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  3. The Journey Designer Guide

The Journey Designer Guide

WebEngage Journey Designer is a drag-n-drop marketing automation workflow builder designed for product and marketing teams. Think of it as an If-This-Then-That recipe on steroids or a humanised BPM platform. It lets you plan engagement campaigns across multiple channels from a single canvas.

Journey designer runs in the context of a single user at a time. Each user enters and exits a journey based on triggers and state completion. There are multiple blocks that contribute to journey structure: triggers, action, conditions and flow control. In this guide, you will be shown step by step process of creating a journey.

Below are some concepts that might be useful to understand before diving into journey module implementation –

Mapping of Users to Journey: Each user enters/exits each journey separately. There are multiple triggering criteria on the basis of which a user enters/exits a journey. Each trigger criteria pushes a single user inside a journey.

Parallel paths concept within Journey – Each user can be a part of multiple paths within a journey. Eg: If a user reaches a block that activates email, a user can be part of parallel flow such as email delivered, email opened and email clicked. Each journey path that continues from each of these outputs (email delivered, opened, clicked) will keep the user active in each of these paths separately. Once a user reaches exit node, execution of all other paths ceases immediately.

Journey Designer Primer

Eg: in the above example, a user on receiving an email message, can co-exist in 3 parallel flows. If the user clicks on a link, user can remain in 2 of the flows (On_open and On_click), and both the conditions ‘Check if the user has done Event’ and ‘Check User attribute’ gets activated in parallel.

Journey Clause in case of parallel paths – Each user will remain in each of these paths till either of the following happens:

  • An ‘end journey’ triggers is actively set
  • A user completes the journey across all its parallel paths
  • An ‘exit trigger’ gets fired for the journey

‘Exit trigger’ supersedes all rules as an exit criteria. 

Journey 4

Campaign message validity period – Each action block remains active till a predefined time.set time. An action block is eligible to be shown to a user if the TTL criteria satisfies. An action block (campaign) won’t be shown to a user if the TTL expires. Eg: On activating an In-app message campaign, the message would be visible only if the user happens to be active within the app. The In-app message would expire and no longer be visible to a user if the time to wait exceeds TTL.

Campaign Message

Eg: if the Validity period is set to 30 days, the message would only be shown to user if he/she opens the app within next 30 days. The time starts when the user reaches the node and not from the date of start of the journey. Each user will have a unique validity end date depending on when the user reaches the node (whose validity is set).

Email cc/bcc impacts journey stats – All emails marked as cc/bcc will receive email message along with the original recipient. However, any opens/clicks occurring due to recipients marked in cc/bcc would also impact the journey (email block) stats. Emails marked as cc/bcc won’t enter the journey flow and would not impact the user flow of the original journey participant.

Creating your first Journey

  1. Go the the Journeys module.Image 1
  2. Click on ‘Create New Journey’ button on top right corner.
  3. Journey Designer canvas loads. On the left, there’s the blocks sidebar, containing different types of building blocks. On the right there’s the Journey Canvas.Image 2
  4. Drag and drop a block to the canvas. Each block can be individually deleted.
  5. As soon as you drop it to the Canvas, a new block is created.Image 3
  6. Click the block to configure.Image 4
  7. Each Step/block have outcomes. Hover over the right end of each block to activate the set of outcomes. Click on selected outcome value and drag to connect the block to other blocks. These links are termed as connectors.Image 5
  8. Each connector can be used for joining two blocks uniquely. However, each connector can be used for connecting to multiple forward blocks. Each connector can also be deleted individually.
  9. Create more such steps by dragging blocks from the sidebar and create links by dragging and connecting an outcome to the next step.
  10. On completing journey, click on ‘Save Draft’ button  on top right.Image 6
  11. Verify each block and connector. Click on ‘Publish Journey’ to activate the Journey.Image 7

Snippets

As a safeguard, each journey can be set to run on a specific segment. Click on the ‘gear’ icon beside Journey name on top left corner. Select the Segment from the dropdown and click save.

During each state of journey, you can set a exit trigger. Exit trigger lets to end the journey flow based on a set of rules. eg. you might want to end the cart abandonment journey, anytime the user completes the purchase.

Building Blocks

Journey comprises of steps which are built by dragging building blocks from the sidebar. There are 4 types of blocks:

  • Triggers
  • Actions
  • Conditions
  • Flow Control

Triggers

These are used to specify how and when the Journey starts for each user. These are set of conditions that will start the journey. Each trigger criteria pushes a single user inside a journey.

Triggers
Event

An event is said to occur on change of state of an object associated with the workflow. These events can be button click on a webpage, visit of a webpage, selection of menu item, text field fill etc. Similar events can trigger a journey.

 

Event

Segment

A journey can be triggered for a user based on entry/exit or being a part of specific segment. On entry criteria for Segment trigger works only for users that are part of that segment before the event came in.

Segment

Geo-fence

An entry or exit from a marked geo boundary can trigger a journey. Specific use-cases finds application for push notifications.

Geo-fence

Attribute Change

Any change or updation in user or event attribute can trigger a journey. User attributes like no. of transactions, value of transactions, account password, last acquisition source, customer level update in loyalty program etc. can be trigger a journey.

Attribute Change

Specific Users

A journey can be triggered for a set of users. This set can be uploaded only for a published journey. You may choose to trigger the journey for the same set via hitting an API endpoint url and passing those user Id(s).

Specific Users

Actions

Actions are campaign elements that are set off once the trigger rule is set true. Action is how you interact with a user based on a trigger.

Actions

1. Send Email 

Use this component if you are looking to send a triggered email as communication channel.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.Email 1
  • Click on the block to configure the template of transactional or promotional message.Email 2
  • Enter the email details like ESP, subject line, sender name, body and click on save button(top right corner).Email 3
  • Read more on the crud here.
  • Go to Journey canvas and hover on the right end of the email block. You would find outcomes like – On Send, On open, On click, On Unsubscribe, On bounce.Email 4
  • Select any outcome and drag the connector to the next block in the workflow.Email 5
  • To delete the push block, click on the bin icon.Email 6

2. Send Push

Use this component to configure a push notification as communication channel.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.Push 1
  • Click on the block to configure the push notification template for iOS or Android.Push 2
  • Enter the Push details like Title, Message, CTA and Click on Save button (top right corner).Push 3
  • Read more on the crud here.
  • Go to Journey canvas and hover on the right end of the Push block. You would find outcomes like -On Push, On delivery, On view, On click, On dismiss.Push 4
  • Select any outcome and drag the connector to the next block in the workflow.Push 5
  • To delete the push block, click on the bin icon.Push 6

3. Send SMS 

Use this component to configure an SMS as communication channel.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.SMS 1
  • Click on the block to configure the template of transactional or promotional message.SMS 2
  • Enter the SMS details like SMS service provider, sender name and message.SMS 3
  • Read more on the crud here.
  • Go to Journey canvas and hover on the right end of the Push block. You would find outcomes like -On Send, On delivery, On failure.SMS 4
  • Select any outcome and drag the connector to the next block in the workflowSMS 5
  •  To delete the push block, click on the bin icon.SMS 6

4. Show In-App Message 

Use this component if you are looking to interact via In-App message within the journey.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.IN-APP 1
  • Click on the block to configure the push notification template for iOS or Android.IN-APP 2
  • Select the template for In-app message. IN-APP 3
  • Enter header Title(top left corner). This tags in-app message with a user identifiable name. This is not shown to the end user.In-app 4
  • Click on Title and CTA area to configure details. Click on Save button (top right corner).iN-APP 5
  • Read more on the crud here.
  • On final step, set the web message validity. Enter the value and select the unit for time validity.In-app 6
  • Go to Journey canvas and hover on the right end of the In-app block. You would find outcomes like -On view, On click, On close, If not seen. If not seen sets to true if validity of in-app message expires. Validity of in-app refers to time bound threshold within which user needs to open the app to view the in-app message.In-app 7
  • Select any outcome and drag the connector to the next block in the workflow.In-app 8
  • To delete the push block, click on the bin icon.In-app 9

5. Show Web Message 

Use this component if you are looking to interact via web based notifications within the journey. This also works on mobile websites.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.Web Message 1
  • Click on the block and select the template for web message (mobile website template also available).Message 2
  • Enter the web message details such as title, cta etc.Web Message 3
    Next step lets you set the targeting rules for the web message.Web Message 4
  • On final step, set the web message validity. Enter the value and select the unit for time validity.Web Message 5
  • Go to Journey canvas and hover on the right end of the web message block. You would find outcomes like -On view, On click, On close, If not seen. If not seen sets to true if validity of web message expires. Validity of web message refers to time bound threshold within which user needs to open the app to view the web message.Web Message 6
  • Select any outcome and drag the connector to the next block in the workflow.Web Message 7
  • To delete the push block, click on the bin icon.Web Message 8

6. Set a user attribute

Use this component, if you are looking to update a user attribute based on outcome of any state of the journey. These can be used for incrementing counters, updating user state like customer type or even use this for lead scoring.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.User attribute 1
  • Click on the block to update user attribute field.User attribute 2
  • Either select a pre-defined user attribute or create a new attribute at this step. These attribute’s scope remains active at global level. Any attribute created at this stage would also be visible along with user’s attribute list within contacts.User attribute 3

Conditions

Conditions are the checks that decide if the action are taken on set of users. Conditions supersede triggers.

Conditions

1. Is in Segment 

Journey flow branch continues if the user exists in a selected segment

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.Segment 1
  • Click on the block.
  • Select an existing segment or create a new segment.Segment 2
  • Return to journey canvas. Hover over the right end of the block. You will find outcome  – Yes and No. Choose respective value to check the presence or absence of user in the segment as flow check.Segment 4

2. Has done Event

Journey flow branch continues if the user has done an event.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.Event 1
  • Click on the block.
  • Select an existing event from the dropdown. Click Save.Event 2
  • Return to journey canvas. Hover over the right end of the block. You will find outcome  – Yes and No. Choose respective value to check if the user has done an event or not.Event 3

3. Check User Attribute  

Journey flow branch continues if the user’s attribute matches a value.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.U.A 1
  • Click on the block.
  • Select an existing user attribute from the dropdown. Click Save.U.A 2
  • Return to journey canvas. Hover over the right end of the block. You will find outcome  – Yes and No. Choose respective value to check if the user’s attribute matches the specific check value or not.U.A 3

Flow Controls

Controls the journey flow based on a set of rules. This is used to add delay or add a wait check to the flow based on event or time dimension. It can also be used to end the journey.

Flow Control

1. Wait 

This lets you add a time based delay in the workflow.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.Wait 1
  • Click on the block.
  • Enter the value of time and set the frequency.Wait 2

2. Wait for Event

This lets you wait till a specific period till a specific event has occurred atleast once.

  • Drag and drop the component on the canvas.Wait 1
  • Click on the block.
  • Select the event from the drop down.Wait 2

3. End Journey 

This block lets you set an exit point unconditionally. Use this block to end the journey within the workflow.

end journey

4. Wait for Date 

This block lets you wait till a specific date and time in future.

5. A/B Split

This lets you split the user flow on the basis of variants/experiments. This can be used to split users from same node to multiple channels. eg. you can split user flow and send 50% of traffic to node with email channel and other 50% to node with SMS channel.

Journey Management

List of Journeys

  • Click on the Journey icon under Engagement (left side of the dashboard).list of journey
  • This section shows list of existing journeys for the account.List 2
  • Each journey has a list of associated actions – Edit, Copy and Delete.List 3
  • Click on any journey on reach on the detail section of the journey.List 4
  • Click on the ‘Create New Journey’ to create a new journey.List 5

Creating a Journey

  • Click on the ‘Create New Journey’ to create a new journey.Create J 1
  • Dashboard opens up with empty canvas.Create J 2
  • The left section contains the repository of the components to create the journey.
  • Drag and drop each component on the canvas to start building your journey.
  • Bottom right section contains the preview of the journey on canvas. Drag and move the preview selector to choose a section of the journey.cj 3
  • Click on the gear icon at the top to access journey settings. You can set the journey to run for a selected segment.CJ 4
  • Click on ‘Add Exit Trigger’ icon to create an journey exit rule.CJ 5
  • On clicking, choose the event to set as exit rule. You may also set event attribute value as exit rule.
  • It is recommended to keep saving draft of the journey. Click on ‘Save Draft’ button (top right corner).CJ 6

Advanced Sections

  • How to personalise the workflow – use tokens in campaign content in addition to branching for personalisation.
  • There are no restrictions to the combinations and flows within the journey canvas.
  • The journey can accept multiple starting points (multiple triggers). Journey can consist of multiple paths and multiple end points.
  • Journey can end due to dead paths or induced end journey action.

Publishing a Journey

Publishing refers to making a journey active. The journey goes live the moment it is published.

What are the prerequisites to publishing?

  • All steps must be fully configured.
  • There must be atleast one active trigger.
  • No blocks must be unreachable. ie. each block must be connected to atleast one other block.

What are the implications of publishing?

  • Once the journey is published, journey becomes read only. Some steps are editable like campaign content, wait for x days etc.
  • Journey stats gets visible only when the journey is published.
  • Any specific user can be tracked for status within the journey by searching by User Id.
  • Journey doesn’t have a deactivation date. Any published journey is activated till it is stopped.

Stopping a Journey

Click on ‘Stop Journey’ button (top right corner) to pause a journey.

Stopping a Journey 1

Ending a Journey

A journey can end in following ways.

  • Explicitly stopping – by clicking on ‘Stop Journey’ button.
  • Users entering and reaching a dead end with nowhere else to go.
  • Users reaching a “end journey” step.
  • Exit trigger gets fired based on a set rule.

Duplicating a Journey

how to – simple one
how to – from one account to another
what isn’t duplicated (ESP / SSP if copied cross account).

Analytics

Live Stats

On opening a published journey, you get to see the following live stats:

  • Total entries in the Journey
  • Total Users presently in the journey
  • Total exits from the Journey

Also, on every step, you see a count of users who’ve reached that step and who are presently on that step. The difference, if any, indicates the number of users who’ve crossed that step.
These stats are auto-refreshed every time there’s an update. So what you see is the most up to date representation of data to the latest second.

Single User Stats

This is a handy way to:

  • Check if a particular user has entered the journey
  • Locate a particular user in their journey and the path and time they took to reach that step
  • Debug journey execution with a single user as reference

To find a user, click the find icon. Enter the user id (explain cuid here — the unique id you use to identify your contacts). Click on find button.

If the user is found their latest trip through the journey is highlighted along with the times at which they entered and crossed every step through the way. Please note that one user could have traversed a journey more than once (example here to clarify this). If this is the case, you get to see a dropdown of all trips the user has taken with the latest one preselected by default. You can choose any of the previous trips and that is mapped out on the canvas.
User stats are also auto-refreshed. So you can actually see a user traveling through in real-time if you wanted.

Downloading Reports

This helps you export raw data for a specified date range in excel format.

FAQs

– Do’s for a journey – use wait block between engagements, add master exit trigger, keep saving drafts,
– how and when does the journey start – Journey always begins with a trigger. It always starts when the trigger criteria is fulfilled by a user and the user qualifies to enter the journey based on the top level qualifying segment, if any (set via the gear box link at the top left)
– how and when does the journey end – Journey can end when: 1. the End Journey flow control is encountered 2. When the user’s path in the journey ends (dead end) and the user is not simultaneously on any other path, 3. Via exit trigger 4. you stop the journey manually via stop button the top right.
– can one user enter the same journey again? – yes, but only after that user exits the journey once. i.e the same user is not already active in that journey.

Glossary

– journey designer: tool to create journey workflow
– blocks sidebar: panel consisting of journey building blocks
– block: each component within blocks sidebar that forms a unit within a journey
– canvas: space within the journey designer to create the journey
– outcome: set of values that are potential outcomes of each block
– link: connector between blocks’ outcome and further blocks
– path: sequence of blocks and links followed by each user within the journey
– dead end: last block within the journey beyond which the flow within the journey can’t continue
– trigger, action etc.: set of rules that govern and guide the flow of the journey
– navigator (the miniature): section that lets you see the preview of the journey in parts.