Lesson 7: Get To Know The Canvas
Knowing how to navigate Autopilot’s canvas and understanding our terminology are the first two steps toward remarkable journey marketing.
Journey is the term Autopilot uses to describe the path a contact flows through. Journeys replace what other email and/or marketing automation tools call marketing campaigns, workflows, or programs, but are designed to offer much more freedom and flexibility. Inspired by drawing on a whiteboard, journeys are built by freely dragging, dropping, and connecting shapes on a visual canvas.
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to:
The canvas is where the magic happens. It’s your command center for visually designing and executing individual customer journeys.
Use triggers, actions, and conditions
Journeys are comprised of triggers, actions, and conditions, which take the form of different shapes on the canvas. As you can see below, triggers are represented by circles, actions are represented by squares, and conditions are represented by octagons.
Triggers start journeys. They define what needs to happen in order for a contact to enter into a journey. Each journey can have multiple triggers or entry points. Here’s a sample of the triggers you can use:
Actions do things, like send an email or update a field. Here’s a sample of the actions you can use:
Conditions check whether contacts meet specific criteria. By allowing you to check contact and activity data, conditions personalize the path contacts follow. Here are the condition checks you can use to tailor your journey:
Your toolbar of shapes can be found on the right-hand side of your canvas. Learn more about each individual shape here.
Build your journey
You can create both operational journeys that perform internal actions (like notifying teammates or routing leads to Salesforce) and customer-facing journeys that engage contacts via email, in-app and on-site messaging, SMS, and direct mail.
For example, the journey below is designed to send a follow-up email to contacts who have submitted a form, then send a reminder email if they haven’t opened the email within a certain period of time.
To create journeys, simply drag, drop, and connect shapes on the canvas. In addition to freely moving each individual shape, you can select and move groups of shapes. Once selected, drag and drop them elsewhere on the canvas or delete the entire group.
Each shape must be configured before publishing the journey. You can either configure shapes as you build the journey or structure the entire journey before configuring each shape—it’s up to you!
If you see a yellow icon in the upper-right corner of a shape, it still needs to be configured. Click on the shape to open the configuration panel:
Not sure where to start? Choose a best practice journey template from our guide book to kickstart your marketing efforts in seconds.
Publish your journey
Once your journey is fully configured, it’s time to publish your journey. Only after a journey is live will contacts enter the journey and flow through the path you’ve created.
Once you’re ready, click “Publish Journey” in the top right-hand corner of the canvas.
Before you hit publish, you can also click “Request a Review” to have a member of our success team review your journey and provide personalized feedback.
Switch to live view to see how many contacts are progressing through your journey in real time. There are two numbers on each shape:
The number on the left represents the number of contacts who have entered the shape.
The number on the right represents contacts who remain in the shape. These contacts either didn’t qualify to continue (e.g., in the case of a condition), are currently processing (e.g., in the case of a delay), or have reached the final step of the journey.
Within live view, you can also access performance reports for individual emails and Headsup messages. To view a report, click on the icon in upper right-hand corner of the email or Headsup shape.
Keep in mind: Performance reports become available 15 minutes after the message has been sent.
Use the guide book
Autopilot’s best practice guide book makes it easy for you to quickly build remarkable journeys. Each guide is a pre-configured journey template with notes on how to get started.
To access the guide book, navigate to the journeys tab, which is located on the top left-hand side of the page, then click “Browse Guide Book” in the bottom right-hand corner:
You can also access the guide book from the upper left-hand corner of the canvas:
From there, you can choose from a collection of guides.
Create new guides
Eventually, you may want to create guides of your own. Here are a few reasons why user create their own guides:
- To implement their own best practices
- To regularly use the same journey template
- To share their journey templates across multiple instances of accounts
To create your own guide, click “Save as Guide” in the upper left-hand corner of the canvas, write a brief description, and select your sharing preferences.
Congratulations! Your guide can now be used to create new journeys.
Stop a journey
To keep things clean and organized, it’s important to actively manage your journeys. For this reason, we recommend stopping the following journeys:
- journeys that have been replaced by updated versions
- journeys with messages that are no longer relevant
- journeys created to send a one-time email blast
- journeys in which all contacts have reached the end
Doing so will help you keep tabs on journeys that are active, in process, or finished.
Stopping a journey both prevents new contacts from being added to the journey and stops existing contacts from continuing to progress through the journey.
Once a journey has been stopped it cannot be restarted. Having said that, you can duplicate journeys to reuse the framework you built.
Duplicating a journey is preferable to creating a guide when you only plan to do so once. In other words, if you send a monthly newsletter and need to duplicate the journey every time, you’re better off creating a guide.
To stop a journey, access the live view tab. Here, you’ll see the option to stop the journey in the upper right-hand corner:
After clicking “Stop Journey”, you’ll be asked to confirm that you’d like to stop the journey. Remember: This is permanent and cannot be undone, so don’t proceed unless you’re certain.
If you have any hanging questions about building journeys on the canvas, sign up for our interactive Autopilot Training 101 webinar.
Lesson 8: Organize Your Journeys
Put on your productivity hat. It’s time to start organizing your expanding collection of customer journeys. Multiple people (or even teams) can create automated journeys in Autopilot, yet everyone has ...Go to next lesson