Autopilot, a new marketing automation vendor that just raised $7 million in July, is announcing a new feature called Headsup.

…or is it a new channel?

Autopilot refers to Headsup as an altogether new channel. That feels like a stretch, but there’s no doubt that Headsup is different.

Marketers don’t often see an 89 percent open rate or 41 percent click-through rate but, according to Autopilot, that’s what early results from Headsup show.

What is it?

Headsup is a new way to activate customers as they engage with your app or website without employing interruptive — and let’s face it, annoying — popups or interstitial pages. It’s reminiscent of live chat in look and feel, at least at first. But it isn’t live chat, nor does it require support reps.

Think of it as an automated gesture to nudge the visitor or user in the right direction — a direction dictated in advance by the marketer based on specific attributes or qualifications.

Autopilot Headsup Screenshot_1

Above: In-app and on-site examples of Headsup

Headsup functions a bit like an on-site or in-app concierge, guiding the customer through a journey, or at least to the next step with the right message and call-to-action.

In a recent report, we found that web personalization is becoming increasingly democratized, but most efforts are around content personalization on specific pages, rather than focused on the customer journey.

Preliminary results for Headsup are impressive.

Compared with average email metrics Autopilot cites from Mailchimp (feel free to substitute your own), Headsup fares very well. Here’s a comparison Autopilot shared from 8,375 Headsup messages across 94 beta customers, versus email:

  • Email had an open rate of 21%, compared with 89% for Headsup.
  • Email had a click rate of 2.9%, compared with 41.23% click rate for Headsup.

In a press release, Zak Holdsworth, CEO of Hint Health said, “We use Headsup to help onboard our customers, roll out new features, and offer customers expert tips and insights – all in app and at the right time.”

Headsup allows marketers to create automated, yet personal, touches in order to engage customers at the right place and time on their sites and apps. If the preliminary success metrics hold strong, we’re likely to see similar features crop up in other marketing automation tools as well.