Adding new emails to an existing campaign is something that comes up a lot in the Mautic forums. You would be forgiven for thinking that you can just add emails to a campaign and they’ll go out as you intend, but Mautic campaigns don’t work quite like that.
Adding new emails to an existing campaign
A common scenario is where you have a campaign that sends emails to your contacts. Maybe you’ve created a chain of three emails that will go out and now want to add a new fourth. You create the new email, add it as a campaign action and publish the campaign.
You might expect that the new email will go out to all the contacts already in that campaign, along with any new contacts that get added. In reality, what happens is that the email goes out to new contacts that get added but the existing contacts don’t get it.
How Mautic campaigns work
The reason is simple, even though it isn’t obvious. When you add a contact to a campaign, Mautic queues up all the campaign actions immediately. What is in place when they are added to the campaign is the way it will play out. If you make changes, they will only affect new contacts being added to the campaign after the changes. Here’s an example:
John Doe gets added to a segment called “New Users”. You have a campaign, “Welcome Emails”, where members of the “New Users” segment get sent three emails, one when they are added to the segment, one three days later, and a third email three days after the second. As soon as the campaign runs, Mautic says ‘I’m sending John Doe the first email now, the second in three days, and the third in eight days. That’s all I need to do.’ In effect, it then removes John Doe from the campaign.
If you add a fourth email, John Doe won’t receive it because Mautic has already decided what it will do with John Doe and has effectively ‘removed’ him from the campaign.
There is a workaround that will allow you to add new emails to an existing campaign, but it needs to be in place before the campaign ever runs.
Adding new emails – a workaround
One way around this is to build an action into the campaign that adds contacts who have completed the campaign to a new segment. You can then use that segment in a new campaign if you decide to add a fourth email to the chain. It’s a little unwieldy but it works.
To use our example above, Mautic now says ‘I’m sending John Doe the first email now, the second in three days, the third in eight days, and adding him to a segment called ‘Completed Welcome Emails’.
Keeping in mind that Mautic stacks up all the campaign actions against a contact at the time they are added to a campaign, you need to have this in place before you run the campaign. Otherwise, you’ll be in the same position – new contacts will be added but the existing ones won’t.
Now, when you want to add extra emails to a campaign, you create a new campaign with the extra emails and use the segment of contacts who completed the first campaign.