Lauren Davis, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Autopilot

Lesson 1: Capture Leads with Headsup Messages

72% of consumers are frustrated with generic marketing. Use Headsup to personalize your interactions with in-app and onsite visitors.

Headsup was built as a new channel for marketers to personally and dynamically engage with their audiences. You can leverage Headsup to engage prospects and customers both in your app or on your site, during moments when you’re already top of mind.

In this lesson, you’ll learn:

Headsup message Autopilot
Message visitors and capture leads on your website or in your app with Headsup

What is Headsup?

There are few ways for marketers to personally interact with prospects and customers. Aside from email, they’re stuck with generic calls to action, distracting overlays, and/or annoying pop-ups—none of which are personalized. Headsup was built to fill this gap, creating an entirely new way for marketers to communicate with their target audiences.

Example Headsup message
example headsup message autopilot

Headsup messages are non-intrusive in that they’re relevant, personalized messages users see when they’re already in your app or on your site. Plus, when these small boxes appear in the bottom-right or bottom-left of the visitor’s screen, they’re collapsed. Only when the visitor hovers over the box do they see the full message.

Headsup messages are also flexible to your needs. You can customize them to include personalization variables, only appear on specific pages, and/or alter the action you want visitors to take.

headsup onsite message
Choose to display Headsup messages in the bottom-right or bottom-left corner of your screen

How to use Proactive Headsup to convert anonymous web visitors

Whereas Headsup messages are shown to known contacts, Proactive Headsup messages are shown to anonymous website visitors. They’re designed to engage unknown visitors in real time with personalized calls to action and feedback requests. You can use Proactive Headsup to convert these visitors into known leads, who you can then nurture into paying customers.

There is a separate tab in your Autopilot account to manage all your Proactive Headsup messages. On this page, you can create a new Proactive Headsup, see all messages currently running, monitor results, and make edits as needed.

proactive headsup tab
Navigate to the Proactive Headsup tab to manage your messages

Three types of Proactive Headsup messages

There are three types of Proactive Headsup messages to choose from:

  • Proactive Subscribe
  • Proactive Call to Action
  • Proactive Reply Back

Each has a different purpose, captures different information, and has a different call to action.

Proactive Subscribe. Think of Proactive Subscribe as a simplified form. It allows you to collect visitor information (email address as well as first and last names) and immediately add them to a list in Autopilot. Use it to collect blog subscribers, to encourage newsletter sign ups, or even as an opt-in to speak to a sales rep.

Sample Proactive Subscribe Headsup message from Freshdesk
autopilot proactive subscribe headsup in-app onsite message

Proactive Call to Action. The Call to Action (CTA) type of Proactive Headsup doesn’t capture any contact information. Instead, it guides the visitor to a web page they may find valuable. These are great for promoting timely events, such as an upcoming webinar, your latest ebook, or a new offer.

Sample Proactive CTA Headsup message from Simple Green Smoothies
autopilot proactive CTA headsup in-app onsite message

Proactive Reply Back. The Reply Back message is a simple way to get immediate feedback from a new visitor or start a conversation. The visitor’s response then gets sent to the team member as well as anyone else you wish to notify via email or Slack. Use it to learn more about why they came to your site and what they’re interested in as well as to collect feedback. Unlike live chat, you don’t have to worry about managing a real-time support queue. Instead, you collect information automatically while remaining focused on the task at hand.

Sample Proactive Reply Back Headsup message from Granular
autopilot proactive reply back headsup in-app onsite message

Building your first Proactive Headsup

Setting up a Proactive Headsup takes just a few minutes, yet customers report seeing a 10% lift in leads.

To set up your first Proactive Headsup, you can visit our Help Center, watch our training video, or follow the steps below:

1. After logging in to your Autopilot account, navigate to the Proactive tab, and click the + button in the bottom-right corner

Proactive Headsup tab Autopilot
Log in to your Autopilot account, then navigate to the Proactive Headsup tab, and click the + button

2. Select which type of Proactive Headsup you’d like to create: Subscribe, Call to Action, or Reply Back

Proactive Headsup options
Select which type of Proactive Headsup you'd like to create

Note: When someone converts via this specific Proactive Headsup, the name you choose here will be captured as part of the new contact’s lead source. However, the name you choose is not public and can only be seen internally.

3. Determine which pages you’d like the Proactive Headsup to appear on

By default, it will show on any page where you’ve added the Autopilot tracking code.

Alternatively, you can select specific pages you’d like the message to appear on. For example, you could push all anonymous users to your next webinar. Or you could encourage all blog visitors to subscribe. Or get people who visit your pricing page to engage with sales by asking a question. But remember, it will only show on pages with the Autopilot tracking code.

Proactive Headsup which page
Determine which pages to display your message on

4. Customize your message

Here is where you craft the language, select the team member whose image will show, choose your button text and color, and determine what fields you’d like to capture.

Keep in mind that there is a limit of 130 characters for Headsup messages. These are meant to be short, concise messages, and we’ve found that this length leads to the best results.

Proactive Headsup customization
Customize your message by team member, button text and color, and fields

You can edit Proactive Headsup messages at any time to change the page it’s shown on, the team member, or even the message itself.

Tracking success and best practices

In the Proactive tab, you can review key metrics regarding conversion or clickthrough rates.

Proactive Headsup customization
Each Headsup message will reveal how many contacts were acquired and what your conversion rate is

We also recommend building a few smart segments and lists to get a better picture of exactly who you’re capturing from these Proactive messages. When new leads are created, their lead source is updated to “Proactive Headsup – Name of Message”—enabling you to create smart segments based on that lead source. However, since you may want to update a contact’s lead source at a later point, be sure to also add these individuals to a list.

Ideas to try yourself

  • Have a blog? Use the Proactive Subscribe Headsup to encourage blog visitors to subscribe to receive regular updates
  • Offer a special discount to visitors who come from a particular ad campaign using the Proactive CTA Headsup
  • Promoting a new ebook? Use the Proactive CTA Headsup to push visitors to the landing page
  • Engage users on high-intent pages (pricing, free trial, etc.) with the sales team using Proactive Reply Back

Need more inspiration? Check out these in-app messaging examples for more ideas on how to use Proactive Headsup across your website.

How to use Headsup to personally connect with known contacts

To web visitors, Headsup messages look exactly the same as Proactive Headsup messages. But unlike Proactive Headsup messages, Headsup messages are created and triggered from within individual journeys—allowing you to leverage the power of segmentation and personalization.

You can use Headsup messages on your site or in your app as a way to engage known contacts and existing users.

Three types of Headsup messages

Like Proactive Headup, there are three types of Headsup messages to choose from:

  • Subscribe
  • Call to Action
  • Reply Back

The only difference is that you no longer need to collect identifying information, such as name and email, since Autopilot already knows who the contact is. (Good news! That only increases your chances of conversion.)

Subscribe. The Subscribe Headsup is the simplest way for a known lead or customer to opt in. Like Proactive Subscribe, when someone clicks through, they’re added to a specific list in Autopilot and subsequently added to any journeys that are triggered off of that list. Use it to get customers to opt into monthly challenges, subscribe to product newsletters, or stay up to date on events in their area.

Call to Action. Similar to its Proactive counterpart, the CTA headsup is great for guiding customers to valuable and helpful content, as well as nudging leads to take the next step in the customer journey. A great use case for the CTA Headsup is using it as part of a self-service onboarding flow. Once a customer completes one step, gently nudge them to take the next step of the setup process.

Reply Back. Reply back is a great way to get open-ended feedback from your customers. Try leveraging it to learn more about your customers and/or get immediate feedback on a new feature. Identical to Proactive Reply Back, responses are sent to pre-determined team members via email or Slack.

Adding Headsup messages to your journeys

In Autopilot, Headsup messages are managed much like emails: They’re accessed through a shape on the canvas. Having said that, the setup process is almost identical to setting up a Proactive Headsup message.

There are two Headsup shapes to choose from:

The “Show Headsup Message” action. Use this any time you’d like to show a Headsup message to a specific segment as part of a journey. Once set up, the Headsup message will be shown to the contact the next time they visit any of your pages (or the specific page you’ve chosen).

Using the outcome wheel, you can then personalize how you follow up with contacts based on how they interact with the Headsup message:

  • when shown
  • on open
  • on response
  • when dismissed
  • on continue

The “Check Headsup Status” condition check. Apply this condition when you’d like to personalize one branch of a journey based on how contacts have interacted with a particular Headsup message. (You’ll be given the opportunity to choose from the same interaction variables listed above.)

Use these shapes as you would any other action or condition check in your journeys.

If you’d like to use Headsup messages to send one-off or timely messages, we recommend creating an operational journey to help manage all of these messages—especially if you’re targeting various segments and want to keep track of which messages are live now versus those that were live in the past.

Here’s a real-life screenshot of our internal operational journey, where we manage multiple Headsup messages:

Autopilot's internal operational journey
Autopilot internal operational journey

Note: It’s possible for contacts to qualify for multiple Headsup messages at once. Having said that, we prioritize both a) shapes the contact enters first, and b) messages with the most specific criteria. In other words, if a contact enters message A (set to show on any page) and then message B (set to show on specific pages), they will be shown message B on the specific pages, and message A on any other eligible page.

Since setup is so similar to that of Proactive, we won’t go into the step-by-step instructions.

Unlike Proactive Headsup, you have the ability to control a few advanced options, such as when the message is shown and when it should expire. Autopilot defaults all Headsup messages to show until clicked or dismissed for up to 30 days.

Headsup advanced options
Headsup advanced options

We don’t usually recommend changing these settings, as we’ve set them to be as user friendly as possible. But you may want to shorten the days shown if your message is super timely, such as a webinar reminder, event in the area, or offer that’s about to expire.

While it is nice to give the user the option to dismiss the Headsup message, sometimes it makes sense to remove this feature—especially if it’s nudging the user to complete a required action (e.g., if the user’s account is about to expire or their signature is needed).

Headsup reporting and best practices

Autopilot’s Headsup reporting is similar to its email reporting. Basic reporting for each message breaks down the number of contacts who were added to the shape as well as how many visited a web page where the Headsup message was displayed, opened it, responded to it, and dismissed it. This report can be accessed from the journey (in live view) or in the “Reports” tab of Autopilot.

Autopilot Headsup reports
Headsup report

While you can’t create smart segments based on how contacts interacted with any given Headsup messages (like you can with emails), you can add users who interacted with a specific Headsup message to a list from the shape’s outcome wheel within a journey. That way, you can easily target those users at a later date.

Add users who interacted with a specific Headsup message to a list from the shape’s outcome wheel within a journey (click to view high-res image)
add to list headsup

Get creative with Headsup

Try these Headsup use cases today:

  • Invite free trialists to a success webinar or sales demo
  • Build a sophisticated and effective onboarding journey using a combination of all three Headsup types
  • Point out small user interface or product feature updates that don’t warrant a large product announcement
  • Notify users when you’re hosting an event in their area
  • Ask users if they want to opt into a beta program
  • Promote a special offer to event attendees only
  • Ask users to provide feedback on a new feature

Wrapping it all up

Headsup is a powerful communication channel for both converting anonymous visitors to known leads and engaging known contacts and existing customers. Adding another channel to your marketing strategy can only amplify efforts and improve your results. Because Headsup is a new channel that’s quick and easy to setup, it’s fun to think of all the creative ways you can use it.

If you still have questions about using Headsup, watch our Autopilot Training 102 webinar

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