The Fundamentals of Marketing Cloud Journey Builder

The fundamentals of marketing cloud journey builder

A version of this post was originally published on

Send targeted and personalized emails to your subscribers through Marketing Cloud Journey Builder. Here’s everything you need to know about using Journey Builder.

Marketing Cloud Journey Builder is a drag and drop tool that allows you to take your email marketing campaigns to the next level by reaching your subscribers at the right time and place, and through their preferred channels for messaging. It is a powerful tool and has plenty of intricacies to understand. We put together this comprehensive guide to help you get started and realize all the benefits of Journey Builder.

Before we get into it, let’s review common Journey Builder terminology.

Glossary of Terms

  • Canvas Activities: These are available message actions, decision points, updates, or a combination of these elements that guide the customer journey until the subscriber reaches a goal or the endpoint of the journey.
  • Customer Updates: This activity prompts the Marketing Cloud system to update a contact’s information in a data extension.
  • Data Extension: A data extension in Marketing Cloud is a table within the application database that contains your data.
  • Entry Sources: This tells Journey Builder the data source for a particular journey. Entry sources include Data Extensions, API events, audiences, CloudPages, Salesforce data, or events. All journeys must begin with an entry source.
  • Flow Control: Flow control activities are how you manage your contact’s experience through the journey.
  • Multi-Step Journey: Build a journey that sends cross-channel messages based on marketing logic and audience behavior.
  • Sales & Service Cloud Activities: Activities in Journey Builder that allow you to create or update Sales and Service Cloud object records for connected Marketing Cloud contacts.
  • Single Send Journey: Quickly build and send a single personalized message in any available channel.

Marketing Cloud Journey Builder – Lay of the Land

The first important step is to understand the layout and user interface of the Journey Builder platform. The dashboard and the canvas are the most-used areas for creating journeys.

Journey Builder Dashboard

  1. Journey Folders: Store journeys in folders so they’re easy to find. You can organize your journeys immediately after creating and saving them, or you can add journeys to folders from the Journey Builder dashboard at any time.
  2. Journey: View a list of all journeys or those available within each folder. This list includes status, performance, and when the journey was last modified.
  3. Analytics: View basic analytics including how many journeys are meeting their goals and your highest and lowest performing journeys.
  4. Search Journeys: Looks at journey titles and descriptions to help you find specific journeys.
  5. Create New Journey: This is your starting point to create a new journey from scratch or a template.
  6. Entry Sources: View the entry sources previously used for your journeys. Entry sources can be unique or shared among journeys. From here, you can also test, copy, or delete entry sources.
  7. Journey History: Use the ContactID to view a contact’s path through a journey, or journey version.
  8. Journey Templates: Contains predefined, editable journeys that show in-context guidance based on common use cases, and marketing best practices. Get a head start creating your journey with Journey Templates.

(source: Get Started with Journey Builder)

Journey Builder Canvas

The canvas has four components:

  1. Journey title and description
  2. Entry sources and canvas activities
  3. Journey Canvas
  4. Journey Builder toolbar

(source: Get Started with Journey Builder)

Building a Journey

Let’s get to building! Read the rest of the post and learn how to build your first journey on…

About the author

Adrianna is a marketing consultant for Kadence Collective and Kadence Digital. She is a content creator fanatic and loves creating campaigns both paid and organic to help companies meet their goals. In her free time, she likes to explore the city of Austin, trying new restaurants, going to concerts and networking with others.