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.


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.

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

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.

The fee for the account depends on your pricing plan

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 “Continue”

… and give Woodpecker a few moments to complete the setup.

Afterwards, you will be able to select this email as a sender in your campaign.

Alternatively, if you connected your email through the 'Settings' menu, you can now select it in your campaign. Just go to the “Campaigns” list, open the campaign and select the newly connected address in “Send from”.

Step 2: Compose a personalized 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

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.


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.

Learn more about how to use our snippets. Wondering how to add them to your CSV. file and then import to Woodpecker, to begin with? Here's our CSV guide!

3. Add a follow-up message

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 more about what happens when a prospect replies to your email.

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.

Check your Sending Limits to measure if you can send all your scheduled emails in one day. Go to  Settings → Email Accounts → Sending. 

Have a look at how Woodpecker sends your emails and how can you boost the sending.

Remember that you'll be sending these emails from your own mailbox, and there are sending limits established by your email provider. Your campaigns must be set up so that these limits are not exceeded.

2. Set up the delay for your follow-ups

For each of your follow-ups, set the number of days to wait before sending.

This always relates to the time the previous email was sent (for each prospect).

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 different for individual days);
  • select the time zone that is relevant to your prospects.

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.

Read more about How Woodpecker sends your emails »

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 campaign

Add prospects to Woodpecker

A) Manually – if you'd like to add just a few prospects.

  1. Click “Add prospects”, on the right, and select “Manually”.
  2. In the table that appears, in the first column, type in the prospect’s email address (required). Hit [Enter] to add another.
  3. Fill the other fields with the information you want to use (First name, Last name, etc.).
  4. Click “Add” to add these prospects to your campaign.

Add Prospects: Manually

B) Import – if you have a long list of prospects, collected in a spreadsheet (CSV) file.

  1. 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 format (when saving, make sure you have UTF-8 encoding selected).

    Here's our CSV guide, please have a look!
  2. Example spreadsheet
  3. 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”.

  4. 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”.
  5. In this last screen, you are given the 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.
    • Summary screen

C) From database – you can select individual prospects from your database in Woodpecker, once it is populated.

  1. Click “Add prospects”, on the right, and select “From database”.
  2. Select any prospects you previously uploaded, and click “Add” to add them to your campaign.

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 do that in Woodpecker:

Optional: “Preview”

Click “Preview”, and you'll be able to take a look at your emails and check what they will look like once they are sent.

Optional: “Send test email”

Click “Send test email”, 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.

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.


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