No Cost Marketing Automation Software

No Cost Marketing Automation Software

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.

What Can It Do?

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.

  • Broadcast emails, e.g. newsletters
  • Automated email sequences with a visual campaign builder
  • Build landing pages
  • Drag and drop email and page editor
  • Store unlimited contacts
  • Create unlimited segments and add contacts to multiple segments
  • Tag contacts and add them to sequential stages
  • Contacts points scoring system to identify the most and least engaged contacts
  • Set automated events triggered by contacts passing points thresholds
  • Send web push notifications (unlimited free notifications via OneSignal)
  • Send SMS text messages (low cost via Twilio)
  • Social monitoring (track Twitter @mentions and #hashtags)
  • Create gated videos to embed on landing pages and in WordPress
  • Allow contacts to manage their preferences
  • Focus Items to embed forms on other sites in popups and header/footer bars
  • User management with fine grained roles system
  • Subscribe contacts with social media sign in
  • Add custom fields to store the contacts’ data you need
  • Use the pre-configured reports or create your own
  • Upload themes for pages, forms and emails
  • Plugins to integrate with other services

At the time of writing, I think that covers most of the key features.

Anything Missing

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.

Mautic is Open Source

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.

Similar to WordPress, which comes in self hosted ( and hosted ( versions, Mautic also comes in two versions.

The hosted version at 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 and comes with no restrictions.

How to Self Host Mautic

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.

Shoestring Hustle’s Mautic Classes

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.

I’m Ian Pullen and when not working as a dog and cat butler, I’m a designer/developer and writer who works on projects for solopreneurs, SMBs and multi-nationals like Unilever and Lenovo.
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Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

© Ian Pullen - Shoestring Hustle 2018