Journeys Part I: Overview
- Journeys, also referred to as automated work flows, is a way of automatically triggering the scheduling of tasks/interactions and/or emails to contacts. Journeys can be used to create automatic drip campaigns/onboarding emails for new contacts, new donors, new members, etc. It can also be used to flag lapsed donors/members/volunteers/etc. for follow up/outreach and/or automatically send follow up/outreach emails.
- Journeys is generally intended (and works best) for repetitive tasks that occur in a sequence - such as sending a series of onboarding/welcome emails to new contacts and/or sending a series of outreach emails to lapsed donors or volunteers. While Journeys can be used for "one off" tasks (such as sending a birthday greeting email to contacts), it's strength lies with sequences of tasks, rather than "one off" tasks.
- Journeys works as follows:
- A journey consists of one or more steps in a pathway/workflow. For example, If you routinely send a welcome email to new members and then follow that email up with a second one a week later, that is three steps in your workflow: send email #1, wait one week, send email #2.
- Contacts are pulled into the workflow based on a "trigger" - a trigger is the initial activity or condition that is met for a contact to be eligible to enter the workflow/pathway. The trigger can be:
- a new contact is added to the system,
- a specified default contact type (donor, member, committee member, volunteer, grantor) is added to a contact record,
- a specified smart tag is added to a contact record,
- a specified tag is added to a contact record.
- You can set criteria (called "exit conditions") that will exclude contacts from a particular workflow. For example, let's say you have two different workflows - one for new contacts and one for new donors. Your new contacts get a general welcome email; your new donors, however, get a different welcome email thanking them for their support and inviting them to come tour your facility. A new contact who is also a donor would be eligible for both workflows, but you probably would want those workflows to be mutually exclusive (that is, you'd want donors to ONLY get the donor welcome email, not to also get the general welcome email). As such, you could set a filter/exit condition to exclude from the "new contact" journey anyone with the contact type "donor." That way, the donors don't get the general email, they only get the new donor email.
- When a contact meets the trigger event, they are pulled into the journey/workflow. There is then a five minute delay before the first step/action is applied to the contact (to give users time to clean up duplicates, delete contacts, apply contact types, etc.). After the five minute delay, the contact will begin moving through the journey/the specified actions/steps will then proceed (send email, schedule a task, etc.).
- Please Note: Smart Tags are applied/updated overnight (they start processing midnight of your CRM account's time zone). That means, if your trigger is that a Smart Tag is applied to a contact and your first step in the journey is to send an email, the contact isn't pulled into the journey until midnight and then the email sends shortly after that (shortly after midnight). If you want to control the time when the email will land is users' inboxes, you can add a step before "send email" to delay for a specified amount of hours/days before sending the email.
- Journeys will pull in/apply to ALL contacts added/edited in your system after the journey is activated - this includes new contacts added from an import and new donors added from an import, as well as contacts, members, and donors created from an online transaction, and contacts synced to CRM from MailChimp integration, VolunteerEasy, SignUpGenius sync, and FundlyPro sync. If the import, online transaction, or sync creates a duplicate contact, that duplicate will be pulled into the journey as well. You have a five-minute window after the creation of the duplicate to merge it to the existing contact record before the system starts processing the contact through the journey (so, for example, if Jim has been a member for ten years and goes online and makes a donation and this transaction makes a duplicate record (he spells his name differently or uses a different email address, for example), and you have a journey that welcomes new contacts, Jim's duplicate/new record makes him eligible for the "welcome new contact" email, even though he's not a new contact for your organization.
- To avoid this, you may want to add a longer "delay" step to your journeys as a first step or you may want to set the trigger action to be the addition of a manual tag or smart tag, rather than on contact is created or contact type is applied. Adding a delay step or trigger on manual or smart tag will give you more control over which contacts get pulled into your journey and/or how quickly they get sent an initial email (giving you more time to merge duplicates).
- If you will be importing old data and want to exclude it from your journey(s), you can add an exit condition to your journey(s) to exclude contacts for which "import: import batch date is:" (or "is after" or "between") and then select the date(s) for imports you want to exclude.
- Journeys uses the following features/tools within our CRM - be sure that you are familiar with how to use each of these and complete any necessary configurations prior to creating any journeys:
- Advanced Search interface (for setting criteria/filters on journeys and for creating Smart Tags)
- Smart Tags
- Regular Tags
- Contact Types
- e-Blast/Newsletter Templates
- You can see that a contact has been pulled into one or more Journeys when viewing that contact record by looking at the Journey's widget (you may have to turn on this widget in the Available Widgets pane). Additionally, you will see any tasks/interactions and communications triggered by the journey in the contact's Timeline.
- You can use participation in a Journey as a filter/criteria in advanced search, communications, other journeys, smart tags, and reporting. In Advanced Search, you will see a category for "Contact Journey" which has two fields that can be used as a filter "Contact Active in Journey(s)" and "Contact in Journey(s)." Both of these fields filter on journey name to include or exclude contacts that have or have not been pulled into a particular journey or journeys.
Article is closed for comments.