Despite the explosion of marketing automation tools, 61 percent of U.S. marketers still use basic solutions like ConstantContact and MailChimp to send emails to customers. HubSpot, Marketo (News - Alert) and Salesforce marketing automation solutions only have 4 percent adoption in the U.S. And many companies are afraid to try more advanced tools, which tend to be expensive and for which it can be difficult to get C-level buy-in.
That’s the word from Mike Sharkey, CEO and co-founder of Autopilot.
Sharkey goes on to say that 40 percent of marketers that do leverage marketing automation tools switch their suppliers annually because their existing solutions is too hard to implement or use.
Autopilot aims to address the affordability and ease of use barriers of marketing automation with a new SaaS (News - Alert) solution, which Sharkey says thousands of people already have signed up to trial. It automatically captures leads from website forms; connects with
one link to Salesforce; allows for segmentation via drag-and-drop; is integrated with various messaging platforms to allow for international notifications (like sharing a lead with a sales rep); and (through a deal Autopilot has struck with Segment) can send an email or SMS every time someone fills out a web form.
Guy Marion, Autopilot’s CMO, says that marketing automation is typically implemented like an IT system, but that Autopilot works with customers to think through how their customers engage with their products, and it has a journey building application to map things out. “It’s the visual approach that really differentiates us,” Marion adds.
The current Autopilot solution, which had been available for less than two months when we spoke to the company in mid April, is very different than the original one it brought to market about a year and a half ago. Sharkey explains that Autopilot launched a product with content management and a simple landing page and blog around content and quickly realized that 90 percent of those features were already available from other companies and in use by most customers.
This latest Autopilot solution, he says, is focused on customer lifecycle, helping onboard new customers, and lead nurturing.
“Our focus is really on providing an easy to use, adoptable and affordable solution to marketers to jump beyond email marketing,” he adds.
The offering, for which Autopilot has a 30-day free trial, starts at $4 a month for 500 contacts, unlimited email, and no restrictions on any features If you send a postcard to a customer, however, there is an added charge. Users that want more contacts can choose from higher-level offers that cost $80, $160, and up.
Edited by Maurice Nagle