As online business owners, you want to find the best ways to reach to your audience and convert them into customers. Since clients are the lifeblood of your business, you need to acquire as many email addresses as possible to keep your ship afloat.
While email marketing may not be a novel concept in terms of attracting leads and customers, it is nonetheless one of the most effective ways to get and retain clients.
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 with MailChimp, those reasons are which is why you're probably using it as your email marketing platform of choice.
While MailChimp, sits atop the mountain alongside other premier email services, it's not a perfect tool by any stretch of the imagination. Just like any other tool or app in the market, MailChimp has its shortcomings, regardless of how good it is. This reason explains why there are other email marketing platforms chomping at the bit and introduces itself as a MailChimp alternative.
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?
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: transactional 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:
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.
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 second after deploying 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.
Below are some of the more common features Sendinblue has that are found in most email marketing software:
- 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. Lastly, you can personalize the message by using the details of individual subscribers to increase engagement.
- Contact management – Send highly targeted emails to a portion of your email list to further boost open and conversion rates. 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!
- 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.
- Marketing automation – 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. You can integrate SMS marketing as part of your automation as well. Track the progress of your campaign so you understand how effective your triggers are or find ways on how to improve them if not.
MailChimp: an e-commerce's email tool of choice
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, this email marketing platform is versatile enough to power any kind of business no matter how small or big it is!
Below are some of the features that separate itself from Sendible:
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 use-cases such as the following:
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- 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.
Facilitate 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 won't be known as one of the email marketing services if it didn't offer the best and essential features to send emails to subscribers. Below are some of its core features.
- Extensive third-party integration – 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.
- Create and check your email campaign on the go – 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!
- A wide variety of email templates – 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.
- Powerful automation – Create triggers to help you generate more sales by capturing visitors and sending them 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.
- A/B testing – To help you refine your email campaigns moving forward, 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. 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.
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.
- Competitive pricing to MailChimp – 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. 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.
- SMS marketing to complement your email campaigns – The use of SMS as part of your marketing campaign is dependent on the kind of business that you have. Regardless, however, 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.
- Impressive automation for its 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.
- 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. Not to mention, they all look the same and lacks variety. 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. For design-challenged marketers or owners, designing your email is the last thing you need to worry about.
- Easy to 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.
- Lots of templates to choose from – 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.
- Pricing – What truly makes MailChimp great is its pricing. If you have not 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. If you exceed 2,000 subscribers, you will be required to make a monthly payment starting at $10. However, it's a small price to pay if you want to unleash the full power of unlimited emails.
- 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.
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Verdict
Sendinblue sees itself as a MailChimp alternative and it's pretty clear why in this review. They are arguably much more affordable than MailChimp and has some solid feature to boot. The automation feature is surprisingly well done and functional for the most part. Also, the tool is perfect for businesses who want to connect with their audience via email and SMS to help set themselves apart from the others.
As solid as Sendinblue is, there's nothing about it that they do that really sticks out, however. The SMS marketing seems like a unique selling point but MailChimp also offers that via Mandrill. The pricing is the one factor that makes Sendinblue for me. But as far as usability of the tool is concerned, the UX is too simple and straightforward for my tastes. It's not a bad thing (which is why I didn't include it as part of the tool's Cons), but there's only so much you can do to help boost your e-mail marketing using Sendinblue.
MailChimp is much more intuitive and has more mature features to help you in your email marketing efforts. The landing page and ad campaigns introduced by the tool are excellent additions to your marketing strategy. The email builder has more variety and you can create lots of cool emails from the templates alone. Also, the integrations allow you to use MailChimp using different tools without any problems.
Ultimately, MailChimp is a much more expensive investment moving forward, but the costs are justified if you want something that's easy to use out of the box and has enough features to grow your number of subscribers and keep them engaged. Sendinblue is an ideal choice for businesses who simply want an affordable tool to send and track emails with the option of sending SMS as well. The learning curve for using the tool, especially its email builder, is not attractive. But if cost were a big factor, then Sendinblue should be your pick.
Personally, I will have to go with MailChimp. Despite its shortcomings, the integration with third-party apps can help supercharge your email campaigns. Also, it's one of the easiest and most accessible email marketing platforms in the market. You simply can't beat convenience to help you earn money in the long run.
Now that the Sendinblue vs MailChimp review is over, which between the two will help you earn more money via email marketing? Also, do you have experience with both tools before? What's your opinion on each tool? Share your thoughts by commenting below!