Help us improve the BuzzStream Outreach Module!




Hi everyone,

We’re working on two major improvements to BuzzStream’s outreach capabilities: 1) bulk send capabilities, and 2) “outreach sequences” (which will include auto-followups). Our goal is to release the “bulk send” feature by the end of March and we’d like your help designing it!

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 shows how it will work.

 

 

Bulk Send workflow

After selecting a set of contacts, you’ll click the Outreach button and choose between “Review and personalize” and “Bulk send.”

Selecting ‘Review and Personalize’ will take you to the same workflow that’s currently in the product. In this example, we’ll select ‘Bulk Send’.

There are four steps in the ‘Bulk Send’ process: 1) Setup, 2) Compose, 3) Confirm and Send, 4) Review problematic emails and fix any that couldn’t be sent.

Step 1: Setup

In the Setup step, you’ll select the following:

  • What email address do you want to send from?
  • Do you want to track opens and/or clicks?
  • Do you want to include an unsubscribe message?
  • Do you want to set up “reply reminders” and/or notifications when someone replies?
  • Do you want to put safeguards in place to prevent sending emails with missing merge fields and contacts that have been emailed within a certain time period?

(Click to enlarge the image)

Step 2: Compose

Once you’ve completed this, you’ll move to the ‘Compose’ step. From the ‘Compose’ screen, you’ll have the option to compose an email from scratch, or create an email from your templates.

(Click to enlarge the image)

Step 3: Confirm and Send

After composing your message, you’re taken to the Confirm and Send page. Two things to note:

  • If the number of emails included in your list is greater than the “daily send limit” that you’ve set up in your account, BuzzStream will automatically set a schedule that will prevent you from exceeding your send limit. This is designed to protect you from the deliverability issues that occur when you exceed your mail service provider’s daily send limit.
  • You can choose to “send now” or schedule your emails for a later date.

(Click to enlarge the image)

Step 4: Review and Resolve

After sending your mail, you’re taken to a screen that’s intended to make it easy to review any emails that couldn’t be sent and resolve the problems.

In this case, you’re shown all of the emails that couldn’t be sent because they were either missing merge fields or they’d been contacted within the time period you’d selected. You can select these contacts and review them individually to fix the problems and send the emails. You can review them in two ways:

  1. Using the BuzzMarker’s prospecting capabilities to review each website (along with the contact), fix the problem and send the email
  2. Review them with the ‘Review and Personalize’ capabilities in the Outreach Module.

Give us your feedback!

So that’s the plan for the first release of this. There are a couple of things that are not included in the first release:

  • The ability to preview each email for each contact to make sure it’s ready to send (you still have this capability in the ‘Personalize and Send’ workflow).
  • The ability to remove any emails from the list during the ‘preview’ step (you still have this capability in the ‘Personalize and Send’ workflow’)
  • The ability to fill in the values for merge fields during the preview process….for example, if you were using the merge field ‘First Name’ and the contact’s name was written in all caps (e.g., LYDIA), you won’t have the ability to edit the value during the preview process.

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”)?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how important are the preview, remove and edit features? Would you be willing to use the bulk send capabilities without it, or would you need this before you’d be able to begin using it?
  • 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 paul@buzzstream.com.

Thanks for your help!

31 comments

  • Hi Paul,

    Great news! I’d give it a 5 overall for the Bulk send. It’s gonna be really useful when outreaching for specific campaigns, for exemple sharing ebooks, infographics or other valuable ressources.

    For the the preview, remove and edit features, I’d give it a 4. Really like the idea of the ‘View in Buzzmarker’. In the preview mode, will it be possible to do the fixing without sending and go back to the main Bulk send page with whole group of websites selected?

    But for more personalized outreach, still gonna use he Personalize and Send Emails since I can be more precise on my interaction with the ressource persons and more efficient overall in sharing ‘the passion for the topic’.

    Thanks!

    PS. When will it be available?

    Antoine

  • This is fantastic, Paul.
    I would give it a 5. And honestly, all the features I would need for Bulk Send is right there. Not sure if I would need more.
    Looking forward to this.

  • Great to hear, Carlo! Thanks!

  • Ian Caspar

    Hi Paul,

    I’ve 2 suggestions.

    1) I would appreciate if you can offer an option to send bulk emails while sending reminder emails.

    2) And if site have 2 emails as a contact, than email should be sent on both emails automatically. Right now I’ve to copy another email manually.

    I’m eagerly waiting for bulk emails. When are you planning to release?

    Thanks
    Ian Caspar

  • Thanks for the feedback, Ian. Always appreciate the feedback we get from you and your team.

    You will have the ability to get reminder emails when you send in bulk…we’re spec’ing auto-followups as well. That’s something we’ll work on after this. I’ll think through the 2 emails issue and see if we can address it in the first release.

    We’re working on bulk send as we speak. It will definitely come this quarter (hopefully early in the quarter).

  • Shizza Asrar

    Hi. I have been waiting for this feature, I hope it goes live soon. One thing, where is the auto follow up option. I know you guys are coming out with it but shouldn’t it be a part of the main sending process. We keep our follow up template ready and then enable it while sending the bulk email. Bulk email and auto follow-up should work side by side.

  • Hi Shizza,

    It’s coming as well, but we’re releasing the bulk send capabilities first. When it comes out, bulk send and and auto-followup will work together. 🙂

    Thanks – Paul

  • Paul,

    5 – all around.

    Quick questions – does the bulk send feature pull from the website email address fields, the people email address fields, or both?

  • Great to hear from you, Andy. Thanks for the feedback. That’s actually one of the things we’re working through now….we’re going to add a step that will allow you to review the data and pick values for fields that have multiple possible options (like the emails for the contacts).

  • Matteo

    Actually, maybe there are 2 things missing:

    1) Being able to enable/disable this feature depending to user and/or role

    2) Being able to check a sample mail (e.g. 1st contact on list) as part of the “Confirm” step – so to be able to quickly “read” a mail and see what it will really look like when our contacts receive it.

  • Always great to hear from you, Matteo. 🙂 Thanks for the feedback.

    I hadn’t thought about roles-based management of this feature, but I’ll add it to the spec.

    There will be a “send a test email” step in the process.

  • Matteo

    On a scale of 1 to 5, how valuable is this (1 is “not valuable at all” and 5 is “extremely valuable”)?

    5+

    On a scale of 1 to 5, how important are the preview, remove and edit features?

    3

    Would you be willing to use the bulk send capabilities without it, or would you need this before you’d be able to begin using it?

    Definitely going to use it before, already very good as it is.

    What, if anything, should be added to this? What are we missing?

    For what I am going to do with it, nothing really 🙂

  • +1 for this. I can’t tell from the demo if this is actually achieved or not, but yes, when someone is missing information, I want to address the root cause of the problem, which is fixing the contact record, not just edit the message at hand, so that I’m minimizing future issues. As Janet said, maybe this is addressed here, and just need to be called out more explicitly in the walkthrough when this update it rolled out – a 10 second callout of this item and why it’s valuable via voiceover would do the trick 🙂

  • Hey Tyler. That’s not in the spec as shown, but we’re going to deliver it in the first iteration….it seems like a real need and we’re hearing this consistently from people who have provided feedback.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • This by far the best addition I’ve ever since on this platform. I’m just thinking about the time that is saved over time by clicking just a few buttons. Paul, you guys, have outdone yourselves.

  • Hi Patti – that’s a great idea. Let me put some thought into this. Thanks!

  • Hey Jim – That makes a ton of sense….very helpful for the follow-up release. Seems like the approach could be similar to the thumbs up/down we have in the prospecting module.

    Great feedback. Thank you!

  • Hey Steve. We’re thinking about campaigns a lot…I’ll keep you posted.

    Thanks!

  • Thanks Dan. You’re the second person who’s asked for that feature. I’ll log it and discuss with the team.

  • Makes sense, Gene….definitely something we’re thinking about a lot. Great feedback.

  • Hi Janet, thanks for the feedback! If you correct the field on the contact record before you hit send, the email will go out. What we haven’t included in the spec for the first release is a step in the bulk send workflow where you can review each contact and fix any issues with the values in those fields. That’s definitely something we want to address in a follow-on release.

    Hope this doesn’t add to the confusion. 😉

  • Value: 5
    Preview features : 3 – I am willing to use this feature as it is now. For my needs, it appears that the review and resolve features associated with the result tab will be enough for my immediate needs. With a little extra effort via the tag feature, my team and I can handle the tasks associated with making sure that our contact lists are bulk notification ready.

    Features I would like to see added:
    – An optional approval and notification sequence that allows the ability to assign team members to tasks related to this feature such as:
    – set up
    – review
    – sign-off
    – deploy

  • Jim

    This looks awesome… It’s definitely a 5 on the value side, and the preview/remove functionality also a 5…

    I think in the middle of this workflow, before the emails are actually sent, I’d almost like to see an option to manually review EVERY email going out and just give it a thumbs up/thumbs down. If there’s something wrong with the email, kick it to the same list requiring BuzzMarker or personalize review.

  • Jason

    Nice work on the bulk send and auto response features. Looking to scale this up 🙂

  • valuable: 5
    preview remove and edit features : 4
    ——————————————————————————————————
    I would also love if it would be possible to :
    1) Create a bulk campaign
    2) Name it
    3) Assign contacts
    4) Assign template or templates to different contacts.

  • 5
    5 – I’d be willing to use it now, knowing that those features were still being worked on and had a release schedule.
    I think it looks great so far and am incredibly excited to use it!

    Scheduling emails would be nice as a future feature and the ability to lock out certain times (don’t send at 2 am…) for any emails that are scheduled automatically to prevent hitting the max send.

  • I think the the preview, remove and edit features are more valuable than bulk send. I’d rather be more efficient in sending personalized emails and cleaning up errors or missing data than sending a generic email blast. The Safeguard rules are good start but I think you’ll always be chasing requests for custom rules. I’d like to clean up my data in a different workflow or process rather than worry about not catching an error when I send 500 emails where the first/last name merge fields doesn’t match the obvious first.last in the email address.

  • Hi Paul!

    It looks great. My only question (and maybe Buzzstream already does this and I don’t know it yet) is, for emails with missing fields, what about correcting them from the record level itself? E. g. let’s say you want to write to me but you don’t have my surname, and the bulk sender of course sends that note back, no dice.

    Instead of correcting my name at the email level, could it be corrected within the record? Or does correcting my name at the email level automatically correct the record? I ask because it seems as if correcting the one email, if it does not update the record, you would have to update every time.

    Or maybe I’m missing something. Thank you for checking out my question.

    Confusingly Yours,

    Janet 🙂