Link Building Tip: Boomerang and Canned Responses for Outreach Follow Up

A really quick and easy link building tip for Gmail users today. I’ve mentioned before that I always get more outreach responses when I follow up with prospects. Chances are that you won’t catch everyone at just the right time first time around, so following up is always a good idea.

However this requires you to be reasonably organised so that you not only remember, but don’t make the mistake of following up with the wrong people. You can use BuzzStream to keep yourself organised but if you’re looking for something a bit more basic, this tip may be for you.

You will need: Gmail + Boomerang + Canned Responses

Step 1 – Install Boomerang

Head over to Boomerang and install the plugin. Once it is installed, you’ll see this added to your compose email screen:


Step 2 – Install Canned Responses

Canned Responses is a Gmail Labs feature so you’ll need to enable that first. Once you’ve done this, go to Settings, then Labs where you’ll see this screen:



Step 3 – Write your responses and save them

Now you need to write your follow up emails. You’ll probably write a range of these depending on the link building campaigns that you’re running. You can save them all within canned responses:



Step 4 – Remember to Boomerang outreach emails as you send them

The feature of Boomerang that we’re going to use is the one that will send the email back to us if we haven’t had a response in a certain period of time. When you send an email, select the following:


I tend to select either 4 days or 1 week, depending on the campaign.

If you get a reply, Boomerang will not remind you to follow up. If you get a reply then Boomerang will send the email back to you, at which point you can hit reply and insert your pre-made canned response. I recommend personalizing if you can with at least their name:

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 20.38.01

Click send and you’re done! You’ll make sure that you follow up on every outreach email you send and better still, it hardly takes you any time!

11 thoughts on “Link Building Tip: Boomerang and Canned Responses for Outreach Follow Up”

  1. Great post, thanks for the tip, Paddy. Yet another reason to convince my boss we should get off our mail system and over to something more flexible.

  2. Currently I am using Buzzstream. Are there times when you prefer using Gmail canned responses for outreach over Buzzstream? I tend to send blast emails out on Buzzstream which doesn’t have a feature like Boomerang.

    1. Good question! I tend to flick between the two to be honest. In general, I’ll use BuzzStream for when I’m sending more about 20 emails at a time. It also depends how customised I’m making the outreach email. It isn’t uncommon for me to customise each and every email I send by writing it from scratch, in which case I’ll use Gmail.

  3. Great tip – we’ve been wearing this one out lately. I would add that Yesware is another great add-on for Gmail that let’s you track emails, but it also allows you to create a variety of canned response “templates” that you can drop in easily. Win-win!

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