Over the last few years, I've tried just about every type of software that helps with email outreach.
Pitchbox is a tool that I can comfortably say will be part of my "SEO arsenal" for years to come and there are a few key features that make this tool stand out from the rest.
Today, I'll share my Pitchbox review which will include what you can expect when using this tool and some alternatives if it doesn't meet your specific needs.
Let's jump straight in with some of the basics first.
What Is Pitchbox?
Officially, "Pitchbox is a link building & influencer outreach platform for SEO agencies, in-house teams, and brands. Streamline your outreach campaigns: Find bloggers, influencers, and link building opportunities in record time. Send out personalized emails and follow-ups and maximize response rates. Pitchbox allows you to scale your outreach, saving you time and resources while leveling up your business." (About Pitchbox, Capterra)
In a nutshell, Pitchbox helps entrepreneurs, marketers, and business owners grow their customer base by providing them with an easy way to manage all of their outreach campaign efforts in one place. For my purposes, I will be using it primarily for link building but there is also the possibility to use this to grow my client-base with my own cold outreach campaigns.
But it's not just a blogger outreach tool. It's not just for link building.
I had a chat with the Co-Founder of Pitchbox, Michael Geneles who changed my perspective completely. Pitchbox is actually a productivity tool. And my mind was blown when he said that, because it is paying off dividends already in terms of enhancing my productivity.
And what about the nitty gritty?
The Weaknesses of Pitchbox
While it's still early days, here are a few comments on limitations or potential weaknesses of the tool:
- Pricing - There is no doubt that PB is a pricey option. But there is a good reason why their plans start at $500 (around £370 for my UK viewers).
- Commitment - Adding to the above, it's not just the high-price of the tool, it's the duration of the minimum contract - 12 months. This makes the minimum commitment $6,000 (£4,460).
- Additional Resources - This is not a set and forget tool. You will have to use it to its full potential in order to get the outcome you want and this may entail hiring additional Virtual Assistants depending on the scale of your operations. Either way, you'll have to leverage more (human) resources to get the best returns for your business.
- Learning Curve - Think Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO). You will need to dedicate lots of time in working out the best way to create effective campaigns, identify prospects, personalize contacts and customise your outreach templates.
Full disclosure, I'm at the start of my Pitchbox journey and I will update this post if I find anything else relevant to this section.
Now, onto why I'm willing to ignore these misgivings...
The Strengths of Pitchbox
Let's start with the basics
- Ease of use: Pitchbox is very easy to use and you will be up and running within minutes. And this, for me at least, was a major selling point as I don't have time to spend countless hours learning how to use complicated software. The interface is clean, tidy and not confusing like some of the alternatives.
- Adding Email Accounts: It is so easy to add email accounts. I absolutely love it. Also, my plan is perfect for what I need (less than 10 accounts).
- Customer Support: When I have a question for customer support, they typically answer within 1-hour. In normal working hours it's almost instant. So well done on this front.
- Onboarding: Again, a credit to Pitchbox staff - Dallas & Anna. They were excellent in qualifying my business-use case and answering my incessant questions about the tool. They were also able to onboard me in such a way that wasn't salesy at all. (Maybe it's because I was so excited that I had found a match?).
- Prospecting: This is perhaps the biggest one for me. You have eradicated my need to manually prospect for links. And you've been able to hand me (on a platter) fantastic prospect lists which, integrated with Ahrefs, show me the metrics that I use to filter quality placements for my clients. While I still occasionally need to do some manual prospecting, the time Pitchbox has saved me here = immense. Thank you!
- Response Rates: These are relative to the quality of your templates, so it's correlated with your own skills in this department. Anyway, I'm finding it much easier to nail my own outreach templates and follow up emails via PB.
- Other strengths I will expand on later: Reporting functionality, data analytics, ChaseBox, the ability to add lots of email accounts, accurate email addresses scraping, custom fields, blacklists and LOTS of other things.
As you can tell, I haven't even scratched the surface but I've already determined that this is a fantastic asset to my search marketing business.
Let's also qualify that aspect while we're here, in case you're interested.
Why Is Pitchbox Right for Straight Up Search?
After quite a bit of research and demoing the tool with Anna, I realised that there are 3 core elements it would help with and their splits:
- Client Side (70% focus) - Running campaigns on behalf of my clients.
- Affiliate Marketing (25% focus) - Running campaigns for my own brand portfolio.
- Sales (5% focus) - Running campaigns to obtain new clients for Straight Up Search. Mostly experimental outreach to optimise my Pitchbox skills.
Now, onto the period of trial.
The Trial Period
I joked with Michael and Dallas that I may be in the Top 1% of Customers in terms of hour usage in trial period. I have been booking my afternoons off, putting in evening and weekend work. Essentially, my fiancée hates me at this point for the lack of attention I've been giving her.
Here's what my trial period looks like:
Notably, on the trial period - your Campaign limit is typically 50 New Campaigns. But I had to ask for more because I made some really stupid mistakes when I was building mine. Dallas thankfully obliged me with more to make the most of my trial period.
Here's what my meeting / touchpoints with the Pitchbox team has looked like:
Initial demo sales call
Qualifying & demo
Perfect business fit
Onboarding trial demo
Onboarding Rep (Dallas)
Demo use case
Impressive tool & great customer service
Friendly chat 🙂
Custom data analytics + automation? = win
Onboarding trial training
Onboarding Rep (Dallas)
Demo use case to other employees & follow up
Employees understand the role PB plays now
Now let's talk about the price elephant in the room...
Pitchbox Pricing Plans
The Trial Period is 30 days and once you enter your credit card information you will not be billed until the 'free trial' period has expired. From my understanding there are a few tiers available but your PB representative will choose the most appropriate package based on your usage. My plan is the base level $500 per month.
In a way, I'm not that concerned about the high cost of this tool. In a way, it inspires me to use the tool to its full potential.
Here's a way I'm thinking about it.
The Gym Analogy
In the past year I started kitting out my garage with a treadmill, weight station, bench press and a barbell + weights. I think I've used it a handful of times. I needed a new approach to getting healthier because this clearly wasn't working.
I sold everything. Got rid of all of the equipment. Cleared my garage up. Then I purchased a relatively expensive gym membership.
I'm now exercising 100% more than I was before, because I'm financially committed to a rolling £50 per month gym membership. I like to take advantage of what I'm paying for.
This just how my brain works. Circling back to online software - I've bought countless lifetime deals on AppSumo, but I barely use any of these.
So in a way, the high-cost of Pitchbox has inspired me to incorporate it into my business processes, in a big way, even if it's time intensive to begin with. I know in the long-run, Pitchbox will be a net benefit to my content marketing operations.
Alternatives Outreach Tools Considered
BuzzSumo is great for conducting primary research around the influencers that are potentially reaching your audience online. The tool lets you pull recent link data on any topic or domain so you can quickly see who gets the most social shares in a certain subject area.
Mailshake helps to streamline cold email outreach campaigns to influencers, so it's great for influencer marketing. The tool has a very clean interface that makes it easy to track email opens and click-through rates.
Lemlist is another outreach platform that helps marketers reach out to the right people in their inboxes. You can monitor who's opening your emails or clicking on links so you can see who's reading what you send. Also I hear good things about the personalised images.
Quickfire Pitchbox FAQ
Does Pitchbox offer guides, tutorials and or customer support?
Pitchbox offers an in-depth guide that covers all the functions of the software. They also provide email training to get you started with your account. You are welcome to contact their support team via email or phone if you have additional questions about how it works and I've used this extensively. I'd advise you to do the same, make the most of the very knowledgeable staff. I would recommend the PB blog: The Anatomy of a Kick-Ass Outreach Email and How We Streamlined Our Link Building Process.
What platforms does Pitchbox support?
The official integrations from the settings are: Zapier, Slack, Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs, SEMRush, LinkResearchTools, Google Data Studio and OpenID.
Does pitchbox offer an api?
It appears to have an API.
Conclusion & Wrap Up
I'm a huge fan of Pitchbox and I plan to use the software for my digital marketing campaigns from now on. The user interface is very intuitive, offers a lot of functionality without being too confusing to get around.
Tech support has been very responsive in sorting out any questions I had during my trial period so if you're looking for an alternative email outreach tool I'd definitely recommend giving Pitchbox a shot.
Now, over to you. Are you a user of Pitchbox? Did I review Pitchbox in a helpful way?
Let me know of any tips that helped you take this productivity tool to the next level. Or perhaps I inspired you to "make the leap" for your own business.
Thanks for reading guys, feel free to connect with me on any medium! I'll be updating this post periodically.