Make dynamic personalized emails in Mautic using tokens

Since marketing automation became a huge thing, personalization has been a growing trend in digital marketing. Presenting content that is tailored to the individual user is now an accepted standard practice, and it is widely accepted that this helps increase engagement with marketing content.

Mautic tokens are personal
Using tokens in Mautic can deliver more personal, individualized messages to your contacts.

This increased engagement leads to more brand awareness, and your product or business staying stickier at the top of your prospect’s mind. More awareness leads to greater likelihood that they will buy from you, instead of your competitor. This is why personalization via a marketing automation system has shifted from a “nice to have” to a “must have” in most industries.

Marketers also see increased success rates with when they personalize, as demonstrated in this article by Pole Position Marketing.

Perhaps the greatest area where personalization has become a commonplace practice is in marketing emails. Marketing automation systems are now able to insert dynamic tokens into emails that can mention specific information about the user, such as their name (“Dear Maxwell” instead of a generic “Hello”), company (“Widgets Incorporated” instead of a generic “your business”), and basically anything else under the sun.

Mautic, the open source marketing automation system, is no different from the other marketing platforms in this regard. The big difference: Mautic is free, whereas those other systems have the nasty habit of costing tens of thousands of dollars a year.

In this tutorial we’ll go over how to set up dynamic personalized emails in Mautic using tokens. And good news – it’s super easy.

Create an email in Mautic under Channels

Step 1 in setting this up is to create your email. I have written elsewhere about how to combine the incredible email templates in Mailchimp with your Mautic installation (so that the net result is awesome professional looking emails that are completely free). But in this example, just to keep it simple, I will use Mautic’s email builder and stick to a basic text only template, no fancy colors or graphics.

So, under Channels, go to Emails and click New to setup the email.

You’ll be prompted to select either a template or a segment email. I will select template for this example. (Sidenote: A template email can be used in campaigns and sent as autoresponders in forms, so if you are creating a drip campaign or something that you want to deploy automatically, a template email is likely the way to go. Segment emails can only be sent to a specific segment, so they are good to use if creating a one-off email “blast” such as your spring newsletter.)

Mautic template vs segment
You can select to create either a template or a segment email. I usually use template because it can be used in more ways.

In the next section, you’ll need to make sure you select a theme. Here you would use code mode if you were importing the html from Mailchimp, as I just mentioned above.  Make sure to also enter a subject line and give the email an internal name.

Add the tokens and customize your email in the Builder

Now that your basic info is entered for the email, launch the Builder.

The builder will show a preview of the live email on the left, and your editor on the right.

To get to the text editor, click on the area you want to edit on the right, and the text editor on the lower left will open up, where you can edit your email. Currently in Mautic, this section is called “Customize Slot”. Here, among the icons in your editor, you need to find the one that looks like a tag – this will let you place tokens into the body of your email.

Simply click the tag icon, then select the field from that database that you want to insert into the body of the email.

mautic email tokens
The Email Builder in Mautic lets you quickly and easily add dynamic tokens to the text of your email.

In this example, we will enter several dynamic tokens that will personalize the email for us, as follows:

Hello {contactfield=firstname},

We do a lot of business in {leadfield=city|your area}, and wanted to see if we could have a brief call or meeting to discuss how we can optimize {leadfield=website|your website}.

Let me know if interested.

Thanks,

Dane

The email will dynamically pull in the user’s first name, city, and website from the contact database in Mautic.

Note the pipe character “|”. This is often important because it will provide a generic default text to insert in the event that a contact does not have a value provided for that field. So, if a contact does not have the website field completed, it will instead read “your website”.

Don’t forget these tokens can also be entered into the subject line as well. You just need to click the tag icon so that it inserts the token into your email, but instead cut and paste that token into the subject of your email. You can also follow a similar process if you are importing your html from another system like Mailchimp. Just go to the section in the html where the token should be, and paste it right in there.

Test your tokens by sending live emails to yourself

Once you apply the changes and save and close out of the email editor in Mautic, you are now ready to test your email to make sure the tokens are correctly inserting the dynamic personalized information.

To do this, the “Send Example” testing feature on the Email editing page will not work. This unfortunately does not insert live data from a contact.

test mautic email tokens
To test your tokens, you should create a contact for yourself and then send the email to that contact.

So as an alternative, you should create a contact for yourself, with the email address that you want it to go to. And then edit that contact to fill in the fields that you are inserting with tokens into your email. (So, in our example above, we would make sure that first name, city, and website are filled in.)

Then simply go to the contact screen (you can find the contact by searching in the search bar at the top of Mautic), and click “Send Email”. Here you’ll be prompted to select the email that should be sent, so select the one that you created with tokens under the “Import from Existing Template” section.

confirm mautic tokens are working
Confirm that your Mautic tokens are working. In this example, it is dynamically entering the first name and city, while substituting some generic text for the website field.

That should do it! When you get the email, confirm that these tokens are being inserted correctly as you expect, and if so, you’re golden. The email is ready to be used in campaigns, as form autoresponders, one-off emails, or mass email “blasts”. Each one of these will be personalized to the contact.

And of course, it’s being sent out by Mautic, so that means it is actually, in real life, 100% free of charge. Absolutely amazing.

4 Replies to “Make dynamic personalized emails in Mautic using tokens”

  1. This was really helpful thanks! Do you have any plans for a tutorial on how to create an abandoned cart or recently viewed products. Im assuming it will involve tokens. I came to Mautic after being frustrated with mail chimp automations not working at all due to their horrible plugin.

    1. Thanks for the tip, that sounds like an interesting topic. I should probably start setting up some kind of cart abandonment marketing program on my site. And if I actually get around to that with Mautic, I will definitely share. If you manage to set something like that up, let me know. I would love to learn.

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