Are you here to read my unbiased comparison on Sendinblue vs SendGrid?
Let me guess, you have successfully created your website or launched your eCommerce store and are looking for the best email marketing service.
Am I right?
No, no, I am not a fortune teller or a hand reader… This is what a normal business owner would do when he is looking for an ideal email marketing solution.
I also know that you have read a lot of blogs that showcase the “best email marketing services”. And, from those blog posts, you have shortlisted Sendinblue and SendGrid.
Now, you are in a dilemma as to which service will be good for your business.
Don’t worry, this extensive comparison of SendGrid vs Sendinblue explores all the differentiating factors and what makes them unique. By the end of this article, I am sure that you would be able to decide which service to opt for.
Full disclosure, I am currently using Sendinblue. But this doesn’t mean that my views and opinions will be biased. On the contrary, this comparison between Sendinblue & SendGrid will tell you why I have opted for Sendinblue.
Let’s get started with…
Sendinblue vs SendGrid – Brief Introduction
Before I set both the services out on the battlefield, I would like to briefly talk about them.
This is nothing special. I just want you to know how & when were these services founded, experience level, customer base, etc.
What Is Sendinblue?
Sendinblue was an email marketing service. But since its recent development changes, it has grown from just an email marketing service to a complete digital marketing solution.
This means that in addition to email marketing capabilities, you will also have the access to other marketing modules such as CRM, SMS marketing, Live Chat, SMTP Relay, and much more.
Ever since its launch in 2012, Sendinblue aspired to revolutionize the business of its clients. Speaking of which, you would be surprised to know that it caters to more than 175,000 users.
And, in this huge clientele, there are some popular names such as CodeinWP, Louis Vuitton, Tissot, Fujitsu, and many more…
What Is SendGrid?
When it comes to SendGrid, it is one of the most popular names in the email marketing industry.
Unlike Sendinblue, SendGrid stayed an email marketing service and improved its performance over the years. So if you were to opt for SendGrid, you will have access to its SMTP Relay API or the complete email marketing campaigns module.
SendGrid was founded in 2009. It means that it has more experience in email marketing than Sendinblue. But it doesn’t mean Sendinblue is in any way inferior to it.
Although, one cannot ignore the fact that over 80,000 users use SendGrid to send more than 70 billion emails in a month. Honestly, that’s a very big number and a huge trust in SendGrid, by its users.
SendGrid also caters to some big names like Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, Yelp, etc.
Now that you know the brief history of both the services, it’s time for us to compare them in detail.
Comparing Sendinblue & SendGrid On Different Factors
You cannot blindly compare an apple and a pineapple. There are certain judgemental factors that must be kept in mind.
Similarly, in the case of SendGrid vs Sendinblue, I am comparing them on the basis of –
- Ease of use
- Email deliverability
- Feature package
Now that we have set the ground rules, let’s begin the comparison…
1. Sendinblue vs SendGrid – Ease Of Use
The kick things off, the first factor that you must consider while comparing any email marketing services is its ease of use.
You don’t want to spend your money on a complicated service. That would be a complete waste of your money and also your valuable time.
Therefore, the ease of use in email marketing services remains an important factor.
How Easy Is Sendinblue?
To start using Sendinblue, you must obviously sign up for the service. Sign up process is extremely seamless. All you have to do is fill up a few details and you are good to go.
Once you have successfully signed up and verified your account, Sendinblue will provide you with the setup wizard. It will inform you about the important steps you must perform to complete your account profile.
Some of these tasks include –
- Complete your profile form
- Import all of your contacts
- Schedule your first email campaign
One thing to note after accessing your Sendinblue dashboard is that all the available features & modules are methodically arranged in the sidebar and topbar. This makes it easier for you to access.
And, not to forget, the complete user interface is very clear and simple to understand.
To further explore the ease of Sendinblue, I will try to create an email template with its builder.
Sendinblue Email Builder
The Sendinblue email builder is available under the Campaigns module. You can also use 50+ readymade email templates and edit them as per your needs or you can start from scratch.
That’s what I am going to do.
After completing the required steps, you will have the access to the Sendinblue email builder.
Once you enter the builder area, you will notice that it is strategically distributed in 3 sections –
- For design elements
- Live preview or builder area
- Elements customizer and settings area
While the elements can be dragged and dropped anywhere in the builder area, the elements customizer ensures that it matches your brand style.
Once you complete the design, all you have to do is click the Save & Quit button.
At this point, I can safely say that Sendinblue is quite easy to begin with and also easy to use. Also, creating an email template is a cakewalk.
How Easy Is SendGrid?
Just like Sendinblue, you must first sign up on SendGrid to start using it. Believe it or not, both Sendinblue and SendGrid have a similar type of sign up process.
In SendGrid, you’d have to sign up and then provide certain details like business name, website, etc.
Once you submit this detail, you must also verify your account as well.
After this, SendGrid too provides a setup wizard to help you get started. However, the steps you need to complete are different in the case of SendGrid –
- Create your Sender Identity
- Sending your first email either via SMTP or marketing campaigns
- Verify your account
Until here, you’d find SendGrid quite easy to use. But when you look for quick navigation, they are available only on the left-hand sidebar. Each item has a drop-down menu.
Honestly, to me, it felt a bit complicated to find the required feature or module.
Take drag & drop builder for instance, after searching for a while, I found it in the Single Send module of the Marketing Campaigns.
Nevertheless, I had to struggle to reach the drag & drop email builder.
SendGrid Email Builder
Once I entered the builder, I was first presented with the option to start an email template with scratch or use the readymade templates.
Now, unlike Sendinblue, SendGrid only has 6 pre-built email template designs.
But I want to test out the email builder. So I started designing an email from scratch by choosing the blank template.
After entering the builder area, I was confused. I only saw two sections –
- Settings, elements, tags & A/B testing
- Live preview or builder
As you can see, the first section is divided into 4 sub-sections. That’s a lot of settings and interactions in very little space.
Although the builder area is spacious and shows the real-time preview of the email template.
After dragging and dropping the elements in the email template, I manage to complete the email designing process.
Verdict – Sendinblue Wins
When it comes to ease of use, hands down I would choose Sendinblue over SendGrid.
Not only Sendinblue offers all the features in a much efficient manner but I took no time to understand how it works.
In the case of Sendgrid, I had to struggle to find the settings and features.
Apart from the drag & drop email builder, both the email services offer custom code email designer. But Sendinblue steals the show by also offering a rich text email editor.
2. Sendinblue vs SendGrid – Email Deliverability
No matter how many features an email marketing service may provide, it ultimately comes down to the most important deciding factor – email deliverability.
In normal circumstances, you can test email deliverability by sending emails to your subscribers. And, I’ve been doing this for a while now.
One thing I have noticed is that to achieve maximum deliverability, you must authenticate your domain. This is done by adding SPF and DKIM records in your DNS.
Each service has their own unique records and can be accessed from the required module i.e. domain authentication. The same is the case with Sendinblue and SendGrid.
Although, after adding the records I felt that these email deliverability tests require a suitable environment for unbiased results. So if I were to perform the tests, I would get the desired efficiency.
Therefore, I chose to opt for consulting the email delivery reports from the professional testers.
Sendinblue Email Deliverability Results
Before referring to the professional reports, I would like to tell you that until this point, I’ve been getting a deliverability rate of 88-90%. The best part is that it is above the industry’s average rate of 85%.
Although, after referring to the deliverability report by professional organizations like EmailToolTester I found that the Sendinblue email delivery is kind of average.
There are several emailing services that offer up to 97% email delivery. But these stats fluctuate time to time and industry by industry.
The bottomline of the Sendinblue email deliverability results is that your emails are more likely to land in the Inbox than the Promotions tab. This is of course for the Gmail recipients.
Although, according to EmailToolTester’s recent statistics, Sendinblue has managed to achieve 93% deliverability for Gmail users in the month of February 2020.
Similarly, for Hotmail and Outlook, Sendinblue has given 98.5% deliverability in February 2020. Lastly, for Yahoo, the deliverability has fallen to 82%.
SendGrid Email Deliverability Results
If you were to ask me about the deliverability of SendGrid a couple of years ago, I would have said that it sucked.
Yes, earlier, SendGrid was delivering emails only to Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, etc. email services. But not to Yahoo..!!
When I tried to find the reason behind the delivery failure, I found that all the emails to Yahoo were throttling. Since then I never used SendGrid.
But in recent times, SendGrid has significantly improved its email deliverability. According to the service, it claims to provide up to 97% average email delivery rate. This is possible by availing its Expert Services that are known to boost delivery by 6%.
If you’d ask me, these stats can compete with some of the top email service providers in the industry.
But these stats are not backed up by enough evidence or test results by the email delivery testing organizations.
Verdict – Tie
At the one corner we have Sendinblue with up to 98.5% email delivery and on the other corner, we have SendGrid with 97% delivery.
The decision to choose the best among both of them is very difficult.
As I have said, while there is adequate data to confirm Sendinblue’s deliverability, there aren’t enough sources to confirm SendGrid’s.
So to remain impartial, I should declare a tie between the two software for email deliverability factor.
3. Sendinblue vs SendGrid – Feature Package
After testing out the easiness and the email deliverability, you must check what other features are available in the respective email services that will compliment your email marketing efforts.
But when you explore all the features you’d find some similar features and some unique features.
Therefore, to derive correct judgment, I think it would be wise to initially compare the similar features and then explore the unique features of both the software.
Let’s begin with the common feature set –
Email Sending & Scheduling
The core feature of an email marketing service is email sending capability. We have already discussed how you can create an email template in Sendinblue and SendGrid.
Now, comes the opportunity to know how you can send the emails.
Both the services, Sendinblue and SendGrid enable you to send email blasts instantly or schedule them for a specific time. Although, Sendinblue takes a step further and allows you to send the email at the optimal time for each recipient.
This ensures better email engagements.
Apart from simple email sending and scheduling, you should also look for the automatic email sending feature i.e. marketing automation.
The marketing automation feature enables you to create an automated emailing sequence that completely relies on the action and behavior of your subscribers.
For example, if a subscriber signs up for your newsletter, this can automatically trigger a welcome email campaign. After this, you have the flexibility to add a wait time after which other email sequences will be sent.
You’d be glad to know that SendGrid & Sendinblue offer this feature. However, the marketing automation of Sendinblue is highly advanced, yet easy to use. To help start quickly, Sendinblue offers plenty of marketing automation sequence templates.
While in the case of SendGrid, this has been added just a few months earlier. And, unlike Sendinblue, SendGrid only offers one automation sequence template i.e. welcome series.
Contact Management & Segmentation
The other important characteristic that one must look for in an email marketing software is contact management.
You must be able to import your contacts or subscribers without any problem. Both the services know how important this feature is and hence, they allow you to import contacts by copy-pasting, or through a CSV file.
However, Sendinblue permits you to import unlimited contacts. While you can import a certain number of contacts (according to subscription plans) in SendGrid.
In addition to this, you must be able to segment your contact lists on different factors.
Sendinblue offers the best-in-class segmentation feature using which you can segment your contacts on the basis of their data, demographics, source of subscription, website behavior, email engagement, and more…
While in the vase of SendGrid, basic segmentation is available. You can create segmentations on the basis of contact’s data and email engagement only.
Ultimately, when you have sent your email campaigns, you should analyze its performance.
Both the software offer a comprehensive reporting section. But in this section, I can say that SendGrid steals the show.
Not only you can view the individual email campaign performance but you can also monitor the overall performance for a period of 30 days.
In the case of Sendinblue, basic reporting is available that is exclusive for the respective email campaign.
Now that we are done with the common features, it’s time for us to uncover all the unique features of both the software.
Unique Features Of Sendinblue
- Sendinblue packs a CRM module that facilitates sales for your site.
- There’s a landing page builder and sign up form builder to help you collect unlimited leads.
- You can also employ Sendinblue Chat on your website.
- It also facilitates SMS marketing without any external integration.
- Sending transactional emails is a piece of cake for Sendinblue.
- You can set up Facebook ads right from your Sendinblue dashboard.
- Retargeting display ads are available in this application.
Unique Features Of SendGrid
- The reporting section is extremely comprehensive.
- You can send SMSs with the help of Twilio.
- The SMTP and email API is a widely sought-after feature.
- SendGrid shows you a sender reputation meter for your account.
Verdict – Sendinblue Wins Again
After analyzing all types of features and usage access, there’s no point in arguing about which software has the best feature package.
The answer is clearly Sendinblue.
4. Sendinblue vs SendGrid – Pricing
The final comparison battle of SendGrid vs Sendinblue comes down to their pricing structure and subscription plans.
Despite being email marketing services, both the software have different kinds of pricing structure and feature distribution.
To understand better, I am going to explore all the plans of the corresponding software in detail.
Pricing Structure Of Sendinblue
Sendinblue pricing plans are built purely on the number of emails you require to send. This means that you can import unlimited contacts and access all the features (depending on the plan). Mind you, there is no separate plan for the SMTP and the complete email marketing suite.
To kick things off, Sendinblue offers a forever free plan that allows you to send 9,000 emails in a month with a 300 emails/day sending limit.
If you want to remove this limitation, you’d have to subscribe to a subscription plan –
- Lite – You can remove the daily sending limit by paying $25/month. This plan also increases your monthly sending limit to 40,000 emails.
- Essential – This plan will cost you $60/month and will allow you to send 60,000 emails in a month. Along with this, you can remove Sendinblue branding, access A/B testing features, and advanced statistics.
- Premium – It has two sub-tiers that offer 120,000 and 350,000 emails per month. The subscription fees for the respective sub-tiers are $66 and $173 per month. In addition to this, you will unlock all the digital marketing features of Sendinblue like Facebook ads, landing page builder, send-time optimization, etc.
- Enterprise – For higher email sending needs, Sendinblue requests you to get in touch with them for custom pricing.
Pricing Structure Of SendGrid
Unlike Sendinblue, SendGrid offers better flexibility in pricing plans. Moreover, SendGrid offers separate pricing plans for SMTP API and email marketing suite.
Email API/SMTP Plans
- Free – A forever free plan of 40,000 emails for the first 30 days then 100 emails/day.
- Essential – This plan starts at $14.95/month that offers 50,000 emails/month sending limits. This plan goes up to 100,000 emails per month at the cost of $29.95/month.
- Pro – If you want a dedicated IP and have higher emailing needs then you can opt for this plan. It starts at $89.95/month and allows sending of up to 200,000 emails. This plan goes up to 1.4 million emails/month limit at the cost of $749/month.
- Premier – If you want to send over 1.5 million emails in a month using the SMTP or email API then you must request custom pricing.
Marketing Campaigns (Email Marketing Suite) Plans
- Free – A forever free plan that allows you to send up to 6,000 emails/month to 2,000 contacts.
- Basic – This plan starts at $15/month and enables you to send 15,000 emails/month to 7,000 contacts. This plan goes up to 100,000 contacts and 300,000 monthly emails limit, the cost of which is $200/month.
- Advanced – The advanced plan includes features like dedicated IP and automation. It starts at $60/month and allows you to import 15,000 contacts and send them 50,000 emails in a month. This plan goes up to $900/month for 200,000 contacts and 1 million emails/month sending limit.
The pricing in the case of SMTP access is built around the number of emails required to send. While the email marketing suite, known as Marketing Campaigns offers subscription plans on the basis of the number of emails and contacts.
Verdict – SendGrid Is Cheaper
If you just want to send email campaigns to your subscribers, SendGrid is relatively cheaper than Sendinblue.
However, you must not forget that SendGrid is offering only email sending and email marketing features. Sendinblue on the other hand offers a complete digital marketing toolkit for your website or business.
I guess the expensive pricing of Sendinblue can be perfectly justified.
Sendinblue vs SendGrid – Final Verdict (Which Is The Best Among Two)
After analyzing and comparing both the software, I think you would agree with me if I say that Sendinblue is a better email marketing service than SendGrid.
Hopefully, I also expect you have now realized why I opted for Sendinblue over SendGrid for my site.
Then again, it all comes down to your requirements. For instance, if you have an eCommerce store, a high-traffic blog, or if you are a marketer, Sendinblue would be perfect for you.
In the case of SendGrid, it would work best for you if you are an enterprise with high emailing needs. You can also integrate it with your SaaS applications too for transactional emails.
That being said, I genuinely hope that this comparison of SendGrid vs Sendinblue would be enough for you to make the decision.
If you are still unsure, I would encourage you to sign up on their free plans and test them out.
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Thanks in advance 🙂