Mailchimp’s Customer Journey feature helps you build dynamic, automated marketing paths for your contacts. Create a journey map with multiple starting points, branches, and unique actions so each of your contacts has a personalized experience.
In this article, you’ll learn about Customer Journeys.
Things to know
Depending on your plan, you may have limited access to Customer Journey tools. To learn more, check out our pricing page.
This article is about Customer Journey automation. To learn more about other email automation tools, read About Classic Automation.
Here's some terms you will come across as you build your Customer Journey.
An automated route that consists of different interactions a contact will trigger as they move through it, carving out their own unique path (based on what they do or don’t do along the way).
Customer Journey map
A visual representation of all the possible paths a contact can take in a Customer Journey.
The event or action that adds a contact to a journey.
Any rule or action that follows a starting point in a Customer Journey. You’ll plot these on your journey map based on the interactions you want your contacts to have with your business.
A type of journey point that defines how and when a contact moves along a set path.
A type of journey point that tells our system to perform a specific task, like send an email or add a tag, when a contact reaches it in their journey.
How it works
A Customer Journey is composed of specific starting points, actions, and rules that you set based on your marketing goals. To build your journey, you’ll choose and arrange these elements on a Customer Journey map.
After you design your journey map and activate it, any contact who matches a starting point condition will be added to the workflow. When a contact reaches a journey point action or rule, we automatically do the “work” for you.
For example, let's say you create a Customer Journey that includes the starting point “signs up,” the rule “delay for one week,” and the action “send email.” This means that any contact who signs up to your audience will receive an email after a one-week delay.
About starting points
A starting point is the event or action that adds a contact to a Customer Journey. When you create a new Customer Journey map from scratch, the first thing you’ll do is choose a starting point. To learn about the different starting points, check out All the Starting Points.
Each Customer Journey map can have up to 3 starting points. For example, you could have one starting point that adds contacts who are added to a specific group, and another starting point that adds contacts who buy a certain product. If a contact meets either condition, they’ll be added to the journey.
Add a filter
When you add a starting point, you can configure it further with a filter. Filters let you be more specific about who will start a journey. Add up to 5 filters to add contacts that best fit your Customer Journey’s purpose.
About journey points
After you choose your starting points, you’ll then add journey points. These are the rules and actions that do all the “work” in your workflow.
If you have an Essentials plan, you can add up to 4 journey points to your map. If you have a Standard plan or higher, you can add up to 100 journey points, including if/else branching rules.
Here are the different types of journey points.
If / Else
Splits contacts down one of two branching paths based on up to 5 conditions you choose. This journey point is available with a Standard plan or higher.
Wait for Trigger
Prevents contacts from continuing down the path until they meet a condition that you choose. You can include up to 3 wait rules in one journey map.
Prevents contacts from continuing down the path for a period of time that you choose.
Sends your contacts an email that you design.
Add to or remove from a group
Adds contacts to a group or removes them from it.
Add or remove a tag
Adds a tag to contacts or removes it.
Unsubscribes contacts from your email marketing.
Update contact record
Updates or deletes data from an audience field in the contact's record.
Access the side panel in the Customer Journey builder to add rules and actions. If you need to move the side panel out of the way, click Hide. Whenever you’re ready to use the side panel again, click Show Actions.
View and manage journeys
The Customer Journeys page is where you’ll create, view, and manage your Customer Journeys and other automations.
To access this page, click the Automations icon and choose Customer Journey. Then, click My Journeys. Use the drop-downs to filter by Audience, Status, or Objective.
If you’ve built any single-email automations or classic automations, you’ll also see them on this page with the label Email. Customer Journeys have the label Journey.
We display a label to indicate your journey or automation status, so you can quickly tell whether things are working as expected. Here are the possible status conditions for a customer journey.
Your Customer Journey hasn't started.
Your Customer Journey is live, and contacts are moving through it as they meet the conditions you’ve set. To edit your journey, you'll need to pause it first.
Your Customer Journey is paused.
Explore ways to use Customer Journeys
If you don’t yet have a specific journey in mind for your contacts, navigate to the Customer Journeys page and click the Explore tab for inspiration.
Click the Category drop-down to see the different types of starting points and pre-built journeys you can choose from.
Now that you know how Customer Journeys work, here's a step-by-step resource to help you build your own.