to transactional messaging features, this is one of those areas where SendinBlue leads as other providers follow. For your information, transactional messages refer to automated emails which the internet users receive after completing a particular action on the web. These include password reset emails, legal changes, emails, double opt-in emails, delivery confirmation emails, invoice emails, and order confirmation emails.

SendinBlue allows users to not only create and send transactional text messages and emails but also track them. This helps them to build good rapport with customers, subscribers, and even prospects. The icing on the cake is that you can use just one SendinBlue user account to manage all your transactional and SMS marketing.

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Email Templates

Good email marketing software should make it possible for the user to send out beautiful campaigns easily. With at least 50 email templates, SendinBlue offers options to choose from. While this may not be a decent number, especially when compared to other tools, such as GetResponse (500+ templates), Aweber (700+ templates), and MailChimp (100+ templates), the tool has just enough to help you meet your marketing needs. Remember, the numbers are not etched in stone; they keep on changing, and SendinBlue could sooner than later catch up with its competitors.

On the positive side, however, SendinBlue comes with intuitive builders, which allow users to craft beautiful newsletters and emails. The tool will enable you to design emails in the following three ways.

Edit a Previous Email

Have a newsletter you used in your previous campaign and still want to use it in your subsequent campaigns? SendinBlue allows you to edit it to suit your current campaign. This way, you will be able to create a campaign faster than you would do if you were designing from scratch.

Responsive Design Email Builder

As already mentioned, SendinBlue comes with a library of templates for a wide variety of businesses, including blogging, media, and e-commerce. You could choose one of the models and reorganize it as you want, using the tool’s drag-and-drop feature. The feature allows you to, among other things, do the following:

  • Tweak subject lines
  • Change colors
  • Edit footer elements
  • Swap images
  • Adjust the inter-element spaces
  • Work on preheader copy

The drag-and-drop feature is super easy to use, and you only need a couple of strokes to come up with a lovely creation. In terms of design styles, you could choose between vintage and minimalist styles. Want to know how your email will appear on the recipient’s end? There is a preview feature you can use once you are done with your creation. Email previewing is essential because it helps to know if the email is both mobile and computer friendly. Remember, if your emails are poorly displayed, your recipients will not enjoy the experience, and this could lower your conversion rate.

WYSIWYG Html Editor

While the drag-and-drop editor is great for newbies, WYSIWYG Html Editor best suits email design experts, who want to design their own campaigns from scratch. To use this feature, you need to download your preferred template and import it to the editor, from where you could now do your thing.

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It doesn’t matter how lovely your emails are, they are a non-entity if they are not visible to your recipients. Just imagine how disappointing it could feel working so hard to create a campaign only to realize that it is ending up in your recipient’s spam folder! Thanks to email deliverability, you can effectively avoid this challenge. So, how does SendinBlue improve deliverability? It does so in four ways.

Email Testing

Before sending your campaign to your entire audience, SendinBlue allows you to submit your emails to a few email providers. This way, you will be able to identify any potential deliverability issues and address them before attempting to send the campaign to your entire list. Be sure to use different providers, including Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail, so you can know if your emails are correctly displayed across the email clients.

Dedicated IP Address

SendinBlue offers a dedicated IP address for Enterprise Plan users. High volume senders using another plan are allowed to buy a dedicated IP address in the form of an add-on. Since a dedicated IP address will be exclusive to your business, it will definitely be able to boost the deliverability of your emails. Remember, shared IP addresses are known to reduce deliverability rates as dozens of companies will be using the same IP address to send their emails. Thus, spam emails tend to be common with shared IP addresses.

List Hygiene

Yes, SendinBlue allows you to organize the list of your recipients based on how engaged they are. So, if you realize that your recipients are giving you the brush-off by not opening your emails, you can provide them with another chance via the so-called re-engagement campaign. If they still give you a snub, you could delete them from your database and remain with a quality list of customers who are ready to read your stuff. The results will be a healthy list of leads or customers who will help your business grow.

Hard Bounce Address Blacklisting

If your email is sent to a fake address, it is said to be a hard bounce. Hard bounces lower the rate of email deliverability. SendinBlue helps you to fix this problem by picking up all hard bounce addresses and blacklisting them. Blacklisting keeps your database uncluttered by ensuring that you only have a responsive and quality email list available for use.

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Split Testing

Sure, old marketing is almost extinct. In the distant past, marketers had to wait for too long to know if their campaign was successful or not. Those days are long gone. Thanks to split testing, marketers can now know almost instantly if their campaigns are a success.

With SendinBlue, you can come up with two subject lines and split test them by sending them out randomly to a few recipients. Send version A to half of the sampled recipients and version B to the other half. Use click rate or open rate as the parameter to determine the most successful version. Then send the most successful text to your entire email list.

According to SendinBlue, split testing should involve sending out your email to 5000-plus people; this ensures accuracy in your results. As a bonus, SendinBlue’s split testing feature is simple and easy to use; hence, even newbies have nothing to worry about in this regard. However, the provider still has some work to do to make the feature more advanced.

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Marketing Automation

With improvements in technology, you don’t have to click ‘send’ every time you want to send out your campaigns. Let technology do the bulk of the work on your behalf. With SendinBlue, you could easily automate your email marketing by building unique workflows, including abandoned cart, prospect reminder, re-engagement, anniversary date, and welcome series. An abandoned cart involves sending a reminder to your prospects after X days or hours, to notify them of an available product or service, while a prospect reminder involves emailing your prospects depending on how they react to your email or use your website.

In the anniversary date, you automatically send gifts to your subscribers on their anniversary, which could be their birthday or the day when they joined your email list. Welcome series is meant to create a strong relationship with clients after they have purchased your product or service, or subscribed to your service. Re-engagement involves reminding your inactive subscribers to complete some action to stay active.

In a nutshell, SendinBlue’s email automation feature is outstanding, and it is available across all the pricing plans. With the likes of MailChimp being unable to offer this kind of marketing automation, SendinBlue surely deserves a thumbs-up in this area.

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List Management

As if to demonstrate exceptional generosity, SendinBlue offers email list management to every user, irrespective of the pricing plan they are using. Once you have created your list, SendinBlue allows you to import contacts in several different ways, including the following:

  • Importing contacts from a TXT or CSV file; this is perhaps the most common way. You only need a few clicks, and your contacts will be uploaded.
  • Copying and pasting contacts directly into the SendinBlue’s form
  • Manual importation, which involves adding your contacts to the tool one after the other. While manual uploads may sound old-fashioned, they are still serviceable.

As you can see from above, contact importation on SendinBlue is super easy. But are we getting excited too early? Maybe, maybe not. You will need first to have a list before you can attempt to import contacts on SendinBlue; oh yes. And you will need to use a lovely sign-up form in building your contact list. Don’t know how to build your list? With SendinBlue, you could do that with ease. Simply delete fields, add fields, or alter the form size; everything seems to be a walkover.

Ready with your list? It is now time for management. Go ahead and segment your contacts into categories, such as location, campaigns of their interest, the sign-up period, opened emails, unopened emails, previous purchases, or clicks, etc. This segmentation is important because it ensures that your campaigns go to the right people; thus, your business will be able to cater to the needs of your customers at the right time.

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An excellent marketing tool should connect to a wide range of applications, not just a handful. Just imagine how frustrating it can be if the software you are using was incompatible with most of your favorite apps! The simple conclusion here is that compatibility is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing your online marketing software.

When it comes to SendinBlue, the tool integrates with several different platforms, including Shopify, Zapier, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Drupal, Magento, WordPress, and OptinMonster. In total, the software integrates with at least 50 apps. Compared to its competitors, such as GetResponse (135 plus apps), MailChimp (200 plus apps), and Constant Contact (463 plus apps), SendinBlue still has some catch-up to do. On a more positive side, the software has Zapier, a tool which supports well over 1500 app connections. So, if non-native integrations are what you are looking for in a tool, then SendinBlue is still an excellent choice thanks to its Zapier integration.

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Stats and Reporting

While SendinBlue’s reporting features may not be as exciting, the insights they produce contribute immensely to the success of your marketing. With this tool, you will enjoy some decent reporting features. If you are using the Essential Plan or a higher one, you will enjoy some outstanding reporting features, including click-map insights, heatmaps, device reports, geography reports, and in-depth click and open reports. Able to generate all these reports in real-time, SendinBlue is worth every extra dollar spent.

SendinBlue makes it possible to filter your reports by such factors as date range, campaigns, or internet service provider. The reports are essential because they make it possible to optimize your subsequent campaigns even as you grow your business. Discover your customer behavior and trends, and fine-tune your emails with ease using this software.

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SendinBlue offers different pricing. It is unique in the sense that it is based on email volume rather than the number of subscribers. This means that the amount you pay for the service will be determined by the number of emails you’re sending. For businesses which send out large volumes of emails, this is definitely good news. SendinBlue offers various different plans to choose from, including Free Plan, Prepaid Email Credits, Lite Plan, Essential Plan, Premium Plan, and Enterprise Plan.

Free Plan

This is perhaps the best choice if you want to test the waters to determine if the service is a good fit for your business. With this plan, you could send up to 9000 emails a month (300 per day) free of charge. It allows you to have an unlimited number of contacts. All emails on this plan embed the SendinBlue logo.

Lite Plan

This is the lowest paid plan, and it costs $25/month. It allows you to send up to 40000 emails a month, and there is nothing like a daily limit. Like the Free Plan, emails have the SendinBlue logo embedded in them. It is a good fit for those who are still new in the world of online marketing.

Essential Plan

Coming with a monthly limit of 6000 outbound emails, it is easy to rationalize why this plan sets users back $39 a month. It comes with advanced stats, and emails don’t come with the SendinBlue logo. If you are looking to grow your business, then the Essential Plan is an ideal choice for you.

Premium Plan

This plan allows up to a staggering 120000 outbound emails per month and goes for $66 a month. Other benefits of this plan include a live chat feature, Facebook ads, marketing automation, and multi-user access. It is ideal for marketers who send out large volumes of emails.

Enterprise Plan

This plan has no fixed price as users are billed based on their needs. With this plan, you will enjoy specialized customer support, and you will be allocated an account manager. Another benefit includes SSO (single sign-on), which makes it possible to log into your account and gain access to various different applications.

Prepaid Email Credits

This is a special arrangement for marketers who don’t want any of the inflexible monthly or yearly subscriptions. Whether you want to buy email credits or monthly/annual subscriptions, it all depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your email list and how often you send emails. If you’re not sending emails frequently, you would want to go the credit way. Still, if you are sending out emails more often, then the monthly/yearly subscription is likely a better option. As a reminder, SendinBlue lets you cancel or switch your plan when you want.

With such a flexible volume-based pricing program, SendinBlue is simply unmatched. While a provider such as MailChimp is ideal for marketers working with a limited budget, SendinBlue offers the best alternative. The tool’s flexibility and cost-effectiveness are one of its most attractive selling points.

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Support and Documentation

Even with the technological advancement witnessed today (as of 2019), there is still no perfection, and no email marketing tool can claim to be completely free of issues. So, when looking for a marketing tool, it is essential to look at the effectiveness and efficiency of the tool’s customer support team. SendinBlue’s support is available via phone, live chat, knowledgebase, and frequently asked questions. Simply click the help icon located at the right corner of any of the pages, and a window through which you can reach the support will pop up.

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While not every marketer may be aware of SendinBlue, the fact of the matter is that the tool is one of those sparkling gems you would want to have by your side. The software is user-friendly and compact, and it is an ideal choice for marketers with oodles of outbound emails, given that the pricing is volume-based, rather than contact-based. Hence, SendinBlue is worth considering for those in need of a cost-effective, hassle-free, and easy-to-use email marketing tool.

SendinBlue Review
SendinBlue Review
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