It’s an exciting time for everyone involved with Mautic as we grow our community and develop our product to meet the evolving needs of the Marketer.
We have often been asked about our roadmap and before today there has never really been anything that we can point at and say ‘this is where Mautic is going’ other than vague blog posts and forum threads.
Today we are sharing the first iterations of our plans for the future which I first shared at Mautic Conference Europe 2021 in my keynote. It includes some great features that we have coming over the next year.
This process is new for us, and we do anticipate that there will be some tweaks made over the coming year, so please take this as our first rough outline of what we are hoping to achieve.
Some of these features will be community contributed, others may be contributed by an organization who has built or worked on it as a project for clients and are providing it back to the community.
If you prefer to view this in visual form, please head over to https://mau.tc/roadmap where you’ll be able to view an interactive graphic.
Back in 2021 we shared that we plan to have a theme for each minor release cycle, to help us with prioritizing specific areas of Mautic to improve.
Without further ado, here are the themes we are focusing on for the upcoming releases:
If you have any questions about the release themes, please first read this post on the blog which explains how they work.
Below are some of the features we are expecting to be releasing, and a rough timeline for when it is expected that they will come to the community for testing and review:
Improvements to the install/upgrade process
One of the main recurring problems we see in the forums are related to the installation and upgrade of Mautic.
With this Strategic Initiative we have introduced several new checks to prevent users from installing and upgrading Mautic where the environment does not support it due to outdated PHP or MySQL versions. This will be further developed to add extra checks, such as ensuring that the file and folder permissions are correct, and to ensure that the correct PHP modules are enabled.
In addition to this, we will be formally deprecating the ability to update Mautic in the user interface in Mautic 4.2 and removing it completely in Mautic 5. Users will still be alerted to new versions if their instance is out of date, and will be given clear instructions on how to apply the update.
We are also considering implementing automated updates for bug fix releases in the future, but this will require some community consultation and would not be considered for implementation until Mautic 5 at the earliest.
Read more about this in the dedicated blog post.
Fully functional Mautic Marketplace
With the 4.2 release of Mautic, we are implementing the ability to install, remove and search for plugins and integrations from within your Mautic instance. Currently there is a read-only preview available, but the work is almost complete to deliver the next phase of this project.
To start, we will be offering a list of plugins which the core team have reviewed and approved. Read more about this in the dedicated blog post.
Improvements to the Preference Center
Since GDPR has been introduced, the preference center is an important matter for marketers to ensure compliance and provide a helpful experience for their customers.
The current preference center presents a few limitations:
- The configuration of slots, and setting up the preference center in general, can be confusing,
- An "unsubscribe from all" button (which is required by GDPR) is not available by default,
- There is no setting to make a default Preference Center which can be used as a fall-back in case one is not specified in the emails themselves,
- Using segments to handle subscriptions can be confusing, and in some other marketing automation tools the segments themselves are physically separated from the lists to which a user subscribes, which could be a better user experience for the marketer, and the end-user.
Webmecanik has been working on some of these challenges, and have contributed a solution which will address the first three points (see the ready to test Pull Request).
- Redesign of the preference center settings. Specifically, splitting the configuration into two modes: with or without a Preference Center enabled. This makes it very clear to the marketer whether they are using a Preference Center or a direct unsubscribe user experience, and also shows only the relevant options.
- When a Preference Center is enabled, a new slot has been added to provide an “unsubscribe all one-click action” and a configuration to customize the text of this one-click link.
- The Channel and Frequency slots have been separated into two distinct configurations, enabling the marketer to show one or the other, or both, as they prefer
- Add the option to provide a title for channel and frequency slots
Transactional/Operational Email improvements
There has been a lot of feedback from marketers using Mautic regarding the lack of separation between how operational messages must be delivered to the customer regardless of whether they have opted out, and other communications such as newsletters and marketing messages which must respect the opt-out preferences.
According to best practice, emails which are sent on an individual basis to a single person and not in bulk (such as order confirmation emails, password reset requests and 121 personal communications), should be treated differently to those which are sent in bulk, but Mautic does not provide any way to do this.
During the second half of 2022, Acquia will be working on this, and contributing this back to the community.
Read more in the project brief here.
A/B testing improvements
There are several features missing from our current A/B testing functionality, including being able to automate the post-test actions based on the winner of the test.
This has been blocked by a lot of the pull requests in our backlog, which we are diligently working through to enable Acquia to contribute several exciting new enhancements to this much-used feature.
This is expected at the end of Q2.
A/B testing in campaigns
Another much-requested feature is to be able to run A/B tests within campaigns, allowing the marketer to test which routes are the most beneficial and then take that route.
This is something which is being worked on toward the end of 2022 at Acquia and will be shared with the community soon thereafter.
Multi-table management (Custom Objects plugin)
Acquia is in the process of releasing their Custom Objects plugin under an open source license, which will be available at the end of Q1 2022 as a standalone third-party plugin.
This allows users to create more many-to-many relational data tables to associate more items, such as products, orders or transactions, households, and more, with either a single contact or multiple contacts.
For example, one family can have multiple cars from multiple manufacturers or with different models. This elaborates a 1:many relationship between the custom object (car) and the custom items (BMW, Porsche, etc).
You can read more about the plugin here: https://docs.acquia.com/campaign-studio/settings/custom-objects/
ReCAPTCHA v3 plugin for forms and email clicks
The marketer using marketing automation software often faces two major challenges:
- Email statistics are becoming less precise, especially due to new policies from key technology providers (Apple privacy, anti spam software in companies, etc.)
- Spam/bots taking action on forms and in emails which also distort the marketer analysis
Stating this, we wanted to find a way to reduce the spam and bot influence in order to lower its impact on forms and email (and tracked links in general) statistics.
Already there has been a lot of great work done by Konstantin in this third party plugin: https://github.com/KonstantinCodes/mautic-recaptcha to add the Google reCAPTCHA v2 technology on Mautic forms.
On October 29th, 2018, Google introduced the new version of Google reCAPTCHA (v3). This new version brings two important updates:
- Can be used to catch bots on links
- Needs less user interaction (no need to click on bikes or buses in a little box) and more magic
Webmecanik has been working on the maintenance of this third party plugin for a long time and introduced support for the v3 features. They are taking on the ongoing maintenance of the plugin, which will also be open to community PRs.
Text messages enhancements
SMS is an important part of multi-channel communication, with 3.8 billion people owning a smartphone in 2021 and 75% of customers wanting to receive offers via SMS.1
The clickthrough rate for offer messages can be nearly 10% higher compared with other channels, and it is reported that the opening rate for SMS messages can be as high as 98%, with 60% of Americans redeeming coupons via mobile phones.
It’s definitely a channel you can’t afford to overlook!
In Mautic, Webmecanik has been focusing on revitalizing this channel by bringing several enhancements, including:
- Adding a character count (released in 4.1.0) knowing that the marketer pays for the SMS depending on the amount of characters,
- Add more stats to text messages (ready to test) by bringing delivery and bounce information,
- Send SMS with custom content, similar to the “send email” action from a contact profile for a quickly sent SMS,
- Add support for tokens for SMS message (ready to test) to help the marketer to introduce personalized information into SMS messages.
Improved reporting and analytics
Another area of Mautic where we have a lot of feedback from Marketers is the reporting and analytics.
While the current system is quite powerful, it often does not deliver the experience that the marketer expects, and can be confusing to work with.
At the end of 2022 and into 2023, we want to take a look at the options available to us for improving this experience for the marketer. We will be forming a working group to focus on this area, and would welcome interest from companies and individuals who would like to get involved with this project.
Project and archive system for organizing Mautic resources
This project got underway in 2021, and we have a full walkthrough of the user experience for organizing resources into projects which I featured in my keynote presentation at Mautic Conference Europe 2021.
We now need to build a team of developers to work on implementing the features of this project, which will be extremely helpful for the marketers who use Mautic on a daily basis.
If you’re interested in getting involved with this project, please join us in #i-resource-management on Slack. We’re hoping that we will be able to deliver this project in 2022, but it may roll into 2023 depending on availability of developers to work on it.
New Strategic Initiatives
At Mautic Conference Europe I also shared a new initiative which we will be working on this year, called the Campaign Library initiative. This initiative will bring the power of exporting campaigns and associated resources to Mautic, and will involve building a library within Mautic where users can view and use pre-built campaigns provided by the community or by their hosting provider.
This is one of the oldest requests in our ideas forum, and one of the most useful features we could implement for marketers who are new to Mautic, enabling them to get a head-start on using best practices for the most common campaigns that we use.
This year we will be scoping this project and breaking it down into smaller deliverable chunks which we can work on. It’s likely that this project will reach into 2023, as it’s quite a significant undertaking, but one which I am sure you will agree, would bring an immense amount of value to the Mautic project.
If you would like to contribute to this initiative, please join #i-campaign-library on Slack.
One of the clearest outcomes from the Community Survey we ran last summer was that we need to raise awareness of Mautic both within open source circles and within the wider marketing industry.
This will help to drive interest in Mautic and the SaaS offerings that many of our partners provide, but also will help us to attract more interest from contributors and drive growth in our ecosystem.
Furthermore, with Mautic becoming more widely known and used, this will also help to drive more traction in the talent market as Mautic becomes a tool that both marketers and developers can see is valuable to work with.
Over the coming year we will be working on several projects under this initiative, some of which are already underway, including creating a pitch deck which we started during the Community Sprint at Mautic Conference Europe.
If you would like to contribute to this initiative, please join #t-marketing and #i-promote-mautic on Slack.
Year of the Contributor
Another very clear point raised in the Community Survey was that people don’t know how to contribute to Mautic, or they don’t feel that their skills can be of use in the community. This is something that we’re going to really be focusing on improving over the coming year, with this initiative focusing on improving the contributor experience.
While we’ve already made some huge steps in improving the contributor experience with our updated Community Handbook onboarding documentation and implementing new features including Gitpod support, which allows one-click installs of Mautic to test new bug fixes and features, there’s a lot more that we can do.
This initiative is going to tackle bringing more contributors into Mautic, improving the experience of contributors as they join our community, and also ensuring that we are retaining our contributors in the longer term.
If you would like to help with this initiative please join #i-yotc on Slack.
We hope that this is a helpful idea of the features we have coming over the next year. As outlined in the opening paragraphs, this is our first time creating such a roadmap and we fully expect there to be some tweaking as we move forward.