As a linkbuilder I am always looking for ways to speed up the outreach process without automating and therefore dehumanizing the emails. There are many options for templates in Gmail such as Canned Responses from the Gmail labs, many of which have been covered before in other posts. However, because the company I currently work for uses exchange, Gmail is not the best option for me and I was forced to find an option for Outlook.
So here’s how you do it in a few easy steps: Create a new email. If you have a signature erase it, because when you open the template it will insert your signature, and if you don’t erase it before saving the template every email will have two signatures.
If you have multiple “send from” accounts choose the appropriate account, the template will rememember which account you’ve chosen and will always send from that account.
I use Buzzstream to keep track of my linkbuilding outreach. Every email BCC’s our Buzzstream account. If you use Buzzstream or something of the sort, put that email address in the BCC field now. It will autopopulate with the rest of the template.
Enter a subject and the body of the email.
Use colored text to indicate the parts that need to be tailored for each specific recipient. For example, here is the template I’ve been using for outreach about a backpack giveaway I’ve been promoting.
I use red and green to indicate parts of the email that I need to tailor for each recipient. I will also always try to add a sentence or two that is completely personalized to that specific site.
As an aside, if you like to track the clicks on your links as an indicator of engagement for your outreach emails, edit the hyperlink after typing it in to the email,
then insert a bit.ly link instead, without changing the text, so you can track the clicks.
Now for the magic. Select Save As,
Choose Save As Type “.oft”
A personal preference of mine is to save my templates to a Dropbox folder so that I can access them from any computer. Because I use these so much I also pin the folder to the taskbar.
That’s it, you are done! Now let the linkbuilding magic begin!