One of the channels we tried was cold emailing which contrary to popular belief we found can be quite effective.
For the last couple of months I’ve been experimenting with various tools and here are my top 3:
I was wowed by its $24/month (now $29) Professional plan and decided to try it out for a month. From the outside it looked pretty solid and I thought I had hit gold here. It has all the basic features you need: ‘email tracking’, ‘templates’, ‘email scheduling/snoozing’ and few other swanky add-ons. Oh, I love how one can share their availability to book meetings!
However, one feature which made me discontinue with Mixmax was their so called ‘sequence’, in other words ‘sending emails (with follow-ups) to a list of prospects’. And here’s why: Once you start a campaign, there is no way you can pause it and make some adjustments to the email template, the only way is to stop the campaign completely and re-do the entire thing again. It’s quite annoying when you have already sent the first email and would like to make changes to the follow-up email. I had to send more than 100 emails manually just because of this.
- If you live and die inside your Gmail inbox, then this perhaps is the best tool out there as you can manage your activities without switching context all the time. Everyone hates too many open tabs!
- Some of the add-ons or ‘enhancements’, as Mixmax calls them, are simply amazing and will for sure boost your productivity. For example, you can create a poll or even add a ‘call to action’ to your messages and all that with just a click.
3. Shortcuts: Just by typing a short phrase in the compose window you get access to their super cool add-ons. (believe me it saves a lot of time)
4. With Gmail extension you can reply within your Gmail and keep all your activities synced with the web tool.
5. Save Email Templates.
6. Price: $29/month for a professional plan? Uff, that’s a bargain!
- As I mentioned previously, their bulk email feature is not ‘up to mark’, It’s not ideal if you want to send multiple emails at once.
- The stats in the sequence looked glitchy (at least on my configuration). The figures appeared to be loading and loading most of the time.
- No native Pipedrive integration :( Only way is to bcc your emails to Pipedrive.
- Cannot move prospects from one campaign to another.
I first heard about Woodpecker from a friend who was using it at work. At the beginning I had my doubts about it, but nevertheless I signed up for a trial account after getting a demo from them.
After using it for a day or two, I was more or less sure that I won’t be continuing with the tool beyond my trial period. The tool made me contact customer support more often than I wanted to.
One thing which has to praised about Woodpecker is their amazing customer support, not only are they very helpful but also open to suggestions and feedback. 5/5 for Woodpecker customer support!
Here are my Pros & Cons:
- Very well priced. With $50 a month you can contact unlimited prospects. That’s insane!
- Pause/resume campaign anytime to make changes in the email template & schedule.
- Reschedule follow-ups after autoreply (I love this feature). This is quite unique to Woodpecker and very helpful. As soon as you get an out-of-office message you can instantly schedule the follow-up to a future date.
4. Works on Outlook as well. Great if you don’t want to switch to Gmail.
5. Forward email detection. Isn’t that cool? Basically, if the prospect forwards your email to someone else, the tool will detect it.
6. You can move the replies according to interest level, depicted by emojis, which I found pretty cool :)
7. Awesome & friendly customer support. What was surprising, they actually launched a feature which I suggested to them a few days earlier ;)
- No templates :( Yes! You cannot save templates and simply just import them to a new campaign. No scope for A/B testing!
- The user interface was a bit complicated to navigate around. Although, it’s not that bad but I’d rather have a simpler interface.
- I didn’t like the fact and it was rather annoying that all the emails sent from Woodpecker were stacked in the same thread! One time I had over 50 emails in the same thread and even the replies were going there. No, it has nothing to do with my email setting!
- Also, I found the stats a bit misleading. For example, my first 2 campaigns showed open rate of 100% and I suspect it was because I had opened these messages in my ‘sent’ folder.
- It’s very difficult to track who opened the email more than 2 or 3 or 4… times. There is no way you can segregate contacts according to the open rates. The only way is to go to each and every prospect and do it manually! Uff that’s boring and not to mention time consuming!
To conclude, Woodpecker is a promising product but they still have some work to do (as mentioned in the cons above) before I’ll put my money on it. But I know they have been making some progress and listening to customer feedback. In fact, they recently introduced a new feature to blacklist domain. (you can make a list of domains that you never ever want to send emails to from Woodpecker — woodpecker.co)
It was probably the first tool of this kind I discovered, but never had a go, mainly because of its $70 a month price stag and also that it’s restricted to only 1000 contacts. But all that changed one fine day as its charming website and my ‘need’ for a new tool made me sign up for their free trial! Oh, boy I’m convinced!
Reply has all that you need in a bulk emailing tool plus some extra goodies. It feels so natural and easy to use that you get hooked to it immediately, and not to mention their ever so helpful support team. Here are my pros and some cons of Reply:
- As I mentioned above, the user interface stands out from the rest, it’s very simple to navigate and elegant to look at ;)
- A/B testing: Love the fact you can A/B test your email templates. Basically, when you send emails to lets say 100 prospects, you can choose to split them in a way that half of them will get one template and the rest another. This way you can analyse which template worked better and which one you probably should put to rest. Sweet isn’t it?
3. Even if you accidentally removed some (or all as I did) prospects from a campaign you not only can restore them back, but also choose the step at which to resume the campaign. For example, when I accidentally deleted all my prospects from an active campaign (to whom the first email was already sent), all I had to do was to put them back in the campaign and select ‘step 2’. This way only the follow-up email was sent.
4. Scheduling: You can actually save multiple schedules (what days & hours you want your emails to be sent) in the settings and then add it to the campaign.
5. Blacklist: Yes, this killer feature was already there. You can block domains you don’t want to send emails again. Come on, we are humans and we tend to make mistakes and this feature kinda comes to our rescue.
6. Pipedrive Integrations: Yes! Finally a native Pipedrive integration :) You can import contacts directly from Pipedrive and even create deals in Pipedrive as the prospect response.
7. Lastly, an amazing customer support! :)
- Pricey! At $70 a month for 1000 unique contacts it’s a bit too expensive for my liking.
- No feature to send test emails (I know they are working on it though)
- If you use an ‘alias’ email address to send emails, then it’s a bit annoying to set it up (at least it was for me). Took me over 4 hours before I got it to work.
So to conclude, yes I opted for Reply because of the above mentioned reasons, but at the same time I am also using Mixmax starter plan to reply to messages. In my opinion, both these tools compliment each other well.
I hope you find this article useful in deciding your next emailing tool, and if you have any questions just write them as comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them. Also, if you’re using any of these tools or some other, I’d love to hear your thought about them.
P.S. I am not associated with any of these 3 tools, the article is purely based on my personal experience. Also, I know Mixmax & Woodpecker added some new features recently, which may or may not have changed some of the concerns I had with them.