As a current or future niche site builder, your money is in your list. The people on your email list want to hear from you, are receptive to your ideas, and trust you.
Your email list is a gold mine.
Email marketing isn't a novel concept. But it is still one of the best ways to get visitors, leads, or clients and retain them. That's why Spencer works so hard to get email subscribers. Once someone is on your list, you become a familiar face. They can see you as a friend and will be happy to hear from you.
Automation & The Best Email Marketing tool
Unlike other marketing tactics, email provides personalization and scalability, two factors that are crucial in today's business. You want to be able to send your subscribers with emails that resonate with their wants and needs for better conversion rates.
More importantly, you need the ability to analyze your previous email campaigns and use the gathered data to build much better campaigns moving forward.
As one of the most popular email marketing platforms, MailChimp continues to provide users with convenient ways to send and track the emails sent to subscribers. There's a lot to like about MailChimp. But it's not perfect. There are alternatives.
One of those alternatives is Sendinblue. It builds upon the standard of how email marketing should be done as established by tools like MailChimp but adds their personal touch as well. Therefore, if you're looking for a legitimate MailChimp alternative, then Sendinblue is probably what you're looking for.
However, instead of letting you do the dirty work of comparing both email tools, this Sendinblue vs MailChimp review will do that for you.
In this post, you will learn the following:
- The unique features both tools have to distinguish one from the other
- The pros and cons of each software to help give you a better idea on what you're getting from either tool
- The verdict for this Sendinblue vs MailChimp review – which between the two is the best for your business?
At the end of this review, we decide that we like SendinBlue more than Mailchimp. It is more user friendly, a little bit more powerful, and less expensive than the better known brand. You can click here to try out SendinBlue for free.try sendinblue for free
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: the tale of the tape
To understand how both tools measure up against each other, it is only fitting to discuss Sendinblue and MailChimp separately first to understand what they can do as email marketing platforms.
Sendinblue review: emails made easy
Sendinblue understands the value of email marketing as a channel to reach your target market. Therefore, they have crafted their tool specifically to help businesses convert subscribers into paying customers. It takes everything that makes email marketing great while adding their stamp to the product.
Below are the features that will help you consider Sendinblue as your email platform of choice:
sendinblue Transactional emails
Also known as “triggered” emails, this type of data-driven email allows you to automatically send users a message depending on their interaction or behavior on your site or app. For instance, if a user made an in-app purchase, you can configure Sendinblue to send that user the receipt of their purchase via email. You can develop your transactional emails via the tool's SMTP email or transactional SMS (more on this later).
Technically, MailChimp doesn't have the option to send transactional emails. This feature is available through Mandrill, a transactional email API for MailChimp users. With MailChimp, you can set up trigger-based emails but only as part of its marketing automation feature, which Sendinblue also has.
sendinblue SMS marketing
If you want to take your marketing efforts outside of emails, then you can send SMS messages that users will receive straight to their phones. It is similar to email marketing in a sense that subscribers can get hold of your messages via their mobile devices. However, SMS marketing holds distinct advantages such as:
- Fast deliverability – Users will receive the message seven seconds after sending them from Sendinblue. Other marketing tactics are fast in their own right, but nothing's as swift as SMS messaging.
- Convenient opt-in and opt-out – With emails, there's a chance that you must reconfirm your desire to subscribe or unsubscribe from a list (through double opt-in). With SMS, you can simply enter the subscribe or unsubscribe text and you're set to go!
- High open and conversion rates – Users are trained to open notifications from their mobile devices. One reason that explains this is that there is no spam filter on SMS. With email, even if you send high-value content, there's a chance that the email client will put your message on the recipient's spam folder. You won't have this issue with SMS. Once sent, your SMS message goes straight to the phone's native message app and is ready for the viewing of users.
- Short and sweet – Some email messages are unnecessarily long which prompts users to unsubscribe and tune out that brand. SMS messages are inherently short with a maximum of 160 characters. While this may feel like a limitation to some, treat this as a challenge to craft punchier and more compact marketing messages to your subscribers. Short messages are also perfect for the attention span of most people.
Not all businesses may find a use for SMS marketing but consider it as a viable channel to complement your email marketing campaigns. If you can develop a strategy that puts SMS messaging to good use for your brand, you can engage more people who aren't into emails.
Sendinblue email builder
Create beautiful and stunning emails to communicate your message without any coding and design experience whatsoever. Drag and drop the elements you want to appear in your email and edit accordingly.
You can also choose from a handful of email templates so you don't have to start on a blank slate. Taking content from a template and adjusting it to your own purposes is a great way to convert while still being you.
SendinBlue also allows you to stand out by allowing you to fill in individual details for each email subscriber. It can insert these details into the email to make it seem like each customer is getting a personal email. This helps boost conversion rates and keep people in your email list.
sendinblue contact management
SendinBlue allows you to send highly targeted emails to a portion of your email list to further boost open and conversion rates. This helps if some of your list wants different things. For example, the NichePursuits email list has the option to select what you want to learn about. You can pick to learn about building niche sites or about Amazon FBA.
Segmenting your subscribers helps to make sure that everyone is getting content that they love.
Aside from segmenting your audience, you can organize your subscribers using folders for better productivity. Also, you can create sign-up forms to show on your website in the hopes of increasing your subscriber count. No need to use a third-party app to create forms!
Sendinblue campaign reports
Upon sending your email campaign, you can track its progress as it happens live. See people who opened your emails and clicked on your links that you can use to help build your PDF or CSV reports. You can also receive unique insights such as which geographical area engaged with your emails the most, what platforms did they use to open your emails, and more.
These analytics help you to understand your audience and better serve them how they want. It could be that the majority of your list opens your emails on their cell phones, so you could optimize better for small screens. Maybe they always open your emails at noon, so you could do a better job at being sure the email is waiting for them when they check their emails.
SendinBlue allows you to develop triggers and workflows designed to automate the email marketing process so you can focus on growing your business. There are no limits to the steps and variables you can include in your trigger, thus helping you create a more varied and comprehensive campaign.
SendinBlue has a neat feature that allows you to integrate SMS marketing into your automation as well. You could send out an email blast with a text reminder or shoot your list a text with a link to your new article/product/discount code.
This automation feature also includes detailed tracking. You can see what your list responds best to, what type of content they're looking for, and how to best reach out to them.
Sendinblue email marketing sum up
SendinBlue works as a powerful tool for your marketing campaigns. We discuss this in the SendinBlue Price section (so read on), but SendinBlue is free for anyone sending less than 300 emails per day.
That's quite a big number for free email marketing tools. You could get pretty close to the 10,000 subscriber mark without ever paying a dollar if your list segmented.get powerful email marketing for free with sendinblue
Throughout the years, MailChimp has focused on catering to e-commerce site owners and help them with their email needs. Leveraging its powerful features, online shop owners can guarantee to increase their revenue if they play their cards right using MailChimp. At the same time, is pretty versatile and we can't argue with free.
Let's take a deeper dive into some of what makes Mailchimp unique.
Mailchimp Landing page creation
If you enjoy creating emails on MailChimp using its drag and drop builder, then you'll enjoy its landing page builder. It takes the drag and drop technology and applies it to designing and developing your landing pages. You don't have to be a designer extraordinaire to makes beautiful and high-converting pages using this feature. You can choose the content elements you wish to feature on the page and make the necessary changes.
MailChimp's landing page creator has many uses such as the following:
- Showcase products – If you have new products in stock or want to feature your best-selling ones, you can easily build a page for this purpose and pull images from your site directly to the page.
- Promote pre-sale campaign – For brands with a new line of products available soon, you can generate more buzz or get your loyal subscribers an exclusive rate for it. Creating a page about the products and mail your subscribers so they can purchase them at a lower price. Or you can create a waitlist for them and prioritize each one of them in order.
- Offer a free download – For non-online shop owners, you can create a valuable piece of content that people can get their hands to if they sign up as a subscriber. Aside from promoting the exclusive content on your page, you can create a landing page on MailChimp to facilitate the process much easier. Set the campaign so that new sign-ups will receive the content straight to their inbox.
- Launch giveaways – Give your subscribers and brand advocates a treat by creating a raffle giveaway page for their eyes only. Offer freebies and monitor the contest with ease.
mailchimp ad campaigns
Aside from finding the best ways to reach out to your audience, you may also need to find new and innovative ways. Ad campaigns provide you with avenues to grow your business by reaching out to the best social media channel and ad networks to attract the right people.
Below are the different ad campaigns you can launch on MailChimp:
- Google retargeting ads – If somebody visits your site but never makes a purchase or interact with any of your pages, it's best to try to luck with this person again. Since s/he already visited the page and is aware of your brand, it would be easier to convince this person to buy from you instead of someone who hasn't been to your site before. Therefore, Google remarketing ads is a great way to bring this person back to your saddle. Once you create an ad, MailChimp will feature your best-selling products across Google Display Network of over 2 million sites. While this feature is paid, you can enjoy a free $50 ad campaign to get your started courtesy of MailChimp.
- Facebook ad campaigns – There's no better way to find customers for your business than using the details of customers currently on your list. With a Facebook ad campaign, you can target these people in the hope of increasing your conversion. To help you with that, MailChimp lets you create either an image carousel or a single image that will appear on their Facebook feed. You can monitor the performance of the ads directly from MailChimp and make the necessary changes from there as well.
- Instagram ad campaigns – Unlike other social media sites, Instagram is strictly an image-sharing platform. The better quality your images have, the more likely it will generate more engagement. Assuming that you have hi-res pictures of your photos, you may want to feature them on this channel using MailChimp's Instagram ad campaign. It works the same way as the Facebook ad campaign builder does – create an ad and pattern the target audience to the customers in your email list.
mailchimp third party integrations
You can use MailChimp alongside popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, Prestashop, and others. You can also connect your mailing list to different opt-in forms and WordPress plugins so you can seamlessly build your list using the different tools available.
This is a useful feature for making sure that you can collect subscribers on any platform. Though I recommend WordPress for niche sites, having options for other integrations is never a bad thing.
This is available with SendinBlue as well.
mailchimp mobile app
If you're stuck without a laptop or desktop, then MailChimp's mobile app keeps you updated with your email marketing campaign. Download the app on Android or iOs and make email magic using it. Develop your campaigns, check your analytics, and more!
This is a nice feature that's pretty unique to Mailchimp. It is handy being able to check your stats right after sending a big campaign. Stat checking can be pretty addictive. Even when Spencer was on vacation, he couldn't stop checking his stats for his Amazon FBA business. This business went on to make $4400 the first month, so I think I'd have been checking those numbers too!
On top of its drag and drop email builder, you can choose from a range from email templates depending on your industry and purpose. Choose from different templates for newsletters, notifications, events, e-commerce, holidays, and more. Once you've chosen, you can just focus on building your message and not worry about the design.
Templates serve as nice starting points. Mailchimp already has a pretty good idea of the stuff that converts and they want you to be converting. You can customize these templates to make sure that your list loves the emails and feels like they are personal from you.
Mailchimp allows you to create triggers to help you generate more sales by capturing visitors. You can send your visitors emails based on the action they performed on your site.
Using MailChimp's automation feature, you can also recover abandoned carts, follow up on purchases, and recommend products similar to the ones they bought, among others. You can also integrate your ad campaigns and landing pages as part of your trigger or drip campaign.
NichePursuits uses something similar. On the email list we use, you're allowed to pick whether you want to learn about building niche sites or starting Amazon FBA. This type of segmentation helps ensure that everyone is getting content that they love.
mailchimp a/b testing
To help you refine your email campaigns moving forward, you can create two versions of the same campaign and pit them against each other. Using the data gathered by the tool's analytics, see which one generated higher engagement and conversion.
You can replicate the successful results by implementing the same strategy and copy on your upcoming campaigns. At the same time, keep testing different versions of your campaigns every time to find better ways to develop your message.
A/B testing (or “split testing”) is essential to getting the most out of your list. You can learn what your audience likes and wants to hear. Once you know your audience's tastes, you can convert better, keep them on your list longer, and earn more money from each subscriber.
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Pros and cons
Now that we've seen what makes Sendinblue and Mailchimp different from one another, it's time to discuss their strengths and weaknesses to help you identify which between the two is the right one for your business needs.
It's tough to top MailChimp's Forever Free plan (more on that below) but Sendinblue seems to be just as good, if not better. They have a free plan where you can manage as many emails as possible but send only 300 emails and SMS a day.
If you have more than 300 subscribers, you may want to stagger your campaign so you can send the emails to everyone despite the 300-email limitation. If you stagger your emails or segment your market, you could get up to 10,000 subscribers or so without ever paying a penny.
The paid monthly subscription starts at $25/month. There is no daily limit to the number of emails you can send but you can also reach a max of 40,000 emails sent a month. It's an interesting setup and a viable alternative to MailChimp. Also, if you have thousands of subscribers and are looking to attract more, Sendinblue claims to be four times cheaper than MailChimp.
The use of SMS as part of your marketing campaign is dependent on the kind of business that you have. Regardless, the ability to send SMS is an appealing option considering its advantages and benefits. You can still launch email campaigns using Sendinblue as you wish, but SMS marketing helps you level the playing field by reaching out to your target audience in unique and irresistible ways.
SMS can be used in conjunction with email marketing to really get the most out of your list. You could shoot out an email blast with a text reminder, or send a text with a link to your newest blog post. The options are limitless.
powerful automation for the price
Compared to MailChimp, Sendinblue has a workflow view of the automation so you can compose follow-up emails with ease. You can create triggers in between emails to produce different actions based on the actions or conditions you entered.
This is super helpful and one of the biggest downfalls of Mailchimp. Not having this workflow automation can make it tough to find what emails are going out when. It can be difficult to understand what actions trigger which response.
SendinBlue's workflow automation makes email marketing much easier.
- Lack of email templates – When designing your email layout, you are left to your own devices. Currently, there are only 12 email templates to choose from. As a result, you are forced to edit and tweak most of the elements in the template to achieve the look and feel you want for your email.
Overall, SendinBlue is affordable and powerful. It's a rare example of a “budget” tool that is just as powerful as “pay-to-play” competitors. If I were just starting out with email marketing and didn't have a budget, I'd go with SendinBlue.
Click here to try SendinBlue for free. It's our favorite.try sendinblue for free
Ease of use
As powerful as MailChimp is, it is just as easy to use. Even if you don't have any experience using an email marketing solution before, you'll immediately feel right at home with MailChimp. Its intuitive and dynamic user interface is one of a kind (the image of the monkey about to press the “send” button before you launch your campaign is a nice touch).
Developing a campaign and tracking its results are pretty straightforward. The WYSIWYG builder makes creating emails much easier for the design-challenged – including me. 🙂
In line with the previous statement, MailChimp's extensive library of templates render the need to design your emails irrelevant. Send beautiful emails with little to no edits on the existing template and focus on writing a killer email.
If you don't have more than 2,000 subscribers, then you can use the Forever Free account. You can only send a limited number of emails a month, but premium features such as landing page builder, ad campaign creation, and others are available at your disposal. The 2000 is a bit more limited than SendinBlue's “300 emails per day” feature, but it gets the job done.
If you exceed 2,000 subscribers, you will be required to make a monthly payment starting at $10. We discuss pricing more in depth in just a second.
- No room for customization – MailChimp is pretty much set on its ways. There is no option to customize and edit some of its features. The tool is made for people who simply want the basic and essential functions of email marketing and not worry about the bells and whistles. This should be good enough for beginner and intermediate business owners. But for people looking for more juice from their email marketing tool, they might not be able to find it on MailChimp.
- Limited automation features – Most marketing automation platforms offer workflow view so you can get a visual representation of how your drip campaign is set up and which triggers are involved in sending them. With MailChimp, you don't have the workflow view. The interface isn't as intuitive as it could have been which could lead to the awkward development of your drip campaigns.
Mailchimp has 4 plans right now: free, essentials, standard, and enterprise.
Mailchimp free allows you to have up to 2000 subscribers, 7 marketing channels, basic automation, basic templates, and a client management service.
Mailchimp Essentials starts at $10 each month. Mailchimp prices their plans based off of how many subscribers you have. At 500 subscribers, Mailchimp Essentials costs $10 per month. At 2500 subscribers, it costs $30 per month. At 10,000 subscribers, it costs $75 per month.
Mailchimp Essentials allows you to get a maximum of 50,000 subscribers. At 50,000 subscribers, Essentials costs $259 per month.
It includes everything from Mailchimp Free as well as more templates. You can start A/B testing with this plan, remove the Mailchimp logo from all email footers, and get 24/7 support.
Mailchimp Standard starts at $15 each month. At 500 subscribers, Mailchimp Standard costs $15 per month. At 2500 subscribers, it costs $50 per month. At 10,000 subscribers, it costs $99 per month. At 50,000 subscribers, it costs $299 per month.
Mailchimp Standard allows you to get more than 50,000 subscribers. It is the upgraded version of Essentials. It maxes out at 100,000 subscribers and at 100,000 subscribers, costs $499 per month.
Standard comes with everything in Essentials. It also includes automation features, retargeting ads, custom templates, and more advanced audience analytics.
Mailchimp Enterprise starts at $299 each month and you are allowed to have 10,000 contacts at this price. At 50,000 subscribers, it costs $599 per month. If you're a big dog and have 100,000 subscribers, it's $699 per month.
Want to start your own blog?
Enterprise caps out at 200,000 subscribers, which will run you about $1099 per month. If you need more than that, you can contact Mailchimp for a custom plan.
Enterprise comes with everything included in Standard. You also get advanced segmentation for your audience, multivariate testing, allowance for multiple users, and phone support.
One nag here is that I think phone or chat support should be available for less than almost $300 per month.
Mailchimp price summary – is mailchimp free?
Yeah, Mailchimp is free. But I think that the pricing for Mailchimp plans scales up very fast. Once you're running more than a few hundred subscribers, you can expect your pricing to start out at about $30 per month. That can be a bit of an expense for a business owner if you haven't quite gotten your income where it needs to be.
SendinBlue has 5 plans right now, but only gives pricing information for 4 of them: free, lite, essential, and premium. You need to contact
SendinBlue Free doesn't cost anything and is very generous with the limits. You don't have a subscriber limit, just a sending limit. You can send up to 300 emails per day, about 9000 per month.
We mentioned earlier that if you segment your subscribers, you could get up to several thousand before ever needing to upgrade. This is a far cry from Mailchimp. To get even just $2500 subscribers on the cheapest plan, you're looking at $30 per month.
SendinBlue Free will allow you at least that many, maybe as much as 10,000 subscribers, before needing to upgrade. Free has some cool features, even allowing you to split test from the get go. Mailchimp doesn't include this feature until you're a paying customer.
SendinBlue Lite starts at $25 per month. It allows you to have unlimited subscribers, but takes away the daily send limit. In place of the daily send limit, you're allowed to send 40,000 emails.
SendinBlue's cheapest plan starts higher than Mailchimp's cheapest plan. But you can ride on the free plan for a lot longer than you can ride on Mailchimp's free plan. And when you do the math, SendinBlue is quite a bit less expensive than Mailchimp's most comparable plan.
SendinBlue Lite allows you to send up to 40,000 emails per month. There's no limit on the list or how many you send per day. To be able to send 40,000 emails per month with Mailchimp, you will be paying somewhere between $30 and $50 per month, a hefty chunk more than with SendinBlue.
SendinBlue Essential starts at $39 per month. It includes everything from Lite, but allows you to remove the SendinBlue logo and get some advanced statistics. Your send limit bumps up to 60,000 and there are never any subscriber limits.
This is a great plan for bigger accounts. If you're knocking down a bunch of subscribers and don't want to pay big fees, you can get a ton of power out of $39 per month here. With Mailchimp, you would need to pay $74 per month. That means that for an equivalent size account, you need to pay almost twice as much with Mailchimp.
It's hard to complain about saving that much per month, but I do have a small nag here. This is the first plan offered by SendinBlue that allows you to remove the logo from the footers. With Mailchimp, you can do this for $10 a month as long as you're under 500 subscribers. It's a small nag, but I wish I could remove the SendinBlue logo for less.
SendinBlue Premium is the powerhouse of the SendinBlue suite. It starts at $66 per month and allows you to send up to 120,000 emails each month. A comparable plan with Mailchimp costs you about $100 per month.
SendinBlue also beefs up their Premium package by offering send time optimization, retargeting with Facebook ads, and online chat services.
One thing I really like here is the send time optimization. It's not a big deal when you're first getting started. But when you have a 5 or 6 figure list, adding a few percentage points to your open rate makes a huge difference.
Overall, I think SendinBlue is a much better value than Mailchimp, but Mailchimp offers a bit more bells and whistles.get powerful email marketing for free with sendinblue
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Verdict
Thanks for reading our post on SendinBlue vs Mailchimp! SendinBlue and Mailchimp are both viable options to run your email marketing campaigns.
When it comes down to it, SendinBlue offers more absolute value for the price. You don't have limits of email subscribers and are given monthly send limits. These send limits mean that even if you have an enormous list, you can still pay less than with competing services.
Mailchimp is a good plan if you want lots of bells and whistles for your business. But a lot of its features aren't necessary. If you have some money to spare, then Mailchimp is fine. If you're running on a budget or just trying out email marketing, I recommend going with SendinBlue. It's what I would use if I were starting out again.
You can click here to start using SendinBlue for free. No obligation.Try SendinBlue for free
So now you know about some of the best email marketing tools, but how do you collect subscribers in the first place? Check out our Optin Monster review. It's what we use to find leads and collect email addresses.