Sendinblue: The ultimate test with review

39 Min Read

Introduction to SendinBlue

For those who do not know this emailing solution, know that it is one of the leaders of the market with MailChimp and Mailjet. SendinBlue is a mass email sending platform created in 2012. Rather BtoC oriented and perfect for e-commerce, the company’s solution is geared towards a target of TPE and SMEs. However, BtoB companies who wish to use it for their inbound marketing strategies will find their way there perfectly.

It is a product that we have used in many situations, on many projects, and that we still use today for many things.

In this article, we give you our opinion on the tool in the most objective way possible. We also try to guide you a little to decide (or not) to use Sendinblue for your marketing automation.

SendinBlue’s privacy policy is an important first step

Before starting and highlighting all the features present in the software, it is important to talk about SendinBlue’s privacy policy. Indeed, it is one of the most attentive platforms on this subject. When creating an account, be aware that by default it will not be validated until there has been a human validation of your first campaign. While the intention is laudable, it very often happens that this causes timing problems on your first send. Because when you validate your campaign, it will be put on hold for validation.

A little tip to get around this problem, you just need to write a message to SendinBlue support when you create your account. To do this, go to Help > Support and tickets > Open a new ticket.

But be careful, you will have to prove in your email that you have consistent use of email. That is to say, demonstrate that your database is opt-in and that you are not spamming. I advise you to put forward examples of forms that will be used to collect contacts.


SendinBlue configuration options

Before launching yourself with a brave heart into creating your first newsletter, I advise you to spend a little time setting up the first settings that will allow you to use SendinBlue like a professional. A first job that will save you a lot of time and give you an overview of the potential of email software. To get started, go to the “settings” tab

Define your proof list

The first job to be done is to create your proof-press list (BAT). This little detail will be of great importance when you are going to start creating your campaigns. Because SendinBlue offers by default to test all your emails upstream by sending them. If you have defined a proof list, all you have to do is select your contacts to receive your creation. Otherwise, you will have to enter all the email addresses by hand. A detail that can be very annoying if you send a lot of campaigns.

Optimize your contact information

As emailing software, SendinBlue also works as a CRM. You will therefore have contacts, integrated into one or more lists. Each contact is defined by attributes that will allow you to better understand who they are and what their expectations are. By default, the SendinBlue CRM offers the following attributes:

  • NAME
  • E-MAIL
  • SMS

You can use these attributes for your marketing, but also to communicate directly with your contacts in your emails. Suffice to say that we will have to optimize this part a little. To do this, click on the ” contact and CRM attribute ” tab in the settings. You will find your default attributes. Then click on ” add a new attribute “. Your attributes can be of four different types:

  • Text: Leave the field open. Ideal for first name, email address, phone number.
  • Number: Will necessarily be a number. I use it a lot to assign scores to my contacts (lead scoring) for example.
  • Category: This allows you to create tailor-made choices.
  • Boolean: It is an attribute of choice between two variables (yes or no)

Contact management & segmentation

On Sendinblue, contact management is simple and streamlined. To import a list of contacts into Sendinblue, 3 options are available:

  • Import a .CSV or .TXT file,
  • Copy and paste contacts from a list,
  • Enter contact information manually.

It’s also easy to add new fields and change attributes and field types. So you can add other characteristics such as the date the contact was added to the list and whether the contact opened an email or not.

Finally, automatic triggers are available for the management and segmentation of contacts. This practice helps to personalize the content of emails based on the actions of your contacts.

Create tailor-made unsubscribe pages

By default, all email solutions offer an unsubscribe page. Classic and very simple, it will just give your contact information that they have successfully unsubscribed. With Sendinblue, you can create tailor-made unsubscribe pages depending on the case. Without going into details, creating an optimized page will allow you to limit the number of unsubscribes by creating a personalized relationship.

Landing pages & Forms

The templates offered by SendinBlue for creating forms and landing pages are numerous but a little dated. Your personalized creations are made via a drag-and-drop editor.

In seconds, colors, images, text, font, etc. can be changed. You can also add as many different fields as you want to your forms – you are completely free to choose what information to collect.

The integration is done using an HTML code to copy and paste. To meet the regulatory requirements of your market, it is possible to define a single or double opt-in process.

Be careful with the double opt-in: Sendinblue does not provide validation of the e-mails collected and requires instead to install captchas on the capture site (to the detriment of the experience of your users, therefore).

If your visitors are having fun testing your forms with invalid emails, Sendinblue will send double opt-in emails to these addresses, resulting in hard-bounces that can lead to your account being blocked. Unfortunately, the only solution offered is to slow down your site, or dramatically reduce the captcha experience.

Lead management

The lead management and Sendinblue are technically compatible. But it is quite complicated to fully exploit this functionality.

Unfortunately, you have to do almost everything yourself. For example, there is no built-in lead scoring functionality.

On the other hand, you can use lists to organize your contacts according to the criteria of your choice. This could be demographics, where the leads are coming from, how far along the sales funnel is, and more.

Thanks to Sendinblue’s integrated CRM, find all the information about your leads and plan your follow-ups in one place. You can set up lead nurturing sequences in addition to classic campaigns thanks to the automation platform. The amount of information gathered by the tool is impressive.

Social media integration

The last setting that I present to you in detail is the integration of your social accounts. Note that you can define the URLs for each of your social networks so that you do not have to put them back in place on each of your campaigns.

A small additional element, it is also on this tab that you can activate emailing tracking in Google Analytics by default. Because by default the traffic coming from the emailing does not go up. However, we advise you to use UTM parameters. I will come back to this later.

The other configurations of your account

In addition to these four basic settings to be carried out to save fundamental time, later on, be aware that SendinBlue offers other important actions to optimize from the start of your campaigns:

  • Default setting: This is the configuration of your account with all the basic information as well as the activation of notifications.
  • Create calculated formulas: This allows you to set up indicators on your dashboard. These indicators can be tailor-made based on the formulas you will create. Please note, this setting remains rather dedicated to emailing experts.
  • Define your webhooks: Webhooks are messages delivered to URLs each time an action is performed. For example each time a contact enters a list. This makes it possible to have up-to-date information.
  • Select your senders: By default, if you create an account, the sender address will be your login address. But be aware that you can send messages from different addresses. Please note, only company email addresses are taken into account. SendinBlue, like its competitors, will refuse shipments from a generic address such as “Gmail” or “yahoo”.
  • Buy a dedicated IP address: Last option of your configuration, SendinBlue offers to control your reputation and your deliverability by sending your email campaigns from your server.

Launch your first email marketing campaign

Well, now that we’ve seen together how to set up a structured account, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Namely the creation of an email marketing campaign. Even though SendinBlue offers functionality far beyond just sending an email, most accounts are created for that. To start, all you have to do is click on the “campaigns” tab and then on the “create a new campaign” button. You will then arrive in a tunnel in four stages.

Configure your campaign efficiently

Don’t take this part of your email campaign lightly because, in reality, this is where it all happens (well almost). This setting will give you the possibility of optimizing many criteria that will influence your open rates. Here are some key things that SendinBlue allows to work with:

Create the body of the message with SendinBlue’s drag and drop editor

Like most publishers, when you go to create your campaign, you will have a choice in your design tool. There are three:

  • The drag and drop editor that we will detail below.
  • The rich text editor allows you to create classic email-type content.
  • Directly paste your code. Ideal if you have downloaded the HTML code of a template found on the internet.

If this is not your first shipment, you can also go pick up your old design to start again from your creation. Likewise, SendinBlue offers 65 already built templates by default.

But let’s come back to the drag and drop editor offered by SendinBlue. To cut the suspense short, this is not the optimal tool. While it remains very relevant and well done and it tends, for newbie users, to be frustrating. This is particularly the case for random management of the sections and sub-sections, but also because it happens not to be able to achieve the composition that one wishes. However, if the user experience can sometimes be complex, let’s be clear, few competitors can claim to do better on this aspect.

At SendinBlue, the drag and drop editor consists of three parts. You will find on the left the composition elements allowing you to create a design. There are 14 of them, classified between global, header, content, and footer elements. In the middle is your design as it will be sent to your contacts and on the right, the configuration options for each of your elements.

You can then create your campaign as you wish so that it takes up your company’s graphic charter and further distinguishes your priority objectives. But be careful, before sending it, always remember to send test emails via the option offered at the top of the page. This is an essential step in making sure everything is in order.

Last step, sending your email campaign

Once your design is ready, you only have a few steps left to complete the shipment. The first is to select your recipients. You can send your campaign to one or more lists in your account. Where SendinBlue goes further, it is on the fact of proposing to carry out filters on your lists. That is, send your campaign to a segment of your list based on actions taken or not.

A concrete example: send your newsletter to all those who have not opened it. This optimizes the performance of your campaign.

Once your contacts have been defined, all you have to do is send your email either immediately or by scheduling the sending. SendinBlue offers two types of programming at this level: manual programming that you will carry out yourself or tailor-made programming according to your contacts. It is a premium feature that uses an algorithm to calculate the most relevant hours based on the results of old campaigns. Ideal for maximizing the open rate.

How Sendinblue helps you build your opt-in database

One of the major criteria for successful emailing is the constitution of a quality database. We are talking about contacts who have given their consent to receive your emails. To successfully set up a clean database system, SendinBlue offers two key features: form creation and landing pages creation.

Create forms connected to Sendinblue

How to create a custom form and connect to Sendinblue? This is a systematic problem when we talk about email. To optimize the processing of contacts, all people who fill out your form must be automatically included in a dedicated list on SendinBlue. This is what the software offers by integrating a form creation tool directly on the platform. To see this, go to the ” contact ” tab then on the ” form ” menu

Please note, for those who have had a Sendinblue account for a while, you will have to validate the switch to the new form creation format. It’s just a matter of pressing a button on the form page. Otherwise, you will always use the earlier version, which is much less efficient.

When you get to the interface for creating your forms, your first choice will be to define whether you want to create a registration or unsubscription form. In our case, we will take the example of the inscription which will speak to the greatest number. To do this, click on ” create a new registration form “.

You will arrive at this stage on a creation tunnel in 6 steps, from the nomination of your form to its configuration, including, of course, the creation, central element.

The first step is to fill in the name of your form. Once this action is done, you will move on to design. The new version of their editor is rather well done with a first section ” Design ” allowing you to create the content of your form and a second part ” Appearance ” to manage the design.

The form gives you the possibility of setting up fields directly linked to the attributes of your contacts (hence the interest of having read the section on the configuration of SendinBlue). It also facilitates the work of consent and implementation of the GDPR.

All the other steps will aim to configure your form to optimize connections and other reassurance elements. You will find there in the work order:

!!! Be careful when integrating the form: By default, the HTML code provided to integrate the form on your site will overwrite your favicon (the small logo of your site that can be seen on the tabs of your web browser) to integrate that of SendinBlue. A rather disturbing little Growth Hacker technique. Note that you can put back your favicon, either by removing the line of code or by modifying it with the URL of your image.

Go even further with the landing page tool

The landing page editor is a premium feature integrated from the “PREMIUM” plan at 49 € / month.

The form is the first step in capturing leads. You can go further by directly creating your landing pages on Sendinblue. Let’s face it frankly, the major advantage of doing this work from the emailing platform consists in the simplified integration between page and database.

To get started, go to the “contacts” tab then “landing page”. Your only possibility will then be to create a new landing page, after which you will be redirected to the internal creation tool. At this point, you will have to choose between creating your custom page or starting from one of the 18 pre-designed templates that you can display.

As often, the landing page editor works in the form of a conversion funnel. Before even starting, we can notice that the tool switches to English. Unfortunately for those who are less comfortable with the language of Shakespeare.

The first page will be used to configure the editor by giving a name to your page and by integrating your fonts as well as your logo. Small detail, you will have the choice between about forty fonts but you cannot download your own.

Once this first part is finalized, it’s time to move on to the design of your page. You will then find a drag and drop editor to create all your composition. The tool works in sections of one to four columns in which you can integrate the following elements:

  • Text
  • Picture
  • Button
  • Division element
  • A form
  • Icons
  • Videos
  • Your logo
  • Code
  • Or the integration of a payment module

You can then tailor each element to make it consistent with your needs (such as adding fields to the form) but also review the overall layouts of the sections using the “manage layout” tab. This tab will give you an overview of all the sections of your page so that you can quickly refine them. Very practical to navigate.

One of the big strengths of the SendinBlue landing page editor consists in actually offering what are called “funnels”, that is to say, conversion funnels. Because in addition to your landing page, you can create several successive pages allowing you to set up more advanced strategies. The classic (and simplistic) example is to create an accessible thank you page after filling out a form.

Before going to the last step, the editor will check that all the required fields are correctly configured. This will prevent the creation of non-compliant landing pages. Once everything is valid, it’s time to finalize your work. By taking the next step, SendinBlue will provide you with the URL of your brand new landing page. At this point, you will have to:

Transactional email and marketing automation

The whole automated message creation part is one of the strengths that made SendinBlue known. From transactional email to marketing automation, email software is one of the most relevant market players in this area.

Manage your transactional emails with Sendinblue

To put it in context, the transactional email represents all the emails sent automatically following the performance of an action by an Internet user. One of the simplest examples and order validation in e-commerce. This is a lesser-known aspect of Sendinblue. But the platform allows you to manage these shipments. You can then create tailor-made email templates that will be sent according to predefined actions of Internet users. For this, you will have to set up connections between your host and Sendinblue using their API.

There are two major goals to using Sendinblue for your transactional email strategy:

  • Optimize all your emails using tailor-made templates. Most sites (especially in e-commerce) use emails by default. You can go much further in the relationship with your client by working on this specific point.
  • Optimize the reception of messages thanks to a quality server reputation.
You will then have access to detailed reports on the shipments made. You will be able to follow all the actions of your contacts and analyze your results in real-time.

Sendinblue review: Marketing automation

Let’s face it, marketing automation is the key feature offered by Sendinblue. While many competitors offer this option, it is rarely so relevant and extensive, particularly in the number of feasible scenarios. But let’s see how it is transcribed. To do this, click on the “ automation ” tab in the top menu. You will then have access to your marketing automation strategy dashboard. If you don’t have a running scenario, you won’t have anything on this dashboard. It is from here that you will be able to create and create new ones. You will then have access to the different types of scenarios:
These examples help you get started with setting up your workflow to save time. But whatever the case, the type of construction is always the same and you can start from scratch and thus build your journey. Let’s take a concrete example to help you project yourself into the tool.
The example is the following one, a contact downloads a document, you send it by email then you offer to subscribe to your newsletter. Let’s see how this is articulated in the picture:
  1. This is the start of the scenario. Your contact has completed a form, he is registered in a corresponding list. From there, automation begins.
  2. Little more in BtoB, if you want to set up lead scoring, this is where it comes into play. You can thus add or remove points to contact according to his actions.
  3. The thank-you email with the document is sent instantly
  4. You then have the option of creating waiting periods between two actions.
  5. once the deadline has passed, your contact will receive a second email with a proposal to subscribe to your newsletter.
  6. You can then create a condition that defines that if he accepts, then he goes into your newsletter list, otherwise nothing happens.

This is only an example but allows you to consider how marketing automation works with Sendinblue. In the scenario, as it is presented here, you can see certain characteristic elements of the tool appear. All the + that you see appearing are clickable and allow you to add a step. You will thus have access to a panoply of actions and configurable conditions which will feed your automation:

Be careful, however. If in general, the tool seems intuitive and very simple, it is important to take into account that marketing automation as a whole is not as easy as one might think. This is not dependent on Sendinblue or the competitors but leverage. It is important to anticipate certain elements:

  • Each scenario requires that one or more email templates meet the needs of the sequence carried out upstream.
  • This sometimes involves dedicated landing pages
  • Each type of step requires a specific configuration
  • All your scenarios require a significant correlation between objectives, customer expectations and the message delivered.

Sendinblue review: Send your SMS marketing campaigns

In addition to the main features of Sendinblue around emailing, the software offers some additional tools. The creation of an SMS marketing campaign is one of the significant assets of the platform.

If setting up communication by SMS is not a relevant lever for all sectors, it is nonetheless very effective if it is properly contextualized. With SendinBlue, you will be able to send SMS in less than 10 minutes. To do this, simply go to ” Campaigns ” then ” SMS “. Then, like email marketing campaigns, click on ” Create an SMS campaign “, the green button at the top right of your screen.

The configuration of your SMS is very fast and is done in three steps. First, the settings tab, in which you will find the name of the campaign, the sender, your message, as well as the possibilities to create sendings by interval or to send you a test SMS.

A small tip to take into account when creating your message, your SMS must be a maximum of 145 characters. Beyond that, you will be charged 2 SMS per contact. A detail that can have a significant impact on the cost of the campaign, especially on mailings to a large database.

Then, as for an email marketing campaign, you will have to choose your contact lists to which you will be able to assign potential filters. The last step is to program your SMS.

Create Facebook Ads based on similar profiles

The Facebook Ads campaign management tool, integrated premium functionality from the “PREMIUM” plan at 49 € / month.

Sendinblue goes beyond the simple management of your emailing campaigns by also offering to create Facebook Ads ads based on specific targeting: similar profiles.

The logic is simple, the Facebook algorithm allows you to create ads that will only target people who have the same typology as those present in your database. This is a possibility that we find natively on Facebook Ads. The advantage here is the connection between your database and your advertising campaigns.

How does it work? To have access to this option, all you have to do is go to the “ Campaigns ” tab, “ Facebook Ads ” then “ Create a Facebook ad ”. You will then have to connect your Facebook account with Sendinblue.

The little extras of Sendinblue

If this test is already very comprehensive, you should know that the possibilities offered by the platform do not stop there. You have some small additional features that will give you the possibility to go even further with the email software.

Manage your reputation with a dedicated IP

Sendinblue is one of the few emailing solutions that offers multi-user access. Very practical, this functionality will allow several people to work simultaneously on the campaigns. It is also a very important line of work if you want to set up validation systems before sending. Whether internally or through a web agency, this will greatly promote teamwork.

Promote teamwork thanks to multi-users

Sendinblue is one of the few emailing solutions that offers multi-user access. Very practical, this functionality will allow several people to work simultaneously on the campaigns. It is also a very important line of work if you want to set up validation systems before sending. Whether internally or through a web agency, this will greatly promote teamwork.

Read more: Phantombuster, how to automate your marketing tasks

Work your database qualitatively with Sendinblue CRM

The emailing software offers a complementary tool to its emailing panel: its CRM. It is a logical development of the platform given that its goal is to become a complete digital marketing tool for VSEs and SMEs. Thanks to Sendinblue’s CRM, you will be able to find synergies with the other levers and above all have an all-in-one tool. Qualifying the database will be much simpler because any actions you are going to perform on the software can be connected to it. This will allow you to more easily qualify your contacts and segment them to optimize your campaign results.

Sendinblue review: prices, one of the strengths of email software

Sendinblue is a solution that offers a “freemium” offer. That is to say with a free base that you can upgrade to more complete offers.

The free version allows you to send up to 600 emails per day maximum. The Sendinblue logo will be integrated into all your mailings and you will not have access to the landing page and Facebook Ads features. Marketing automation is limited to 2000 emails in all (which is already a very good starting point).

To have access to all the features of Sendinblue, it will cost you 49 € / month for a quota of 120,000 emails (also monthly) or 129 € / month for 350,000 emails. Beyond that, you will spend on a tailor-made offer with an account manager dedicated to your company.

For companies with more ad hoc needs, you also have the option of directly purchasing prepaid emails, i.e. a defined volume that you spend as you wish.

At the same time, the sending of SMS is managed by credit payable in one go

Our opinion on Sendinblue review

Straight to the point, for us, Sendinblue is the best email software on the market today. Its various functionalities are of a very good level and marketing automation makes it possible to set up quality work.

The only option offered by the platform that we do not recommend is the creation of a Facebook Ads campaign which limits the possibilities compared to the editor directly integrated with Facebook.


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Posted by Rebecca
Rebecca is an Independent content writer for breldigital, She writes content on any given topic. She loves to write a case study article or reviews on a brand, Be it any topic, she nails it
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