Email Marketing with Mautic: A Step by Step Guide (2019)

I assume you are here for one of the following reasons:

  1. You are new to Mautic and are unsure if and how to use it.
  2. You are already using Mautic, but you are experiencing extremely low open rates.
  3. You would like to learn how to get the most out of Mautic.

Well, you are in luck, because in this article we will address all of these points. We will give you a foolproof way to send thousands of high open rate emails on shoestring budget using Mautic.

Here at Primefunnel, we regularly send millions of emails on behalf of our corporate clients. Over the years, our team has developed a foolproof way to send bulk emails that don’t land in the spam inboxes of those who you seek to serve.

Your email list

Before we get to any of the technical aspects, we must start at the roots of every successful email campaign – your email list.

This is a part of email marketing that is often disregarded. People think that just having a list of email addresses guarantees them an overnight email marketing success. That is 100% not true.

Every successful email marketing campaign starts with a good email list. Your email list must follow these simple criteria:

1. You have asked permission to send them emails

This is often seen as “just a legal issue”, but it’s actually the most important part of your email marketing campaigns. If people haven’t given you permission to send them emails, they will almost never open them. Sending emails to people who haven’t opted in will increase your spam score and because of that, almost no one will see your emails – even the people who might actually be interested in what you are offering.

2. You have made sure that they really want to receive your emails

Double opt-ins are a great way of filtering out low-quality leads. It might seem like a waste of perfectly fine email addresses, but it will drastically help you with your open rates and email engagements. In our experience, companies who use double opt-ins get way more value from their email lists, that the ones who use single opt-in lists.

3. You have made sure the email addresses in your list are not fake

A good strategy is to always validate your emails before sending them anything. This will drastically reduce your bounce rates and will help you with your spam score. Here at Primefunnel, we use Neverbounce to verify our email lists. They offer a really great service that can be used online via their web app or they can be integrated to your opt-in forms via their API, to validate your emails before they are even added to your list.

(Need help integrating Neverbounce with your opt-in form? Get in touch.)

4.  You don’t email people who have unsubscribed

If you keep emailing people who don’t want to receive your emails, they will stop opening them, get angry, and in some cases contact their local data protection authorities. And most importantly – they will definitely not buy anything you’re promoting in your emails. There is no reason to waste your email credits, increase your spam score and risk with getting gigantic fines (or even getting your business suspended) – just to have a bigger list.

5. You didn’t steal your list

If you downloaded your email list from a torrent website, or even worse – stole it, you don’t stand a chance of achieving high open rates or any actual business results.

Affordable email marketing tools

How much are you paying to use your personal Gmail account to send emails? Nothing. How much are you paying to use Mailchimp or other similar services? Around $0.15 per email. That is insane.

How is it possible that one email service provider can be so much more expensive that another one. Well, it’s because Mailchimp is overcharging you. Sending an email doesn’t actually cost $0.15, it doesn’t even cost a single cent. What you are actually paying for is customer support and a subjectively “pretty” user interface.

Thankfully the emergence of open source technologies, developed by the people, for the people, have made services like Mailchimp obsolete. Now you can have support from the community and a pretty user interface for free.

Here at Primefunnel we mainly use a combination of two services for email marketing.

We use Mautic – an open source CRM – to create and manage email campaigns. And Elastic Email’s API to actually deliver the emails.

Mautic and Elastic Email
How we use Mautic and Elastic Email.

What is Mautic?

Mautic is an open source CRM software that features abundant email and SMS marketing features. Using Mautic feels like having marketing superpowers. Our favourite features are:

  • Point system – give your users points for certain actions. For example: logging in, reading emails, buying your products, etc. Points help us keep track of our most valuable customers.
  • Customisability – you can create endless custom fields for your users. This is a must have, because every product and service is always unique and requires product specific custom fields.
    For example, one of our customers allows their clients to create multiple users with the same email. That would have caused issues with other CRMs, because the email is usually the unique identifier of a contact.
    Thankfully Mautic allows you to customize your unique identifier fields and we avoided any complicated situations.
  • Logic based campaigns – you can create really complex campaigns based on actions and conditions. For example, you could create a drip email sequence for new users. Or you could create automated up-selling campaigns based on pre-defined rules.
  • SMS delivery – you can use Mautic to even send SMS messages. This allows you to create sophisticated multi-channel marketing campaigns.
  • Price – Mautic is an open source software and is completely free. The only cost associated with Mautic is web hosting. But if you’re planning on doing email marketing then it’s almost certain that you already have web hosting.
    (If you don’t have web hosting, then we highly recommend HostGator)

There are many tutorials on YouTube showing how to use Mautic, so I won’t go too into details on this subject.

What is Elastic Email?

Elastic Email is an email sending service that allows you to compose and send out emails. We don’t use their email composer, because we compose our emails in Mautic. We use their API service to send out the emails that we have composed in Mautic.

Elastic Email gives you the best value for money when it comes to sending out emails.

Elastic Email vs Mailchimp

Elastic Email and Mailchimp are very similar feature-wise, but Elastic is way cheaper than Mailchimp. Let’s say we were to send 10,000 emails to our customers. What would be the price difference?

  • Mailchimp
    • Pay per use plan: 10,000 email credits – $200
  • Elastic Email
    • Pay as you go plan, Email API: 10,000 credits – $0.90

The difference is shocking! Now imagine if you were to send millions of emails per month..

How to get high open rates with Mautic?

Go through this checklist to get high open rates using Mautic and Elastic Email:

  • Keep a good text-to-image ratio – when composing messages, keep a good text-to-image ratio. The more text you have per image, the better.
  • Avoid using spam trigger words – I recommend you to look up a good list of spam trigger words, but here are some examples:
    • Act now
    • 100% free
    • Win
    • Not spam
    • Miracle
    • Cash
    • Amazing
    • Extra income
    • Deal
  • Verify your domains – make sure your domain is verified on Elastic Email before sending anything
  • Use a Private IP – having a clean and private IP is key to avoiding spam filters
  • Configure your “Envelope From” – ask Elastic Email to configure the “Envelope From” of your account. One of our clients was experiencing really low open rates, around 3-4%, even though they had a great double opt-in email list. When we started investigating the situation it turned out that they were using Elastic Email’s default “Envelope From” address. We asked it to be changed to the email address they were sending from and the open rates skyrocketed overnight to 40-50%.
  • Throttle your sending rate using Mautic – if you send emails to Elastic Email’s API, they will send them out as quickly as possible. It is extremely important that you throttle the sending rate to avoid being flagged as spam. You should be sending at a consistent rate and you should avoid any sending rate spikes.
  • Personalize your emails – use custom fields in your emails subject content. This is an almost guaranteed way to increase open rates.
  • Use emojis in your subject?
  • Always add Alt tags to your email images
  • Test your email before sending it out – at Primefunnel we use mail-tester.com. We avoid sending out any emails that have a lower score than 10/10.

Conclusion

It is possible to send millions of high open rate emails on a shoestring budget if you have a good email list and know what tools to use. I encourage you to try out the alternative email marketing solutions we went over in this article.

If you run into any trouble or would like your email marketing campaigns be managed by our experts, please get in touch. We are happy to give you a free consultation!