Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder: An Introductory Guide


Journey Builder in Salesforce Marketing Cloud is extremely user-friendly. The visual nature of Journey Builder combined with drag-and-drop functionality makes this powerful tool fun to master for marketers.


I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Journey Builder and Marketing Cloud as a whole, and it has led me to pursue the path to learn as much as I can about Marketing Cloud. With my past experiences as a guide, here’s my take on Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder and how it can add oomph to your marketing efforts.


Reasons to Use Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder


We live in the age of the customer. Your customers use all kinds of technology and platforms to interact with the brands and businesses they love. Journey Builder allows you to build and automate personalized customer journeys that guide your customers through a series of  interactions with your company.


Difference between Marketing Cloud Journey Builder and Automation Studio


Marketing Cloud provides multiple tools for creating automations. However, it’s essential to choose the correct tool for each situation. In my work with clients, I’ve been asked many times what the key differences are between Journey Builder and Automation Studio


Marketing Cloud Automation Studio does provide functionality for building automations, but it is best for automating simpler tasks or events that occur in a linear fashion. For example, you can build automations for groups of individuals who will all receive the same one-off email, such as a monthly newsletter, or for file imports and SQL Queries Use. 


Journey Builder is specifically designed to create personalized multi-channel journeys for customers and prospective customers. Use it to create automations based on customer interactions that can happen on an individual basis and at any time. Interactions can include clicking an ad, downloading a whitepaper, making a purchase, and more. 



Customer Marketing Automation with Journey Builder


Here are some Journey Builder use cases to increase marketing ROI:


Re-Engage Customers and Prospects

Everyone gets busy — including the people who interact with your brand. Sometimes they need a reminder to come back and explore what you have to offer them.


Use Journey Builder to send multi-channel messaging to people who have interacted with your company in the past so they remember to come back and interact with you again.


Gather and Respond to Customer Feedback

Customers want to feel heard. Marketing Cloud users who are also using Service Cloud can leverage Service Cloud to solicit customer feedback, for example with a survey. When a customer offers feedback, Journey Builder can automatically send a response or a thank-you note.


Create Complex Multi-Channel Customer Journeys 

Marketers love drip campaigns. Marketing Cloud Journey Builder takes drip campaigns to a whole new level. The power of Journey Builder lies in the ability to take customers through a multi-channel journey, giving them a 360-degree brand experience across email, SMS, and even print and direct mail.  


Abandoned Shopping Cart

Your customers have indicated interest in your products after filling a virtual shopping cart. However, a distraction may have prevented them from completing the purchase. Journey Builder can bring back your customers by automatically reminding them of their shopping cart.


Physical Location Visits

Build a geofence around your physical location that triggers an action when your customers are nearby. For instance, you can send a message with a discount code to customers who visit your company’s physical location.



Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder Advantages


Journey Builder, in my opinion, is a game-changer for companies that need flows triggered by a specific event, whether that is in Salesforce or an API Event. 


Here are advantages Journey Builder provides:

  • User-friendly drag-and-drop interface

  • Entry criteria and filter criteria navigate you through the steps easily

  • Other aspects of Marketing Cloud needed for the Journey are integrated right into the Journey, such as Contact Builder Data Extensions and Mobile Connect SMS sends.

  • Journeys can be triggered by and can update Salesforce Data, which helps end users see what Marketing Cloud is doing for your Salesforce Org.

  • Journeys can be segmented into Audiences with the help of Automation Studio or only sent to your customers who have previously subscribed to a keyword.



Things to take into account while using Journey Builder


Here are some things to keep in mind when working with Journey Builder.


AMPscript and Content Builder Integration

The AMPscript and Content Builder integration is not very user friendly. It does not help you with errors or check to ensure your content is sendable. You can overcome these challenges through trial and error, so be sure to take that into account when estimating your timeframe for deliverables.


Working with Time Zones

Time zone differences in Marketing Cloud can lead to challenges. To meet these time zone challenges, the CRM Science team created a formula to send information in our preferred time zone rather than GMT.

This applied in both the Content Builder aspect when sending an appointment time as well as in the Wait Attributes. We could not have the Journey wait until a specified time to move to the next step. Contact us if you need help navigating time zone challenges in Marketing Cloud.


Finding Workarounds

Once Journey Builder is “figured out” and well understood by the Marketing Cloud user, the challenges tend to become less of an issue. The CRM Science team has been able to identify these issues and solve them using formulas and workarounds. However, I suspect that these issues will likely be resolved with future Salesforce releases. 




Kathryn (Zampino) Green

Salesforce Analyst

CRM Science





Contact the Lab Coat Experts

The CRM Science team includes several Marketing Cloud certified experts who can walk you through challenging features and get great ROI from your Salesforce product.


At CRM Science, we use our Salesforce expertise to transform your enterprise. Partnering with our clients throughout the Salesforce journey, we strategize and optimize business processes, and develop solutions across every Salesforce cloud. CRM Science is an award-winning Salesforce Silver Consulting Partner and a Registered Partner


Contact us to chat about your Salesforce projects.




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At CRM Science, we use our Salesforce expertise to transform your enterprise. Partnering with our clients throughout the Salesforce journey, we work with leaders to strategize and optimize business processes, and design and develop solutions across every Salesforce cloud. We empower companies to innovate faster, better engage with customers, and improve bottom lines. 

CRM Science is a Salesforce Silver Consulting Partner and a Registered Partner. Our strategic consulting services were recognized by Salesforce in four consecutive Salesforce Partner Innovation Awards, an annual recognition for partners that deliver outstanding client success. 

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