Quickstart Vol. 1: How to set up cold email campaign


This is Quickstart Vol. 1 in a step-by-step tutorial, but you can also quickly jump to a chosen step:

Step 1: Connect your email with Woodpecker

Woodpecker doesn’t use any extra servers to send an email (as opposed to newsletter apps). It uses your own email servers, which is why the first thing to do is to connect your mailbox to your Woodpecker account.

Here's how to do that in 5 simple steps:

1. Click 'Connect your email'

Click on ‘Campaigns’ tab next to Woodpecker logo. You need to start a new campaign unless you have one. Under the field where you can name your campaign, you’ll see “Connect your email”. Click on it.

There’s an alternative route. Instead of going to ‘Campaigns’, you can go to ‘Settings’, then click on ‘Email Accounts’ tab and add a new email.

2. Choose your email provider or other IMAP

Whether you use Google, Office 365, Microsoft Exchange, or an IMAP account based on your own server, Woodpecker will be able to connect to your mailbox.

Notice that every time you click on one of the email providers, you'll see the information about the sending limits of this provider. That helps you send no more messages than you're supposed to and avoid getting blocked by your provider.

4. Choose automatic or advanced connection

We recommend using the automatic connection. It’s enough for Woodpecker to run smoothly. However, you may want to use an advanced connection if, for instance, you want to send email from one email and receive responses on another email. For advanced connection, go here.

4. Add your from name and signature

The “From name” you set here will be used in the emails sent from Woodpecker. The signature you set will be added at the bottom of each email message. You can skip the signature for now and add it later in ‘Settings’.

5. Click 'Continue'

… and wait some time to let Woodpecker complete the setup.

Note: Woodpecker may connect your email address conditionally. Check what that means  here.

Note: You may want to set up an alias to send emails from. Woodpecker supports aliases, but they have to be configured on your email account first. For a step-by-step guide on setting up aliases in Woodpecker, go  here.

Step 2: Write your personalized messages

1. Create your first message in the sequence

Type the text of your opening message directly in Woodpecker, or copy the message from your file

  • If you want to copy and paste the message, first paste it into a program like Notepad or textEdit (set to "plain text"), and copy the plain text from there to Woodpecker. This is done to get rid of formatting used by text editors like Microsoft Word, Pages or Google Docs.
  • Always use the green personalization buttons on the right to put in custom fields like {{FIRST_NAME}}, {{COMPANY}} etc. and into your message.

By following the two rules above, you make sure your emails will render properly in your prospect’s email client and that they will look safe and natural.

2. Add a follow-up message

Click ‘ Add email’ right below the editor for your opening email. You can create up to 8 messages in a sequence within a single campaign (an opening email plus up to 7 follow-ups).

Step 3: Set up daily limits & delivery times

1. Set up daily limit for the opening emails

Set the maximum of opening emails (Emails #1) you want to be sent a day: the default is 50 opening emails a day, but you may want to send fewer than that or more than that (up to 150).

This is something up to you, but remember that you’re sending the messages from your own mailbox and there are some limits established by your email provider which you have to respect if you want to avoid being blocked and blacklisted.

2. Set up the delay for your follow-ups

For each of your follow-ups, set the number of days after which you want the follow-up to be sent (this always relates to the previous email).

3. Set up delivery time frames for all the emails

For each of your emails, both the opening email and the follow-ups:

  • set up the days of the week,
  • set up the hour time frames at which you want the sending to take place,
  • and choose the time zone appropriate for your prospects.

If you don’t want any emails to be sent on weekends, untick Sat and Sun in the delivery time settings. If you want to send your emails before noon, set the time frame at e.g. 7AM – 11AM.

Read about how your messages will be sent from Woodpecker >>

Step 4: Add prospects to your campaign

As you scroll down below the messages, you’ll see the Prospects section. You can add prospects to your campaign in two ways:

A) Manually – if you have just a few prospects to add:

  • Click ‘Add prospect’ on the right above the prospects spreadsheet in the app.
  • You’ll see that the first field in the spreadsheet is ready to be filled manually.
  • Type in the prospect’s email address (required).
  • Use Tab to go on to the next editable field in the spreadsheet (First name, Last name, etc.)

B) From CSV file – if you have just a few prospects to add:

  • Make sure you have a properly prepared spreadsheet, that has been saved as UTF-8 encoded CSV including the data you want to use as personalization custom fields in your emails, for instance:
  • Click ‘Add prospects’ dropdown menu on the right, above the prospects spreadsheet in the app, and select ‘Import’.
  • Choose the previously prepared CSV file.
  • Decide if Woodpecker should update the duplicates or ignore them (don’t worry about that when you import your first contact base).
  • Click ‘Upload and import’.
  • Woodpecker will ask you to match the columns in your CSV to the columns in the prospects spreadsheet. Email will be recognized automatically, but please remember to match the rest yourself. The unmatched fields will not be imported.
  • As you match the fields, click the blue ‘next>’ button to preview some data from your CSV.
  • If your CSV spreadsheet involves labels in the first row, tick the checkbox at the bottom to ignore the first row.
  • Click the green ‘Import’ button.

Choose the added prospects to save them in the campaign

As you have some prospects typed in or imported from a CSV file, tick those prospects who you want to send the emails from this campaign to.

  • You can tick them individually,
  • or use the ‘Select all’ button to select all prospects on the page,
  • or click ‘Select alltwice to select all filtered prospects on all pages.

The little blue link-like buttons allow you to easily search for prospects or filter groups of prospects, e.g. by imported file, tags, country etc. – that’s useful when your prospects’ base grows bigger.

Step 5: Preview and send the campaign

Before we send any emails, we usually want to check if everything looks as it should. There are two ways to preview the campaign before sending it.

1. Click ‘Preview’

You'll be able to take a look at your emails in a browser.

2. Click ‘Send test email’ 

Woodpecker will send the whole sequence at once to your own email address, so you could check how the emails render in your email client.

3.Optionally: Click ‘Save as draft’

If you just want to save the campaign without starting it, you can save it for later as a draft.

4. Click the green ‘Save and send’ button to start sending the campaign

If everything looks okay, you can confirm by clicking the green button at the bottom of the site that you want to start sending the campaign. It will be sent according to delivery times settings, of course.

You will be able to view and edit all saved campaigns on your list of Campaigns in Woodpecker.

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