My Office Autopilot Full & Honest Review & Comparison

Office Autopilot – Web Payment Processing & Shopping Cart Platform

Office Autopilot certainly has an impressive array of features, to rival the likes of Infusionsoft, 1Shopping Cart, Nanacast and Premium Web Cart. Firstly, it has full shopping cart software for web payment processing. This means that you can sell your products, subscriptions and memberships easily online as well as handle credit cards, refunds, referrals, upsells (it has one-click upsell functionality), physical product fulfillment and more.

Upon first inspection, it seems easy to use. I signed up to a 7-day free trial to give it a proper test drive and found that upon further inspection, it was still very easy to use. You can sign up for your own 7-day free trial here: Office Autopilot free trial.

Office Autopilot Feature #1: Capturing Leads & E-mail Marketing

OA has an autoresponder (similar to Aweber, Mail Chimp, Get Response etc) and a whole set of power tools for e-mail marketing. You can do split tests and it has a good set of statistical features – for example you can see exactly what pages each visitor is viewing. E-mail deliverability is assured to be excellent – comparable to Aweber etc.

Integrated with this is an ‘if-then’ rule system – similar to that of Infusionsoft. This is a kind of intelligent follow up system, whereby each of your subscribers receives a tailored follow up sequence, depending on their activity within your marketing and sales process – this is very powerful if utilised well. It may be slightly advanced for people who are new to e-mail and online marketing but Office Autopilot assures it’s pretty simple to set up (and they have support ‘heroes’ on hand to help you).

As well as e-mail, you can also automate the delivery of tasks, direct mail, voice broadcasts and fulfillment too – so it’s obviously much more feature/benefit rich than a standard autoresponder. This, they say, is the beauty of the centralised system – integrating with all the other aspects of your business, such as…

OA Feature #2: Customer Service & Training

You can follow up with your customers via phone, e-mail and live chat plus, they say, ‘killer training and design services’.office-autopilot-Customer-Service

My experience with customer service software is that it is going to be much easier to have your customer service centre integrated with all of the rest of your customer details and history.

Other options such as Kayako and Zen Desk are great but are separate from your autoresponder and membership software and fulfillment house if you use one, such as Kunaki for CDs and DVDs.

OA Feature #3: Affiliate Management & Tracking

OA has a robust and pretty easy to use affiliate management system with good tracking and stats analysis features. You can set up two tiers of affiliates (So that when your first level affiliates recruit other affiliates, you can reward them both – commission levels are set by you). You can also hard code your affiliates’ links in your e-mails that they can send out for you. This makes it much easier for them to make sales for you – they just swipe the e-mail you send and send it to their list, rather than having to inset their affiliate links into e-mails. A small thing, but makes a massive difference to the motivation of affiliates to send out your stuff – you need to make it super simple for them, your affiliates are busy people like you and you need to make to brain-dead easy for the to promote for you.

Your affiliate centre is managed in WordPress, making it very easy to upload your affiliate banners, swipe e-mails, articles etc and to give your affiliates access to their tools.

In my experience with both Post Affiliate Pro and Digital Access Pass, the Office Autopilot system is better for both vendors and affiliates to check stats and sales. Digital Access Pass is very good but the link and sales tracking is very basic – too basic in my view.

Also, with regards to the secure membership site functionality it offers, similar to Digital Access Pass, OA allows drip feed of content. This is an absolutely essential feature of membership site functionality that is terribly omitted from Wishlist Member’s set of features (and caused me to abandon Wishlist out of frustration, like many other users – trust me on this).

OA Feature #4: Hosted Drag-and-Drop Landing Pages

You can set up easy lead capture pages with the drag and drop landing page feature. They are hosted by OA (or can be hosted by your hosting account) and don’t require HTML or technical skills. You can also split test pages to see which ones perform and convert the best.

If you’re using a WordPress theme with squeeze page templates, such as James Dyson’s awesome Optimizepress, then you probably won’t need this feature. But if you’re struggling to create easy opt-in pages that convert well and that you can track easily, then you’ll find this a welcome feature.

OA Feature #5: WordPress Integration

office-autopilot-review-wordpress_logoOA offers the WordPress 1-click installation and fully integrates with an existing WordPress website. It also enables you to convert an existing WP site into a secure membership site easily, as well as add payment order forms. As I mentioned earlier, in my view this is MUCH better than Wishlist Member for membership site functionality and comparable to Digital Access Pass.

OA Feature #6: Event Management

Similar to Infusionsoft but a fair bit less confusion many people say, is Office Autopilot’s event management feature. For example, you can run webinars and teleseminars and then track and follow up with attendees, no-shows and referrals. This also links in with OA’s task management feature, which ensures complete follow up, closed loops, fulfillment and accountability -a major benefit of the cutting edge sales and marketing platform.  

OA offers the WordPress 1-click installation and fully integrates with an existing WordPress website. It also enables you to convert an existing WP site into a secure membership site easily, as well as add payment order forms.

OA Feature #7: Automated Fulfillment

Whether you deliver digital products via a secure members’ area or physical CDs and other products, , OA fully integrates with fulfillment houses and systems – which means that if you’re using Kunaki or Disk.com, say, to deliver DVDs, you don’t have to manually enter the customer’s address. It’s all automated and tracked.

Click here to visit Office Autopilot site.

OA Feature #8: Quirky Training Guy and ‘Heroes’

The training videos are conducted by a very quirky, dry and funny guy. When I first heard him, I wondered what he was going on about lol, but then I quickly got accustomed to his quirky sense of humour and I’ve listed this as a feature (and a benefit) because it is! He’s funny and the videos are enjoyable to watch :-)

The thought of setting up a shopping cart system and centralised business platform can seem somewhat dull, boring and daunting – the video tutorial guy lightens it up, makes it fun and explains it in a simple way.

Furthernore, you’re also assigned your own Office Autopilot ‘hero’ who will help you set up your whole system – making it sooooooo much easier than, say, Infusionsoft or even 1Shopping Cart, where you’re pretty much left to navigate it all on your own, or you need to employ an ecommerce solutions specialist – adding to the expense.  

My Conclusions

Office Autopilot is certainly up there with all the big web carts and undeniably provides a one-stop centralised business and marketing platform. It is easy to use, has very good raining videos, excellent customer service and a lot of help with setting up your systems.

It is more pricey than some of its competitors, but then it offers a fair bit more and over the medium to long term I am confident it will not only save you money when you tot up all the costs of each feature separately (affiliate management software, one-click upsell cart functionality, autoresponder, fulfilment module, membership site software, hosting, customer service intregration etc etc) but it will also help you greatly increase your monetisation of your websites and product/service offerings. I would estimate that by using OA you could easily increase your bottom line sales by 30% by simply using the intelligent follow up and rules system that OA has (and you’ll be less confused using it rather than Infusionsoft lol).

Also, see my OA review videos here

Ecommerce Solutions – Comparison of OA with Infususionsoft & Nanacast etc

Infusionsoft vs Office Autopilot

Infusionsoft’s main package is $299 per month, comparable to Office Autopilot at $297. Many of the features are similar – smart automation, e-mail marketing, fulfillment and follow up. I have not personally used Infusionsoft but I know it’s not dubbed ‘confusionsoft’ for no reason – many people I know use it and say that the customer service is less than great (in fact one of my internet marketing friends says that customer service is actually terrible) and I know at least 2 people who have stopped using Infusion and have switched to Office Autopilot and love it.

Winner: OA

1Shopping Cart

1Shopping Cart has a few pricing options, the most popular premium one, with affiliate management and payment gateway and one-click upsells is a reasonable $99 per month. Many online marketers use and are happy with 1Shopping Cart. It doesn’t have membership software included, nor does it have intelligent follow up or the ability to integrate physical fulfillment.

If you want multi-upsell functionality, this only comes with the $249 per month package, in which case, it is much more cost effective and feature rich to go with Office Autopilot. Customer service with 1SC is somewhat limited, unlike OA, whch advocates its strong customer service element and support ‘heroes’, as well as them setting up a lot of it for you.

Winner: OA – despite the higher price, it has greater functionality and customer support and will probably enable you to maximise your profits from your sales funnel than 1SC over time.

Nanacast

Nanacast as threee pricing options, the premium version is $147 per month, half of what OA is. It has some great features, most notably the automatic physical fulfillment feature – on-demand printing and worldwide shipping. It fully integrates with Kunaki and Disk.com (so you can send out DVD and CD versions of your products very cheaply and on autopilot) and whilst OA also has this feature, Nanacast is more versatile in this respect and has more options. Nanacast has an advanced coupon system, so you can hold dime sales and integrate dynamic pricing, this is a pretty cool and useful feature. Again, OA has this but is not as feature rich.

Nanacast does NOT include an autoresponder, so you’d have to pay extra each month for tat and use a third party provider such as Aweber, this means that not all of your business is centralised and also that you’d have an extra cost of at least $20 per month extra, although could be a lot more if you are building a large list.

I signed up for a free trial of Nanacast and did find it a little complicated and not as friendly a user interface as OA. Some reports on the Warrior Forum say that Nanacast is quite complicated to set up (and as far as I know, their support people don’t offer this as standard, unlike Office Autopilot).

Winner: Tie between OA and Nanacast – both have great features, Nanacast is a fair bit cheaper but lacks the ease of use in set up and the autoresponder feature, as well as intelligent follow up that OA has.

Premium Web Cart

Premium Web Cart has 3 pricing options – the full-feature professional package is $99.97 per month. It is a strong contender in the cart and centralised business platform arena. I actually tried a 30 day trial of PWC too and their customer service was excellent – I had at least a half hour Skype chat with one of their support people about how to integrate my existing membership site with PWC. That said, the membership site side of things I fund to be a problem – it does not easily integrate with a WordPress-based membership site, despite them saying it does. They suggest that you use their hosted membership site functionality. I found this to be a problem for two reasons:

1. I want my members area hosting with my hosting account – what if I want to sell it or stop using PWC in the future? I’d have to move it all or delete it.

2. The membership site function is pretty basic – no where near as good as, say, Digital Access Pass or even Wishlist Member and it certainly doesn’t look as beautiful as, say, Kajabi or an Optimizepress-based members area.

For these reasons, I cancelled my PWC sign up, despite it having loads of other great features – customer service platform, fulfillment modules, one-click upsells, affiliate management, coupons, bundling of products, autoresponder, customer surveys, tell-a-friend, suggest a feature and even a project management feature that gives Basecamp a run for its money.

If membership sites are not important to you, go for it but I’d suggest that you will definitely want to have some kind of paid and secure continuity program as part of your sales funnel, in which case, I would not opt for Premium Web Cart. Shame.

Winner: Office Autopilot

Optimizepress & Digital Access Pass

James Dyson’s Optimizepress ($97) and Ravi Jayogopal’s Digital Access Pass (around $247) certainly make a killer combo when it comes to sales funnel and secure members area – all looking pretty gorgeous in James’ HTML 5 WordPress theme (Optimizepress). Now firstly I need to say that this combo is NOT a shopping cart – you’d still need separate fulfillment house integration, autoresponder, customer service software etc. DAP comes with a robust affiliate programme (but with limited stats and tracking). So it’s not a centralised business platform like the others.

The reason I’ve included this combo in the review is that if you are looking for a one-off payment option and already have autoresponder, customer service centre and payment platform/gateway etc then this would be good option for you. I have used this exact combination for one of my products/member areas and it works pretty well. However, it’s not easy to have half price product sales or give coupons etc. DAP has now introduced coupons but it’s not as easy as doing it all and have it all under one roof like you can with Office Autopilot.

The obvious drawback with this combo is that you can’t track cutomer history and it doesn’t allow intelligent follow up. Therefore, when you’re at the stage of taking your business to the next level and have multiple products then I’d opt for an all-in-one platform, like OA.

Winner: OA – for volume of functionality the fact it’s a proper centralised ecommerce platform.