Lesson 8 of 10
In Progress

Day 8: Journey Builder and Mobile Studio

Ajeet March 12, 2022

Supporting Materials 

·        Journey Builder 1 – Video

·        Journey Builder 2 – Video

·        Journey Builder 3 – Video

·        Mobile Studio – Video

Power Up with Trailhead

·        Mobile Studio – Trailhead

·        Mobile Studio –Article

·        Journey Builder –Trailhead

·        Journey Builder –Trailmix

Journey Builder Entry Sources – Which to use, and when

Have you ever wondered what all the different Journey Builder Entry Sources do?

You’ve probably been mostly using the Data Extension entry, and maybe Salesforce Data. If you’re like me, you are curious to find out all the other options that might be available. I will take you through 9 Entry Sources in Marketing Cloud, advising you on when they are good to use, and scenarios where they are not suitable.

What are Journey Builder Entry Sources?

A Journey Builder Entry Source injects data into a Marketing Cloud journey, based on the settings specified in the Journey Entry Event (that a user has configured). These settings differ based on which of the Entry Source options you are using.

At its core, the activity defines:

  • The source of your data,
  • The attribute fields required by the journey,
  • Filter criteria (optional).

Think of this as a means of transport for your contacts: collection point (data source), all the baggage they need on their travels (attribute fields), who are allowed onboard (filter criteria).

1. Data Extension

Data extensions are there to support you in any way, shape, or… data requirements you may have. They are the most common, reliable, and flexible option!

You can choose to filter the records going into the journey or insert them all at once. Data Extensions work well with Automation Studio, where you can configure how and when data can be processed for journey injection.

  • Best for: batch sends, recurring or one-off, complex segmentation criteria, and personalization requirements.
  • Not ideal for: real-time, one-to-one triggered communications, such as a form submission confirmation, or an event-based trigger.

2. Salesforce Data

This Entry Source is driven by something happening in Salesforce, such as a record being created or updated, which triggers a related Contact, Lead or User to be inserted into the journey, based on the filter criteria defined in the entry source.

Additional record types within this option include Campaign Members (insert Contacts or Leads when they’re added to a Campaign in Salesforce), Community (Experience) Cloud Members or Person Accounts.

  • Best for: triggered, real-time, one to one communications such as confirmations, reminders and welcome emails and any transactional communications in general.
  • Not ideal for: big batch, campaign type audiences with complex personalisation requirements, spanning multiple data objects or sources. This option is subject to all APEX & Governors limits within the CRM platform.

3. Audience

Probably the least used option of them all, unless you’re using Audience Builder to create and publish audiences. If Audience Builder is not available in your account, the only other use case for the Audience Entry Source is Mobile Lists for either SMS or push notifications; however, you can achieve the same, or even better, results with Data Extensions.

  • Best for: simple messages sent to Mobile Lists.
  • Not ideal: for highly targeted and personalised communications to mobile subscribers.

4. CloudPages

Yes, you guessed that right, this Entry Source is used to inject data submitted via a Smart Capture form within a CloudPage.

  • Best for: confirmations triggered by data captured via Smart Forms.
  • Not ideal: if you prefer data to be created in Salesforce first then this Entry Source is not for you. Creating records in Salesforce first will mean you can leverage the Contact ID as the Subscriber Key when sending out communications (which is recommended!)

5. Event

Use this Entry Source for date based events such as, birthdays, anniversaries, reminders, renewals, etc.

You’ll need a date attribute from Contact Builder for configuration and the contacts injected into the journey need to exist already in Marketing Cloud.

  • Best for: date-based triggers.
  • Not ideal: for data that doesn’t reside in Marketing Cloud.

6. API Event

In contrast to the “Event” Entry Sources, you can use “API Event” Entry Sources to admit new data into journeys coming from a website or another system that may not be integrated with Marketing Cloud. This needs to be used in conjunction with a Data Extension where data will be stored.

  • Best for: one to one triggered communications, based off an event happening outside of the platform, such as a form submission on your website.
  • Not ideal: for batch sends. The API is designed to send one record at a time.

7. Inbound Chat

The newest addition to the list! You need Whatsapp Chat Messaging to configure it. The entry criteria is based on keywords which can also be used in the Wait Until Chat Response activity.

  • Best for: Whatsapp messages.
  • Not ideal: for everything else.

Only available with additional products

8. Audience Studio

Formerly known as Salesforce DMP, it requires an integration between Audience Studio and Marketing Cloud.

  • Best for: cross-channel promotional campaigns including email, mobile and advertising.
  • Not ideal: unless doing advertising and using lookalike audiences.

9. Google Analytics 360

Use an Audience straight from your Google Analytics 360 account and add it to a journey in Marketing Cloud.

To use this option, you need the two accounts to be integrated and Google Audiences configured in your GA account. Only contacts matching between GA360 & SFMC will be admitted into the journey.

  • Best for: retargeting website visitors with different promotions based on their behaviour.
  • Not ideal: for targeting unknown visitors or any data that doesn’t exist in Marketing Cloud.

SFMC’s Journey Builder Activities – A Quick Guide

In Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), Journey Builder enables you to build holistic, multi-channel, 1×1 flows for each customer or prospect. With its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface, you can visualize the entire journey over each channel or touchpoint, implement multiple individualized interactions, and guide customers through each interaction.

And it all starts with activities: the building blocks of every journey!

Activities “tell” Journey Builder how and when to interact with customers, and how they will be impacted as they move from one stage to another. Once configured on the Journey Builder “canvas”, activities enable you to:

  • Evaluate your contacts
  • Run responsive, automatic email marketing campaigns
  • Predict when you should send your messages with SFMC’s Einstein AI
  • Understand when to move them to the next marketing action

Activities enable you to develop meaningful, personalized relationships with your customer base at scale. This brief guide covers everything you ever wanted to know about Journey Builder activities.

Let us help in building personalized journeys in SFMC

What Are Activities In SFMC Journey Builder?

In SFMC Journey Builder, activities include:

  • Messages
  • Decisions
  • Updates
  • Flow controls (e.g. splits)

i. Messages

You can send different kinds of messages to your audience throughout their journey, including emails, SMS messages, push notifications, in-app messages, etc. Create the content before building a journey so there are no delays in getting a campaign out.

Use any SFMC data (including journey data) to create personalization strings. Make sure the personalization string and dynamic content attribute names match those in the data extension (if you have used one). Also, define a default subscriber attribute value to ensure that the personalization string is not blank.

ii. Emails

Journey Builder leverages the functionality of SFMC Email Studio to send emails to contacts along their journey. Every time you activate a new journey, a triggered send is automatically created. To validate it, the email’s personalization strings are compared to event data from the journey entry source. For emails using AMPScript for personalization, you can use the Data Extension Lookup() function to interact with data extensions in your account.

You can easily pause and restart the triggered send, or publish changes to update images, content, etc. within emails. To ensure synchronized updates while still in draft mode, implement email changes by first updating each email activity, and then by reactivating the journey. Alternately, you can update the send on the Journey Builder Sends page.

iii. Customer updates

With the “Update Contact Data” activity, you can easily update customer data. Choose a sendable data extension and set a static overwriting value for each contact that reaches the activity.

iv. Flow control activities

We explain these in detail in a later section.

How To Start Building Activities In SFMC Journey Builder

Before building a Journey Builder activity, make sure you have:

  • An SFMC account
  • An activity configured in App center
  • A web hosting platform that supports SSL

Entry sources

To create a multi-step customer journey, you first need to identify the entry source to use. The entry source refers to your contact data (audience), and there are eight in total. Choose your audience from an API event or data extension.

Data extensions

Choose a sendable data extension, then admit contacts into a journey in a batch. You can use this entry source for multiple email marketing journeys. But if your data extension gets into millions of rows, it may impact journey performance so create a pre-filtered copy for each journey instead.

API events

The API event connects the journey canvas to an API used to admit contacts into a journey. When the API fires an event, the contacts entering the journey are stored in a SFMC data extension of your choice. Numerous API calls to the same system objects can impact performance, so be careful if your journeys have “update contact” activities reaching out to large, shared data extensions.

Next, find and drag activities onto the Journey Builder canvas to build multiple journeys. The activities you configure affect each contact until they achieve a specified goal, or reach the end of the journey. When you build a new activity in, it becomes a new type of icon.

Flow Control And Split Activities

In Journey Builder, flow control activities include:

  • Wait activities
  • Decision splits
  • Random splits
  • Engagement splits,

all of which create the contact’s journey path.

Wait activities

A wait activity will help you hold your customer between one activity and the next. It can be used with alternative flow controls. There are three options:

  • By duration: Release contacts after a specified time has elapsed
  • Until date: Hold contacts in wait mode until a specified date and time
  • By attribute: Create a wait ending based on the value of an attribute in SFMC contact or journey data

To make the most of wait activities:

  • Align and plan wait times with your content
  • Research the optimal time of day to reach customers
  • Avoid wait times of less than an hour
  • Avoid unnecessary waits, especially at the start of journeys

Journey Builder can intelligently and continuously evaluate customers between activities to ascertain whether they have engaged with a message, met a goal, or met the particular criteria to move them towards a decision split. Once a contact reaches an activity after the specified time or date, they will proceed immediately to the next activity.

Split activities

Split activities divide contacts into separate “cohorts” that receive a different set of subsequent activities, and therefore follow different paths along the journey.

i. Engagement splits

When a contact opens an email, clicks a link, or if the email bounces, the engagement split activity will reroute them along a Yes or No path. To use it, at least one email must exist in the account.

ii. Decision splits

This activity evaluates contacts reaching a decision, and then redirects them along a path according to your chosen filter. A decision split can contain up to 20 paths.


To separate contacts in a journey by age, place a decision split after the entry event, or any activity in a journey. Journey Builder will evaluate each contact’s data by age, and accordingly funnel them into different branches.

iii. Random splits

Contacts are divided into random groups. You can change the percentage of contacts likely to follow this path.

iv. Other type of splits

  • Einstein split: Segment customers logically based on engagement persona and Einstein Engagement Scoring
  • Email open or click split: Create a split based on how likely a customer is to open or click on an email
  • Conversion split: Create a split depending on how likely they are to download content, complete a form, or purchase on your eCommerce store
  • Custom split: Segment and re-route your audience into two or more paths, depending on the activity’s purpose

Join Activity And Path Optimizer

Join Activity and Path Optimizer are also Journey Builder’s flow control activities.

Use Join Activity when you bring contacts from two or more paths into a single path. It redirects contacts flowing down one or more branches to an alternative journey branch.

Path Optimizer helps you identify the best way to reach customers, and select a winning branch. These branches can be configured with up to 10 paths, with user-defined distributions. Winners are automatically (or manually) selected based on email engagement metrics and receive the relevant email message. Losing paths shut off contact flow.

Marketing Cloud Mobile Studio

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Mobile Studio basically provides three-way to communicate with Customer over Phone or Mobile devices.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Mobile Studio

1. MobileConnect

Use MobileConnect to create, send, receive and track SMS and MMS text messages. It can send alert and transactional messages to subscribers. It facilitates automatically reply of incoming messages, manage keywords, and many other tasks.

2. GroupConnect

GroupConnect basically used to send messages to customers over messaging apps. It uses Chat Messaging API to support the line messaging app and Facebook Messenger. It usually allows integration of the LINE app with Content Builder and Journey Builder to create and send messages and facilitate the process of reviewing the messaging activities.

3. MobilePush

Use MobilePush to send notifications over the app. It encourages customers to use your app.

In this blog, we will basically try to get more depth in MobilConnect. In our next blog, we will discuss more about GroupConnect and MobilePush.

Pre-requisite to get Started in Salesforce Marketing Cloud Mobile Studio

Before we get started in Mobile Studio, we must be aware of short code and long code.

Short code and Long code are provisioned to the SFMC account. For provisioning of these codes, must require to reach out to your Account Executive/Representatives to discuss your option and to do some paperwork.

Short Code is well, short maybe four and five-digit number(e.g. 12345) and it may be either dedicated to a single SFMC account or Shared across multiple SFMC accounts.
Dedicate shortcode is costly than a shared one.

Long code is a standard local phone number consisting of usually ten digits (e.g. +15112233448) and is normally dedicated to a single account.

For inbound messaging, it is better to use Short Code, as they are easier to remember. Also, the default STOP keyword (example: texting STOP to 1234) will opt out of ALL communication across all accounts using the same short code. Short code will help to blast a campaign message in bulk. Long code will not blast the messages in bulk, support one-to-one conversation.

Get Started in MobileConnect

MobileConnect is a mobile messaging solution that helps digital marketers to create, target, send and track SMS campaigns. We can Integrate it with Journey Builder or Campaign to send the message seamlessly to the customer on the triggering of some activity in customer data.

Here is the list of all essential item which let you start in MobileConect.

1. Create a .csv file: containing the list of Contacts. File(.csv) must have at least these fields: the mobile number, the two-letter country code, and the unique contact key. Apart from these three fields, you can also include firstname, lastname, emaild, and other fields you need.
2. Import the file into MobileConnect : create a list in contact if you want to import it into a particular list or you can import it into all contact without creating a list.
3. Create help keyword.
4. Review default STOP keywords: It acts as an Immediate request for global unsubscription.
5. Create a new keyword for your message: A keyword for a message is the indicator or Publication list, used to conduct SMS and MMS exchanges between your account and mobile devices.
Create and send messages: Create an outbound message and send it to the above list.

MobileConnect Guides for SMS Sending

MobileConnect has guidelines and restrictions for each country, you can review your country’s guidelines and restrictions over their help article or can reach out to your Account representative.

MobileConnect Account Administration

Marketing Cloud Mobile Studio

MobileConnect administration tab can be accessed in Marketing cloud.

Marketing Cloud Mobile Studio

Admins can access the send blackout window, from name, headers and footers, subscription information, keywords, short and long codes, and other account-level settings in the Setup app by searching for MobileConnect.

1. Send Blackout: From this window, an admin can configure the time duration in which the message should not be sent. Suppose if you want to avoid sending messages between the time 8 PM to 8 AM, then you must configure this in send Blackout and enable it.

2. From Name: You can change it to your Company name, but before doing it, you just need to reach out to your Account executive regarding this. Otherwise, it will not behave normally for an inbound message like they would not be able to reply with STOP or Help Keyword.

3. Headers and Footers: This can help you to define the default header and footer for the message you want to send out from the marketing cloud mobile studio. So, you can set the header as well as footer as common for all messages.

4. Subscription information: Display the time for which the Mobile Studio subscription has been taken.

5. Keywords: these are the keywords related to a particular short code, as one SFMC can have more than one short code.

6. Short Code and Long Code: It displays the short codes and Long codes provisioned to a particular SFMC account.

MobileConnect Overview

What is Marketing Cloud Mobile Studio

On the Overview tab in MobileConnect, deal with almost all the movement in MobileStudio.

It shows the Message stats i.e total number of outbound and Inbound Messages for Last month, Last 7 days, and Last 24 hours.

The very next window is about the most active Keywords for which there is a large number of responses with respect to short/long code.

Contacts window displays all the opt-in for a particular SFMC org and also shows the last percentage change for the growth of Opt-in over the last 30 days. You can even add contact and manage contact manually or import file.

Last window in bottom display all the created message like outbound message, text response message, active and inactive message, etc.

Create Messages

You can create a message in MobileConnect. It offers various types of message templates.

Marketing Cloud Mobile Studio

1. Outbound
2. Text Response
3. Vote/survey
4. Mobile Opt-in
5. Info Capture
6. Outbound Media
7. Media response
8. Email Opt-in
9. Send Email

Various usecase to create a message

1. If you want to send Message:

Like send an SMS to your subscriber: Outbound Message
Like send an MMS to your subscriber: Outbound Media

2. If you want to get subscribers or recipients :
Invite people to subscriber your Campaign SMS: Mobile Opt-in
Invite people to subscribe to your emails: Email Opt-in
Invite people to receive a triggered email: Send Email

3. If you want to send survey
Invite recipients to vote or respond to a survey: Vote/Survey

4. If you want to send automatic messages:
Create an automatic SMS response to incoming messages: Text Response
Create an automatic MMS response to incoming messages: Media Response

5. If you want to subscribe:
Unsubscribe people from receiving SMS messages based on a single keyword — Australia only: SMS Keyword Opt-out

6. If you want to Capture information :
Prompt recipients to provide information to store as contact attributes: Info Capture

Message Content Considerations

Consider the following points during creating Message content.

1. Character Counts

Maximum SMS message length is from 70 through 160 characters, depend on the character set. If a message exceeds the character limit, it breaks into multiple sends. The first send contains the maximum character count. The next sends contain the rest of the characters in the message. Your message can exceed the limit due to personalization strings.

Single SMS messages which use any non-GSM characters allow for 70 maximum characters. In these sets, MobileConnect splits messages that exceed 70 characters into multiple parts. If you ever want to include non-GSM characters in your message, the character limit is 70, even if most the message contains GSM characters.

2. Character Sets :

Two types of Character set.

  • GSM 3.38 character set

MobileConnect uses the GSM 3.38 character set. GSM 3.38 characters are found on a standard English language keyboard. Each GSM 3.38 character you use counts as one character toward the maximum character count for a message.

  • NON-GSM character set

MobileConnect treats all characters that are not in the GSM 3.38 character set, or all non-Latin characters, as non-GSM characters and allows a maximum count of 70 characters per message. This maximum character count applies to messages that contain one or more non-GSM characters and to any subsequent messages associated with that message, as in the example. Non-GSM characters are sometimes referred to as Unicode characters.

3. Message Concatenation:

Concatenate messages to deliver multiple messages together as one long message. Message creation in MobileConnect, check the Concatenate Message box to concatenate outbound message.

If you concatenate the message, the maximum character count per message is reduced by seven characters. Messages longer than 160 characters in MobileConnect outbound messages are reduced to 153 characters. Messages longer than 70 characters containing any non-GSM characters sets are reduced to 67 characters. The reduction happens because concatenating a message adds a header to the metadata in an SMS message. This header provides the message delivery order to the carrier

You are charged for the number of sends that would have occurred if the message wasn’t concatenated.
For inbound messages, MobileConnect records only the first 153 characters of messages longer than 160 characters. If an inbound message contains any non-GSM characters and is longer than 70 characters, MobileConnect records only the first 67 characters of the message.

Configure MobileConnect in the Journey Builder

We can use Mobileconnect to send sequences of Sms in Journey Builder like reminder SMS, order Confirmation SMS, etc.

Note: Journey Builder SMS messages are not created in MobileConnect.

Follow the below steps to add SMS activity in Journey builder to send SMS:

1. In Journey Builder, drag the SMS activity to the canvas.
2. Click on the SMS activity
3. Click new Message or select already created message.
4. Write down the message in the message box.

  • Name of the message.
  • If the message exceeds the limit character, be sure to select the concatenate box.

5. Click Save.
6. Click Message Configuration.
7. Select the short code to send messages from.
8. Choose the subscriber opt-in with respect to the keyword.
9. Set the send blackout time.
10. Click on the advanced option to set the next keywords.
11. Click the Summary then – Done.

Finally, an SMS has been configured in the journey.

Create an SMS

1. Select any one template. Click next.
2. down the name of the message and Select short/Long code.
3. Select send Method.

  • Schedule — Schedule a message for immediate or future sending.
  • API Trigger — Deploy a message via an API call.
  • Automation — Create a message that to send via automation in Automation Studio.

4. Click Next. Select the audience Type. Either select data extension or List.
5. Click next and enter the message.
6. Click Next and select the delivery method.

  • Send Immediately—Immediately sends your message to contacts who have opted in.
  • Future/Recurring—Schedules your message to be sent once at a future date and time or on a recurring schedule.

Data Extension Send for MobilConnect

In Marketing Cloud, you can use only those data extensions to send SMS, which includes valid locales as a field along with Mobile Number.

Message Statuses

What is marketing cloud mobile studio