Autopilot Review: a more visual way to create automated customer journeys

UPDATED 10 FEBRUARY 2019

Stuart Goulden

@StuGoulden

Autopilot is a marketing automation tool that allows you to communicate with more leads in more contextual and personal ways. It has a range of easy-to-use features, including a visual journey builder, templates and integrations, that put automated lead handling and conversion within the reach of all marketers.

  • Rating 8/10
  • Price $1+
FREE TRIAL
Autopilot journey canvas - marketing automation software
  • LOVED
  • Low-cost pricing. Ready-made templates.
  • Automation possibilities. Integration pipeline.
  • LOATHED
  • Visual builder UI. Onboarding process.

What is Autopilot?

Autopilot is marketing automation software that lets you automate customer journeys across multiple touchpoints. The end result being a speedy and effective means of connecting with new customers at scale yet in a manner that still feels personal.

Its main USP is that it demystifies the conversion process by making it visual and within the reach of any marketer. By installing a short piece of code, Autopilot tracks all anonymous and known visitor activity on your website. It works in a similar way to HubSpot or Marketo, turning form submissions, live chat conversations, and more into new contacts in Autopilot and creating personalised messaging based on the pages they’ve visited or actions they’ve taken.

Doing this manually would be completely unmanageable at scale. Autopilot’s marketing automation helps you get closer to leads and saves you time by taking care of repetitive tasks, such as educating new subscribers, assigning leads and booking appointments.


Autopilot features.

Leads

No more leaky funnels. Autopilot captures new leads from your website, app or blog and then turns its attention to converting them with personalised, automated engagements. Leads can be scored according to their status and potential to convert or favourited with a simple drag-and-drop movement.

Journeys

Autopilot journeys are made up of a combination of Triggers, Actions & Conditions. Triggers (e.g. submitting a form, downloading content) start the journey. Actions initiate a response (e.g. add to a list, send an email). Conditions check that a user meets certain criteria. Autopilot’s USP is that it makes custom journey creation a breeze.

Templates library

Autopilot’s impressive template library enables you to adopt tried-and-tested journeys to get your automation adventure off to a good start. The ever-expanding list of templates includes: Sending gated content; Follow-up new leads from Typeform; 30-day trial nurture; Reach out to hot-leads who visit a pricing page; and trigger personalised multi-channel communications.

Proactive Headsup

Autopilot’s version of Intercom’s Business Messenger. The pop-up live chat is displayed to anonymous visitors or when pre-defined actions are taken for known visitors. They can be shown on all or specific pages, and feature one of three types of message: 1) Email captures, 2) Call to Actions, 3) To spark a conversation. Mobile is optional.

Annotate & Collaborate

Teamwork has become a hell of a lot easier with the ability to add notes and invite input from others. Give context to every journey by dragging and dropping text, images, stickers and emoji onto the canvas. You can also undo changes and see a journey’s version history.

Onboarding

Enter a few details and you’re away – that’s Autopilot’s promise. Given the option of attending a few webinars or flying solo. The webinars are weekly and not kind on UK time – falling at 1am in the morning. Live chat is also on hand if you need help. Once you’ve installed the tracking code you’re good to go.

Dashboard

Your Autopilot dashboard is split in two. On the left is your active funnel, with the number of people entering and taking each journey. On the right a timeline of individual activities. The interactive reports prioritise actionable insights over endless data, meaning you can quickly see what’s driving conversions, trending journeys and the messages that are making the biggest impact.

Integrations

Autopilot connects with an impressive range of tools. For example, automatically add Trello cards or Slack messages as follow-up reminders. Send NPS surveys when you want feedback and referrals. Automatically update Recurly subscriptions in Autopilot. Schedule a new sales outreach activity in Pipedrive. And so on.

Reports

Review, refine and optimise your journeys. Autopilot reporting covers email delivery (attempted, bounced, delivered etc) and performance (opens, clicks, replies, unsubscribes etc). You can refine the metrics by specific Journeys and / or emails in a single click. Exporting the data and reports is easy too.

A/B Testing

Continuously improve what you do by testing two version of everything that goes out. Autopilot will detect the winning email and roll it out to the remainder of your contacts.


Things to consider.

Diverse use cases

Autopilot’s marketing understandably leads with its digital lead capture, however its offline possibilities get lost as a result. With integrations, it is able to turn ambient media or trade shows into powerful lead generation activities, allowing you to capture new leads with SMS.  Then, based on their level of engagement with your follow-up email, you can nudge them to book a call with your sales team.

UI niggles

The backend of Autopilot is either too bare or too complicated – there’s rarely a middle ground. Some people will also find the initial setup overwhelming. There’s a lot going on and the journey canvas isn’t responsive, meaning you have to scroll endlessly. We found installing the header code on every page to be more problematic than it should be due to a 30-min or so delay in Autopilot picking it up. There’s some easy wins for Autopilot here if they want to make things easier for users and convert trials into paid customers.

Integration limitations

Common bugbears include a lack of integrations with popular services such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, Close.io and Insightly. We understand these are all on the way, but already connected services can have their limitations too. For example, Autopilot has blind spots when it comes to syncing detailed company-level information and all-important deals in Pipedrive.

Social retargeting

I have a love/hate relationship with retargeting. However, I can’t deny it works. Autopilot allows you to easily create Facebook retargeting campaigns and follow-up with the leads it generates faster than you could manually. Use the drag-and-drop canvas to add and remove contacts from your Facebook audience. After a lead has initiated a trigger set them on your chosen journey and automatically close the deal.


Autopilot pricing.

0-500 contacts

30 day trial then
$1per month
  • All features

501-1000 contacts

30 day trial then
$25per month
  • All features

1001+ contacts

30 day trial then
$27+per month
  • All features

Extras include: Premium Service / Onboarding Support / Salesforce Integration / Activity Streams / Dedicated IP Address. Annual subscriptions come with a 20% discount on each plan.


Verdict.

Autopilot pairs the many different lead generation triggers you rely on with optimised, automated and personalised customer journeys. In doing so brings you closer to each potential customer and maximises your chances of a close.

The engagement possibilities of Autopilot are really quite impressive. Whether somebody is browsing your pricing page, jumping on a live chat, responding to a Facebook advert or filling out a form, Autopilot makes sure that everybody enters a journey that makes most sense. All of this relies on a clever engine behind the scenes. Autopilot combines the features of half a dozen different tools and integrates with most of the rest. At only $1 a month for small teams – and with no contract locking you in – it’s an absolute steal.

Autopilot is one of those tools that makes you earn its benefits. Ultimately you get out of it what you put in. The UI and UX can be hard to navigate and master but there’s enough support on hand to get you there in the end. The templated journeys are a revelation on this front, making it relatively easy to setup your first few automations.

If you’re in a small team and currently feeling too busy to do all your leads justice, Autopilot will give you the ability to reach out to so many people simultaneously whilst maintaining human-like levels of personalisation. A keen student of conversion will get addicted to the actionable insights Autopilot generates, helping you to understand and improve the triggers that make people convert.

All in all, if you’re looking to add speed and scale to your sales and marketing, you should seriously consider Autopilot. Its 30-day free trial and quick setup gives you a good excuse to take the leap. We’re certain you won’t look back.

AUTOPILOTHQ.COM

Founder of future-led marketing agency and start-up studio, Like No Other.