Mautic is currently the only fully-featured, omnichannel Open Source solution for marketing automation on the market. From a feature perspective, Mautic does not have to hide from the big, proprietary players.
Mautic was founded in 2014 in Boston and is similarly organized as many other Open Source projects. There is a free community version that can be downloaded and self-hosted at https://www.mautic.org/. There is also a commercial version for enterprise use, which can be rented from the cloud as a SaaS solution.
Currently, there are about 1,000 developers in the community who contribute to the project. Mautic has been translated into 35 languages and is used by about 250,000 companies worldwide. Customers include Airbus, and Konica Minolta, among others.
Through the acquisition of Acquia in 2019, the Mautic Project has gained a strong Enterprise Partner with a similar open-source mindset. This should ensure further development in the long term.
The most important features of Mautic
It would go beyond the scope of this article to list all the features of Mautic here. That’s why I am just giving you a quick overview.
A really remarkable tool is the Campaign Builder of Mautic. With its intuitive interface, automated campaigns can be quickly and easily assembled across multiple channels. At any point in the flow, you have the possibility to continue with a decision, an action or a condition.
With Mautic’s campaign builder it is a matter of minutes to set up a drip campaign, an abandoned cart campaign or a double opt-in process.
The practical thing about website tracking with Mautic is that you can track anonymous visitors and segment them by their actions. If the visitor reveals himself at a later time, for example by leaving his email address, this information is simply added to the existing profile. In this way, an anonymous profile becomes a known contact that can be contacted via other channels.
As you can see in the screenshot, the system can be set up in a way to be fully GDPR-compliant. IP addresses can be anonymized and user's data can be deleted. Of course, it is in your duty to set up opt-ins and campaigns in a privacy laws compliant way.
Mautic has a complete email marketing suite on board. Email templates can be chosen for sending manual campaigns. But of course they can also be personalized and integrated into automated campaigns.
There are already a couple of nice email templates available, which can be customized via an intuitive builder with a live preview via drag & drop. But of course, you can also develop your own templates for emails, forms, and landing pages. Mautic handles this through so-called themes which consist of twig templates.
Segmentation & Contact Management
Perhaps the most important tool in marketing automation is segmentation. Mautic offers countless predefined filters such as City, Device, E-Mail Read, URL Referrer, etc.
Any number of filter criteria can be combined with each other. Exclusion criteria are of course also possible.
Contact management distinguishes between contacts (persons) and companies. Thus Mautic can be used for B2C as well as for B2B use cases.
Stages and Scoring
This is where Mautic’s lead nurturing functionalities come into play. Contacts can pass through lead development stages or be evaluated with a simple point system (e.g. customer lifetime value or engagement scoring). You can define actions that add points to the user’s profile and triggers that perform actions when a certain threshold is reached.
Landing Pages & Forms
Forms and landing pages can be used for registration and deregistration, as well as contact preferences.
An important part of a marketing automation solution are landing pages and forms to collect user data and store opt-ins. With Mautic, both landing pages and forms can be created quickly and easily. A preview function is available for both. The forms can then be easily embedded in their own landing pages or in external websites.
Personalization with Dynamic Web Content
Not only emails can be personalized with Mautic. With the Dynamic Web Content feature, parts of a landing page or external website can be tailored to the visitor. Existing profile data and real-time user behavior can be used as criteria for the delivery of dynamic content.
The goal here is to improve the user experience by showing visitors content that is relevant to them. This feature is often used to increase the conversion rate. The content variants can be edited using a WYSIWYG editor or HTML code.
Integrations & Plugins
Mautic already has a lot of default integrations onboard for connecting to CRMs such as SalesForce, CMSs such as WordPress websites or send out channels like mobile push. Additionally, there is a Mautic Marketplace with further plugins from the community.
If the required integration does not yet exist, the open API can also be used to build a custom connection.
On which technologies is Mautic built?
Mautic was developed in the PHP programming language and uses a MySQL database. So, this is the classic open source LAMP stack. The technical requirements for Mautic are PHP 5.6.19+, MySQL 5.5.3+, Apache 2.x or Nginx 1.8 or Microsoft IIS 7.
Mautic as Enterprise Solution
In the Enterprise version, Mautic is rented as Software as a Service from the cloud. The advantages are that you do not have to worry about infrastructure, platform configuration and hosting. In addition, you benefit from performance and security optimizations with SLAs and guaranteed uptime. On top of that, you get a worldwide 24/7 enterprise support. All this is available for a fraction of the cost of large marketing clouds à la Adobe or SalesForce.
For the Mautic Enterprise version, there exists also a multi-tenant management system called Maestro. It can be used to manage multiple Mautic instances. This allows a larger organization to centrally control and synchronize the local instances of brands, countries or subsidiaries.
In Maestro’s central management dashboard, you can view aggregated data from individual Mautic instances and run detailed reports.
You can also quickly roll out new template-based, pre-populated Mautic instances for new subsidiaries or franchise takers. Successful campaigns and other assets can be copied from one Mautic instance to others.
Why should I choose Mautic?
There are a number of good reasons for Mautic:
- Mautic offers an amazingly large feature set at a low price.
- Mautic is extremely easy to use and quick to learn.
- Standard integrations for the most popular third-party systems are available out of the box.
- A large developer community provides extensions, bug fixes, and innovation.
- Mautic can be easily customized and extended thanks to its open-source approach.
Mautic in action
You can discover the look and feel of Mautic in this video:
In addition, there is also a Youtube Channel where you can quickly learn through short video tutorials.
On the Mautic blog, you can find nice tutorials like Creating a double opt-in email campaign.
If you are a developer and would like to explore how Mautic themes are built, you can find that information here.