Link building and sales outreach are two of the most challenging tasks for websites and eCommerce businesses these days. The reason is that there are numerous time-consuming steps involved, including finding prospects and writing effective emails that convert.
These two tasks alone could drain your in-house marketing team for several hours every day. Indeed, you can hire a freelance SEO specialist to do the job. However, the fees for hiring a reliable person to do the task can cost thousands of dollars per month.
With the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), things have started to change. These innovative AI-powered tools allow businesses to speed up and improve the productivity of their outreach campaigns, saving them valuable budget and time.
Although these AI tools look promising in general, not every random tool is effective and provides decent value for money. You still have to conduct extensive research to find the right software, which again can be tedious and time-consuming.
Hence, I decided to do the heavy lifting for you. This article will only feature the best AI email tools that you can use to smoothen the outreach process and achieve a higher success rate. You can then select the right tool that suits your preferences and start your campaign right away.
Affiliate Disclosure: This article from Victory Tale contains affiliate links. We will receive a small commission from software providers if you subscribe to their products and services.
Nonetheless, we always value integrity and prioritize our audience’s interests. Therefore, you can rest assured that we will present each tool truthfully.
Things You Should Know
AI tools Are Not Perfect
All AI tools are powered by GPT-3 and natural language processing. They have been steadily improving in performing various tasks recently, but it is still essential to keep in mind that they are still far from perfect.
Based on my experience, AI can write good outreach emails. However, it still makes several mistakes. Some of them can make those emails look unnatural or untrustworthy, while others use unsuitably aggressive language. In some rare cases, they may even look spammy or phishing-like.
Thus, many bloggers and potential clients will disregard them entirely or even delete them from their inboxes. Even worse, email service providers may flag them as spam, damaging your business’ reputation in a process.
Undoubtedly, you will need to manually edit these emails before sending them. This step will take some time. However, it will make them more human-like and personal, increasing the chance of receiving a positive reply and ending up with a backlink or a lead.
Since all tools allow you to save email templates, you may edit them once and use them forever. However, this will not be applicable if you want to send highly personalized emails to your audience.
Below are the criteria for the best AI email assistants.
- Easy-to-use (or provide users with sufficient and straightforward tutorial)
- User-friendly platform
- Equipped with several useful features
- Offer sufficient customizability of emails
- The quality of AI-generated emails is exceptional, thus requiring minimal manual editing.
- Provide excellent value for money
- My personal experience with the features, customer support, and the company must be positive.
Postaga is a platform designed exclusively to help website owners, entrepreneurs, and content marketers create effective outreach campaigns for acquiring high-quality backlinks that will benefit SEO.
Hence, if you are struggling with link building, you may want to give Postaga a try.
Onboarding Process & Key Features
The onboarding process for Postaga is super simple. You just need to fill in the required information to access the dashboard. Once you are there, Postaga will automatically create your first campaign, which you can use to test how the incoming emails will be in real life.
AI Email Writing Tools – Powered by AI, the platform can help you create an entire outreach sequence in no time.
First, you will select an outreach campaign type. Currently, there are various options to choose from, including the following:
- Promote a Blog Post
- Generate Sales Leads (best for sales emails)
- Promote a Product or Service
- Podcast/Brand Promotion
In each campaign type, you can specify it further. For example, if you want to promote a blog post, you can select “the strategy” to do so, such as “skyscraper” or “guest-posting”.
I appreciate this customization since the campaign can be automatically tailored to a specific outreach purpose, thus speeding up the setup process.
Next, Postaga will require you to provide relevant information to your selected campaign. In my case, I choose guest-posting, so I need to input the keyword for Postaga to search for websites in that niche (Note: if you choose other campaign types, you will need to add entirely different information).
Postaga will display the websites that I can send emails to within a few seconds. You can choose to select or unselect any at will.
Subsequently, Postaga will analyze the selected websites and gather the prospect data. Once the process is completed, the platform will provide you with all the information you need to contact those website owners, including email, LinkedIn, and social media. This feature alone will save your team valuable hours.
At this point, you will be able to choose the appropriate email sequence for your outreach campaign. There are a dozen types of sequences you can select from for guest-posting, such as a collaboration or a swap guest post request. You can also add, remove, and customize the sequence in the way you need.
Furthermore, you can edit the email text in the sequence. However, I don’t think that is even necessary since all the email texts are already well-written and natural.
The final step is to launch your campaign, which can be done in one click. Once you complete the entire process, the campaign will run on autopilot.
Content Hub – If you are devoid of campaign ideas, you can request AI to crawl your website and recommend campaign suggestions based on your website content.
Once completed, Postaga will inform you of the following:
- Campaign Suggestions for each type (Guest Post/Resource Page/Multiscraper, etc.)
- Potential Content Partners
- Post Title Inspiration
- Related Searches and Questions
Based on my observation, only the first two are useful because you can find the rest through other superior keyword tools (such as SEMRush) or content optimization software (Surfer SEO).
Important Note: According to Postaga, there is another feature that AI will find key snippets and information from target websites. Hence, you can cite them to make the email more personal and engaging.
Unfortunately, as of January 2022, I don’t think this feature is available on the platform. I have created multiple campaigns on Postaga, but I cannot find any key snippets at all.
Postaga CRM – This feature helps you stay updated on the status of your campaigns and opportunities that may present.
Done-For-You – This optional service is designed for businesses that want to outsource all outreach stuff to Postaga. The team will contact bloggers and website owners on your behalf to get backlinks, warm leads, press coverage, guest posting opportunities, and many more.
However, this premium service will not be included in the pricing plan (see below), you will need to pay separate fees for it.
Postaga has two straightforward pricing plans as follows:
- Pro – $99 per month
- Agency – $299 per month
Both plans provide access to all features on the platform. The only difference lies in the allocated resources.
For example, Pro plan users can have only 2000 contacts and send 10000 monthly emails, while the numbers increase to 15000 contacts and 100000 monthly emails for the Agency plan.
However, I think the Pro plan already offers sufficient resources, which makes it ideal for most websites and business owners.
You can create a free account to try all features on the platform for free for 14 days.
Pros & Cons
- Various campaign types to choose from: This makes the tool useful for SEOs and businesses alike.
- Numerous features to speed up the outreach process
- All the email templates are well-written. Only minor editing is required.
- Offer a Done-for-You service that you can opt for if you want to outsource business outreach and backlink building completely
- Straightforward pricing
- 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
- High entry prices compared to other alternatives
- As of January 2021, one key feature (AI key snippets) appears to be missing.
- No collaboration tools + Very few integrations
Reply.io or Reply is one of the most reliable tools for outreach campaigns. This sales engagement platform will help businesses automate the tedious and generate backlinks and leads.
Onboarding Process & Key Features
Getting started with Reply.io is straightforward. Once you log in, you will first select the email provider (Gmail, Outlook, and others) and connect your email account with Reply.
The platform has tons of features. This may seem overwhelming at first glance. However, it is not as difficult to use as it looks. The user interface is clean, making it effortless for users to navigate the platform.
Sequence Creation – This is a key feature that you will use most on the Reply platform. You will create a sequence that allows you to send a flurry of personal emails to bloggers, journalists, and potential clients automatically.
First, you will need to craft a reliable sequence that suits your audience. You can start by using one of the eight pre-built templates that are designed for different purposes, including but not limited to the following:
- Outbound Cold Outreach (best for backlink building and outbound sales outreach)
- Demo Request/Inbound Leads (Convert visitors to leads)
- Trial to Customer/Multichannel Trial Users (Convert leads to customers)
Within a single click, my sequence for outbound sales outreach is ready. It will send the first email to the contact of your choice. If you receive no reply, Reply will send successive emails on Day 3, 7, 21, and 24.
Suppose you believe that the sequence is not optimal for your campaign. In this case, you can modify it at will. For example, you can add more emails to be sent, create variants that may suit specific visitors or leads, and change the frequency.
Alternatively, you can manually create your sequence from scratch or use community templates designed for specific tasks, such as link building, demo requests, and many more.
AI-generated Emails – Reply’s email templates by default are bland and sound unnatural. Hence, you should use AI (GPT-3) to create new ones from scratch and polish existing ones.
To be specific, GPT-3 can create email templates (for both first steps and follow-ups) from summaries and bullets. All you need to do is write a summary or bullet points covering the purpose of this email and the relevant information.
This part does not need to be lengthy or perfectly written. I suggest you write 50-100 words. The more you write, the better the email template AI will create for you.
For example, below I wrote a summary for my outreach campaign. My goal is to ask other education bloggers to give my course marketplace a backlink.
My email template (with variables) is available for use within a few seconds. I find the language is grammatically correct but does not take cultural norms into account.
Hence, the email may sound too aggressive or even crude. You will need to edit it to tone down the language and make it suits your brand voice.
However, if you are completely unsatisfied with the email template, you can use AI to improve it further or recreate a brand-new one from scratch.
The drawback is that you may need to repeat this process several times until you find a suitable write-up. In my case, I had to send ten requests until I could find a decent one.
I also found that all AI-generated templates always come with variable-related errors, which I must fix manually. Fixing them can be tedious and time-consuming.
Text Quality Scoring – Powered by AI, this feature will assess your email text and inform you about the chance to receive a response.
If your email does not score well, you can modify it according to suggestions. These include adding more words, optimizing reading level, and using more words that indicate positivity.
Personalized Videos – If your engagement rate remains low, you can add personalized videos from Vidyard, a video hosting, to your emails. You can add custom CTAs for your audience to subscribe to trials or book meetings right from the videos.
Email & Phone Validation – This feature will validate the prospects’ email and phone numbers by evaluating crucial metrics, thus potentially improving your campaign performance by many folds.
Email Warmup – This feature will strengthen the profile and reputation of your email account, reducing the chance of going into the spam folder. This process will be performed automatically through real people accounts. Once completed, your emails will have much better delivery rates.
Below are Reply’s other features that are not directly relevant to an AI email assistant. However, they will help your marketing team engage effectively with your prospects and streamline the outreach process.
Prospect Finding – You don’t need another LinkedIn prospect finder software since Reply already provides you with one. With this feature, you can search for prospects’ business emails on LinkedIn and extract that data to use in your campaigns.
Contact Management – Once you gather thousands of emails, managing them can be troublesome. This is not the case with Reply since you can segment the lists, create smart filters, view contact history. Your team can then use them more effectively.
Multichannel Sequences – As a sales engagement platform, you can use Reply to contact visitors, leads, and potential clients on any channel. This includes cloud calls, messaging apps, social media, and emails.
Appointment Booking & Calendar – This feature functions similarly to marketing calendar software. You and your prospects can schedule meetings automatically from Reply.
Team Collaboration – Reply offers various features that support team collaboration, including sharable team sequences, unified schedules list, and many more.
Reports & Analytics – Reply tracks all your progress, tasks, and performances and visualizes all the data in a digestible manner. Hence, you can grasp the insights in no time.
Reply has a sophisticated pricing structure. The following are the plans for the sales engagement platform (which includes an email assistant and most of the above features.)
- Individual (1 user) – $70 per month for 1000 contacts, $90 for 3000 contacts, and $120 for unlimited contacts
- Business – $70 per month per user for three users, $60 for 5, and $50 for 10 (unlimited contacts for all Business plans)
- Agency – Custom Pricing
All plans provide access to all the features on the platform (except email search and email warmup, which require users to pay additional fees).
Regarding email search, every Reply user can find 200 business emails for free every month. You will need to pay an additional $49 or $99 per month to add 5000 or unlimited email credits.
However, if you subscribe annually to one of the sales engagement platform plans, you will get unlimited credits for free.
Finally, you can add an email warmup feature for $29 per email account per month. This add-on may not be necessary if you have well-established email accounts.
If you are still unsure whether Reply is right for your business, you can start a 14-day free trial to try all of the features on the platform.
Pros & Cons
- Straightforward to use
- Include various features to improve campaign performance
- Besides an email assistant, users will be able to gain full access to Reply’s sales engagement platform.
- Numerous integrations, including through Zapier, Intregromat, and Integrately
- A free trial is available (no credit card required).
- Most users reported that customer support was timely and helpful in resolving issues.
- AI-generated emails always contain errors related to variables, which requires manual editing.
- Creating a free account requires users to possess a work email. (@gmail address is not allowed.)
- Complicated pricing plan
Personalized emails are highly fruitful in achieving excellent performance in your outreach campaigns. However, writing them can be time-consuming, tedious, and error-prone.
Smartwriter.ai is a tool that aims to streamline the process. With this personal email assistant, you will receive more positive replies than ever.
In other words, Smartwriter.ai functions similarly to AI copywriting tools (such as Jarvis and copy.ai). However, this software is equipped with lead discovery features that assist users in creating effective outreach campaigns based on actual data.
Nevertheless, unlike other tools on this list, Smartwriter.ai will NOT send or create an email sequence for you. To perform this task, you will need another email marketing software.
Onboarding Process & Key Features
Getting started with Smartwriter.ai is effortless. The dashboard itself is modern and easy to navigate. I don’t think I even need a guided tour. However, if required, you can watch the video guide tour to learn about all the features.
Personalized Cold Email Outreach – Powered by Machine Learning, Smartwriter.ai helps you create highly effective cold email content to build relationships with prospective customers, clients, and partners with an established digital presence.
The process is straightforward. AI will gather data from the target website and create a suitable email based on that information.
You only need to add the target website URL (through manual insertion, CSV files, or Google Sheets) and customize the settings. For instance, you can choose the diction or prioritize your target’s recent blog posts, case studies, or achievements.
The process will take a minute or so. Once done, Smartwriter.ai will provide you with several personalized icebreaker statements that you can use to start your email and LinkedIn accounts of the founders that you can contact.
Regarding the quality, I think the icebreaker statements are well-written. Since they are pretty short (1-3 sentences), you will need to use them with other features such as Product Value Proposition (see below) to write a complete email.
However, the LinkedIn accounts Smartwriter.ai provides may not always be from the company you are looking for, especially if the company you target has a similar name to a few others. A manual check is hence always required.
Personalized Google Review Icebreaker Generator – This feature functions similarly to the above. However, it allows you to target those with minimal digital presence. Instead of crawling the target website, it will collect data from the target’s Google Business Profile.
Personalized LinkedIn Outreach – AI will gather data from the target’s LinkedIn profile such as bios, recent comments, posts, and skills. Subsequently, it will create a personalized message based on that data. You will then have a better chance of receiving replies.
Backlink Personalization – Designed specifically for backlink outreach, this feature will go over the assigned website and collect all the unique points. Subsequently, it will create a well-written message by referencing that data.
Product Value Proposition – If you want to create a perfect pitch to convert your target, this feature will help you do so. You just need to input your business name, product descriptions, and customer pain points. Within a minute or so, your content will be ready for use.
Intro Lines and Subject Lines – These two can be instrumental for higher email open rates. Hence, Smartwriter.ai will help you create and optimize them for you.
Sales Navigator Lead Extractor – This feature will scrape verified emails and search results from LinkedIn. Thus, you will have abundant contacts and relevant information to create personalized emails.
Email Verification – This feature will perform a 6-step SMTP check to ensure that all email addresses remain valid and your emails go into the appropriate inbox.
Based on my observation, all the content that Smartwriter.ai provides is excellent. You don’t need to put in much effort to edit it before use.
Hence, if your current outreach campaigns or strategies yield abysmal performance, Smartwriter.ai is an exceptional tool that you may want to consider.
Copywriting Features – Like AI copywriting tools, Smartwriter.ai can create various types of content. This includes copies (AIDA framework, PAS framework, Feature-to-Benefit, etc.), blogs content, product descriptions, social media content, ads, and many more.
As of January 2021, Smartwriter.ai offers three pricing plans as follows (billed monthly):
- Basic – $59 per month
- Popular – $149 per month
- Pro – $359 per month
All plans have no difference except that they offer different monthly credits. The Basic plan gives you 400, while the Popular and Pro plan provide 1200 and 3500 credits, respectively.
Each generation on the platform costs one credit per URL. For instance, if you plan to send personalized emails to 500 websites or LinkedIn accounts. That will cost 500 credits.
Typically, obtaining ten high-quality leads or backlinks requires sending thousands of emails. Furthermore, as true to any AI writing tool, you will need a few generations until you find the email content that is appropriate to be sent.
As a result, you will use up the allocated credits much earlier than it seems. Thus, I don’t think the Basic plan would be sufficient for most businesses.
It would be best to start with the Popular plan and its 1200 credits. You can upgrade to the Pro plan once you have more budget to invest.
Create an account now to try all the features for free for seven days!
Pros & Cons
- Excellent AI assistant that helps you perform research on the target’s website and profiles to create highly personalized emails
- Clean, modern user interface
- Straightforward to use + Excellent guidance provided for absolute beginners
- The email templates it creates are of high quality.
- Fully integrate with Shopify, Hubspot, and Google Sheets + Upload contact information via CSV files.
- Low entry price
- No collaboration tools
- LinkedIn information is not always accurate. It is crucial to double-check it before sending the message.
- Do not support other languages besides English
Below is a list of the best relevant tools to AI email assistants that you might find beneficial.
AI Content Generators – If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to Smartwriter.ai, albeit with no lead discovery features, these AI-powered tools might be worth your consideration.
AI Grammar Checkers – Grammatically mistakes can make your emails look spammy or untrustworthy. It would be best to use these excellent AI tools to proofread them beforehand.
Content Optimization Software – On-page SEO is crucial for ranking well on Google and other search engines. These software products will help you optimize the on-page SEO of any post. With this software and backlinks, your website would be unstoppable.