Introduction to building a journey

Last update: 2023-09-22
  • Created for:
  • Beginner

Understand the basics of building a journey in the journey canvas.


In this video, we’ll introduce you to the basics of building a journey in the journey canvas. We’ll introduce the journey canvas, describe the different activities available on the left pallet for building a journey and show you how to build a simple journey.

When I click on Journeys from the Journey Optimizer homepage, you’ll be taken into the list of existing journeys. This is where you can view and manage all of the journeys that have been created in your organization.

You have filters on the left that can help you narrow down the list and find the specific journey that you’re looking for.

For each of the journeys on the list, I can click on the journey name to open up the journey in the journey canvas, or click on the three dots for options to view the report for a live journey. Duplicated if I want to create a new journey based on the existing one, close or stop a live journey or delete. The available options will depend on the journey status whether it’s in draft, live or has been closed or stopped.

To create a new journey, I can click the Create Journey button in the upper right corner.

This takes me into a blank journey canvas where I can start by giving the journey a name and edit some of the overall properties of the journey such as whether individuals can go through the journey more than once, time zone settings, optional start and end dates and timeout and error settings when reading data or executing messages and other actions within a journey.

Also note that you can click on the hamburger icon in the upper left to close the Journey Optimizer navigation and give yourself more room to work.

On the left side of the canvas, you have a pallet of available activities you can use to build a journey by dragging and dropping the desired activity into the canvas. These activities fall into three categories. Events are individual behavioral events or other person specific events such as a mobile app user enters a geo-fence around one of your stores or a web user adds an item to their online shopping cart or an individual’s order has been shipped from the warehouse. You can configure the specific events you want Journey Optimizer to listen for under configurations in the Journey Optimizer left navigation and they’ll show up here in the activity pallet in the journey canvas. You can set any of these events as a starting point of a journey or you can listen for specific events later in a journey to advance the journey, the individual down different paths. For example, I could set my journey to start when a user adds tickets to a cart. Then I could listen for the subsequent event of a user completing the purchase of those tickets.

For that subsequent purchase event, I can set a time out of say three days and then check the box to include a timeout path. So now in my journey, I have two alternate paths for this event where I can set a certain message or other actions that should be triggered when the person completes the trigger ticket purchase or an alternate path where I can trigger a different message or action if the person hasn’t completed the ticket purchase after three days. In addition to the person’s specific events, Journey Optimizer can also listen to business events that do not pertain to a specific person but could be used to trigger a message to a relevant audience. For example, a flight delay could trigger a message to an audience of the passengers on that flight.

Orchestration controls allow you to control the flow of the experience within a journey. The read segment activity is used in audience-based journeys to specify the specific audience that you want to address with your journey. So you can start a journey with a read segment activity, specify the audience that you want to target with that journey, say users in India, then specify the schedule on which that journey should start as soon as possible, right at once at a given time or daily or weekly or monthly recurring runs of this journey at times and dates that you specify.

Alternatively, you could begin a journey with a business event such as a score alert for a basketball game and follow up that business event with a read segment activity to specify the segment that you want to target in response to that business event. In our case, subscribers to our score update service and then you can edit the journey from there.

So between the individual events we discussed earlier and these two different ways of initiating an audience-based journey with a read segment activity or a business event followed by a read segment activity, you have a powerful set of options for setting up the start of a journey for both real-time one-to-one and audience-based use cases. In other videos, we’ll show you specific examples of each of these types of use cases.

Your orchestration control activities also include conditions which allow you to tailor a journey to each individual based on their real-time customer profile on the experience platform or context data from an event or data from other external sources that you can access in real time. For example, I can check whether an individual in this journey is a loyalty member or not.

For example, I can check whether the individual in this journey is a loyalty member or not and create separate branches to tailor the experience for these two groups.

Setting this up really quick and then we’ll start talking once it’s there.

Or I could create multiple paths for each of the loyalty status tiers to create an even more differentiated experience.

You can also use the condition activity to create conditions based on time or dates or to create random percentage splits to test different messages or experiences within your overall audience.

There’s also a wait activity that you can use to control the timing and sequencing of steps within a journey.

Finally, we have actions. These include the built-in message action to send email or push notifications through Journey Optimizer’s native messaging services as well as a built-in function for making updates to the real-time profile based on what’s happened in the journey. You can also configure additional custom actions to execute API calls to third-party services. These custom actions can be used to add other messaging channels or touchpoints that you can orchestrate in the journey canvas. So now you’ve seen the journey canvas and the different activities that you have available in the left pallet in order to build a basic journey. In other videos, we’ll show you more specific and complete use cases based on off of the different types of journeys that you can develop in the Journey Optimizer canvas. -

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