Here’s a snippet of my docker-compose.yml file .

Mautic is an open source marketing automation project with wide support. With it your marketing team can run various customer contact campaigns in various channels like email, social media or text, create landing pages and forms to increase engagement, and track it all through various dashboards and reports. I’m not going to review it here, there is lots of documentation on the main site or the “parent company and Mautic in the cloud provider” Mautic.com . Nice people, BTW. If you don’t want to hire me to build and maintain a Mautic install for you then you should probably look at their site.

My interest in Mautic started when I took on the project of a men’s rights newsletter earlier in the year. Not having much money to start it the standard commercial offerings like Mailchimp, Mailjet, SendGrid, Constant Contact might be tempting, but with any growth in the subscription list the cost quickly becomes substantial. we chose the open source Mailtrain.org mailing software. It isn’t bad by any means, but the documentation is iffy, the original author left the project a while ago, and though there does seem to be a core team working on getting a 2.0 out the door, our main interest is as users, not developers. So I started looking around for a replacement to our rickety Mailtrain install.

Originally I was thinking AWS Pinpoint. Which has all the features that you could ever want for a substantial newsletter. Except you would have to be substantial enough that you could employ a full time layout person who understands the bizarre and old variant of HTML used in the various email clients. That’s an article in and of itself. Which is to say, Pinpoint has no GUI editor. It expects HTML templates with mustache parameters embedded in it, something that the person doing layout for us was not about to start doing. Maybe someday our newsletter will be that big, but not today.

So the search continued for an email marketing tool the average marketer could use, which is to say one with a built in GUI HTML editor. I’m not sure why I missed Mautic in the first search. It certainly was there and the project was large enough. Perhaps I didn’t think to search for a ‘marketing automation project’ instead of ‘mailing software’ or ‘email marketing’ . In any event, it took installing Portainer, a web-based Docker management tool for me to start playing with Mautic. While my interest in Portainer has palled (more powerful, more secure, more better command line tools), my interest in Mautic is only growing.

Reading the docs on Docker Hub , I eventually managed to get Mautic running in Docker. The instructions were a little sparse and a little dated, judging by the version 1 docker-compose file . That didn’t work but the command line instructions did, once I found a fix to a login problem in the Github issue tracker. Apparently the MySQL and Percona Docker images have slightly different assumptions on startup. The Percona image starts fine but the MySQL image won’t allow root to log in from the internal network created when the application is brought up. Also, the command line example maps the standard port on the Percona DB to the Docker host and I didn’t see any reason to expose it like that. So I kludged together the compose file linked to above, which seems to work as expected.

Take a look and see if it works for you. If not let me know here or on Facebook .

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