The Outreach Module gives you a way to conduct broad-based outreach, but without sacrificing personalization.  It makes it easy to segment your contacts into a list, apply a template to your contacts and then view the relationship information needed to personalize your emails without ever leaving the email. It also ties into BuzzStream’s task management and contact filtering capabilities to help you keep track of the contacts that require follow-up.  The Outreach Module is available in both BuzzStream for PR and Social Media and BuzzStream for Link Management.

There are four steps to using the Outreach Module:

  1. Add your outgoing mail settings in the Settings section
  2. Segment your contacts into an outreach list
  3. Create an email template, which will serve as a starting point for each email you send
  4. Personalize each email and send

Let’s use an example to give you a better sense of how it works.  Suppose I’m working on behalf of a real estate website that’s developed a tool that shows real estate pricing trends by city.  Other sites can plug this tool into their own site to make it more engaging to their readers.  To promote this, one segment I’m going to reach out to is a group I consider “high value, low hanging fruit.”   This group includes local real estate bloggers who:

  • we’ve rated as high influence
  • have linked to us or written about us in the past, and
  • we’ve had conversations with them

The outreach approach will be to:

  • send an initial email to everyone in the list
  • follow up three days later with anyone who hasn’t responded.

Here are the steps…

Step 1: Add your mail server into the Settings section

BuzzStream sends mail through your mail server (i.e., the same way that you connect to a smartphone), so you first need to enter your outgoing mail server settings..  This can only be done by BuzzStream administrators or someone who is assigned a role that’s been given access to this permission.  To enter your settings, just click on the ‘Settings’ link in the top right-hand corner of the application and go to the ‘Mail Server’ tab.  To see the typical email settings for common cloud-based email services (like Gmail), check out the FAQ.

Step 2: Segment your contacts into lists

To create my first segment, I’ll click on ‘Filters’ and select all contacts with the tag “Real Estate”, with an overall rating of ‘High’ or ‘Very High’, Link Status of ‘Yes’, and a Communication History of ‘Any’.

filters for outreach blog post

 

I’ll then click the ‘Save Filter’ link and name it “Low Hanging Fruit – not started”

Saved Filter for BuzzStream Outreach Module

 

I’ll also save a filter for the follow-up email…i.e. “show me everyone in this original group whose contact was modified three days ago.”

BuzzStream filters - date modified

 

Step 3: Select the contacts and apply an email template to the segment

I’ll select the contacts that I want to include in this outreach effort and then I’ll click “Email Outreach (click on the image to enlarge).

Select BuzzStream outreach template

 

In this case, I need to create a new template (click on the image to enlarge).

Create a BuzzStream outreach template

 

Note that I can use merge fields for some basic personalization (e.g., first name, city, etc.).  You can use your custom fields as merge fields as well.

Once I’ve completed the template, I’ll click “Save and Continue to start personalizing my emails.

Step 4: Personalize emails and send them

Here’s where the fun begins.   For each contact in your list, BuzzStream provides you with the contact record information on the same screen as the email you’ll send them (populated with the template).

BuzzStream email outreach personalization

 

All of the information about the contact is on the left-hand side and the email is on the right-hand side.  You can hover over any articles, links, notes, etc to see all of the info.  By putting this all in one screen, there’s no need to click back and forth searching for emails you’ve sent them in the past, blog posts they’ve written that are relevant to you, notes about them, etc.

Once you’ve personalized the email, just click “Send and go to next contact” and you’ll be taken through your list.

Paul May

Paul May is the CEO and co-founder of BuzzStream. Previously, Paul was the first employee at Support.com, helping grow the company through its IPO. Paul also helped build products and grow revenue at BMC, Tonic, Alterpoint, Wavebender, and Pluck. You can follow Paul on Twitter or Google Plus.

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