Not long ago Twitter asked its users to summarize 2020 in one word. They got thousands of replies, also from some world-famous brands. Adobe replied with “CTRL + Z”, Microsoft Edge with “404”, YouTube responded, “unsubscribe”. We could say “blacklist”. And how would you describe it?
For us, it was the year of many challenges and hard work, but fortunately, we’ve made it to the end of it. But instead of talking about difficulties, I’d like to focus on what was good about 2020 and what is to come next year, which hopefully will be a whole lot better for everyone.
What good did 2020 bring?
More than 3000 customers from 70 countries use Woodpecker in their daily work: for cold emailing, webinar lead generation, increasing trial-to-paid conversion rate, onboarding new customers, getting backlinks, or starting any new business partnerships.
Thank you for being with us through this tough year. We’ve prepared a special gift for you (unfortunately only in a virtual form this year). It’s waiting for you at the end of this post.
Woodpecker Partner Program
Our Partner Program reached 1100 members this year (and still counting). Thanks to all our partners for being such amazing Woodpecker evangelists.
If you’re a consultant, online training instructor, growth marketer, sales professional or a freelancer who is looking for new opportunities, you should definitely give our Partner Program a try. How does it work? You get 20% of each monthly payment we receive from a person who became a Woodpecker customer through your referral link.
We’re closing 2020 with almost 70 talented specialists on board. You won’t find a more enjoyable team to work with in this galaxy, believe me.
Work under Covid-19 unusual circumstances
It’s impossible to talk about 2020 without referring to the pandemics and how it affected our day-to-day work. For everybody’s safety, we had to switch to remote work almost overnight.
From an employee perspective, I must say that although we miss working together in the office, working from home didn’t slow us down or loosen our team bonds. We maintain daily meetings within each team to be on the same page with all the ongoing projects (and there’s been a lot going on!). We also keep a time holder in our calendars for a team coffee or lunch break to chat about non-work-related stuff, just like we used to in the office.
Most important features released in 2020
This has been one of the most awaited features of 2020. Finally, you can conveniently A/B test up to 5 versions of different subject lines or email copy to see what’s working and what’s not.
Here’s more about how to A/B test cold emails and follow-ups in Woodpecker.
Sometimes to get to someone you have to use LinkedIn InMail, comment on a post, follow on Twitter, or even make an old-school phone call. Juggling between different channels is not easy, but you can now include a manual task, such as a reminder to send a connection request on social media, within your campaign flow in Woodpecker, and stay better organized.
Read about manual tasks in more detail in this blog post.
No more segmenting prospects and running two separate campaigns. No more problems with missing snippets. With snippet based-conditions, you can now split your email sequence into two Paths based on a prospect’s data.
Email customization in preview
I’m sure that at least once while previewing your campaign before sending it out, you noticed a typo. Or you came up with an idea to add some tweaks to the email copy for a particular prospect. That’s why we’ve introduced email customization in preview, which allows you to edit a chosen email.
Bulk-change of prospects’ statuses
Before adding this feature if you wanted to change the status of let’s say 100 prospects from active to blacklisted, you had to do it manually one by one. That was a real drag. Now with bulk actions, you can do it with a few clicks.
The technical setup can be tricky even for advanced users. That’s why we’ve added a deliverability tab to the email account settings, where you can check if you have the SPF and DKIM records set up correctly.
You can read more about email customization in preview, bulk-change of statuses, and deliverability report in this blog post.
AI-powered interest level
This year we’ve also introduced the AI-powered interest level, which is a system that analyzes the sentiment of the first reply received from a prospect (for now only in English) and marks its interest level accordingly. After all, those people whose interest you managed to spark are on the best way to become your new customers.
Read more about it here.
New integrations added in 2020
Zoom, GoToWebinar, join.me, DEMIO, WebinarJam/EverWebinar via Zapier
If you host webinars on a regular basis you can use Woodpecker to send personalized invites, follow up with registrants before an event to keep them engaged, and after it to continue sales conversations.
Zaps with some of the most popular webinar tools will help you semi-automate this process, so you have more time for actual sales conversations and closing deals.
Don’t have to clutter your desktop with dozens of CSVs, but import prospects to Woodpecker database or a specific campaign directly from a spreadsheet on your Google drive.
With Hunter you can find email addresses of professionals you want to get in touch with. It crawls the Internet and indexes publicly available email addresses. Once you collect your prospect contact data, you can export it to a Woodpecker campaign.
Leadpresso is a source of potential clients for digital agencies, SaaS companies, and B2Bs in more than 30 countries. To find the right prospects, you can use thousands of categories for micro-category targeting. Then, export the leads you find with Leadpresso straight to your Woodpecker prospect base.
Woodpecker for WordPress plugin
Those of you who have a WordPress website can install our plugin and automatically transfer the data collected through lead forms on your page straight to a Woodpecker campaign.
Refreshed blog layout
If you’re our regular reader, you remember the old blog layout: it was a bit old-school, not particularly UX-friendly and a bit tricky to navigate. Shame, but that’s true.
One of Woodpecker’s marketing & design teams’ biggest projects of 2020 was to make the blog look nicer and be easier to use. I think we nailed it. What do you think?
Must-read blog posts of 2020
So far, we’ve published nearly 300 unique articles on our blog. It grew to a true vault of knowledge about cold emailing, lead generation, outbound & inbound sales, and business growth.
This year we’ve started partnerships with webinar and SaaS experts and together created some really top-notch, valuable content. If you haven’t yet, check out some of our most-read articles this year:
- How to Convert Free Trial Users into Paying Customers in SaaS?
- How to Create a Webinar Sales Funnel and Boost Webinar ROI?
- How to Get Quality Backlinks for Your Website?
- DMARC: What Every Email Sender Should Know
- How to Scale New Client Onboarding Process in Your SaaS without Losing a Personal Touch?
New ebooks & guides
We’ve added a new ebook to our Woodpecker bookshelf this year:
- How to Grow SaaS with Email – which includes advice from SaaS experts & email templates for various jobs to be done in your SaaS company.
Webinars & Woodpecker channel on YouTube
2020 has been the year of a webinar boom. All our favorite conferences and meetups turned into online events. At Woodpecker we’ve also put a stronger focus than before on video content and live webinars. We invited special guest speakers to share their knowledge with you, but also with us. Special thanks to Sandra and Kate for organizing the webinars. If you want to rewatch any of them, you can find them here.
Kudos also to Vovik for taking care of video production and running the Woodpecker channel on Youtube. Make sure to subscribe!
What will 2021 bring?
I’m sure everybody can’t wait for 2020 to finally end (and nobody will miss it). Especially that the upcoming year promises to be very exciting. Check what plans we have for the nearest future.
New branding strategy & plans for further development
It’s been more than 5 years since Woodpecker kicked off. For all these years, Matt, Woodpecker founder and CEO, has been successfully steering its development in a business direction he set a course for. We became a recognizable cold emailing tool, but from numerous customer interviews, we also learned that they have been effectively using Woodpecker for other jobs, for example contacting webinar leads, boosting trial conversions, or onboarding.
Based on these insights we already took steps to position Woodpecker as a tool you can use across your company to accomplish various goals not only for outbound sales. In 2021 we’ll continue to head in this direction. But there’s more. We have plans to make Woodpecker a multichannel tool. Stay tuned for more updates.
New pricing & billing coming soon
I think I can lift the veil of secrecy a bit and tell you a few words about the upcoming changes to our pricing.
Each business is different and has different needs. Also, as each business grows and its needs change along the way. That’s why we want to give you, our customers, more freedom, and flexibility in choosing what features you want to pay for and adjust them according to your company’s development.
That’s all I can share with you for now. How does it sound to you?
Expect the new pricing & billing to be rolled out very soonish.
Happy new year!
This year we had to adjust our annual gift for you, dear Woodpecker users and fans, to the virtual reality we now live in. So here’s a short video we’ve made to thank you for yet another year with us. Enjoy!
A Short Piece on Human Relations and Technology in the 2020s
What realization has 2020 sparked in us? And what conclusions did it bring us to concerning human relations in business? Find out.
Woodpecker.co Quickstart Guide: How to set up a cold email campaign
Nifty cold emails work. Nifty cold emails with follow-up work miracles. But the sending cold emails by hand sucks because it takes way too much time. That’s not a made-up marketing scenario. That’s life. And if you’ve ever been sending your cold emails manually, you know that. We created Woodpecker because we had been sending our cold emails by hand and it was a problem we needed to solve. Now you can use our solution to fix it up for yourself. Here’s how to set up a cold email campaign in Woodpecker to automate outreach in a few simple steps.
2021 in Retrospect: What’s Been Going on at Woodpecker?
With 2022 just around the corner, take a moment with me and see how Woodpecker changed in the last 365 days.