- SMS and other types of marketing verticals
- Free plan
- Industry standard tracking
- Very few integrations and augmentation
- Predesigned templates are visually unappealing
- Nothing unique to the platform
SendInBlue is a marketing automation platform sold as an alternative to similar, more mainstream software. Sold through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, SendInBlue is a surprisingly affordable and visually stunning platform accessible to both new and experienced users of marketing software.
What’s unique about SendInBlue?
There is nothing unique or differentiating to the SendInBlue platform. Technically, this SaaS features marketing automation capabilities found in dozens of competing platforms. For example, SendInBlue has an SMS texting capability that complements the central email and web asset deployment framework. That said, just like Zendesk Connect, Constant Contact, and ActiveCampaign, users can send broadcast or triggered campaigns with content hitting target audiences via text, email, or social.
Due to this lack of “uniqueness,” we didn’t find any cause to further mark down the platform. The only reason we could identify that would result in a markdown focuses on the platform’s WYSIWYG visual editors for HTML products (e.g., emails, etc.). These editors are very clunky and crowded to use when producing drag-and-drop style emails or HTML content. The predesigned, customizable templates are visually lacking and behind most modern marketing automation software. Comparatively, these pre-designed templates are similar to those offered by email service providers (ESPs) Mailchimp or Constant Contact just a few years ago.
High marks for ease of use
During our test of the platform, we truly enjoyed the user experience and the ease of use for new users. None of the reviewers at Telegraph have previously used SendInBlue before, but, the experience that we had was truly satisfying. Upon initial launch, for example, users are given an extensive guided tour that teaches the location of tools on the platform, among other components. With an easily navigable platform and a visually pleasing color scheme, SendInBlue emulates a premium software at bargain prices (more under “Pricing”). The support regime is also noteworthy. Virtually all users, regardless of subscription level or plan type, are given the same support from the company’s customer success managers and tech teams.
Analytics and automation mapping
SendInBlue has industry standard tracking and analytics. Users can extract granular performance metrics, open rates, and other measurements with relative ease and are displayed in the user dashboard via digestible visualizations. SendInBlue also has a plethora of avenues to calculate the success of emails through A/B testing, email list segmentation, and targeted demography. Like other platforms such as ActiveCampaign and more “enterprise” focused platforms like Salesforce Pardot or Oracle Eloqua, this platform has a broad marketing automation mapping capability. This feature allows users to create user journeys, triggers, and specialized automations to streamline workflow, conversion, and maintain a continuum of communication.
One other glaring issue that we couldn’t get past with SendInBlue is its lack of software connections and integrations with third-party software. SendInBlue hosts few native integrations with CRM and collaboration platforms. To work around this, users can get custom software connectors tied to the ecosystem’s API keys through Zapier. The SendInBlue platform also caters to developers by offering API technical documentation.
SendInBlue is a very affordable platform for bargain hunters and cost cutters. There is a free plan of the platform providing a well-tooled experience enabling users to send up to 300 emails a day at no cost. For example, the “lite” SendInBlue subscription begins at $25 per month and features no daily send limits. Other plans that pertain to the emailing components of the platform range from the base price of the lite plan to custom enterprise plans. SMS marketing plans and deliverable IP plans are priced on needs and scale. SendInBlue offers competitive pricing compared to other services. Drift, for example, has a “freemium” plan with premium pricing starting at $50 per month. ActiveCampaign, another competing platform, beats SendInBlue, though, with plans beginning at $9 per month.
What we think
SendInBlue, like so many of its competitors, is a viable solution for marketing automation. Between the multi-genre approach with SMS texting and email, the integration of the platform’s ecosystem into any team’s existing marketing stack would see a net benefit. With scalable, comparable pricing models and a very generous free plan, users shouldn’t have any further concerns when deploying the platform. Keep in mind the limitations of the platform- for example, the very little external integration to augment the user experience. SendInBlue still offers a usable solution that organizations of all types can deploy, nonetheless.
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