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Competing with the likes of SpeakPipe, PodInbox is a simple solution for getting audio feedback from your listeners that you can integrate into your next episode.

If you have a podcast that benefits from listener-submitted questions, PodInbox could save you and your listeners time, by simplifying the process of recording and collecting audio messages.

🎩 Hat tip to
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Podnews (@podnews)

A free daily briefing about podcast and on-demand audio.

When you sign up, you can choose a podinbox.com page URL. You can add your square podcast artwork to your page, and customise the greeting listeners will see when they visit it. You can even record an introductory video, prompting visitors with your question.

Listeners will visit your podinbox.com page and record their voicemail. Of course it works just as well on mobile as it does on the desktop, and visitors have the opportunity to review their recording before submitting it.

The only sour note for me is the authentication flow. As a listener to a podcast, I don’t think I want to sign up for an account with a service to submit a one-time voicemail message. Some will see this as a barrier-to-entry, and be reluctant to give away their email address and create a password for a service they’re unlikely to use again any time soon I obviously see the need for authentication, but would prefer this be through social accounts like Twitter or Facebook.

That said, there’s a semi-social aspect to the inbox: All new messages are displayed on your PodInbox page, and other visitors can hit a ♡ button to indicate they like a particular message. Given there’s no on-screen indication that messages are public, for now you might want to communicate this in your intro text or video, in case your listeners are prone to over-sharing. (Private messaging is an idea they’re exploring, as are more moderation features.)

Once a listener has submitted their message, you as the podcaster get an email notification with a link to play, download, and archive the message. The download is in the form of a 128kbps MP3. There’s no metadata attached and the filename’s a string of numbers and letters, so if you’re downloading in bulk, be sure to rename files as you go (I’ve submitted this feedback to the developers).

I’d love to see this implemented as a WordPress widget. The UI is minimal so lends itself well to that kind of aesthetic. It could even be implemented as a WordPress content block or shortcake, so a voicemail box can be directly added to an episode’s show notes on the web.

Any service like this that makes it easier to solicit audible feedback from listeners gets a 👍 from me. PodInbox is a solid service already, and as a super-young product, it works far better than some that have launched with larger teams and seemingly bigger budgets. But to really make it worth $9 a month or $99 a year, I’d love to see just a few more features added, maybe even some podcast host integrations.

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By Mark Steadman

  • Last reviewed
    4th August 2021

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