Today we are looking at a relatively new email and SMS marketing service called SendinBlue. This service was launched in 2012 and aims to compete with the other marketing newsletter services by being easier to use and more accessible.
The service also integrates well with WordPress, making it easy to manage your account from within your site’s dashboard by using the free official plugin. With a free pricing plan that allows you to send 300 emails per day (9,000 emails per month), SendinBlue could be just the tool you are looking for if you are yet to start your email subscriber mailing list. Thanks to its easy to use interface and feature set, it could also be a great option for those thinking about changing mailing list providers.
To find out if this service is the right choice for you and your website read on for our SendinBlue review.
SendinBlue is a service that allows you to send email and SMS to your list of contacts or subscribers. The service has been created to appeal to both beginners and advanced users.
Just like WordPress aims to democratize publishing, SendinBlue hopes to democratize email marketing by providing a service that anyone can use, while still being powerful enough for businesses and large organizations to benefit from.
Features of SendinBlue
While there are plenty of email marketing services that are already established, many with strong integration and support for WordPress, SendinBlue aims to separate itself from the competition by making the process of managing your subscriber list and creating stylish email and SMS campaigns as easy as possible.
While it’s a hosted service like many of the other popular email marketing services, the free plugin integrates many of the features of SendinBlue into your WordPress dashboard for easy access.
SendinBlue Feature List Overview:
- Free entry level pricing plan
- Free WordPress plugin for seamless integration
- Send email and SMS campaigns
- Drag and drop builder for creating campaigns
- Create mobile responsive email campaigns
- Use triggers to automate your marketing efforts
- Get detailed statistics on subscriber interactions including email heat maps
- Integrates with popular optin form sign up plugins
As you can see SendinBlue has some useful features to help you create and manage your email newsletter. So let’s take a look at some of those features in more detail.
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Free Entry Level Plans
While the free entry level plan only allows you to send 300 emails a day, if your list of contacts is larger than 300, you can use the handy requeue feature of SendinBlue to resume sending out your campaign to your contacts the following day when your quota is reset. This allows you to send up to 9,000 emails in a month on the free plan.
WordPress users get an even easier time than regular users of the service. This is thanks to the free plugin which integrates your SendinBlue dashboard into your WordPress dashboard, this allows you to manage your lists, create campaigns, view your statistics, and build your optin form.
Useful Statistics Reports
SendinBlue gives you access to some useful data in the statistics section of your account dashboard.
From the report, you can find out the following information for each campaign you’ve sent out:
- Total number of campaigns sent
- Total number of individual emails sent
- Total number of people who opened an email at least once
- Total number of people who clicked a link at least once
- Total number of unsubscribes
- Total number of hard bounces or permanent delivery fail
- Open rate
- Click rate
The data can be filtered according to date, allowing you to see the reports for a custom date period, as well as just a single campaign.
You also get access to a nice looking overall report that allows you to quickly see the number of opens, the physical location of your subscribers, the browser they were using, and other useful information.
Premium users also get access to heat map analytics for their campaigns. This report visually indicates the areas that in your campaign that had the most activity in terms of clicks.
Migration from Other Services
If you are already using an email marketing service, making the switch to SendinBlue doesn’t mean losing your valuable subscriber list. If you can export your existing list as a CSV or TXT file, with each value separated with a semi-colon, then it can be imported into SendinBlue.
Using SendinBlue Email Marketing
If you are a WordPress user using SendinBlue, then it is definitely a good idea to install the free plugin to integrate the service with your site’s dashboard.
Once you’ve created your free SendinBlue account and installed the plugin you can then connect your site and your account together by using the provided API key.
The plugin then lets you manage your account directly from within your WordPress website. This allows you to create new lists of subscribers, send email and SMS campaigns, and view your account statistics.
This is all very convenient as you now no longer need to log into an additional website to manage your subscriber list and campaigns, turning your WordPress website into a fully functioning communication hub.
However, you do get access to additional features and settings through your account dashboard on the SendinBlue website. This means it’s well worth logging in to see what’s on offer even if you are using the plugin.
Creating a New List
SendinBlue allows you to create multiple subscriber lists. If you are using WordPress and the official plugin, you can do this right from within your site’s admin dashboard.
Simply click on the Lists item on the SendinBlue sidebar menu and then click on the Add a new list button.
When creating the list you can then add contacts manually or import them by uploading a file if necessary. As this service allows you to send both emails and SMS, when adding a new contact you can enter one or both of these contact details for each subscriber.
You can also manage your contacts or subscribers directly from your WordPress admin area. The contact information is all visible from your dashboard and can be searched and filtered as necessary.
When it comes to sending out a message by creating a new campaign, this can also be done through your WordPress admin area.
From the options you can use the drag and drop newsletter builder, the WYSIWYG editor, paste HTML code, or use the responsive design builder to create your campaign message that will be sent to your contacts.
The drag and drop builder lets you simply drag and drop the available elements into place to build the email that will be send out to your list. This tool is very easy to use and lets you quickly create a feature rich and attractive message.
The WYSIWYG editor is a bit more basic and gives you a blank canvas to work from where you can enter your text and format it using the visual editor.
The responsive design builder option allows you to create some really advanced layouts for your campaign, using a range of images, multiple columns, and a lot more. Each layout is built to be responsive for subscribers opening their emails on a range of devices from desktops, to tablets, to smartphones.
After you’ve created your message you can then select the recipients that will be sent the campaign. When selecting the recipients you can send the campaign out to one or multiple lists, as well as also applying a filter to the lists to select the contacts that meet your requirements.
By creating a filter you can choose to include or exclude contacts who have or have not read, opened, clicked, or received previous campaigns that you’ve sent out.
The next step is to schedule your campaign by entering the date and time it will be sent. Alternatively you can chose to send it immediately, as soon as it is ready to go.
Creating the Sign Up Form
If you are using the free WordPress plugin to integrate SendinBlue with your website, you can also create and edit the sign up form for your lists from within your site’s dashboard. However, if you really want to create attractive sign up forms, then you will need to do so through your account dashboard on the SendinBlue website.
The form builder you can access from your WordPress dashboard lets you select which fields to display from the following options:
If you are using the form tools that are accessible from your WordPress dashboard, you don’t get a visual editor to build the form, or any templates for changing its appearance. However, you can edit the HTML to customise the form. Once you’ve set the form up as you want it, you can then insert it into your content using the shortcode.
The form functionality is pretty basic so you will probably need to use a dedicated WordPress optin form plugin to get the maximum conversion rates on your site, providing it includes support for SendinBlue.
The form builder on the dashboard of the SendinBlue website is a little more featured, but still probably won’t be enough for most users, especially those that want to add horizontal optin forms to their content or lightbox popups.
SendinBlue has a very flexible pricing structure with a free plan you can start out on for no cost, with the option of upgrading to increase your capacity as your requirements grow.
There are subscriptions plans, pay as you go, and SMS-only plans available, giving you even more options for using this service as a premium customer.
To view all the available options, visit the pricing plans page.
If you are interested in creating a mailing list for your website and are looking for a service that integrates with WordPress and will allow you to manage the service directly from within your site’s admin dashboard, then SendinBlue is one option you should add to your shortlist.
For anyone who wants to start creating a list of subscribers they can contact via SMS, then SendinBlue is also a cost effective way to get started. With SMS plans costing as low as 100 SMS credits for $1.34, depending on your location, SendinBlue is a great way to start experimenting with SMS campaigns for little financial outlay.
While the form builder and form options are limited, popular sign up form plugins like OptinMonster are compatible with SendinBlue, allowing you to add a range of professional optin forms to your website to increase conversion rates.
With a free plan that lets you send 9,000 emails a month, there is little to lose in trying out SendinBlue to build a mailing on your WordPress website.