How to connect a custom email account to Woodpecker

If you're connecting a custom email account (e.g. one that you have hosted on your own server) this guide will take you through the advanced setup process.

This guide assumes that you have at least basic understanding of what a domain, DNS, SPF and DKIM are. If you're not sure what they taste best with, please take a moment to read about them, following the links for each. For more information about how to take care of your mailbox before connecting it to Woodpecker, please have a look at our article Deliverability: Introduction.


Connecting your mailbox

1. Click ‘Connect your email’.

Once your campaign is created, open it (click ‘Campaigns’ in the black bar at the top, then click your campaign), and click ‘Connect your email’, right below the campaign's name.

Alternatively: you can go to ‘Settings’ (expand the menu in the upper right and click ‘Settings’), then click the green button ‘Add Email Account’.

2. Choose Other (IMAP) as your email provider

  • Choose ‘Other (SMTP)’ if your mailbox is based on your own server.
  • Select ‘Advanced - I want to use another SMTP server’.
  • Click ‘Add Email'.

3. Add your IMAP and SMTP server data

Type in your email address or login, password, the IMAP and SMTP server address for this account. Trouble finding it? Look for it in the settings of your mailbox, or check your server's help page.

Default ports:

SMTP Server (Outgoing Messages)

  • Server: TLS, Authentication: StartTLS, Port: 587.
  • Server: SLS, Authentication: SSL, Port: 465 (recommended).

IMAP Server (Incoming Messages)

  • Server: TLS, Authentication: StartTLS, Port: 143.
  • Server: SLS, Authentication: SSL, Port: 993 (recommended).


Woodpecker may connect your email address conditionally. Check what that means here.
In case of any other issues with connecting your mailbox please have a look at our article I can't connect my mailbox.

4. Set your ‘From name’ and ‘Signature’

You can set the sender's name that will be visible to your recipients. You can also set a signature that will be attached to the emails you send.

You can skip this step for now and edit your 'From name' and 'Signature' later by clicking ‘set it later in Settings’.

5. Your account has been connected

Now you are able to select your email address as a sender in your campaign.

6. Finalize the setup

  • Click “OK” to continue creating your first campaign. 
  • Go “deliverability report” to check information about the correctness of SPF and DKIM when connecting the mailbox.

Deliverability is the number of emails that have reached the recipients' inboxes compared to the number of sent messages overall. The goal is to have as many of your emails land in your prospects' inboxes rather than going to spam folders. To ensure high deliverability rates, make sure you set up SPF and DKIM correctly.


Also, don't forget about the domain and email address warm-up. Click here to learn more about the importance of deliverability. 


Q: Why do I need to set up SPF and DKIM?

The way you set up your SPF record depends on your domain host. Make sure you include all the applications which send emails for you in your SPF record. Consult the help page of your email provider. Learn about SPF and DKIM.

Q: You mentioned that my mailbox and domain should be warmed up before connecting it to Woodpecker. What does it mean?

During the warm-up, you're working on gaining a good sender's reputation for your mailbox and domain. Why is it important? Domain age is one of the first factors checked by anti-spam filters. Without a warm-up, anti-spam filters you don't see you and your newly created domain as a trustworthy sender. Security mechanisms can suspect that you send spammy content and will block your mailbox, putting it on a blacklist. 

Any new email address should be warmed up for at least 1 month, while domain for at least 3 months.

Learn more:

Domain warm-up
Email address warm-up

Q: What do you mean by domain age?

The term "domain age" shows how old your domain is. In other words, how long your domain has existed. The general rule is the older the domain, the more trustworthy it gets, provided it has been used with care and following good practices of email deliverability. Read more.

Q: Is there anything else I should know before starting my campaign?

To make sure you didn't miss anything please have a look at our 14 Deliverability Checks to Carry Out Before Sending Your Cold Email Campaign.

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