This guide assumes that you have at least a 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.
Head over to our blog to learn about the benefits of Connecting External SMTP from SendGrid to Woodpecker »
Before you start, note that we use these two terms in the guide:
- Primary domain
Primary domain is the one you use on a daily basis to send business emails from Woodpecker (for example, customer-success.us).
When using Sendgrid, it’s better to come up with a subdomain (for example, m.customer-success.us), and set it up in Sendgrid settings. This will also require you to set up the subdomain in your DNS settings panel.
Sendgrid and Woodpecker: Step-by-Step setup
1. Set up and warm up your domain
Before you start using Sendgrid to send your emails, it’s crucial to have a properly prepared domain. We recommend using a separate domain for cold outreach », so if you don’t have one yet, set it up.
Choose whatever domain registrar and/or DNS server you prefer. Configure your DNS and take some time to warm up the domain before sending your cold emails.
Once your domain is ready for sending emails, you can set it up with your Sendgrid account. Also, note that Sendgrid gives quite fresh IP addresses that also need to be warmed up first.
Here you can check how to do it: Warming Up an IP Address »
2. Add a subdomain to Sendgrid
To start with, you will need to create a subdomain in Sendgrid. To do so please follow these steps:
- Open your Sendgrid account
- Go to Settings.
- Click Sender Authentication.
4. Navigate to Authenticate Your Domain section.
5. Click Get Started.
6. Select your DNS host and click Next.
If you are not sure about your DNS host, select Other Host (Not Listed) or skip this step by clicking “Next”.
To create subdomain add a prefix in the Subdomain field and provide the name of your domain in the Domain field.
Ex. if your domain name is:
in Sendgrid you can use a subdomain:
Please remember that the subdomain address will not be visible to your prospects. You will use it just for Sendgrid to make sure your domain is safe and your deliverability rate stays high.
7. Add your subdomain in the field From Domain under Domain You Send From.
Domain authentication removed the “via sendgrid.net” text that some inbox providers attach to your from address.
8. You will be redirected to the page Install DNS Records. Complete the process by installing CNAME records. Below, you’ll find the instruction on how to add these records. Move on to the next step.
3. Copy DNS records from Sendgrid to your domain settings
After you create a subdomain, you will see the DNS records that you will need to add to your domain settings.
You will need to:
- add 3 CNAME records
- add Sendgrid’s record to your main SPF
- create a TXT record for your subdomain
Please set up CNAME records in your domain settings.
To better understand this process, have a look at Sendgrid’s guide on How to set up domain authentication »
1. Copy and paste the CNAME records that SendGrid will provide you with.
2. Go to your DNS settings and define a new CNAME record for your subdomain.
Your domain panel
3. The next step is to go to Sendgrid and validate all CNAME data that you’ve just set up in your domain settings panel.
Check-mark ” I’ve added these records” and click “Verify“.
If you did everything right, you will see that the Status has been marked in green as Verified.
4. Connecting Sendgrid to Woodpecker
4.1 Choose your email provider
- Go to Woodpecker, navigate to Settings → Email Accounts.
- Click Add Email Account.
- Choose your email provider or click ”Manual connection”.
4.2 Fill out IMAP server data.
Firstly, you need to connect your IMAP. To do this please fill out all empty fields.
Please note: this will be empty only if you chose “Other” in the dropdown list. If you’re using a default IMAP from Google, Office 365, or Exchange, these will be set to their respective default for you.
4.3 Connect your SMTP from Sendgrid.
For connecting SMTP you will need an API Key from Sendgrid.
- Go to Settings.
- Navigate to API Keys.
- Click Create API Key.
4. To create an API key, you will need to provide the API Key Name. It’s the name of your subdomain.
5. Click the API Key to copy it.
Please remember that Sendgrid will generate and show an API Key for you just once. In case you don’t copy it, you will need to create it again.
To create a new API Key, please go to Settings → navigate to API Keys → click Create API Key.
6. Go back to Woodpecker. Click the dropdown menu and select Sendgrid as the SMTP Server data.
7. Provide the API Key from Sendgrid to Woodpecker.
8. Click ADD EMAIL.
If all data provided in SMTP settings in Woodpecker is valid, you’ll get a notification about successfully connecting your email address to Woodpecker, Sendgrid included.
There you go! You’ve just connected your email account with Sendgrid SMTP to Woodpecker.
To test the SMTP connection, create a campaign in Woodpecker, add at least one email address as your prospect, and click the RUN button to send a test email to this address.