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Ankit Prakash in Email Marketing, Marketing

SendinBlue vs Mailchimp – All-in-one tool for small business

If you are an entrepreneur, you will agree that without digital marketing there’s no way you can propel your business to success. It is 2017 and digital marketing is mighty powerful now. Irrespective of how big or small your business is – you must take a plunge into the world of digital, and you must do it now.

Narrowing the discussion a bit, according to a McKinsey & Company study, emails are 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. In the eCommerce industry, for instance, emails perform well and prompt the consumers to make purchases, with the average order value increasing by 17 per cent.

No matter what people say about email marketing, this tactic can never die or be overpowered by other strategies such as push or social media. Email holds a very special place in the world of digital marketing and every business must include it as a core aspect of its direct marketing efforts. SMS’ are still huge as people haven’t stopped sending messages.

Email marketing, if done right, is three times more powerful for driving conversions than any social media activities. Emails have proved their effectiveness as a top-notch marketing channel by achieving a ROI of 3800%! And if you are careful with the content going out as text messages to your target audience, you will get favourable results.

SendinBlue

When the platform seems to be so promising, why hesitate to purchase a software that can make your life easier!? This is where SendinBlue steps in. Headquartered in Paris, France, this email marketing solution was designed with a view to fulfill just one aim: to offer a specific type of platform to businesses that helps them achieve their marketing goals and empower their customers with focused knowledge and to build and grow relationships with them.

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SendinBlue is used by over 50,000 users across 140 countries. The software pushes out 3 Cr emails and 50 lac SMS’ a month. So you can imagine that it is popular, in demand and easily one of the most loved software in the world.

There are three core elements of SendinBlue:

1) Marketing campaigns

Businesses – irrespective of size and industry – can leverage email and SMS marketing campaigns to inform, engage and convert. “Too much” is “too less” for the modern customer, and the sooner businesses realize this, the better it is.

2) Transactional messaging

Today’s consumers like to be treated special. Personalized messages are preferred more than generic messaging. If you can predict their future needs and desires and offer them exactly that, they will become loyal customers to you. SendinBlue helps you create transactional messages.

3) Automation

If your efforts are not automated, you are wasting time and money. With this marketing software, you can be assured to receive the right support system to guide customers through a personalized buying journey.

Features

1) Email designer

Design plays a huge role in marketing. With the right kind of design, color palette and branding, you can breathe in life to your campaigns. SendinBlue makes it really easy for novice marketers to create email layouts that are just spectacular.

It offers a drag and drop option to create emails faster and a template gallery comprising fantastic designs. Whatever emails you create on SendinBlue will be responsive across all platforms, especially, mobile. A majority of consumers check their emails on phone, right? Yes!

email-designer-sendingblue

There is also an Inbox Preview that helps you test and optimize your marketing campaigns before sending to your target customers. This way, you will always know what your communication emails looked like to your customers.

2) Contact management

Over the course of time, you would have created a database of all contacts. Managing them all can be real pain but not if you use SendinBlue. It offers an advanced search and segmentation feature to sort out, filter and categorize contacts as per your past and future campaigns.

You can create lists that update automatically based on your criteria. Since you can segment contacts, you will realize you can accordingly create contact forms to engage and connect with your audience. SendinBlue also enables you to upload unlimited contacts without any restrictions.

sendin-blue-contact-management-features

It is a lot of fun if you are a big organizer of things and have a string of marketing campaigns lined up. This feature will help you have control over the communication you wish to have with your consumers.

3) Campaign reports

Running a campaign? You can view its analysis in real-time on your dashboard. You can even download the results in PDF or CSV formats for easy viewing. SendinBlue allows you to pinpoint the exact demographic from which you have received the maximum engagement.

The tool allows you to determine the buttons, CTAs and links which triggered the maximum clicks on a web page. You can even use your recipients’ most used email platforms and devices to optimize your campaigns.

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Basically – it has a strong reportage feature. If you have all the data right in front of you regarding your campaigns, it becomes a lot easier to learn from the mistakes and gauge the performance metrics.

4) Marketing automation

Marketing automation is all about analyzing data and using it properly to predict the consumer’s’ next move. SendinBlue is completely on board with this, which is why automating campaigns is a fun challenge for marketers on this tool.

SendinBlue enables the marketers to create multi-step, multi-channel campaign flowcharts in minutes. Since SendinBlue is not just restricted to sending emails, one can also include text messages in the campaign flowchart.

With SendinBlue, you can retarget warm leads based on your response to emails and SMS campaigns, and even track the performance of your campaigns. Creating customer journeys is easier than ever!

marketing-automation-sendinblue

SendinBlue also enables you to create professional email templates, personalize sign-up firms and segments your contacts as per your usage and convenience – all from the same dashboard! You can fully integrate the software to your website so that you have the flexibility to define events specific to just your purchase cycle.

This also makes it easier for you to track and follow up on product purchases, abandoned carts and much more! The core aspect of SendinBlue is marketing automation, and it truly lives up to its name.

5) Transactional messaging

SendinBlue ensures your messaging is actually delivered and that it doesn’t get stuck in the servers. It also logs all the emails, text messages, app alerts and other push notifications that have gone out from SendinBlue, so that if you want to go back and see something, you can.

Through SendinBlue, you can create custom, dynamic messages with our powerful API. The tool also gives real-time reports on the performance of the messaging sent through the product.

transactional-messaging-sendinblue

6) Deliverability

If you use a third party tool to send your communication, you must do a thorough analysis of its credibility and reputation. Every tool uses its own IP address to send emails, SMS’, etc. You have one too. If the server is poor or is not recognized or reputed enough, it gets blocked by Google, Yahoo! And Microsoft and hence, the communication never reaches any of these inboxes.

SendinBlue allows you to choose the right IP solution to fulfill your requirements. You can easily manage large volume circulation by creating and managing dedicated IP pools. As mentioned before, monitor your dedicated IP’s reputation by leveraging SendinBlue’s easy-to-use tools.

The software also ensures security and authentication. You can use SPF, DKIM and DMARC security protocols and a dedicated IP to securely sign emails with your domain and completely control your reputation.

This way you can always be assured of your emails reach the inboxes of your consumers. After all – if your communication doesn’t reach to the target market on time, what’s the point of working so hard on a campaign? Every effort counts, and has to yield results, right?

eCommerce

As mentioned earlier, SendinBlue caters to all kinds of industries. And one such industry is that of eCommerce. SendinBlue was originally designed to cater to eCommerce businesses and then evolved to be the tool that you see and use today.

So whenever a transaction takes place on your online store, the transaction details automatically show up in your SendinBlue contacts dashboard. From the amount and date of the order to the order ID – you get an access to all the details relating to your sales.

Having said that, you can also create segments of your contacts depending upon their browsing history on your website, their purchase behaviour and other buying patterns. This, in turn, helps you to automate your marketing campaigns better.

SendinBlue also makes it easy to create automated trigger marketing flowcharts. If you have created a field called “ORDERS_100DAYS” (sum of orders over the past 100 days) which must be greater than $100. This way, your choice of message will be sent to those contacts who meet this particular requirement.

To help you monitor your business performance closely, SendinBlue also allows you to create your own KPIs. These are personalized metrics that you define on the basis of multiple transactional fields in your dashboard. To define the formulas, all you have to do us just use SUM, COUNT and IF.

Integrations

WordPress, Drupal, WooCommerce, Wix, Shopify, Google Analytics, Facebook and Salesforce are just some of the apps and tools that can be integrated with SendinBlue.

integrations-sendinblue

APIs

SendinBlue is a flexible solution and you can create custom integrations with the website, app or services using the tool’s powerful API that can be accessed in a variety of programming languages. You can even install SendinBlue plugins with popular eCommerce systems and CMS platforms. Not only this, you can even setup real time connections using webhooks – that are flexible elements themselves. Given the number of apps that can be integrated with SendinBlue, it makes sense to have effective API capability on the system, and this software takes care of that!

Pricing

If you are just starting out and the influx of emails and text messages is not much, then you can begin your journey with SendinBlue with the Free version. If you opt for the first paid package, you can easily send 40k emails in a span of just one month. The package costs INR 443.65. And it just keeps getting better if you are a big business and want to send more communication emails and messages. With all the four packages, you will get basic support in terms of contact management, marketing, transactional, reporting, support and integrations. You can check out the complete pricing card here:

You can also buy SMS credits as per your usage and convenience. All you have to do is get an estimate of the number of SMS’s you plan to send on an average. To make things easier for the reputation of the brand, you can even buy a dedicated IP for a year for just INR 8727. SendinBlue takes care of everything – you just need to have clarity in terms of the marketing goals you plan to achieve.

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You can start using SendinBlue for free and send up to 9,000 emails a month. No credit card required. No contact details to be submitted. Starting the trial is easy-peasy.

MailChimp

With a customer base of 12 million, who send more than 1 billion emails every day, this email software is a hot favourite among many eCommerce companies that want to scale their operations at a much faster pace. MailChimp’s tagline is “everyone starts small, but with the right resources”.

Features

1. Simple sign up

It is pretty simple to create a free account on MailChimp. Oh, and you can use it for free for forever. You don’t need to submit any credit card and contact details. An email ID and a username suffice.

2. User-friendly interface

The elements on the dashboard are user-friendly. You can upload your contacts, create lists, invite your colleagues, etc. in a simple manner. It is easy to navigate and find your way around the software.

GetResponse vs MailChimp interface

3. Multiple campaigns

There are a total of four campaigns that can be created on MailChimp. First is the regular campaign – where you can design and customize the template and content. This is the most commonly used campaign option. Second is the plain text campaign which enables the users to send plaintext emails. This one’s good to send like really simple emails – nothing fancy – to the consumers.

Then there is an A/B testing campaign which enables the users to test their subject lines and other email elements and to optimize their email marketing campaign. The last one is the RSS campaign wherein the user can combine the MailChimp templates with the RSS feed – sounds cool, right?

GetResponse vs MailChimp template editor

4. A/B testing functionality

Today, this feature has become a rather usual component of all marketing tools. It is a little absurd to use a tool that doesn’t have this functionality. MailChimp allows the users to create and execute a variety of split tests – on the basis of subject lines, send time, content, “from name”, etc. MailChimp guarantees top results with the A/B testing feature.

GetResponse vs MailChimp ab testing

5. Process of sending messages

MailChimp offers a rather simple drag-and-drop feature to help even the novice marketers to quickly create a templates with all the elements of their own choice. But first – you need to choose from a plethora of templates that this email software already offers.

MailChimp makes sure that it is simple to create fancy emails. You can even use a paid feature called the “Timewarp” to make sure your emails will be received by your target audience at a decided time – but in their respective time zones. This means, a consumers in the US will receive the email at 10 in the morning, must like his India counterpart – who will also receive it at 10am IST.

paid-mailchimp- MailChimp vs GetResponse

6. Time optimization

MailChimp also calculates the best time to send emails to a particular segment of consumers to achieve the best results. This way, you can save the emails from getting lost in the consumer’s inbox. But this a paid feature; if you are using the free versions, you might have to give your best guess.

7. Built-in forms

If an email software can’t create built-in forms, then what’s the point? MailChimp has a drag-and-drop feature that is probably the best thing about this tool. Building such forms within the emails becomes so much easier. The subscriber can not only read the email but also fill in his or her details in the form real quick.

8. Contact management system

In the free version, you can add up to 2000 unique contacts. You can create multiple lists – depending upon the demographics, purchase behaviours, buying patterns, gender, etc. This is important because it helps you segment and then create personalized campaigns accordingly.

You can also add subscribers from sign up forms on the Facebook page, web, etc. MailChimp helping in boosting customer engagement numbers and thus generating a loyal list of customers.

9. Automation – the most significant element in tools

Although this is a paid feature, automation is quite an interesting feature of MailChimp. You can create workflows to initiate trigger messages – just like any other advanced marketing software. You can also create a series of targeted emails that trigger whenever there is an activity by the subscriber. You can even create your own trigger rules. Once again, it is quite simple to automate on MailChimp.

marketing-automation-mailchimp

The “automation” feature is quite handy in the eCommerce sector wherein there is a high rate of browser and cart abandonment. Consumers have to be consistently reminded about the brand and product. So to be bring them back to the website, such automated emails work the best. It also enables you to create a string of customary emails to acquaint the new customer or website visitor about the products and services of your online store.

Integration

There is not one tool that can’t be integrated with MailChimp. In the area of integration, this tool is an undeafeated champ – not even one email software comes close to it. WordPress, Blackbaud, Eventbrite, ExpressionEngine, Salesforce, Google Contacts, Facebook, Formstack, Freshbooks, Gravity, Hootsuite, Microsoft Dynamics, Flickr, Joomla, Highrise, Google Analytics, and more. It reaches to a wide variety of apps and tools from across backgrounds and industries.

integration-mailchimp

API

MailChimp is known to have a very complex yet flexible API documentation. It enables you to quickly adapt your email marketing to sustain the workflow created by you for automation campaigns. By the way, did you know you could create vidual workflows in the email marketing software too?

SendinBlue vs. MailChimp

Both tools serve many great purposes to marketers and help them execute effective marketing campaigns. But just because company A likes SendinBlue doesn’t mean company B can’t opt for MailChimp for its email marketing activities. Here is a comparative analysis of both the tools:

1. Multiple contact lists

MailChimp allows you to create various different lists but it restricts you from sending a single email to more than one list at a time. If you don’t want this restriction hampering your productivity, you might have to look at other options such as SendinBlue. In MailChimp, you will have to clone the campaign and then use the other lists.

2. Clientele

MailChimp is a brilliant tool but its clientele is from limited industries. Its major clients are eCommerce, solo-preneurs, individual marketers, small businesses, etc. It is not a tool that would appeal to anyone and everyone. If you think MailChimp suits your business requirements, then go ahead with it. Otherwise, please look for other options. SendinBlue, on the other hand, has a lot many customers from various industries and background.

3. Visual automation

In MailChimp, you can’t create visual workflows, like other tools such as SendinBlue, where you can see which response will trigger when. You also can’t use this feature in MailChimp for free. You have to pay for it. But what’s the point when you can’t see your own flowcharts for assessments!

4. Support system

If you are using the trial version of MailChimp, you will not get any kind of support. It is a little frustrating for someone who is just starting out. You will also not find multi-lingual support in MailChimp – which means countries like France and Spain where businesses prefer to retain their company websites in the local language will have a hard time getting the required support from MailChimp.

5. Pricing

MailChimp is an eCommerce centric email marketing solutions tool. It is known for its easy interface, multiple layouts and the fact that it is free forever if you are happy with the services you receive in the free package. But the only catch is MailChimp is expensive.

If you compare it with SendinBlue, you will realize the difference between the two products in terms of pricing, apart from the fact there is a difference in the features as well. For instance, if you want to send 5,000 emails one time per month, you only need to pay $7.37 to SendinBlue. But if you are using MailChimp, the cost touches as high as $50.

6. Multi-channel automation

The product MailChimp also lacks multi-channel automation. This means that you can create email flowcharts for triggered marketing, but when it comes to integrating an SMS strategy in your plan, you will have to think twice.

Conclusion

SendinBlue is best all-in-one tool for bloggers, businesses and solopreneurs when it comes to digital marketing; MailChimp is more for eCommerce stores. Take your pick!

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