The essential steps before hitting publish on your journey

Autopilot in Marketing automation on 6th of May 2020
success with autopilot

The essential steps before hitting publish on your journey

You can do it, we’ve got your back!

You’ve built a customer journey in Autopilot. The content has been carefully crafted, the audience expertly targeted through smart segmenting, the customer experience flawless through the journey logic and configuration. You’re ready to hit publish… however there’s a moment's pause.

We know the feeling. Whether you’re communicating to leads or customers, to five contacts or to five million, every message, and the timing of that message, is important.

Ensuring you have your journey correctly set-up is the last critical step in building effective customer journeys. In this article, we’ve created a checklist with simple walkthrough videos to help you confidently publish a high performing journey every time:

  • Review your journey;
  • Test your journey;
  • Troubleshoot your journey.

1) Review your journey

Take that last opportunity to search for errors. While we can’t help you with typos, we can ensure that the journey operates as intended.

In this video, we’ll walk you through some simple checks for your journey. These checks are based on the most common errors that we see our users make, as well as the key items from our own internal checklist.

If you’re new to Autopilot, or are perhaps using some shapes for the first time in your journey, you can quickly get up to speed with how each trigger, action, and condition check works through our extensive Help Centre. You can also access pre-built templates for inspiration or instant use in the Templates Library, or explore more use-cases with the highly popular Success with Autopilot series.

We prepared this quick video to show you all the resources available for you to use. We’re constantly adding to these to ensure you can get the most out of your account, and quickly troubleshoot any problems that arise.

It’s important to note that Autopilot also has built-in failsafes. For example, if your journey is sending out content, you’ll be asked to confirm the journey is going live after hitting the publish button.

Also, if you’re trying to delete a list, segment or email, you’ll be asked to confirm your decision. If that particular information is being used in a journey somewhere, you’ll be shown an error message that prevents you from deleting it until you’ve removed it from the journey.

You can also add your own fallbacks in your content. We always recommend sending personalised content (it can deliver five to eight times higher ROI), however if you’re missing data points for some contacts you don’t want the exclusion to look like an error. When using the personalization variables in Autopilot, you can add an extra phrase to address your unnamed contacts, so it looks like this:


The most common examples are “hey” and “there”, but you can get creative - our personal favourites we’ve recently received are “captain” and “pal”.

You can also use Liquid template language to ramp up your email personalization.

2) Test your journey

Journeys can come in all shapes and sizes, as there are almost unlimited possibilities to create and automate. We see journeys that range from two shapes to multi-pathway journeys with over 200 shapes. The more complex a journey gets, the more opportunity for error.

Once you’ve reviewed your journey, the next thing you can do is test it. At Autopilot we test all of our journeys internally before publishing. It’s a simple way to ensure the journey flows as intended, and allows you to undertake the customer experience (albeit in a condensed amount of time).

In this video we’ll step you through testing your journeys.

3) Troubleshoot your journey

If you’ve hit publish on your journey, then notice it’s not operating as intended, you may need to troubleshoot to enable you to re-publish. Usually the issue will be a configuration error that can be easily fixed. In this video we cover the steps that our own customer teams take to troubleshoot journeys, to help you re-publish with confidence.

If you’ve watched our videos, checked out our Help Centre, and are still lost as to what’s happening in your journey, please reach out to our friendly support team at

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