Inside the ring today, we have two heavyweight champions in the world of Email Candy. Or what we know as Transactional Email.
Sugar punches versus lemony shields. We are sure going to have lots of fun tonight.
The story with candy is framed with anticipation. And the case with Transactional emails is only limited to how graceful these two can be in delivering emails that we are so much anticipating.
Transactional Emails, scientifically known as simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP), are the type of mail triggered based on recipient choices, such as signing up on pages, password resets, confirmation on purchases, cart abandonment & checking out cases, or turning up the Aces. Its direct action and interaction that’s called a transaction. But is that all that Sendinblue or SendGrid has to offer?
Let`s find out as we see both these tools in action.
Decisive Elements of choice: (Be the judge)
- Deliverability. (SPAM free emails with a higher percentage of hitting the mailbox)
- Segmentation. (Categorizing & listing subscribes based on purpose or preferences)
- Enterprise Scalability. (Volume of emails sent on a set regular process up to enterprise-level)
- Plug-in & Integration. (Business maximized benefits & enhanced mailing process through various plug-ins & integrations)
- Performance & reliability. (Technical efficient platforms with fewer bloating or crash down issues)
- Template creation. (Leveraging existing templates or building up from scratch available)
- Tracking & reporting. (Email traffic intelligently tracked & reported for improved ROI)
- Documentation. (API, Code library, implementation, & setups are flawlessly documented)
- Pricing. (Cost-efficient plans allowing for maximum benefit and enhanced overall revenue)
- Customer service & support appreciation. (How available, how skilled, & how much appreciated customer service and technical support is)
Side point: The Mandrill controversy
Back in time, there was a Mandrill, the most powerful and affordable Transactional email thrill. Until one day. The Evil Chimp has reached the Vill! He stole the mandrill, he made the merging and forced everybody to pay a higher bill. That’s when the townspeople felt frustrated, and they had to leave the Vill. Wondering around, searching for a new Chill.
And that’s where the story of Mandrill`s powerful alternatives, such as our two champions, the Arithmetical SendGrid & the energetic Sendinblue, starts to ring a bell.
Top grade transactional email tools: (what to expect when you are assuming).
Let`s send out the Horns!!
- Creating deeper personal relations with recipients.
- Importing enhanced & more personalized one-on-one emails.
- Offering dedicated IP to maintain reputation (critical for customers` trust).
- Supporting simple, straightforward, and content-relevant/balanced emails.
- Syncing with different types of tools in addition to e-commerce or multimedia.
- Providing admin tools for robust tracking and analyzing sent & received emails.
- Allowing other services such as commercial opt-in mailing & marketing automation.
Now let’s see out SendinBlue Vs SendGrid:
SendGrid is taking this matter seriously, in addition to a dedicated team of experts whose sole aim is delivering every single mail sent out efficiently. The software offers a set of deliverability protocols such as compliance coaching, proactive ISP outreach, domain and link customization, SPF and DKIM record creation, & universal linking functionality to maximize mail to mobile app engagement.
* SendGrid puts its pride in its power base of email deliverability experts monitoring thousands & thousands of emails sent out daily.
Sendinblue, on the other hand, has put its weight in testing: List test (Adding contacts to test list and send them a test email before scheduling campaign to deliver to contacts) & Inbox test (perform a deliverability test to significant email service providers with a single click on email drafting).
Since they can create, manage, and send email campaigns, both Providers sport great personalization and segmentation features with Sendinblue, compelling search & segmentation abilities.
When SendGrid quickly adds contacts via CSV uploader or automatically through contacts API, creating dynamic segments based on customer data and campaign engagement, & personalizing emails using custom fields to add recipient-specific data.
Sendinblue lets you enjoy its advanced contact search and segmentation tools through which you can create and save custom search filters from identifying contacts who match your socio-demographic (gender, postal code, etc.) or behavioral (opened email, clicked link, etc.) criteria. Besides the ability to combine multiple search criteria reaching the most specific & granular details.
As two of the major players in this field, neither lacks email scalability up to the enterprise level. Both support such features pretty well, with the ability to mail out from dedicated or self-hosted IPs for proven deliverability rates. It’s more a matter of budget scaling based on how much mailing a business needs monthly. A point to be discussed later on in the pricing section.
Plug-ins & Integrations
SendGrid offers powerful API integration for enhanced customization approach and various development frameworks & client libraries, including (Node.js, Ruby, Python, Go, PHP, Java, and C#.)
Sendinblue introduces API integration features for flexible customization of API systems on the website and a detailed list of CRM & e-commerce purpose plug-ins including (Magneto, Prestashop, Drupal, WooCommerce, Salesforce, Shopify, & Zapier).
Both contenders provide significant Plugging-in with Webhooks (which allows flexible, real-time connecting), WordPress (for serving enhanced mailing & website management features), & Google Analytics (for more in-depth data & real-time metrics analysis and reporting).
Performance & Reliability
This point is mainly related to how effective these two platforms are functioning. Since both SendGrid and Sendinblue provide a SaaS type of service, reliability and safety measures for the client’s data security are critical. Reviews have shown both platforms are highly secure and reliable, with over 90% customer satisfaction.
Template creation & designing
Both Providers use the (WYSIWYG) template to build up a secure & reliable system, with the ability to build responsive campaigns using either a simple drag & drop method or an HTML one for advanced, more tech-savvy users. In addition, both provide a template library and integrations for the added capacity of preferred templates at will, with the added ability to perform A/B testing on SendGrid, which is made up for with inbox preview from the Sendinblue side.
Other than that, reviews stated templates on SendGrid might look less refreshing and a bit dated than Sendinblue.
Tracking & Reporting
As previously mentioned, both software provides open integration with Google Analytics, which is considered a valuable asset in reporting and enhanced data analysis area. Otherwise, SendGrid offers a wide range of real-time & action-triggered analytical capabilities through its platform, including track sends, delivery rates, bounces, spam reports, link clicks, opens, & unsubscribes. In addition, the platform can also measure engagement across devices, geography, media, ISPs, and inbox providers besides performance monitoring for custom email campaign categories.
Sendinblue, on the other side, offers a precise and technically enhanced dashboard through which users can track and monitor campaigns by openers & clicks on a geographical basis (world map) with location tags, devices used, heat map, standard & detailed metrics, and timely engagements, which help optimizing campaigns. All can be accessed in real-time and delivered through PDF or CSV reports as usual.
As necessary documentation is for each developer and technical expert, both providers did not miss or save any effort on this point.
SendGrid offers a separate clear panel for documentation through its website with related categories and subcategories to help both and expert users run freely through the aspects and overall environment of the software. In addition, the website page included a User guide, API & integration manual, code exemplars, and a glossary.
Sendinblue did not lag by any means either, their web page came nicely organized and eye appealing with categories and subcategories included API features, development, and helpful resources.
Both platforms offer a range of scalable plans based on the number of emails sent.
SendGrid has four plans as follows:
- Free plan 40,000 emails for the first 30 days, then 100/day forever.
This plan’s features do not support a dedicated IP, sub-user manager, customer success manager, or prioritized support.
- Essential plan starts at $9.95/month. Ideal for up to 100,000 emails per month.
Features for this plan do not include the previous points either.
- Pro plan Starts at $79.95/ month. Ideal for 100,000 up to 1.5 million emails per month.
The feature for this plan includes Dedicated IP and sub-user management.
- Premier plan This plan is custom priced and includes extensive features—ideal for 1.5 million emails up to 5 million emails per month.
* SendGrid allows added-on features on-demand, which are separately paid for. Such as additional dedicated IP for $30/month.
Sendinblue has three pricing plan categories, each with a dedicated pricing plan as follows:
1- Email plans: This includes five pricing plans.
- Free 300 emails/day. (Unlimited contacts).
- Lite $25. 40,000 emails/month. (+no daily sending limit)
- Essential $39. 60,000 email/month (+advanced statistics, no Sendinblue logo).
- Premium $66 for silver ver. $173 for Gold Ver. $334 for platinum ver. $603 for diamond ver. (120,000/ 350,000/750,000, 3 million) emails/month to each pricing plan ver. respectively. (Check each plan on the website for details on allowed features for each).
- Enterprise Customized with tailored volume. (All premium plan features included +dedicated account manager).
2- SMS plans:
* This plan functions by some emails sent per day and in which country. It does not require a contract and does not have an expiry date.
3- IP plans:
Assigning a dedicated IP with digitally signed emails and total control over own sending reputation. ($145 per year).
* Sendinblue has multilingual/ Multi-currency features.
I will start this time with Sendinblue. They offer an excellent customer support experience and are available via phone or by email. Reviews have stated the support team is helpful, responsive & well-informed.
For SendGrid, things are a bit more complicated, complicated that they had to put a video to explain things up!
You can reach SendGrid support through support.sendgrid.com, then log in to contacts support. They provide a list of troubleshooting or FAQs to skip and type down your issue directly, which opens another documentary for suggested solutions.
If none of this helps, it depends on your type of subscription, and you can request a support ticket that grants you a live chat request, which is a 24/7 available service. Otherwise, you can ask for phone call support, which is open daily from 7 am to 5 pm.
Such an advanced support service is directly related to your subscription category and has been claiming several negative reviews, driving many merit points away from SendGrid.
Both platforms can do A LOT! when it comes to transactional or HTTP email campaigns. I got tired of searching through every nuke and cranny within their features and range of services. With a unique feature for Sendinblue in its SMS transactional campaign ability. Besides a pretty beautiful dashboard, which reveals so much info to take into consideration.
SendGrid as well is a workaholic delivering world-class experts with so much essence that meet a passing eye. If we considered pricing seriously, which is a no-brainer for small to mid-size businesses, our thoughts would tilt towards Sendinblue with its exceptionally well-featured pricing plan and free entry-level service. But the expert eye can never miss all the horsepower under the SendGrid hood. You get all their customer support attention fair and square if you are an enterprise-level or aiming to get there.
That was a hard effort encapsulated, and we tried to give you a helpful guide through the world of SMTP or transactional mailing providers, with two of the biggest names on head butts and you on sieving the best out of the show.
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