For a project (That is going to be released within few months), I had to find a good marketing automation tool. There is plenty of them out there actually, like Mailchimp or infusionsoft. But none of them are open source….None expect one – Mautic.
If you are not familiar with the concept, a marketing automation tool will help you run for example, your email marketing campaign based on your visitors behavior. For example, if you had an account on this blog and were reading those lines, I could ask such marketing automation to trigger a pre-written email to your email box to ask you: “Need a hand to install Mautic?”. As you spent some time reading those lines, I could presume you are interested in Mautic and could sell you my services. (Which I don’t by the way!). I could also wait 2 days after you opened this email, to send you an incredible offer, just for you Mister Smith! If also I’ve noticed you’ve checked several times some pages on my blog treating about Mautic or any others similar software, I could “score” your potential in points and after a certain amount of points, have my Sales call you directly.
This is a pretty common practice available for Small to large businesses. Although you may feel quite “spied”, this kind of tools are greatly appreciated by professionals or entrepreneurial as they can save a significant amount of time while providing a good service to their customers. Great for productivity.
But wait, this kind of tool is not only about businesses, it could be use in many different ways, like for schools, associations or any field that could benefit in email automation.
So, as you know now, Mautic is probably the only open source Marketing Automation tool out there (If you know any others, please share!) and is released under the GPL v3 license. They have an hosted account for a fee (Or free if <2500 leads and 3 user accounts).
Mautic has a great design and tons of features like:
– Calendar (To keep track of all the campaigns you are running)
– Leads (To track bothanonymous and known leads with key metrics like page views, time spent on site, etc…)
– Campaign (Drip program creation, campaign builder, etc… to define the actions and events your leads will follow, in an automatic way)
– Forms (to easily create your landing pages to collect key informations while promoting your offer/service)
– Points (to score your leads based on how well they responded to your campaigns, this could help to trigger different campaigns afterwards)
– Report (To get an overview of the success of your campaigns and help you to improve those)
They also have plenty of plugins to interact with 3rd party applications like a CRM, dropbox, gmail, zendesk, etc.. and many more).
They are actually looking at volunteers to translate Mautic in as many languages as possible (They use Transifex to manage them), but currently only English, French, Spanish, Thai and Czech are fully translated. Italian and German might follow soon.
Mautic is surprisingly, easy to install. If you don’t want to use their hosted account, simply follow this tutorial
You will first need a LAMP server. If you don’t have one ready, no problem, simply check this previous tutorial on how to install Apache, MySQL and PHP.
1) Download and unzip their latest version
As of today, their current version is the 1.0.3. You can download their latest one by running the following commands:
cd /var/www wget --level=0 https://www.mautic.org/download/latest
then unzip it. (If you don’t have tools to unzip, simply install the unzip package) and run:
unzip latest -d mautic rm latest
2) Change permission folder
To avoid having a blank page at the installation, you need to provide rights to your apache user (www-data), simply run as root (or with sudo):
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/mautic
3) Install php5-intl
You will need to install the php-intl module to have the internationalization functions. To do so, run as root (or with sudo)
apt-get install php5-intl
and restart apache
4) Create a dedicated virtualhost
To better tweak Mautic and to have a more userfriendly URL, I suggest you to create a dedicated virtualhost (vhost) file.
Here is mine that you could reuse.
To do so, you will need:
1) Create a A redirection in your DNS server/registrar with something like mautic.domain.tld to your IP
2) Create your virtualhost as following:
In /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/, create a file called mautic (or reuse one of yours), In root:
and paste the following content:
<VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin firstname.lastname@example.org ServerName mautic.domain.tld DocumentRoot /var/www/mautic <Directory /> Options FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All </Directory> <Directory /var/www/mautic> Options FollowSymLinks MultiViews AllowOverride All Order allow,deny allow from all </Directory> php_value date.timezone "America/New_York" </VirtualHost>
Adapt the content (Servername, webmaster email, directory,…). If you want to use SSL, you will need to tweak a bit this virtualhost, similar to all my previous articles.
When done, save the file (CTRL+X then Yes) and reload apache: (In root)
As you can see, I’ve set a dedicated value for PHP, as you might have an error if your date.timezone is not set in your php.ini.
In this case you can either modify your php.ini to add this dedicated value inside your vhost.
5) Launch the web installer
Then you simply need to follow the web installation at mautic.domain.tld (Or http://yourip/mautic if you haven’t created a vhost)
The first page will check if your system pass the requirements. If not, you will need to fix those issues.
You will then need to configure your MySQL database (I suggest you to use PHPMyAdmin to easily create such database and user) and finally, you will need to setup your email configuration (SMTP server? or use some predefined configurations, like Gmail, Amazon SES, etc…)
And you’re good to go!
Although they don’t have much, you can still check the Mautic documentation for more info on this great Email marketing automation.
Let me know if you know others great opensource applications.