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SendinBlue and Remarkety Reviews: Best Email Marketing Services for E-Commerce

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend SendinBlue and Remarkety as our 2017 picks for the best email marketing services for e-commerce. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of email marketing services on our best picks page.

SendinBlue gives e-commerce businesses the ability to send a variety of types of marketing messages from just one platform. There are free and paid plans, which start as low as $27 for 5,000 email sends. Here's a breakdown of why it's one of our best picks.

What makes SendinBlue such an attractive option for e-commerce businesses is that you can use it for all your marketing, transactional and text messaging needs.

  • Email marketing messages: The service includes the tools to create professional-looking email marketing campaigns.
  • Transactional emails: The service lets e-commerce businesses send transactional emails, which are messages sent to individual customers after they take certain actions, such as make a purchase, forget their password or leave items in their shopping cart. To use this aspect, you first need to sync your account with your website using SendinBlue's SMTP and API.
  • SMS messages: With SendinBlue SMS services, you can send promotional text messages to large numbers of customers or transactional messages to individual shoppers. Most of the other services we investigated did not offer text messaging at all.

Editor's note: Looking for information about email marketing service? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partner will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Part of what makes SendinBlue so appealing is that its platform makes it simple to create email and text messages.

Email Marketing

There are two ways to create email marketing campaigns. There's a responsive design builder, which allows you to produce emails that are automatically optimized for mobile devices, and an HTML/simple text editor for advanced users who write their own code.

With the responsive design builder, you can create templates from scratch or choose from a variety of predesigned templates. You then customize each element block (text, image, buttons, etc.) however you like. You can change each block's size and background color, insert images, add in text, and choose the text size, font and color.

SendinBlue gives you the ability to create emails from scratch using its drag and drop editor.

Once the email is designed, you can see how it looks in different email clients and web browsers, select the contacts you want to send it to, and then decide when to send it out.

Transactional Messages

You create transactional emails in the same way you do regular email marketing campaigns. However, instead of creating new templates for each message, you typically create templates for each type of transactional email you send, such as for order confirmation and password reset. You then reuse those templates each time a customer takes one of those actions.

You can input additional code into your website to automate the whole transactional email process. The service works in tandem with your website to automatically recognize when a purchase has been made and send a confirmation email accordingly, for example.

SMS Messages

To create promotional text messages, you first decide who the sender is, such as your business name, and then type out a message no longer than 160 characters. You then select which customers you want to send the text to and when.

Similar to transactional emails, you can also send transactional text messages if you add the SendinBlue code to your website as directed.

List Builder

You can add in email addresses individually or as a group from a CSV file. You can also synchronize contact lists from programs you may already use, such as PrestaShop, Magento, WordPress, Shopify and Salesforce.

With SendinBlue you can sync contacts you have in programs you may already be using, such as Wordpress.

Once you save the email addresses in the system, you can create a profile for each that includes the customer's name and mobile phone number, which is used to create SMS subscriber lists.

The software lets you build as many lists as you like. For instance, you can create one master list and several sublists in case you don't want to send each message to every subscriber.

SendinBlue offers numerous features e-commerce businesses will find valuable, including the following:

  • Email analytics: You receive a variety of statistics for a campaign, such as open and click-thru rates, unsubscribes, and how many were sent to bad addresses, as well as analytics on specific geographic locations where emails were opened and the devices, email clients and web browsers they were opened with. Statistics for SMS messages are also available.
  • Personalization: You can personalize messages with a contact's name and preferences to increase engagement.
  • Contact forms: SendinBlue lets you create and customize subscribe forms and integrate them into your e-commerce site. 
  • E-commerce segmentation: When a customer makes a purchase, that data can be saved into their contact profile. You can then use that data to segment your contact lists based on shopping behaviors.
  • Trigger marketing: Automated messages can be sent when shoppers take certain actions. For example, promo code messages can be sent to all shoppers who spend more than $100 over a 90-day period.
  • Mobile app: SendinBlue's mobile app, available in iOS and Android devices, lets you manage campaigns and contacts and check campaign statistics from anywhere.

SendinBlue has free, monthly and pay-as-you-go email marketing plans. In addition, you can purchase SMS message and dedicated IP plans.

Free Plan

SendinBlue's free plan limits you to sending 300 emails a day and a total of 9,000 a month. With this plan, the SendinBlue logo appears on each email sent and you don't have access to detailed analytics.

Monthly Subscription Plans

You can send an unlimited number of emails each day with the monthly subscription plans. The plans differ in the total number of emails that you can send each month and the included features. Prices range from $7.37 for 40,000 emails per month to $66 for 120,000 emails. SendinBlue offers specialized pricing for large-volume senders.

Pay as You Go

With this plan, you purchase a block of credits – essentially electronic stamps – that are used to send each email. Prices range from $27 for 5,000 credits to $134 for 50,000 credits. Specialized pricing is available for larger blocks.

SMS Plan

You can purchase as few or as many text message credits as you like at one time. Each message is about $0.0134.

IP Plan

The only other cost you may incur is for a dedicated IP line. For plans that don't include it, you can purchase a dedicated IP line for $145 a year.

We were pleased with the level of customer service we received from SendinBlue. To test what you can expect from the support team, we called the company multiple times posing as a new business owner interested in the service.

All our calls were promptly answered by representatives who provided thorough answers to each of our questions. By the end of our calls, we had a clear understanding of what SendinBlue offers.

You can reach the SendinBlue support team by phone or email between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (PST) Monday through Friday. In addition, the SendinBlue website includes an extensive help section featuring a host of user tutorials and FAQs on a wide variety of topics.

The biggest downside to SendinBlue is that it doesn't have all the bells and whistles some of the other services we looked at do. It doesn't offer spam testing, spell checking or stock photos. However, many providers that offer these added features don't allow you to send transactional or text messages.

Another negative is that there is no live chat tool to contact the customer support team. This tool can be very valuable, especially when you're trying to get help at night or on the weekend.

While SendinBlue is an excellent option for businesses in need of transactional and text messaging, Remarkety is an attractive option for e-commerce businesses looking for total automation of their email marketing. Remarkety fully integrates with your e-commerce site, allowing you to easily and automatically keep your customers engaged with regular email marketing messages and transactional messages. Costs start at $25 per month.

Remarkety works in tandem with your e-commerce website. It's this integration that really attracted us to the service. Once connected to your site, Remarkety monitors your revenue, sales and contacts and recommends various campaigns you should be running based on your shoppers' behaviors. It really simplifies the email marketing process.

The integration process varies depending on your e-commerce platform. There are built-in plug-ins for many popular platforms, including these ones:

  • Shopify
  • Magento
  • WooCommerce
  • BigCommerce
  • NopCommerce
  • PrestaShop
  • VirtueMart
  • OpenCart

If you have one of these platforms, you can use the plug-in to integrate your site with Remarkety in just a couple of minutes. If you don't use one of these platforms, you can tap into Remarkety's custom API to make the connection. This option requires more technical work, but it does provide Remarkety access to your store's data so it can analyze and run campaigns.

Once it's connected to your site, you can choose to automate and personalize emails for individual shoppers, create one-time newsletters to send to everyone, or do a combination of both.

Since it is fully integrated with your site, the Remarkety dashboard provides a quick overview of your online store's financial status.

To create emails, you can use a drag-and-drop editor or write your own HTML code. All of Remarkety's emails use a responsive design, so they automatically optimize for the device they are being viewed on.

Remarkety offers a range e-commerce specific templates.

We were impressed with the automation and personalization Remarkety offers e-commerce businesses. Since the system integrates fully with your site, it can automatically send different emails to different shoppers based on the actions each takes. For example, it can send reminder emails to customers who leave items in their shopping carts, ask a customer for a review after they make a purchase, or send messages to shoppers who are inactive for a while.

Since Remarkety can analyze shopping patterns, you can set it to make product recommendations based on each shopper's past purchases or what other shoppers have bought.

These are some other features e-commerce businesses will find valuable:

  • Personalization: Remarkety automatically personalizes each email it sends.
  • Segmentation: You can target specific groups of shoppers based on their behavior or purchase history. For example, you can target customers who haven't visited the site in several months or shoppers who spent more than $100 on their last purchases.
  • Instant marketing recommendations: Based on your website's data, Remarkety sends recommendations for campaigns you may want to run. The service also sends weekly emails with adjustments you can make to your marketing strategy to improve your campaigns.
  • Analytics: Remarkety provides a full array of metrics like the open rate, click rate, generated revenue and the average amount spent on each order. In addition, the reports let you see which customers are the top spenders and which customers interact with your emails most.
  • Personalized coupons and rewards program: You can select which customers qualify for a coupon, and Remarkety can automatically generate dynamic coupon codes for each email. You set the rules and guidelines for the coupon or rewards program however you like.
  • A/B testing: You can duplicate and test different versions of a campaign to measure which provides the best results.
  • Transactional emails: This service includes sending order confirmations and tracking information when orders are sent.

Overall, Remarkety's service is much more tailored to e-commerce businesses than nearly all the other email marketing providers we considered.

Remarkety offers four different monthly pricing plans:

Basic

  • Cost: $25
  • Max list size: 500
  • Emails per month: Unlimited
  • Features: Newsletters, automated campaigns, abandoned cart scoring, product recommendations, subscription pop-ups, and analytics and reports

Starter

  • Cost: $100
  • Max list sixe: 3,000
  • Emails per month: Unlimited
  • Features: Everything in the Basic plan plus browse abandonment, transactional emails, private branding, multiple accounts and combined billing

Advanced

  • Cost: $300
  • Max list size: 20,000
  • Emails per month: Unlimited
  • Features: Everything in the Starter plan plus single opt-in, custom API, phone support, a dedicated success manager and free trial

Professional

  • Cost: $800
  • Max list size: 100,000
  • Emails per month: 1.2 million
  • Features: Everything in the Advanced plan plus account setup by an email expert, a dedicated IP address and custom email template design

To gauge the type of support you get from Remarkety, we called the company posing as a new business owner interested in the service. Unfortunately, each time we called, we were immediately transferred to voicemail. Most of the other services we contacted had someone immediately available to answer our calls.

We decided that, instead of leaving a message, we would try reaching out via email. We sent our questions along and were pleasantly surprised when we received a response within 20 minutes. We received detailed answers to our questions, and the representative offered to follow up with us by phone and provide a one-on-one demo of the system. The quick reply washed away the bad taste we had following our experience over the phone. Knowing that someone is available to answer emails nearly instantly left us feeling confident that you can receive help when you need it.

What we really were impressed with was the knowledge base Remarkety has on its website. It includes a number of user guides, FAQs and tutorial videos. It makes learning how to use the service pretty easy.

One of the biggest drawbacks to Remarkety is that there aren't built-in plug-ins for all e-commerce platforms. While it's possible to integrate your site using a custom API, that might be difficult for users without technical expertise. If you aren't technically savvy and use a platform that Remarkety doesn't offer a plug-in for, like Volusion, you might want to consider a different email marketing service.

Another shortcoming is the lack of phone support. Not being able to get someone on the phone when you need to could cause problems. While there are other ways to get answers, phone support is sometimes the easiest.

Cost could be another downside for some businesses. Depending on the plan you choose, Remarkety can be significantly more expensive than other services. While Remarkety does offer a variety of amenities that other email marketing providers don't, the added expense might not be something you are prepared to spend.

Small Business
Benchmark
Read Review
  • Design Editor
    Drag and Drop/HTML Code
  • Starting Monthly Cost
    $11.95 for 600 contacts
  • Free Trial
    Forever free for 2,000 contacts
  • Transactional Emails
    No
  • Mobile App
    iOS and Android
Small Business
iContact
Read Review
  • Design Editor
    Drag and Drop
  • Starting Monthly Cost
    $14 for 500 Contacts
  • Free Trial
    30 Days
  • Transactional Emails
    No
  • Mobile App
    No
Free Service
MailChimp
Read Review
  • Design Editor
    Drag and Drop/HTML Code
  • Starting Monthly Cost
    $10 for 500 Contacts
  • Free Trial
    Forever Free for 2,000 Contacts
  • Transaction Emails
    Yes Via Mandrill Add-On
  • Mobile App
    iOS and Android
Low Cost Service
GetResponse
Read Review
  • Design Editor
    Drag and Drop/HTML Code
  • Starting Monthly Cost
    $15 for 1,000 contacts
  • Free Trial
    30 Days
  • Transactional Emails
    No
  • Mobile App
    iOS and Android
E-Commerce
SendinBlue
Read Review
  • Design Editor
    Drag and Drop/HTML Code
  • Starting Monthly Cost
    $7.37 for 40,000 emails
  • Free Trial
    Free for 9,000 email per month
  • Transactional Emails
    Yes
  • Mobile App
    iOS and Android

Want to learn more about email marketing services? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's note: Looking for information about email marketing service? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partner will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.