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Email Automation. Woodpecker VS SmartReach VS Mailshake

After our previous article got a lot of response (Email Automation. Comparing: Mailshake, Woodpecker, SmartReach and SalesHandy) we now present an update 3 months down the line.
In our prior article, we tested Mailshake, Woodpecker, SmartReach & SalesHandy for 2 weeks and decided that Mailshake and SmartReach worked best. I urge you to read this previous article if you want some more detailed information on how we set up the 4 tools and the pricing we selected. Well, we’ve been continuing to use these 3 tools and have some insight to share about the results for each tool.
First a quick update on Mailshake, and then I will compare the results of Woodpecker VS SmartReach.

EDIT 11/03/2019
I got contacted by the marketing team of Smartreach.io about this article.
Throughout the article, you’ll find small * signs. Here I’ve made edits after I tried their suggestions.

Mailshake

We found out that Mailshake works best when sending to a list of users that already know you. Users that have been receiving email updates from you before and have somewhat of a response rate to your emails. If I compare using Mailshake with a list of ‘cold’ email contact or using a list of already known and registered users, it’s clear to see that having this response rate (openings, replies and clicked links) works wonders for the deliverability. I can’t prove this theory, but judging from our experiences, you need your contacts to respond to your campaigns.

Woodpecker VS SmartReach

We used a list of ‘cold’ email contacts and split them into 2 equally sized files. We then set up the same exact email flow in both programs and created a new email for each tool, under the same domain name (e.g. email1@vedasoft.be & email2@vedasoft.be).
If you didn’t read the first article, you have to know that Woodpecker cut out on us in the beginning, but then it started working fine after a few weeks and we gradually increased the sending to about 500 emails every day. SmartReach never stopped running, but you can’t increase the sending to over 100 emails on the pricing plan we are running (Standard Version) so naturally, everything goes slower.
* Smartreach contacted me about this and told me I could increase it to 500. I tried this and could indeed input 500 however, it still only sent 100 and hasn’t gone above.


The campaigns started operating and we gradually began to receive replies. Both programs kept on running without us needing to interfere, so we didn’t actively pay attention to it for quite a while since we kept on receiving replies in our inbox. But then, replies stopped. We didn’t really notice it in the beginning but after a week or so I went to check both tools to find that the email we used for Woodpecker had been blocked by Google (we’re running a GSuite account for most of these addresses). This thought us 2 things; Woodpecker did screw up in a way since our account got blocked, but we didn’t receive any replies from SmartReach during that week.


It has to be said, that Woodpecker’s support team explained to us perfectly how to setup a new email account to prevent it from being blocked as well as how to recover an account that has been blocked. So if they read this, Mike & Edvards, great job!

Here are the stats of both tools, after 2 months of continuous operating:

woodpecker-smartreach-stats

Open (higher better)Reply (higher better)Bounce (lower better)SmartReach doesn’t show .1 percentages.

Keep in mind, that we send about 500 emails a day with Woodpecker and 100 with SmartReach. While reply rates are the roughly the same, Woodpecker sends faster, so you naturally get replies faster.

Conclusion

Our experience using Mailshake with ‘cold’ email contact was quite negative, but it worked fine with our known contacts. We don’t have any experience using both Woodpecker and SmartReach with this list of known contact, but I assume it would work fine too.
If you want to automate your cold emailing, use Woodpecker or SmartReach. If you are sending to a small number of contacts, I recommend using SmartReach since we never had any issues regarding emails blocked, but the bounce rate is about 3% higher in our experience.
Use Woodpecker if you are sending to a large number of users, but you can expect a small issue to occur from time to time.
You can contact us if you have more questions regarding email campaigns, we’d love to help you set things up.

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