A Beginner’s Guide to Automating Outreach with Respona

Posted December 16th, 2020 in Email Marketing. Tagged: .

Respona is an all-in-one solution for digital PR and link building. It encompasses pretty much every step of the entire process, from prospecting to automatically sending follow-ups.


But, of course, it will still require some user input in order for it to do what you want it to do, and today I’m going to guide you through it, step-by-step.

First, let’s take a look at the screen that will greet you as soon as you log into the tool.

Respona - screenshot 1

The Campaigns tab.

Naturally, this is where you will find all of your campaigns. You can also organize them into folders, and all you have to do is press the “Create Folder” button. You will find it on the bottom left side of the screen.

The Reports tab is where you’ll find your analytics, the People tab will list all of your contacts, and the Opportunities tab is where Respona will magically suggest new prospects after you’ve set up the automation. I will discuss it in more detail later on.

For now, let’s focus on the step-by-step process of setting up and launching an outreach campaign.

Setting up a Campaign

Setting up an outreach campaign with Respona is extremely easy, and only involves four steps.

Step 1: Creation

After you press the big blue plus sign next to Campaigns, you will be prompted to give it a name, and select the email your pitches will be sent out from later on.

Hit “Create”, and you will be taken to a screen where you can either start looking for prospects on the web or upload your own .CSV file if you’ve already found some.

Let’s look at how Respona helps you find new prospects.

Step 2: Prospecting

After you hit Search, you will be taken to Respona’s own search engine. This is what it looks like:

Respona - screenshot 2

It has some neat built-in features. Firstly, on the left side of the search bar, there is a drop-down menu that lets you select where you want Respona to look. You can select from news articles, blogs, trending content, influencers, podcasts, or a more generalized web search.

On its right side, there is also an advanced search button that takes you to some helpful search modifiers.

I went ahead and added the string instreamset:url:blog inbody:”blog” intitle:”link building”. This tells Respona to only look for blog posts that mention the word “blog” somewhere in the content, and the term “link building” in the title.

There is also a toggle for showcasing SEO metrics of found prospects.

Respona - screenshot 3

To select prospects that you think make for good link building/PR opportunities, simply click the box to the left of their title.

When you’re done picking your prospects, simply hit “Next Step”.

Step 3: Sequence Creation

At this step, you will be able to create a template sequence that Respona will send out to all of your prospects. Of course, you will be able to personalize each message before launching your campaign.

Respona - screenshot 4

Respona has some template sequences for different purposes, but you’re also able to create your own ones.

Let’s head to Personal Templates > Create New.

Here, you can create new steps for your campaign. A good sequence will have the initial email and two follow-ups. You can also set how long you want Respona to wait between sending those out.

Let’s add a couple of steps.

Respona - screenshot 5

Respona has a built-in system for calculating your chances to receive a response. It is actually based on research carried out by big SEO companies like Ahrefs, Backlinko, SearchEngineJournal, along with some others.

It takes into consideration a whole spectrum of factors, including subject length, word count, question count, spam words, etc.

There is also a variable drop-down. From it, you can select a number of variables, like {day_of_week}, {first_name}, and so on.

If you put those into your sequence, they will automatically change for each message, depending on the day it gets sent out on, your prospect’s name, title, organization, URL…

Respona also automatically adds your email signature to every message.

Once you’ve set up your initial email and follow-ups, your sequence will look something like this.

Respona - screenshot 6

Step 4: Contact Information

Respona actually has a built-in contact information finder. So, you don’t have to resort to using external email hunters, or manually fish out your prospect’s emails.

All you need to do is set up the automation.

Respona - screenshot 7

This is what the finder looks like.

You can tell Respona which positions within a company it should be looking for. This is useful if you want to contact, say, the CEO directly.

Or, if you’re just trying to build some links, you can add every position from editor to marketing, and the tool will reveal all team members related to those positions.

You can also select seniority.

There are some advanced functions as well, but I’m not going to focus on them too much since they are pretty self-explanatory.

After you’ve selected the positions you want to target, and the seniority, hit Next to start the automation.

At this point, depending on who you told it to look for, Respona will search for the contact information of the people related to your prospects’ domains.

The entirety of the tool is cloud-based, so you can close this window or completely shut your computer down while it’s running. You can also set an email to be sent to your inbox once it’s done searching for contacts.

After the search is finished, you can verify the contact information the app has found. No email finder is 100% perfect, so it’s best to double-check the results. I would say, it works perfectly 90% of the time, but sometimes it’s better to re-assign the email to somebody more fitting for what you’re trying to achieve.

For example, if you’re building links, it’s probably better to assign an editor’s, or an SEO’s email to an opportunity, rather than the writer’s.

Respona - screenshot 8

In addition to all associated emails, Respona is also pretty good at finding LinkedIn profiles. Click the little LinkedIn icons near your prospects’ pictures to open them.

See how it says “Diana” in the search bar? I didn’t type that in. All I did was tell Respona to look for a person responsible for editing, content, or marketing.

To assign/reassign a person’s email, simply select or deselect it in the dropdown menu.

After you’ve taken a look at your prospects’ assigned contact addresses, you can move forward to the last step of setting up an outreach campaign.

Step 5: Personalization

This one is rather straightforward. On this page, you can personalize all of your pitches and tailor each one specifically for every prospect.

Responad - screenshot 9

Respona automatically fills out all of the variables you’ve inserted into your sequence, so things like your prospect’s name, URL, title etc. are handled by the system.

All you really have to do to personalize your pitches is add a reference to their content, speak about something they’ve mentioned on social media, or just about anything that shows that you’ve dedicated some time to get to know who the person you’re reaching out to is, and what they do.

After you’ve customized your messages, all that’s left to do is hit Launch Campaign, and Respona will start sending out your pitches, according to your email schedule.

By default, it should be 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

If you launch your campaign outside of your emailing hours, Respona will wait and start sending your messages once it is time again.

Bonus Step: Automating Prospecting

This is all you really needed to launch your first automated outreach campaign with Respona. But, I have a bonus tip to share with you.

If you just want Respona to keep looking for opportunities while you’re doing something else, you can set up another automation for it.

To do that, go to the Opportunities tab.

Respona - screenshot 10

I already have some automations set up on my screenshot. To add a new one, simply click the plus sign next to Opportunities, much like the one you pressed when adding a new campaign.

You will be prompted to choose between article opportunities and HARO opportunities. Let’s just focus on the former.

The searching process will be done the same way as when manually looking for opportunities, with the only difference being that it runs in the background.

Respona - screenshot 11

Here, you can name your automation, set its frequency, select a market to be scanned for opportunities, pick which email address your opportunity alerts will be sent to, and add some more results criteria like Domain Authoirty.

After you press Continue, you will be taken to the Keywords screen.

This works much like Respona’s search bar from the prospecting step and works with all of the same search modifiers.

You’re also able to add more keywords for the engine to look for, with a maximum of five.
Once you’ve added all of your keywords and modifiers, you can review your settings once again and finish creating your automation.

Depending on your settings, it will run weekly, biweekly, monthly, or bimonthly revealing all of the relevant opportunities until you stop it.


Whether it’s link building or PR you’re trying to do, Respona is a helpful tool that can guide you through the whole process with its simple, user-friendly interface.

I have covered everything you need to know to get started with your first automated outreach campaign, and if you have any questions about the tool’s functionality, feel free to submit them through the “Leave a response” form below.

About the Author

Vlad Orlov

Vlad Orlov is a passionate writer and link builder. Having started writing articles at the age of 13, their once past-time hobby developed into a central piece of their professional life.

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