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Journey Builder: The Salesforce Tool to Build Personalized Customer Journeys

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Monica Barthalomeo,

March 22, 2022

Journey Builder: The Salesforce Tool to Build Personalized Customer Journeys

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Customers are the bedrock of every business. Today, customer preferences, needs and expectations are constantly evolving. And, the way companies are identifying and adapting to these massive changes shows how innovative and resilient they are in these challenging times.

Understanding where exactly your customers are on their journey with your brand is the need of the hour. To cut through the competition and stay ahead in the industry, businesses need to address the following aspects carefully.

  • Know who your target audiences are
  • Identify the stage of the journey your customers are in
  • Analyze if you’re engaging with customers and moving together with them in the journey
  • Determine if you can measure the overall impact

In this blog, we will address how you can tackle these challenges. Also, we’ll learn how to provide unparalleled personalized experiences to your prospects, so that you can propel your business to the next level.

What Is Journey Builder?

Journey Builder is a powerful tool of Salesforce Marketing Cloud that helps you build personalized one-to-one customer journeys. By providing an intuitive user interface (UI), it allows you to create various individualized interactions within a single platform viz., Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

You can set goals based on user behavior, using Journey Builder. This helps your marketing team understand their role and the impact of the campaigns they run. To amplify the influence of Journey Builder, you can integrate Marketing Cloud with both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud and align all the respective teams. The outcome of this mix will help you deal with any customer response effectively, while avoiding any redundancy in your overall process.

Journey Builder empowers businesses to listen and connect across various channels. Marketers can automate digital marketing across online channels. Also, it allows you to test and optimize different types of marketing content for various channels easily.

How to Use and Implement Journey Builder for Your Business?

Discovering customer needs, preferences and wants is a constant challenge that companies face. But not anymore! Journey builder will assist you in identifying customer needs faster without much hassle. With these data insights, you can develop relevant content that resonates with your buyer personas easily and drives more engagement.

Campaign automation helps you align your marketing and sales initiatives better, increases your process efficiency, allows you to scale up and nurture your leads, eventually letting you boost your conversion rate. Journey Builder enhances the efficacy of marketing campaign automation in a big way.

Unlike other tools, Journey Builder is a visual flow tool that helps marketers design automated omnichannel customer journeys by themselves.

Marketers can set and configure activities with the program analytics engine. This analytics engine runs responsive automated campaigns while constantly evaluating customer interactions. Thus, it gives you a trigger when your prospects are ready for more interaction through other touchpoints such as text messages and phones.

All these actions make your customer journey even more engaging and personalized helping you boost customer loyalty and increase your ROI through customized experiences.

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Journey Builder for SFMC Users

If you think that implementing Journey Builder is a tedious task, then you’re mistaken. Getting started with this powerful tool is very easy. All you need to do is get in touch with your Salesforce Account Manager to add this module to your regular Salesforce subscription for an additional fee. Talking about the functionality and the price of this tool of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, most marketers find it to be a smart investment.

Journey Builder defines the roles and responsibilities of every user. For instance, if you want to restrict data access to specific roles within the organization or team, you can manage it easily with this powerful tool.

Key Differences between Automation Studio Vs. Journey Builder

Salesforce Automation Studio is a marketing tool that focuses on the Extract, Transform, and Load cycle. Basically, Automation Studio lets marketers gather data from multiple systems, automate specific tasks for segmentation and deploy email campaigns. If you’re looking for advanced automated segmentation, this tool will help you leverage data queries and filters. It’s the perfect tool to execute repetitive processes.

On the contrary, Journey Builder lets you personalize customer journeys that are engaging using its simple drag-and-drop feature. This powerful tool from Salesforce helps you not only individualize customer journeys but also empowers multi-channel communications at scale. Also, it provides relevant goals and success KPIs to monitor and manage all your efforts.

Both tools provide a decisive advantage. So, instead of choosing between the two, why not leverage the combined potential of the Automation Studio and Journey Builder to amplify your marketing efforts?

3 Pillars of Journey Builder

Marketers can choose either to create versatile complex customer journeys or mere simple ones, thus choosing their paths and encouraging multi-step adventures. In Journey Builder, there’s something for everyone irrespective of what message you want to communicate with your prospects.

Journey Builder’s multi-step journey comprises the following three fundamental pillars:

  • Entry Source
  • Activities
  • Flow Control
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Let’s delve deeper into these pillars.

Entry Source

The data that you select will have a major impact on the insights and analysis that your customer journey can produce. For instance, uploading events from APIs to relevant Cloud pages will help you better understand the timeframe that your audiences are active on social media and their interests. You can also use geolocation data for better insights.

The more segmented your data source is, the better your customer journey results will be. Segmentation tools let marketers build customer journeys without having to write even a single line of code.

Using the same data source for multiple journeys will lead to incorrect data processing of your contacts throughout your journey. Instead, you can make a pre-filtered copy of each data source and store it for reference. Also, by utilizing different data sources for your campaigns, you can avoid contact duplication and spamming and enhance the quality of your data processing.

Pre-filtering data can help you save time and resources enabling you to concentrate on other important aspects of customer journey building. You can select an ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) tool from Automation Studio to conduct segmentation on a large scale and then inject that data into Journey Builder.


How your customers respond to your messages sent across various touchpoints determines the efficacy of the communication between your company and them.

For example, if your customers are opening your mails, clicking the in-app notifications or SMSs, your relationship is sailing well. However, if there’s no response at all, there’s a loophole you need to identify and fix.

This is where Journey builder comes into play. It offers you varied options where your buyer personas may want to receive messages or notifications about forthcoming events or product releases from your brand. Pilot test these options and work out a strategy that works the best for your customers and business.

Flow Control

Now it’s time to decide on the flow control of your overall messaging. For example, you need to determine how many messages you can send across on each channel, how you can optimize or A/B test a live campaign once it goes public and the number, frequency and tone of the messages.

Next, ensure that your audience can have the same consistent experience during the interactive journey by changing audience rules. You can utilize a path optimizer to get assistance while testing various paths. Based on the outcome of the path optimization, you can send feedback to prospects who’ve chosen specific options.

Deleting decision-splits in the path will lead to deletion of the subsequent path and actions. Likewise, you need to be aware of any additional steps to an existing project or process.Updating paths won’t be a smart choice as all the existing contacts for that version will remain untouched. On the contrary, copying what you need from other sites or paths using the ‘copy’ option helps you update your journey immediately. Hence, new contacts added to the second journey will be updated in the new one.

While using Journey Builder, you may encounter some problems. Staying calm and being ready for change will help you get the most out of building a journey.

Best Practices of Using Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder

Journey Builder is a user-friendly tool of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. With the help of this tool, you can expand the reach of your marketing campaign expeditiously. Here are some best practices to get started with Journey Builder.

Journey Builder Best Practices

Check Out Journey Builder Templates

A customer journey is a series of steps that has an end goal. Be it newsletters, emails or invitations, Journey Builder has a plethora of pre-built templates for all your marketing needs. All you need to do is pick the one that best suits your audience, get started and learn more about your customers as the journey progresses.

Organize Your journeys

Journey Builder templates are a great way to organize your customer journey into various chunks and visualize the entire journey from your customer’s point of view. You can ensure high levels of consistency in customer interactions that is otherwise difficult to achieve. With these templates, you don’t have to work on creating marketing journeys right from the scratch but leverage their effectiveness to connect to your prospects better.

Draw the Journey You Want to Build on Paper

Having a blueprint of the prospective customer’s journey will help your team understand what it looks like and give you an idea of a successful journey. It is a good practice to pen down your journey layout before getting started on Journey Builder.

Leverage Journey History

Journey history is a feature of this powerful tool that helps you audit and fix any issues that may arise in the journey that you’re currently designing. Also, it helps you view previous journeys created by others and you that could have been defective. Ensure that you scrutinize the entire journey before you hit the ‘Send’ button.

Five Things to Know Before Creating a Journey in Salesforce Journey Builder

Here are a few things that you need to know about creating a journey with Marketing Cloud Journey Builder.

  • This tool doesn’t offer a ‘Pause’ option
  • Data merging is not allowed
  • Ensure that you define appropriate measures before beginning any journey
  • Leverage data extensions by adding it to Data Designer
  • Learn how to test journeys

Now that we know about the best practices of creating a good customer journey and how Journey Builder can amplify your marketing efforts, it’s time to implement the Salesforce product. You must partner with a company that is an expert in enabling businesses make the best use of this innovative application’s capabilities. The team at Solunus will understand your unique business needs and implement proven industry best practices to empower you to ensure excellent customer experiences. Contact us to learn how we can help you enhance your marketing efforts and meet your revenue goals.

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About Solunus

Solunus is a dedicated Salesforce partner organization, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Our unrelenting focus on comprehending the unique needs of our clients coupled with our unrivaled expertise of the Salesforce platform enables us to deliver the perfect solutions that create the best value for IT and business analytics firms.