What do you do when trying to land more customers for your business? Most people put out more social media posts and network.
But if you want to try the sexy, scary and rewarding route, you launch a cold emailing campaign. And that’s where Apollo.io becomes your friend (at least that’s what the company wants you to believe.)
Apollo.io is a sales intelligence and engagement solution – otherwise known as a lead generation tool. It’s designed to let you reach anyone on the planet by helping you source their contact information and then letting you reach out to them with ease.
If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. Apollo is promising to do a lot for you.
So join me in this Apollo.io review as talk about this industry leading lead generation tool and explore how effective it is at helping you find new customers and clients.
Apollo’s Sign-up and Onboarding Process
Onboarding with Apollo.io is seamless and feels like it was designed for people who want to hit the ground running. You can create a free account within seconds and start searching for individuals.
Of course, you could follow the onboarding checklist that guides you through the entire process, telling you everything you need to know and rewarding you with additional credits.
But if you’re like me, you want to get right to finding people. I have to give Apollo props here because they let you do that instead of making you complete the onboarding before setting you free, so to speak.
Finding People On Apollo
Finding people and their contact information on Apollo feels easier than it should be, considering how difficult it can be to find people anywhere else.
Apollo has a long list of filtering criteria if you’re trying to find people in specific industries. You can plug in a number of search criteria, from an ideal person to their industry, job title, and even their name.
The option is also available to search by companies, in which case, you’ll get hyper-specific parameters like the number of employees, account HQ location, and the specific company.
Using your Apollo.io Leads
So say you wanted to find CEOs of logistics companies in the US because you have a revolutionary new widget that can half their costs and transport time.
You can easily fill in the details in Apollo.io and watch it spit out contact info.
From here, you can simply access the email directly, or, if you’re looking to create a leads database, save them to a list for future use.
Next, pop into your list, select the desired leads and add them directly to a sequence in Apollo. Alternatively, you can push them to a connected CRM like Hubspot, Salesforce, or Greenhouse.
And if you use a different CRM, simply export the leads to a spreadsheet and take it from there.
Read our guide to finding b2b leads on Linkedin for free
Downsides of Apollo.io
If you’re using Apollo.io for just lead generation, you may feel it isn’t worth the price. I say this because there seems to be a limit to the number of leads you can save to a list without adding them to a sequence in Apollo.
After a while, Apollo blocks you from adding more names without first talking to support. It looks like a way to prevent spamming, but if you have legit reasons for doing this – a large-scale cold email campaign hosted on another platform, for example – it gets annoying.
I should also mention that I was on the Basic plan, so it’s possible Apollo has different guidelines for the higher-tier plans.
Speaking of Apollo’s pricing plans, let’s talk about those real quick.
Apollo starts out free, which is fantastic for anyone looking to test the platform. As a free user, you get unlimited email credits, allowing you to pull as many email contacts as you need. But, there’s a catch, and we’ll get there shortly.
The free plan also allows you to scrape 5 mobile credits per month; an insignificant amount if you plan to use these for cold calls. You’ll also get 12 export credits per month, allowing you to take the scraped data to other platforms.
The free plan has other standard features – email sequence automation, basic filters, Gmail and LinkedIn extensions, and a bunch of others.
But if you want to enjoy the full power of Apollo.io, you need to hop on a paid plan where you can enjoy more advanced features like A/B Testing, buying intent filters, email open tracking, and notifications about your leads’ job changes.
The plan tiers, billed monthly, include Basic for $49, Professional for $99, and Organization for $79 per user per month with a minimum of 5 users.
We also reviewed another lead sourcing tool ContactOut – check out the review
Are the Paid Plans Worth it?
Yes, the paid Apollo.io plans are worth it if you want to do any serious outreach. The free plan is only recommended if you want to test out the platform.
One thing I should mention is that even though Apollo offers you unlimited email credits on the free plan, using them is a pain.
Here’s what I mean.
When you search for, say, businesses in the logistics sector in the US. You can’t do anything with these results unless you add them to a list first, and export them later, or chuck them into a sequence.
But on the free plan, you can’t select more than five names at a go.
So how long do you reckon it’ll take you to save 50 names? See how useless the unlimited credits are? I think it’s Apollo’s way of annoying you into buying a plan. It’s infuriating but effective.
Overall Impression and Recommendation
As far as lead scraping tools go, Apollo.io is adept at what it does. The platform delivers on the promise to help you reach any business person on earth and makes it as easy as possible to do so.
The UI seems overwhelming at first, but you can quickly wrap your head around it. It’s also incredibly easy to find high-quality leads making your campaign that much easier.
Once you get used to the limitations placed upon the free and lower-tier plans, Apollo can become a powerful tool in your arsenal.
Ready to get started on your cold email campaigns? Check out our review of Instantly.ai first!