I have tested out all the 3 platforms above to send out personalized emails using all the 3 tools above namely Vocus.io, Mailshake and Sales Handy. These platforms were tested over the period of 4 weeks.
Instead of a boring lengthy article I decided to highlight out the pros cons & pricing to fasten up your decision on which tool best suits your needs when it comes to effective personalized emails and also a bang on the buck.
I decided to review Mailshake first due the vast popularity of this platform. After setting up my brand-new Gmail it took only a couple of seconds to link it with Mailshake. Later I set up a campaign which was easy to do as it was dividing into 6 mini steps that caused me no issues at all. However, during the 2nd step I was halted with the limit of 5000 emails, this could be a setback for some of you having a list bigger than 5000, but Mailshake makes it easy to rectify this as all I had to do was duplicate the campaign and plug in the remaining contacts.
Whilst sending you are able to choose the intervals between the sending, I had set mine to send 2 email every 8 minutes, between 7am and 5pm. The purpose of this was to have a more human-like setting. Sadly this did not work as Google blocked my sending for 24 hours and I was forced to modify the schedule but this did not solve it. The issue was I was sending from a fresh Gmail and normally it is recommended that you go step by step incrementally increasing the amount of emails and not shoot hundreds in a go with a fresh Gmail.
Some of the Advantages I found of using Mailshake:
• Very good at sequences and effective reporting of open rates, click rates, and ‘did not open emails’ count.
• The Mail merge works smoothly. You can easily enter in any number of custom mail merge tags based on the CSV columns and then map them accordingly.
• Simple view analytics and easy to use exports of data for advanced excel work and monitoring performance.
Some of the disadvantages of Mailshake I came across include:
• Higher pricing compared to Vocus.io
• I could not find many cons when it comes to Mailshake , they provide what they claim flawlessly!
• Poor support response time.
I used the $29 Monthly ‘Basic’ version.
For more info on updated pricing plans visit: https://mailshake.com/pricing/
Next up, I had decided to choose this new platform which is gaining decent traction for its sweet low pricing. They claim to have “human-like” sending, and I found the interface quite easy to use compared to Mailshake. Unlike Mailshake Vocus.io hovers on your Gmail. This saves me time and I do not have to go to a different tab to setup my campaigns as I can do it straight from my Gmail. From sending a campaign to even updating my billing, its all on my Gmail thanks to the easy to install Chrome Extension.
Setting up a campaign on Vocus.io is easy and I used their mail merge feature which is also divided into smaller steps. One cool thing I noticed about Vocus.io was the mail verify functionality which is free of cost but the drawback of this is you can only verify a prospect one at a time. To my surprise I did not face any blocking issues with Vocus.io with another fresh Gmail, a coincidence? Or their human-like sending algorithm working its charm. Another great thing about Vocus.io is the pricing, they are surely the cheapest platform on the market offering all the necessary features.
Some of the Advantages I found of using Vocus.io
•The email drip campaign is very user friendly to use.
•Great Dashboard with analytics which sits right on top of your Gmail.
•Cheapest pricing out of all the 3 platforms.
•Very easy to understand customization field that allow any user to view each individual email before sending to check for any potential errors.
•Good integration of templates into the campaign set-up field with just a few clicks.
•Great and Fast support response rate.
Some of the disadvantages of Vocus.io I came across include
•A great tool like this should increase the max number of active follow-ups which is currently limited to 500.
•Batch verify of prospect emails rather than manually verifying each prospect.
I used the $20 Monthly version which is their highest paid plan.
For more info on updated pricing plans visit: https://vocus.io/pricing
Last tool I had tested is SalesHandy. Saleshandy though with many more features I still have to explore I decided to focus on the Email Campaign side of things. Maybe in another article I can do a deep dive of each of these features. The first drawback I quickly noticed was I could only send 200 at a time, in order to send more than 200 I had to purchase the enterprise version to ramp up the limit to 2000. Do not let this enterprise tag get to you as it only costs $50 which is fairly reasonable for a startup but priced higher compared to its competitors. Saleshandy review was however backed up by the pricing by claiming it has more features but most of these features are not used by most of us so this is something you should check out. Linking Gmail was fairly simple, and I had to install the extension in Chrome in order to test out this platform. The extension is used for notifications and popups unlike Vocus.io where all the functionalities are provided on your Gmail. This means I had to go to a separate tab and setup things.
I ran the test on another fresh Gmail and to my surprise found my inbox with almost 400 unread emails that said ‘You have reached the sending limit’. This was frustrating as SalesHandy did not stop the sending automatically and the emails had started bouncing and with the limit of 200 and 2000 I had to check many different campaigns to rectify the issue which was really time consuming. From the 3 I personally found this tool the most annoying and broken.
•More features than all the other tools.
•Great support and fast response rate.
•The ability to auto convert Excel files to CSV. This software only allows CSV file which can be a bother for conversion.
•Quite a few bugs and is not flawless
•Limit of 200 per campaign increases the time spent
•Does not automatically stop sending when limit reached causing high bounce rates
SalesHandy: We used the 50$ Monthly ‘Enterprise’ version.
Pricing page: https://www.saleshandy.com/pricing/
Conclusion of the best cold mailing platform of 2019
So, which one are you more inclined to try? My suggestion would be, to try out a trial of each of these platforms yourself, have a feel for it and see what you like the best. If price is your concern and you send a small number of emails, then the winner is without doubt Vocus.io.
Mailshake might take a while to get started, but once it goes it seems to just go. SalesHandy, on the other side, takes a bit more maintenance , buggy & broken but its very powerful when considering its extra features and integrations. All these tools seem very promising.
For those of you sending non-personalized outreaches, then none of these tools would be recommended I would suggest you spend your buck on email campaigning platforms like MailChimp or SendInBlue. However, make sure you send the emails from different domain names as it can sometimes consider your domains as spam due to large emails being sent. Stay tuned as I will soon be releasing an article on how you can leverage DKIM records and different tricks to avoid your domain from getting marked as spam.
If you have any more questions regarding any of the tools above, I would love to help you set things up and guide you In the right direction.