Lesson 6: Manage Your Content
Emails, Headsup messages, and internal notifications… Here’s how to best manage your growing content library in Autopilot.
When you’re creating customer journeys, the very last thing you want to do is dig around for that email template or internal notification that you just know is in there somewhere. The solution? Standardizing the way you manage your content.
In this lesson, you’ll learn:
Email naming conventions and organization tips
Choosing a consistent email naming convention won’t make or break your customer journey marketing. But it is a practice that you’ll look back on and say, “I’m so glad we did that!”
Autopilot users take a variety of email naming approaches. Here are some of our favorites:
If you regularly send emails as part of ongoing campaigns (e.g., your monthly newsletter), taking a date-based approach to naming your emails can help you stay organized. It also makes it easier to locate past email sends.
Here’s how that might look in practice:
Pro Tip from Jes Kirkwood: It’s best to order the dates first by year, then by month, then by day. This order ensures that your emails show up in chronological order. Otherwise, you might see emails from February 2015, 2016, and 2017 before emails from March 2015.
For time-based journeys, you can name your emails according to the day the email is sent, followed by a short description of the email.
Say you’re a SaaS marketer. You’ve designed a free trial journey that delivers timely and relevant messages on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 7, Day 14, Day 21, and Day 29 of a 30-day trial. One email might be named “Day 14: Mid-Trial Check-In”.
Another approach is to align your emails with their respective journeys. Let’s say that you have five journeys:
- Lead Nurturing
- Free Trial
- Community Newsletter
- Customer Newsletter
When naming each email, you could start with the journey name (e.g., Community Newsletter) and append a number, date, or other variable to the end.
Here’s what that might look like in practice:
For a simple and scalable way to name your emails, consider a number-based approach.
First, number each of your journeys. In this example, we’ve given “Lead Nurturing” the number 1, “Onboarding” the number 2, and “Free Trial” the number 3.
Next, enter your “Lead Nurturing” journey and name your first email “1.1”. In this example, the first 1 refers to the journey (lead nurturing) and the second 1 refers to the first email in a sequence.
Here’s what that might look like at a larger scale:
This strategy is also effective if you have several variations of the same email within a single journey:
For added clarity, you can add a one- or two-word description to the end, separated by hyphens. For example, instead of “3.1.3” you might write “3.1.3 – Welcome – Self-Serve” (which refers to a free trial welcome email that’s tailored to your self-serve customer segment).
This approach names the email after its creator or reply-to user. You can use their whole name, or simply put their initials at the beginning of the email name.
More tip than practice, this approach allows you to designate your original templates by putting [TEMPLATE] at the beginning of their email name.
There is no “right” email naming convention that can be used straight-out-of-the-box for every company – the key is to select and modify a convention that works for your company, and then stick to it.
Why, when, and how to duplicate emails
Once you’ve formatted an email to your liking, you can duplicate it and use it as the basis for a new email. The main benefit of doing so is that it’s faster than creating an email from scratch: Simply update the content while leaving the original structure in place.
Autopilot will not send the same email to the same contact twice, unless you select the override shown below.
For this reason, you cannot simply change an existing email and schedule a new send time. You must duplicate the original before revising it.
Doing so also prevents you from making changes that will affect the original email, which may be live in a journey. That way, you keep a record of every email you’ve sent and avoid sending duplicate content, confusing emails, or incomplete edits of pre-existing emails to your contacts.
How to duplicate emails
Duplicating an email can be performed from within Autopilot’s email manager, which can be accessed via the “Send Email” shape.
Simply click on the shape, then select “Manage Existing” from the configuration window:
You’ll then be presented with all of your emails:
From there, find the email that you’d like to duplicate, click on the drop-down arrow on the far right side of the email line item, and select “Duplicate” from the menu.
The duplicate email will then open in a new window for you to edit.
Note: The duplicate email will have the same name as the original, but with a number at the end of the name. For example, if the original email was named “lead nurture”, the duplicate email will be named “lead nurture 1”. That way, you can immediately differentiate between the duplicate and the original.
Headsup naming conventions and organization tips
The Headsup message manager functions exactly like the email manager. You can arrange your Headsup messages by name, the date each message was last edited, the date each message was last published, and who each message was created by. By default, the manager organizes your Headsup messages by the date they were last edited.
Here are a few naming conventions that will help you keep your Headsup messages organized:
Call out the core message
For example, “Need help?”, “Got pricing questions?”, or “Subscribe to the blog!”
Separate your messages by journey name
You can adopt the 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 syntax approach that we discussed above, or you can add the stage of the customer journey that the Headsup message is in, such as “Retention”, “Nurture”, or “Onboarding”.
Identify the department the message is from
Does the reply go to sales, marketing, product, or success? Put their name at the front of the message.
Identify the web page where it displays
For Headsup messages that live on specific page (as opposed to all pages), put the web page title in their name.
Notification naming conventions and organization tips
Notifications let you and your team know when a contact reaches a particular point in a journey, takes a specific action, or meets certain criteria. Here are a handful of ways you can approach naming your notifications:
Use the journey name approach
Like with emails, you can add the name of the customer journey that the notification lives in. For example, “Retention”, “Nurture”, or “Onboarding”.
Say what happened
With this strategy, anyone can read the title of the notification and immediately identify what it’s for. For example, “Form submission”, “Blog signup”, or “New free trialist”.
Indicate the department that’s getting notified
Sales? Marketing? Success? Product? Who’s your notification going to? Include the department name directly in the title.
Whichever approach you choose, the goal is to organize your notifications in a way that makes them easy to find and name them something that makes them easily recognizable.
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 ...Go to next lesson