13 January 2015

Unified Inbox launches first product on roadmap - Outbox Pro

Source: Unified Inbox website.

Unified Inbox, the unified communications as a service company, today announced the launch of its first product, cloud-based Outbox Pro. 

Outbox Pro makes it faster and easier for teams to create and publish posts on multiple social networks. The web browser extension, currently available for Chrome, enables users to create, share, review, edit, approve, schedule, publish, and track both original and curated web content from one or more authors on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Social media spending is expected to grow to 21.4% of marketing budgets by 2019*. As companies require greater ROI from their increased investment in social media, it is crucial for them to increase the quality of and reduce the time needed for their content marketing creation and management processes. Outbox Pro introduces a smart new workflow that enables in-house and/or agency marketing, communications, and PR teams to:

• Manage one or more “Authors” by centrally assigning and managing permissions-based roles

• Create secure access to live social networks without sharing social media passwords

• Create original and curated web content, customised for each social network

• Designate an “admin” for social media content reviews and approvals

• Receive and review approval requests via email from any mobile device

• Edit declined posts and resubmit them for approval

“Organisations no longer ask ‘Should we do social media?’ Instead they ask, ‘What tools will help us do it better and faster?’” said Toby Ruckert, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Unified Inbox. “Companies can now improve their social media ROI by having full visibility and control of their real-time and scheduled social marketing content.”

Another way Outbox Pro increases the effectiveness of social content is by giving companies the ability to include authors outside of traditional digital marketing roles. For example, restaurants’ marketing departments can publish content created by their produce buyers to show fresh and unique ingredients “live from the market,” in the most appropriate formats on each of their different social media platforms.

The Singapore Days and Ramada Hotels have already implemented Outbox Pro to leverage customer-facing team members’ ability to capture real-time content to create a pipeline of compelling social media content for their different social networks. 

Tony Cousens, General Manager of the Wyndham Hotel Group Singapore shared, “To communicate these achievements and better engage with our customers, we've been actively leveraging social media and recently with Outbox Pro. With at least four brands to cover on multiple social media sites at any point, an effective and productive strategy, but at the same time secure way of making social media work for us is key. 

"The ability to schedule posts cross-channel with one click is an important and productive marketing element for us. Furthermore, we can now draw good content from a wide variety of sources – our own staff of course, but eventually even our partners, visitors and customers themselves. This has only been made possible by the quick and easy workflow and approval function Outbox Pro provides. We've already been discussing the opportunity to widen its use for other properties in Asia-Pacific for the Wyndham Hotel Group.”

Source: Unified Inbox.
While other companies such as Buffer and Hootsuite are also offering similar capabilities, Unified Inbox positions itself as more sophisticated than Buffer, but much easier to use than Hootsuite. Hootsuite and Buffer both require monthly flat fees, whereas Outbox Pro charges by the post. Outbox Pro also focuses on internal and external workflows for content approvals, whereas Buffer and Hootsuite are more about scheduling the final posts.

Outbox Pro is available for download on the Google Chrome Web Store. To incentivise new users, Outbox Pro’s first 100 posts are free, with additional posts costing US$0.25 per post. 

At one post per weekday per month on one social network, it would cost US$5 to US$6.25 a month with Outbox Pro, against Hootsuite's US$9.99 a month with Hootsuite Pro, and Buffer's US$50 monthly for a small business plan. Buffer also has an 'Awesome' personal plan for US$102 for the year. 

Both Buffer and Hootsuite offer unlimited posts however. Hootsuite Pro allows up to 350 to be scheduled at a time, while Buffer allows up to 200 posts in the queue. The difference would be that as the queue diminishes more posts can then be scheduled under the flat fee arrangements.

*CMO Report: Highlights and Insights