Autopilot Launches Annotate and Collaborate Marketing Tool

Marketing automation provider Autopilot today launched Annotate and Collaborate, a new tool that enables marketers to visualize and collaborate on customer journeys in real time. Available to Autopilot customers at no additional cost, it aims to provide “a visual whiteboard” on which marketers can work together more easily.

The Annotate and Collaborate tool allows users to do three key things: contextualize journeys, collaborate on the journeys in real time, and share the journeys with other teams. “With Annotate you can annotate the journeys—drag and drop images in to show people how the journey works, so you might have a screenshot of the emails that would go out and where, say, a Facebook ad came from,” explains Michael Sharkey, cofounder and CEO at Autopilot. “By doing that anyone can easily pick up the context of that automation and journey so they can easily see how it works and improve on it and take over from it.”

The Annotate feature also allows you to leave notes and action items for other team members. “So you could say [for example], ‘Hey, Mike, can you check out this email and take a look before we get published,’ and I know that I can go in and have a look at that,” Sharkey says.

The tool’s real-time collaboration was patterned after the way colleagues work together on a Google Doc, Sharkey says. “Not only have we done that, but I think we’ve done it better because you can actually see what people are doing as they’re doing it in real time, and the whole experience means you essentially have this incredible visual whiteboard where you and your teams can work on,” he says.

Finally, Annotate and Collaborate includes a sharing link so that a copy of the journey can be sent to other internal teams. “Marketers create a lot of incredible content and design great journeys but often they have trouble sharing those internally,” Sharkey says. “I could share a journey with my sales team and say, ‘Hey, this is how that particular marketing campaign is working,’ so the sales team can get context about how the journey works and give feedback without necessarily going into the marketing automation software.” The share feature also allows marketers to embed journeys in blog posts, “so they can actually be thought leaders and demonstrate concepts using this small virtual whiteboard,” he adds.

Autopilot also today launched a new Templates Library, which allows marketers to access industry best practices and implement strategies used by top companies. “The templates that are on our website are freely available…and they have step-by-step instructions with images and gifs and concepts to show you how they work, so a first-time marketer to marketing automation can just go browse by category, find different marketing automation journeys that they’re looking for, and with one click implement them and start using them,” Sharkey says.

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