Best Cold Outreach Tools 2024: Apollo vs Lemlist Review

Last Updated on
May 8, 2024
by
Jason Gong
App automation expert

This article dives into comparing Apollo and lemlist as cold outreach tools, aiming to help you decide which tool is better for your needs by offering a detailed comparison.

The goal is to assist you in picking the best tool for your outreach efforts, providing a detailed analysis of how each platform performs in cold outreach. While both tools offer a range of features, this article specifically focuses on their capabilities in cold outreach.

At Bardeen, we're experts in sales automation and tooling. Our team has decades of sales, founder, and ops experience to help you pick the best tools!

Here's a brief summary before we dive in:

Apollo lemlist
Campaign Creation Linear sequences, manual and auto tasks, mixed Reddit feedback Complex sequences, visual builder, conditional branching
Deliverability Multiple mailboxes, no built-in warming, mixed experiences Email warming with lemwarm, spam avoidance tips, more comprehensive
Personalization Dynamic variables, preview, conditional content, rich media Dynamic variables, liquid syntax, custom images and landing pages
AI Full email writing, customization, various options, meeting transcription Basic AI for campaigns, limited customization for unique lead signals
Native Enrichment Detailed lead info, buyer signals, data health metrics Basic enrichment, provides essential lead details, less detailed
Social Automation Automates LinkedIn tasks, priority setting, due date adjustment Local automation via extension, connection requests, message automation

Campaign Creation: Simplifying Complex Email Sequences

For creating complex and visually organized email sequences, lemlist holds the edge over Apollo.

lemlist's sandbox environment for building branching email sequences

While Apollo supports basic linear sequences and activities across email and social platforms, it lacks in advanced features like conditional branching. However, for those who prefer simplicity and primarily focus on linear sequences, Apollo's straightforward approach might be sufficient.

By using Bardeen, you can enrich your outreach further. Bardeen's AI Agent can find fresh and relevant information to personalize your emails, potentially increasing your open and response rates.

In conclusion, if your sales strategy requires sophisticated, multi-layered sequences with conditional logic, lemlist is the better choice. For sales teams with simpler sequence needs, Apollo's streamlined sequence creation may be more than adequate.

Apollo

__wf_reserved_inherit
Apollo's Sequences feature with email and LinkedIn task options.

Apollo's Sequences feature in the Campaign Creation sub-feature lets you set up a series of emails, messages, and tasks to target and convert sales leads. While powerful, it has a more linear approach to sequences, focusing on simple, straightforward automation rather than complex branching paths.

Key features of Apollo's Sequences:

  • Linear Email Sequences: Supports a simple series of automated emails.
  • Social Media Integration: Includes tasks for LinkedIn, like sending connection requests and messages.
  • Manual and Automatic Tasks: Offers both automated emails and tasks for manual follow-up actions.

Reddit feedback indicates mixed views on Apollo's Sequences, with users exploring alternatives and reporting issues with email scheduling and quality.

🤔 "Seeking better alternatives for cold emailing than Apollo.io" - r/Emailmarketing
👎 "when you actually schedule emails to be sent out it doesn't work or it works so badly that it is useless" - r/LeadGeneration

lemlist

__wf_reserved_inherit
Variety of steps for multichannel campaign creation in lemlist Sequences.

When we use lemlist's Sequences for Campaign Creation, we can send tailored emails, engage on social platforms like LinkedIn, and set tasks to effectively reach and close sales leads. The visual arrangement of branching conditions and sequences in a sandbox format simplifies the creation of complex campaigns, catering to the needs of advanced users.

  • Visual Sequence Builder: Create complex sequences with ease using the visual sandbox editor.
  • Multichannel Reach: Supports both email and LinkedIn for comprehensive lead engagement.
  • Customizable Steps: Use a mix of automatic and manual actions to personalize your campaign.
  • Conditional Branching: Set rules that define the flow of your campaign based on lead behavior.
😐 "Lemlist, in theory, is great. I have a whole list of reasons I stopped using it." - r/Emailmarketing
👍 "Using LemList to create 'custom' automated email campaigns" - r/Emailmarketing
Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

Deliverability - Boosting Email Success Rates

When comparing deliverability features, lemlist's lemwarm offers a more comprehensive solution for email warming and spam avoidance.

View of lemwarm's deliverability score and actionable tips

Apollo allows you to manage multiple mailboxes and set rate limits, but without a native mail warming feature, your deliverability may not be as robust unless you integrate an additional service.

To further optimize email campaigns, consider using Bardeen to craft personalized one-liners with their playbook, which can lead to better open and response rates, ultimately enhancing your sender reputation.

For users needing an all-in-one package to boost deliverability, lemlist's integrated lemwarm service is the clear choice, despite the additional cost.

Apollo

__wf_reserved_inherit
Management of multiple mailboxes in Apollo for email sequences.

Apollo's Sequences feature deals with deliverability by allowing users to manage multiple mailboxes. However, it's important to note that while Apollo supports multiple mailboxes, it does not offer email warming services, which can be crucial for avoiding spam filters and maintaining a good sender reputation. For those services, you would need to use a different product.

Key aspects of deliverability features:

  • Support for multiple mailboxes
  • No built-in email warming service
  • Rate limits to prevent spamming
  • Monitoring of setup progress and sending limits

On Reddit, users discuss the effectiveness and risks associated with Apollo's email sequences:

😐 "mediocre results...screw up your domain reputation" - r/sales
😐 "Allowing link tracking adds some inherent risk when sending emails" - r/Emailmarketing

lemlist

__wf_reserved_inherit
Overview of lemlist's Deliverability Score and lemwarm feature.

Deliverability is critical for any sales engagement platform, and lemlist addresses this with lemwarm, a dedicated product designed to improve email deliverability. Lemwarm requires an additional subscription, but it offers vital features for those serious about their email campaigns.

  • Email Warming: lemwarm actively warms up your email addresses to boost deliverability.
  • Spam Avoidance: Tips and guides to ensure emails land in the inbox, not the spam folder.
  • Rate Limits: Set daily limits on emails to prevent being flagged as spam.
  • Multiple Mailboxes: Manage several mailboxes to spread out your campaign's reach.
🤔 "Be sure that DMARK/SPF/DKIM are working." - r/agency
Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

Personalization: Crafting Tailored Messages for Leads

Apollo's personalization features are more robust, offering a vast array of variables from its enrichment database and the ability to add other dynamic content like meeting invites.

__wf_reserved_inherit
Apollo's interface showcasing the use of dynamic variables and personalization options

lemlist, while simpler, allows for basic customization using dynamic variables and offers liquid syntax for conditionals and fallback values.

For those who need depth in their personalization, Apollo's extensive data and personalization options are superior. Yet, if you're looking to integrate OpenAI's tools for even more tailored messages, Bardeen can enhance your efforts with additional data and AI-driven content creation.

Choose Apollo for a comprehensive personalization toolkit, but consider lemlist for straightforward campaigns with less complexity.

Apollo

__wf_reserved_inherit
Previewing personalized email content with dynamic variables in Apollo.

Apollo's Sequences feature allows for high levels of customization in email campaigns. The personalization sub-feature includes dynamic variables from Apollo's extensive enrichment database, which can be used directly in the email body to make each message feel more personal and relevant to the recipient.

  • Dynamic Variables: Insert custom fields into your emails using placeholders in {{ }} brackets to include information like the recipient's name, company, or location.
  • Preview Personalization: Check how your email will look by selecting an existing lead or sending a test email to yourself.
  • Conditional Content: Create emails that adapt content based on whether certain variables exist or meet specific conditions.
  • Rich Media Integration: Enhance your emails by adding meeting invites, Vidyard recordings, or images to engage your leads further.
  • Normalized Fields: Some data fields are normalized, offering natural-sounding references in your emails.

lemlist

__wf_reserved_inherit
Personalization options in lemlist including custom variables and liquid syntax.

Personalization is key in engaging leads effectively, and lemlist offers features that let you customize each email in a sequence. You can insert dynamic variables like the recipient's name or company, which helps in making emails feel more personal and less like a mass message.

  • Dynamic Variables: Insert basic fields such as first name, last name, and company name into emails.
  • Liquid Syntax: Use conditionals and pull variables like the current date into your messages, with fallback options if data is missing.
  • Custom Images: Include personalized images in your emails to catch the lead's attention.
  • Custom Landing Pages: Direct leads to personalized landing pages to increase engagement and conversion.
Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

AI - Crafting Tailored Messages for Leads

Apollo's AI capabilities for sequences stand out for their deep customization options, allowing you to craft tailored messages based on your company and product details, as well as lead-specific signals.

__wf_reserved_inherit
Apollo's AI assistant offers extensive email customization

lemlist, while providing a strong campaign-level AI tool, lacks the same level of detail in personalization at the email and messaging level.

In this case, Apollo has the upper hand with its ability to record, transcribe, and analyze video call meetings automatically, a feature lemlist does not offer.

For users seeking a more granular control over their AI-driven sequences, Apollo's robust AI features, combined with Bardeen's ability to add contextual data about leads, present a compelling package.

Apollo

__wf_reserved_inherit
AI-generated email with customizable subject and body content.

Apollo's AI feature in the Sequences tool lets us write full sentences and allows us to use custom signals for each lead. This feature can significantly improve our engagement with prospects by providing personalized and relevant content.

  • AI Email Generation: Apollo's AI can write entire emails, including subject lines and body content.
  • Customization: We can steer the AI by inputting information about our company, product, and target persona to personalize content.
  • Various Customization Options: From one-liners to full emails, the AI helps us craft messages that resonate with our audience.
  • Automatic Meeting Transcription: Apollo can record, transcribe, and analyze video call meetings, which saves us time and helps us review important points.

lemlist

__wf_reserved_inherit
AI-assisted campaign creation with custom input fields in lemlist.

Lemlist's AI features within the Sequences tool help you create entire campaigns by providing input fields where you can enter specific details about the target audience and campaign objectives. However, the AI does not offer extensive customization options for each lead's unique signals.

  • AI-generated campaign creation
  • Basic AI commands for email and messaging
  • Limited customization for unique lead signals
  • User input fields to guide AI campaign generation
Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

Native Enrichment: Deepen Lead Understanding

Apollo has the upper hand when it comes to native enrichment capabilities, providing detailed, up-to-date insights on leads and companies.

__wf_reserved_inherit
Comprehensive data enrichment in Apollo's platform

lemlist's enrichment tools are more basic and may not provide the same level of detail or freshness of data. When you need deeper insights or have to find information on platforms like LinkedIn or company websites, Bardeen's integration with Apollo can enhance your workflow by automating manual tasks.

For sales teams that rely heavily on accurate and extensive lead information for personalized outreach, Apollo's native enrichment is likely the better choice.

Apollo

__wf_reserved_inherit
Detailed lead information with buyer signals in Apollo's Native Enrichment.

Apollo's Native Enrichment feature stands out by offering in-depth data on companies and leads. This feature is particularly useful for personalizing emails and other communications based on a variety of enrichment parameters. The buyer signals, coupled with additional data from various sources, provide rich insights into your leads, enhancing the ability to target them effectively.

  • Buyer Signals: Receive notifications when a lead shows high engagement, such as opening multiple emails.
  • Enrichment Data: Access detailed information like job changes and contact details to personalize your outreach.
  • Data Health Metrics: View the percentage of contacts with accurate or missing information and schedule updates.
  • Personalization: Use enrichment parameters to tailor your sequences for higher relevance and impact.

lemlist

__wf_reserved_inherit
Detailed lead information in lemlist's Native Enrichment feature.

Lemlist's Native Enrichment within the Sequences feature offers basic lead enrichment capabilities. It provides buyer signals and data from various sources to give you more insights about your leads. Although it's not as comprehensive as dedicated enrichment tools, it can be a good starting point for learning more about your prospects.

  • Basic list building and enrichment functions
  • Incorporates data from multiple sources
  • Provides essential lead details
  • Less detailed compared to specialized tools
  • Data may not always be up-to-date
Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

Social Automation: Saving Time on LinkedIn Tasks

Apollo stands out with its ability to automate social tasks, particularly on LinkedIn, without manual intervention, which can be a major time-saver for users.

Apollo's social automation feature showing LinkedIn task creation

While lemlist also facilitates LinkedIn automation, it does so through a browser extension that requires local execution, which may not be as efficient for users managing high volumes of social interactions.

Considering the automated social engagement features, Apollo may provide better efficiency for users who prioritize automated social interactions, especially within LinkedIn. However, lemlist's approach can offer more control, as actions are performed locally, potentially giving users peace of mind regarding the authenticity of their social presence.

To further boost your LinkedIn automation and integration with other sales tools, you might explore the options offered by Bardeen, which also provides enrichment and automation in beta.

Apollo

Apollo's tasks and LinkedIn automation options.

Apollo's Sequences feature for Social Automation gives you the power to automate tasks and social interactions, especially on LinkedIn. You can set up tasks for calls, emails, and LinkedIn actions without having to do them manually. This is great for staying on top of your sales process and making sure you don't miss any chances to connect with leads.

  • Task Creation: Set up tasks for manual emails, phone calls, or custom actions.
  • LinkedIn Automation: Automate connection requests, messages, profile views, and post interactions.
  • Priority Setting: Choose the importance of each task to stay organized.
  • Due Date Adjustment: Change when tasks are due to manage your time better.

lemlist

Setting up LinkedIn message automation in lemlist Sequences.

Lemlist's Sequences feature includes a robust social automation component, specifically designed to automate actions on LinkedIn. It leverages a browser extension to perform tasks locally, which gives users the ability to automate LinkedIn connection requests, messaging, and even post engagement, which can significantly boost your sales outreach efforts.

  • Local Automation: Uses a browser extension to perform actions directly within LinkedIn.
  • Connection Requests: Send automated requests to connect with prospects on LinkedIn.
  • Message Automation: Automate sending personalized messages to your LinkedIn connections.
  • Post Engagement: Automatically like or comment on posts to increase visibility and engagement.
Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

Apollo

lemlist

Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

Apollo

lemlist

Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

Apollo

lemlist

Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

Apollo

lemlist

Bardeen Logo Icon
Pro Tip:

The verdict, which is best for complex email campaigns?

The major differences between Apollo and lemlist lie in their approach to campaign creation and personalization. Apollo excels with its data-rich features and straightforward campaign options. It's best for those who value directness and have a clear, linear outreach plan. Apollo's strength is in its simplicity and effectiveness for straightforward campaigns.

Lemlist, on the other hand, shines with its creative campaign capabilities. Its strength is in customization and visual campaign building, making it ideal for users who prioritize flexibility and complex, branching campaigns. Lemlist is the go-to for sales teams looking to create intricate, highly personalized email sequences.

If you need a tool that offers deep data insights and straightforward campaign management, go for Apollo. For those who require extensive customization and wish to craft complex, engaging campaigns, lemlist is the better choice. Both tools have positive aspects, but your specific needs will dictate the best fit.