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Mailchimp vs. Sendinblue (now Brevo): Which is best?

By Miguel Rebelo · August 11, 2023
Hero image with the Sendinblue (now Brevo) and Mailchimp logos

Even in a world where no one is paying attention, the email inbox is still the place we trust to keep up with what matters to us. The brands that have access to it get a golden opportunity to push news, offer new products, and start conversations that aren't possible in other channels. And with search engine algorithms and social media platforms constantly in flux, having a developed email list that you own and control is more important than ever.

I've been using Mailchimp for five years, and I've tested Brevo (formerly Sendinblue) a bunch in the past for other projects. I dug deeper into both apps for this article, testing how each one works in detail to help you choose between them.

Whether you're looking for a Mailchimp alternative or are fresh into email marketing, these details will help you decide which app is right for you.

Note: I'll be referring to Brevo as Sendinblue throughout most of the article because that's how most folks still refer to it. Eventually, we'll all make the switch.

Sendinblue vs. Mailchimp at a glance

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms available today. Sendinblue isn't as well known, but it's still competitive in terms of features and pricing. Here's a quick overview, but keep reading for a deep dive into my experience with the apps and who they're best for.

Brevo (formerly Sendinblue)


Email templates

⭐⭐ A little bit outdated (but available for free)

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Modern templates (full library only available on a paid plan)

Audience segmentation

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Segment in lists and groups and add tags; target each with campaigns and automation

⭐⭐⭐ Segment in Audiences; difficult to target multiple lists with one campaign (and advanced segmentation is incredibly pricey)

Reports and analytics

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Advanced reports, including standard open and click tracking, geography and device reports, heat maps, and conversion and deal tracking

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Advanced reports and analytics, including ROI and eCommerce stats


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook ads, web push campaigns, live chat, landing pages, CRM, meeting scheduling, phone service

⭐⭐⭐⭐ SMS, landing pages, website builder, rich social media integration, surveys, service appointment scheduling

Free plan

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Generous free plan with a good feature set and daily email sending cap

⭐⭐⭐ Limited free plan with a contact cap; includes extra marketing features


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ One of the most affordable email marketing platforms on the market

⭐⭐⭐ Accessible introductory plans, but prices scale quickly as you add contacts

Mailchimp has more marketing and social media features; Sendinblue offers broader communication tools

Mailchimp is no longer the bootstrapped email marketing platform it was back in 2001. It's been growing for over two decades with features, and since it was acquired by Intuit, it's working to become an all-in-one marketing beast. On top of email marketing, Mailchimp offers:

  • Customer journeys, an easy way of setting up email automation to nurture your audience

  • A website/eCommerce store builder, helping you establish a presence online

  • Social media scheduling directly from the platform, and analytics to see how you're doing

  • Advanced analytics on all the data to help you make the right decisions

  • Campaign Manager calendar to help visualize all the messaging you're sending out

Making a website in Mailchimp
Mailchimp is more than email marketing: you can build and run your own website from the platform.

All these features are available with easy-to-use menus, accessible tutorials, and great user experience design. It's easy to see why Mailchimp is so popular.

Sendinblue is more focused on helping you communicate with your audience. It helps you run SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Ads, and web push campaigns alongside email, letting you set up automations to integrate all of the above into a rich experience across channels. In addition to opening the game to texting, it also lets you customize a live chat window that you can embed on your website. You can manage all the conversations directly within Sendinblue to handle any questions easily and quickly.

Sendinblue chat widget creator

Another hidden advantage of Sendinblue is the fact that you can truly use it as a CRM. Since it has unlimited contacts, you'll never hit a wall, and you can even set up a sales pipeline to keep track of deals you're negotiating. With the rebrand to Brevo, the company went all in on sales CRM features, with brand new deal tracking and customer pipelines, sales tasks, and a focused CRM dashboard. 

The CRM dashboard in Brevo (formerly Sendinblue)

Plus, the app now includes meeting scheduling and phone features, so you can manage all your sales communication in one place.

Cherry on top? All CRM features are free to use.

Sendinblue has better subscriber segmentation for a lot less

Segmentation is the true power behind email marketing, and Sendinblue is more flexible than Mailchimp in this regard.

First, you can sort your subscribers into lists. Want to keep track of people who signed up through your website? Do it. What about another for highly engaged subscribers? Go ahead. You can either add contacts manually or set filtering rules based on contact attributes. Once you have all the lists you need, you can put them inside folders, keeping everything organized.

What's impressive is what happens when you set up a campaign. You can choose which list (or lists) you want to target and which lists you don't want to target, keeping those subscribers out of the campaign if it doesn't make sense to them. You can even set filters to add in or keep out individual subscribers based on their data—say, if you're sending out a newsletter promoting clothing for women, you could exclude all contacts with their gender set to male.

Sendinblue segmentation
Once you segment your subscribers in Sendinblue, you can create a campaign and target the lists you want with a lot of flexibility.

And what really surprises me is that these segmentation features are available on all plans, even the free one.

Mailchimp isn't as flexible. Your contacts are organized in audiences, and it works like the lists I mentioned above. You can create segments within this audience, and even add tags to subscribers, helping you sort people based on their activity or their custom field data.

Mailchimp segmentation
Mailchimp lets you create segments for your audience, helping you group up your subscribers based on data and behavior.

This is awesome while you're organizing your audience, but things get complicated when creating a campaign: on most plans, you can only target one audience and one segment or tag. If you want similar flexibility as in Sendinblue, you'll have to upgrade to the highest pricing plan, Premium, going for $350/month for 500 contacts. 

To get around this limitation, you could create multiple campaigns for different audiences and segments. This is quite a chore, though, so if you rely on segmentation and don't have the deepest pockets in history, Sendinblue is the best option.

Mailchimp has more useful analytics

If you've been working in performance marketing for a while, you know it's all about the data. Powerful analytics removes the guesswork, helping you sync with your audience's needs much faster. Mailchimp is here to guide you: it goes beyond the basic email marketing stats to give you a higher-resolution view of what's happening.

Mailchimp analytics
Mailchimp's analytics are detailed without being overwhelming, helping you make changes where you need to.

The analytics tab has two subsections:

  • Email lets you take a deep look at email marketing metrics, showing you the numbers and trends for emails sent, opens, clicks, and unsubscribes. You can set a date range and isolate metrics you want to look at in-depth.

  • Reports has a list of all the campaigns you sent in the past, going really deep into the top links clicked on each email, benchmarking stats (is your open rate higher than others in your industry?), 24-hour open performance, subscribers with the most opens, and geolocation.

The numbers game gets more interesting when you connect your eCommerce shop into Mailchimp. You'll be able to access stats like campaign revenue, revenue by subscriber, and the almighty ROI. All of it in easy-to-understand charts and tables, with some recommendations in the mix to help you improve.

With Sendinblue, you won't be flying blind, but you won't be able to see very far. Plus, reporting features are somewhat scattered throughout the tool.

Head to Campaigns > Statistics, and you can see a similar—if less aesthetic—view into who opened and clicked your emails, who unsubscribed, and a bounce breakdown, for both your email and SMS campaigns.

Sendinblue statistics
Sendinblue's simple statistics page provides a view of the basics.

Or navigate to Campaigns > Email and click the Report link on any given campaign to see a more detailed, campaign-level view of these stats, plus geography and device data, 24-hour open and click data, and a heatmap view of your email.

If you head over to Settings and click on Conversions, you'll be able to set objectives for each campaign, letting you measure whether you're hitting webinar sign-up targets, for instance. An interesting feature, for sure, but setting it up is complex and involves a bit of time. If you want to stay on top of the data, Mailchimp is the faster, better choice.

Sendinblue offers transactional email on all plans

Transactional email is about delivering confirmations, notifications, and automated reminders. Sendinblue includes these in all their plans, even the free one.

If you're just handling transactional email with the free plan, the 300 daily limit should be easy to control if your shop isn't very chatty. Want to run email marketing on top of that too? Be careful: if you run out of emails in one day, you won't be able to send those critical automated notifications to your subscribers until the next day. Keep an eye on the counter on the dashboard page and play safe.

Another key aspect of transactional email is tied to dedicated IPs. When you send your email campaigns with Sendinblue, they get sent via a set of shared IPs. This means that your emails and those of your less ethical marketer neighbor come from the same place, which could have mailboxes marking it as a promotion or, worse, outright spam. When delivering critical notifications, having a dedicated IP helps these messages break through those filters, landing in your subscribers' inboxes. This will cost $21 per month with Sendinblue as an add-on to the regular pricing plans.

Mailchimp also offers transactional email, but you have to purchase it as an add-on on top of the subscription price. It starts at $20 for 25,000 emails, and the price per email goes down the more you need. A dedicated IP is $29.95 per month, making it a bit pricier than Sendinblue on both fronts.

Mailchimp has more native integrations, but both apps connect to Zapier

If you love knitting powerful apps together, Mailchimp has more native integrations (over 300, compared to Sendinblue's 65ish), which will help make these connections more seamless. But both tools let you connect to thousands of other apps with Zapier. Here are some ideas to get you started, so you can automate your business-critical workflows and focus on the human work.

Zapier is a no-code automation tool that lets you connect your apps into automated workflows, so that every person and every business can move forward at growth speed. Learn more about how it works.

Sendinblue's free plan is much better, and the paid plans are more affordable

The standard pricing strategy for email marketing tools is almost always the same: there are two to four tiers with increasingly better features, and the price then scales based on your contact list size and how many emails you send out each month. Sendinblue follows this rule with one valuable difference: it doesn't care about the size of your list. The price goes up based only on your monthly email sending volume.

The free plan lets you send up to 300 emails per day to your contacts, a total of 9,000 emails every 30 days. You'd expect a basic set of features, but Sendinblue packs a lot into the free plan:

  • You can set up email automation with very few limitations in terms of triggers, actions, and delays for up to 2,000 contacts

  • There are SMS, WhatsApp, and web push campaigns in the mix—you'll have to buy some credits on a pay-as-you-go basis for each SMS text, though

  • Advanced segmentation to group and tag every subscriber

  • Transactional email

  • Sales CRM features

  • Live chat for 1 user

When you outgrow the limits of the free plan, Sendinblue offers inexpensive increases to the monthly email sending volume. Hop on the Starter plan for $25 and raise the roof to 20,000 emails per month. If you want the advanced features of the Business plan, the price goes up a bit—to $65/month—to justify the extras, which are mainly multi-user support, unlimited marketing automation, A/B testing, and more advanced reports.

Mailchimp is in line with the standard in terms of pricing: it charges you based on your contact list and your sending volume. It used to have a generous free plan with a 2,000 contact limit, but that limit went down to 500 contacts and 1,000 emails per month. It includes:

  • Simple automation features (abandoned cart and a welcome sequence)

  • 1 audience (subscriber list)

  • 1 user

  • A limited selection of email templates

  • Basic reports

Hopping on the lowest paid plan, Essentials (for $13 per month), will add more features to your account, but it won't raise the contact limit. To get the same email sending volume as Sendinblue's starter plan, you'd have to pay $39 in Mailchimp, and bumping it to 100k emails per month goes to $100. The pricing scales up very sharply, especially if you want to unlock the good stuff of the higher tiers.

If price is an issue, Sendinblue can send a lot of emails for you without asking as much in return. It's an affordable option to reach a wider audience without reaching deeper into your wallet.

Mailchimp vs. Sendinblue: Which one should you choose?

Here's the summary:

  • You should go with Sendinblue if you need an inexpensive email marketing platform, you have a large contact list, or you value strong subscriber segmentation and CRM features.

  • You should go with Mailchimp if you want to improve your email marketing with advanced analytics, you need an email tool to work seamlessly with your eCommerce store, or native integrations are critical for you.

Related reading:

This article was originally published in December 2022 and has also had contributions from Kiera Abbamonte. The most recent update was in August 2023.

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