Yes, We Said FREE. Total Marketing Automation For FREE.
In the Internet Marketing world, it's hard to find good tools that don't cost an arm and a leg. It's even harder to find ones that put just about everything you need into one application. Most small businesses and individuals (such as us) can't afford most of those marketing automation tools, and while you're initially gaining your leads, you might not see a good return on the huge investment for quite a while.
So what does a small business, start up, blogger or someone like us -- just a few individuals with a passion, do when those big tools are out of the question? That's the idea behind Mautic. Until now, there has been a very big gap in the internet marketing world, and especially in the Marketing automation space. There just hadn't been a tool that once could afford while they're building their business while, say... working a full time job. Again, Mautic's existence addresses that issue.
In a nutshell, Mautic is an "open source marketing automation platform which gives every business the ability to create powerful marketing strategies, manage lead nurturing, and monitor site visitors. Perhaps most importantly, Mautic is available at no cost. A completely free marketing automation platform."
“Mautic began with a single focus. Equality. The Mautic community believes in giving every person the power to understand, manage, and grow their business or organization. Mautic is focused on helping this belief become a reality by getting powerful marketing automation software into the hands of every person.”
- David Hurley, Founder
Free is good, so we just HAD to try Mautic and see for ourselves how good this "freebie" was. Initially, we went to the Mautic.org site and read up on the application. It seemed to take care of just about everything from landing page creation to lead cultivation and even dripflow (sending out scheduled emails to your leads). This was just too good to be true! There had to be a catch, we thought.
Lead Nurturing and Tracking
Mautic provides businesses a tool that goes far beyond what those other "free" tools (that encourage you to buy an expensive paid subscription to get all the info) provide. You get deep lead tracking and nurturing tools that really do put those other (and shall we say, obsolete) free tools to shame. One of the highlights is the ability to send out scheduled emails to those who subscribe, something that all other tools make you pay for. Mautic also provides a way to organize your leads in a way that makes sense and that's actually usable. We spent a lot of time here thinking about how we were going to use Mautic to increase conversions through lead cultivation.
Campaigns and Dripflow Marketing
Speaking of scheduled email marketing, Mautic includes (yes, for FREE) the ability to setup campaigns, just like Aweber and Mailchimp, and send out scheduled emails to cultivate and build relationships with your subscribers (this is called dripflow marketing). It, perhaps is the most powerful tool that Mautic provides (did we mention free? ;D) as it is the "secret sauce" behind your relationships with your readers and ultimately, impacts the conversion rates. Setting up a campaign is straightforward and easy to do. We just created our campaign, linked it to a lead list, added our form and the emails that are to go out, and voila!, we sat back and let Mautic do it's magic!
Social Media Integrations
Since social media is such a big part of people's lives, having data from the networks is vital for serious businesses that cultivate their leads. With Mautic, we were ecstatic to find out that major social networks already have integration with Mautic:
- Google +
Vital information about your leads is all pulled into your lead's profile so at a glance, you can gauge your lead and again, cultivate the relationship.
Landing Pages and Assets
Landing pages are a huge part of the "sales funnel" or "inbound marketing". There are already many companies that focus on this alone, but at a price. Leadpages is one of the most well known, but in our opinion, provides only a small part of the total lead nurturing solution. With Mautic, on the other hand, you have total control over your landing pages, and they can reside on your site as opposed to sending someone off to another site to sign up. The landing page captures key information about the lead, and in return, may offer something in return for the lead's information (usually email address and optionally, a name).
This is where the Assets come in. You can offer a free ebook for signing up for example, and the best part is that the ebook resides on your Mautic installation and is tracked. Mautic will keep track of how many downloads and who downloaded it. We set our landing page up quite quickly as Mautic includes three basic templates for free. Optionally, you or your developers can design your own pages, or just insert the signup form on your website.
It only took a couple hours to set everything up in Mautic (yes, the emails were already pre-written). We didn't have to use our "coding brain" to set everything up, and best of all, we started to see results immediately! Within a few minutes, we had our first signup. The initial email went out, and we were delighted to start a new relationship right away, automatically!
Mautic is a "Free and Open Source Marketing Automation Tool" that surpasses all other free marketing tool's capabilities, and rivals those paid versions that you could pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month for. There are two ways to get Mautic:
Host On Your Server
First, and possibly preferable, you can download the Mautic application to your server and host it yourself. We chose this option as we do want to customize it a bit more. The download is free from the Mautic.org website and installation was straightforward (see the docs for more information here). We used Liquidweb.com hosting - a 2GB Storm VPS we have three Mautic instances running on currently.
Mautic.com Hosted Version
You can also sign up for a Mautic.com account that gives you 100% of the lead generation and nurturing capabilities for free. This possibly is a better option for small businesses and startups that do not have developers on staff to manage the self hosted server. We also signed up for an account for our testing purposes in writing this review, and found that there was really no lack of functionality in the hosted version! This is huge because many of those other free tools, first of all, don't allow you to host your own instance, but also, they limit the capabilities of the "free version".
Perfect For YOU!
Getting traffic to your website is only a quarter of the total pie, so to speak. What happens when they get to your site is even more important. Capturing your site traffic as meaningful leads that you can build and cultivate a relationship over time is imperative to increasing your conversions. Mautic is Free. You've got nothing to lose when you take a tour of the application, setup a test bed and see what it can do for your business.