Updated · Oct 13, 2022
Best for: Email and SMS marketing for ecommerce
What Is Sendlane?
Sendlane is a marketing automation platform that puts an emphasis on deep behavioral data. It was born out of the need for a viable alternative to the prevailing pricey email service providers, that offer obligatory long-term contracts for small businesses, especially retailers.
Following the years after its inception in 2013, the Sendlane marketing solution served only as an internal tool for its three co-founders. They were digital marketers, agency owners, and ecommerce entrepreneurs themselves.
This platform became a serious player in the relationship marketing game in late 2017. But it has punched above its weight since then, acquiring more than 1,700 clients and powering the delivery of 40 million emails a day.
Likewise, Sendlane takes pride in its Net Promoter Score® of 88—way above the score of 33 top-tier apps garner on the average.
Like other email service providers, the company makes lots of bold claims. But the average star rating of 4.8 from 100 authentic Sendlane reviews on Capterra and G2 indicate that most users are satisfied.
Sendlane wouldn’t be enjoying this level of success early in its history without a stellar feature set.
Granted, this platform’s list of functionalities, to some extent, still pale in comparison to those of the leading all-in-one solutions. But Sendlane isn’t trying to please all small businesses with varying marketing aspirations.
All the company cares for currently is developing Sendlane features for ecommerce brands. Let’s see what the platform has to offer.
With Sendlane, you can design inline forms, pop-ups, and floating boxes and banners. The software has a native drag-and-drop form maker that allows ample customization, including the option to create unique fields.
Aside from capturing uncommon data, custom fields can serve as personalization tags too.
As in email sending, timing is everything in pop-up forms. That’s why the Sendlane marketing platform can synchronize your pop-ups with your automation funnels.
Forms that can manifest themselves at the right place and at the right time can elevate your lead generation potential and ultimately drive up your revenue.
Be it when creating an account or when finishing checkout, high-converting intelligent forms can help compel your prospects to carry out the next action needed.
No Email Sending Limit
A pleasant surprise we discovered when testing for this Sendlane review is that there is no sending limit.
Sendlane charges by contact count and offers plans with numerous price points. This product enables you to execute drip marketing campaigns, targeting highly segmented audiences with no communication delay.
The company recommends daily automation and no more than three newsletters a week. But you know what works best for your business, so you can go beyond these suggestions.
Pre-Built Email Templates
The Sendlane email marketing platform has a library of templates at your disposal. We’ve seen selections with more choice and wider design variety, though. Nevertheless, they can get you started in no time and give you some inspiration.
Drag-and-Drop Email Builder
If you prefer to roll up your sleeves and design your emails from scratch, this tool provides you with a bunch of formatting and customization features for controlling all vital elements. You can:
- add and play with different sections
- save and reuse content blocks
- customize text
- modify the background color
- leverage personalization tags
- include images
- mask links
- share hosted files.
Further, this editor has a built-in HTML builder. Using this sub-tool may alter the existing code you’ve written out during the creation process.
The Sendlane marketing team admits that it provides limited support for this functionality. A good thing to keep in mind.
If you decide to use it, you can see a preview of your design on different screens and send a test sample to ensure that your creation looks good on all devices. If you like it, you can save it as a template.
Variable tags are placeholders useful for simplifying the personalization of your emails to every individual on your Sendlane email marketing lists.
To make the most out of them, the information saved within the profiles of your contacts should be as substantial as possible. Otherwise, the text will populate as blank since there’s no data to pull, to begin with.
Personalization tags don’t function in a test environment, though. In other words, getting the tag details wrong will taint your content.
To avoid keystroke blunders, we advise copy and paste VAR codes instead of typing them in outright. You can find a list of tags on Sendlane.com
Unlimited Sender Profile Creation
A sender profile includes all business information you want your email recipients to know.
Sendlane gives you the freedom to choose the details you want to display and create as many profiles as you need for different contact lists. This way, you can have more latitude in formulating email campaign strategies.
With the Sendlane Beacon, you can track the movement of your site visitors and collect invaluable behavioral data. This innovation keeps you from personalizing your messages using just the name of your contacts.
Frankly, addressing an email subscriber by name has somehow lost its original effect. It has been common practice, and most marketers have desensitized consumers who receive such correspondence on a regular basis.
To set yourself apart, you have to go beyond that. Send highly targeted contacts communications triggered by their recent actions.
Typically, the use case of this feature is generating appropriately worded communications via the Sendlane autoresponder, based on real-time site engagement. But software’s tracking pixel can likewise aid cross-channel retargeting.
In segmentation, the devil’s in the details. For our Sendlane review, we tried grouping contacts based on individual needs and interests. It was as easy as a breeze.
Sendlane lets you create a long list of closely similar prospects using notable variables geared towards revenue and return on investment. Since the software is big on behavioral data, you can refine your mailing lists the more your contacts react with your communications.
Actually, you can use segments to delete unengaged leads by a group. It’s not the only way to delete inactive contacts, and other methods offer more flexibility. You’ll learn about them as well as the fate of erased leads shortly.
With Sendlane automation features, you never have to guess when to touch base with your contacts. You can set your campaigns on autopilot by event or behavior and have the liberty to pick certain actions or interests that can trigger real-time messages.
You can set your campaigns in motion without any hassle using pre-built funnels. They complement the turnkey automations readily accessible upon login.
The rudimentary structure of these pre-built funnels won’t blow you away because it’s not meant to. Standard Sendlane automation funnel frameworks are workable. But they’re destined to help reduce the trials and tribulations of creating your own workflows.
Once you get more comfortable in using the software, you should be able to craft unique customer journeys based on how your prospects interact with your ecommerce site and respond to your correspondence.
Thanks to the software’s incredible hyper-personalization prowess, tailoring your messaging to engage with your leads in a sensible fashion is a breeze.
Sendlane automation functionalities don’t apply to emails alone. You can also harness them to instruct the platform to deploy text messages to targeted prospects on its own under certain conditions. You’ll learn more about SMS automation marketing later.
This is A/B testing on steroids. It can assess the impact of tiny changes to various campaign components, helping you determine the most effective messages for each group of your contacts.
The software measures how the subject, preheader, and content affect customer engagement. That helps you figure out the best email version.
You can test up to four variances, conduct an experiment involving your chosen percentage of email recipients, pick a time frame, and set goals. The Sendlane email marketing system can send the winning version to the rest of your targeted contacts.
Compared to A/B tests, multivariate experiments can be significantly more enlightening. However, they don’t cover everything email spam tests do.
Avoiding the spam folder takes more than just writing original and compelling copy. Maintaining a good sender reputation matters, too. Nevertheless, carrying out a multivariate test is a step in the right direction.
Machine Learning Open Predictability
Sendlane reviews show that the Machine Learning Open Predictability is a user-favorite. You can learn when each of your targeted prospects is likely to open your messages and click your links.
Sendlane’s behavioral tracking capability can reveal patterns in your leads’ online activity. Using the personal habits that you discover, you can fine-tune the timing and frequency of your campaigns for higher chances of success.
With the Sendlane marketing platform, you can leverage the channel with the highest rate of readability. Read within 3 minutes 98% of the time, SMS helps guarantee that you can send your message across and keep your contacts glued to your brand.
Like emails, text messages on Sendlane can be personalized. They’re highly flexible - you can use them as standalone campaigns or supplementary communications.
Available to select Sendlane subscribers, SMS automated marketing can disseminate potent promotional information and urgent notifications.
Time is a precious commodity in the eyes of Sendlane. That's why the platform makes it a point to render actionable data immediately available.
The software constantly watches and analyzes what window shoppers and serious buyers are doing on your digital storefronts. Sendlane ensures that all data gathered across multiple channels in a single dashboard for seamless viewing.
To help you make informed decisions fast, the app produces segmented reports. Rest assured that you can get all the information you need in any situation.
Because of this, you’d know whether certain campaigns or automations are bearing fruit or you need to rethink your strategies.
To improve Sendlane deliverability and preserve a stellar sender reputation, you can cleanse your audience lists by ridding them of inactive leads.
When enabled, this feature removes unresponsive contacts per list only. So, if an unwanted contact is present on multiple lists, it will only disappear from the specified one.
You can run list hygiene, either the smart way or the automatic way. Smart list hygiene is a one-time manual removal of unengaged contacts. Ten days of inactivity is the minimum threshold for removal, while 365 days is the maximum.
Automatic list hygiene is the recurring kind. It implements the erasure of unresponsive contacts at regular intervals. You have the freedom to select the inactivity threshold and removal frequency.
Sendlane recommends targeting leads who have been unresponsive to content for 60 days and scheduling a list hygiene session every 14 days.
During the research for this Sendlane review, we learned that the software won’t erase unengaged contacts who:
- haven’t been on the specified list for at least 30 days
- received at least one email
- engaged with the content in the specified window.
Once deleted, you won’t automatically lose your records. The app sends an email with a CSV attachment containing the details of the contacts you erased. But the file may download immediately if the number of removed leads is less than 20,000 rows.
While not advisable, you may restore them on the History tab if you wish.
If you go with the Pro plan, Sendlane will roll the red carpet for you and handle everything necessary to get you started on the platform. Greatly convenient, particularly if you have more than 10,000 contacts to move.
This subscription comes with a dedicated account management team. A full-service migration concierge provides onboarding assistance while the rest of the crew is busy setting up automation funnels and key Sendlane integrations.
As a VIP, you get to enjoy white-glove account management. This is the highlight of the company’s world-class round-the-clock customer support.
This value-added service is deserving of glowing Sendlane reviews, but it may not be enough reason to upgrade to the top-tier plan. The Growth plan includes Instant Migration, which is the DIY route.
It might be a misnomer since you won’t be able to import your contacts instantaneously, but this approach is fairly straightforward. You’ll just have to answer a few questions first before you can directly transfer your leads into your Sendlane account.
Just because you didn’t choose the VIP treatment doesn’t mean Sendlane extends no helping hand. The company offers a step-by-step walkthrough to ensure that you won’t get lost in the process.
Ease of Use and Interface
This software isn’t intimidating. Most Sendlane features are visual-heavy and require practically no technical expertise to use.
The company inspires trust and reliability by offering 24/7 live chat and email support to all users. The advertised response time of 30 seconds to 1 minute holds true. And it’s encouraging that it provides a treasure trove of insightful resources, many of which are accessible with no signup required and no geo-restrictions.
Registered account holders can download ebooks and other digital literature about relationship marketing for ecommerce sites. Sendlane’s The Marketing Automation Hustle Podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.
If you’re understandably selective in choosing an online marketing platform to adopt, you can request a demo or sign up for the Sendlane free trial. The company’s payment selection is limited to major credit and debit cards, though.
Sendlane has 9 native integrations, 4 of which (Shopify, WooCommerce, Miva, and ClickBank) are driven by the so-called deep data. The software can keep tabs on more than 100 data points related to each individual customer.
With such an extremely high number of trackable actions, you can outsmart all of your competitors that merely skim the surface of consumer behavior.
If you have several ecommerce sites, Sendlane can help you keep all of your communications from all stores in one place. Worry not, everything is highly manageable at the same time. Deep-data Sendlane Shopify, WooCommerce, Miva, and ClickBank integrations make this feasible.
Further, you can integrate the product with Zapier, which can bridge you to at least 1,500 sought-after automation and productivity tools.
The Sendlane marketing platform has many deficiencies, but you can round it out with robust plugins. There are dozens of Sendlane integrations spread across 11 categories, including the following:
- Content management
- Customer relationship management
- Landing pages
- Lead generation
- Payment processing
With the open Sendlane API, we expect more third-party integrations to roll out sooner rather than later.
This subscription-based product is available in two plans: Growth and Pro. Either has monthly and annual billing options; the latter promises a discounted rate, of course.
With the exception of multi-user access, SMS automation marketing, dedicated account management, VIP migration, and onboarding support, all Sendlane features are present in both subscriptions.
Here’s how much the company charges per contact count:
- 5,000 contacts
- Monthly: $100
- Annual: $83/month
- 10,000 contacts: $275/month
- 20,000 contacts: $360/month
- 50,000 contacts: $660/month
- 75,000 contacts: $880/month
- 100,000 contacts: $1100/month
- 10,000 contacts: $229/month
- 20,000 contacts: $300/month
- 50,000 contacts: $550/month
- 75,000 contacts: $733/month
- 100,000 contacts: $917/month
If you need to store more contacts, Sendlane can give you a custom estimate.
Although the Growth plan has slightly fewer features, it does come with a 14-day Sendlane free trial, no credit card required.
With the trial, you can’t save more than 100 contacts, though. But having 2 weeks to take the Sendlane marketing software for a spin is adequate time to learn how it works and assess its value.
Moreover, the company has recently launched a third offering called the Special New Customer Education plan. This starter pack rolls six months’ worth of the Growth subscription and the eCommerce Email Academy’s 10-course module into one.
The combined street price for both offerings is $841, but this package costs over 40% less. Also, it’s not a subscription; you just have to pay a one-time $497 fee. Whether or not you have yet to learn the ropes of email and SMS marketing, this plan can be a practical purchase.
To sweeten the pot even further, Sendlane throws a couple of bonuses into the bargain:
- 57 video lessons (8+ hours total running time)
- 11 printable checklists
- 10-course quizzes
- 3 downloadable ecommerce expert interviews
- 3 email marketing case studies of major brands
Sendlane’s paid services and subscriptions are subject to auto-renewal. You can opt-out of any of them if you don’t want to continue using the software after the current term ends. The company doesn’t provide a prorated refund, though.
Sendlane vs Mailchimp
Sendlane can’t match Mailchimp’s enviable brand recall. But the San Diego, California–based company’s key features keep in step with the Atlanta, Georgia–headquartered email marketing giant’s standard functionalities.
Both Sendlane and Mailchimp use a basket of technologies to understand what makes site visitors tick and apply rich behavioral data they collect to polish their messages and automation workflows.
Mailchimp naturally has a more extensive and diverse directory of third-party apps and tools. The growing number of categories of Sendlane integrations is proof that this company can hang with more established industry leaders.
Email sending limitation fundamentally differentiates Sendlane from Mailchimp. The former puts no cap on the volume of communications you can send daily or monthly. Since contact storage is the primary basis of Sendlane pricing, you can evaluate the value of its subscriptions more clearly.
Mailchimp, on the other hand, prices its plans by contact count and imposes a monthly restriction on email sends. Likewise, it doesn’t consider transactional email as a standard offering.
Mailchimp subscriptions are more affordable. Although more inclusive, Sendlane’s starter plan costs about 46% more than its counterpart for the same number of contacts.
However, it can be a bummer that Sendlane has no equivalent to Mailchimp’s free software version. The unavailability of native Sendlane landing pages is glaring too. SMS marketing isn’t possible with Mailchimp without a plug-in, so it’s a tie.
Other than A/B tests, Mailchimp supports multivariate experiments. But you’d have to sign up for the top-tier plan first. In contrast, multivariate testing is available to all Sendlane marketing clients, including free trial users.
When it comes to customer support, both companies provide assistance through email and live chat night and day. But with Mailchimp, you can have a representative on the line to discuss your concerns. Sendlane’s all-encompassing migration support is hard to beat, though.
Sendlane Review - Verdict
Sendlane is an emerging relationship marketing platform. Judging by its feature-rich plans and value-added services, the company has been able to justify and get away with its slightly higher prices.
The set of Sendlane features has to be upgraded slightly. if the software is to stay competitive with other solutions. And we can imagine it evolving into an all-in-one marketing platform in the foreseeable future.
But don’t let scarce thorough Sendlane reviews discourage you from thinking that this software isn’t worth giving a chance. It’s bound to be a “pundit’s darling” soon, so use its free trial to determine whether it fits the bill.
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