Mautic Community Forums

Best practices for Stages

I’m testing Mautic for use at my company, and so far it’s been a very impressive experience. I am trying to wrap my head around stages, however. Specifically, I’m trying to understand the best way to use stages with multiple sales funnels.

Unless I am misunderstanding, it is possible for contacts to have only one stage at any given time. If this is true, what is the best way to track incremental progress like stages do across multiple funnels?

Hi Peter,
stages / points etc. are all good when there is only one funnel.

If you have several funnels in one mautic instance… you would probably need to work through different campaigns with your own structure. Progress people through compaigns that follow each other. Nurturing - like giving points for activity - are still centered around a contacts activity. You can’t differentiate whether the same contact is actively engaging around funnel A or B.

Then you would probably need to set up different domains / systems etc. but then you loose the complete view on one person…

A typical B2B CRM system is 3 legged: one or more people -> one company -> one or more lead(s). But Marketing Automation with Mautic is a connection: one contact - one lead.

Thanks @dirk_s, that’s very helpful. My initial instinct had been that points would be global and stages would be campaign/category based, but I see that’s not how it works. I’ll have to think about how we might accomplish multiple funnels.

wondering what is your next ?

using mautic separately or using category in stage ?

Hi,
I’m using stages in a webshop environment.
The structure is the following:

  1. Cold leads
    Anyone who comes to the website, and none of the below.

  2. Has purchased something
    Once someone buys something we have a trustful relationship, since I shipped something to this person. They know we really exist. I can also build the buyer persona based on the shopping.

  3. Loyal Customer
    This is when the spending is above a certain level per 90 days. I’m more likely to advertise these customers the more expensive products.

  4. Reactivate 1
    Has not been to the website for 90 days, but used to purchase
    I send great offers to these customers, maybe coupons to come back and purchase.

  5. Reactivate 2
    Has not been to the website for 90 days, and never purchased anything.
    I sent newsletters rarely to this person, but when I do I make sure it’s text only, short and clickbait like.

+1
0. Unknown: anyone with no email.
I show focus items for them with agressive freebies to get their email.

I could do this with tags or custom fields as well, why don’t I do it?
Because it’s easier to establish the customer journey dimension this way. I have custom fields for other uses and tags for shopping persona.

Hi,

I think it´s a good idea to first define the customer journey (the version best fit to your business) and then make a stage for each step on this journey. Something similar joeyk mentioned, but the customer journey of your marketing concept.

Another variant can be people they are

unknown -> you got the email address -> you got the first (cheap sale) -> you got average pricing sales from -> has a specifica amount of sales as customer …

Depending with whom you are in contact they sometimes use different names for these stages, that´s why dont use stage names - use the ones you best fit for you.

good luck.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Our situation is that we have a few very different product categories, all with long, complex sales cycles. We run campaigns for each line seasonally, and many of our customers will engage with us about the same offering over the course of several different campaigns. We’d like to track this progress, which is exactly what stages are there to do.

The trouble is that a customer might be very late in the funnel for one product category but completely new in another. Any thoughts on how to best structure something like that?

Don’t use stages but segments or tags.

Stages are not meant for more than one product.

Hi, interesting discussion, as I am also trying to understand the added value of Stages over segments and tags.

For example, @joeyk example, @joeyk your funnel makes a lot of sense, but I am wondering how do you move your contact from one stage to another. You still need to have segments reflecting the stages, and trigger campaigns to move a contact from one stage to another, right? or am I missing something?

thanks!

Hi!
Good question.
I use campaigns to move people between stages. Couple of examples:

  1. ‘Cold lead’ to ‘Has purchased’
    Segment: if someone is in Stage Cold lead AND Last Purchase Date is not empty
    Campaign step: Change contact stage

  2. from ‘Any Stage’ to ‘Reactivate’
    Segment: if Date Last Active is smaller than -30 days
    Campaign step: Change contact stage

You can also separate like this:

  1. Pre webinar
  2. Post webinar

When someone subscribes to a webinar, they get a webinar date filled out.

You can me 2 segments:
If the webinar date is larger than 1 day, than it’s is pre-webinar.
If the webinar date is higher than 1 day, than it’s post-webinar.

And 2 campaign:
If someone qualifies for pre-webinar segment, you change the stage to: pre-webinar
If someone qualifies for post-webinar segment, you change the stage again.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Good luck,
J

Thanks a lot for your time!
yes it’s very clear how to move people between stages, but I’m still wondering the use of Stages themselves since we do need segments and campaigns to move people. Is it purely for reporting and visualization purposes?
And tbh honest I have the same thoughts about tags and segments (but that might be another topic)
Cheers,
Pierre

Hello Pierre,
It really depends on your business and on how deep you want to integrate.
There is no right or wrong.

I have a theory (and might be yelled at about this, but…)

It is easy to segment people based on tags when:

  • you assign tags based on information collected during contact visit
  • you assign tags based information that is relevant to larger groups (you import a whole list with the same tag)
  • you assign tag based on purchases (with woo integration for example)
  • you assign tag based on email click behavior

It is easy to segment based on custom fields when:

  • you well maintained lists with bunch of custom fileds, that are typical for your business
  • you get leads from your forms (and they fill out the fields)
  • you change custom field values based on their activity

Tags vs custom fileds:

Tags:
You can add unlimited tags without losing the overview
More flexible format

Custom fileds:
You can show dynamic content based on their value
Rigid format connected to data type

Stages:
Clear expression of the contact’s place in the sales process.
Helps you to organize your business from the marketing manager’s prospective.
Integrations can easily work with Stages

The last one means:
Many marketers use Mautic as the ‘mud room’ = upload the cold list into Mautic / direct leads to mautic, and let use automatic nurturing sequences to qualify leads. Once someone is qualified, you push the contact into the integration (eg Pipedrive). Pipedrive (and many other CRMs) can easily sync with your stages and give feeedback on stage changes without effort. So if someone is evaluated by Pipedrive as ‘lost deal’, you can push this info back and start the appropriate campaign.
Could be done with custom fields or tags as well? Certainly. But it helps you with an overview :slight_smile:

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Hi,
thanks a lot for your overview! That makes it much more clear, confirming some things I thought.
I’m running a contract-based service, will use Mautic first mostly for lead to conversion campaigns, our custom fields are well defined and changing through time, so using Segments will make sense most of the time I think. I’d use Stage for the overall funnel.

Last rookie question, to be sure I’m not confused: Segments are dynamically updated based on filters. But does it update the running campaigns as well in the same time?
example: campaign A is based on Segment A, a contact is part of this campaign A, but in the middle of the sequence, do an independent action on the website hence does not belong to Segment A anymore but Segment B.
Question: will the contact be automatically kicked-out of the campaignA in the middle of it, i.e will stop receiving the rest of the emails? Or do I have to use condition to check if it still belongs to the segment at every step of a campaign?

Yes.

Think of it this way:
A campaign is run for contacts, that qualify to be a member of a segment. Once the qualification is gone, the person won’t be a member of the segment anymore, and the campaign will not run for this person.

Joey

Makes perfect sense;)
Thanks Joey!

Hi everyone, thanks for the interesting discussion, especially to @joeyk for all your clear explanations.

We ended up finding a way to divide up tags, segments, and stages that works for us.

  • Segments represent different positions within our marketing pipeline: new leads for a particular product; first-time buyers potentially open to a second product line; etc. These are active statuses, used directly to determine how customers will be contacted in each outreach.
  • Tags represent discrete events in a customer’s relationship with the brand: bought product A; attended workshop B; etc. We don’t tend to use tags actively in campaigns, but we often use them help build new segments when, for example, introducing a new product line.
  • Stages represent overall familiarity with brand: no experience of company; some history; loyal customer; etc. We use this primarily to customize content within campaigns. For example, recipients in an earlier stage might get more “big picture” information introducing our company, whereas recipients in later stages might get shorter and more targeted info that focuses on products. This is similar to what @joeyk describes above, though we treat this as strictly one-way in a positive direction; we handle reactivation through tags instead.
  • Customer fields are used only narrowly, for things like linking mautic records to UUIDs in our CRM. We are contemplating using this for other characteristics, as well, such as total spending or date of last engagement.

We’re still trying to figure out how to conceptualize points, exactly. Right now, we’re using points to represent level of engagement with automated marketing: clicks; downloads; page vistits; etc. We haven’t really done much with this yet, but as our lists grow it might be interesting to see how this might work. It would be interesting, for example, to target customers with high points but low stage: those are folks who are engaging with marketing extensively but haven’t yet made purchases. A late stage customer with low points, conversely, might be responding better to non-automated marketing.

In short, multiple stage hierarchies is still on my wishlist, but there are other ways to accomplish the same thing. Mautic’s flexibility means taking some time to figure out how exactly to approach things, but the possibilities are endless.

Thanks for the ideas everyone! -Peter

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