Atlanta-based Mailchimp is a pretty big name, serving more than 20m customers worldwide. However, after spending some time comparing providers I can’t help but wonder if the attraction is more tied up in the marketing than the actual product. Perhaps notoriety isn’t everything?
Since Mailchimp started charging users per contact, as opposed to just subscribed contacts (which was previously the case), I wanted to see how it fared next to a service that didn’t set a cap on contacts: Sendinblue. This Parisian company is growing rapidly around the world, currently providing their services to 80,000 customers.
Sendinblue vs Mailchimp in a Nutshell
Mailchimp offers an easy-to-use email editor and a fairly generous free plan, however, Sendinblue has more to offer in the way of automations and list management. Price is also a big difference, with Sendinblue coming out as a much more affordable provider.
If you’re weighing up Sendinblue vs Mailchimp, I’m guessing it’s because of one or more of the following:
- You’re a paying Mailchimp user who’s fed up with the big bills that roll in every month
- You’re new to email marketing and are conducting some thorough research on all providers compared to the household name that is Mailchimp
- Sendinblue has grabbed your attention with their very affordable, very complete solution that charges per email rather than per contact… but you still don’t know whether to trust it against such a big name
In this comparison, I’m going to cover everything from templates to pricing, so you’re sure to go away with a clear idea of which provider to choose. So let’s dive in!
Ease of Use & Editor
Many people are drawn to Mailchimp because of its seemingly easy to use software. However, because some functions are sometimes hard to find (for instance, how to add opt-in for new sign-ups), I feel it could still be slightly more intuitive for complete beginners.
That said, it does have a well-designed backend that is easy to navigate, and they do a good job of making sure you’ve completed all the necessary steps when setting up a new campaign.
Sendinblue have also done a pretty good job in this regard. Their drag and drop editor is fast and offers all the pre-set options you’ll need. They also guide you through each step so you know that you haven’t forgotten anything.
They also offer the option to revert back to previous versions of the email, which is super useful.
Winner: Both tools have fairly shallow learning curves because of great design and a clear process. This round is a tie!
Design & Flexibility
The design of your emails is important, and many marketers prefer to use the ready-made templates that come with their email marketing provider. It’s therefore very important that there are plenty of attractive, mobile responsive designs on offer and that these can be easily customized.
Mailchimp has more than 100 templates (or ‘themes’, as they call them), which are mobile responsive and not bad looking at all. These are easy to tweak to your liking and can be saved so that you can re-use it across all campaigns. You can also create your own HTML templates via code, URL or .ZIP file.
You can filter the templates by category, making it easier to find what you’re looking for.
You can also do this with Sendinblue, however, there aren’t quite as many designs to choose from and they don’t look quite as modern as Mailchimp’s.
You can create your own template by copy and pasting the HTML into their editor or you can import a template from another account on their platform by using a shared URL. It doesn’t allow you to import a template created on other email marketing or third-party platforms.
Winner: Due to the fact that Mailchimp offers a greater number of more attractive email templates, we’re giving them the point this round.
One thing Mailchimp users have a real issue with is list management, and I totally see why.
Mailchimp’s lists are mutually exclusive. In other words, you can’t include contacts on different lists in the same campaigns. There is also no way to create automations to move subscribers from one list to the other, for example, as there is with GetResponse.
As Mailchimp charge per subscriber, it means that if you have the same contact on different lists, you’ll be paying for them multiple times. I’ve not seen this with any other providers and it’s very off-putting.
Furthermore, Mailchimp has made it all quite complex with their various options and naming conventions; you have audiences (contact lists), segments, tags and groups. No wonder users are so confused.
The process of setting up lists and segmenting contacts is much simpler with Sendinblue. Use contact field criteria and behavior (email opens, clicks, etc.) to filter contacts and save the list to use in your campaigns. You can add multiple conditions.
You can also automate it so that when a new subscriber signs up they are added to a particular list based on a particular condition.
Winner: Sendinblue definitely takes this point!
Mailchimp boasts that they have ‘All the automation triggers’. And whilst that it is the case, the editor isn’t all that visual.
Setting up automations can sometimes feel like a daunting task, which is why it helps to see the flow of your emails and timings laid out like a family tree.
Sendinblue allows you to set up some pretty advanced triggered campaigns, based on contact data, email engagement, web behavior and ecommerce activity.
To be honest, considering how affordable it is, I was surprised to see how extensive Sendinblue’s automation features are. These include lead scoring, the ability to test your campaigns before activating and the ‘Best time’ feature, which allows you to send you campaigns out at the optimal time based on previous campaign performance.
Sendinblue are also transactional email pros, since this is how they started out in 2012.
Winner: Sendinblue bag another point for email automation!
A standard feature, but definitely not something to skip over. Let’s see how easy it is to set up a form in both providers.
First of all, it’s not that easy to know where to go in order to create a registration form in Mailchimp as it doesn’t appear in the main navigation. It’s actually nestled under the ‘Create’ button, along with email, ads, social posts and… postcards (?).
In terms of options, you can create an embedded form, pop-up form or landing page, however, it’s slightly fiddly to set up and not all forms appear to be mobile responsive.
When new subscribers sign up, they’ll be put on the list (or audience) you choose, though they can only be on one if you want to avoid being charged again.
Sendinblue, on the other hand, allows subscribers to select which list(s) they want to be opted into (for example, based on interest or industry), which is pretty cool.
Sendinblue’s recently updated editor is a pleasure to use, making the whole process a breeze.
Winner: Sendinblue strikes again! So that’s 4-2 to Sendinblue.
Though Mailchimp claim that you can use the software as a CRM, it doesn’t really have enough features to warrant the claim. We’d like to see additional options like the ability to upload a file, create a task or assign contacts to specific sales agents.
One thing Mailchimp does offer is a feature called Social Profiles. This allows you to create targeted campaigns based on social media (depending on what your contacts have made publically available). Bear in mind that activating this feature will incur additional charges.
One thing Mailchimp does well is ecommerce data; if your account is connected to your online store, you can see how much revenue each contact has generated.
Sendinblue’s CRM makes it easy to manage contacts by assigning them to different users and allowing you to set tasks and deadlines within each customer profile. You can also see additional information like which web pages they’ve visited but unfortunately this information is not available within the CRM profile directly. There’s no tag to assign a lifecycle stage to a particular contact like you’d see in advanced CRMs such as HubSpot.
Winner: Each provider has good and bad points in this area, which is why we’re giving them a point each.
Spam & Design Testing
Mailchimp and Sendinblue have similarly decent design testing features. Aside from testing in mobile and desktop, they both allow you to test how your email will look on various email clients.
The difference is that though Mailchimp offers more email clients to test on than Sendinblue, it’s not exactly free.
Mailchimp monthly paid plans come with 25 Inbox Preview tokens to use every month. Bear in mind that each individual client you test will use one token and unused tokens are not carried over to the following month. You can, of course, purchase more tokens if you run out.
Sendinblue, on the other hand, doesn’t charge for this feature.
No spam testing is available on either provider.
Winner: This is a tricky one as both providers offer a nice built-in previewer. What tips it in Sendinblue’s favor is the fact that they don’t charge a cent for email client testing.
Both Mailchimp and Sendinblue offer the following reporting features:
- Email performance (opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes, etc.)
- Links clicked
- Automation reports
However, Sendinblue is missing social and ecommerce reports.
You can track conversions through both providers and Google Analytics integration is also available.
Winner: Due to the fact that Mailchimp offers social and ecommerce data, they win this round! Sendinblue 6, Mailchimp 4.
After prepping your email content and design and making sure it looks good on all email clients, you want to be sure that it’ll arrive in your subscribers’ mail boxes. Let’s take a look at how these providers did in this area.
We’ve been tracking the deliverability of the providers we review for a number of years. Overall, Sendinblue doesn’t have as good a sender score as Mailchimp, however, we have seen a big improvement in deliverability in the last year. In fact, Sendinblue took the prize for best deliverability in our latest test.
Here are the average figures of how they performed in our last 3 rounds of deliverability testing (Jan 2019 – Feb 2020):
|Overall Deliverability Rate||84.6%||87.2%|
|Promotions Inbox (Gmail)||26.7%||24.3%|
Winner: In light of Sendinblue’s improvement in our latest tests, they beat Mailchimp this round.
Integrations & Extras
Mailchimp, being as well known as it is, integrates with hundreds of tools. You should be able to connect just about every tool you need, except for Shopify, strangely.
Sendinblue doesn’t have nearly as many direct integrations available, though, like Mailchimp, they are part of Zapier’s library.
Winner: With over 200 integrations, Mailchimp has to take this one. Sendinblue 6, Mailchimp 5.
Both providers have similar support channels available – knowledge base, email, live chat – though, in Mailchimp’s case you have to upgrade to a paid account in order to receive any support.
In the case of Sendinblue, their Help button sometimes shows you different support options (sometimes just their knowledge base). This can be quite frustrating if you need help in the moment and it isn’t available.
In terms of responsiveness, Mailchimp’s live chat was slightly slower than we would expect.
Winner: Due to the fact that it’s almost impossible to get in touch with Mailchimp if you’re on their free plan, we’re giving Sendinblue the point here.
So, we arrive to the final round: pricing.
You’ve probably picked up on the fact that we are not big fans of Mailchimp’s pricing.
Although they offer a freemium and pay as you go plans, the fact that they now charge users for unsubscribed contacts and those who haven’t confirmed opt-in can make this provider quite expensive and therefore unattractive for many marketers and small business owners.
Compared to other email marketing tools they’re not the most expensive, but when put against Sendinblue, Mailchimp comes out pretty steep.
Sendinblue, which doesn’t set a cap on contacts, charges per the number of emails sent. This makes it one of the most affordable all-in-one providers on the market and also a great option for those who have a high number of contacts but send just one or two emails a month.
Let’s take a look at their lowest-level plans to compare:
|SENDINBLUE (LITE)||MAILCHIMP (ESSENTIALS)|
|Free plan||300 emails/day and unlimited contacts||2,000 contacts for free and 10,000 emails per month|
You’ll see there is quite a difference between the two providers in price.
It’s worth noting that Sendinblue’s plans all come with many of the key features, like marketing automation and web tracking included.
In order to unlock Mailchimp’s automation workflows, you’ll need to sign up to their Standard plan ($75 for 5,000 users). If you’re in need of advanced segmentation, comparative reports, multivariate testing and premium support, you’ll need to take out their Pro plan.
Winner: Considering all the features Sendinblue includes (CRM, marketing automation, landing pages, Facebook ads) for such a reasonable price, the point definitely goes to them this round!
Which means we have a winner… Sendinblue! The final score is 9-5.
Detailed Features Comparison (table)
Ease of Use
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Sendinblue vs Mailchimp: Final Thoughts
Mailchimp is a LOT more well-known than Sendinblue:
But as we’ve seen in this Sendinblue vs Mailchimp comparison, notoriety isn’t everything.
Sendinblue is a top choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-use tool that doesn’t skimp on features. You’ll find their prices much more reasonable than Mailchimp’s and their list management to be much less of a headache.
Sendinblue’s improvement in deliverability rates are a sure sign of a top provider and strong Mailchimp competitor.
I think this comparison shows that when you actually break everything down, Mailchimp still has some areas to work on if it wants to be the real champ.
Aside from Sendinblue, there are plenty of other tools out there that give Mailchimp a serious run for their money.
Leave a comment if you have any questions – I’d be more than happy to help!
10 Feb, 2020 – Updated deliverability averages to include latest round. Updated overall score based on this.
Der Beitrag Sendinblue vs Mailchimp – Our Complete Comparison Guide erschien zuerst auf EmailToolTester.com.
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