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Journey Builder in Salesforce Marketing Cloud:
How to Use and Best Practices

Salesforce Journey Builder is an intuitive marketing tool that allows you to interact with your customers on a 1-to-1 customer experience platform across multiple channels. 

Learn how to make every interaction with your customers as consistent and unified as possible. Connect every communication across email, mobile, advertising, and the web for a seamless customer experience. 

This guide covers everything you need to know about this innovative program and its activities.

What is Journey Builder?

This feature in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud makes it easy for you to design customer journeys by giving you a straightforward user interface to build multiple individualized interactions all within one feature in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. 

With this tool, you can set goals based on behaviors, so your marketing team knows how each one of their campaigns contributes towards the bigger goal.

With Journey Builder, SFMC can provide you with the ability to integrate with Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. As a result, you can keep on top of any customer responses while avoiding duplication in efforts.

How to Use and Implement Journey Builder Salesforce Within Your Organization

This tool gives your customers a way to find what they want easily and quickly while giving you the data you need for better insights on creating content that resonates with all ages and demographics of your customer base.

This software makes it easy to automate campaigns. Your campaign can start by converting leads to another marketing channel based on their behavior. 

It is an easy-to-use visual flow tool where marketers can design their own automated omnichannel customer journeys in campaigns for:

  • Email
  • SMS Push notifications
  • Targeted ads

You set your activities and configure them with the program’s analytics engine. It will run responsive automatic campaigns while evaluating customer interactions continuously, so you know when they are ready for more contact from other channels, like phone or text messages.

It turns your customer’s experience of using your product into an engaging journey. It helps increase loyalty and ROI by providing personalized interactions with customers while simplifying developing these customized experiences.

As a supplement, we’ve built a useful solution; the DESelect Search Chrome Extension, making it easier for users to quickly search for the following elements in their marketing cloud.

  • Data Extensions
  • User Sends
  • Email Templates
  • Content
  • Automations
  • Query Activities
  • Filter Definitions
  • All Content Builder objects

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Journey Builder for SFMC Users

Getting started with Builder is easy. All you need to do is speak to your account manager about adding the module to your subscription–it’s an additional fee, but most marketers find it to be a smart investment. 

This application defines the roles and responsibilities of users. For example, who can edit a journey? And who can only view it?

Here’s an overview of the SFMC user roles and permissions:

Journey Builder Roles in Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Note: green means permissions granted. Yellow means permission not explicitly granted or denied.

Automation Studio Vs. Journey Builder: The Key Differences

Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Automation Studio and Journey Builder both serve different purposes. The purpose of Automation Studio is to perform ETL, whereas Journey Builders’ goal is to create that 1:1 individualized journey for your prospect communications. Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Automation Studio will allow you to send emails automatically. It also allows for simple data and file imports, which is great if that is what your needs are.

What Builds a Journey: 3 Pillars

If you’re looking for a way to engage your customers and provide an unforgettable experience, then Journey Builder in Marketing Cloud is the perfect solution. From multi-step adventures where they choose their own path through or send journeys where it’s as simple as pressing “send,” there is something here for everyone, no matter what kind of message you want to deliver.

It allows you to create complex customer journeys adaptable to almost any need a marketer can imagine.

A multi-step journey comprises three main pillars. You can add more complexity by adding other parts from the Sales Cloud or Service Cloud. Here are the three pillars:

Entry Source

The data you choose will make an incredible difference in the type of insights and analysis that your journey can produce. For example, uploading an event from APIs to Cloud Pages would be great for understanding when customers are most active on social media or what interests them. It also uses geolocation information for better insights.

There are many possibilities from which you can choose. Remember that the more segmented data source you choose, the better results your journey will get. Segmentation tools allow marketers to build journeys without having to write a single string of code.

Do not use the same entry source data extension to power multiple journeys, as this can lead to incorrect processing of your contacts throughout your journey. This action will also avoid spamming or duplicating contact communication. Instead, make a pre-filtered copy for each.

By pre-filtering your data, you can save time and energy on some of the more tedious aspects that come with building a journey. Choosing an ETL (Extract Transform Load) tool like Automation Studio to perform large-scale segmentation before injection into Journey Builder. 

For example, DESelect’s drag-and-drop interface lets users create advanced segments by simply telling them what they are looking for to create segments immediately. This process saves both time and frustration. 

Activities

The messages you send to your customers reflect the relationship between them and your company. They show how successful that journey was. 

If they’re opening the emails or clicking through from SMS, or text notifications, it’s likely going well. But if there is no response at all–could something be wrong? 

Journey Builder can help with this by offering various ways in which people may want to receive information about the next events or product releases. 

Test out these different options, then decide on one particular strategy best suited for those who will receive updates via phone number, text messaging.

Flow Control

Now you must decide on the flow of your journey. What are the cadence, quantity, and frequency? How many messages do you want to send out in each episode? Do you want any A/B tests or optimization for a live campaign once it goes public after creation?

To ensure that your audience can experience the same interactive journey, it is essential to learn how to change the rules of the audience in Journey Builder Marketing Cloud. You can use a path optimizer functionality. The way this works is by testing different paths. Then you will send it on as feedback to everyone who has chosen it for themselves. 

However, if you delete one of the Decision Splits in your pathway, all subsequent parts will also get deleted. If there are additional steps added to an already running process or project, beware. 

Updating won’t work because any existing contacts for that version will remain intact. Instead, copy what’s needed from another site using “copy” so everything gets updated at once. Only new contacts added to the second journey will get the updated journey. 

There are many nuances about using and implementing Journey Builder Salesforce. Be prepared to encounter unexpected situations. Stay calm and be ready to change aspects, so you get the most out of building a journey.

Marketing Cloud Journey Builder Best Practices: Things to Consider

This marketing cloud feature is user-friendly, which you can use to expand your marketing campaign reach rapidly. Here are some best practices from our Marketing Cloud experts for getting started on this new platform:

Check Out Journey Builder Templates

This application offers pre-built templates for many of your marketing needs, so you can choose what best fits your audience. A journey is a series of steps or stages to reach an end goal, and there are plenty available on the site. 

There is everything from simple newsletters about upcoming events, to emails or invitations to take part in surveys that helps you learn more about your customers.

Organize Your Journeys

Salesforce Journey Builder templates are a great way to organize the complexity of your journey into bite-sized chunks, giving you an overview and consistency that can be difficult under other circumstances.

With templates, you can create a variety of journeys without having to start from scratch every time. These designs are easy for your users as well.

Draw the Journey You Want to Build on Paper

Starting with the layout of a journey is vital for success. Once you have an idea in mind, it is time to start sketching. 

Create it on paper before creating one in Journey Builder Canvas so you have an idea of what to do next when working from home or on your laptop.

Leverage Journey History

This software overview has an exceptional tool for auditing or fixing bugs in the journey you are currently working on, which is very handy if something goes wrong with it. 

This feature also allows you to review previous journeys created by yourself or other employees that could have had some issues, so be sure to check this out before pressing “send.”

Other Pertinent Information to Consider

When you need to reach new audiences with your marketing, the Marketing Cloud Journey Builder can be a powerful tool. Check out these five things to know about creating a journey:

  • There is no option to pause
  • It does not merge data
  • Ensure you define measures before beginning
  • Add data extensions on Data Designer
  • Know how to do testing

Let's Build a Journey Together

Now it is time to consider the above best practices and build a journey in this marketing cloud. Before adding users to your journey entry source, you will segment the audience with specific use cases in mind. This addition will let you focus on the quality of interactions rather than quantity.

The purpose of your campaign is to cross-sell to customers. Therefore, you first need to define who to target with your communication. You will use a no-code drag-and-drop segmentation solution for Salesforce Marketing Cloud DESelect to segment your audience.

You will combine the information from two data extensions: Purchases and Contacts. 

The best way to market your product is by cross-marketing it. This approach means you need to find out who purchased a specific product in the past month and then exclude them from another campaign for entirely different kinds of goods or services. 

Once excluded from one marketing effort, their personal information will be used as part of a new data extension when sending more targeted messages about something else.

Cross-sell Journey Builder journey with DESelect

We know that every customer has a different buying process, so we must strategically target them at the right time. Some of our customers will buy immediately, while others may need more convincing. 

It is up to you how your message resonates with your audience. So, start by selecting an entry source like Facebook or LinkedIn. This reason is that if they are on one of these platforms, then there is a good chance that they might be interested in what you’re offering! 

Once selected, click Connected Sources, and choose whichever platform applies–for example, Twitter or Reddit, then set up the campaign as desired by sending specific content depending on their interests.

Implementing the right Journey in Journey Builder can be significantly optimized with our Segmentation solution, to help you manage your data and personalize your campaigns seamlessly and independently. 

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