Sendinblue vs MailChimp: A Complete Comparison
April 24, 2021
Sendinblue and MailChimp are two of the best marketing platforms in the market today. Which of the two is a better fit for your business?
To summarize, Sendinblue is better suited to small businesses and startups with limited budgets. It offers far more features on its free plan, and it has cheaper paid plans than MailChimp, which excels when it comes to customer service and advanced features like CRM.
In this article, we compare strengths and highlight weaknesses to provide accurate and reliable insight into these two platforms. At the end of it, you will know exactly what to expect if you choose either of the solutions for your marketing needs.
This information is based on numerous independent reviews from businesses using either solution for their marketing needs. The features and pricing data is derived from each platform’s official website and is highly accurate and updated.
Why is Sendinblue Better?
It is cheaper for sending bulk emails
If your business sends a high volume of emails every month, then you’re likely to save a lot more (approximately five times more) money by using Sendinblue.
Sendinblue dramatically cuts down the cost of bulk email campaigns because, unlike MailChimp, it is a volume-based marketing service—not a contact-based service like MailChimp.
Take a look at the table below to see just how much cheaper it is to send bulk emails using Sendinblue:
Sendinblue allows you to send large batches of emails at significantly lower costs than MailChimp, which continuously revises your tier plans based on how many contacts you’re reaching.
It offers more features for free
Sendinblue is very budget-friendly, which is why it is a great marketing solution for startups and businesses with limited budgets.
Even with its free plan, you can get access to most of its core features. The only limitation the free plan has is the number of emails you can send monthly.
In comparison, MailChimp’s free plan is quite limited. Transactional emails are not included, and even though you get CRM and contact storage, they are limited to just 2,000 contacts.
Businesses looking to grow using free marketing tools should certainly consider Sendinblue over MailChimp, simply because they get far more features on the free plan.
Here is how the two platforms’ free plans stack up:
Sendinblue’s free plan offers more value when it comes to the number of contacts you can store, marketing automation workflows, and CRM. It also gives you unlimited access to its live chat web feature, 60+ email templates, and free transactional emails.
MailChimp does allow you to send more emails on its free plan and offers features like 1-click marketing automation and customizable sign-up forms.
Nevertheless, it is clear that a small business would benefit more from Sendinblue’s free plan, which offers a generous amount of features at no cost.
Unlimited contacts on every plan (including the free plan)
Sendinblue doesn’t have any contact limits. Whether you’re on the free or premium plan, you can store an unlimited number of contacts. That’s why this marketing platform is better suited to rapidly growing businesses.
The reason why you enjoy unlimited contacts with Sendinblue lies in their pricing structure. Unlike MailChimp, Sendinblue charges you based on the number of emails you send each month—not on the number of contacts in your database.
Most businesses find this to be cheaper. It’s also easier to budget for since you can calculate the number of emails you need to send each month and allocate resources appropriately.
More importantly, this pricing structure is very flexible. You can grow your lists to be as large as you want without necessarily incurring more marketing costs. You only pay more when you’re ready to increase your sending volume.
Even then, upgrading from the free plan gives you a thousand more emails sent each month. Sendinblue’s base plan, which goes for $25 a month, gives you an additional 1,000 emails sent every month for a total of 10,000 emails per month.
There are no additional costs for transactional emails
Many businesses rely on transactional emails like shipping notifications and payment confirmations. If your company is one of them, then you’ll find Sendinblue’s in-built transactional email functionality to be an ideal solution.
That’s because Sendinblue offers you transactional email functionality at no extra cost. On the other hand, MailChimp offers transactional emails as an add-on service that is charged separately from your monthly plan.
Even though both marketing platforms have decent transactional email APIs, MailChimp’s will incur additional costs on top of your monthly spending. You will also be forced to buy transactional emails in blocks of at least 25,000, and these expire at the end of the month.
Sendinblue lets you send transactional emails at no extra cost. However, transactional emails are deducted from your monthly email send limit.
The platform is very user-friendly
Sendinblue is very beginner-friendly. Anyone can utilize its marketing features regardless of whether they possess technical coding knowledge or not.
That’s one of the reasons why small businesses opt for this choice. The interface is straightforward and easy to navigate. Even if you’re unsure how to start, it guides you with prompts and actionable suggestions that get you started on actions like creating an email campaign or uploading your contacts.
There’s no learning curve involved because the platform uses simple language to guide you around its features and functions. Automations make some of the more complex processes (like creating an email campaign from scratch) much simpler, plus you get access to numerous pre-made templates for stuff like transactional emails, promotional SMS campaigns, and more.
It features a drag-and-drop email editor so that you can edit and customize the appearance of your emails using simple click-and-drag procedures. Every customizable feature is easy to manipulate and displays changes in real-time, which helps you learn how the platform works.
MailChimp is not far off in terms of usability, but many users complain about its interface's clunkiness. It looks harder to navigate, and there are not many helpful prompts to guide you along.
That may not be a deal-breaker to businesses that know their way around a marketing platform, but for startups with little technical know-how, Sendinblue seems like the better option.
It offers slightly superior marketing automation
When it comes to marketing automation, Sendinblue has a slight but noticeable edge over MailChimp. The table below illustrates why it is the superior solution as far as marketing automation is concerned.
Sendinblue allows you to access the intuitive workflow editor even on the Free Plan. There’s no limit as to how simple or complex you can make these automation workflows. Companies that need unlimited marketing automation for all their contacts—not just the 2,000 contacts/month allowed on the free plan—can access it in the $65/month plan.
MailChimp offers event-based automation in their $14.99 Standard Plan, which covers 500 contacts. However, the price will go up as you grow your contact list. If you have just 5,000 contacts, you will pay $79.99 a month to use the platform’s automated workflows.
Sendinblue is clearly the more affordable option here because, for $65/month, you can automate workflows for an unlimited number of contacts.
Where Sendinblue Falls Short
It lacks live chat support
The lack of live chat support continues to be the Achilles’ heel of what is otherwise a robust marketing solution. Sendinblue does not offer online live chat support—something that may cost your business when you need the help of customer service to resolve an issue.
Response times are still decent—typically within a few hours to 24 hours after launching a complaint—but the lack of instantaneous communication between customers and customer support isn’t easy to ignore.
This is considered Sendinblue’s greatest weakness to date.
Why is MailChimp Better?
It has a superior marketing CRM
MailChimp’s marketing CRM feature is unrivaled in a number of ways. The platform seems to prioritize customer engagement and analysis over everything, so businesses with sizable CRM needs may find it to be the better solution.
The audience dashboard is a nifty feature that gives you in-depth information about your customers’ needs at a glance. Pre-built segments are automatically created based on criteria such as demographics, customer behavior, and subscriber engagement.
You can also create your segments once you’re familiar with how the platform works. What’s more, this marketing solution allows you to acquire customers with similar traits as your existing audience using Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram.
In comparison, Sendinblue’s CRM feature is a little basic, even though you do get to store contacts, segment lists, and create tasks. When it comes to marketing CRM, MailChimp is head and shoulders above the competition.
It comes with a free website builder
Sendinblue may match most of MailChimp's features, but they’re completely left in the dust when it comes to website services.
MailChimp offers professional website services that include domain hosting and website creation from within the platform. Customers can purchase a custom domain, access unlimited subdomains, and even build out their primary website using MailChimp.
Drag-and-drop functionality makes building a website on MailChimp extremely easy, and their custom domains come with state-of-the-art security in the form of SSL certificates and data encryption. They also allow new businesses to entice their audience with a “coming soon” page containing information about the upcoming launch of a website.
Visitors can still subscribe to receive marketing emails from an incomplete website, which is possible because MailChimp allows businesses to integrate sign-up forms into these landing pages.
It supports far more integrations (over 250)
Both Sendinblue and MailChimp support third-party integrations. However, MailChimp edges the competition out with its much higher plugin compatibility.
If your company doesn’t rely on plugins too much, then Sendinblue’s 60+ integrations may be sufficient to run your business. However, company websites that require lots of plugins to function may be better suited on MailChimp, which supports over 250 integrations.
These include design plugins, tracking plugins, and automation plugins, and there’s a long list of integrations you can include to improve your marketing campaign.
It has an excellent customer support
MailChimp offers stellar customer support. The solution has won several awards for their customer service, and many businesses choose them simply because it’s easier to get access to help when you need it.
Sendinblue does have decent customer service, too—24/7 phone and email support and a comprehensive learning resource library. However, it pales in comparison to MailChimp’s 24/7 email and phone support, a thoroughly stocked support article database, and online live chat support, which records stellar response times.
Customer support is crucial when it comes to marketing solutions because if anything goes wrong, you want it to be resolved as quickly as possible. To that end, MailChimp is the clear winner.
Where MailChimp Falls Short
The more contacts you have, the more you pay
MailChimp has some serious contact limitations. Even its free plan limits you to just 2,000 contacts across all your lists. What’s more, identical contacts listed on multiple lists are counted separately.
You can only enjoy MailChimp’s free plan for as long as you have less than 2,000 contacts, after which you’ll need to upgrade to the base plan at $9.99 a month. Unfortunately, even this base plan is limited, and you’ll only get storage for an additional 500 contacts.
On paper, MailChimp is cost-effective, especially considering its Essentials and Standard base plans only cost $9.99 and $14.99 a month, respectively. However, this price is not static. It is constantly reevaluated based on the number of contacts you have.
The more your business grows, the more you pay to use MailChimp.
Lacks an inbuilt SMS marketing feature
There is a notable lack of an integrated SMS marketing feature on MailChimp, which is something Sendinblue offers right out of the box. It’s hard not to notice the absence of such a crucial marketing tool. It disqualifies MailChimp from being a fully-fledged marketing solution for businesses requiring multiple touchpoints to make a sale.
Nevertheless, the solution offers a sort of concession in the form of plugin compatibility. Whatever features it lacks, including SMS marketing, you can simply add using a plugin of your choice.
Both Sendinblue and MailChimp appear to be decent options with a generous suite of marketing features and functions on paper.
A closer look reveals the stark differences in pricing between the two and shows us why Sendinblue is a much more cost-effective solution.
Nevertheless, MailChimp is an excellent option for businesses with advanced needs and a slightly bigger budget, plus they offer far better customer service than Sendinblue.
In the end, your choice will largely depend on how much you’re willing to spend on a marketing solution.
About THE AUTHOR
After working for multiple digital advertising agencies and managing hundreds of client accounts, spending millions of dollars via Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Native Ads and Direct Media Buying, I took things out on my own and started SparrowBoost. Now, my tight-knit team and I continue to get smarter and more efficient at running our own campaigns and we share our knowledge with you.Learn more about SparrowBoost