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Is Apollo.io Worth it? The Pros and Cons in 2023

Apollo is a pretty popular platform for scraping and reviewing data on your potential prospects – but at what cost? We've been using Apollo for a few years now and are giving some brutal thoughts on their pricing and efficiency, as well as if it's even worth buying anymore.
Updated August 23, 2023
an envelope flying through space through the air as digital art 4k
an envelope flying through space through the air as digital art 4k

So you're on the hunt for the lowdown on Apollo.io, huh? I'm betting you've got at least a rough sketch of what it's all about, so no need for me to hammer away at the details. How does it stand up today?

Over the next few minutes we’ll go over who really benefits from Apollo, the good bits and the not-so-good bits, how much it's gonna cost you, how reliable the data is, and last but not least, my two cents on whether or not it's worth your precious time and money.

Who is Apollo.io For? 

Apollo works really well for anyone selling to another business.

Whether you’re in recruiting, medical sales, selling software, working in agencies, or just running small local businesses, Apollo could really help. It took us off the ground & we continue to use it. To find quality leads for its price is invaluable to growing any type of B2B company.

Apollo is a B2B database that has millions of contacts from around the globe, with most of them primarily being from the United States. Whether you’re looking to connect with entry level employees or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Apollo has your back.

Here's what a typical contact search looks like. You see their name, title, info about their company and the city that person is located in. Remember – this is specific to the individual... not the company. That’s in another section of Apollo. 

When you click “Access email”, you will be utilizing 1 credit to find the email. Once it’s “saved”, you can now dial/access their phone number, add it to your custom lists, or even add to a sequence (directly sending from Apollo) which we’ll dive into a little further down. 

When trying to find your ideal customer profile or target audience, it's important to use Apollo's filters. Apollo offers filters such as job titles, specific companies, location, number of employees, industries, keywords, and even by what technology they use. 

In the image below, when you click on 'More Filters,' you'll see other options such as 'Time in Current Role' and even 'SIC codes'!

I'm 90% certain that this is a unique feature to Apollo, as I haven't seen it in other data enrichment platforms yet. 

SIC codes are used by the government to categorize different types of businesses. So, if you happen to be looking for companies that fall under a specific SIC code, its another reason to use Apollo.

Apollo takes pride in boasting one of the largest databases available today. Without any filters selected, it displays a selection of over 260M+ contacts. 🤯

Yes, you read that right - millions!

Now let’s put that number to the test. 

Suppose you're in the New York City area and are targeting professionals in the e-learning sector, perhaps because you have a solution that could benefit their business.

Let's see how many contacts we can find:

Now let’s break this down...

If the objective is to find decision makers in e-learning companies, specifically in New York City, you would select the filters in the image above.

This brought back roughly 2,000 contacts that we have access to. The results include their LinkedIn profile, phone number, website, and of course their email address. 

Point is, you could do this with any niche or type of business you’re prospecting for and it will most likely yield thousands of contacts for you to reach out to. 

Apollo.io Pros and Cons

With every tool comes the great features & subpar options. While we think the pros outweigh the cons, there are some pretty important things you should know if you decide to purchase Apollo.

Pro: Pricing

The pricing of Apollo is a low barrier to entry for most individuals and companies.

We’ll dive into pricing in detail later on, but to give you a glimpse, they have a plan for only $19 per month and it offers “Unlimited Email Credits”.

This means you’re able to access thousands of contacts each month for such a low price.

Pro: Size of Database

Apollo offers a vast number of contacts, which is hard to beat for its price. If you compare it to a platform like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it may still be worth it, despite the millions of contacts LinkedIn has.

Also keep in mind note that LinkedIn does not provide email addresses – Apollo does.

Pro: Sales Engagement Platform

Usually, a platform that offers data does not provide a mechanism for engagement and vice versa.

For example, LinkedIn offers data, but you can’t directly send emails.

Apollo’s engagement platform, on the other hand, offers a wide range of powerful features that teams, small to large, could use daily.

  1. Sequences - This feature allows you to automate messaging and LinkedIn connections, and keeps track of tasks needed for each prospect, all in one place.
  1. Dialer - One is able to make, receive, and record phone calls and integrate directly with your CRM (HubSpot, Salesforce, and others) without leaving Apollo’s platform. 
  1. Inbound Meeting Scheduling - This is a highly useful feature for large sales teams. It enables you to distribute inbound leads generated from outbound efforts, thus minimizing time and increasing efficiency within the team’s workflow.
  1. AI Writing Assistant - This relatively new feature helps you craft a specific email for each prospect based on buying signals that Apollo provides. Pretty neat!

Pro: Analytics Dashboard (one of my favorite features)

Apollo’s analytics platform is one of the most insightful analytics tools out there on the market today.

When using it, you have access to see the job titles of the people who are opening most of your emails, their industries, their time zones, and you can filter based on the number of replies, etc.

This gives you a great inside look to help you make data-based decisions for your outbound campaigns.

Con: Data Quality

Personally, I've found that roughly 30-45% of Apollo’s data can be inaccurate.

It really depends on the type of data you’re looking for. However, it's important to note that this is really only specific to email addresses. Additional factors like employees leaving companies, changing roles, or changing their email addresses can contribute to this inaccuracy.

I should also mention that I don’t use mobile numbers often for outreach, so I can't comment on the accuracy of that data within Apollo.

Con: Record Selecting Limit

The 'record selecting limit' is a feature that impacts the quantity of records you can select and process at a time.

While this may not be a concern for larger teams with more extensive plans, it can be a limiting factor for smaller teams or individuals using Apollo.

This limit is tied to the pricing plan you select, and hence, could impact smaller teams more once they decide they’d like to grow. 

If you're a salesperson meticulously crafting personalized cold emails and calls, then the record selection limit won't be an issue for you. But if you're relying on mass cold emails, or automating your outreach processes, then you need to be aware of this.

The record selection limit could be a bottleneck for small businesses aiming to connect with hundreds or thousands of contacts every month.

This feature restricts you to selecting only 25 contacts at a time, which can be quite a drain on your time and efficiency. Also worth noting, if you select contacts repeatedly, Apollo will block your access after you've chosen ~3,000 contacts. 

Depending on your business model, this might not be a concern (or it could be the reason you don't use the tool, forcing you to manually select contacts and risking a 24-hour account blockage). We only say this because it accidentally uhhh.. happened to us.

I've personally encountered this issue more times than I'd care to count. 

Con: Price Changes!

Yes, the price of Apollo changes seemingly at random, which I really don't appreciate.

It seems like every time I check their pricing page they're A/B testing different pricing models.

Even last night when I started writing this article the pricing was different. Very confusing & definitely very weird.

The change in pricing could be due to time zone, region you're based out of, or the time of day, but it honestly looks like it’s rather random to me. I find this to be somewhat unfair as it results in different customers paying different amounts on the basis of what? I'm not quite sure.

Apollo's Email Accuracy

I’m only going to go over Apollo’s email addresses compared to their mobile numbers.

I’ve used Apollo 98% of the time for emails and maybe 2% for the numbers.

When using Apollo, you have to assume roughly 30-45% of their data is inaccurate. Even though they have a “verified” filter, I found that it is not accurate at all. 

You should always select the 'verified' filter, but I also recommend running your emails through a third-party verification platform like Neverbounce.

This does not apply if you are using Apollo’s Engagement platform, as you'll have added those contacts directly from their database & won't need to export them.

When prospecting via cold email, it's crucial to keep your bounce rate under 3%.

If 30-40% of your contacts bounce back due to incorrect email addresses from Apollo, this can severely impact your email campaigns & domain reputation.

Interestingly, Apollo claims a '91% accuracy rate'.

From my experience after using Apollo for YEARS and based on the opinions of others, this claim does not seem to hold true at all. 

In my opinion, no matter what database your contacts come from, you should always verify the list.

The reputation of your email sender with your email service provider is one of the most crucial factors, if not the most important one.

My Final Thoughts About Apollo

So, let's put this all together.

Considering who Apollo can assist, the good and the bad, and the accuracy of the data, it's pretty clear that Apollo deserves a spot in your toolkit, especially for outbound operations.

It's got an edge in terms of cost-effectiveness and its treasure trove of contacts in the database.

Sure, there might be some hiccups with the data – you could run into inaccuracies in about 30-45% of it – but even with that, you've still got a massive pool of contacts at your disposal (that you can verify and continue to use).

My verdict? The benefits tip the scale over the drawbacks and pricing is a major reason why, and that's why Apollo gets a thumbs up from me.

Have you used Apollo before? What are your thoughts?

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Written by Jonathan Garces
Jonathan is a digital marketing expert. After sending hundreds of thousands of emails, Jonathan cracked the code on what gets somebody to reply – authenticity & transparency. Jonathan writes about his emailing experiences and has quickly became the go-to guy for learning about how to connect with your target audience.
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