It’s well known that link-building is a time consuming and admin-intensive activity, which is why you won’t find many digital marketing agencies who aren’t using link-building software to ease the process.

We’re currently using a highly-rated software called Pitchbox, and after many months of use, our link-building team has contributed their opinions and suggestions in our review of the link-building tool (or rather, the Influencer Outreach & Content Marketing Platform, as they call themselves).

In our review, we’ll highlight:

  1. An overview of the tool
  2. Things to watch out for
  3. A review of the trial period (one month long, training session, dedicated Pitchbox trainer)
  4. What we love about the tool
  5. What we don’t love about the tool

1. An Overview of Pitchbox

If you want a solid overview of Pitchbox and how it works, there’s a useful 5 minute video on the homepage of their website which you can watch here.

You’ll notice that the software comes with 8 different campaign-types depending on the type of outreach you’re planning on doing. These campaign-types range from whether you want to get in touch with bloggers to promote a new article of yours, or if you want to contact websites to get a link added to a resource page of theirs. We’re most familiar with the campaign type which is simply called CSV Export, which allows us to import our website targets from a spreadsheet.

CSV-Export

As an agency, you can choose various different packages depending on the size of your agency, or how many clients you have.

As a 12 person agency, our monthly package is as follows:

– 10 users

– 10 email addresses

– 150 campaigns

– 5,000 outreach emails

This package has proven to be the perfect fit for us.

2. Things to Watch Out For:

Before getting too invested in Pitchbox you should note a couple things which may be a deterrent for you.

The Price

The first one being that Pitchbox is far more expensive than most other link-building or outreach tools available, with the Agency package costing A$395 per month.

This comes at a far higher price than another popular outreach tool called Buzzstream, which you can get agency packages for A$99 or A$299, depending on your requirements.

The Annual Contract

The other thing to note – and this is a biggie – is that Pitchbox only offers an annual contract which means that from the month you sign up, you’ll be charged monthly for the next 12 months.

The reason Pitchbox insists on an annual contract is that it requires a bit of time and effort for new users to learn the ropes of using Pitchbox, and they want people to be fully committed to spending the time to learn everything they need to know in order to get the most out of the tool.

It’s also important to note that the annual contract gets renewed automatically after the initial 12 months. So remember to take the time to decide if you want to continue using the tool and paying for another 12 months before your contract expires!  

3. The Trial Period

The trial period experience was a very positive one for us. As we mentioned, Pitchbox really want their users to learn how to use the tool properly before signing on, which is why they make sure the trial period experience is strong.

The best part of the trial period is that Pitchbox provides an initial training session which they customise to be unique to your agency and clients. You’ll also get a dedicated Pitchbox trainer who is always available to answer your questions and schedule phone calls if you have any questions.

During our trial period, our Pitchbox trainer helped us set up your first campaign which we were actually able to use for an outreach campaign we had going.

The trial period lasted a month, but they were happy to add small extensions while we were doing our outreach campaign and in the last stages of confirming our subscription process.

4. What We Love About Pitchbox

Bulk email sends: Something that we couldn’t do when using out last outreach tool, Buzzstream, was send all of our emails at the same time with the click of a button. Reason being, if hundreds of emails get sent out at the exact same time, our email provider (Gmail) would flag this activity as spam, and possibly block or suspend our email account (which would be disastrous).

Spam-Mail

Pitchbox has a clever work-around for this, however. The tool allows you to ‘Launch’ an outreach campaign with the click of a button, but they know not to have the emails all sent out at the exact same time.

Pitchbox has a clever work-around for this, however. The tool allows you to ‘Launch’ an outreach campaign with the click of a button, but they know not to have the emails all sent out at the exact same time.

When clicking the ‘Launch’ button,they use a special methodology of sending out the emails which has them automatically sent out every few minutes or so, in order to give the appearance of the emails being sent off manually.

So while we’re taking one second to click a button, Pitchbox sends the emails out sporadically throughout the day, which is a huge time saver!

Automatic Follow-ups to Multiple Contacts

Automatic follow-ups is a feature available in most outreach tools which can automatically send a preset follow-up email to your contacts if they don’t reply to your initial email. But as mentioned, this isn’t a special feature in itself.

What Pitchbox has added to this is the use of automatic follow-ups to multiple contacts.

This means that for each website target, you can add multiple contacts or email addresses from that website or organisation. So if the first person on your list doesn’t reply to your initial email, or any of your automatic follow-up emails, Pitchbox will automatically start the process again and send your initial email (and follow-ups) to the next contact on your list from each organisation.

This increased the number of replies we got greatly, since it’s not uncommon for contacts to not reply, as they technically don’t know who we are before receiving the email.

Easy Importing of Website Targets

The importing of data from our own spreadsheets is something that’s been very useful for us in using Pitchbox.

We like to compile our website targets in Google Sheets which can be easily shared across the team and can be stored within our own internal systems. This is something we’ve been doing for years and years, so Pitchbox’s option to easily import spreadsheet data into Pitchbox is very useful.

We’re even able to include the ‘customised’ data in our spreadsheets such as the target’s first name, website name and email etc, which gets imported directly into our email outreach templates. Another huge time-saver.

5. What We Don’t Love About Pitchbox

The 12 Month Contract

We’re approaching the end of our 12 month contract, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for us to know whether we actually want to commit for another 12 months. While link-building contributes a large proportion of what we do, this long term commitment doesn’t leave a lot of room for flexibility, since there’s always the risk that our activities in this area might decrease in 6 months time.

Contract

Overall usability

Pitchbox can sometimes prove to be frustrating to navigate, with quite a lot of activity on the interface of each page. This can become especially frustrating in the early stages of use.

So if you’re committed to signing a long-term contract, make sure you get extremely familiar with where everything is, and try not to get frustrated if the interface seems confusing.  

Something else that can prove slightly annoying is the lack of breadcrumbs – or to simply go back to a previous page you were viewing. So you might find that there are times when you’re trying to go back to a specific page you were on, but you’ve got no trail of how to get back there. You might find yourself going all the way back to the homepage in order to follow a path that you’re familiar with.

Response rate flaw

An important metric to keep track of when doing email outreach is reply-rate, as this gives you an indication of the quality of your outreach templates. While Pitchbox does track this metric for you, the data will also include automatic or out-of-office replies, which has no bearing on the quality of your outreach templates and will inflate the numbers.

For this reason, we’ve had to continue monitoring reply-rate manually.

Conclusion

There really are a lot of features in Pitchbox – more than your average link outreach tool. For this reason, it’ll take a dedicated group of team members to learn the ins-and-outs of the tool in order to get the most of it.

As far as the annual subscription goes, you’ll need to really make the most of your trial period to ensure that the tool is definitely right for you, and that there are members in your team who have the time and willingness to learn the software to their best potential. The last thing you’d want is to sign the contract, only to find the team not being able to use the tool properly.

Overall, Pitchbox is certainly a time saver, and it makes the process of link outreach much simpler to navigate and monitor. But you do have to make sure the tool is right for you. If your link outreach campaigns are fairly simple or if you’re not launching link-building campaigns on a monthly basis, you might be better off using another software which might come at a cheaper price with a monthly subscription. However, if your agency conducts regular outreach throughout the year with multiple link outreach campaigns going on at the same time, then Pitchbox would probably be a good fit for you.

Either way, there’s no harm in opting for the one-month free trial period, as long as you’re aware that even the trial period will require your time with your personal Pitchbox trainer, and the effort in getting to learn the tool properly using a real outreach campaign of yours.

You can book your Demo with Pitchbox here.

If you have any specific questions about Pitchbox that we haven’t covered, drop us a comment below and we’ll let you know our thoughts!

 

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