There are a number of great products available that help find prospects for link building and PR campaigns and one of our goals is to make it as easy as possible to access these prospects within BuzzStream. By pulling in prospects discovered by other tools, you can use BuzzStream’s research capabilities to qualify them and, more importantly, you can make them actionable.
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:
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
A couple of weeks ago, we released our first set of free link building tools, and we promised that more were on the way. Shortly after announcing the tools, we started getting “you know what would be a cool tool” emails from our customers. Well, one came up repeatedly…we liked the idea and so we rolled it out.
This new tool is pretty simple…paste in some HTML and it will generate a CSV file that includes each link in the HTML, the domain for each link and the anchor text. There’s lots of ways you can use this, but I’ve found it particularly helpful for building outreach lists. For example, suppose I’m trying to build a list of SEO bloggers for a campaign I come across TopRank’s Big list of SEM and SEO blogs.
This is a great starting point for my list building, but manually cutting and pasting all 400 of these blogs into a spreadsheet would be a pain. Instead, just do the following:
Select the content that includes the links you want
If you’re in firefox, right click and select ” View Selection.” In chrome, select “Inspect Element.”
Copy the text into text box in the “Extract Links” tool and click “Create CSV”
Now you have a CSV file that looks something like this:
That’s all there is to it. Once I have this list, the next step I’ll want to take is to collect information about each of these blogs to help me prioritize my efforts. If you’re a BuzzStream subscriber, here are a couple of additional things you can do to help with this effort.
Import the file into BuzzStream. If you’re using projects, you might want to create a project that’s simply called “Opportunity Research.” If you’re not using projects, you can either include a tag in the import file or create a custom field.
Sort by metrics. BuzzStream will collect metrics for each domain and you can utilize this to help you prioritize them. Once you’ve decided on the priority, select the contacts you want to prioritize and click “Edit>Overall Rating.” The Rating will be set for all of these contacts at once.
We’re happy to announce the release of a collection of free link building tools. Over the last three years, we’ve built a number of tools that we use internally, some to help with customer implementations and some as prototypes for tools we’ve added to the product. It’s great that these tools have helped our customers, but we haven’t been happy that they’re mostly only available to us. So, we’re cleaning them up and rolling them out to everyone. The first four of these are available today and we’ll continue to clean up tools and add them to the collection at a pretty steady pace.
Here’s a quick summary of the first tools we’re rolling out:
Email Research Tool
Last week we announced the release of an email research tool for BuzzStream subscribers that’s designed to reduce the time spent researching email addresses. You just select a list of contacts and BuzzStream automatically conducts 23 different searches for each contact. The free tool for researching email addresses works in a similar way (although only for one contact at a time). For a closer look at both tools, check out this video.
Oh yeah, one thing before you watch the video…sorry in advance for the audio quality. It’s bad. Real bad. I didn’t have access to our good recording equipment, so now, there are all sorts of fun pops, clicks and ridiculously bad audio edits (all layered over the nasally voice that just drives the ladies crazy :)).
Link Building Query Generator
Enter in some information about your brand, your competition and your keywords and the link building query generator will generate Google and Bing queries to help you find influencers and link opportunities. What’s really nice is the tool lets you save the Bing searches as an OPML file so you can easily add them to a feed reader or dashboard app (i.e., iGoogle, pageflakes, etc.).
Domain Name Extraction Tool
Great tool to use if you have a list of URLs and you want to extract the domain. Paste the URLs into the domain name extraction tool and it kicks out a CSV file with the original URLs and the domains.
URL “Theme” Extraction Tool
The idea for this tool came from an Excel for SEOs post that Mike Pantoliano wrote. One of the things Mike showed in the post was how you can use excel formulas to take a URL and strip out the theme section (e.g., turn a URL like http://www.example.com/snowboarding” into “snowboarding”). We’d already built a lot of tools for URL manipulation, so extending them to do this was easy. Now, to extract the theme from a set of URLs, rather than writing excel formulas to extract them, just paste in the URLs and you’ll get back a CSV with the “theme” section of the URL.
One last thing. Big thanks to Jeremy Bencken, Ann Smarty and Garrett French for inspiring many of the searches in the link building query generator. Jeremy started the design of a query generator tool for BuzzStream two years ago and many of the original queries are in the tool. One of the first collections of queries we found was in a post Ann wrote two and a half years ago. It was still one of our most valuable resources when putting the tool together. Garrett has taken things to a whole new level with his link building query posts on the ontolo blog. And if you haven’t checked out the ontolo query generator, you’re missing out.
We’re just getting started with these, so keep your eyes peeled…lots more tools on the way.