Pitchbox is an outreach and prospecting automation platform that allows users to build relationships with targeted marketing and PR opportunities, bloggers, and influencers. Features include contact information and social profiles for influencers, email management tools, including customizable personalized templates and automated follow-ups, and performance metrics.
Monthly pricing ranges from $149 to $499. Custom Enterprise pricing is also available for large customers.
Michael Boyette, editorial director at Rapid Learning Institute, has been using Pitchbox for about a year.
How do you use it?
We started using Pitchbox when we launched our content marketing program. It’s now the backbone for organizing, integrating, and managing that process.
Our content marketing team performs ongoing outreach to bloggers and traditional media, but they mostly reach out to people in the digital space. Before Pitchbox, they managed that process with spreadsheets and lists.
When setting up campaigns, our team starts with searching the digital space to find influencers based on different criteria and categories.
When we log onto Pitchbox’s site, there’s a feature that allows us to set search criteria. Then we just push a button and get thousands of opportunities for where we could potentially place our content. You can sort those opportunities by various criteria that are built into Pitchbox and come up with a prioritized, targeted list of blogs.
We can view blogs right in Pitchbox’s dashboard screen, and it gives us stats on individual blogs and contact information, including email address and social profile information. This allows us to engage with influential bloggers on social media first, before we start pitching them.
We can create templates, which increase efficiency, but we can also personalize the messages for each recipient. We use a CRM within Pitchbox for sending outreach emails
Pitchbox follows our outreach activity all the way through the pipeline. It alerts us if we haven’t heard back from people, and it also manages responses from influencers. Everything shows up on a management screen.
We’ve never had a problem with Pitchbox, but if we did we could reach out via email, live chat, or telephone.
How does it serve your business needs?
Rapid Learning Institute is an online training company. It has offered online training for five years. We’re a new kid on the block and we have a non-traditional training model.
Our programs are built around really short modules – they’re typically six to 10 minutes long. Many people evaluate online training by the number of hours they’re buying, so we have to educate our audience about why shorter is better and why they should pay more for less. We have to get them thinking differently about training and what works in training.
It’s also important for us to establish our credibility. We do a lot of research and we need to promote our findings and knowledge. Credibility and exposure are the main things were looking for.
Pitchbox helps us get on influential blogs and position our people as experts by streamlining the outreach process and making it much easier and more effective to manage outreach.
It also helps us feel more comfortable about who we’re reaching out to because the built-in metrics give us a scorecard to better understand influencers.
Salesforce.com is one of the biggest players in the sales world. From a traditional PR perspective, Salesforce wouldn’t be seen as a media outlet, but its blog is hugely influential. Using Pitchbox we were able to become a contributor on the Salesforce blog, which is huge for us in terms of reach and in terms of being associated with a market leader like Salesforce.
What are the main benefits?
Efficiency is the biggest benefit. We’re getting about three times as much work done with the same number of employees. It gives us a structure and a credible score card we use to plan our campaigns.
The reminders help ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Because it’s a more efficient way of managing our content marketing efforts, our people who are pitching don’t have to spend so much time on mechanical things and can focus on building relationships and creating content.
What are the main drawbacks?
There’s no drawback with the system and how it works, but you still need skilled people to execute on it. It’s not like you push a button and get on every blog out there. You need people who know how to pitch a story and create content.
Vocus: provides a media database of more than 400,000 journalists and bloggers, news, blog, and social media monitoring, analytics; and press release distribution.
Cision: provides media database, press release distribution, media monitoring, and media analysis