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  1. To follow up with this post, my testing of Mautic revealed a limitation when adding new emails to a programmed sequence. Specifically, subscribers in the middle of the sequence do not get new emails added to that sequence. Since this is something I do quite often, I took a couple of days to test out one of the other options — MailWizz. This is a piece of software I had purchased a year ago (based on the feature set), installed on my server, found a couple of problems that I was unwilling to accept, and went back to using arpReach.

    MailWizz is one of the better self-hosted mailing list managers, and a lot of marketers are using it. The developer is still actively adding new features and fixing bugs as they are found, and is active in the forums answering questions about how to do various things with the software. Being only $54 at the time of this writing, this is an excellent deal for many folks.

    There are a couple of significant problems with MailWizz, however. First, there’s practically NO documentation. A very brief user manual that addresses only the most significant features, and a handful of YouTube videos that were created last June.

    Another problem, at least for me, is that MailWizz does not list pre-programmed emails (autoresponders) in the order they will go out. For example, it lists emails scheduled to go out in 2 weeks before emails scheduled to go out in 5 days. This was the problem that caused me to go back to arpReach a year ago.

    The biggest problem though, is that in my testing, there were several emails added to the system which never went out at all. According to the developer, this would only happen if certain server settings (cron jobs) were set up incorrectly. This was not the case for me, as I could see that the cron jobs were running exactly as they should.

    So, in the end, MailWizz looks good, but doesn’t always work as it should. So I went back to Mautic and started looking for a way around the situation of adding new emails to a programmed sequence. At least this software WORKS.

    It didn’t take very long to find that this problem has been dealt with by others, and a workaround has been found. Just add a “decision point” at the end of the sequence, which will be true for everyone reaching the end, and have the result of that decision send out the next sequence of emails.

    On the surface, this seems to add unnecessary complexity to an email campaign, but there are some advantages of doing so.

    Mautic, as many high-level email managers, schedules emails all at once rather than checking every single time if there are emails that need to go out. The advantage of this is that the system runs faster, uses fewer server resources, and is more robust. This is why new emails added to a sequence aren’t added to pre-existing subscribers mailing schedule.

    The advantage of breaking up an email sequence into segments is that the database holding the mailing schedule can be kept smaller, and there’s less work for the system to do if anyone unsubscribes, since there are fewer emails in the schedule that need to be removed.

    For marketers who like to program a year or more of emails, this will take a little rethinking to set up shorter campaigns which feed into each other. For example, set up a week’s worth of emails for a brief introduction, then feed that into a longer 2-week series of emails for a more in-depth introduction, and feed that into a month-long sequence to deepen the relationship with your subscribers. From there, you can move subscribers to various week-long and month-long sequences to promote various products.

    And keep in mind that you can always send out broadcasts to everyone to announce a special event or launch a new product.

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