Want an e-blast to generate more prospects for your sales team? Whether you are planning to send emails to active clients or dormant contacts that need to be reactivated, it’s important to configure proper Mautic emails settings to ensure prompt delivery.
A functional email gateway with little or no email bounces and a clean domain reputation are mission critical tools for your business.
How to fire Mautic emails?
One of our clients asked why his Mautic emails were stuck in pending status even though they were marked as published. He was expecting the marketing emails to fire within an hour after published. There are three plausible scenarios why Mautic emails stay unfired.
- User chose the “Segment email” option instead of “Template email” in the builder, and they omitted to schedule the segment email with an exact sending date and time in the calendar. User was under the impression that by publishing the email, Mautic will automatically fire the email within an hour or two.
- Cron jobs were not configured to fire emails at this time or missing certain processor daemon settings. User needs to contact sysadmin or in-house IT support to diagnose the issue. It’s possible that the Mautic server needs a wipe. Users are advised to backup data in the Mautic server before the reset happens.
- User chose “Template email” and populated the logic in Mautic campaign, but the conditions in the program was never fulfilled. Thus, none of the contacts were qualified and placed in the campaign to receive emails. In this case, user should redefine the logic in order for Mautic AI to detect and qualify candidate contacts into the email marketing campaign.
It’s recommended that you have a thorough understanding on how email are processed and fired in Mautic before setting up a live campaign or one-off eblast in production. Based on the three scenarios above, there is a higher likelihood of a non-technical marketers to run into email deliverability issues than professional Martech individuals. This is why we suggest novice users to go through this article to gain a comprehensive understanding in how Mautic server fires emails.
Demystifying Mautic’s email triggers and action processes
Before we talk about email settings specific to the Mautic server, we should know how an email server works. While most users take for granted that emails are sent and received in a matter of minutes, without the facility of mail servers, users can only send and receive emails with people whose email address domain matches your own. For example, given that your email address is [email protected], you can only receive emails from other users with the same domain name, mailbox.com.
Mail servers have two main categories: 1) Outgoing mail servers. 2) Incoming mail servers
- The outgoing mail servers are known as SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).
- The incoming mail servers comes in two variants: POP3 (Post Office Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) that store copies of messages on mail servers.The POP3 also stores received and sent messages on your local computer’s hard drives.
Here’s how the basic action in email sending works:
- Your email client connects to an SMTP server which is a server that can be named “smtp.example.com” or can be pointed to any other domain name.
- After you hit the “Send” button, the email client communicates to the SMTP server your email address, the recipient email, message body, and any attachments.
- The SMTP server checks if the domain name matches with the sender’s domain name. If it is identical, the message is routed direct through the domain’s POP3 or IMAP server. If the domain name is non-identical, then the SMTP server will communicate with another domain server.
- To discover the recipient’s server, the sending SMTP server replays information such as recipient’s domain name to the DNS (Domain Name Server). The DNS will translate the receiving domain name into an IP address, which is a unique identification number assigned to devices connected to the Internet.
- After the sending SMTP server obtained the IP address, a connection can be established with the receiving SMTP server. However, this is not a direct connection, the email has to route through other unrelated SMTP servers until it arrives at the designated receiving SMTP server.
- The receiving SMTP server detects a domain and the username and forwards the incoming email to the POP3 or IMAP server. The server places a sendmail queue until the receiving email client makes the email downloadable. At this point, the email can be read by the recipient.
Mautic email sequence in action
Likewise, transacting emails work the same in any Mautic server. In this case, it requires extra steps to communicate among the Mautic server, the email gateway, and the recipients’ email clients. Your Mautic server contains information about your domain name, IP address and the recipients’ email addresses. To initiate a send email request and action triggers, the sending email gateway obtains a list of recipients’ email addresses from the Mautic server. Once you initiated a “Send” request, the Mautic server will scan and feed the list of email contacts into the Mautic campaign. Similar to an import process, the Mautic campaign will take in the emails in bulk. Depending on the processing speed of a database server, an email list as large as 100 – 150k+ will take an hour or more to complete placing all contacts into the Mautic campaign.
Once all the contact records have entered the Mautic campaign, the recipients’ emails will be fed into the logic flow and shown as pending to send emails. Once they have passed the pending stage, Mautic will proceed with a “send” action complete. Any action that is recognized by the automation will display as an action complete. The green status can be confusing. Because you may have scheduled emails to be sent in the future, but Mautic still displays a “send” indicator to the history log. Don’t be alarmed that Mautic grants the yellow “send” status for all emails in any launched campaigns and eblasts. The “Pending” status in grey means the cron job for queuing the contacts into the email sending action has not been completed. The action complete status is a indicator that all emails are scheduled to send in sequence. The publish date does not affect when your emails fire. Any pending emails for the next several days will be sent according to the scheduled date or the campaign sequences (ie: every four days).
Mautic email notifications
Email sent notifications are not delivered to the internal user, instead emails sent are recorded in an activity log in Mautic email history. You can also trace back all Mautic email transactions in each individual contact’s activity log. This can help determine if there are certain contacts with issues receiving campaign emails; or overall your campaign was unable to fire emails after the request has been triggered. Here’s one example of a contact receiving all emails from a Mautic campaign.
Here’s an example where your Mautic email campaigns may require fixing:
The “Bulletin Notice #1” and “Bulletin Notice #2” e-blasts are stuck in pending status. One of the possible reasons is because emails were not publish up before the start of the campaign.
Another possible explanation is a Mautic user created a segment email instead of a campaign email. The Mautic program is designed to protect users from inadvertently firing emails right away after an email has been published. In order to make this protection mechanism work, the developers created two distinct email types: segment email and template email.
i. Segment email (for sending to existing contacts; limited to contact segments specified at the time when the segment email was first created)
ii. Template email (campaign email that can be cloned for multiple campaigns, and sent to different contact lists in different campaigns)
To trigger the email sending, Mautic users have to publish both the email and campaign in order to trigger Mautic server to initiate the “Send” action and communicate with the email gateway to deliver emails to the intended audience.
Segment emails has an extra layer of protection that prevents users from sending emails. If you built a segment email, it’s mandatory to schedule an exact date and time for the email to be sent.
Template emails only requires users to publish both the emails and the email campaign to trigger the “Send” action from your Mautic server to the recipients’ email clients.
Difference between a segment email and campaign email
A segment email can only be used once for the segment contacts added in the contact list. Segment emails are useful for e-blast and one-time announcements to your target audience.
A campaign email can be sent multiple times in one or more initiatives. Campaign emails can be reused in multiple campaigns.
To re-purpose or reuse an email, it’s possible to clone your design content from a segment email and convert it into a campaign email.
Understand marketing email vs. transactional email settings
At a campaign level, Mautic enables users to fine-tune email settings for the benefit of enhancing campaign performance. Users can create two categories of campaign emails:
i. Marketing Email can only be delivered once to a contact even if it was sent from a different campaign. You can adjust
ii. Transactional Email can be delivered to multiple times across different campaigns.
If your email fails to deliver, Mautic allows reattempt sending up to three times or based on maximum number of times you’ve specified.
Mautic Drip Email Campaign vs Mautic e-Blast Initiative
Drip Email campaign focuses on sending weekly or monthly emails to educate your contacts. Usually marketers choose template email (also known as campaign email) to build an email sequence in the Drip Campaign.
E-blast is designed for one-off bulk sending to a large contact list. It can be an initiative geared towards conference attendees, subscribers who submitted a form or users who signed up for training. Segment emails are the most suited for E-blasts. If you don’t want your contacts miss out on your emails, be sure to read up on our next article, “Keep Your Email Deliverability in Check.”
How to plan ahead for your segment email initiative?
In a segment email, we should specify publish-at date/time in the email asset to fire the email. Otherwise, contacts are stuck in pending and your email will not be sent. It’s also a good practice to set up a “Unpublish At” date, otherwise any contacts added to this segment at any time in the future will also receive this email.
One of our clients have experienced an issue with his Mautic campaign, with 3 emails pending out of 2000 emails. The three emails were halted in pending status, because there were new contacts were added to the associated segments after the “Unpublish Date” elapsed for that email. We suggested him to manually send emails to the new contacts who’ve now been qualified for that email (by virtue of being in that particular contact segment list) by clicking the “Send” button in the email builder page. The manual sent feature in Mautic allowed him to reach his contacts despite the minor hiccup in email delivery in that campaign. So this was a good solution that remedied the situation.
Advice regarding the “Unpublish” feature in Mautic
Here’s a word of advice marketers should take heed when they are sending segment emails. If you wanted any future contacts added to this segment to receive the email automatically, then simply remove the Unpublish Date. You need to know if it’s ok for your contacts to receive your email communications more than once. To be on the safe side, we suggest you to assign an unpublish date for your email campaign, because you don’t want a contact who’s newly added to a segment to receive too many emails all at once.