Sendinblue vs Mailchimp: Which Email Marketing Platform is Best in 2021?

Are you managing an email marketing campaign?

Maybe you’re getting ready to start one. Or, perhaps you’ve been running campaigns for a while.

If either of those statements is true, then there is a good chance that you’ve considered using an automated email marketing tool for your next campaign.

When you think of email marketing tools – Sendinblue and Mailchimp are the two names that come to mind instantly.

But, which one is the best for your business?

Let’s find out!

Sendinblue vs. Mailchimp: Overview.

Sendinblue:

Sendinblue is a popular email marketing tool aimed to send emails with ease and simplicity in mind. It’s an email marketing automation platform that offers features like autoresponders, built-in analytics, automation workflows, lead scoring, and more.

Some of its key features include:

  • Simple and straightforward drag-and-drop builder.
  • Pre-built customer journeys.
  • SMS marketing.
  • The ability to add AND and OR conditions to email campaigns.
  • Full-fledged CRM tool that lets you schedule tasks, monitor conversations, assign contacts to sales reps.

Mailchimp:

Most people encounter MailChimp before they’re even aware of its existence. Firstly it’s easy to use; secondly – the logo; thirdly – the cartoon mascot is cute; fourth – the platform has been around since 2001.

And most importantly, the all-in-one digital marketing and email marketing solution is actually pretty great and deserves all the accolades it gets.

To give you an overview, MailChimp is a cloud-based email marketing service that allows companies and individuals to create, send, and track email newsletters, mailing lists, sign-up forms, automated workflows, and catalogs.

Some of its key features include:

  • Attractive pre-designed templates.
  • Extensive pre-defined segments.
  • Advanced automation options.
  • In-depth analytics and reporting. It gives you insights into everything you need – geotracking, customer engagement metrics, and more.
  • A/B Testing. It lets you test subject lines, email layout, send time, etc.
  • Straightforward and modern-looking user interface.

Before we get into the detailed comparison, let’s quickly dissect both the marketing tools and get a quick glimpse of everything they have to offer.

Sendinblue vs. Mailchimp: Comparison Table.

Let’s see how these two email marketing platforms stack up against each other:

SENDINBLUE MAILCHIMP
G2 Score 4.6 4.3
What I Liked
  • Full-fledged CRM.
  • Unlimited contacts even with the free plan.
  • Advanced segmentation options.
  • Advanced reporting & analytics.
  • Attractive email templates.
  • Personalized in-app tips and subject line helper.
Cons
  • Templates could be more attractive.
  • Lacks social & conversion data reporting.
  • Doesn’t let you create popup forms.
  • The CRM tool doesn’t let you assign contacts to sales reps.
  • OR condition absent in segmentation.
  • More expensive than its counterparts.
Email Limit With Free Plan 9,000/month (300/day) 10,000/month
Transactional Emails Yes Paid add-on
Segmentation Yes (OR & AND conditions) Yes (only AND condition)
Pre-built Customer Workflow Yes Yes; with paid plans
Social Posting & Scheduling No Yes
Subject Line Helper No Yes
CRM Yes Yes; only for basic contact management.
SMS Marketing Yes No (although, integrates with SimpleTexting)
Live Chat Yes No
Retargeting Ad Campaigns Facebook ads Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads
A/B Testing Yes Yes
Signup Forms Only embedded forms Both embedded & popup forms
Competitor Analysis No Yes
Third-Party Integrations Over 50 native integrations Over 200 native integrations

Sendinblue vs. Mailchimp: Detailed Comparison.

1. Email Builder and Templates.

Being able to build email newsletters and campaigns on your own – without any technical know-how and hiring a developer – is one of the biggest reasons why marketers flock to email tools.

Let’s see what both the email marketing giants have in store when it comes to their builder and email templates.

Sendinblue:

Sendinblue provides you with an intuitive newsletter builder and an HTML editor to create:

  • Campaigns
  • Automated Workflows
  • Transaction Emails

Let’s see how easy, or ahem, difficult it is to build a campaign with Sendinblue.

To start, you’ll have to set up your campaign by adding details like the campaign name, subject line, preview text, from email, and from name. You can also insert personalization elements, like the first name of the receivers.

As you scroll further, you’ll also get options to add a tag, attachments, customize UTM campaign value, activate Google Analytics tracking, and a lot more.

Next, you’ll get to choose from:

  • Drag & Drop Editor (Classic)
  • Rich Text Editor (suitable for creating simple emails)
  • The ability to copy and paste your own HTML code

From here, you can also select from a wide array of in-app templates (65 precisely). Or import a template from your system.

They have templates for multiple categories like ecommerce, tech, gift ideas, follow-up, events, and more.

Choose a template of your liking, and then you’ll be redirected to the easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder.

The builder has everything you need to create a quick campaign.

You can add different content elements, design elements, footer elements, and design elements like title, text, image, etc. Every component inside your email template can be edited with a single click.

The ability to load your previously saved versions is also a bonus.

Finally, you can send your campaign right away, schedule it, or start by sending a test email first.

There’s another option – that is, Send Time Optimization – where Sendinblue itself will send your campaign at the best time possible. This feature is only available with a paid plan, however.

All in all, Sendinblue’s builder is easy to use and provides enough customization options. However, there’s more room for improvement when it comes to their template designs.

Everyone is accustomed to receiving enticing email newsletters and campaigns from brands, so you have to go above and beyond with your email’s design. The good news is that you can import your own templates or modify the built-in ones to a large extent.

Mailchimp:

Mailchimp offers everything – and more – that Sendinblue does.

You’ll get the option to build everything right from the start:

  • Email
  • Customer Journey
  • Landing Page
  • Survey
  • Signup Form
  • Even a postcard
  • And more…

Again, let’s start by building a simple email campaign.

Once you choose the “Email” option, Mailchimp further lets you choose from Regular, Automated, and Plain-Text.

If you proceed with the “Regular” option, you’ll get to choose from multiple layouts, built-in themes, campaigns, and saved templates. You can also code your own template if you want.

Next, you’ll get prompted to choose from two types of builders – MailChimp’s classic drag-and-drop builder or the newly updated builder.

I chose the classic builder here:

This builder is pretty much similar to that of Sendinblue, although Mailchimp has more attractive and modern-looking templates, evidently.

Alternately, if you choose the “Automated” option, you’ll be prompted to choose from various scenarios, such as:

  • Welcome new subscribers
  • Say ‘happy birthday’
  • Share blog updates
  • And a lot more…

And after selecting one of the options, you further get to choose from:

  • Single email
  • Onboarding series
  • Education series

That’s the thing about MailChimp – you get near-unlimited options with every step you take. And these versatile options aren’t overwhelming either since you get brief definitions for all of them.

For this experiment, I chose to create a single email to welcome new subscribers.

You’ll get directed to the builder after clicking on the “Edit” option:

One of the best parts about MailChimp is you’ll get multiple templates for a single scenario. And you can even change your templates in the middle of editing your campaign.

Choose the template you like and then proceed with the editing.

You can modify each element inside the template by clicking on it. There are also options to add more options below each specific element by clicking on the “+” icon.

This is MailChimp’s new builder (that I mentioned above briefly).

While drag-and-drop builders are all the rage, I like this approach better. But it’s subjective and depends on what you prefer.

Additionally, MailChimp also boasts of advanced features like:

  • Subject Line Helper. As you’re writing, the subject line helper gives recommendations on subject line elements like word and character count, emoji, and punctuation use.
  • Dynamic Content
  • Delivery by time zone
  • Personalized recommendations

Winner: MailChimp!

The winner is MailChimp. It has better templates, more layout and theme options, and more features than you’ll probably even need.

However, if you’re a complete novice and want to create a simple campaign within a couple of minutes, Sendinblue is your tool.

2. Segmentation and List Management.

Sendinblue:

While Sendinblue doesn’t offer as many pre-built segmentation options as MailChimp – it provides both OR and AND conditions to create multiple conditions in a single segment. This isn’t possible with MailChimp. (more on this later).

You can also manage your contact list by creating a custom workflow.

But this option will only allow you to add one attribute at a time. To manage several attributes at once, you can use filters within the workflow.

MailChimp:

You can get a holistic view of your email list (MailChimp calls it “Audience”) in the “Audience tab.”

Instantly into the Audience Dashboard, you’ll see your tags, new contacts, a quick glimpse of your inbox, and where your contacts came from.

You’ll see Predicted Demographics on scrolling down – a breakdown of your list by their predicted gender and age. It’s a paid feature, however.

Further down, you’ll see your subscribers sorted by how often they open and click your emails. Often, Sometimes, or Rarely?

So far, so good!

Now, when you click on the “Manage Contacts” option from the top-left drop-down menu, you’ll get all the options to tinker with your list.

Here are all the options you get:

  • View all contacts
  • Add subscriber
  • Unsubscribe people
  • Groups
  • Segments
  • Tags
  • Import history
  • Archive all contacts

That’s a lot to take in. But not too difficult to manage once you get the hang of it.

Let’s see how segments work briefly.

First, you can start with pre-built segments.

You’ll get segments based on language, location, automation activity, conversations activity, date added, etc.

You can create multiple conditions in a single segment to send highly personalized email campaigns.

The only downside with it is that their segments are mutually exclusive. That is, you can only “AND” condition; there’s no way to add “OR” condition.

Sending multiple-segment emails is also going to be costly since MailChimp’s pricing structure is subscriber-based. This means you’ll be charged every time you use a subscriber in your segments.

The “Segmentation” feature allows you to add:

  • Custom audience filtering
  • Combine any/all logic (only with the paid plans)
  • Conditions

Adding tags is also easy with MailChimp. You can either create a tag and contacts one after another or bulk tag contacts.

Winner: Sendinblue!

As with almost every other feature, MailChimp has way more options here as well. But it comes with a price, and the fact that you can’t even add an OR condition to your list is also disappointing.

Sendinblue, on the other hand, is easier to use and lets you add both OR and an AND condition.

3. Marketing Automation.

Sendinblue:

Sendinblue allows you to set up entire customer journeys for different goals.

You can choose customer pipeline blueprints based on goals like:

  • Improve engagement
  • Increase traffic
  • Increase revenue
  • Build relationships

They have multiple workflows for different goals.

One of the best aspects of their customer journey automation is that you get pre-designed journeys.

Here’s an example of their Abandoned Cart workflow:

You’ll be taken to the builder once you click on the “Create” button.

Here, you can further modify the workflow and make it more personalized.

Click on the “+” icon available after every stage to add more actions or rules.

The sheer number of options for “Actions” and “Conditions” you get with Sendinblue is incredible, especially considering how reasonably priced the tool is.

Some unique features are the ability to test your workflow before sending and sending an SMS. There aren’t many email campaign builders that have built-in SMS features.

MailChimp:

MailChimp lets you set automation triggers for almost every subscriber activity and customer behavior.

You can also automate your:

  • Customer journeys
  • Transactional emails
  • Retargeting ads (on Facebook, Instagram, or Google Ads)
  • Postcards

Here’s a quick overview of their customer journeys function.

Initially, you’ll get multiple scenarios for your customer journey’s starting point – based on contact activity, date & special events, shopping activity, marketing activity, and API & integrations.

Once you choose a starting point, you’ll be directed to the drag-and-drop customer journey builder.

The builder is straightforward, and you can also start with pre-built customer journeys or map out one on your own.

Even if you choose to map your customers’ journey on your own, it’s effortless.

You’ll be able to choose from three rules:

  • If/Else
  • Wait
  • Delay

And add the following actions along with the rules:

  • Add to or remove from a group
  • Add or remove a tag
  • Send email
  • Unsubscribe contact

You just have to pick the rules and actions from the leftmost panel and drop them right into the customer journey.

Finally, you can schedule your journey or let MailChimp optimize the send time.

Winner: It’s a Tie!

Both offer pre-built customer journeys and even let you create custom workflows using an intuitive drag-and-drop builder. Both of them also have several branching and starting points.

4. CRM.

Sendinblue:

Sendinblue’s built-in CRM software lets you organize, track, and follow-up with your contacts – all from a single dashboard. You also get a complete overview of all your contacts.

You can organize your contacts based on your business goals, sales funnel, and more.

There are also options to add notes, documents, schedule tasks, and track interactions with your audiences.

You can also get a quick overview of all the deliverability metrics and campaign history for each contact.

To stay organized in your communication with contacts in Sendinblue, you can even assign different teammates to specific contacts.

MailChimp:

MailChimp has an “Audience Dashboard” that gives you a complete overview of your audience, their tags, and engagement metrics. (As we’ve already seen above in the Segmentation & List Management section).

You can also view your complete contact list, with their tags, contact rating, first name, etc.

When it comes to their CRM, there’s not much to write home about.

You can’t add files, notes, assign tasks, or even assign different contacts to different team members.

However, MailChimp’s detailed “Customer Profiles” saves it from getting completely obliterated by Sendinblue’s CRM.

Customer Profiles include every contact detail you’d need to run a more personalized campaign.

Here are all the details you’ll get access to:

  • Activity feed
  • How did they get added (Example, via Embed Form)
  • Opted in date and time
  • Location & Zipcode
  • Metrics like open rate, click rate, total revenue, average order value

Despite this excellent customer overview, MailChimp’s CRM still doesn’t offer enough features to consider it a full-fledged CRM.

Winner: Sendinblue!

Sendinblue’s CRM has a clear edge over MailChimp’s CRM. They let you assign contacts to specific sales reps, schedule tasks, add documents, and more, while MailChimp’s CRM is more like an audience overview tool.

5. Email Deliverability.

Email deliverability in any email marketing tool is one of the most vital factors you need to consider.

This is because no matter how good your email marketing campaign is – if you can’t get past spam filters and land in primary inboxes, then what’s the point?

Here are the email deliverability metrics, taken from a recent report by Email Report Deliverability Tool:

SENDINBLUE MAILCHIMP
Primary Inbox 66.02% 67.60%
Spam 31.00% 29.58%
Undelivered 2.98% 2.82%

Considering these results, MailChimp has better results in every department than Sendinblue.

Winner: MailChimp!

6. Landing Pages, Pop-ups, and Registration Forms.

Attractive landing pages, pop-ups, and sign-up forms are essential if you want to boost your conversion rate and grow your email list.

Let’s see who’s the winner here.

Sendinblue:

Sendinblue has a simple sign-up form builder that lets you customize your form to your liking.

While the builder is nothing special and there are no template options either – it allows your subscribers to choose their subscriptions. This means you can add a field in your form that lets your audience opt for a specific list.

To create landing pages with Sendinblue, you’ll have to upgrade to their Premium plan (starting at $65/month) at least. Unlike signup forms, they do have pre-made templates for landing pages.

MailChimp:

MailChimp enables you to create two types of opt-in forms – embeddable forms and popup forms.

Just like Sendinblue, the form builder is pretty basic, albeit with tons of form field options.

For pop-up forms, you get to choose from multiple layouts, though.

There are 10 attractive templates with different goals for landing pages, including accepting payments, lead generation, promoting products, and growing your email list.

MailChimp landing pages

The landing page builder is similar to the email campaign’s drag-and-drop builder.

Aside from landing pages and registration forms, MailChimp lets you create social media posts and surveys to gather customer feedback.

Winner: MailChimp!

7. Insights and Analytics.

Email marketers these days are all about the data. Over time, I’ve seen an increasingly burning need for advanced metrics, data visualizations, and insight into individual customers.

Let’s see how these two giants perform in this department.

Sendinblue:

Sendinblue lets you track your campaigns in real-time.

You’ll get access to:

  • Open and click rates by domain and time
  • Geolocation statistics
  • Device statistics

They also have a built-in heatmap tool that lets you identify where exactly contacts click within your email.

MailChimp:

MailChimp has one of the best reporting tools in the industry.

For starters, you get an overview of:

  • Audience Performance (open rate, click rate, subscribe data, unsubscribe rate)
  • Audience growth
  • Top locations
  • Links clicked
  • Where your subscribers are opting from
  • ROI with revenue reports
  • Your open, click and unsubscribe rates against your competitors

You can also view your overall audience performance from the Audience dashboard (as in the image below) – or view reports for different campaigns, landing pages, forms, etc.

You can even turn on click tracking on your emails. This will allow MailChimp to analyze how users interact with your email.

You’ll get access to “Click Maps” to discern where exactly your leads are clicking the most on your email campaigns.

For instance, in the Click Map below, you’ll notice that CTA buttons drew more attention than links.

Other than this, MailChimp lets you run multivariate tests, A/B test your subject lines, email content, send times, from names – along with how many subscribers will receive your test emails.

Winner: MailChimp!

MailChimp is the clear winner with more intuitive and detailed reporting. It also has ecommerce, conversion, and social reports – which are absent in Sendinblue.

8. Customer Support.

Customer support is the proverbial glue that holds everything together. Without reliable customer support, it won’t matter how beautiful the templates are or how versatile the automation options are.

Here’s a quick comparison of MailChimp and Sendinblue customer support:

SENDINBLUE MAILCHIMP
Extensive Knowledge Base Yes Yes
Video Tutorials Yes Yes
Email Support Yes Yes; Only the first 30 days with the free plan.
Live Chat Support No Yes (with the paid plans only)
Phone Support Only with $65+ per month plans Only with the $312.37+ per month plan

Winner: Sendinblue!

Sendinblue is the clear winner here since they give you email support even with the free plan. On the other hand, MailChimp doesn’t offer any help with the free plan. If you’re stuck, you’re stuck!

9. Pricing Plans.

Both MailChimp and Sendinblue offer a freemium plan, along with four paid plans.

Sendinblue charges based on the number of emails sent and lets you add unlimited contacts on every plan – even the free plan.

On the other hand, MailChimp charges based on the number of contacts. This means the cost would increase with your subscriber count.

Note that MailChimp’s pricing model would cost you little to nothing if you’re planning to send only a couple hundred emails per month. However, the cost is likely to grow if you are a high-volume email sender.

Here are some of the factors that might rankle you (and rightly so) about MailChimp’s pricing:

  • They charge you every time you use a specific contact in multiple-nested segments.
  • You’ll be charged even after the subscriber unsubscribes from your list (unless you archive the contact yourself).

These two factors can make your prices go up exponentially.

Let’s take a quick look at their plans and the base cost of each plan:

Sendinblue Pricing MailChimp Pricing
Free Plan

9,000 emails/month, unlimited contacts

Free Plan

10,000 emails/month, up to 2,000 contacts

Lite – Starts at $22.5/mo paid annually

For up to 10,000 emails/mo, unlimited contacts

Essentials – Starts at $10.46/mo

For up to 5,000 emails/mo, 500 contacts

Premium – Starts at $58.5/mo paid annually

For up to 20,000 emails/mo, unlimited contacts

Standard – Starts at $15.62/mo

For up to 6,000 emails/mo, 500 contacts

Enterprise – Custom Plan Premium – Starts at $312.37/mo

For up to 150,000 emails/mo, 10,000 contacts

Sendinblue is undoubtedly cheaper than MailChimp, with a much simpler pricing structure. No matter what plan you choose, you already get unlimited contacts, allowing you to focus on the emails/month alone while choosing a suitable plan for your requirement.

Final Verdict.

Sendinblue vs Mailchimp. Both have their fair share of advantages and downsides. They also have flexible pricing plans, suitable for all types of business, from small businesses to large enterprises.

But, which email marketing tool is most suited for your requirements?

Go with Sendinblue if you need:

  • To send transactional emails.
  • Better segmentation options.
  • A reasonably priced MailChimp alternative.
  • A full-scale CRM tool with your email marketing
  • To integrate SMS marketing and a live chat tool.
  • An all-in-one email marketing tool at a reasonable price.

Go with MailChimp if you need:

  • To create attractive email campaigns and landing pages.
  • To create popups.
  • More in-app integrations.
  • In-depth analytics and reporting.
  • In-app recommendations and subject line helper.
  • To run retargeted ads on Facebook, Google, and Instagram.

If your search for the best email marketing software doesn’t end here, you might want to read my comprehensive review and comparison of Mailerlite and MailChimp.

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Deepti Jain

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