Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tool Tuesday: Pitchbox

Photo by Parker Knight/Creative Commons
The only way to build a business is to market - through advertising, public relations, marketing and any other means possible.  If you're like me, though, it's something you're not trained in; you're trained in what you do in your business but you're not a marketing person.  So how can you build your business through marketing if you're running on a shoestring and have no experience in it?

In the past, to find qualified leads, you'd have to either do it yourself with web searches or hire a lead generation company to bring you qualified leads.  To fill the gap between the two is Pitchbox.

Pitchbox  brings an automated approach to marketing.  Enter in keywords that best describe your ideal business prospect.  The system searches through the web and brings up a list - complete with email addresses - of everyone with a website, blog or podcast in your industry.

Let's say you've got a B2B company doing graphic design.  You're looking to target marketing agencies, so enter in the keywords "marketing," "advertising," "agency," and "public relations."  The system will give you a list of every website, blog post and podcast on the web directed toward those keywords.

Once you get the list, you can craft your own email to those decision-makers.  If you're prospecting, your email may be to introduce your portfolio and set up an intro appointment; if you're looking to get featured on their website or podcast, it will be to let those running the podcast or website that you're available to talk to them or send guest content.

After you've crafted your email, you'll go through the list generated by Pitchbox, select those you'd like to contact, delete the rest and - bingo - send off your email.  The responses come back into your email inbox and soon, you'll have a list of appointments and you'll be building your business on the back of an automated system.

One of the best parts of Pitchbox is the ability to send followup emails.  You select how many days after your initial email you'd like to send your second and third emails; since it takes, on average, five touches before someone converts to a sale, those three automated touches are perfect for staying in touch with your leads and reminding them of what you do.

If you're a startup and only want to send one or two campaigns to begin with, you can get a free 15-day trial.  After the trial is over, the startup cost is $95/month, which seems a little high, but when you consider you maybe only need one or two months of it, it's worth it.  Also, compare the cost of Pitchbox to how much a marketing firm would charge you to do the same thing; the savings is substantial.

I used Pitchbox for the 15-day trial and was amazed at the number of names it came up with.  Some of those email addresses and names were invalid, but based on the number of return emails I got from those I sent out, it was well worth the time and effort.

Check out Pitchbox!  Here's what you get with the startup monthly fee: