Our BloggingTips Breakdown
- Expensive for solo users
- Support not available 24/7
- Limited CRM functionality
- Limited free trial
- Can’t change campaign settings after launch
- Centralizes all outreach activities
- Email finder & verifier
- Easy to get into
- Useful for all types of outreach
- Decent support and lots of help material
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With so many email outreach platforms available out there, it can be difficult to figure out which one would work best for your specific use case.
Respona is a curious case – even though the team position it as a link building-oriented software, its toolset may prove interesting to marketing or even sales teams.
I wrote this Respona review to help marketers decide whether Respona is worth giving a shot.
The email outreach landscape is crowded, so there are quite a few alternatives to consider.
- Do We Recommend? Yes
- Budget Alternative: Gmass
- Discounts Available: N/A
- Specs: (this will be formatted as a table)
- Overall : 4.8 out of 5 (based on G2 reviews)
- Ease of use: 5 out of 5
- Value for money: 5 out of 5
- Features: 5 out of 5
What is Respona?
Respona is an all-in-one email outreach software. If you look at its case studies, the team claims it can help cut down up to 90% of time spent on outreach.
Don’t let the homepage mislead you – Respona calls itself a “link building tool”, but it’s really an all-purpose cold outreach tool. It may be useful to marketers who rely on cold outreach in any capacity – whether it’s to find collaboration opportunities, build links, or sell their product.
Once upon a time, there was Visme, a presentation software company. Visme was looking to scale on organic channels (i.e., Google search), and relied heavily on content promotion and link building. But, third-party email outreach tools never quite hit the spot (think BuzzStream and PitchBox).
Some were too clunky to use at scale and others were bloated with unnecessary functions. So, they decided to make their own – and the first iteration of Respona was born.
First, it was only used internally by Visme, and once their experiment started showing potential, it became a fully-fledged product. The tool has come a long way since its initial stages, so let’s take a look at what it brings to the table.
Features and Benefits of Respona
Respona’s campaign builder involves four steps:
- Finding opportunities (blog posts, news articles, podcasts, etc.)
- Finding contacts (either through Respona’s built-in email finder/verifier, through one of its integrations, or by uploading your own)
- Preparing your email sequence (includes automatically-populating variables and a spam word checker)
- Personalization (includes an AI article summarizer that pulls snippets of text from your opportunities’ pages to make this easier)
The campaign flow is easy to get into and pretty straightforward. It even includes campaign templates for different purposes to speed up the process even more.
The advantage of using a campaign template is that it fills out the search bar for you using advanced search operators, and formulates the basis of your email template.
Built-In Search Engine
Respona’s search engine has four modes:
- Google search
- Backlink search
- Podcast search
- .CSV import
The Google search itself has two modes: regular search and news. The second option may be useful for PR outreach, such as reaching out to journalists.
The backlink search is powered by Moz by default. But, if you have a subscription with Ahrefs or Semrush, you can connect your own account and use it as a search source to save up on Respona credits. Podcast search is powered by Listen Notes, and can find both specific episodes or entire shows.
Finally, .CSV import works for opportunities with or without contact emails. So, if you have a list of websites, you can upload it to Respona and find emails in bulk.
All emails connected to Respona share an inbox. This means you can manage all of your emails within a single interface – no need to actually open separate tabs with your Gmail accounts.
This is useful for:
- People who use separate email accounts for outreach
- Large teams and agencies
There is a downside, though – everyone can access everyone’s inbox, so if you want to keep some ongoing threads private, there’s no such option. At least, not yet.
Toolbox & Insights
In addition to the bulk email finder in the campaign builder, there is a separate finder/verifier in Respona’s toolbox. This is handy if you just want to look up or verify one or two emails.
Respona’s insights include both individual and global email reports with your delivery, open, and reply rates. Templates also track their own opens and replies, which is useful for A/B testing.
Respona’s relationships tab keeps track of all your contacts, your status with them, and your conversation histories. While it’s not as robust as a full-on CRM, it can still be useful for tracking your progress with individual companies and team members.
Respona Customer Service
Respona is fairly easy to get into – mainly because of its clean UI and straightforward campaign flow.
However, some things are a bit counterintuitive – for example, if you change the settings of a launched campaign, it will only apply to future opportunities added to it, and not the ones already launched.
If you haven’t had a personalized onboarding (which Respona offers to all paid users), you may have some questions.
Does Respona Offer Customer Service?
Yes, Respona offers customer support to all users, even those on the free trial.
What Types of Customer Service Does Respona Offer?
As for interactive support, Respona offers live chat and email support.
They also have a lot of step-by-step guides in their help center, a YouTube channel with videos walking through the campaign steps, and something they call the Outreach Strategy Hub.
It’s essentially a collection of small guides to different outreach strategies (not only limited to link building).
How Much Does Respona Cost?
Respona comes in two plans: Starter and Unlimited.
Both plans offer full functionality, just at a different scale.
- The Starter ($99/month) includes a single sender email and 5000 credits (enough to find 1000 contact email).
- Unlimited ($399/year) has no cap on connected email accounts, and offers 600,000 yearly credits (enough for 120,000 contacts).
Is Respona Worth the Cost?
Yes – but only if you opt-in for the Unlimited plan.
Why Respona Is Worth The Cost
The Standard plan feels limiting – with only one email slot ($49/month to add more), and 5000 credits. However, the amount of time Respona can help save on preparing campaigns and managing outreach makes it worth the $399/year investment for the unlimited plan.
You’re virtually never going to run out of credits, and you can connect as many emails as you want. It’s also cheaper than Respona’s competitors (Pitchbox, BuzzStream, etc.).
Email Outreach Tool Criteria: How We Tested Respona
Email outreach software often has seemingly identical functionality – for wildly different prices. So, when purchasing such a tool, it’s important to understand how it stacks up against the competition.
These are the main criteria we used when evaluating Respona.
- Ease of use: Respona has a very clean UI, so getting into it and finding all the options was not challenging at all.
- Contact finding accuracy: Respona claims to use over 24 data sources to find and verify contact information in real-time. In our experience, we haven’t had significant bounce spikes (over 3-4%), so the finder is solid.
- Speed: Running both content and contact automations takes time. On average, finding 100 contacts took around half an hour, which isn’t terrible, but could use some work.
- Sending limits: Respona does not limit how many emails you can send per month. But it has safety options to limit your daily output and even randomize sending times to reduce spam.
- Integrations: Respona has integrations with Gmail, Outlook, SMTP/IMAP, Moz, Ahrefs, Semrush, RocketReach, Hunter.io, and Snov.io – with more in the works, according to the team.
- Pricing: Respona has a steep price for individual users, and at the same time, very attractive one for agencies and larger teams. If you go with the standard plan, you’re likely going to need to purchase additional credits ($0.01/additional), or connect more sender emails ($49/month per email), which, in our opinion, is a bit much. The Unlimited plan solves this need, however.
Do We Recommend Respona? Our Unbiased Opinion
Overall, we recommend Respona to SEO/link building agencies, large in-house teams, or even solo users who rely on email outreach at scale.
The way Respona brings the whole process together is pretty convenient, so you’re never in a situation where you’re relying on multiple tools for prospecting, finding contact emails, and actually sending email campaigns.
With that being said, Respona is definitely more attractive for bigger teams willing to spend $399/year on the Unlimited plan as the Starter pricing is steep, with not a lot of credits included – and just a single sender email.
What We Like
- The UI is clean, readable, and easy to navigate.
- The built-in search engine and contact finder help massively with prospecting.
- Spam checker for emails and automated variables speed up personalization and help reduce spam rates.
- A shared inbox is useful for managing dozens of emails at once.
- Lots of support material.
What We Don’t Like
- Starter plan pricing.
- If you’re reaching out to support outside of eastern U.S. work hours they can take a while to get back to you.
- Sometimes the automatic variables don’t populate properly, so you have to manually double-check every pitch.
- If you have a large list of contacts to find, it can take hours.
Why We Recommend Respona
The following are the reasons why we think Respona is among the best outreach tools on the market.
- Respona is easy to use and saves a ton of time.
- Seamlessly integrates with both Gmail and Outlook and can connect with any other email provider using SMTP/IMAP.
- Transparent and readable reporting.
- Low Unlimited plan price (compared to competitors).
- Usable for all types of cold outreach, not just link building.
Why Should You Trust Us?
At BloggingTips, we’re about finding and using ways to grow blogs organically. Link building and content promotion are two of those ways.
We have tried other similar tools and taken in-depth looks at other users’ reviews to try and provide as unbiased an opinion as possible – as we did for countless other tools. Below are some testimonials by real Respona users (names hidden for privacy reasons).
What Respona Users are Saying
“We have been able to land 250 referring domains in Q1 alone. And for two quarters in a row, I have been able to achieve 111% and 131% of my targets for backlinks. And I think a large chunk of this credit would go to Respona for making this process easier for me. This product took the pain out of the process so I could focus on what matters.”
- Respona user and content marketer
“We tried Respona, and I definitely saw the value since we started the trial.”
- Respona user and marketing director
“The platform itself is very intuitive and it’s very easy to use. There are a lot of lead gen apps out there but you can’t specifically target podcasts. For us, creating podcasts and also running a community for podcasters, that ability to target is really invaluable. It helps us connect with podcasters at scale… Everything we need to get these campaigns going is all in one space.”
- Respona user and CMO
Why Would Somebody Want to Use Respona?
The biggest problem Respona tackles is how time-consuming of a task cold email outreach can be.
It also brings the entire toolset together, massively helping organize the process.
You may want to use Respona if you:
- Have been doing manual outreach
- Have been using separate tools for prospecting, finding contacts, and the actual outreach
- Are using another outreach tool and are not satisfied with the results.
- Are looking to get into cold email outreach and need an easy-to-learn but efficient tool to get into.
Who Is Respona Best For?
Respona is best for link-building and SEO agencies, or companies with an internal team of outreach specialists.
It is also for anyone relying on cold email outreach in any capacity – for content promotion and blogger outreach, getting in touch with journalists, booking podcasts, etc.
Who Should Not Use Respona?
Users that are just looking for a specific function – for example, just the email finder, or just the prospecting engine.
When you buy Respona, you’re paying for full functionality, so if you’re not going to use it, you’ll be wasting money. Also, freelancers – it’s too expensive.
What to Think About Before Buying Respona?
B2B tools can be significant money investments. Respona is not an exception – even though it’s cheaper than most outreach tools.
So, before purchasing, there are a few points to keep in mind:
- How serious are you about outreach? Respona’s value really kicks in with scale – if you’re only looking to launch small campaigns, it may not be the tool for you.
- Your budget. As I mentioned, the Starter plan feels limiting, so, for large-scale outreach you’ll need either the Unlimited plan or additional credit/sender email purchases.
- How long you will need Respona? The Unlimited plan is only billed annually – so paying for the Starter plan + extra credits/email accounts can be too expensive.
- Which features do you actually need? If you already have a list of contacts and just need a way to automate the outreach, paying for the whole package may be not worth it.
No review would be complete without listing out some alternatives to consider. So, here are Respona’s.
Pitchbox is Respona’s most direct alternative, also mainly focusing on link-building outreach. Its functionality is very similar to Respona but offers more integrations with tools like Slack, Zapier, GDS, Google Data Studio, and more.
How Does Pitchbox Differ From Respona?
The biggest difference in Pitchbox is its price. It’s much more expensive, with the regular plan starting at $495/year – which is $96 more than Respona charges for the Unlimited plan. It also doesn’t have a podcast search function or real-time email verification.
Who is Pitchbox Best For?
Pitchbox is best suited for link-building agencies or companies with large internal link-building teams – mainly because of its in-depth reporting and integrations with lots of SEO tools.
BuzzStream is another popular email outreach platform.
Unlike Respona and Pitchbox, it doesn’t try to position itself as a link-building outreach platform – instead focusing on list building.
How Does BuzzStream Differ From Respona?
BuzzStream is a little bit more expensive than Respona (starting at $124/month).
In addition to finding emails, it can also find phone numbers, which is something not offered by Respona.
However, it lacks a podcast search function and real-time email verification. The team also doesn’t provide personalized onboarding sessions and doesn’t offer live chat support.
Who is BuzzStream Best For?
BuzzStream is best suited to enterprises who already know what they’re doing, and need a tool that can help them build quality email and phone lists at scale.
Hunter is one of the most popular email finders and verifiers available.
However, it also features an all-one email outreach platform. Having comparable pricing to Respona, it may be a viable option for users mainly interested in the email finding/verifying functionality.
How Does Hunter.io Differ From Respona?
Compared to other all-in-one outreach platforms, Hunter may feel limited. However, Hunter has its own proprietary email finding and verifying algorithm, whereas Respona is currently relying on external data sources.
Who is Hunter.io Best For?
Hunter.io is a solid choice for link builders, PR teams, SEO agencies, and in-house outreach teams.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is Respona compared to other email outreach tools?
Respona is one of the most affordable email outreach tools on the market – with solid functionality. As long as you go for the Unlimited plan, of course.
It says “link-building tool” on the homepage. How is it useful for other types of outreach?
It’s useful for all types of outreach because it helps you find relevant websites, content, and contact information of people associated with specific companies.
For example, if your goal is to distribute press releases, Respona can help you find websites that have published other press releases, then find journalists’ contact information, and reach out to them. All in one interface.
Does Respona have a contact database?
According to the team, Respona does not keep a contact database. Instead, all of the email searching and verification is done in real-time.
Respona is one of the lesser-known tools available on the outreach market.
However, in my opinion, it’s worth at least taking a look at.
If you’re looking for a way to speed up your cold email outreach, Respona offers an easy solution.
Of course, some of you may prefer other tools or need more in-depth CRM functionality.
Respona offers a 14-day free trial, so if it doesn’t quite fit your needs, you can always cancel before committing to a purchase.
Hopefully, this review has answered all of your questions about Respona and whether it’s a worthwhile investment.
Respona review: a solid all-in-one email outreach tool primarily tailored for link builders. Features, pricing, frequently asked questions, and more.