Now that we’ve added bulk send to BuzzStream, we’ve begun the work on “outreach sequences” (which will include auto-followups). The feedback we received from all of you during the ‘bulk send’ design process was incredibly helpful and we’re looking forward to your help designing sequences.
I’m hoping you can help by:
- providing your overall impressions of the value and usability
- let us know if there are things that would make it more valuable for you
- provide your thoughts on the importance of some of the things we’ve left off for now.
So here’s a video and a set of screenshots that walks through the capabilities.
What is a Sequence?
A sequence is a pre-configured workflow that automates steps in the outreach process and helps keep you focused on the right outreach activities. Each step consists of a trigger (e.g., “if the recipient doesn’t reply in 3 days” or “if the recipient doesn’t open the email within 5 days”) and an action that you want BuzzStream to take (e.g., “automatically send a followup email” or “remind me to followup with this message”).
Creating a Sequence
When you create a new sequence, you’ll be taken to this screen:
In the left column, you’ll name your sequence and add your emails. In the right column, you’ll define the settings for the sequence.
Creating the initial email
You can either write the email by hand or copy it from an existing template. If you want to include a template in your email, you’ll click ‘copy from a Template’ and select the Template.
Adding a step to your sequence
After you’ve added your initial email, you can click ‘Add a step’ to add an automated followup or a followup reminder.
Each step includes the following components:
- An email message
- The action you want to take:
- Reminders to follow up (using the email you’ve included for the step)
- The number of days/weekdays BuzzStream should wait before taking the selected action
- The “trigger” for the followup action. The options in the first release will include:
- if the recipient doesn’t reply
- if the recipient doesn’t open the email
- The option to send the followup as a reply to the last email or send it as a new email
The settings for Sequences will include all of the options that you currently have for outreach (open/click tracking, reply notifications, etc), plus two “safety settings.” The two safety settings are:
- Don’t send this sequence to anyone contacted within the past X days
- Don’t allow contacts to be included in other sequences if they’re still active in this sequence
Conducting Outreach with a Sequence
Once you’ve created a sequence, you’ll be able to use it from the outreach module (both ‘bulk send’ and ‘send individually’), contact records and the BuzzMarker.
Using a Sequence from the Outreach Module
To start your outreach session, you’ll still click the Outreach button and select either “Send Individually” or “Bulk Send.” If you select, “Send Individually,” you’ll select your template and you’ll be taken to the personalization interface.
In the ‘Compose’ section of the screen, you’ll be able to view and edit each of the emails that are included in the sequence. You’ll also be able to view timing and desired action for each step (i.e., auto-followup or reminder).
If there are issues with a step (e.g., missing merge fields), there will be an exclamation mark in the step that needs to be addressed.
Sequences in the BuzzMarker
Selecting Sequences in Bulk Send
Give us your feedback!
So that’s the plan for the first release of this. There are a couple of things that aren’t included in this release:
- “Branching” of followup steps. For example:
- If they opened the email and clicked a link, but they didn’t reply, take this action
- If they didn’t open the email, take this action,
- You’ll have the ability to edit each email during the outreach step, but you won’t be able to change the timing of a step, remove a step, etc.
So I’d love to your thoughts on the following:
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how valuable is this (1 is “not valuable at all” and 5 is “extremely valuable”)?
- This design assumes that you’ll be putting together your workflow beforehand…and, once you started a sequence, you wouldn’t be able to edit the workflow (i.e., no ability to add steps, remove steps, change the triggers, change the timing). What are your thoughts?
- What, if anything, should be added to this? What are we missing?
Feel free to comment below…if you’d rather contact me directly, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your help!