When Journey Builder made its entrance, many thought this was the answer to all their prayers. Have a look at these Journey Builder Best Practises.

A few years later, we all have had our ups and downs with this tool which for many, is impressive. But it can be not very pleasant. Is it a matter of ideas or expectations? Are we following the Journey Builder Best Practices? Or are we doing it wrong?

A screenshot from Salesforce’s Journey Builder. A journey has been created around purchase engagement and how the customer is further targeted through promo codes—email reminders and opportunities.

If you like Journey Builder, you might like some of our other Salesforce instalments as well. Have a look at out blog ‘What Should You Have In Your Salesforce Toolkit’

Basic Guidelines

– Keep it simple. Learn to walk before you learn to run. Focus on single rules and objectives at first like a welcome sequence or a thank you follow-up email.

– Plan it first. Before you open Journey Builder, plan the Journey itself and prepare all your data and content. There’s no use in creating the Journey if you don’t have anything to put into it.

– Start small, think big. Create single triggered emails or messages first. Use that simple journey to test your plan and gather basic metrics before you add extra complexity. For example, use the Welcome Sequence with Timed Waits before adding Engagement or Decision Splits. A brilliant Journey Builder Best Practise.

– Be timely. It’s not just about the length of the journey or the time between each activity: it’s about how you time data activities. Time your data updates and automation to avoid conflicts. Make 100% sure that you have the right data when you need it for your journeys.

One of the most significant element we find issues with our data extensions. Journey Builder’s Data Extension entry source takes a data extension from Email Studio or Contact Builder or List from Mobile Connect and places all the customers into the journey according to a schedule. You can also use Automation Studio to create and refresh the data extension. Or you can use an SMS List created in Mobile Connect.

Data Extensions

As far as suppression or publication, data extensions are concerned, create them in advance. These modifications can be selected and applied later on, in the email activity during configuration.

If the journey data is stored in multiple data extensions, create a single entry source data extension using a query. You can create questions in Automation Studio using the SQL Query Activity.

A screenshot from Salesforce’s Contact Builder showing off how Data Extensions can be used in relation to Journey Builder.

Don’t just bring everyone in to sort them out later: pre-filter your audience data extension, if possible, to speed processing. For example, link any data extensions into the data model in Contact Builder for filtering purposes.

When testing, create a copy of the entry source data extension as sendable and testable. Use this copy as a test group of contacts in pre-launch testing.

Always remember the difference between Journey Data and Contact Data and plan your data storage with this in mind. While the Data Extension entry source allows you to place a set of contacts into a journey on a schedule, an entry event uses data about customer behaviour to put touches into a trip. Entry events generally require a change in data about the customer that triggers an evaluation of that contact for admission in the itinerary. For a Welcome Series journey, for example, the action or behaviour is typically a customer opting into a marketing campaign or some sign up. For an Abandoned Cart journey, a contact is put into a trip when they leave items in their web shopping cart, and they have not checked out. Data Extensions are a great example of Journey Builder best practises.

Re-Entry Settings

How do you want customers to enter the journey? Choose the best entry point for putting users into the trip, and think about your re-entry criteria and how this can be done. Re-entry is set at journey level to control whether contacts can enter a journey more than once. It also serves a purpose if they need to be put back into the journey.

No re-entry: contacts will enter the journey only once and can never begin the journey again.

Re-entry only after exiting: a contact must exit the journey before being allowed to enter again.

Re-entry anytime: contacts can enter the journey more than one time, and the same connection can be at different points of the journey at the same time.

These are just some of the Journey Builder best practises that you can follow!

Want to learn more about Journey Builder? Have a look ‘here’ at the tool for the best-personalised communications they have to offer.

Gravitai has a range of experience with Journey Builder and implementations. Want to learn more about how we can help, ‘Contact Us’ we will be more than happy to have a chat and conversation.