Understanding Email Journeys

Email journeys deliver personalized and engaging communications to constituents using automation through the Journey Builder tool in Marketing Cloud. Journeys can be as complicated as a series of emails sent over a year with various decision splits to as simple as a single email sent once a year.

Focusing on the individual constituent experience — by sending emails to an audience based on defined triggers — allows you to deliver relevant and timely information encouraging engagement. For example, rather than manually sending an email to all alumni with birthdays in October on October 1, with Journey Builder, you can send a birthday email on the person’s actual birthday (as long as their birthday is on their contact record). 

Benefits of Email Journeys

  • Increase engagement (open rates and click-through rates)
  • Save time and increase efficiency
  • Reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message
  • A/B test with Path Optimizer
  • Use Einstein's Send Time Optimization to deliver emails at the time constituents are more likely to open their messages

Examples of Email Journeys

  • Alumni birthday email sent on a person's birthday
  • New hire information and resources over the first 90 days
  • Alumni volunteer opportunity information over 3 months for people who sign up to receive alumni news
  • A welcome email when a constituent subscribes or opts-in to receive specific communications

High-level Considerations When Brainstorming an Email Journey

  • What is the business need, and how will a journey support the need?
  • What is the goal of the journey and the related KPIs (metrics of success)?
  • Who is the target audience?

How to Get Started

Please submit a help ticket and select Marketing Cloud and then Journey Builder from the dropdown menu. Requests will be addressed in the order they are received.

Review the Journey Planning Worksheet. This document will help you in the brainstorming process but don’t worry about completing it before submitting a ticket.

After submitting your ticket, we'll be in contact with you to schedule some time to talk about your email journey ideas and outline the next steps.

Journey Planning Worksheet



Today, the above process is the only method available to get Journeys launched. If final details and content for all emails cannot be created in advance of the launch, it's not worth setting up as a Journey. Instead, send emails out one by one and convert them into a Journey down the road, providing a great path for progress. 

Interested in learning how to create Journeys? While it won't translate to eComm's data model and configuration, Salesforce Trailhead provides training: