One thing small business has NOT had access to was cheap reliable marketing automation.
For those of you who are brand new to marketing automation, it is very sophisticated email marketing (and potentially with social media messaging added in the future) that allows for “flows” where the next email sent depends upon whether the last one was or was not acted upon.
Marketing automation has been very expensive. Marketo starts at $1,400 a month, Pardot starts at $1,000 a month. Infusionsoft starts at $199 a month.
Most small businesses have not be able to afford effective marketing automation.
A company in North Carolina is working to change that.
Their name is Allyde. They are providing an open source marketing automation packaged named Mautic, and like WordPress, it comes in two flavors: 1) You host it on your system under your domain name, 2) You host it on an instance at mautic.com.
Like WordPress the software is free. For the mautic.com version there is a $12 a month support package available if you want it.
Like Automattic (who owns WordPress), Allyde plans to make money on support agreements and customization’s with large customers.
As Automattic does this with WordPress the business model is proven.
However one of the things that’s missing from the Mautic toolset is detailed documentation.
I’m so enamored of the idea of open source marketing automation that not only am I implementing for my website, I’m also creating a body of documentation for use by people who are small business people more than technologists (or geeks as we’re sometimes called).
Let me first clarify this series of post is not intended to replace the existing Mautic documentation. Rather it is intended to supplement or augment it.
The Format of This Series of Posts on Mautic
In this series I will show people who are technical enough to send email or to write a blog post in WordPress, how to setup and use the Mautic marketing automation system. It requires no programming.
Some posts will provide a high level overview of the main ideas and concepts. Others will provide in depth instructions in how to do certain things (embed a lead capture form into a landing page, trigger an email in response to a web form being filled out, creating a “flow” or sequence of events to walk someone through their buyers journey (your sales funnel), etc.
Some posts will contain annotated screenshots, others will contain screencast videos. Whatever it takes for you to not only understand the concepts and ideas behind Mautic, but to also enable you to do the things that need to be done.
We’ll start with some of the main concepts and further down in this document will be a series of How To articles.
Important Mautic Concepts
The tracking pixel is defined by your Mautic system and configured into your website so that the activity of your website visitors can be tracked in enormous detail.
In generic terms a landing page is where you are enticing someone to complete an action. In some cases you want them to complete a purchase, but more often you want to collect lead information so you can later follow up. Generally you provide some interesting and useful content in exchange for a name, email address, and possibly other information (phone number perhaps).
Your landing pages can exist on your website or on your Mautic instance. Many small business websites have very poor tools for creating landing pages, which is why creating landing pages on the Mautic system might make sense.
Central to the Mautic system is leads. Leads are either anonymous which means the identity of the person is not known, or named which means the identity of the person is known.
Every visitor who comes to your website is a lead, whether they’ve provided contact information or not. Prior to someone providing contact information they are an anonymous lead and their activity is tracked both by IP address and by a tracking cookie. Multiple visits from the same IP address or that present the same tracking cookie are known to be from the same anonymous lead.
Once they provide their contact information they become a named lead and all prior activity by them as an anonymous lead is then connected to their contact record within Mautic.
Embedding a form into a landing page on your website is the mechanism whereby a website visitor becomes a named lead.
There are two types of forms: Standalone Forms and Campaign Forms. The difference is in where actions are defined.
Actions are defined within the campaign flow, not within the form itself. There is no ability to define actions with campaign forms.
Actions are defined within the form.
You pre write emails within the Mautic system, then attach them to forms, assign them to campaigns, etc, such that the emails are sent in response to either an event occurring (a form is filled out, a video is watched, etc) or a duration has elapsed without there being any action taken.
Assets are things you make available to your website visitors. They may be PDFs, Videos, Infographics. Anything you think is sufficient valuable to either request a name and email address to provide access to, or anything you might send to a named lead can be defined within Mautic as an asset.
Campaigns are the central functionality of the Mautic system. It’s the ability to create if-then flows where various pieces of content (text pages, videos, infographics, etc) can be “chained together” through messages (email now, hopefully social media will be added later) such that the message that goes out next depends upon whether the lead did or did not take the suggested action (watch the video, submit a question, etc).
Points is a Mautic concept of scoring leads who take certain actions. If an email suggested to the lead that they watch a video on your website and they do, maybe you assign them 5 points. Points is a means within Mautic of identifying those leads who have expressed the most interest.
Mautic supports one way integration with various email marketing services and social media sites. This means data in Mautic can be pushed into those systems.
For example, you may use MailChimp for email newsletters, and continue to do so once you implement Mautic, but setup your Mautic system such that whenever anyone submits a form on you website, they are added to your Mautic system first, then the contact details automatically are updated on your MailChimp list.
Mautic How To Articles