Here’s how to launch an email marketing and CRM program with Mautic

Mautic, simply put in nineties language, is the bomb.

It’s a truly 100% free, open source marketing automation system. And it features full email sending, lead generation and nurturing, and prospect tracking functions. It hosts your content so that it’s trackable, and includes dynamic content, full email personalization, and exit intent pop-up forms for your website.

No one can deny the power of marketing automation – it saves marketers time while simultaneously increasing engagement and revenue. Simply put, marketing automation is power!

Mautic marketing automation and CRM
In this article I’ll walk through a quick guide on how to set up Mautic, which can be used as a marketing automation plus CRM system. Also, it’s completely free when self-hosted. Crazy huh?

In fact, here’s an outstanding blog article by Webmecanik that explains the benefits of marketing automation, including time savings, and increased revenue and efficiency. This is a highly reliable source because Webmecanik is a Mautic-based marketing automation company and global marketing automation expert.

This is why Mautic, or some system similar to it, is a must-have for all solopreneurs and startups – or essentially anyone who is running or starting a business that is self-funded.

So how do you get up and running with Mautic? That’s what I’m explaining here.

This article will show you an easy step-by-step way to go from nothing at all, to having a fully functional – and completely free – email marketing and CRM system.

Step 1: Install Mautic using C-Panel

You first need to install Mautic. This is the probably the trickiest part, to be honest. But it is still not that difficult.

The reason why Mautic is free is because users can host it themselves. So, assuming you have a website (why wouldn’t you if you’re looking for a marketing automation system?), you have a server that can host Mautic.

So, you have a website? OK awesome, all is well so far. Now, make sure you have access to login to the C-Panel on your server.

a server with c-panel
You just need a server with C-Panel to install Mautic. This is the first step in Mautic setup,a nd is not that hard..

If you don’t have this readily available, you’ll need to contact your hosting provider to get the login. I have never heard of a hosting provider that does not provide access to C-Panel, so this should not be an issue.

Once you’re logged in, you are ready to install Mautic, and this takes less than one minute, no joke.

Basically, you just go to Sofaculous apps installer, search for Mautic, and run through the install process. I have a more in-depth article on installing Mautic using C-Panel, so feel free to check that out if you’re looking for more information.

softaculous apps installer will install Mautic
The Softaculous app installer on C-Panel will allow you to quickly and easily install Mautic.

IMPORTANT: The last part of the Mautic install process is setting up cron jobs, which I go over in very specific detail in another article.

The cron jobs are a very critical and important part of the process, and do require correct setup, or your emails will not work. So I highly suggest heading over to the article linked right above and checking out the section on cron jobs.

Unless you are very tech-savvy and know how C-Panel file structure works, you’ll need to check out that article in order to set it up correctly.

Yaaaaaaaay, Mautic is installed!! The hardest part is done, and the rest is fun! 🙂

Step 2: Create your marketing emails

Did I say fun? I meant SUPER fun! There are a million different approaches and strategies for setting up your marketing emails, and it all depends on your marketing goals, and really your own personal style.

Ask key questions

Here are some questions I ask myself when building an email marketing program:

  • Do I want to have very graphics-heavy templates with fancy colors and fonts, or do I want to keep it simple and have a “text-only” look?
  • Should the emails feel like they’re coming from a person, or an organization?
  • Do I want to sell products in these emails?
  • Are the emails designed to drive engagement and traffic on the website?
  • I am trying to develop partnerships with other websites and feature their content as well as mine?
Ask questions about email marketing
Always ask yourself key questions when creating your emails. It is important that they have a clear purpose and goal.

Also, as a general rule, I am pretty much always going to use personalization in the emails in some way or another.  This typically involves inserting tokens for the recipient’s name, but could also reference their geographic location, or any other relevant data you have collected in the forms on your site. (Don’t worry, we’ll go over Mautic forms shortly.)

What you ultimately want at the end of this step is a sequence of emails that you plan to send in an automated fashion, spread out over a span of time. These emails will need to be created and saved as emails in Mautic (under Channels in the main admin menu).

emails in Mautic menu
Your emails will live under the Channels section of the main menu in Mautic.

If you’re interested in creating very pro-looking emails from a wide variety of templates, you can first use Mailchimp to create the email, then save it in Mautic. I have an article on how to do this also.

Make sure your emails have the following:

  1. An compelling subject line
  2. A clear call to action that supports the goals of your email campaign
  3. An easy way to get in touch with your business
  4. Value to your audience

Emails can go a lot of different directions. But these are the basics, and they are definitely a must-have part of any marketing/CRM program.

Step 3: Create a drip program in Mautic using campaigns

This is the “marketing automation” part of your Mautic setup – it’s what will automatically send people targeted emails that you specify, in time pre-set intervals. Once this is setup, you don’t have to do a thing, and your prospects will still get your marketing emails.

To do this, you’ll need to create a campaign in Mautic.

Once you’ve launched the campaign builder, the key step will be to include the segment of the email campaign as your campaign source.

Drip program in Mautic
Mautic campaigns are where you setup your drip email marketing programs.

So as part of your Mautic setup make sure you create a segment by going to Segments in the main admin menu and creating one.

Name your segments after your email campaign. For example, if your email campaign is a basic content marketing drip campaign, call it “drip subscribers”. Or, if your email campaign is to follow up on a request for a proposal, you can call it “proposal follow up”.

Once the segment is created, then go ahead and add it as the source of the campaign in Mautic.

Mautic campaign contact source
The campaign in Mautic will ask you to specify a contact source, which in the case of our example will be a segment.

Now you can create your campaign “Actions” in Mautic, in which you select to send one of your emails at a given period of time.

Here is more in-depth look at how to set up a powerful drip campaign in Mautic.

Step 4: Create you email signup form and install on your website

Creating a form in Mautic is pretty simple. You just go to Components in the main admin menu and create one. Here’s a more in-depth explainer of how to use forms in Mautic.

The most pivotal factor here will be which fields to include. As a general rule, the fewer fields you have on your form, the more signups you’ll get. People see a lot of fields to enter and abandon at a higher rate. Basically, you want your form to be very easy to complete.

Mautic forms should be easy
Completing a form on your website should be very easy. Easier = more leads.

If you are creating a newsletter, I highly recommend just having the email field in your form. This will result in maximum conversions.

On the other hand, if your form is for requesting a quote or demo, or some other more sales-oriented reason, then you’ll likely want to include other fields to qualify the lead.

It’s all up to you and based on what you’re trying to accomplish in your email campaign and form.

Here’s a critical point on setting up forms:

Make sure you update the segment under the Actions of the form in Mautic. Once the segment is created (which was discussed in the last step), then go ahead and add it under the Actions settings of the form in Mautic.

mautic form modify segment
Make sure you add an action to modify the contact’s segment in your form in Mautic.

This will be important because this is going to be the source for the campaign in Mautic that will place people who fill out the form on a drip campaign, sending them the emails automatically on a regular basis.

Add your form to your website

This is obviously a key piece to the marketing and CRM machine.  You need to be feeding people into your database, and the most common source for this will likely be your website.

So you’ll need to grab the form you created in Mautic and embed it into your website. Your leads will go to your website, complete the form, then be entered into your Mautic contact database and receive your emails.

(Starting to come together…Pretty cool huh!?! :))

To do this, you need to get the form’s embed code from the “Form HTML” section of the form in Mautic. Mautic recommends the javascript; I’m not sure why, so I would use whatever appears to work best on your website.

Mautic form html
In the form screen in Mautic, you just need to copy the html embed code and embed it on your website to collect leads.

What you need to do is copy this code into the code of your website. I highly recommend using WordPress because it is powerful, user-friendly and free. If you have a WordPress site, you can paste the code into the main body of a post or page, or into a widget if you want it to go in the sidebar.

Another option is to use the form as a pop up.  Mautic is so cool that it allows you to set these up completely for free as well. You guessed it, I have an article that goes in depth about how to set up these pop up forms.

Step 5: Use Mautic as your CRM using Stages

A CRM lets you view all your contacts – both leads and converted customers. It also gives you views of your contacts showing how many and who are in each stage of your sales cycle. Mautic does both of these things, so many people use Mautic as their CRM.

They key here is Stages. There is an awesome video tutorial from Mautic on Stages here:

Stages are created in the Mautic admin menu under the Stages section – pretty straight forward.

The idea here is to create stages based on each point of your sales cycle. For example, if someone is a brand new contact who just now subscribed to your newsletter, you would create a stage called “New”.

If someone has expressed interest by requesting a demo or pricing, you might create another stage called “Qualified”.

Mautic stages for CRM
You can use stages in Mautic to get a CRM-like view of where your contacts are at in the sales funnel.

And if someone has bought from you, or declined to buy from you, you might create a stage called “Closed – Won” and/or “Closed – Lost”.

And as the video above explains, you can have as many stages as you want. Whatever makes the most sense for your sales cycle.

Once you have your stages set up, you can update the stages of your contacts manually by going to the contact screen and editing them. OR you can also create a campaign in Mautic and use the campaign Decisions and Actions to update the contacts’ stages.

change stage of contact in Mautic via campaign
You can update the stage of contacts in Mautic manually, or via campaigns, as shown here.

For example, you can change the stage of everyone who completes your Demo Request form to “Qualified”. Use the campaign Decision to check whether they’ve completed your form, and then use the campaign Action to update the contact’s stage to “Qualified”.

Also, you’re able to get a view of your contacts and which stage they are in using the Contacts menu option in the Mautic admin. This gives a quick view of your contacts and includes a stage column.

Soooooo….. That’s it! Hopefully this has given you a solid headstart on setting up your marketing automation and CRM system using Mautic.

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Entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and digital marketers on small marketing teams are often faced with the challenge of optimizing lead generation with limited resources and time.

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