Journeys are a great way to set up and manage your automated email marketing.
Journeys allow you to send a sequence of emails and to visualise your customer’s journey as a flowchart. This makes your automations quicker to set up, simpler to manage and easier to visualise. With a handful of templates to get you started, automating your emails has never been easier.
Where to find Journeys
Navigate to Automations and Journeys will be selected by default. You can use the dropdown to switch over to standard date and signup automations.
Switch over to standard automations by selecting Automations.
Getting started with Journeys
The first page you will see when you start using Journeys will be the ‘Getting started with your journeys’ page. From here you will see any Journeys that you have already set up or you will be guided to your templates page so you are able to create a new Journey.
When you choose to make a New Journey, you have to choose a template. There are 5. Each template has its own form of a start step, specific for its purpose
Signup This is set to start 1 day after signup to a list of your choice. Perfect for a welcome series.
Re-engage: not opened This is set to start a number of days after contacts’ last open date.
So anyone who is drifting away from your emails, you can send them on a re-engagement journey and bring them back into the fold.
This also has its own hidden filter which will exit anyone from the journey if they open any email from that profile during the journey.
Re-engage: not clicked This is set to start a number of days after contacts’ last click date and works in the same way as opens but for clicks.
Anniversary This template sends the first email on the anniversary of any date field in the list, you can then add wait steps to follow on from there.
Custom date field This is close to a blank slate. Choose any date field from the list, choose a time rule (on, before, after etc.) and set the duration.
The Journey editor
In order to enter the editor pick a template and give your Journey a name.
You can rename your Journey at any time by clicking on the pencil icon by the name of the Journey.
There are a few ‘step’ types to choose from and each template will have at least the mandatory start step and a send step, you are free to add and remove steps below them.
Each step ‘node’ has its own options which will open in the toolbar from the right when you click one.
Every journey needs one of these and each template has its own one with the interface options configured to the template’s purpose.
The ‘custom date’ template can do everything that the other templates can do but you have to set them. If you make a re-engagement Journey, on last opened or clicked, using the custom date template, you will have to remember to make your own filter to have contact exit if they open/click other emails from your profile during the Journey.
To choose which contacts your Journey should apply to, click on the Start step on the Journey editing canvas, then Choose list from the toolbar.
With a Signup Journey you also alter the start time, which is the time of day the 1st email is sent.
Other templates will have more options as well: re-engagements have days after open/click, anniversary asks for the date field and Custom date asks for field, rule and the number of days.
In the start-step toolbar, beneath the list, you will find the filter button. This is where you can add extra criteria for who should start the journey, if you so wish.
This is the same filtering interface you will be familiar with from list segments and date automation filters.
This allows you to have multiple journeys on the same list using the date; be it signup, birthday, contract expiry, last purchase etc. etc. and to then target different contacts on that list using their custom field values, eg: county, country, RFM persona, age, email preferences etc. etc.
Every time a send step prepares to send it will check that the contacts still meet the filter criteria and any that do not will exit the Journey.
This allows you to ensure that contacts who achieve your journey’s goal can complete the Journey early and start another Journey using the same date field but different custom field values.
The send step is where you choose to send an email.
Click on a Send step to open the toolbar and then Choose message. From here you can search for, select and preview the message you want. When you’ve chosen the one you want, click Use this message. Your chosen message will now be shown on the send step.
The wait step is where you choose to make the journey wait a certain number of days before the next step in the journey, be it send another message or do something based on if they have opened, clicked or not.
Click on a Wait step to open the side panel and then enter the number of days you want the Journey to wait before sending the next message. You can also optionally set a time to end the wait.
The decision step is where you split the journey and send contacts down different paths based on what they did with the last email they received. They are Yes/No decisions for Opened and Clicked. This is only allowed after a wait step or another decision step.
When you add a decision step after a wait step it will be set to ‘open’. You can click the step to open the toolbar to change it to a click decision if you like.
If you want to have three outcomes: not open, open not click, clicked; you can nest a 2nd decision after an open decision. This will be set to click.
Add a step
To add a step, click on the plus button ‘+’ before or after a step and choose the step type you want to add. The available steps might be different depending on the previous step.
Remove a step
To remove a step from the Journey, click the cross ‘x’ on the top right of the step.
note: removing a decision step will also remove all steps below it.
Saving your Journey
Your Journey will automatically save every time you rename it, use undo or redo, add or remove a step or confirm changes from the sidebar.
Undo or redo changes
You can undo and redo changes made to your Journey by using the undo / redo buttons in the top bar of the editor.
Undo and redo work for the duration of an editing session. When you leave the editor, your change history will be reset. Your Journey will automatically save every time you undo or redo a change.
Activating a Journey
Once you are ready with your Journey and the panel on the right says ‘Ready to activate‘ you will be able to activate your Journey. Simply press the Activate button to start.
There is some validation on which steps you can have after each other and the “Activate” button will only be clickable if your journey’s steps order is valid. eg: you can’t have multiple send steps one after the other without a wait step between them.
Once you have clicked Activate the page will switch from editor to in-step reporting on the journey flow. You can check here each day to see the sent, open, click & opt-outs per step.
Deactivating a Journey
You can click the Deactivate button to stop the journey sending.
Once a Journey has been activated, you cannot edit it even if you deactivate it.
Please be aware that because each send step requires contacts to have received the previous send step, if you deactivate and then reactivate after send steps would have been sent, contacts will have missed a step and will drop out of the journey.
Managing your Journeys
When you have a Journey set up it will appear in your Journeys page. You will be able to find all of your Journeys here with their current status shown on the right hand side:
- Draft: this Journey has not yet been activated
- Active: this Journey is active
- Inactive: this Journey was active but has since been deactivated
In each of the Journeys you will see the date that it was last edited and by whom. In addition, the dropdown on the right side will allow you to duplicate a Journey. Note that all duplicates will default to the Draft state.
Q: What is the difference between Journeys and the existing Automations?
A: Journeys have a very useful flowchart interface allowing you to have a clear order of messages each contact will receive as time goes by. A contact can only enter a journey by meeting the start rule criteria and each subsequent step will only send to contacts who received the previous step.
Each step in a date automation builds its audience from the entire list based on its own rules, without taking into account who received emails from other rules which may have sent to them before or which order they might have sent to contacts.
Q: Can I copy a Journey?
A: Sure, just head to the Journeys page and find the Journey you wish to copy. There will be a dropdown to the right of the Journey. Within the dropdown is a Duplicate option. When you duplicate, the new Journey will have Draft status.