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 on delivering emails that we are so much anticipating.
Transactional Emails or what is scientifically known as simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) is the type of mail triggered based on recipient choices; such as signing up on pages, password resets, confirmation on purchases, carts abandonment & checking out cases, or turning up the Aces… its direct action and interaction… that’s called transaction. But is that all that Sendinblue & 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 townsmen felt frustration, 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 are capable of creating, managing, and sending email campaigns, both Providers sport great personalization and segmentation features. With Sendinblue especially powerful search & segmentation abilities.
When SendGrid easily 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 to identify 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 most specific & granular details.
As two of the major players in this field, neither is lacking in email scalability up to enterprise level. Both support such feature 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 the pricing section.
Plug-ins & Integrations
SendGrid offers powerful API integration for enhanced customization approach, in addition to 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 as well, besides a concrete 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 mostly 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 client’s data security is critical. Reviews have shown both platforms are highly secured and reliable with over 90% level of customer satisfaction.
Template creation & designing
Both Providers use (WYSIWYG) template build up a system which is secure & reliable, with the ability to build responsive campaigns using either a simple drag & drop method or an HTML one for advanced more tech-savvy users. Both provide a template library and integrations for 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 compared to Sendinblue.
Tracking & Reporting
As previously mentioned, both software provide open integration with Google analytics which is considered a useful asset on reporting and enhanced data analysis area. Otherwise, SendGrid is offering a wide range of real-time & action-triggered analytical capabilities through their platform including track sends, delivery rates, bounces, spam reports, link clicks, opens, & unsubscribes. The platform is also capable of measuring engagement across devices, geography, platforms, ISPs, inbox providers besides performance monitoring for custom email campaign categories.
Sendinblue on the other side offers a neat 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 important documentation is for each developer and technical expert, both providers did not miss or save any effort on this point.
SendGrid is offering a separate clear panel for documentation through its website with related categories and subcategories to help both, as well as expert users, run freely through the aspects and overall environment of the software. 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 useful resources.
Both platforms offer a range of scalable plans based on numbers of emails sent.
SendGrid has four plans as follows:
- Free plan 40,000 emails for first 30 days then 100/day forever.
Features included in this plan does not support a dedicated IP, sub-user manager, customer success manager, or prioritized support.
- Essentials plan starts at $9.95/month. Ideal for up to 100,000 emails per month.
Features for this plan does 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.
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 is 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 full control over own sending reputation. ($145 per year).
* Sendinblue has multilingual/ Multi-currency features.
I will start this time with Sendinblue. They offer excellent customer support experience and are available via phone or by email. Reviews have stated 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 login to contacts support. They provide a list of troubleshooting or FAQs that you can skip and type down your issue directly, which opens another documentary for suggested solutions.
If none of this help, depends on your type of subscription, you can request a support ticket which grants you a live chat request, which is a 24/7 available service. Otherwise, you can ask for a phone call support which is open daily from 7 am to 5 pm.
The fact such advanced support service is in direct relation with your subscription category has been claiming several negative reviews, driving lots of merit points away from SendGrid.
Both platforms are capable of doing A LOT! when it comes to transactional or HTTP email campaigns, I got tired searching through every nuke and cranny within their features and range of services. With a unique feature for Sendinblue in its SMS transactional campaigns ability. Besides a pretty lovely dashboard which reveals so much info to take into consideration.
SendGrid as well is a workaholic delivery world-class expert, with so much essence than meet a passing eye. If we considered pricing seriously, which is a no-brainer for small to mid-size business, our thoughts would tilt towards Sendinblue with its exceptionally well-featured pricing plan and its free entry-level service. But the expert eye can never miss all the horsepower under SendGrid hood, assuming you are an enterprise level or aiming to get there, then you get all their customer support attention fair and square.
That was a hard effort encapsulated, and we tried to give you a useful 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.