Sales team in a meeting about mapping customer journeys

Salesforce Customer Journey Builder 101: How To Build Winning Journeys

Marketing automation is now a must-have for companies that aim to reach their audience through a multichannel approach. Salesforce has simplified the complexities of automation by developing Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder. This user-friendly tool has captivated marketers around the globe.

So, what’s it about Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder that makes it so special?

Let’s start by defining what the tool is and what it can do. In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What is Salesforce Journey Builder?
  • How Marketers Benefit from Salesforce Journey Builder
  • How to Use the Salesforce Journey Builder tool
  • How to Start a Journey map in Salesforce Journey Builder in 4 Steps
  • Key Tips  for Using Salesforce Journey Builder
  • Start Your Customer Journey Map with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

What is Salesforce Journey Builder?

Journey Builder is an easy-to-use Marketing Cloud feature that allows you to customize and define multichannel interactions with your potential customers. Journey Builder’s drag and drop functionality helps marketers customize their buyer’s journey without getting bogged down in complex automation software.

Journey Builder enables you to personalize your customer experience by incorporating real-time customer data into your journeys. In other words, all of your potential customers will get tailored content according to their preferences and previous interactions with your company.

Additionally, this customer journey tool lets marketers reach their audience through several channels: SMS, push notifications, email marketing, and retargeting through paid advertising platforms (Google Ads, Facebook, and LinkedIn, among others).

What does Salesforce Journey Builder look like in action? Take a look at this Salesforce demo, where you’ll be able to see how to build customer journeys seamlessly.

Salesforce Journey Builder tool dashboard

How Marketers Benefit from Salesforce Journey Builder?

Besides being a user-friendly tool, Marketing Cloud´s Journey Builder is full of interesting features that excite marketing professionals. Let’s talk about some of the key functionalities marketers love about Journey Builder and Salesforce.

Never Miss Customer Journey Touchpoints

Journey Builder adapts to your company’s data structure. This responsiveness ensures that you’ll never miss any relevant touchpoint with your customers: birthdays, product preferences, renewal dates, anniversaries, and much more! Journey Builder integrates with Data Designer, where you can customize your customer data model and incorporate the data that matters the most in your campaigns.

Here’s a quick example of how to use customer data as an entry point for a new journey:

Salesforce Journey Builder tool defining entry points

After your entry event has been set-up, the rest is up to your creativity. You can drag and drop different elements and activities depending on how you want your brand to get the message across.

Salesforce Journey Builder tool adding entry event

Connects Your Data

Journey Builder is much more than an email drip campaign tool. By combining your multiple assets into one platform, you can ensure your brand gets to your customers with one sole voice. This means you’ll be able to integrate your app notifications, paid advertising campaigns, email marketing efforts, and SMS ventures in Customer Journey Builder.

You can visualize your entire strategy through journey mapping. Then, your marketing team can brainstorm and plan your ideal journey before deployment.

Salesforce Journey Builder tool events dashboard

Salesforce Marketing Cloud empowers your whole organization. You can connect your sales and service teams with the user Journey Builder through sales and service custom activities:

Features available on Salesforce Journey Builder tool

In other words, you’re able to create customer service cases, update opportunities and convert leads, straight from Journey Builder. So, as a result, your marketing department will be connected to your customers and internal organization simultaneously on the same platform.

Adapt With Each Customer Journey

It’s no secret that media consumption habits are constantly evolving and changing the way we interact with customers and prospects.

The CustomerJourney Builder tool responds to change via real-time customer data and predictive intelligence. Interaction Studio and the Einstein suite ensure that you get up-to-date data and AI predictive suggestions that help you predict changes in customer behavior. Use Decision and/or Engagement Splits to customize your customer journey depending on actions taken by your prospects.

Salesforce Journey Builder tool decision split dashboard

As your customer database grows, Journey Builder adapts as well. Your customer journeys can scale up from simple short sends to complex flows with millions of records. You don’t need to worry about the size of your audience or the steps in your journey. Journey Builder is designed to process large databases and smoothly deliver personalized experiences to each customer.

Measure ROI and leverage analytics by implementing Journey Goals. Define your KPIs and measure results by checking how many prospects met your goal after or during a journey. If you choose to do so, you can take prospects out of a journey after they meet the goal at any given point in time.

Salesforce Journey Builder tool goal definition dashboard

Discover Distributed Marketing

Take the action outside of your marketing department. Allow collaborators from different departments to use authorized marketing assets and trigger journeys effortlessly. With distributed marketing, your branding will remain consistent and sharp across the sales and service departments, among others.

Salesforce Journey Builder tool

Use Customer Journey analytics to measure your efforts and readjust your journeys by making informed decisions. Share and automate reports across your organization to make sure that key stakeholders are informed and accountable for journey performance. Automatic reports can be scheduled and sent directly to your inbox.

After analyzing in-depth data, you’ll be able to create new versions of your journey and optimize them for new entries.

Salesforce Journey Builder tool email performance data

Increase Lifetime Value And Conversion Rates

Salesforce Journey Builder is not just a customer journey mapping tool for new customer acquisition. You can also configure Marketing Cloud to store data from your current customers. Website visits, past purchases, abandoned cart events, and customer preferences can all be tracked and used in journeys.

For example, you could trigger a promotional journey for a particular product or service right after your current customer has abandoned a purchase attempt. Having that second chance with real-time data is a great way to increase LTV and conversion rates.

How to Use The Salesforce Journey Builder Tool?

When it comes to mapping customer journeys, creativity plays a major role. There’s no unique or right way of implementing marketing automation. However, knowing the capabilities of the marketing tool you’re using is crucial. To get the most out of Journey Builder, you need to measure your results and test different functionalities.

Get the most of Salesforce Journey Builder tool

Measuring your results through Journey Goals and analytics helps you understand what’s working and what needs improvement. In addition, Marketing Cloud allows you to create multiple versions of a single journey. So you can create as many versions as needed and run as many tests as possible to ensure that your client journey finally reaches that sweet spot.

On the other hand, get to know the available activities and channels. If your company runs an app, go ahead and connect it with Marketing Cloud. Or, if SMS is your strength, make sure to enable Mobile Studio functionality.

Try different channels to ace customer engagement and reach the right customer — through the right channel — at the right time.

Can Journey Builder Be Used In B2C & B2B?

Journey Builder functionality is highly popular among B2C companies. This is because reaching a large number of customers with a user-friendly tool is very appealing for the B2C business model.

Nevertheless, B2B entities can also use Marketing Cloud to leverage sales and understand engagement rates.

For example, email marketing is a prevalent practice in the B2B world. But what happens if open rates and clicks are not working for you so far? Journey Builder gives you the chance to add those prospects directly to LinkedIn retargeting campaigns and show them content that matters to them.

How to Start a Customer Journey Map in Salesforce Journey Builder in 4 Steps

Before getting started, make sure you have a clear strategic approach of what your journey is going to be.

Step #1: Plan Your Journey

Sketching out your journey on a whiteboard and brainstorming with your team is always a great idea. Here are a few questions you can ask your team to get things started:

  • What is the main objective of your journey?
  • What is the target audience you’re aiming to reach within your database?
  • What channels seem to be the most appropriate for this journey?
  • How often should you measure results and optimize the journey?
  • What elements (i.e., copywriting, channels used, etc.) would you use for A/B testing?

Questions to ask your team before start planning your customer journey map

Step #2: Create Your Content in Content Builder

Content Builder is Marketing Cloud´s content management system where you’ll design all of your creatives before adding them to a journey. Content Builder also offers drag and drop functionality, so no coding experience is required.

Make sure to try out the Dynamic content feature, where you can personalize content depending on your customer data.

Salesforce Journey Builder templates

Step #3: Use a Template to Build a Journey

Journey templates are the first thing you’ll see on Marketing Cloud’s homepage. They allow you to easily configure and launch several predefined journeys depending on your business needs (abandon cart, event follow-ups, and welcome journeys, among others). You can use the templates as they are or edit them as much as you want.

Salesforce Journey Builder tool choosing a template

Step #4: Segment, Test, and Launch

Use contact data to segment your audience properly. Define what information about your contacts is most relevant for the users journey. For example: Are you targeting prospects in one specific country or region? Are you perhaps aiming for contacts that recently purchased one of your products or services?

If you properly segment your customer data in Contact Builder, you should be able to filter the contacts you’re aiming for without any coding experience needed.

Salesforce Journey Builder tool filtering contacts

Try out Path Optimizer activities throughout your journey. Path Optimizer is a testing tool in Journey Builder that allows you to perform A/B and multivariate tests in your customer journey to find the path that adjusts to your customer’s needs and preferences. Path Optimizer activities will allow you to test copywriting and design assets in order to assess what works best. You can add different versions of an email, and Path Optimizer will do the rest for you.

When you choose a “winning criteria,” this activity will start sending both versions of your content to your prospects. After a set amount of time, a version will be chosen according to your winning criteria. Then, the best version will be sent to the newcomers of your journey.

Once your customer journey map looks ready, and you’re happy with your current flow, prepare for deployment. First, double-check your filtering criteria for entering the journey and review all of the activities involved. Once everything has been validated, you’ll see an Activate button on the top right corner of your screen. After clicking on Activate, you’ll be asked for confirmation. Once you confirm, your customer journey map is live!

Salesforce Journey Builder tool checking active journeys

Key Tips for Using Salesforce Journey Builder

Even if there is no one-size-fits-all way of using Journey Builder, there are a few things you should keep in mind to have a great experience with the tool.

There Isn’t an Autosave Feature

Journey Builder doesn’t have autosave settings configured. So be sure to always hit that Save button when you make important changes. Building and mapping user journeys is a process that could take your team a couple of days or even weeks.

Allowing yourself that time to create the best journey for your customers is always a great idea. Aim to avoid surprises by always saving your progress so that all your hard work translates quickly into a working journey.

Use Only One Data Extension Per Journey

Marketing Cloud will always warn you if one of your Data Extensions (or data tables) is being used as an entry source for another journey. There are 2 main reasons for not wanting to use the same data extension in 2 separate journeys:

  1. The same data will be processed separately for each journey. This may overwhelm the system’s processing capabilities by increasing its record processing time as the journeys may compete with each other’s activities.
  2. You may not want to bombard the same prospects or customers with several communications at the same time (unless it is something you really relevant). Too many emails or excessive SMS on your prospects’ inboxes can result in high unsubscribe rates.


Salesforce Journey Builder tool data extension dashboard

Start Your Customer Journey Map with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

In an environment where marketing automation is fundamental for business success, tools like Journey Builder turn out to be more relevant than ever. Marketers are looking for efficient and easy-to-use features that can allow them to reach customers the right way. Supported by Salesforce, Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder has the tools you need to make your online efforts thrive.

Schedule a demo today if you’re an advertiser who is considering marketing automation or is seeking to get more from your investment in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. One of our experts will be happy to confer with you.

Back to Posts

Michael Clark

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.