Looking for a better alternative to Instantly?
While Instantly is a good tool for running basic cold outreach campaigns, it has known limitations such as being built on non-accredited practices that put your company at risk and lacking basic features.
In this article, we'll briefly expand upon those limitations and then suggest 6 alternatives that might be a better fit for your use case.
Let's dive in.
What Is Instantly.ai And What Are Its Main Limitations?
Instantly.ai lets you send basic cold email campaigns to a list of prospects. You can then follow up with prospects with an automated email follow-up sequence and personalize every email using mail merge features.
However, Instantly.ai has some serious disadvantages compared to other platforms.
1. Lacks basic tools and is buggy. This was the most common complaint with Instantly.ai. It lacks basic features like click tracking or email signatures, and a lot of user reviews indicate that the reply feature of Instantly may not pick up all replies or even none of them at all, which may lose you deals.
G2 users say:
"The unibox within Instantly picked up zero replies we received; we had to search through every inbox and find the replies manually."
"We found that some people had expressed interest and Instantly kept sending them emails in the sequence; even worse, there were people who shared they weren't interested or didn't want to be contacted any more, only for Instantly to keep sending emails."
"Instantly is still in development. They don't have all the advanced features that other tools have. "
2. It's an operational risk. Running your business on Instantly is risky. Their email warm-up tool is still integrated into their main platform (after Google has strictly prohibited the usage of warm-up tools), and they don't use Google's official API to send emails (but rather a roundabout 'growth hacker' way). I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to build my business on that kind of tool.
3. Their pricing is not honest and most features are only available on the most expensive plan. You can't do any A/B testing, add variants to your email sequences, or use the inbox rotation feature with Instantly.ai's cheaper plan (which are essential features for running a successful cold outreach campaign)
"For $37 a month I should be able to have more than just 1,000 contacts. I would like for the future for them to increase it to 2,000."
"Many advanced features are in the highest price tier, so the functionality of the basic version is limited"
4. Not an ideal option for agencies. The only agency feature available is the ability to access all accounts from one login through the use of a dropdown menu. There is no dashboard, no reporting, and no unified settings across all accounts. When it comes to serving agencies, Instantly fades in comparison with other platforms like QuickMail.
5. No LinkedIn automation. While several other tools have integrated LinkedIn outreach capabilities to improve your response rates, Instantly.ai does not yet have this feature.
Let's next look into some alternatives to Instantly.ai and see if they might be a better fit for you.
The Best Instantly.ai Alternative That Actually Gets You Results
1. QuickMail (Best Overall Solution)
Cold email marketing tool with the industry's best deliverability and automation features.
QuickMail Vs. Instantly.ai: Key Differences
QuickMail has a unified dashboard view for agency owners, allowing users to manage multiple campaigns in one account. Instantly.ai doesn't have built-in features for agencies.
QuickMail has native integrations with CRMs like HubSpot and Pipedrive and third-party tools like Aircall and Twilio. Instantly.ai requires APIs for all of its integrations (other than Slack).
Campaign sequences in QuickMail automate outreach by email, LinkedIn, calls, or SMS.
Scale Your Cold Outreach With QuickMail
QuickMail has all the tools for scaling your cold outreach. You can easily set up campaigns with varying sequences, do AB testing, follow up at custom intervals, and use personalization attributes.
Once you're ready to increase your daily email volume, you can use QuickMail's inbox rotation feature to spread out the email volume across multiple campaigns.
With each QuickMail plan, you can connect unlimited email accounts to it (there is no limit to how many team members are allowed under one plan, which makes it scalable).
Industry's Best Deliverability Features
To ensure that your emails don't land in the spam folder, QuickMail has native integration with an email warm-up tool MailFlow. Unlike Instantly.ai, where you have to select the $37-a-month Growth plan to warm up emails, MailFlow is free to use.
Pricing: Get started with a free 14-day trial! Generous paid plans from $49/mo.
G2 rating: 4.6 out of 5
What QuickMail users are saying on G2:
"A colleague of mine told me about QuickMail, saying it helped his org with lead generation. We've been using it and seen a big uptick in new leads coming in the door with much better rates for our cold email campaign."
"As an agency owner, Quickmail is the only system that makes it possible to send emails on behalf of clients without needing access to their inboxes. This feature is GOLD!!!"
Capterra Rating: 4.8 out of 5
What QuickMail users are saying on Capterra:
"The functionality is amazing yet I have never encountered a support team like this one!"
"Very satisfied with the product. Their 'kick ass support' team responds within minutes of my reachout which is really impressive."
5 Other Instantly.ai Alternatives
Gmail extensions that let you send bulk, personalized emails from your main inbox.
Gmass is a Gmail-centric alternative to Instantly.ai, taking the idea of email automation and giving it a twist.
With it, you can send mass personalized emails, track opens and clicks, and set up automated follow-up sequences all within your Gmail inbox. Since it is a native Google Workspace product, it has some useful integrations, such as the ability to create prospect lists directly in Google Sheets.
When compared to competitors QuickMail and Instantly.ai, the downside is that Gmass doesn't offer any built-in email warm-up tools, risking your emails landing in the spam box.
You can send emails from your Gmail inbox
Gmail has sending limits, but according to Gmass, you can "break them" with their tool
Beneficial capabilities, such as the ability to create prospect lists within Google Sheets
Doesn't come up with any email warm-up tools
A cold email platform similar to Instantly.ai in terms of pricing and features
Another alternative to Instantly.ai, Mailshake is a platform for sending out and responding to cold emails. You can send out bulk email campaigns, automate follow-up sequences, and track the results of your campaigns.
You can A/B test your email campaigns inside of Mailshake, which is useful for testing different versions of a cold email to find the one that gets the best response.
Mailshake can be integrated with CRMs like Salesforce, Pipedrive, and Hubspot. The pricing is similar to Instantly.ai's, both in the $50 to $100 monthly range.
Mailshake is known for having simple and beginner-friendly user-interface
A/B testing and email analytics are available to see how your campaigns perform
Email list verification is included in all plans to reduce bounce rates
Multi-channel outreach tools are available only on the most expensive plan
Can get expensive as you are billed by the amount of team members on your plan
Pricing: Mailshake plans are billed annually, starting at $58 per user. To gain access to cold calling, LinkedIn outreach tools, and social selling, you would need to pay $83 per month.
An email platform for sending cold emails, automating follow-ups, and tracking the results.
One of Instantly.ai's biggest competitors, Woodpecker is a cold email platform for sending out emails. It includes all the features you would expect from a cold email tool, such as reply detection, automatic follow up, personalization, A/B testing, and email warmup.
According to users on Capterra, Woodpecker is intuitive and easy to use for those new to cold emailing. It also offers integrations with a number of popular CRMs, such as Salesforce and HubSpot.
Pricing: For sending cold emails, Woodpecker plans start at $49 a month, and go up depending on the number of emails you send each month.
Woodpecker has email warm-up tools included in their software
Free email verification when you upload prospects to Woodpecker
You can only send 1,500 emails with Woodpecker's cheapest cold email plan. Compared to QuickMail, you can send 3,000 emails starting with a free 14-day trial. Generous paid plans from $49/mo.
Users on Capterra report experiencing bugs in day-to-day use
A sales engagement platform suitable for larger teams who want to generate leads via outreach
If you are a larger enterprise or a sales team looking for an Instantly.ai alternative and you need more than just a cold email-sending service, Salesloft might be the right choice for you.
Due to its flexibility, it's trusted by many big companies, such as Shopify and Stripe. While Instantly.ai stops collecting data after someone replies to an email campaign, Salesloft tracks how engaged prospects are in your sales pipeline until they are closed.
Moreover, you can add multiple team members to one Salesloft account, track every action each sales rep takes, and monitor reply results for potential customers.
Pricing: To get the pricing, you have to request a demo from the Salesloft team.
All-in-one platform for everything sales-related, not just cold email
Suitable for larger teams due to advanced campaign analytics, team features, and 150+ native integrations
Sales call recording and AI analysis to improve your team's performance
No free trial or free plan available to test out the platform
Instantly.ai alternative for sending cold emails from your existing Gmail inbox
Similar to Gmass, Mailmeteor is a Gmail-based cold email outreach tool that helps you send bulk emails from your existing mailbox. To use Mailmeteor, you have to download its Chrome extension, and then you can upload your prospects directly to Google Sheets and start sending cold emails.
Mailmeteor’s key features include email personalization with attributes, automatic follow-ups, contact segmentation, and basic email analytics.
The downside of Mailmeteor is that there are no email warm-up tools available, unlike competitors QuickMail and Instantly.ai.
Pricing: For $19.99 a month, you can send email sequences and follow-ups automatically.
Easy to set up, just need to install a Chrome extension and an existing Gmail account
You can import your prospects from a Google Sheet and use columns to create merge tags
Custom domain tracking is available only for the most expensive plan (improves your email deliverability)
Wrap Up: What's The Best Instantly.ai Alternative?
So, what's the best Instantly.ai alternative?
The answer is that it depends on your own needs. Is a free plan important to you? Does your team need lots of features and customization options?
Whichever tool you choose, make sure that it offers all the necessary cold email outreach features, including personalization options, automated follow-up emails, and analytics to track results.
If you're still not sure which one to choose, QuickMail has all of those features. Get started with a free 14-day trial.