Quickstart Vol. 1: How to set up a cold email campaign

IN THIS ARTICLE Step 1: Connect your email to Woodpecker Step 2: Compose a personalized email Step 3: Set up Daily Limit and Delivery Time Step 4: Add prospects to your campaign Step 5: Preview…


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.

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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!

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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.

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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.


  • Woodpecker may connect your email address conditionally. Check what that means and how to fix it here.quickstart-vol-1-set-up-cold-email-campaign image
  • In case of any other issues, have a look at our article I can’t connect my mailbox.

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”.

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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

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  • 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

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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 [email protected].

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?

  1. You might have been connected conditionally.
  2. Check your SPAM or junk folder.
  3. If the message is there, move it to the primary inbox.
  4. Try connecting your mailbox again. Remember to remove any labels or forwarding options. Learn why »
  5. Your email address should be connected successfully!

Step 2: Compose a personalized email

Each campaign consists of 3 parts:

  1. 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 it.
  2. PROSPECTS – here you import and add your recipients to the campaign.
  3. SUMMARY – preview and send or save the campaign. Here you can also send a test email.

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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. Start the path

Let’s start the Path! You can start your path in a couple of ways – either with one of our Manual Tasks, Snippet-based Condition, or traditionally, with an email. Above we will show you a campaign with email in the first step.

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 »

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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 the Subject line, and styling options. They are called snippets, and their task is to insert information specific to your prospect into your email.

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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, XLS or XLSX file and then import to Woodpecker, to begin with? Here is our CSV and Excel guide »

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.

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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 »

Here you can read about Stats That Prove The Importance of Follow-up Emails »

You can create up to 8 steps in a sequence within a single campaign. You can play around with your campaign flow and mix emails with Manual, Linkedin, or Call Tasks.

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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 met your condition your email within a certain time (days/hours)
  • Path NO — for those recipients who haven’t met your condition within a certain time

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In Woodpecker you can find different types of conditions such as:

How to set up an open-based condition »
How to set up a click-based condition »
How to set up task-based condition »
How to set up snippet-based condition »

If-campaigns are part of our add-on, Advanced Campaigns. You can learn more about them from the article on What are Advanced Campaigns »

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 the maximum of your currently active Daily Sending Limit Add-on. What is Daily Sending limit? »

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

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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. By 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.

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2. On default, Woodpecker waits 3 days. You can change this number. Choose between days and hours after the previous email.

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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),[video-to-gif output image]
  • 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[video-to-gif output image]

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 emails in our help article and on our blog.

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:

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Add prospects to Woodpecker

A) Import – if you have a long list of prospects, collected in a spreadsheet (CSV, XLS or XLSX 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, 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!
  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 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.
    • Summary screen

B) 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

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.

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.

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Learn more about adding prospects to Woodpecker »

D) From Integrations – you can also add your prospects directly from some of the prospecting tools which are integrated with Woodpecker » or directly from your Google Sheets »

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Step 5: Preview and send the campaign
Here you can see a summary of your campaign:

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  • 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.

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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”

  • 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 »

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The red color is a sign of a missing snippet. Check what it means here »

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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.

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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.

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Click the green “RUN” button to start sending the campaign

If everything looks okay, and you want to start your campaign pronto, click the green “RUN” button at the bottom. Your campaign will now be running and sending emails according to your settings.

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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.

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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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