Written by Ria du Plessis - Digital Marketing Expert
Autopilot in a nutshell
|User Accounts:||Multiple users|
|Segmentation and Geo:||Yes|
|Delivery by Time zone:||Yes|
|Free Trial:||Yes, 30 days|
|Means of Use:||Mobile, Tablet, Desktop|
What is Autopilot?
Autopilot is a marketing automation solution that is immensely visual and entirely straightforward to use. It is suitable for small businesses and mid-size companies. It allows you to easily create automated "journeys" (campaigns) across various platforms and channels for your customers with its built-in email creator.
Autopilot Pros & Cons
- Well-built, all-around automation features: this platform’s automation features for creating “journeys” are powerful and versatile, and suitable for anyone to use, with no requirement for previous coding experience needed.
- Email list segmentation: Autopilot’s drag-and-drop editor includes email list segmentation which automatically adds or drops a contact that meets or doesn’t meet the criteria of your specific list.
- Countless email templates: this platform has over 181 different templates for you to get started with. However, if you'd prefer to make your page from scratch, that option is available too.
- Social media integration: this platform allows you to integrate various social media platforms like Facebook, Google Ads, WordPress, and Twilio within your journeys.
- Excellent customer support: if you get stuck at any point, you can contact Autopilot through an email address, along with a chatbox within the website that has a 24/7 live rep. This platform also includes blogs, forums, and video tutorials.
- Costly: while Autopilot comes with a free plan, the moment you exceed these limits, your plan will automatically be adjusted, and you'll have to start paying $29/month. Prices go up incrementally from there, with a custom payment plan available as well.
- Integrating Salesforce means a separate subscription: while Autopilot comes with a free subscription, Salesforce doesn’t. If you want to integrate with Salesforce, you’ll have to pay them and Autopilot as well.
- The learning curve can be steep: while this platform’s automation builder is straightforward to use, working out how it operates can be tricky at first. If you’ve never dealt with a visual email builder like Autopilot before, dragging and dropping “shapes” that do different actions might be problematic.
Who is Autopilot Good For?
Autopilot will be convenient for you if:
- You’re a non-profit organization: this platform offers 50% off any plan for non-profits or startups.
- You’re a scaling business: if you're a small or scaling business and want to eventually work with more expensive email marketing software on the market but can't afford to at the moment, Autopilot is an excellent stepping stone.
Autopilot Isn’t Recommended For:
- Experienced marketers who want limitless customization: while this platform does allow you to build your emails from scratch, there are still limitations as to what you can do.
- Organizations that need a personalized touch: Autopilot is known for sending out mass emails to everyone on your contact list. If you’d prefer to spend more time and effort on personalizing individual emails, this platform is not for you.
Autopilot’s pricing goes up gradually as you gain more contacts. The more you pay, the more features you unlock, and the more emails you can send per month. There is also a custom payment option available that increases on a sliding scale.
You can cancel your Autopilot subscription at any point in time. Moreover, you can keep using your account for the month that has already been paid for. However, Autopilot will delete a canceled account's data from the servers immediately, so make sure your data is backed up first.
This platform has eighty features, but you can only access all of them if you pay for the highest-paying plan. If you decide on any cheaper plans, your access to certain features (most notably the A/B split testing) is restricted unless you're paying for Pro or Business, the two most expensive plans.
Autopilot allows you to send personalized messages to your leads on every channel, all without needing any previous coding experience. Currently, Autopilot enables you to send an email, an SMS, a postcard, and messages to your customers on Heads Up, as well as display Facebook Ads and Google Adwords Ads specifically tailored to remind your leads of your website.
This platform’s integration with Slack allows you to automate messages for your team within your marketing journeys to follow up on leads or critical activities and build team alignment. You can keep an eye on how your team is creating emails in real-time and annotate your ideas by adding images, stickers, and emojis to your canvas.
Autopilot has guides for everything you could need help with while using their software. You can find articles that have been written on the forums or a YouTube video with relative ease. If those don't help you, this platform also has a 24/7 live rep available to assist.
Ease of use
When I logged on to this platform, I was met with a web page that had everything I needed to start my email automation journey down the left side of the screen. All it took was a few clicks, and within minutes my first journey was ready to go live. Setting up an account was relatively easy as well. All you need is your email, your website's name, and its domain.
Autopilot allows you to segment and organize all of the information you collect about your leads in one place. You can segment your customers based on activity, preferences, or demographics, for example, and then send incredibly personalized messages to them.
Goals and Insights
This platform allows you to analyze and collate the performance of every message you send and will enable you to review each channel's performance by day. You can also set goals for your team to achieve over time and track their progress in real-time. Autopilot also allows you to keep an eye on your journeys and analytics on the go with their mobile app.
Autopilot currently has over 180 different built-in automation templates at your disposal. You can load anything from a welcome message to a birthday coupon, all in a few clicks. This platform also supports all HTML email templates and allows you to start your email from scratch.
Just a few of Autopilot’s templates
Creating Email Campaigns and Managing
There are many ways to optimize and oversee your email campaign.
Emails sent/opened and links clicked
Tools are available to assess the efficiency and receipt of your emails
Deliverability rate and delivery by time zone (spam)
There are automated processes that prevent your emails from ending up in the spam folder by making the content and their delivery times less formulaic. Spam folders often flag emails that come in at the same time each day.
Creating and importing email lists
Autopilot accepts CSV, XLS, XLSX and ODS files for importing contacts
Split tests and A/B tests
Split testing lets you send two versions of the same email to a percentage of contacts, in order to assess which is the most successful
Merge tags and personalization variables mean that you can tweak your emails, although the options are slightly limited
Reporting and Analysis
Autopilot has a variety of analytical tools for efficiency assessment.
Engagement reports (Email open rate and CR tracking)
It’s easy to view an assessment of your email success rates
You can separate your contacts by location or preference
Social media tracking
Graphical reviews of your business achievements on social media can be viewed
Tools and guidance for calculating and optimizing your ROI are available
A range of options is available, suiting most business needs.
REST API assists with contact control and email enhancement
Integrations with these platforms: Ecommerce, Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce and Woocommerce
Aside from Magento and Woocommerce, the above platforms can be integrated
Several pre-integrated apps for CRM including Hubspot can be used
Social Media integrations
There are options for incorporating the most commonly used social media networks
58 apps come as standard with options for more
There are various options for affiliate marketing plugins
This service allows companies of all sizes to automate their repetitive tasks, such as email creation and delivery, helping to save a lot of wasted man-hours that could be better used working on new campaigns or bolstering existing ones.
Design and Ease of Use
Autopilot advertises itself as a visual and easy-to-use marketing automation solution, with many simple and effective options to enhance design and aesthetics.
Drag and Drop Interface
The blank drag and drop canvas lets you design the perfect email
Landing page creator
Landing page editor has simple functionality that can be optimized even by a first time user
There’s an extensive list of email templates, organized into order of effectiveness
Sign up forms within newsletter tool (opt in-opt out process)
It’s simple to control and integrate the sign up forms
This platform’s journey builder is suitable for anyone to use, with no previous coding experience required. By simply dragging and dropping visual "shapes" onto your canvas, you can have your email created within minutes. Here are more details:
- Journeys: are made up of triggers, actions, and conditions.
- Triggers: start journeys, meaning that customers enter journeys via triggers. There are 29 different triggers available for you to add to your email.
- Actions: there are 30 different things you can do with your action shapes, like sending emails or segmenting customers.
- Conditions: 12 different conditions make sure the contact meets the specified criteria.
Autopilot has 58 different integrations at your disposal, all with their shapes to trigger events. As well as third-party apps, like Facebook, Twilio, Slack and MailChimp, Autopilot comes with its own integrations – A/B Split Testing, Lead Scoring, API, and Custom Fields, to name a few. They are easy to implement simply by dragging and dropping their shapes into your automation canvas.
ActiveCampaign is a powerful tool that aims to help its customers send fewer emails while achieving better results at the same time. Well known for its newsletter marketing tool and powerful automation, price plans for ActiveCampaign start from $9.00 a month, and a free trial is available.
Omnisend is an omnichannel email automation marketing platform made for eCommerce that fully integrates with the various eCommerce apps available. Attractive and easy-to-use, Omnisend’s prices start from $16 a month, while a free trial and a free account are both available.
AWeber has been on the market for over twenty years, helping their customers connect with their leads with their powerfully simple email automation software. Price plans for AWeber start at $19.99, but a free account is available.
There’s a live chat option available 24 hours a day Monday to Friday, and you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with your query, but there’s no phone line.
Autopilot is perfect for its target audience of small to midsize businesses, with its incredible visual journey builder. While it takes a while to work out what journeys, dashboards, and shapes are, it is well worth working out what Autopilot has to offer if you're looking for easy-to-use software suitable for anyone with no previous coding experience required.
Autopilot comes fairly well recommended and has some useful features to help you optimize your email output, time management, ROI, and customer base. There are optional add-ons to increase your efficiency further, such as Salesforce CRM integration, VIP support, and expert setup and training. There is, however, some limitation in the email builder customization, and the pricing is a little more expensive than with other services.
A similar service that has better options for email creation and more features in the lower price bracket is Constant Contact. It’s considered one of the fastest-growing email marketing software providers and its versatile solutions start at just $20 per month.