Now that we’ve begun to explore the ways that Salesforce Journey Builder supports custom activities and data collection in our previous blog post, we want to share several best practices for optimizing your end-to-end journeys and cross-channel campaigns. Whether you’re a current Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) customer simply looking to implement Journey Builder with your existing solution, or a fan of Journey Builder looking to improve efficiency, our Salesforce specialists are here to unpack their top 5 ways to optimize customer journeys in Journey Builder.
1. Structure your Filtering Logic
Keep in mind that journeys share resources while they run, so that they can operate efficiently. That’s why it’s best to use less resource-heavy operations for refined filtering. Ideally, you should filter your data before feeding it into the journey. While you can also use operations like “ends with” and “contains” as entry filters, this alternative inevitably requires more resources, and should be limited or used sparingly.
The same applies for decision splits. Do not disregard the ordering of your decision paths, as they matter more than you might think! To lessen your workload, you should keep the path of highest frequency at the top, considering Journey Builder’s approach for processing decisions is from the top down. So, if you have a decision split with paths A, B, and C – visited 60%, 15%, and 25%, respectively – you should place A on top, followed by C, and then B at the bottom to avoid skipping over it 85% of the time.
2. Take on One Objective per Journey
In today’s demanding (and at times, chaotic) cross-channel marketing world, it’s easy to get caught up multitasking as you strategize and set up complex customer journeys. That’s why it’s worth recalling that less is sometimes more. By doing too much at once, your journey is likely to lack focus, which is detrimental to the overall customer experience. Instead, try to prioritize one specific goal to visualize, or map out what you want to accomplish, and how you want your customers to react. Even more, you can use Journey Builder’s built-in Goals feature to measure each journey’s potential for success.
To increase your chance of finding success, ask yourself whether you can split one large (perhaps, overreaching) customer journey into two more focused journeys. In the financial services sector, for instance, you might want to create a journey to offer your clients new credit cards, as well as one that focuses on lower mortgage rates for homeowners. While you could technically do this in a single journey, you are better off communicating to each party based on their particular needs, concomitant with your distinct goals.
3. Leverage Journey Builder’s Path Optimizer
As discussed in our last blog, Path Optimizer enables you to test and modify customer journeys as you go. In fact, you can A/B test up to ten different paths in a single journey and select the best one to deploy to the remainder of your customers. Additionally, you can promptly alter live journeys the moment an issue occurs – or whenever you improvements must be made.
Path Optimizer empowers you to tailor email communications according to customer preferences. For example, you can test various paths with unique email subject lines, offers, and deployment times, to find out what kind of content resonates with diverse customer profiles. Once you’re satisfied with the initial send, you can continue to build out the journey by incorporating follow-up emails to those who clicked on your first communication, which can then be optimized by adding in a new Path Optimizer Test Activity.
4. Review Engagement Scores
Journey Builder’s built-in analytics dashboard allows you to monitor the performance of customer journeys – then modify those campaigns, accordingly. In other words, the dynamic dashboard helps you track customer engagement and responses to emails, mobile messages, SMS, and other push notifications. If you notice that a particular segment from your journey performs poorly, you can simply update it by creating a new version of the journey, without impacting its accumulated performance.
If, for instance, you observe the analytics dashboard and see that an email in your journey only has a 1% open rate, you can quickly update it up by going into the version dashboard of the journey itself to create a new one, while the current journey continues to run. Once you activate the new journey, all new entrants will be directed to it.
5. Harness Journey and Contact Data
Finally, Journey Builder enables you to probe two types of data while working on your campaign: journey data and contact data. Journey data is captured upon entry into the journey and remains static, whereas contact data shifts along with customer throughout the journey. For example, you could make decisions based on the customer’s affinity for products before entering the journey (Journey Data), or as they change throughout the journey (Contact Data). Depending on whether you want to evaluate past or present / changing customer data, you can focus on one and then the other, at the most opportune moment.
Returning to the financial services industry, you might want to send promotions for different credit card types. You have a Data Extension that is updated whenever a client opens a new credit card and use that as the entry source to your journey. Let’s say, the most recently opened card is saved under the LastOpened attribute. At the beginning of the journey, you want to send a promotion for your newest card which offers frequent flier miles to clients who have previously opened a similar card at any time. This is where you use journey data to filter (they may have opened another credit card since entering the journey). Later on, you can also use contact data to segment off those who end up opening a new card during the campaign, to follow up with them.
Why not build more strategic campaigns, more efficiently? Salesforce Journey Builder offers first-class features for enhanced customer journeys that can wield your intended results. From refined filtering logic and data-backed customer analysis to detailed engagement scores for more aligned messaging and increased campaign focus, Journey Builder has what you need for rapid optimization across your organization.
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