In a world of social media, SMS, and chatbot marketing, you’d think email would have gone out of fashion.
However, with an ROI of about 4400%, email marketing is still as vogue as it gets.
It’s pretty much the best way to reach and nurture your target audience – no matter what kind of company you run, or what sort of product/service you sell.
The only problem?
Trying to handle email marketing on your own is a nightmare.
With hundreds of contacts to track, consistent email drip campaigns to monitor, and of course, the ongoing need for reports and analytics to measure your performance, you’re going to need some help.
Fortunately, tools like MailChimp and Sendinblue exist to give you that much-needed support.
Email autoresponders like MailChimp and Sendinblue transform your marketing campaigns with reporting, analytics, automated messages, email templates, and more.
However, not all of these tools are the same. Each one appeals to a specific audience, with a particular range of features.
So, how do you choose from Sendinblue vs MailChimp?
That’s what we’re here to find out.
Introducing Sendinblue & MailChimp
MailChimp, the email marketing platform that launched in 2001 is one of the most popular monkey’s in the emailing industry.
With a free tier that makes it easy for even the smallest company to get started with professional email marketing, MailChimp ensured that everyone and anyone can upgrade their content strategy.
However, MailChimp is far from perfect.
Limited feature sets (particularly in the cheaper packages) have left people searching for alternatives like Sendinblue.
This newer tool, launched in 2012, might not have the history and popularity of MailChimp, but it does have other attractive points, like access to specialist transactional emails, and an excellent pricing structure.
Read on to discover the service that’s right for you.
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Pricing
It’s hardly the most exciting part of investing in a new marketing tool – but let’s face it, most of us don’t have unlimited cash. If you do have money to throw around – feel free to reach out to me, I’m always looking for new investors to my pizza party fund.
For many companies, particularly the smaller ones, pinching pennies is crucial.
You’ve gotta figure out what you can realistically afford to spend based on the kind of value you’re going to get back.
Fortunately, Sendinblue and MailChimp are ready to help you out with their free tiers.
Free packages are awesome for startups and low-budget companies who want to start experimenting with email marketing.
However, you do kind of get what you pay for. In other words, don’t expect to access all of the most advanced features with the free package from either Sendinblue or MailChimp.
On the plus side, Sendinblue does give you access to unlimited contacts, transactional emails, and even a basic CRM, but you can only send 300 emails a day. Bummer.
On the other hand, MailChimp gives you 7 marketing channels to work with, and a basic CRM, but only a handful of templates, and no access to autoresponder functionality.
If you’re ready to splash some cash for the tools you need, then there are plenty of pricing plans available from Sendinblue, including the Lite, Essential, and Premium packages. You’ll notice that the “Premium” package is surprisingly well-priced, particularly in comparison to MailChimp’s high-level option.
There’s also the option to upgrade so you can send more messages per month.
The more you spend on Sendinblue, the more emails you can send per month.
Additionally, the bigger packages come with more features, like machine learning tools, advanced reporting, and even chat functionality.
One major downside? To remove the Sendinblue logo from your emails, you need to pay at least $39 per month. I would have expected that to be a feature on their “Lite” plan – but there you have it.
There’s also an “Enterprise” plan if you’re looking for guided support, GDPR compliance, and on-demand customer support. For those who want extra flexibility, you can also upgrade any package with add-ons like SMS marketing and a dedicated IP address.
Sendinblue even provides the choice to replace monthly pricing with a pay-as-you-go strategy where you pay for credits that roll over from month to month. At $1,995 for a million credits – the costs are pretty reasonable.
So, let’s see how MailChimp stacks up, shall we?
Recently, MailChimp made a few changes to its pricing structure – which upset a few of its customers. The pricing today isn’t quite as budget-friendly as it used to be – but you’ve still got the option to access that nifty free tier, and the “Essential” and “Standard” plans are pretty affordable too.
Unfortunately, much of the functionality that users will want from MailChimp is reserved for the most expensive premium package at $299. That’s the first package that offers phone-based customer service!
You’ll also need to go for the “Premium” option if you want to send personalized emails to your segments, as it’s the only option with advanced segmentation.
What’s more, the free tier isn’t as generous as it could be.
You don’t get access to A/B testing or 24/7 support, and you’ll end up with MailChimp branding on all of your emails. However, it’s still better than nothing.
MailChimp also offers a few money-off options in their pricing too. For instance, if you add two-factor authentication to your account, then you can access 10% off for the first 3 months of using the tool. Additionally, non-profits and charities get 15% off too.
Sendinblue definitely offers the better pricing option here. It’s less expensive all around – even for its premium functionality package. Additionally, the free service is much more feature rich than what you’d get from MailChimp.
Of course, neither option is quite as budget friendly as tools like MailerLite (check out our MailerLite review and our MailerLite vs Mailchimp comparison) – so it’s worth shopping around if you’re limited in funds.
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Segmentation
Once you’ve got your budget ironed out, you can start really putting your email automation tools to the test. For most companies, that’ll start with checking out your segmentation options.
After all, personalized emails do improve click-through rates by about 14%.
One thing that sets Sendinblue apart is that it doesn’t just make segmentation simple – it also makes it more compliant too.
You’ll need to confirm that you’re compliant with the CAN-SPAM act regulations before you can even set up your account.
That does mean a little bit of extra work – but it’s worth the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re using a tool that’s not going to get you into trouble.
Once you’re ready to start uploading contacts, you can bulk-update your list by copy-pasting information, adding CSV or text files, or entering everything manually.
I’d go for the CSV option if you can to save some time.
Unfortunately, when it comes to mapping data to your contacts, things start to get complicated.
Nothing is available to do in bulk, which means that you need to add attributes one-by-one. I’m not patient enough for that kind of thing – particularly when dealing with thousands of contacts.
On the plus side, you get the reassurance of knowing that you can manage and segment your contacts on any package offered by Sendinblue – not just the higher-tiered options, as is the case with MailChimp.
Additionally, once you’ve got your lists updated, you can update them in bulk with new information. That means that you only need to waste time if you’re manually entering contact details.
Once everyone’s on your list, you can segment by things like employment, residence, location, and other crucial information. Sendinblue offers fundamental CRM functionality so you can even separate your contacts based on how they’ve interacted with your business in the past.
With lead scoring available from your marketing automation software, you’ll also be able to update each segment with “VIP” contacts and people who have the best chance of conversion.
On the other hand, we have MailChimp.
When it comes to managing and segmenting contacts, MailChimp also gives you a very simple and straightforward process.
You can load details just like Sendinblue, with CSV files.
Additionally, once you’ve got all your contacts into the system, you can define and separate your customers using “segments” – which include your lists of new customers and recent purchases, and “groups”. Groups define customers based on their previous behavior and other demographics.
It’s a pretty easy-to-follow strategy.
MailChimp also gives companies the chance to build out their segments with “conditional” relationships. For instance, you can create campaigns that reach people in specific ways, depending on what email clients they use or based on how they responded to your previous campaigns.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to feel too positive about MailChimp’s segmentation options when you realise that you can only access them on the Premium tier.
Advanced segmentation is restricted to people who pay $299 per month.
What’s more, on any tier, if you want to target people from different groups at once, then MailChimp won’t allow this.
The lists are all siloed, which means that you have to continually create new ones depending on your campaign strategies.
Compared to Sendinblue, MailChimp’s segmentation is just awkward.
Sendinblue offers a more simple and straightforward solution for email marketing segmentation and contact management. There are a few issues with Sendinblue, but MailChimp doesn’t even provide advanced segmentation until you pay for the premium tier.
For a more advanced segmentation experience, try Activecampaign for combined CRM and email marketing
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Automation and Autoresponders
With your contacts organized, you’ll be ready to start building some valuable relationships.
In other words, you’re going to want to create some incredible auto-responders.
Both MailChimp and Sendinblue offer automation to different extents.
Sendinblue seems to focus on simplicity above all else. You’re not going to get the same advanced experience that you’d get from something like ActiveCampaign.
However, you can still create some simple sequences to improve your marketing strategy.
To keep things as straightforward as possible, Sendinblue gives you 8 goal-based templates to choose from for your autoresponders.
I think this is a nice way to do things – as it gives beginners what they need to start exploring autoresponder functionality for the first time.
What’s more, when you choose the kind of scenario you want to work on, Sendinblue gives you a very simple drag-and-drop builder to work with – similar to the offerings on things like ActiveCampaign (though a little less feature-rich).
I really liked the style of the campaign builder.
You can determine which contacts you want to connect with, how you want to set up triggers, and more. It all works on an if-this-then-that strategy, which feels super easy to follow.
Additionally, unlike with MailChimp, your automation features come with every package provided by Sendinblue – including the free tier. The only difference is that you’ll only be able to use automation with up to 2,000 contacts if you’re on the Essential tier or below.
When you start upgrading to more expensive packages, that’s where Sendinblue’s automation options begin to shine. You’ll be able to decide when you want to send your messages according to the needs of your target audience.
Plus, there’s a machine learning algorithm that will individually track the best sending time for each member of your audience. That’s some impressive stuff.
Sendinblue also stands out for its ability to add Transactional email features to your automated campaigns – complete with dedicated templates, delivery features, and statistics that will help you track the ROI of your campaigns.
MailChimp also offers a range of ways to create subscriber journeys and automated responder campaigns – however, I found the experience pretty disappointing.
Like Sendinblue, the process is often template-based. You’ll be able to choose what kind of goal you want to accomplish and create a funnel based on that target.
That’s all well and good. However, the funnels that you create aren’t very immersive. There aren’t many options to choose from when it comes to triggers and functionality, and once again, there’s nothing even remotely close to what you get from GetResponse or ActiveCampaign.
The worst thing?
You don’t even get to play with autoresponders until you’re willing to pay for the higher-priced packages. MailChimp takes one of the most fundamental parts of an email marketing tool and reserves it for those with the most money.
There’s nothing available at all under the “Standard,” and “Free” plans to help with your automated messages, which means that up to a price point of $14.99 you’re stuck with one-off emails.
One bonus point I will give to MailChimp is that when you do upgrade to higher-priced packages, you can integrate your mailing tool with your website and CRM. This means that it’s easier to set up automation based on your unique experiences with customers.
Still, you’re only going to be able to use what you learn about your audience for advanced segmentation if you’re paying for a Premium plan, so again it’s a pay-to-play experience.
However, if you’re dedicated to choosing one of these tools, at least Sendinblue will give you functionality on all tiers, transactional emails, and the option for machine learning later on.
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Email Templates
Automating your emails is essential, but you’ve also got to make them look pretty too.
Ultimately, without email templates, you’re left sending pretty basic content to your customers, unless you’re lucky enough to have a developer and graphic artist on-site.
The good news is that Sendinblue comes with at least 200 responsive templates to choose from.
Alright, so you know how you can segment your audience, and which tools you’ll use to deliver automated emails to your customers too.
Some of them are a little bit outdated, but the same could be said for a lot of email marketing tools these days.
Fortunately, you at least get to edit your emails using the drag-and-drop builder if you want to make something that’s more customized.
While Sendinblue has a lot to offer in other aspects of email marketing – it’s template builder isn’t one of its best features. Adding social media buttons seems to be impossible, and there’s limited functionality on what you can do when it comes to changing backgrounds, aesthetics, and fonts.
On the plus side, you can add your own logo, and Sendinblue does take mobile marketing seriously. Everything will look fantastic regardless of where your customer opens their email.
Still, with only about 8 fonts to choose from, and a lot of repetitive templates, you’re not going to get the kind of creative tool you need to make your emails stand out.
MailChimp has more to offer when it comes to email marketing templates.
There are seemingly countless styles to choose from – although it’s fair to say that some of those are pretty outdated too.
In my opinion, MailChimp is best-suited for people who enjoy building and adapting their email content from scratch. The email builder is far more robust than what you would get from Sendinblue, with options to add everything from social media buttons, to unique images and CTAs.
I could quite happily spend hours browsing through the options on MailChimp until I created some stunning templates to use in the future. Plus, you can always save your designs if you want to maintain a more consistent appearance with your messages in the future.
One other big bonus with MailChimp’s email templates is that everything seems to automatically fit together perfectly.
You don’t have to worry about your formatting suddenly breaking down because you’ve tried to drag a new image into the middle of your text.
MailChimp is the apparent champion when it comes to email marketing templates, with a wider range of customization options to choose from.
The editing interface is also much more straightforward and immersive, with a very clean UI that’s easy to understand.
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Usability and User Experience
Usability is a crucial component to think about when you’re choosing an email marketing tool.
I don’t know about you, but I much prefer to spend my days using simple software than messing around with tools I can’t figure out.
The Sendinblue UI is very clean and straightforward (and blue).
It’s pretty easy to find what you want – although some people might find the interface a little cluttered at first. It all depends on what you’re used to dashboard-wise.
The experience is very minimalistic – which is helpful for beginners who don’t want to be overwhelmed.
When you log into the homepage dashboard, you’ll be able to see how many contacts you have in your list, how well your emails are doing, and more.
Plus, you can see the number of blacklisted contacts in your campaigns – although frankly, I don’t know why that’s an important thing to have on a home page.
If you want to compare your current performance to previous campaigns, then you can do that pretty quickly too. Sendinblue offers a convenient selection of options to look through, and the whole process of setting up new campaigns is very straightforward.
Regarding usability, I couldn’t find anything to complain about.
MailChimp also offers one of the most impressive email marketing tools for simplicity available. Everything you need to do is laid out in front of you, with simple navigation to make tracking down things like reporting and contact management easy.
The only thing I didn’t like about MailChimp is that there was no easy way to find landing page setup. You have to click into the Audience page and then scroll to the bottom to see landing pages, rather than there being a dedicated “Forms” tab.
In usability, MailChimp and Sendinblue are very similar. I’d probably choose MailChimp over Sendinblue just because I like the appearance of its layout a little more – but that’s all personal preference.
If you want something for super excellent usability, then I would opt for GetResponse (check out our GetReponse review and GetResponse vs Mailchimp comparison) as one of the best email marketing UIs around.
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: A/B Testing and Analytics
Once you’ve segmented your audience, arranged your autoresponders, and built out your templates, you’re not necessarily done with your marketing campaign.
As any great marketer knows, you’re gonna need to keep working on your campaigns if you want to access the best possible ROI.
Fortunately, tools like Sendinblue can help with that by giving you easy access to things like A/B testing and analytics.
You can A/B test your emails according to their subject lines, email content, and the time that you send your messages. Additionally, the higher-priced tiers of Sendinblue also offer the machine-learning enhanced feature that allows you to track down the best time for each audience member.
To optimize your marketing campaigns even further, Sendinblue also provides a host of email reporting tools, including basic metric tracking on your home page, where you can see open-rates, clicks, subscriptions, and more.
Everything is super clear and easy to follow – which means that even beginners can start managing their analytics with ease.
The free and “lite” packages from Sendinblue only give you basic real-time reporting with clicks, subscribes, and opens.
However, if you upgrade to something more expensive, then you can also access things like heatmaps that show you where your buttons will get the most attention, and advanced click reports.
You can also dive deeper into your analytics on the Sendinblue CRM tab, which comes as part of some of the higher-up tiers.
This will help you to score and manage leads so you can figure out where to focus your marketing efforts.
The Sendinblue CRM also comes with insights into your transactional emails so that you can drive specific purchase-based relationships with customers.
MailChimp is very similar to Sendinblue in the kind of analytics and reporting it offers.
When it comes to A/B testing, MailChimp also offers the option to test 3 versions of your campaigns on the lower-down packages.
However, if you upgrade to the Premium plan, then you can split test 8 variants against each other – in exchange for a painful $299 per month.
There are no machine learning features that I could find on MailChimp, but you do get a more advanced A/B testing experience overall if you’re willing to pay for it.
Additionally, in reporting and analytics terms, MailChimp also gives you everything you need to check basic things like click-through rate, unsubscribes, open rates, bounces, and more.
However, you don’t get the same fancy graphs and displays that you can get with Sendinblue.
One particularly impressive element of MailChimp’s A/B testing and analytics offering is that you can measure your results against industry benchmarks.
This is great for companies who are just getting started. We all like to know we’re on the right track.
It depends on what you’re looking for from your stories when it comes to picking a winner here. For super advanced reporting and analytics, I’d recommend checking something like Klaviyo (check out our Klaviyo vs Mailchimp comparison article).
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Integrations
Most companies today will rely on a lot of different tools to run their email campaigns.
I don’t know about you, but I’m usually playing around with at least a few digital marketing tools, CRM, and other software at the same time.
Sendinblue doesn’t have the broadest range of integrations available on the market – but the ones it does offer are pretty high in quality.
For instance, you’re going to get things like Drupal, Optin Monster, Salesforce, and WooCommerce from Sendinblue’s integration page.
On the other hand, MailChimp provides a lot of integrations – like hundreds.
However, you’re probably not going to need all of them.
MailChimp recently lost its relationship with Salesforce, but it still offers a range of other native integrations, including those with BigCommerce, WooCommerce and many more.
The MailChimp team will also guide you through using Zapier and other tools for your integrations if you can’t find the native solution you need.
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Customer Support
Finally, before you commit to any email marketing tool, you’re going to want to know you’re getting plenty of support in exchange for your hard-earned cash.
Most of the time, you’ll be able to use Sendinblue and MailChimp without any help.
However, when you need that extra guidance, Sendinblue provides a comprehensive help center to guide you through some basic marketing essentials.
You’ll also be able to access customer success support, instant chat, and other forms of connectivity if you upgrade to an Enterprise-level package. If you don’t have that much cash to splash, then your options are severely limited.
MailChimp is also pretty lacking when it comes to customer support for lower-priced tiers.
Like with Sendinblue, if you’re not willing to spend $299 to speak to someone on the phone, you’ll be limited to things like snail mail, or using the Guides and Tutorials section on the MailChimp website.
Honestly, I wouldn’t give either Sendinblue or MailChimp a trophy when it comes to customer support. It seems like you’re pretty much on your own unless you’re willing to pay a fortune.
Sendinblue vs MailChimp: Which Should You Choose?
Both Sendinblue and Mailchimp have strengths and weaknesses to consider.
MailChimp is a much more comprehensive tool, with an excellent user interface and a range of options for things like A/B testing – but most of the functionality you’ll want will only come if you’re willing to pay for it.
Sendinblue, on the other hand, is a very straightforward tool with more access to functionality at lower pricing tiers. However, it lacks some of the in-depth automation solutions you might need to create compelling autoresponders.
Choose Sendinblue if you want:
- Excellent pricing for all tiers
- A generous free plan
- Reliable reporting
- Easy of use
- CRM and machine learning access
Try MailChimp if:
- You want a super straightforward UI
- You need a great email builder
- You want a range of automation options
- You need advanced A/B testing (and you’re willing to pay for it)
- You want a lot of integrations.
You can also do a bit more research into your email marketing options with our guide here.