At BuzzStream, we aspire to make your content promotion as efficient as possible, so you can create relationships, not spreadsheets.
We’re investing heavily in improving the speed and usability of BuzzStream. This week, we released improvements to features throughout the app, making it faster and easier to use.
Discovered Contact Information in the Contact Record
When you add contacts to your BuzzStream account, BuzzStream automatically looks for contact information like email addresses and Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.
Now, discovered contact information is available directly in the contact record, next to your history with the contact and their recent content.
Now Discovered Contact Information is Available from the Contact Record.
Additionally, you can now easily approve or remove multiple pieces of contact information:
Now You Can Approve Multiple Discovered Contacts with One Click
Of all the features we’ve added to BuzzStream, none have been adopted by our customers as fast as the Outreach module. To make it even more valuable, we’ve added a number of major improvements to it over the past few weeks.
Send It Later
If you’re sending emails late at night (burning the midnight SEOil), often your emails will reach people’s inboxes after they’re asleep, and they won’t get read. The same thing happens if you’re conducting outreach from another time zone – either way, your timing is bad and your email is deleted.
Enter Send It Later. Send It Later allows you to schedule your outreach emails.
This week, we’ve checked off two more features that many BuzzStream power users and team accounts have been clamoring for. We’ve added more flexible ways to filter your contacts and better ways to manage tags.
In BuzzStream, tags are one of the primary ways you classify your contacts so that you can quickly create lists. The great thing about tags is that they’re flexible and they’re super-easy to create. The not-so-great thing about them?…well, they’re flexible and they’re super-easy to create. If you’re not careful, you can end up with multiple tags for the same category, tags that are no longer used, overly granular tags, etc. For those of you that operate in a team, things can get particularly messy, since you have to wade through the tags that you and everyone else has created.
To help with this, we’ve added a ‘Manage Tags’ page in you settings. From this page, you can control which tags are shown to you and you can delete unwanted tags.
We added support for projects in BuzzStream almost four years ago and almost immediately, they became one of the most popular features in the product. Adding a project in BuzzStream gives you a workspace where a designated group of people can work on a set of contacts. They’re powerful because they let you build a master database of contacts (influencers, prospects, people who have promoted you before, etc.), filter your database to build relevant contact lists and then apply them to the specific projects you’re working on. Within each project, you can keep track of your outreach efforts, you can manage your team’s workflow and you can limit access to certain team members.
While projects are popular, some of the most common feedback we get from customers is that there needs to be better ways to organize them and they need to be easier to create, edit and find. To help with this we’ve made two major changes: 1) Added project folders for organizing projects, and 2) completely redesigned the projects list dropdown.
Project folders and project search
Until yesterday, the projects dropdown was just a list of all projects in your account. This works fine if you have a small set of projects, but if you have a large list of projects or if you want to group projects by clients, landing pages, campaign types, etc., it becomes a problem.
To help with this, we’ve added support for project folders. Now when you click the project dropdown, you’ll see an option to create a folder:
So, for example, if you’re an agency, you might create a folder for each client and include a project for each campaign within it.
One of the reasons we built BuzzStream was to make it easier to conduct outreach that’s highly relevant and personalized, but to do it at scale. The Outreach Module is a big part of this, and we’ve made a number of recent improvements to it.
Send Emails Directly through Your Account
BuzzStream now connects to your email account in the exact same way you’d connect with a smartphone, Microsoft Outlook or any other mail client. This means that any emails you send from BuzzStream are coming directly from the email account you’ve connected with. By connecting this way, you don’t have to worry about deliverability problems caused by others who are connected to the same server. Additionally, the “sent from” information in the email will match your account.
To connect BuzzStream to your email account, just click on Settings:
Select “Connect to Email:”
We’ve added two features that should help you with activities like list building and activity tracking.
If you’re a gmail user, you may have noticed that the familiar “starred items” has been added to BuzzStream.
Starred items give you a way to quickly mark a record as one that needs follow-up, merits attention, etc. So, for example, if you’re going through your master database and evaluating contacts’ relevance to a campaign you’re planning, you could star them as you qualify them and then continue evaluating your contacts. Once you’re done, simply click ‘Filters’ and click ‘Starred’
Then select all items and copy them to a new project, add tags, etc.
We have a number of new features to talk about that should make your link building efforts more efficient. Let’s take a look.
Auto-Discovery of Links
We’ve made it easier to manage your existing backlinks in BuzzStream by automatically discovering them when you first set up your account and when you add a new project.
To auto-discover links for a new project, follow these steps:
- Go to ‘Settings’ (top right-hand corner of the app) and click on the ‘Projects’ tab
- Click ‘Add Project’ in the top left hand corner
- In the websites section, enter the websites you’re managing and make sure that “auto discover inbound links to these sites” is selected.
That’s all there is to it!
This is just the first step for us in this area…expect the following improvements in the near future:
- In addition to the initial discovery of links, we’ll add continuous discovery so your account always has the latest backlinks
- We’re using the SEOmoz Links API to discover your backlinks. We’ll add additional sources to discover your backlinks in the near future (to fill in gaps in SEOmoz’ link index)
When you’re conducting outreach to a lot of people across a lot of touchpoints, it’s easy to end up in scramble mode. Have I already emailed this blogger or webmaster? When did I last contact them? Did they reply? Are they due for a follow up? Has anyone else on the team contacted them? By not having this information at hand at all times, you end up wasting time searching through email and excel, you reach out to people who other team members have already contacted, and you miss out on follow-ups that could lead to links and buzz.
To help with this, we’re happy to announce a major improvement to the way that BuzzStream helps you keep track of your communications with your contacts. BuzzStream now integrates seamlessly with Gmail, MS Exchange and other standards-based email servers, so all emails sent between you and your contacts are automatically added to their contact records. No need to remember to bcc or forward emails. No need to manually add notes to BuzzStream contacts. Once you enter your email information in BuzzStream, just send your emails and BuzzStream will take care of the rest.
Here’s how it works:
- Go to the My Info page in your Settings, select your mail provider and enter your mail settings.
- Once you’ve added your credentials, BuzzStream will periodically check for new emails between you and your contacts (approximately every hour)
- Any emails that are found are automatically attached to the record in BuzzStream
That’s all there is to it! For more information about setting this up, take a look at the FAQ.
We work hard to make it as easy as possible to work with your data in BuzzStream, but there will always be times where you want to import in some data and you want it to update existing BuzzStream records. We’ve now enabled this in the import utility. Just click on import and put a checkmark next to “auto-update existing contacts.
A couple of things to note. If the column in the import file is empty or if the value in the import file is the same as in the record, it won’t be changed in BuzzStream. If it’s different, in most cases it will add the new value to the BuzzStream record (the existing value won’t be removed). So, for example, if ‘John Doe’ in BuzzStream has an email address of ‘email@example.com’ and the import file has the email address ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, after the import, it will have both addresses.
There are a few cases where the existing value will be replaced. To see a full list of how each import column is treated, check out our help file:
Help for import in BuzzStream for Link Building
Help for import in BuzzStream for PR and Social
Three very helpful usability enhancements to talk about this week:
Quick Edit Bar
If you look in the far right-hand side of the first column, you’ll notice a small icon:
When you click on this icon, you now have a number of the common edit tasks available to you without opening the record.
Up until now, you could resize all the columns in your list of contacts, except the first one. I found this particularly annoying, because this column often had a long name or URL in it. We’ve fixed this, so now, just hover over the right edge of the column header and increase the width to your heart’s content (assuming that’s what makes your heart content).
Bulk Editing of Custom Fields
Adding custom fields to your account gives you the ability to track extra information about your contacts and links. Now, you can edit the values for a group of contacts or links at once. To do this, just select the set of contacts that you want to edit:
Click ‘Edit->Custom Fields’