Authors

Brian Sun, Senior Manager, Content Marketing at Autopilot

Eloise Shuttleworth, Customer Success Manager at Autopilot

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 a different way of working. With a little up-front work, you’ll reap the rewards of journeys that are easy to find, order, and duplicate.

In this lesson, you’ll learn:

Organize customer journeys folders autopilot
Standardize naming conventions and organize your customer journeys into folders to make them easy to find
 

How to organize journeys using folders

We recommend keeping your journeys organized by sorting them into appropriate folders. You can design your own system or choose from these structures, which are commonly used by Autopilot customers:

1. Organize your journeys by customer lifecycle stage

To adopt this organizational paradigm, house your customer journeys in folders that correspond with the customer lifecycle stages (e.g., acquire, nurture, grow).

What your journey folders might look like if you organize them by customer lifecycle stage
autopilot journey folders organized customer lifecycle stages

Pro tip: Numbering your journey folders keeps things simple, especially if you want to set up a journey-based approach to naming your emails.

2. Organize your journeys by type

To follow this approach, organize your customer journeys into folders that make sense for your business. Use straightforward names, like “newsletters”, “onboarding”, and “Headsup messages”, to make it easy to find what you’re looking for in the future.

What your journey folders might look like if you organize them by type
autopilot journey folders organized type

As you can see, every journey related to retention lives in the retention folder. It’s simple.

Pro tip: Identify an owner for each journey folder. That way, you know who’s ultimately responsible for managing the journeys inside. For example, your product team might own “onboarding”, while marketing owns “nurture”, and customer success owns “retention”.

3. Organize your journeys by owner

To rigidly define who’s responsible for each individual journey, create folders for each team member or department. For example, you might have “Guy”, “Brian”, “Anne”, and “Hadley” or “Product Marketing”, “Content Marketing”, and “Customer Success”.

What your journey folders might look like if you organize them by owner
autopilot journey folders organized owner

How you organize your journeys will depend on your unique context and processes. Use the above frameworks as a springboard to land on what works best for your company.

With a little up-front work, you’ll reap the rewards of journeys that are easy to find, order, and duplicate

How to name journeys

To keep your journeys organized within each folder, you can design your own naming convention or adopt one or both of these popular approaches:

1. The versions approach

If your journey corresponds directly with a specific stage of the customer journey (e.g. onboarding), use this approach.

To distinguish between old and new versions of the same journey, append a number to the name after duplicating it. For example, you might use “V1”, “V2”, “V3” or “1.0”, “2.0”, “3.0”.

After duplicating a journey, append a number to its name to distinguish the current version from prior versions

Major revisions to these types of journeys rarely take place, so it’s unlikely that these identifiers will ever become unmanageable. On the flip side, they’ll enable you to quickly and easily differentiate between different versions of the same journey.

To distinguish between old and new versions of the same journey, append a number to the name after duplicating it

2. The date-stamp approach

While some journeys remain constant (e.g., your user onboarding journey), other journeys require frequent changes due to their recurring nature (e.g., your monthly newsletter send).

For recurring journeys, add the date of the send to the journey name.

For recurring journeys, add the date of the send to the journey name
autopilot recurring journey name date

Doing so has two benefits:

  • It makes it easy to distinguish one journey from another
  • It helps you quickly identify the last version of the journey

For recurring journeys, add the date of the send to the journey name

When to duplicate journeys

There are two reasons you may want to reuse a canvas:

1. You’ve developed a journey structure that you’d like to use again

Once you land on a high-performing journey structure, you may want to use it again in the future. Rather than edit the existing canvas, it’s best to duplicate the journey.

Here are some common journey templates:

  • Email newsletters
  • Product announcements
  • Content downloads
  • Event invitations
Rather than edit the existing canvas, it’s best to duplicate the journey

What happens if you don’t duplicate these journeys, but instead make changes to the original canvas?

  • You permanently erase the existing structure, making it impossible to reference the original journey in the future
  • You immediately modify the user experience, which may cause confusion among contacts who’re currently progressing through that journey
  • You muddy the reporting waters, making it impossible to understand why a new journey outperforms the original journey
Autopilot email newsletter journey template
If you send an email newsletter, you should duplicate the journey before every new send, whether that's daily, weekly, or monthly. Click to view high-res image.

If you’ve stopped the journey at any point in the past, you’ll also be unable to republish the newly modified version of the journey. Duplicate existing journeys to avoid these issues.

2. You’ve done some internal testing and need a clean slate for reporting purposes

Perhaps you’ve triggered yourself, a colleague, or a test list into a journey to see if it’s working. Firstly, great job testing! Your test activity will show up in live view, enabling you to track your progress.

You can find the live view tab in the upper right-hand corner of the journey canvas
autopilot journey live view

Live view shows how many people have entered each shape within a specific journey.

The numbers on the left and right represent contacts who have entered and remain in each shape
autopilot journey live view numbers

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.

To exclude your test numbers from live view, duplicate your journey once you’ve finished testing and hit publish to start afresh. (But don’t forget to stop the original journey!)

To exclude your test numbers from live view, duplicate your journey once you’ve finished testing and hit publish to start afresh

How to duplicate journeys

Duplicating a journey in Autopilot is easy. Simply navigate to your journey dashboard, then find the journey that you’d like to duplicate.

If you’re having trouble, use the search bar at the top of your screen to quickly find the journey you’re looking for.

Next, click on the drop-down arrow to the far right-hand side of your journey. Finally, select “Duplicate”. Your journey will then be copied into a new canvas.

autopilot how to duplicate journey
Duplicate your journey from the drop-down menu on the right side of the screen

Autopilot automatically adds the next number in the series to the end of the name. For example, a journey previously named “lead nurturing” would be “lead nurturing 2”. That way, you can tell it apart from the original.

Once you’ve duplicated the journey, review these best practices on how to transition from old to new journeys.

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