#019. 5 common Journey Builder mistakes

Happy New Year Smart Marketers! I wish you a year full of joy and opportunities!

Today, I want to talk about Journey Builder. The backbone of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Every Salesforce Marketing Cloud user has seen it.

Whenever a demo is performed, it starts and ends in Journey Builder.

This is the place where you connect the dots.

Where you put communications in front of your customers at the right moment, with the right offer.

Where you address friction points. Guide his journey towards a purchase/renewal or any other goal you defined.

During the framing phase, we’ll often “map” customer journeys.

That means, using a tool like Miro, we’ll define every customer journey with the brand:

  • Each step
  • Each touchpoint
  • Each channel

These are NOT the journeys you’re going build in Journey Builder.

So, Let’s dive in!

#1 Trying to turn each Customer Journey on the Map into a single Journey in JB

The Customer Journey Map is just the 1st step of the process.

It’s not a detailed requirements list.

Talking about relations, a Customer Journey can lead to a dozen Journeys in Journey Builder and the opposite is also true.

Keep in mind that there’s objectively no “best” way to build a journey in JB.

But there is a way Product Marketing sees its Customer Journey Map and there is a way Marketing Operations run their campaigns.

Once the 2 parts have agreed on Key Performance Indicators, it’s up to Marketing Ops to decide how they will build in Journey Builder.

Being aware of its limitations, considering possible evolutions, and leaving space for testing.

#2 Too many steps or too long duration

I’m talking about efficiency here.

Every week, I happen to meet with a “monster journey builder”. Sure, you know them too:

  • 100+ steps
  • 4+ channels
  • 20+ filter activities
  • 450 days of cumulated delay between entry and exit
  • Some custom activities

Sometimes you have no choice, I could agree.

But let’s see what can go wrong in such a journey:

  • Opening the journey in Edition mode will take time ;
  • Maintenance will be difficult ;
  • Too many filters means either there were not enough filters at the entry point or very little population in branches ;
  • Long duration cancels testing.

The list could go on but to get to the point, here’s what you should do:

  • Fix a limit to the number of activities in a Journey ;
  • Fix a limit to the duration ;
  • Fix a clear goal ;
  • Define exit criteria.

#3 Re-entry bad use

Some users just don’t read and click “next” buttons.

Allowing a re-entry on a welcome journey can cause damages if the entry criteria is not well defined.

Denying a re-entry on a birthday journey that is the same every year will hurt customer satisfaction.

Not allowing multiple entries for an abandoned cart journey will make you miss opportunities.

Give it some time and think it through for each use-case.

#4 Not thinking about data first

You won’t be able to merge. Be sure you have deduplicated data.

You need to prepare your data extensions and link them properly in data designer before launching anything.

Try to list what you need and what you may need before creating these objects: make them easily scalable.

#5 Not testing

So, you have no “grey” activity in your journey… please test before Activating.

You must test your journeys properly. Document them.

Document the tests.

You’ll be happy to find this kind of document when you get a new job!

That’s all for today!

Have a nice week folks!

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