by Guy Marion, CMO & Head of Business, Autopilot HQ

Autopilot’s 1-Year Anniversary Party: Celebrating the Customer Journey

A year after launching Autopilot’s customer journey marketing platform in 2015, we returned to the Mars Bar in San Francisco’s SoMa district last week to celebrate a year’s worth of milestones and new relationships.

In the 15 months since launch, we’ve grown from zero to almost two thousand customers, significantly expanded Autopilot’s platform and integrations, and spread the Autopilot love with an office opening in Sydney, as well as workshops and meetups across three continents.

Catching up with 300 of our closest customers, friends, partners and investors means that plenty of signature “George” cocktails were downed and some got lucky at the craps and roulette tables while others cheered on the Golden State Warriors who stole the first game of the NBA finals.

Party time

So, why’s the Autopilot party growing? For one, consumers have become more discerning about which brands they use and refer. As our daily Facebook news feeds, Twitter streams, and online reviews show, consumers own a company’s online reputation.  

This reality is driving companies to adopt a customer journey mindset. By focusing on delighting customers with personalized, remarkable experiences that satisfy their needs faster, companies are in turn fostering loyalty and positive word of mouth growth. It helps that easy-to-use tools like Autopilot have emerged to help deliver these experiences by automating email, postcards, SMS and in-app messages at key moments throughout the customer journey.


What was the talk at the party? Startup marketers and growth execs in the Silicon Valley tech world have a common obsession to learn (and share) strategies and tactics for driving growth through personalized content, wow product experiences, smart lifecycle nurturing, and human social engagement.

The Autopilot community is hungry for frameworks, tools, and hacks to create marketing journeys that don’t really feel like marketing. Look for more on this front – as we’re all motivated by a relentless quest to drive growth with a low cost per acquisition, high user retention, and online networks fueled by killer feature launches, rich content, and attention-grabbing videos.

As the evening wore on, the conversation became a little less cogent, a little more free flowing (as was the bar tab), but good times were abundant.

Jump jump

And the best part? This is still just the beginning. Ahead this month, you can learn about customer retention using automation at our first London workshop and meet us in Vancouver for this year’s Traction Conference, where our CEO Mike Sharkey will be speaking on creating earthquakes from basements.

Again, we’d like to thank you for flying with us on this journey. None of this would be happening without you, our customers, investors, partners, and friends.

Now, let’s get to the rest of those party pictures.

Mars BarThe entrance to Mars Bars. Time to party.

Hanging at the barHangin’ at the bar.

SegmentThe team from Segment, also known as the night’s hub of data fun.

WowwwwwwMaking it rain…poker chips.

Craps tableCan you roll lucky number 7?

All smilesAll smiles. Check out George the Giraffe in her hand!

Miami ViceWe were lucky to have two actors from Miami Vice join us for the celebration. All the way from 80’s.

eleven finalRockin’ the pink.

CheersCheers, mate.

AwwwwwSmooching the night away.

SandwichIt’s a Liz sandwich! Easily the happiest pic of the night.

StartupThe gals from Startup Socials.

All in All in.

WinFor the win!

CoolJacko, Michelle, Hadley, and Christian.

CaptainThe Captain closing the night with a speech.

What a night! There’s even more pics to check out on Facebook for you crazy pilots out there.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to celebrate our 1-year anniversary with us. Cheers, beers, and on to another year…

Author Guy Marion, CMO & Head of Business, Autopilot HQ

Guy is the CMO & Head of Business at Autopilot HQ and is a revenue-focused leader interested in the shift towards all things cloud & SaaS, customer journey automation, and the consumerization of Enterprise software.

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    • Looks like an awesome party!

      I’ve been a customer for 6 months or so and I can say that I absolutely love the service. I signed up for Autopilot (instead of Active Campaign) is because your automation builder is amazingly easy to use, the UI is beautiful, and the pricing was simple.

      In my six months of use all of those things have stayed the same except for the simple pricing. Not that it’s now confusing, but it just makes me nervous. I worry about improvements and new features on the enterprise side of things but not for the standard accounts. Some industries (like mine) tend to have very large email lists but a much lower customer LTV or subscriber LTV.

      I only have 11,000 contacts in Autopilot and I’d love to bring over another 60,000 from another service but I just don’t know if the pricing and focus of Autopilot is a good match for professional bloggers with big lists who sell digital products.

      I would love to see a way to organize my bank of emails with folders, stats, etc. It’s getting overwhelming scrolling through the list as I build journeys.

      Keep up the good work! It’s a joy to use Autopilot!

      • Guy Marion

        Donnie – thanks for the feedback. Don’t worry, we are 100% committed to our core customers (e.g. our “Base” plan) and have lots of usability enhancements in store that will streamline the experience in ways like you suggest, for everyone.

        We split pricing into two plans because there are clear emerging differences in the needs and complexities of our customers’ use cases, and this approach allows us to best serve both segments. But our mission is to make automation and customer journey marketing accessible and affordable for any company or marketer. And we have a long way to go….

        Bloggers are a key and influential group for us – so thanks for using AP!

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