Quickstart Vol. 1: How to set up cold email campaign
This guide contains step-by-step instructions on how to create, configure and run a cold email campaign in Woodpecker.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Step 1: Connect your email to Woodpecker
Woodpecker sends your campaigns from your own email account, without the use of any additional mail servers. That is why the first thing to do is to connect your email to Woodpecker. Here's how:
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.
2. Choose your email provider
Woodpecker has native, one-click integration with Google's Gmail, and Microsoft's Office 365 and Exchange. For any other email service provider, you should select “Other (IMAP)”. The setup will not be long either way!
Note that when you select one of the available options, you will be informed about the sending limits for this provider. The default limit in Woodpecker will be set according to your choice. You can change it later in Settings.
3. Choose “Automatic” or “Advanced”
Choose “Automatic integration” and the App will auto-detect settings and quickly configure the email for you.
If you are using a third-party app for sending (such as Mailgun or Sendgrid), or would simply like to configure your email yourself, select “Advanced”. Check Email Account: Advanced setup to learn more.
4. Set your “From name” and “Signature”
This screen allows you to set the sender's name that will be visible to your recipients, and a signature that will be attached to emails in your campaigns.
You can skip this step, and set both later by clicking “set it later in Settings”.
5. Click “Save”
… and give Woodpecker a few moments to complete the setup. Afterward, you will be able to select this email 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
7. Check your inbox for "Testing your email connection" message
Once you connect your email account to Woodpecker, the App will send you the message confirming the successful connection. You will see it in your primary inbox. Its subject is "Testing your email connection with Woodpecker.co" and should look like the one on the image above.
Don't worry, this is an automatic message sent from our internal email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
In case you're connecting a mailbox to a company under the Agency panel, we will send the message from the email account connected to your Agency account. The content of that message can be crafted by you in the Agency panel settings. Have a look at the Agency Quickstart Guide »
You can't find the test message in your inbox?
- You might have been connected conditionally.
- Check your SPAM or junk folder.
- If the message is there, move it to the primary inbox.
- Try connecting your mailbox again. Remember to remove any labels or forwarding options. Learn why »
- Your email address should be connected successfully!
Testing your connection – campaign email
Woodpecker will be testing your email connection and deliverability every day by sending the test email to another of our internal email addresses, email@example.com. Don't worry! While you have active campaigns, we will be sending the email once a day to check if your deliverability settings, such as SPF records or DKIM, have been set up correctly. Although a copy of those emails can be different than the original copy of your campaign, we do it to make sure that you're up-to-date with your domain settings. Here you can read more about our deliverability checks and report »
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.
Step 2: Compose a personalized email
Each campaign consists of 3 parts:
- PATH - this is where you create a sequence of emails for your campaign. By adding a condition, you decide about what kind of email and when your prospect receives.
- PROSPECTS - here you import and add your recipients to the campaign.
- SEND - preview and send or save the campaign. Here you can also send a test email.
Your message can be created right in the campaign's email editor. You can use both plain text and snippets, for a mixture of good, catchy content and personalized information. Let's see how to make it happen:
1. Write your message
Let's start the Path! You can type in the content of your message right here, in the editor, or paste it from a plain text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit. You can use versions to A/B test your emails. Learn how to carry an A/B test » and check out our A/B Testing: FAQ »
Make sure that you're not copying formatted text from editors such as Word, as it might cause your email to not render properly in your prospect's inbox.
For copying and pasting formatted text, paste it into Notepad/TextEdit first (to remove formatting), and copy it again from there, then paste it into Woodpecker's editor.
2. Insert snippets for personalization
Always use the blue personalization buttons - our custom fields, available in the email editor, right below Subject line and styling options. They are called snippets, and their task is to insert information specific to your prospect into your email.
This information can include first name, company or website, and is used in individual messages, making each of them unique and much more interesting to your prospects.
3. Add a follow-up message or add a Condition
You can follow up with the prospects who have not responded to your email. To create a follow-up message, click “ADD EMAIL” right below the editor that contains your first message.
Just like with the first email, you can compose the follow-up message in the editor, and personalize it with snippets. You can send your follow-up in the same thread (as a sequence) or as a separate message.
You can create up to 8 messages in a sequence within a single campaign (an opening email and up to 7 follow-ups).
How does it work?
If your prospect responds to your previous message, the next follow-up won't be sent. Learn what happens when a prospect replies to your email.
Add a Condition
Click ADD CONDITION to decide what kind of emails you want your prospect to receive.
By adding a condition you create 2 paths:
- Path YES — for the prospects who have opened your email within a certain time (days/hours)
- Path NO — for those recipients who didn't open your email within a certain time
There are 2 types of conditions to choose from:
- If a prospect has opened an email more than X times — specify how many times (X) you want a prospect to open your email for a condition to be met. X stands for the number and it can be changed.
- If a prospect has opened an email — it's enough that a prospect opened your email at least once for a condition to be met.
- If a prospect has clicked on a link more than X times — add a tracking link in the previous mail and specify how many times (X) you want a prospect to click on a link in your email for a condition to be met.
X stands for the number and it can be changed.
- If a prospect has clicked on a link — a condition is met when your prospect clicks the link in your email at least once.
If your prospect doesn't open your email within the time (days or hours) you set in the time window, the follow-up from the Path NO is sent to them.
Step 3: Set up Daily limit and Delivery time
Once you composed your cold email campaign, you can set the Delivery time for all emails. You can also change the default Daily limit for the opening emails, and add delay time for the follow-ups.
1. Set up Daily limit for the opening emails
Set the maximum of opening emails (Email #1) that you want to be sent a day. The default is 50 opening emails a day, but you may want to send fewer or more than that.
The limit is capped at 500. The Daily limit's recommended value is 100-150.
2. Set up the delay for your follow-ups
For each of your follow-ups, set the number of days to wait before sending. On default, Woodpecker adds 3 more days after each email. This always relates to the time the previous email was sent (for each prospect).
1. Click the clock icon to open follow-up settings.
2. On default, Woodpecker waits 3 days. You can change this number. Choose between days and hours after the previous email.
3. Set up Delivery time for all emails
For each of your emails, both the opening email and the follow-ups:
- set up the days of the week for sending – just check or uncheck any;
- set up the hours for sending (you can set them up to different for individual days);
- add sending windows if you'd like (maximum 3 per each),
- select the timezone that is relevant to your prospects.
- check-mark the option Use prospect's timezones if available to send campaign accordingly to pre-selected timezones
If you want to send your emails before noon, set the time frame to, for example, 7 AM – 11 AM.
If you don’t want any emails to be sent on weekends, uncheck Sat and Sun.
Step 4: Add prospects to your campaign
As you scroll down below the email sequence, you'll see the Prospects section. There are three options for adding prospects to your campaign:
Add prospects to Woodpecker
A) Import – if you have a long list of prospects, collected in a spreadsheet (CSV, XLS or XLSX file).
- Prepare your spreadsheet. It should contain at least a column with email addresses. 1. There should also be some columns that will correspond to fields in Woodpecker (such as First Name, Company or Website); this is not required but recommended – the better the database, the greater your options for personalizing your emails. Next, save your spreadsheet to file in CSV, XLS or XLSX format (when saving, make sure you have UTF-8 encoding selected).
Here's our CSV and Excel guide, please have a look!
- Back in Woodpecker, click “Add prospects” on the right, and select “Import”. In the new screen, click “Browse…”, and select your file, then click “Upload and Import”.
- In the next screen, map Woodpecker fields to those in your spreadsheet. Any unmapped fields will not be imported. If the first row contains column headers, check “Ignore the first row when importing”, right below. When this is done, click “Import”.
- In this last screen, you are given a summary of your input and choices. Before you click “Add” to confirm and add these prospects to your campaign, you can also:
- review the list of all imported prospects (click “see details”) – here you can deselect any that you don't want to add, using the checkboxes in the leftmost column;
- check any errors in imported prospects' data (click “download” on the right) – that's a file containing any entries that returned an error;
- preview your emails (click “Preview” below) – you'll be shown what the emails will look like once they are sent;
- send a test email to your own address (click “Send Test Email”) – the whole sequence of emails from your campaign, containing example data, will be sent to your own address.
B) Manually – if you'd like to add just a few prospects.
- Click “Add prospects”, on the right, and select “Manually”.
- In the table that appears, in the first column, type in the prospect’s email address (required). Hit [Enter] to add another.
- Fill the other fields with the information you want to use (First name, Last name, etc.).
- Click “Add” to add these prospects to your campaign.
C) From database – you can select individual prospects from your database in Woodpecker, once it is populated.
- Click “Add prospects”, on the right, and select “From database”.
- Select any prospects you previously uploaded, and click “Add” to add them to your campaign.
Please remember that you can filter your prospects by Status, Campaign they are in, Contacted (YES/NO), the file they were Imported from, or by Tags.
» How many prospects can I add?
» Are there any limitations?
» Why do I see an error?
Step 5: Preview and send the campaign
Here you can see a summary of your campaign:
- how many emails you have in each Path;
- how many prospects have been added;
- what email you use to send the campaign from. Here you can also change it or add Cc/Bcc;
- preview versions of your sending email when A/B testing your campaign;
- remove prospects from the campaign;
- customize your email in the preview.
Before we send any emails, we usually want to check if everything looks as it should. There are two ways to do that in Woodpecker:
- Take a look at your emails and check what they will look like once they are sent.
- Customize your email, fix the errors, and remove missing snippets. Learn more »
The red color is a sign of a missing snippet. Check what it means here »
Optional: “Send test campaign”
Click “send test campaign”, and the whole sequence of emails from your campaign, containing example data, will be sent to your own address – you can check them all in your own inbox.
Optional: “Save as draft”
Click “save as draft” if you just want to save the campaign as a draft, and don't want to start it yet. You will see it on your "Campaigns" list so you can always go back to it.
Click the green “Send” button to start sending the campaign
If everything looks okay, and you want to start your campaign pronto, click the green “Save & Send” button at the bottom. Your campaign will now be running and sending emails according to your settings.
Remember that you can edit your campaign at any later time, to add prospects or change the message content. To do that, open it and click “Edit“ in the upper-right corner.
You can click “Add prospects” to quickly add new prospects to that campaign.
To view or edit the list of all campaigns that you created (both the drafts and running campaigns), click Campaigns at the top.