(Guest writer: Alexa Garthwaite) (Originally published: 20th Sep 2012)
The definition of the word ‘tools’ has taken on many forms over the centuries, and in this day and age it’s shrouded in ambiguity. A construction worker probably wouldn’t find the prospect of a new tool overly exciting, but a Blogger would certainly have his interest piqued.
If you are an active member in the blogosphere you no doubt send and receive plenty of emails each day. Whether it’s responding to enquiries or sending out your own outreach emails to build relationships and pursue prospective guest post opportunities, it can be both time consuming and tedious. Thankfully there are plenty of tools that make your life easier, whether it’s hunting down contact details or scheduling reminders to chase up an email.
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We have scoured the internet and compiled a list of these time saving email outreach tools that every blogger should be using, which can save a tonne of time and increase productivity.
Boomerang for Gmail is a plugin for Firefox and Chrome that is packed full of fantastic features, which will make you wonder why Google didn’t implement them in the first place.
One of Boomerang’s core features is the ability to schedule emails to be sent at a later date, whether it’s in a day, week or a month. This is useful for a number of reasons, for example you may be sending an email to someone in a different time zone who is currently asleep, but want the email to land in their inbox at 9 am when they arrive in the office.
Or perhaps you need to send the same person another email but don’t want to bombard their inbox, with Boomerang you can give them a chance to digest your first email by scheduling the second to send later on in the day.
Follow up Reminders
Boomerang also allows you to, believe it or not, boomerang emails back to your inbox at a chosen time. Let’s say you approach a blog about a guest post opportunity, but because they are very busy they ask you to get in touch again in a couple of weeks. Simply set up a follow up reminder for 2 weeks’ time, and Boomerang will archive the email and return it to the top of your inbox when you actually need it.
You can also use this feature to remind you to chase people up if you don’t hear back from them by a specific time. Simply tick the appropriate box and your message will return to your inbox if they haven’t gotten back to you.
2. Buzz Stream Email Research Tool
Buzz Stream’s email research tool is great for hunting down the contact details of a person or website. Struggling to find the contact details of a blogger is a common occurrence when performing email outreach, but with Buzz Stream the only information you need to know is the website address, name or company.
Fill out any of these details and hit ‘Generate Searches’ and you are presented with a variety of Google search operators that will scour the site for email links and contact forms. It’s lightweight and easy to use, perfect for when you need to find the contact details of a single site.
3. Gmail Canned Responses
Canned Responses is a Google Labs add on which allows you to create simple templates, and are great when sending common outreach emails. Typing out similar emails can become very tedious, and with this simple tool you will save valuable time and eliminate the repetitiveness of everyday tasks.
Rapportive is another Gmail addon which happens to compliment Boomerang rather well. It pulls in all available information on the person you are emailing from their various social media accounts, such as Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook.
This allows you to interact with them on a more personal level and provides invaluable information when reaching out to fellow bloggers. The information is displayed in an unobtrusive box at the side of your screen, and it even allows you to write notes on a specific person.
5. Gmail Undo Send
Undo Send is a Google Labs add on which simply allows you to cancel an email from being sent within 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
It’s a real life saver when you fire an email off too early or to the wrong person, or if you forget to attach a document.
6. Follower Wonk
Twitter should be an active part of every bloggers life; it allows you to connect with your readers on a more personal level and is a great way to notify them of new posts.
It’s also a goldmine for finding guest post opportunities and building relationships with other bloggers. Follower Wonk is a relatively new tool that harnesses the power of Twitter, allowing you to search for bloggers in a certain niche.
Perhaps you run a design blog and want to reach out to fellow bloggers in your niche, simply enter ‘design blogger’ and Follower Wonk will sift through thousands of likeminded Tweeters and rank them according to their influence, number of followers and how long they have been on Twitter.
You can also analyse a Twitter accounts followers allowing you to find bloggers that already follow you, making it easy to build upon any existing relationships you may have.
7. Citation Labs Contact Finder
If you need to find contact details for more than one blog at a time, Citation Labs also offer a contact finder, allowing you to enter up to 1,000 URLs.
It takes several minutes dependent on how many websites you enter, and will crawl the web and compile a list of email addresses which you can then export in .csv format.
This allows you to open them up in Excel to sort them accordingly, such as removing duplicates or grouping them into specific niches.
That concludes our list of the best email outreach tools that every blogger should be using. Incorporating these tools into everyday activities will save hours of time and make your life easier.
It’s important to reach out to fellow bloggers in similar niches in order to get noticed and sniff out guest posting opportunities, helping to build your readership and establish relationships with like minded indivuduals.
(This guest post is written by Alexa Garthwaite for Hongkiat.com. Alexa is a Business Development Manager at executiveoffices.co.uk.)