Mautic is the marketing equivalent of WordPress, an open source solution bringing powerful automated marketing campaigns to the masses.
Mautic is marketing automation software. That is software that can be set up to send pre-configured sequences of emails to contacts on an email list. You may be familiar with some of the popular alternatives to Mautic, such as Infusionsoft, ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign.
I think the easiest thing here is for me to list what I think are the most important features. Some of the features may seem obvious, but hopefully I won’t miss anything important.
At the time of writing, I think that covers most of the key features.
If there’s something missing from the list that you need, get in touch explaining your requirements. I’ll let you know if it’s possible with Mautic.
For example, there’s no mention of sales automation, but if you use WooCommerce, there are plugins that will connect to Mautic. Often there’s a way to achieve things even if there’s not a feature built in to do it.
It’s also worth noting that Mautic is relatively young and interest is growing in it. As it becomes more popular, more services and developers will build plugins to expand its functionality. Just look at WordPress with over 40,000 free plugins available.
Which leads to the next point.
There is one key difference between Mautic and most, if not all, of the popular marketing automation solutions. Mautic is open source software. That means anyone can use it and adapt it without having to pay anything.
In fact it is licensed under the same license as WordPress, arguably the biggest and best known open source project.
The hosted version at https://mautic.com is the easiest way to get started with Mautic. The downside is that the free tier has restrictions on contacts and email sends and the paid for tiers can be expensive. The self-hosted version can be downloaded from https://mautic.org and comes with no restrictions.
It can also be hosted very cheaply. A 1GB Linode VPS (affiliate) costs just $5 a month and is what I use to run Shoestring Hustle’s Mautic. I use ServerPilot to configure and update the VPS. That ServerPilot link is also an affiliate link that gives you $10 towards their paid for services, but I use their free tier. To send emails, you should connect it to a sending service. Here I recommend Elastic Email which allows you to send your first 150,000 emails a month for free.
Those aspects of running your own Mautic seem easy enough, but here’s where it gets more difficult. To setup Mautic, you need to upload it to your server over FTP and create a database. Then, after a simple online setup process, you need to connect to your server over SSH and run some commands to configure Crontab. This isn’t covered by the Mautic docs, beyond the basic requirements, meaning it can be difficult, if not impossible to setup for those without suitable experience.
If you want to install Mautic on shared hosting, speak to your web hosts first. Mautic needs to run regular automated tasks in order to function. Shared hosts may restrict how often these tasks can run. Some shared hosts suspend sites that use too many resources, so you should check that the host will be happy for Mautic to run automated actions, such as broadcast email sends.
If you want to go ahead with setting up your own VPS with Mautic, that’s where Shoestring Hustle can help.
We will be releasing classes and automated tools to help you both install and manage Mautic and use the software to power your business.
If you’re interested in running your own full featured marketing automation system at a fraction of the cost of the best known services, get in touch and we’ll add you to the wait list.
© Ian Pullen - Shoestring Hustle 2018
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